Arsenal legend Lee Dixon just can’t see the Gunners in the top four this season, while Jack Wilshere is adamant that they can despite all the critics. Dixon’s article in the Independent offers an opinion most Gooners don’t want to hear, but is it the reality? Wilshere thinks not, but now he is facing a 3 month spell on the sideline, will the Gunners new signings bring some silverware to North London?
Abstracts from Lee Dixon’s article:
“For all the transfer frenzy of the last week, I’ve seen nothing to alter my belief that Manchester United are still the team to beat in the Premier League.
Certainly the evidence on the pitch from the first three games suggests United deserve to be favourites, but what those games have shown – combined with the transfer window spending – is that they will face a real challenge from the neighbours.
What Manchester City did at White Hart Lane last Sunday put down a proper marker. It’s the most balanced City side I have seen for a long, long time.
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Which leaves Arsenal facing the prospect of being outside the top four. I’ve spent the last week trying to get last weekend out of my system – when I saw the team-sheet sitting in the Match of the Day studio waiting to watch the game I said to Alan Hansen I feared the worst.
I couldn’t believe what I saw all over the pitch – Arsène Wenger looked like a man in the wilderness sitting on the bench.
The hope for Arsenal fans is that this result can prove a turning point. If it had finished 4-2 or 3-2, we may not have seen such a frantic week in the transfer market. It was certainly not the way the club usually does business under Arsène.
But it did meet one of his requirements –the players he has brought in are better than the ones he has in the team. Signing Mikel Arteta came as a shock – although not as much of a shock as it must have been to David Moyes.
Losing one of your key players when there is no time to find a replacement is hard on him and a club who look close to being in freefall. They’ve a big couple of weeks ahead.”
Meanwhile Arsenal’s young midfield star Jack Wilshere has compared the way Arsenal play with Champions League holders Barcelona, but is aware that the club must add to this with a winning mentality.
He said: “Barcelona are the best and they keep proving that. I think Arsenal can match them the way we play but we need to put words into practice and win some trophies.
“Top four? Yeah, we have to. it’s unthinkable not to, so that is what we have got to do.”
Wilshere has applauded the arrival of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun and believes they will add experience to the young squad, and can help strengthen the squad.
“Arteta is a great player. I played against him at Bolton on loan and he was the best player on the pitch, and last season at the Emirates he was one of the best players so he is a good addition to the squad.
“Arteta is 29, Benayoun is a bit younger and we needed older players. When Cesc Fabregas was coming through he had Patrick Vieira and the older players but, hopefully, now we can push on.”
So what do you think? It’s unbearable to think that the Gunners won’t be in the Champions League next season and challenging for top honours this year, maybe the transfers came too little and too late and the loss of Nasri and Fabregas are too big. All I can say is thank goodness United thrashed us, otherwise Arsenal may not have strengthen as well as they did.