Is Arsenal finishing in 5th really a sign of progress? | OneFootball

Is Arsenal finishing in 5th really a sign of progress?

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Just Arsenal News

So, as I predicted throughout the season, we didn’t have the mentality to get over the line and qualify for the Champions League.

I was called negative for having that opinion, accused of an agenda for my point of view and at times personally abused for my freedom of speech.

I was big enough to say if I was proven wrong, I would hold my hands up because trust me, the team I love being 4th is bigger than me being correct.

Do I expect certain readers to be humble enough to acknowledge I was right …? Unfortunately probably not.

Arsenal almost clarified their image by scoring 5 against Everton. A team who looked tired at Spurs and Newcastle, suddenly had lots of energy when the pressure was off.

Here’s a myth though.

Not viewing 5th as progress doesn’t mean I want Arteta sacked.

Equally if you rate our manager, that doesn’t mean you need to be a supporter who’s scared to critique anything about the team.

In life as well as sport, there is nothing wrong with having standards and not accepting anyone or anything that fall below those expectations.

I don’t need to see the Gunners be Champions. I just want them to, on and off the pitch, try to be the best versions of themselves. If we had lost at the Lane and the Toon having given our best, then I would have been proud. In reality we didn’t show up. Like we lacked motivation at Palace and home to Brighton.

By giving out contract extensions without knowing what European competition we would be in next season, the Kroenke Family don’t have that zero tolerance.

I have long been baffled by this notion that just because we finished 8th in consecutive years, I now have to view 5th as ‘progress’. I don’t get that theory, given it’s the current regime who were responsible for our worst finish in a quarter of a century.

It hurts me to say that’s a small club mentality. Chelsea, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs wouldn’t reward a manager with a pay raise for 5th.

That’s like Man United this time next year boasting that 5th is a success just because it’s better than 6th.

Or Everton finishing 13th and wanting a pat on the back because it’s an improvement on 16th.

What if Spurs had finished 5th today?

Would you applaud them for progress because it’s an upgrade on 7th?

In 2006 we mocked Spurs for bottling 4th. I don’t remember anyone saying Spurs had made progress based on midtable the year before.

It’s simple, you have a criterion and you either achieve it or not.

Arsene Wenger was mocked for ‘only finishing in the top 4’. When eventually forced out of the Emirates he had finished 5th, then 6th.

If the majority of Gooners are honest, if I had said on Mr. Wenger’s farewell, that 4 seasons later fans would be celebrating 5th, you wouldn’t call that progress, would you?

When Unia Emery finished 5th, It was rightly viewed that he had bottled the chance to finish 4th. Why three years later are some saying different?

If you don’t want to listen to me, listen to the club themselves.

Go back and read the statements the day we essentially sacked our last two bosses, listen to Arteta’s first ever press conference.

Out of his own mouth, Arsenal belongs in the Champions League. I can find you quotes where he said we shouldn’t accept anything else then a title challenge.

He even said this weekend he’s guilty about finishing 5th.

He also boasted this week about how he reduced the wage bill. Increased his own of course.

I prefer the priority to not be saving the owners money, but to do what Conte did in January and demand investment in the squad.

Sorry, I can’t say 5th is progress.

I can’t say 13 league defeats is progress.

26 points behind the Champions isn’t progress.

Part of finding a solution is admitting you have a problem.

The fact that in 2022 we are calling 5th progress; means we have a serious problem.

Dan Smith

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