Man City? Spuds? Villa? Who Should We Want To Finish Fourth?

By RockyLives

Barring disaster, Arsenal look set to finish third this year. The first and second spots remain to be contested between two equally odious outfits (frankly, who cares?), so that leaves the battle for fourth.

Spuds and Citeh are in the driving seat, but Villa are in their slipstream and even the Dippers have a chance, although if it’s a Formula One race for fourth place, they’re the ones on the bicycle (a stolen one, natch).

The only interest I have in this contest (apart from the usual visceral desire to see failure and humiliation heaped on Sh*te Hart Lane) is that I want the outcome to be the least damaging to Arsenal’s future prospects. So what is that outcome? I have heard different opinions expressed by fellow Gooners, the most popular being a late dash by Aston Villa. Others would take Citeh over Spuds. But some, through gritted teeth, even say they would rather it was the Spuds than Citeh.

Well, in truth, every right-thinking Gooner should be hoping against hope that the fourth spot is secured by those pikeys-who’ve-just-won-the-lottery, Manchester City FC. Here’s why:

Whoever gets fourth will get the chance to pre-qualify for the Champions League. Yes, it’s possible that any of them could drop out at this stage (and Citeh, Spuds and Villa all share low Uefa ratings, risking a tough draw), but we cannot rely on this. They are all teams with good squads and they will reinforce like billy-o if they get the chance of CL football.

It follows, therefore, that the fourth place team can expect to get to the group stages, where six guaranteed games bring in a lot of new revenue. Meanwhile, having qualified for the CL, they will have been able to attract significantly better players during the close season. They will be a stronger team in the EPL as well as in Europe, and more likely to be our competitors for the league title and the cups as well as the CL.

So who do we want to get this leg up? Not Spuds, that’s for sure. They already spend like drunken gamblers every year anyway. And if they can attract players with the carrot of Champions League football they will really splash the cash. Mystifying though it may be to us, there is no doubt that some world class players may actually want to go to N17 if it means playing in the CL.  We cannot have our historical enemy in this position. If they finish fifth again this year I think the blow to their morale will see them really struggle again next year and our dominance in North London will remain unthreatened.

What about Aston Villa? For those in favour of Villa for fourth, the reasoning is simple, and relies more on emotion than cold calculation. Martin O’Neill is deranged, Agbonlahor was obnoxious when they beat us at the Emms last season but, on the whole, we don’t hate Villa. In fact most of us probably think they’re a well run club. But so far they have not been at the ‘top table’ of English football – and we don’t want them joining it now. If they fail to secure fourth (and all the extra cash and top players that go with it) they will stay where they are – a good team who are not a long term serious threat.

As for the Dippers, well, unless something dramatic happens on the ownership front they are facing a period of decline – one that might only be halted if they get CL football next year. However, their chances of getting fourth are so slim it’s not worth wasting time on them.

Which brings us to Citeh – and here’s the rub. If they DO get fourth, they will spend a fortune and buy some of the best players in the world and be real contenders for all trophies next year.

If they DON’T get fourth, they will spend a fortune and buy some of the best players in the world and be real contenders for all trophies next year.

Fourth or fifth makes no difference to Citeh. In terms of being bankrolled they are the richest club in the world and nothing is going to stop them spending for success.

Sure, there will be some players who will not go to ManCity if they’re not in the CL, but many world class players will be prepared to join them because of the money and the near certainty of CL football the following year. They’ll seriously abuse the cheque book to recruit players like Torres.

If Citeh finish fourth, we have the new Big Four: ManUre, Chavs, Citeh and Arsenal.

If Villa, Spuds or the Dippers finish fourth, we risk the creation of a Big Five: the four CL qualifiers, plus Citeh.

From a selfish Arsenal perspective I want to be competing against only three other power-houses in the EPL, not four. It’s as simple as that.


53 Responses to Man City? Spuds? Villa? Who Should We Want To Finish Fourth?

  1. Morning all

    Excellent analysis Rocky – come on Citeh 🙂

    I definitely don’t want spuds to think that they’re in the same league as us but I’m sure the mancs feel the same way about citeh.

    Who will be the citeh manager next season? Will Maureen want to leave his beloved Inter if they win the Champs Lge?

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Highly logical Rocky. An excellent summation and one I agree with.

    Let us hope for a City win v the Spuds.

    As you so rightly say, MC will spend big either way.

  3. DJ says:

    Tut tut tut too bad looks like the gooners are scared of their neighbours… Don’t expect too high though..last yr u barely managed a top 4 finish and with fabregas leaving for his beloved home barca with two or three yrz (obviously he shall have to wait for xavi or iniesta to retire…even ur owner agrees hez nt good enough)…he’s makin excuses of winning smethin before leaving but even a bloke will realise that’s nt gonna happen any soon
    tell u what don’t worry abt the other four… Worry abt ur self cause this yr it was livpl next yr it might be assenal oh and just wait till Looserpool start spending or have their players fit..obvoiusly abhramovic is gonna spend and united don’t need to spend even if they have 100
    mill transfer kitty cause they are good enough and they don’t get injured that often

  4. Big Raddy says:

    “Beloved” Inter LOL. The man is hated throughout Italy and is at best tolerated by the Inter fans, they know he is only there for the short haul.

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning chaps,Peachy,
    I’m in the Shitty for 4th spot camp purely because the Spuds being in the Champions League(even if only for the pre-qualifying round)e is wrong for so many reasons.
    Shitty will spend on players whether they are in the Champions League or not as there will always be mercenaries who will play for them irregardless of which, if any, European competition they play in.
    Obviously Villa or the dippers would be preferable options, but either of these seem unlikely, so it has to be the Middle Eastlands mob.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Once again a Spud reveals his intelligence.

    Don’t they have schools in N17?

  7. 4straf says:

    Villa not been at the top table…Maybe not recent years!!
    Villa to beat city tomorrow which will take it to the last day of the season fingers crossed its Villa for me.

  8. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Great analysis Rocky. It makes perfect sense. We will be stronger in terms of the squad next season. We would have won the title this season if it were not for the injuries …. sooner or later our luck will have to change.

  9. charybdis1966 says:

    4straf – the shame of it is though I can’t see the Spuds mucking it up at home to Bolton tomorrow – we need Bolton to win and I don’t think they will. Still stranger things have happened so fingers crossed that neither of the N17 pikeys or the northern chavs get 4th.

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders – I’m quite bored by Dinner Jacket’s “comment” – I’ve been another blog where a load of Stoke fans have been having a pop at us for not winning anything this year. That’s right, that well decorated team Stoke City are feeling superior about that.

  11. Hans says:

    I have come to the complete opposite conclusion: The only team we do NOT want to finish 4th is City.

    After the succesful completion of the Highbury development Arsenal are much stronger financially than Spuds, Villa or Liverpool even if they get into the CL money. They will always be playing catch up.

    With unlimited funds City is the team that poses a genuine long term threat to Arsenal. Money won’t stop them from buying any player. The only thing that could stop them is if they don’t play in the Champions League. Top players in Europe would be reluctant to sign for whatever money if they can’t play in the CL – like Kaka last year. Once City has got both the money and the attactiveness of the CL they can sign anybody and will blaze past Arsenal – and everyone else for that matter.

  12. Rasputin says:

    Morning Hans and welcome,

    I don’t think we are financially stronger than the spuds as they have a sugar daddy in Joe Lewis who is worth £2,500m and has been pouring money into the club without expecting a return in the same way Abramovich has taken a loss with the chavs.

    There is nothing we can do to counteract the emergence of citeh, they will buy big anfd they will buy players out of our financial scope. We have to accept that the likely top 4 for the foreseeable future will be Arsenal, mancs, chavs and citeh. I cn only see pool spiralling downwards.

  13. andy says:

    Its a good and accurate article RL and I think sensibly you are probably right but on a personal level I would love to see all those players who went to city for CL football ( nothing to do with money!) miss out on another seasons european football. Also you will always get the mercenarys going to the highest bidder but there are still some world class players who have ambition other than just cash and some may be put off of city without the CL.

  14. Hans says:

    Cheers Rasputin

    I agree with you if you think Arsenals main ambition should be to stay in the top 4 – and a lot can be said for that argument in the long term. But for next season I believe Arsenal will be strong enough to challenge for the title and I am pleased to see in your earlier comment that you share my positive view. The only team (other than the current top 2) that could stand in the way of that challenge is City. And they will be a lot stronger if they qualify for the CL.

    I am keen to learn more about how and how much Lewis has funded Spuds? Do you have a link to any information about this? Abramovich spending is well documented from Chelseas annual accounts (last figure was £710mill and counting!) and I also saw in the paper that Randy Learner has put £135mill of his own money into Villa over they years. His reluctance to continue to do so may be the reason for the reported ‘bust up’ with O’Neill

  15. andy says:

    Sorry I didnt say….Dont wana see spuds do it either!! Villa for 4th

  16. Rasputin says:

    Hi again Hans,

    I don’t have a specific link, my impression has been formulated from various articles but mainly by talking to spud fans who I unfortunately know far too many of 😉

    I’ve just found this article published today that suggests his big spending days may now be over – so perhaps I was wrong 🙄

  17. andy says:

    True Hans, I dont think we need to be looking over our shoulder, Utd and chelsea are gona b more than catchable next year.

  18. Rocky Lives says:

    Hans, your position is where I started out and why I ended up writing this piece. I had assumed it would be worse for us if City got the added appeal of CL football. But the more I thought about it the more I came to the conclusion they will be able to attract CL quality players even if they’re not in the CL.
    They have limitless money to spend at a time when most clubs worldwide (with one or two high profile exceptions) have so little to spend. I firmly believe Torres will be there next season – and once you get players like that at City, they become magnets for other top players.

  19. Rocky Lives says:

    Andy, on a personal level I agree with you: I would love to see the greedy Manchav players miss out on CL. My heart would prefer Villa to get fourth but, as you’ve seen, my head tells me it should be City.

  20. Gooner says:

    Its got to be Villa for me, if Villa get it they have the least cash to spend and it will be hard for them to attract big players! Villa will remain an average team, and City may not attract the sensational players they need to be challenging for trophies!!

  21. Rocky Lives says:

    Thanks for the Joe Lewis link Rasp. It’s funny we never hear much about him, yet everyone knows the names of Gillett, Hicks, Abramavich, Lerner etc.
    He obviously took a hit with Bear Sterns, but he’s still loaded.

  22. dandan says:

    Spot on reasoning Rocky good article, would love to agree but my eldest lad is a city fan and I will get such stick. LOL

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Sadly, the likelihood is it will be the Spuds.

    Regulars on here know that I welcome stronger opposition from our neighbour, but let it be in the PL. They will be an embarrassment to their fans, the Champions League, the country and the Queen if they make it to the CL.

    For evidence, one only has to read the comment (9.52 – BTW I took out the expletives!!) from one of their numbskulls

  24. dandan says:

    Good start for city it seems Tevez wants to leave. That will encourage new signings

  25. cin says:

    Villa for me.
    Or Spures.
    I can’t think abt ManCity in first 4. Because if Manc plays CL then good players will be ready to come to the club and they will splash big amt of money also for that.

  26. steve graham says:

    This article is typical Arsenal.The challenges to all teams changes year on year.Who cares what anyone else is doing.At home matches Arsenal sing shit about others but have no songs themselves…why are Arsenal so infatuated with what everyone else does….maybe to cover up their own inadequacies and empty trophy cabinet! Maybe just maybe Mourinho was right your all a bunch of voyeurs!!!!

  27. Spuds for me, there is nothing like healthy, deep rooted, hatred and rivalry to drive clubs forward.

    Look at the way the scouse mob pushed each other on in the 80s.

    Also, i want to see them humiliated in the qualifying rounds to the uzbek champions.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Mr Graham. Fine name. Your comment was fairly interesting for the first sentence.

    You clearly do not read this site, otherwise you would know that we concentrate entirely upon The Arsenal.

    As to being voyeurs, well we can’t all be perfect….

  29. Hans says:

    Cheers Rocky for bringing up a very interesting discussion. There is a very relevant interview with Buffon in todays mail.

    He is quoted about rejecting an offer from City saying: ‘They have signed some fantastic players, but if they want to go up to the next level and sign even better players then they must claim a Champions League spot this year.’

    Don’t know if the link works.

  30. Ermm, would the epitome of a voyueur not be… for arguments sake

    a spurs/chavski fan, reading and then posting on a arsenal blog?

    who do you support steve graham?

  31. steve graham says:

    I support Arsenal…otherwise I wouldn’t be on here and commenting.I am not alone in saying we are fed up hearing ‘stand up if you hate tottenham’ what about stand up if you love arsenal!!! the tribalism of the human animal means that we have to persecute rather than support…have a look at the politicians they spend all their time slagging each other rather than pushing their own cause which is what you lot on here do on here…we should be discussing who to buy to get us out of this rut of fancy dans with no bollocks

  32. charybdis1966 says:

    When you say “your(sic) all a bunch of voyeurs” Steve Graham, rather than “maybe we’re all a..” you can forgive those on here who doubt you are an Arsenal fan.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Mr Graham. As I said, read the site every day. Our focus is on supporting The Arsenal.

    But you choose to follow in the steps of the politicians you quote, slagging off instead of giving an INFORMED argument.

    Check back on this site and see how often potential targets are named, how it support our team when others predict gloom.

    and finally ….. What rut?? We have a vibrant young team who had it not been struck down by endless injuries in vital areas could well have won the PL. Is that a rut?

  34. A wonderful article that gives the perfect breakdown on our finances… and why wenger now has circa 50M to spend this summer…. and more the following summer!!

  35. Alfa says:

    Steve, I’m not sure where you sit at the Emirates but where I am most people don’t join in with the ‘stand up if you hate…’ chant, although we do cheer our team on pretty well non-stop. No disrespect to those who do stand up, but I’m sure most of the ground don’t actually join in that one.

    As for voyeurs, I don’t know how you can figure out our sexual predelictions from a few posts about football but I think you are probably wrong about that as well.

    What do you think we should do to improve the team? What do you think of this season – steady improvement from last year? Disappointing failure?

  36. Rasputin says:

    Afternoon all,

    I am suspicious of Steve’s motivation but actually I have to agree about the ‘stand up’ nonsense. They were singing it in the first 10 minutes against citeh … I just find it a bit juvenile, can’t we come up with anything more witty than that?

    The ‘voyeur’ remark is not something I would ever expect to hear one Arsenal fan call another. As Alfa says, it was intended to imply a sexual deviency and comes too close to the filth that the mancs and spuds chant at AW.

  37. Kelsey you around? Views on the Guineas?

  38. dandan says:

    Bit out of fashion String the only use them for buying horses these days, unless they are pigs of course

  39. dandan says:

    String that was a cracking article it answers a few questions we have posed in recent weeks, £50k sounds handy

  40. Hans says:

    Brilliant link Stingfellow. Just a comment on the 50k. 1) This is an estimate and probably on the high side. 2) It will have to cover both sign on fees and wages. So don’t expect Arsenal to sign 50k’s worth of new players this summer. Personally I would be very surprised if we spend more than half of that.

  41. blimey, wordpress is very slow today!

    2000 guineas day tommorow, and the talking horse is being hyped as a possible triple crown contender.

    first leg tommorow.

  42. Rickmeister says:

    Has to be Villa although, as a Villa season ticket holder, I may be slightly biased!

  43. dandan says:

    Welcome Rickmeister at least you come with a sense of humour and we wish you well.

  44. kelsey says:

    Evening all,

    I have the same problem on WordPress today, can’t get on several sites and even the lefties seems to be stuck on comments unless it’s my computer.

    SFH, not really got an interest tomorrow.

    Rocky lives I don’t really care who comes forth as long as it is not us.One can argue for and against all the culprits involved.

  45. kels – they really fancy this hoss… a certain John Dillon from laddies has a very good line to the o brien stable.. and they have been consistently the shortest priced on the beast all winter.

    They are going evens, while hills are 6/4!

  46. RockyLives says:

    Steve, admit it – you’re not really an Arsenal supporter are you? And you’ve never been to a game have you? The Arsefans have a full repertaoire of songs, pro-Arsenal as well as anti-opposition. In evidence. M’lud, I give you “Good Old Arsenal” “We Love You Arsenal, We Do” “Come on Arsenal” “We’re the Famous Arsenal” and others too numerous to mention.

  47. kelsey says:

    Rindercella and her sugly isters lived in a marge lansion. Rindercella worked very hard frubbing sloors, emptying poss pits, and shivelling shot.
    At the end of the day, she was knucking fackered. The sugly isters were right bugly astards.. One was called Mary Hinge, and the other was called Betty Swallocks; they were really forrible huckers; they had fetty sweet and fatty swannies.
    The sugly isters had tickets to go to the ball, but
    the cotton runts would not let Rindercella go.

    Suddenly there was a bucking fang, and her gairy fodmother appeared. Her name was Shairy Hithole and she was a light rucking fesbian. She turned a pumpkin and six mite wice into a hucking cuge farriage with six dandy ronkeys who had buge hollocks and dig bicks. The gairy fodmother told Rindercella to be back by dimnlight otherwise, there would be a cucking falamity.

    At the ball, Rindercella was dancing with the prandsome hince when suddenly the clock struck twelve. “Mist all chucking frighty!!!” said Rindercella, and she ran out tripping barse over ollocks, so dropping her slass glipper.

    The very next day, the prandsome hince knocked
    on Rindercella’s door and the sugly isters let him in.. Suddenly, Betty Swallocks lifted her leg and let
    off a fig bart. “Who’s fust jarted?” asked the prandsome hince. “Blame that fugly ucker over there!!” said Mary Hinge.

    When the stinking brown cloud had lifted, he tried the slass glipper on both the sugly isters without success and their feet stucking funk.
    Betty Swallocks was ducking fisgusted and gave the prandsome hince a knack in the kickers. This was not difficult as he had bucking fuge halls and
    a hig bard on. He tried the slass glipper on Rindercella and it fitted pucking ferfectly.

    Rindercella and the prandsome hince were married. The pransome hince lived his life in lucking fuxury, and Rindercella lived hers with a follen swanny!


  48. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Roberto Mancini has told Carlos Tevez he should leave Manchester City for the sake of the club if he still isn’t happy with the Italian’s training regime.

    Now that bloke would be a great signing.

  49. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’d rather Villa get 4th.

  50. Ohthose infantilefans says:

    Only a sad moron could refer to N17 pikeys.How ironic that Spurs have ALWAYS been located in N17 and Arsenal are the “travellers” from Woolwich which, for the obnviously geographically challenged is south of the River TRhames. I know it’s difficult but Spurs have no history of a nomadic search for a new home when they were obviously not wanted by their old neighbours.
    Incidently there seems rather a lot of interest in other teams affairs her. Oh well back to the real world.

  51. Lookoveryourshoulder! says:

    Good thread with the usual Gooners V Spurs banter.
    I dont blame you for not wanting Spurs to finish 4th, if it were the other way round id be the same.
    What amazes me though is the fact that the top 4 think that your dominance of the CL places will continue ad infinitum. It wont!
    The teams from 5th to 8th are getting better and better, the tide is slowly starting to turn.
    Even if either Spurs, Citeh or Villa dont qualify for the CL this year they will only be knocking on the door again next year. As for attracting good standards of players i really dont see how it will affect Spurs that much. Spurs are never going to sign the likes of Kaka or Ibrahimovic whether we had CL footie or not. We always find a bargain somewhere, admittedly that red nosed scotch git usually poaches them after a season (Berbatov and Carrick ring any bells). This is the best Spurs have played over an entire season that i have ever witnessed, we have had our injury problems and the odd terrible performance but the lads have kept going and we are on the cusp of achieving the unlikely, especially if you saw our league position 18 months ago. I would have been happy with 6th at the start but to lose the 4th spot now will be devastating.
    I understand why you dont want Spurs to get it, but do you really want that farce of a club Citeh getting there instead?
    At least Spurs will have earnt it rather than bought it!

  52. Lookoveryourshoulder! says:

    Well thats the end of this little topic. See you in the Champions League Boys.

    Cooooome oooon yoouuuu Spuuuurs!!!!!

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