Jamie Carragher has claims that finishing inside the top four should be accepted as an achievement, just like Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously stated.
The Gunners boss finished outside the Champions League places last season, the first time his side have failed to do so in his 21-year reign with the club. Wenger has come under scrutiny from fans and pundits alike for talking about finishing inside the top four as if it is something worth celebrating, and Carragher now believes it is an achievement.
“We’ve always criticised Arsene Wenger for saying top four was an achievement,” Jamie Carragher said.
“I think top four is an achievement now, certainly for Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal.
“You name those three who probably spend the most money who go for the league, I’d say the other three are probably going for the last position.
“Maybe not Tottenham, I might be doing them a disservice there, I think they could go for the league.
“But it was always a top four when we played and you knew at the start of the season you’d make the Champions League.
“There was always Arsenal and Manchester United going for the league and it would be us or Leeds, us or Newcastle, or Chelsea, trying to get the last two positions for the top four really.
“Now it feels like a top six, where if you’re outside the top four it’s going to look like a nightmare season.”
The league has changed since Wenger first took over the club, and he could previously have expected to finish in the top four every season, but the situation has changed in recent years. With the emergence of the big spenders and with the new TV money being shared throughout the division, even the mid-table sides are getting stronger, and there is no guarantees in the Premier League any longer.
Do Arsenal fans accept that a top-four finish is now an achievement? Would any change other than a free-spending multi-millionaire owner taking over the club actually change our expectations?