Can Arteta and his team deliver CL qualification?

At least, that’s what most of us said back in August, even before the three-loss start to the season. Happy if we struggle to sixth. There are too many better squads than ours.

Well, now we have a chance of making fourth, and can’t finish lower than sixth. So will we now be satisfied with fifth (probable) or sixth (possible, but unlikely)? Of course not. It will be called a failure, forgetting what we expected at the beginning. Come on, all you online supporters, give Arteta’s boys a break. They’ve done really well. I can conceive they have even exceeded Arteta’s expectations.

I am astounded at the negativity that still prevails in parts of the blogosphere towards Mikel. I have thought from the outset that he is a truly impressive person, with an astonishing football brain. When there was muttering of an early sacking, I wrote on here that you could forget it – KSE had committed to the long haul, seduced by Arteta’s long-term vision. I have so enjoyed that plan. First he set about making us harder to beat, which meant that for a while we were impossible to watch, so turgid was the football, as he tried to get square pegs to defend round holes. He set out to bring referees more on board, with limited success, but you can see from watching his interactions with the officials that he’s determined to remain positive with them. He has worked tirelessly to bring the supporters onside, and it has been a great success. You only have to listen to both home and away supporters’ vociferous and relentless involvement.

He has steadily shifted out players not committed to his vision, and brought in youthful, energetic replacements. Step by step, the squad is being rebuilt, and the style of play evolving. We have a raft of players just starting their careers, who should only get better, and with every game, should deepen their mutual understanding. We have one or two gaps to fill with astute signings (another area where Edu/Arteta show their mettle). We have an outrageously talented group of Academy players striving to join the seniors.

If you don’t subscribe to this being the most exciting time to be an Arsenal fan for absolutely years, what is the matter with you?

Oh, and on the subject of excitement, please leave Nuno Tavares alone. I love him. You don’t know from one minute to the next whether he’s going to block a shot or drift out of position; give the ball away in midfield with no cover behind him, or hurtle past six perplexed defenders before unleashing a shot into Row Z, or possibly even the net; cross threateningly, or to no-one in particular. Re-watching the last two games, I actually think he did more good things defensively than bad. And he’s so much fun!


25 Responses to ARSENAL FOURTH PLACE? NO CHANCE! By Maxwell

  1. LBG says:

    Pure quality as usual from you! ( except perhaps I’m too old for my heart to cope with the ” excitement” of Tavares!)
    Agree with your assessment of the man in charge and the potential for the future.( You do realise however, that the doom merchants are hovering!)
    Update on Anchelotti (sorry, spelling). Having won the Spanish League, now the only manager to win all five major European leagues. IF he wins the Champions League will also be first to win it four times.

  2. RC78 says:

    Ancelotti is a cracking coach…PSG is so good at getting rid of the best coaches like Ancelotti (he left, feeling unsupported) and Tuchel (he left, feeling unsupported)…

  3. Maxwell says:

    I do LBG. Hovering like blowflies. Thanks for the endorsement by the way! And thanks, RC, for elevating my little opinion into a leader (newspaper, not army!).

  4. lolerinho says:

    Our midfield is probably the worst it has been in about 20 years, so Im looking forward to Mikel improving it this summer. Is Lokonga a player? Will it be better to get rid of Partey in place of someone like Bissouma or Phillips? (Phillips has had a mare with injuries this season though) Declan Rice would be just perfect for us, wouldnt he, dammit Moyes. We def need a captain that will play all the games! CM players to jizz all over: Jacob Ramsey, Gallagher, Chukwuemeka, Bissouma, Bellingham, Milenkovic-Savic, Tchouameni… and Tolisso is free?

  5. pbarany says:

    I think it is a great direction to post articles from guest authors. More perspective, more content, more constructive discussion.

    However this post feels more of a bashing/roasting and frustration ventilation than structured arguments, but this is just my subjective opinion.

  6. Seruyange He6 says:

    Arsenal forever we shall be in champions league next season

  7. LBG says:

    How do you have to go back commenting on this site to still be described as a “guest”?

  8. LBG says:

    “How far…”

  9. fred1266 says:

    Hope real pulls it out today

  10. RC78 says:

    It will be a tough task for Madrid…City is a cracking team and they won’t be as easily sliced open today…This game could go to Extra-Time or PKs…

  11. Mike M says:

    Great piece Maxwell. It’s funny that things seem a lot warmer and fuzzier than they were 3 games ago. Fair play to you if you’ve been on board all along. Personally I have been uncertain but I’ve tried to give Arteta credit, probably more recently if I’m being honest. As I commented yesterday, the Chavs game was massive. his team needed belief in itself and after being pegged back twice in typically naive fashion (for a young and inexperienced team) they found a way to get over the line. Maybe I’m wrong but there seems something a little different about the team now. I missed some of the signs Maxwell has pointed out and you could say they’re “hindsight”. But they’re spot on, so I’d say it’s part of the plan. I was totally on board with the Auba thing, not coz he’s bad or I don’t like him, he just didn’t fit. I was completely wrong about Xhaka, not because of his football (I still think he’s extremely limited and can’t play in a top Euro team) but because of his attitude and commitment. Surely Arteta gets credit for that.
    I’m not sure where we’ll finish but I’m with Maxwell, It’s going to be fun finding out. It’s been a long time since I felt that way.

  12. Maxwell says:

    Dear Mr Pbarany. You are a relatively recent – and most welcome – contributor to AA, so you may not realise that this is not my first offering, nor that I never ever bash, roast, vent or rant. I like to think I’m amusing, though few enough others do. As the late Bob Monkhouse said (I believe it was before he died), “They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. They’re not laughing now!”

    If I contribute less than I used to, it’s because I so miss the great crowd that used to be here every day – Chas, RA, Rasp, Didit, Sue, Peaches, the tonsured Accountant, Rocky… dammit I forget so many names. It’s good to see the occasional comment from LBG, VP and Ginger, and I’m absolutely full of admiration for RC’s dogged determination to make sure something new is posted as often as he can.

    But it’s really not the same as when there were a hundred comments a day and every day brought at least one new post to talk about.

    Ah, ou sont les neiges d’antan?

  13. Maxwell says:

    “Ou”. Sorry RC, I’m unable to produce accents on my iPhone. But you know what I mean.

    And apologies to those other erstwhile regulars like LB, Raddy, arnie, Gooner B, Gooner in Exile, Gunner N5, Evonne, kelsey, Shard. And so on, etc., etc.

  14. LBG says:

    Maxwell’s hammer lands a blow.

  15. watson says:

    yes yes yes i enjoy watching gunners with my son

  16. RC78 says:

    Maxwell…If I don’t put posts up, I think the blog would go extinct…trying my best…not always able to post everyday but trying my best…I can’t believe the “original gang” is not more active anymore. I hope they are ok…Lovely lot – I met a few of them….maybe they are not so keen on my posts…

  17. pbarany says:

    Maxwell, you honor be beyond my valor with your response.
    I indeed did not know that you belong to the core community of the blog, but I didn’t aim my ‘guest’ as a demeaning or belittling adjective. Furthermore my comment to RC about my appreciation of other authors and perspectives are independent from their history; as far as I am concerned a new voice or a hardcore contributor are similarly (maybe even equally) welcome.

    I didn’t mean my remark of frustration ventilation an insult either. I was merely trying to refer that your post wasn’t really trying to convince the “not 100% positive” supporters to jump on board by figures, trends or fact-based arguments, but rather by appealing their higher self to be more supportive and loyal. (“Come on, all you online supporters, give Arteta’s boys a break.”) The same applies to Tavares: your main point why to leave him alone is that you love him – which is perfectly fine, but more of an emotional than a rational argument.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Tavares, and don’t mind giving him time (and a break) – so I didn’t find myself as the subject of your paragraphs. Just stating that if the boys might “have even exceeded Arteta’s expectations” that wouldn’t necessary contradict supporters being disappointed with a #6th place; as they might have a different, possibly higher expectation. And taking the record transfer spending, the lack of European distraction, the unprecedented struggles of 3 close competitors and Arteta’s tenure of 2.5+ years all into consideration maybe even justified expectations.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Great post, Maxwell. Very exciting times for us Gooners. Love the support for Nuno too. 🙂

  19. RC78 says:

    Bernardo Silva : MOTM…every one was expecting De Bruyne or Benzema but so far B. Silva has been nothing short of phenomenal. What a player…

  20. RC78 says:

    Benzema, a very unusual performance…ciao ciao Ballon d’Or

  21. RC78 says:

    Wow…what the hell happened…it s not over till it s over

  22. RC78 says:

    Man..I should place bets more often:

    “RC78 says:
    May 4, 2022 at 1:36 pm (Edit)
    It will be a tough task for Madrid…City is a cracking team and they won’t be as easily sliced open today…This game could go to Extra-Time or PKs…”

  23. RC78 says:

    Benzegoal back in Ballon d’Or contention: 1 assist, 1 goal…WTF happened to City!

  24. LBG says:

    All, old and new, readers and contributors appreciate your “unbelievable” efforts to keep the best Arsenal blog alive.
    If the team’s potential is fulfilled in the next few seasons perhaps a few of the exciting old timers will return to our family.
    Whatever, WE will always be ” Arsenal ’till we die!”

  25. LBG says:

    Great story from Tony Adams about Wenger in the very early days at a training camp in Switzerland. AW gave the instruction that there would be no offsides in the session, and Tony couldn’t cope with the idea!!🤣🤣 Walked off with comment that “the forwards loved it. Round the back of me knocking in goals left, right and centre. Finshed 10-10! I said this is schoolboy stuff, not for me!”

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