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    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    To be honest, I don't really think it's necessarily negativity to suggest we'll finish in the same place as last season. :dontknow: For starters, if you look at the tables from the last last three seasons, we've finished 12, 19 and 16 points off the top of the table in 2010/11, 11/12 and 12/13 respectively; I think to suggest we can make up that sort of gap in the space of a single season with just one or two seasons is a little fanciful, even with managerial changes at other teams (especially when in two of the three teams in question, the managerial change could easily be argued to be a progressive one) - or at best very dependent on the notion of other teams under-performing. Secondly, to say that a team has stayed at the same level because they finished in the same position as the previous season is a bit misleading. If we finished fourth again but (i) played more 'attractive' or just more strategically coherent football and (ii) finished more comfortably ahead of the chasing pack and much closer to the leading trio, I'd class that as progress - which, because of our model of club-running, would hopefully continue as actual growth rather than a flash-in-the-pan. I do have hopes and optimism that we'll do better next season than we did in the last; I'm just not sure that progress will manifest itself in the standings just yet.
    Fair point but if we finish fourth next season then we will be 15 points of the leader yet again and so there isn't any substance in the argument that we will be challenging for the title the season after next using your logic. Basically what I'm trying to say is that we have the resources to push for the title and if we don't win then I think second and at the very least third would be quite realistic. Finishing 4th is not an option and if we do then I would say that its more of a drop in relative performance and form rather than the quality within the team cause surely adding to the current squad should improve our position?

    I think people are overestimating the improvements Man City and Chelsea will make this season. There are a lot more money clubs like Monaco and PSG in Europe and lot of clubs needing serious improvements (Real, Barcelona) and so even with the financial benefit that Man City and Chelsea have, they will find it hard to attract top players like they did in previous seasons
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    (Original post by Boner in joggers)
    I'd like to finish the season at home for once. If it's a match that has a lot hinging on it then I like the added reassurance being at home gives.
    That's exactly what I thought. I would have really liked to have ended the season at home... You know just in case for reassurance. And the thing is, if we were playing away to like... Hull or Crystal palace or something away on the last day it probably wouldn't seem so bad. Yeah, I know it's Norwich but we have had some tough games against them in the past. And Look! Spurs and I think Chelsea are at home on the last day. Great. What an advantage for them. Let's hope by that time we'd have already secured a place in top 4 top 3 even! Winning the PREM even! Cos i'm sure we can do exceptionally well this 13/14 season, I can feel it. (Not to mention the fact that I secretly think Higuain is a done deal )
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    (Original post by jibberish)
    Fair point but if we finish fourth next season then we will be 15 points of the leader yet again and so there isn't any substance in the argument that we will be challenging for the title the season after next using your logic. Basically what I'm trying to say is that we have the resources to push for the title and if we don't win then I think second and at the very least third would be quite realistic. Finishing 4th is not an option and if we do then I would say that its more of a drop in relative performance and form rather than the quality within the team cause surely adding to the current squad should improve our position?
    Doubtful. It'll probably be a lot tighter between the top 4 next season. United, City and Chelsea also have the resources to push for the title, and are closer to doing so than Arsenal due to their currently stronger squads which they are also looking to improve. They're not just going to sit around and let Arsenal overtake them. And finishing fourth again next season won't necessarily mean Arsenal have made no improvement, just that the quality of their rivals has also improved. I think Arsenal will be putting in a serious title bid in the 14/15 season.

    (Original post by jibberish)
    I think people are overestimating the improvements Man City and Chelsea will make this season. There are a lot more money clubs like Monaco and PSG in Europe and lot of clubs needing serious improvements (Real, Barcelona) and so even with the financial benefit that Man City and Chelsea have, they will find it hard to attract top players like they did in previous seasons
    They're both clearly eying up the title and have already made improvements to two strong squads, and it's only mid June. City have signed Navas and Fernandinho, and Chelsea have signed Schurrle and recalled Lukaku (and probably De Bruyne). They both can still spend big if they want to and it's possible one of them might sign Cavani. I think you're being unrealistic here tbh.

    And surely your last point would affect Arsenal too? If not more so than Chelsea and City as they don't have the same level of financial benefit to attract these top players.
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    (Original post by jibberish)
    Fair point but if we finish fourth next season then we will be 15 points of the leader yet again and so there isn't any substance in the argument that we will be challenging for the title the season after next using your logic. Basically what I'm trying to say is that we have the resources to push for the title and if we don't win then I think second and at the very least third would be quite realistic. Finishing 4th is not an option and if we do then I would say that its more of a drop in relative performance and form rather than the quality within the team cause surely adding to the current squad should improve our position?

    I think people are overestimating the improvements Man City and Chelsea will make this season. There are a lot more money clubs like Monaco and PSG in Europe and lot of clubs needing serious improvements (Real, Barcelona) and so even with the financial benefit that Man City and Chelsea have, they will find it hard to attract top players like they did in previous seasons
    If those clubs need serious improvements then god help your side.
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    (Original post by jibberish)
    Fair point but if we finish fourth next season then we will be 15 points of the leader yet again and so there isn't any substance in the argument that we will be challenging for the title the season after next using your logic. Basically what I'm trying to say is that we have the resources to push for the title and if we don't win then I think second and at the very least third would be quite realistic. Finishing 4th is not an option and if we do then I would say that its more of a drop in relative performance and form rather than the quality within the team cause surely adding to the current squad should improve our position?

    I think people are overestimating the improvements Man City and Chelsea will make this season. There are a lot more money clubs like Monaco and PSG in Europe and lot of clubs needing serious improvements (Real, Barcelona) and so even with the financial benefit that Man City and Chelsea have, they will find it hard to attract top players like they did in previous seasons
    Again, I don't think just looking at the table is the thing to do. We finished 16 points behind United last season and 19 points behind them the season before, but that three-point gain isn't the reason people are optimistic this season - nor is it, in my personal opinion, solely to do with the transfer budget. For the first time in a while we're holding on to the team of last season and are conducting business on our own terms: we finally have a chance to build and to grow. Remember also that the core of our team is, despite some people announcing the end of Wenger's youth project, still young - Wilshere, Szczesny, Gibbs and Ramsey could continue to get better, Chamberlain and our emerging youth players certainly will, we still haven't seen what the likes of Miyaichi and Campbell can do (I wouldn't write them off personally) and there's the feeling that Giroud, Podolski, Walcott and arguably Cazorla are yet to play to their full capability in Arsenal shirts. In other words, contrary to what Villas-Boas said, we look like we could finally go on an upwards spiral. :p: I think what's most important at this point is to keep this going; a couple of people have suggested that 2014/15 'will be the year' for Arsenal, but I wouldn't make statements like that yet - not because I'm pessimistic about it (we could well challenge for the league that season if we can continue our rate of progress; see City's progress between 2010/11 and 2011/12. It wasn't entirely different squads those two seasons, it was the momentum of positive development, imo) but because I think it would be more productive to focus on the development we have been making (or need to make) rather than agonize about where our trophies are.
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    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    Again, I don't think just looking at the table is the thing to do. We finished 16 points behind United last season and 19 points behind them the season before, but that three-point gain isn't the reason people are optimistic this season - nor is it, in my personal opinion, solely to do with the transfer budget. For the first time in a while we're holding on to the team of last season and are conducting business on our own terms: we finally have a chance to build and to grow. Remember also that the core of our team is, despite some people announcing the end of Wenger's youth project, still young - Wilshere, Szczesny, Gibbs and Ramsey could continue to get better, Chamberlain and our emerging youth players certainly will, we still haven't seen what the likes of Miyaichi and Campbell can do (I wouldn't write them off personally) and there's the feeling that Giroud, Podolski, Walcott and arguably Cazorla are yet to play to their full capability in Arsenal shirts. In other words, contrary to what Villas-Boas said, we look like we could finally go on an upwards spiral. :p: I think what's most important at this point is to keep this going; a couple of people have suggested that 2014/15 'will be the year' for Arsenal, but I wouldn't make statements like that yet - not because I'm pessimistic about it (we could well challenge for the league that season if we can continue our rate of progress; see City's progress between 2010/11 and 2011/12. It wasn't entirely different squads those two seasons, it was the momentum of positive development, imo) but because I think it would be more productive to focus on the development we have been making (or need to make) rather than agonize about where our trophies are.
    Wait 2-3 weeks before you say that. Everyday more and more sites are creating articles saying Luiz and Mata to Barcelona for 35Million each.
    If we lose Luiz and Mata we're back down to 3rd to be honest.
    Imagine the midfield without Mata? Hazard will take a hit.
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    (Original post by ImbecileDave)
    Wait 2-3 weeks before you say that. Everyday more and more sites are creating articles saying Luiz and Mata to Barcelona for 35Million each.
    If we lose Luiz and Mata we're back down to 3rd to be honest.
    Imagine the midfield without Mata? Hazard will take a hit.
    You're not going to sell them without having a plan to replace them. Don't worry about that...

    Besides its all tabloid gossip no evidence of Mourinho actually saying that.
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    (Original post by ImbecileDave)
    Wait 2-3 weeks before you say that. Everyday more and more sites are creating articles saying Luiz and Mata to Barcelona for 35Million each.
    If we lose Luiz and Mata we're back down to 3rd to be honest.
    Imagine the midfield without Mata? Hazard will take a hit.

    :facepalm2: Luiz and Mata aren't going anywhere. Mou doesn't need the cash from a potential sale and he knows their value to the team not to mention the Chelsea fan base would be in uproar if they were sold. Proper Chelsea fans already know they wont be sold.
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    (Original post by sevchenko)
    :facepalm2: Luiz and Mata aren't going anywhere. Mou doesn't need the cash from a potential sale and he knows their value to the team not to mention the Chelsea fan base would be in uproar if they were sold. Proper Chelsea fans already know they wont be sold.
    This.

    Plus Mourinho hasn't actually spoken to any of the players yet, and the first mention of Mata leaving was in an article by Marca shortly after Mourinho's appointment, with no quotes/explanations, that can be summed up as: "Mourinho to sell Torres and Mata because they're both Spanish and he hates the Spanish!"
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    Hopefully Tottenham loose Bale... they would be such an average side without him.
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    Arsenal can be in a good position with these fixtures...if they make the right signings they can be 1st in the first half of the season...and the maybe lose out in the second

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    (Original post by ImbecileDave)
    Hopefully Tottenham loose Bale... they would be such an average side without him.
    Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele, Sandro. They've got a good core that won't look out of place in a title challenging team. Add a striker that can be reliable to get around 20 goals (Oh how Spurs could do with that average stiker Giroud) and a winger that doesn't run aimlessly worse than an headless chicken *cough Lennon *coughs *coughs- they could mount a decent challenge for the top 4.
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    (Original post by 419)
    Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele, Sandro. They've got a good core that won't look out of place in a title challenging team. Add a striker that can be reliable to get around 20 goals (Oh how Spurs could do with that average stiker Giroud) and a winger that doesn't run aimlessly worse than an headless chicken *cough Lennon *coughs *coughs- they could mount a decent challenge for the top 4.
    They have some good players but they would have to step up a bit because Bale was often the difference in games. Also the money they get for Bale is obviously going to be used wisely
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    (Original post by Arturo Bandini)
    I actually don't think the christmas period is too bad. Sure, up to the 21st, December is a tough month. But the fixtures that usually worry me are the 26th, 28th and new years day, because they all come so fast But for us this year, they look like winnable fixtures.

    You could say "difficult away games" but if we aren't confident of getting 9 points from WH, Newcastle and Cardiff, then we're not even gonna be challenging for top 4.
    Lol, why is this negged?

    Chelsea fans lurking :beard:


    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    a couple of people have suggested that 2014/15 'will be the year' for Arsenal,
    No, just the Chelsea fans are. You know, they ones that are already predicting the final league table for next season. The ones that said they'd walk away with the title last season.

    The basis of their point I'd like to know. Actually, I do. It's baseless.
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    Sometimes people underrate our side so much
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    (Original post by 419)
    Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele, Sandro. They've got a good core that won't look out of place in a title challenging team. Add a striker that can be reliable to get around 20 goals (Oh how Spurs could do with that average stiker Giroud) and a winger that doesn't run aimlessly worse than an headless chicken *cough Lennon *coughs *coughs- they could mount a decent challenge for the top 4.
    You do realize Lennon plays really well when Bale plays because teams tend to double up on Bale which leaves Lennon space and with his speed he really is a potent force in attack. But they don't have a striker/player who can score consistent goals other than Bale.
    Arsenal always score a lot of goals against lesser teams, all they need to do is improve on the record on teams in top 4 and they will be in good stead to finish high.
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    (Original post by ImbecileDave)
    You do realize Lennon plays really well when Bale plays because teams tend to double up on Bale which leaves Lennon space and with his speed he really is a potent force in attack. But they don't have a striker/player who can score consistent goals other than Bale.
    Arsenal always score a lot of goals against lesser teams, all they need to do is improve on the record on teams in top 4 and they will be in good stead to finish high.
    Are we talking about basketball now?

    Potent force in attack :laugh: Good one
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    (Original post by 419)
    No, just the Chelsea fans are. You know, they ones that are already predicting the final league table for next season. The ones that said they'd walk away with the title last season.

    The basis of their point I'd like to know. Actually, I do. It's baseless.
    What's wrong with speculating?
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Doubtful. It'll probably be a lot tighter between the top 4 next season. United, City and Chelsea also have the resources to push for the title, and are closer to doing so than Arsenal due to their currently stronger squads which they are also looking to improve. They're not just going to sit around and let Arsenal overtake them. And finishing fourth again next season won't necessarily mean Arsenal have made no improvement, just that the quality of their rivals has also improved. I think Arsenal will be putting in a serious title bid in the 14/15 season.


    They're both clearly eying up the title and have already made improvements to two strong squads, and it's only mid June. City have signed Navas and Fernandinho, and Chelsea have signed Schurrle and recalled Lukaku (and probably De Bruyne). They both can still spend big if they want to and it's possible one of them might sign Cavani. I think you're being unrealistic here tbh.

    And surely your last point would affect Arsenal too? If not more so than Chelsea and City as they don't have the same level of financial benefit to attract these top players.
    Im not sure what you consider a strong squad. If you mean the points tally at the end of the season then that is a very narrow-minded approach to assessing a squad. I do believe that our squad is not as vastly inferior to the teams above us as you suggest. We had 3 first team players who had to hit the ground running from the first game last season and there were a lot of injuries to key players like Wilshere and so I do not feel that the points at the end of last season completely reflected our team. It only showed how we performed which is fair enough. Also I'm not saying that the other teams will sit around during the transfer window, just feel that its not going to be as easy to bring in players as it was in the last few seasons.

    Fernandinho is a squad player I feel and I doubt he would play regularly for City. Schurrle, while a good player is still young and unproven and I don't believe he would actually be a regular feature for the team. The other two are good signings but not the signings you come to expect from Chelsea and City.

    Of course it will, I just feel that Arsenal are probably better equipped to deal with the financial powerhouses in Europe, simply because they have dealt with it effectively in the last 5-6 years.
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    Fact is arsenal still need major signings...Higuain (proven goal scorer) a defensive midfielder as arteta cannot defend well and is too slow if there's a counter attack and a proven goal keeper.

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