Arsenal Must Forget Top-4


In this first podcast for 2020, after the gunners draw with Crystal Palace, Shotta and Blackburn George conclude that Arsenal must forget Top-4 and focus on the cups. They further argue it is best to be out of Europe next season; by  having to play only one game per week it will give the club the space and time to rebuild into a top Premier League team.

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74 comments on “Arsenal Must Forget Top-4

  1. Mikel Arteta faced the media on Wednesday and answered questions about a whole host of subjects.

    Possible transfers were top of the agenda, while our head coach also discussed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sheffield United and more.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on the latest on Sead Kolasinac…
    I don’t know, the doctors are assessing him still – he had a normal session yesterday. He has been in some discomfort, we know this season that he had some little niggles, so we have to assess him and see if we can get him fit for Saturday or he will be out.

    on Lucas Torreira…
    Very similar situation. He trained yesterday as well, but still not 100 per cent confident so we will have to wait and see again.

    on the nature of his injury…
    It is something related to his hip, producing some pain in the muscle. I don’t know. He is a tough boy, he wants to train, he wants to play and hopefully he will be available for the weekend.

    on Hector Bellerin…
    He has been training with us for the past few days, he is looking much sharper, much better. He needs a little chunk of training sessions before he is ready to compete but he is looking much better.

    on the latest transfer news…
    I have bad news for you guys, I have nothing to say yet!

    on being linked with John Stones…
    No, no truth at all.

    on links with AC Milan’s Franck Kessie…
    No truth at all at the moment.

    on whether we are short defensively…
    We have a lot of issues at the back, the fact that Calum got the big injury is modifying our plans. It is what we have, the situation, it can happen between December and January, it is very common. We have to live with it, this is what we have. We have to put 11 players out on the pitch on Saturday and I am sure we will. They will try their best, and I will try to select the ones who in my opinion are the best fit for that game.

    on having a chance to improve things in the January market…
    Yes, but it has to be the right player, in the right context that financially we can compete and we can attract and all these factors, if you put them together, are not easy in this market.

    on if he has a wishlist…
    I have, yes. You need to have one always, just in case!

    on Aubameyang’s red card appeal…
    It has been confirmed that he is going to be suspended for three games. So we’re not going to have the player for the next three fixtures. It’s a big shame and a big loss for us, because as well we know Auba’s intention when he plays. But unfortunately he mistimed the tackle, he made a decision and we have to accept it.

    on what the team will miss most about not having Auba involved…
    Auba has been around, he was very sad after the game. He was disappointed that he left the team with 10 men. It’s an action that is completely accidental in my opinion. He’s been superb under me, he’s trained really well, he’s working so hard. He’s scoring goals and has probably been the most important player on the team. So to lose him, obviously, is really bad news for us.

    on whether the team plays worse without him on the pitch…
    I don’t know. I haven’t experienced it. I hope not, I hope we can play better and even win the games and he will be pushing for that as well. Players have to step up. You know, when one of your big players is not there, they have to take responsibility. I’m sure when they’re not playing, they want a chance and they talk. It’s time to talk on the pitch, not outside. You come on there, you make the impact that he made and you sure me that you are as good as him or even better. You have the chance.

    on what he will focus on against Sheffield United…
    I’ve been very impressed. I’ve seen a lot of games and everything is prepared. Everything they do has a real sense, they are really difficult to break down. The solidarity in their team is incredible, how hard they work for each other and they have very clear principles – in attack and in defence, restarts of play, set-pieces – with what they want to do. So it will be a very difficult test. I already warned the players today.

    on how he can help Lacazette to rediscover his goalscoring form…
    You can help him by talking to him and giving him confidence, but that ball has to end up in the net. I think that’s the best medicine for strikers. What we have to try to do is put Laca in positions where he can have as many opportunities to do that as possible during a game.

    on whether Martinelli could get minutes in Aubameyang’s absence…
    He’s having an impact every time he’s coming on, but it’s not just him. It’s others players like Reiss and Nico too, so whoever players there on Saturday has to step in and has to be thinking that they need to make the difference for the team.

    on whether John Stones is the type of player that he’d like at Arsenal…
    John is a player that I really like and I followed. We signed him when I was at Manchester City and I worked with him for many years and know him well. When I look at centre backs he has many attributes that I like from one, but we’re not interested.

    on whether Dani Ceballos remains in his plans…
    Yes. Dani had an injury where he was out for almost two months and had to go to Madrid for his rehab. He came back and in the first few weeks I didn’t think that he was physically at the level to compete for starting games. It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and last week when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player. But he’s been training good, I’m happy with him and I know him really well, so there’s no issues there.

    on Chris Wilder…
    The work he’s done is phenomenal and he’s done some special things as well with some movements and characteristics of how he moves his team around, and the demands that he puts on his players. What I like about a manager is when I see a team and they are a real team that fights for every single ball with their attitude and behaviour, as well as their intentions for what they want to do every time. It’s very clear what he’s trying to do, so I have big admiration for him.

    on whether he’d be happy if Arsenal don’t sign anyone…
    I’m happy we have the squad that I believe we can compete for what we want. I’m fine. I want to keep the players and get the maximum from the players that I want, but if this scenario changes and we need somebody, I’m expecting that we will go into the market and try to solve the issue.

    on who the captain will be on Saturday…
    That depends on the team selection.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.


  2. Arsenal’s head of medicine Dr Gary O’Driscoll is joining Liverpool


  3. It will be strange for Dr ODriscoll being at a team where referees protect their players, he could get bored, not quite the same number of injuries to attend to

    Liked by 1 person

  4. seems that Arteta has decided to keep Nketiah at Arsenal, after the lad impressed in training.
    It had been thought the striker was going to Bristol City after Arsenal.com put up a picture of him yesterday with Bristol City down as his loan club.


  5. Seems like Mr Kurzawa , LB of PSG and in the past, of France is creating a lot of noise, a Kia Joorbachien player by all accounts


  6. Congratulations to Kim Little on making her 200 appearance for the Arsenal Women’s team, in the game Continential Cup QF V Reading Women, she celebrated it by scoring the winner late on in a game AFCW dominated. Jordan Nobbs also played her 200th game for the Arsenal Women’s team tonight too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. yeah Mandy, lots of reports in France today that AFC have offered him a deal for the summer when he would be on a Bosman Free. Mainly a LB but can also play LW and some other positions too.

    Some reports in France claim agent Kia Joorbachien is now the main go to agent for Arsenal, that he is friends with Edu, Raul and indeed Arteta.


  8. Ozil: “I had a hard time, especially with the previous coach Unai Emery, but now everything has changed and I am very happy with everything. I play regularly and everything goes well”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Osman
    Özil (Arsenal future) “I’m very pleased with my contract and I will continue here (at Arsenal) this season and next”


  10. Interesting with Eddie. Expect Auba suspension key to it (and not ‘laca’s off’ as couple of renowned twitter plonkers suggested).

    I think I’m pleased with the decision, though much depends on if he actually does get some decent minutes. Saw claim he has 1 yr left on deal this summer. If so then it’s probably pivotal it does go pretty well with minutes between now and seasons end.

    Must be an excellent chance he’ll get real opportunity next three games, and if can take chance, that should make all the difference. Quite exciting.


  11. Unless we have special inside information * on Kurzawa’s character, and why his 4/5 years at PSG have been underwhelming, it would be crackers to hand him a long, expensive contract.

    Think I was quite impressed with him back in Monaco days, but career since should raise more red flags than when a fleet of planes taking off from large aircraft carrier (ok, I don’t know what colour those flags are, nor how all that works generally)

    *preferably not form the guy’s agent


  12. Arteta says that AFC can not afford to lose anymore fullbacks or CB’s, that we are already playing midfielders and wingers in the fullback positions, and that we are down to 4 CB’s with Chambers injury, so if Mustafi goes he will have to be replaced, but that its up to Mustafi, if he is committed to stay and play for his place that he can get a place in the team. That all players have a chance to force their way into the team. They must be ready when called upon and then its up to them to perform well enough and they will keep their place.


  13. Like the incorrigible person I am, spend each day now hoping to hear of some exciting new players coming in, sometimes people I’ve seen only a few short clips of but nonetheless convince myself might be excellent.

    The latest is that Guimares fellow (he looks goooood), who after a flurry of talk yest, it now seems is-oh- going to Benfica. Aside form that, the doc’s off, Mesut posted a very heartfelt religious message, Gilberto posted something which made me think Freddie is off, these links with Kurzawa, a video from Mustafi dealing with hard times (I think). Oh, and a couple of new-ish injury niggles. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bit daft but never fully occurred to me before that with third-party owned players, those part owners might much prefer a player going to Portugal/not prem. Presumably means they can get some money now and still have more to collect in future by retaining stake.

    Expect it can be got around by paying a sizeable premium but generally not otherwise.


  15. Of course, third party was- ha ha- banned by FIFA years ago, wasn’t it.


  16. David Ornstein@David_Ornstein
    Arsenal in advanced talks to sign PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa. Negotiating today over deal for this window. Free agent in summer so trying to do it now without fee. #AFC working on 3-4 loan / free / low fee deals (doesn’t mean will do all) @TheAthleticUK


  17. Rich I don’t think its banned by FIFA, but the FA and EPL don’t allow it


  18. Fairly sure FIFA said they were going to ban it years back, and they must’ve gone pretty far with it, as recall some stuff in recent years with at least one of most notorious 3rd party groups fighting it in courts. Lot of it in that Football leaks book and prob read some stuff about it in the incredible book detailing FIFA’s corruptness. Whole game came out of that looking really bad, but South America probably worst of all. Main guys there have zero interest in nor incentive to get clean. The huge scam of tv rights deals seemed to rely on kickbacks and prob similar applies with 3rd party stuff.


  19. This Kurzawa thing is all very well, but hope if we do sign this skilled, but injury prone player, we are not losing our reliable, excellent, Bosnian tank this summer, Tierney seems to have his injury issues as well, unless he has just been unlucky this season


  20. Just saw some comments from Solsjkaer talking up Brandon Williams and throwing some praise back G neville’s way after Nev had enthused over Williams earlier this week. Neville was gushing about how Williams looked like someone who would ‘bite your nose off’ rather than let you past. Solsjkaer saying Williams doesn’t need motivating and is just like Neville in that regard.


  21. That’s how it works. 10 or so games into career in which he has shown that he’ll commit many bookable offences, and surely the odd worse one, widespread praise, including for those specific qualities. Now compare with the Xhaka treatment from day 1.

    The Utd kid’s aggression and foul play is good and commendable, and, if you like, somehow honest, Xhaka’s is just foul, a liability to the team, something refs are criticised for any time they don’t stamp on it harshly. They were highlighting the poor disciplinary record before he’d kicked a ball. Keita’s never mentioned despite being worse.

    I truly believe that’s the way of it across the board. The whole country is effectively conditioned by it.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. We have an officials team of Dean, Mason and Atkinson in various roles, against our Northern media darling opponents, who incidentally have recently complained about being on the wrong end of VAR themselves….
    If I was a gambler, I would be buying Arsenal cards.
    Good luck to the boys today, if the ref steps out of line, hope the fans let him have it


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