Mikel Arteta has proven himself to be a “brilliant coach” during his time at Arsenal, but he can see that fourth-placed Emirates in the Premier League are “as good as they are”, Gary Neville believes.
The Gunners are in fifth place at Crystal Palace in their Monday night football match, with Tottenham trailing by a goal difference after a 5-1 win over their North London rivals against Newcastle.
Arteta’s team is three points ahead of West Ham and Manchester United who have played three and two matches less than their other rivals for the top-four spot.
Confirming that place in the top four will ensure a return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2016/17 season, but Sky Bet fans are still talking OverlapNeville said the success could be seen as Arsenal’s success because of the “disappointing ambitions” that potentially hold in North London.
“I really like Mikel Arteta,” Neville said. “I think he’s a great coach. I think the team is great in terms of young players.
“But it’s interesting when you’re in a cycle at a club and you frustrate ambitions and have a significant time of failure because you’re really happy to finish fourth.
“I find myself saying this about Manchester United, but it’s because of a frustrated ambition.
“I think Mikel Arteta is a good operator. My concern is that if Arsenal finish fourth this season – which, fairly, I think 50/50, I still think they have a long way to go – but if they do finish fourth, it’s just as good in some ways. Gets
Q: Next month is very important for Arsenal
Sky Sports’ Roy Kin:
“The next two months are going to be crucial for Arsenal.
“Reflecting at the end of the season, as much as they are being praised now, it would be disappointing for Arsenal if they finished fifth to sixth.
“It simply came to our notice then. For all admiration, this is a time of crisis.
“Come to the end of the season, when you judge and Arsenal are in sixth place, I don’t think Arsenal fans will say it’s a great project and we’re behind it. That would be another disappointment. “
“You got Pep [Guardiola], [Jurgen] Klopp, Man United, Chelsea – Where can Arsenal go? They’re not going to compete.
“Michael Arteta is a brilliant coach. I like that we see a team from which he is achieving the most – I can see how he wants to play, we can all.
But he is in fourth place [and] If he was really hard about it, he would probably say ‘OK, I can do the best job there, I’m going now and getting my next job’. “
Cara: Arsenal have to sign their Allison, Van Dyke
Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s lack of European football has helped push them into the top four this season and that the campaign could represent their best chance of returning to the Champions League.
Caragher said: “The games at the end of the season are huge for Arteta and Arsenal.
“Arsenal are probably in this position because they are not in Europe. Even if they don’t make the Champions League, they will probably stay in the Europa League and it will be a big problem to get back in the top four.
Cara: Arsenal fans have something to fall behind
Jamie Carrager of Sky Sports:
“Another thing about Arsenal, and I go back to Tottenham and Liverpool under Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp when he first came. Sometimes when you don’t win, other teams have to go and say ‘why are you enjoying it, you haven’t won anything? ‘
“But sometimes – and that’s probably something for Manchester United – it’s great to like your team as a fan. They may not win but you like the players. You can get behind them.
“When Klopp first came to Liverpool, they didn’t win but they had a strength and you liked what you saw. You liked your manager and you liked your team.
“When you look at other clubs, they don’t like the manager and the team and there’s nothing about it. At the moment, Arsenal may not be winning anything, but I’m sure looking at those young players, you can get something as a supporter. “
“This is an opportunity for Arsenal to take. Arsenal must be fourth.
If Arsenal can return to the top table in Europe, the next challenge will be to close the gap between Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
To do this, Carragher says Gunners should follow the example set by Jurgen Klopp’s side in the transfer market, explaining: “When you compare what the club did to Liverpool, Arsenal are at a stage where they have not found Cristiano Ronaldo. Or why Harry.
“The next two or three signings for Arsenal must be Allison, or they need to be a Virgil Van Dyke and what they were for Liverpool – the signatures that take you from the fight for the top four to the jump where you compete with Man. City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
“It simply came to our notice then. They really need a top center forward who can really take them to a level. Maybe even a central midfield player.
Asked if Arsenal had the money to make the deals, Caraghera added: “That’s why it’s important for them to go to the Champions League because of the extra money.
“They need these two or three stars because what they have is a really good team, good coaches. They have good young players but that will never be enough by itself.
“They need the signing of the two superstars who are going to promote them.”