Here is the picture so far:
- We have lost our FA Cup, losing to Southampton in the 4th Round
- We are out of the Carabao Cup, losing to Man City in the quarter-finals
- We have played 22 games in the EPL, collected 31 points and sit 9 points behind 4th placed Liverpool (they have played one less game than us) and 5 points behind Everton (they have played 2 games less than us) and we are 17 points ahead of the best placed bottom 3 team.
- We are still qualified in the Europa League, where we had a flawless group stage and are now facing Benfica in the Round of 32.
So two trophies are out of reach already, a top 4 finish is clearly going to be tough and a top 6 finish may even be difficult. The Europa League then becomes DE FACTO our best chance for trophy/success.
So what shall be our expectations for this season?
A. Finish in Top 8 and win the Europa League
B. Finish in Top 17 and win the Europa League
C. Aim to find our best XI this season, soak in the Arteta’s game plan and do our best in the EPL and EL.
Excellent post RC.
Last time we did this exercise I was very optimistic and had us in for the Top 4 and a cup of some sort.
We then went on our worst run for decades, so go figure.
From where we are now it is unrealistic to have high expectations of success in our two remaining competitions this season.
However, it is NOT unrealistic to feel some optimism about how our team and personnel are gradually taking shape.
So here’s my (slightly wishful but mostly realistic) prediction:
League: finish in the top six and get Europa League for next season.
Europa League: semi-final. We could go all the way, but you need a lot of luck to win a cup.
Thanks RC … at this stage we can only employ the OGAAT strategy. I hope we can assume that we’ll get through to the last 16 of the EL, thereafter we will have to assess our position in the league to decide which competition to prioritise .
Shameful lack of comments RC – I think everyone is still in hiding after the horror show on Tuesday night 😀
Win the Europa League and do everything possible if not, not to get in the Europa League again!!
Thanks for the reminder.
Win EL Silverware!!
Move out the underperformers.
Sign Balo and another playmaker.
Nothing further required.
Needless to say – Luiz’s red will stand. Southampton had theirs overturned!
If things get any worse, the Rasper will invite us all around to his fishy plaice for drinks — and none of you need to feel coy.
Very informative Post, RC, well done, monsieur. 👍
I knew Luiz’s red card would stand once Rasper said the inadvertent thrust of his knee into a razor sharp stud was a foul!! 😳
Hi Redders 😂 I don’t think it was a deliberate foul, it was clumsy and caused the player to miscue his shot and fall over so by denying a clear goal scoring chance. Obviously the law is ridiculous and the ref should have had the option to issue a yellow .. but he didn’t
You are sensible and right, Rasper, and when I saw Luiz bulling in like he does I feared the worst — and the worst it was.
A huge yell of ……. NOOOOOOO ….. when I saw his determined charge reflected my expectation of what was about to happen, at the time.
Totts v Chavs this evening … we want a draw to keep them both in our sights.
I had certain expectations before the change in formation and performances with the Chelsea game and they haven’t changed.
Go all out to win the EL. We have the players, squad depth and ability to do that. There shouldn’t be many teams that would be more fancied than us now and if there are it will be marginal.
With the league I was hoping for 6th, which is potentially achievable, but wasn’t too concerned if we didn’t achieve it as long as we finish the league strongly as one of the best teams in the 2nd part if the season.
Win the EL and our eventual EPL position becomes less if an issue anyway.
Let us go all out and win the Europa League 🙂
I think Arteta made an error throwing the Cup game. I thought we would make a run to 6th, but it’s looking a long shot after that terrible run.
Sooo all eggs into the Europa basket. We’ve come close in the past few seasons. Time to win it?
The Uefa Cup competition is brimming with good teams and our next opponent, Benfica, is a huge hurdle to take. It remains to be seen wether this competition will be completed given the C19 challenges anyway. If it does I think it will be hard for us to win it, realistically.
For me this season is about recalibrating the team, and it is next season that really matters. That’s when Arteta will have the exact squad he wants and all the players are used to his tactics and vision. Finishing as high as possible in the league is important but not at the detriment of team development. It is all about maximum preparation for next season. I am loving this journey, so refreshing.
Thanks Rocky, I agree the key to our performance will be to forget the faux pas of the last game and keep playing with the verve we showed in the first half.
I think it’s too much pressure for Runners, traditionally Ozzie keepers have been good so Matt is my preferred option.
We need to try to cut Grealish out of the game and double up on him when he gets the ball. Neutralise Grealish and their creativity is gone. Mari would be my preferred option to Luis as well because he is quicker and Villa have rapid attacking players.