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01 Oct 2017 05:33:41
Just a quick idea for a thread - what 1 (and I do mean one! ) thing did you take away from the Saturday games related to Arsenal? I mean the other matches not the Arsenal one, as you already discuss what the Arsenal game means.

For me, it was that there is a very real chance of a top 4 return as, apart from the Manchester clubs, no one is really standing out and Man Utd have still not really faced anyone, plus Pep's teams always fade as the season goes on. That 4th placed trophy is not out of reach after all!

Agree0 Disagree1

01 Oct 2017 06:42:07
Top thread ed001 - The Manchester clubs do look strong bets for first and second places. However, as you state the remaining two CL spots are up for grabs. It will be interesting to see the effect of CL participation, as the last two winners of the PL were not in the competition and all clubs could possibly get through t the knockout stage. Arsenal have the advantage in this respect of being able to rest players in the EL, which is rarely, if at all possible in the CL. The effects of playing midweek can cause fatigue and injury.

This week we were able to rest the starting eleven likely to play today, with the exception of two or three players. January will be vital for us as we need an additional CB. We have plenty of cover in the other positions, although a quality DM and a RWB would be beneficial. We seem to have settled down after a disturbed start to the season, with Oxlade being included in the starting line up, by disturbing the team selction, with players played in unfamiliar positions.

Since the Liverpool matche, the shape of the team and players looks so much better. I would like to see us defend deeper away from home, where our results have been poor, except a creditable draw at Chelsea.

01 Oct 2017 09:16:22
It's strange how we all see things differently, I looked at Saturday's games and thought how much the 4 teams I expected to take the champions league spots before a ball was kicked look more likely than ever to do so.
Chelsea weren't great but gave city their toughest game yet, Utd reminded more of themselves under Fergie than at any point since Fergie left and Spurs looked like they were as usual under Poch finding their stride after a sluggish start.
Imo Utd will win it and the other 3 will fight out 2nd 3rd and 4th positions.
We need to get our problems at the back sorted out ASAP if we are going to keep up any kind of challenge for 4th should anyone slip up above us.
This time last season we were riding high in the league and riding our luck too as teams continued to create and waste lots of chances against our disorganized defence but once Everton finally exposed us the flood gates opened for everyone.
Learn from last season or in the words of that great philosopher Steve " rinse and repeat"

{Ed025's Note - for me city will win it G62 i feel they have a lot more quality than utd, also dont rule liverpool out of a top 4 spot mate they are capable of beating anyone on their day, sadly i think arsenal will finish 5th or 6th mate..

01 Oct 2017 09:47:39
I totally agree Ed001 mate, Liverpool and Arsenal will battle out for 5th place and the unlikely chance of 4th should things go pear shaped at Chelsea as they so often have in the past following a really great season.
For me United and Mourinho will be more organized and disciplined than City over the season grinding out results where city's showcase football will sometimes fail to turn the key on resilient opposition defences at times.
There isn't much between Liverpool and Arsenal imo but there is a significantly wide gap between us and the strongest 4 teams.
I don't want it to be like that i would absolutely love to see Arsenal once again in the thick of a filter race come May but in my honest unbiased non special glasses opinion that just doesn't look very realistic.

01 Oct 2017 10:55:40
I don't think top four is unrealistic at all. It's very realistic and I think any team can beat any in the top 5 or 6. I think our previous 3 performances against Chelsea suggest we are more than capable . City look good but haven't we seen them race off a few times scoring bagfuls of goals then wilt to not mount a challenge? United I have a feeling could be flat track bully's, Liverpool are equally as unpredictable as us and spurs will have a wobble that will see them fall short. Chelsea look like there missing something. So I don't see why it's a long shot at all.

01 Oct 2017 11:15:21
Top for us clearly possible and I would have expected Chelsea to get at least a point at home against City.

The Manchester clubs and Spurs look like the top three for me but injuries, squad depth can all mess with that plus red cards

For us it’s possible but we must sort out our defence - against Chelsea a simple Cesc long pass almost and should have caught us out AGAIN! It’s shocking that we fall for it then play deeper. So we must sort out the back three and the two central midfielders because with have a strong keeper, extremely strong wing backs and a superb front line.

Focus, desire and energy is required because the league is now so competitive.

The next hurdle is the January window where we can strengthen, weaken or stay as we are. Huge decisions.

In a side note - great year and well done to the arsenal finance guys as the just reported a super year. Strong Revenue and a good profit. Top marks. Clearly a well run business.

Do you really think a business run like this let’s Contracts run down?

Our on pitch performance needs a strong review as that’s why Contracts don’t get renewed. The poorer performers sign up on strong wages while the best want medals.

01 Oct 2017 11:17:57
That's exactly the problem though.

We all think we can sneak top 4, but not a single mention that we can actually be champions.

Top 4 is inbred through the club, from Owner to manager to players and supporters alike.

Not good enough in my humble opinion.

01 Oct 2017 11:48:59
Totally agree with all that Dags, people won't like this but most Arsenal fans see the title as a wish but not something the club SHOULD be challenging for most seasons.
Arsene as managed + champions league football = a case majority of happy happy gooners.
There is no real ambition beyond top from any part of the club fans board manager players just an awful lot of cosy wishful thinking.

01 Oct 2017 11:51:27
Of course we can be champions dags.

01 Oct 2017 11:59:15
There are always some that love the 4th place trophy, not me, I said top 3 at seasons beginning and that means in the mix for the title for me with a good chance to win it.

City will be the team to pip for the title. They are a different proposition this time around.



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