My Top 6 Prediction – Why Arsenal Will Finish 5th

I’ve tried to think about predictions for the Top Six next season based on the transfer activity over the summer, and concluded that it could very well end up like this:

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester City
3. Manchester United
4. Liverpool
5. Arsenal
6. Tottenham Hotspur

While I might get shot down for this early prediction, and while it could be well off, here are my reasons for this particular top six finish.

I believe that next season will be a three horse race between Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, and while it will be very close I think Chelsea will be the team that top the league come next May.

They have recruited Andre Villas Boas who, despite claims to the contrary, is essentially a Jose Mourinho Mark II. In his only season managing Porto, he won the Portuguese Super Cup (their equivalent of the The Community Shield), Portuguese Primeira Liga, The UEFA Europa League and the Portuguese Cup. And during Chelsea’s pre-season this summer, Chelsea won the 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy. His record is fantastic and winning the pre-season tournament shows that like Mourinho the only thing that matters is winning. So don’t expect beautiful football from Chelsea but they will certainly be effective.

Manchester City will be a much bigger force next season. They struggled with consistency at times last season but winning the FA Cup has given this very talented squad the hunger for more success. Like Chelsea under the Mourinho era, the most important trophy for them was their first, and once they won the Carling Cup they went on to win numerous titles and honours over the next few seasons. It is a similar story at Manchester City, who have by far the strongest squad in the entire league, but for me not the right person at the helm. Under Mourinho or Ferguson I’d heavily back Manchester City to win the Premier League but under Mancini I think they will just come up short.

Manchester United have proven year after year that even with a “weak squad” they manage to finish in the top three. Alex Ferguson is a phenomenal manager and it hurts to say that as an Arsenal supporter. They lost Cantona but kept on winning. They lost Beckham, Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo and kept on winning. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter which players have left or are still at Manchester United, the ethos throughout that club is win at all costs. Every single one of their players has that winning mentality instilled into them and that’s why I think they’ll easily finish in the top four, very close behind Manchester City.

Liverpool are my final pick for the last Champions League spot. Under Kenny Dalglish they have hugely improved and they have spent big over the last two transfer windows, investing in Suarez, Carroll, Adam, Downing and Henderson. They have added young, talented footballers to their squad who have something to prove and are hungry for success. They have the best goalkeeper in the league in Pepe Reina and will be pushing at the top next season.

Then to Arsenal. They are going to and will always finish above Tottenham but this time only in fifth place.

The view that Arsenal will only finish fifth next season may be an unpopular one but statistically speaking, Arsenal (after Liverpool did drop out of the Top Four) are the most likely to drop from the Champions League positions. Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all strengthened while Chelsea still have a squad full of winners, despite the fact a lot are on the wrong side of 30. The facts are that over the last 6 seasons (of which are the ones considered to be Arsenal’s dry spell), they have finished 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd and 4th.

Arsenal may be strong in the early part of the season but during the last month or so they tend to collapse, and this repeating trend year after year will eventually be punished. This is arguably the most competitive Premier League season we have ever seen (I know we say it every year) but with the signings our rivals have made they have improved upon last season, whereas we have not. Cesc and Nasri could still conceivably leave and if that does happen then we will be the only side in the Top Six that are weaker than last season. Arsenal’s (or Arsene’s) refusal to strengthen the squad in the key areas will come back to haunt the club eventually and it could be this campaign.

We’ve brought in Gervinho to strengthen the one area of the pitch Arsenal don’t need strengthening! Going forwards we are fine, it’s the midfield, defence and goalkeeping positions where we need reinforcements. The new season is only less than a couple of weeks away so even if we did bring in some new players it is a lot to expect them to fit into the team just like that.

The key difference between Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and the rest of the Top Six teams is that throughout their squad and management, they have proven winners and a winning mentality. They have managers and more importantly, players, that have won major trophies in their careers. From Arsenal’s current squad, they have Van Persie and Almunia that have won something with Arsenal and even then they played a bit part in that FA Cup success in 2005. The biggest problem that Arsenal have is they have key flaws defensively and no leaders on the pitch. And that’s why so many Arsenal fans want someone like Joey Barton to join the club. The very fact most Arsenal fans would like Joey Barton to come to Arsenal goes to show the poor state the football club is currently in. Do you think Chelsea, City, United or even Liverpool fans would want Barton anywhere near their football club? Exactly.

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14 thoughts on “My Top 6 Prediction – Why Arsenal Will Finish 5th

  1. Firstly, although entitled to your opinon, the above i can only describe as nonsense.
    There will be a 4 team race until february, like there is every season, and then 2 teams will emerge and it will finish close, like it has done for god knows how long.
    Man City have added 1 player, and are likely to lose a player of pretty much identical calibre. they will be good because of their names/previous signings learning to play together, but are no stronger than last year. however on the same hand (at the moment) Arsenal are no weaker, infact we are stronger, gervinho looks like the real deal and we have a fit Vermaelen, something we had for 4 games last season. Gibbs is as good as cliche and makes less mistakes, and has years to learn. we have a pretty much 100% fit squad, in my opinion the only thing stopping us from the title last season. United and Chelsea will be up there, as usual, but haven’t strengthened. massive hype has been made about jones/de gea/young signings – why? jones isn’t better than ferd/vidic and young is only as good as nani/valencia, they’re not 100% first teamers, and de gea is no van der saar. Chelsea are a year older, better manager sure, but same players. I see it being United again, City due to calibre, Chelsea for the same reason and Arsenal due to being fully fit, and with a slightly improved squad than last year. liverpool are still AWFUL at the back, have far too many midfielders to all play, and have got an overrated striker with alot to live up to. suarez is lethal, but liverpool certainly aren’t. I can’t see how people are so negative about our team/squad, we’re as good as we ever were last season, do not right us off.

  2. I hear your concerns, but your prediction is based on this:

    “…the one area of the pitch Arsenal don’t need strengthening…”

    You obviously weren’t watching all those terrible games where we were struggling to score. Everyone keeps talking about the 4-4 as though one away draw at Newcastle was a truly terrible result. Wrong. The really shockers were those dull games at home where we couldn’t put away relegation fodder. Good defence gets you draws, good attack gets you wins.

    Gervinho is looking like a very exciting signing and I’m loving the way all the players are reading him. His signing is definitely big progress for us. Also, Arshavin is sounding hungry, and I’m really hoping that Ryo can play for us. If so, the amount of pace we’ll have on that pitch will be frightening, with Arshavin, Theo, Gerv, Ryo, Jenk, Traore, Vela – wow, exciting times.

  3. I hope Arsenal will sign two more influential players prior to the closing date. You know what does it mean if so? Arsenal will lift the trophy after 6 years of drought. What if no signatures at all? sure 5th or 6th!!! City will be the better and hope they will finish 2nd if arsenal take care of and close the defensive hole by G.Cahill or C.Samaba and added Eden or J.Mata at the offensive side. J.Barton’s and Lukaku’s deal if finalized arsenal will confirm bringing the champions league cup to home the first time. Make sure all these will be possible if arsenal is able to holding one of the two departed prospect from the club – more importantly Cesc fabregas!!! Manu(The red Devils ) will finish 3rd, liverpool comes 3rd and Chelsea will go to 4th. Spurs? may be 5th!!! The other I liked the way pete morrison expresses his predictions.

  4. I agree, Arsenal are weaker with key players who do not want to be at the club if cesc and nasri stay. Without some purchases soon Arsenal will be outside of the big 4. Ultimately there is NO leader and NO togetherness and winning mentality – Hence why we fall apart in the last couple of months of the season. I am a goonerm but not a blind gooner

  5. I think the author of the article is not far from the truth. We have not done much in the market, especially when everyone knows what needs to be done. In my opinion, buying Gervinho is not resolving an issue unless to replace the outgoing Bendtner that hates playing on the wings. We have abundance choices in terms of attacking players which means that is less priority but it seems to be what Arsene has focused on. Couple of things pete morrison; Man City bought more than one player. They bought Clichy from us (which will make them stronger as now he will work hard to earn his stripe unlike in Arsenal where there is no pressure on players), they bought Aguero, who rightfully is similar to Tevez in style but might take time to adjust, they also bought another defender whilst losing Boateng. All in all, I think they are stronger this term and I see them making an impression on the league. In terms of Gibbs being as good as Clichy, that is your personal opinion but I doubt a lot of people would agree with that. Gibbs is not great defensively and lacks confidence attack wise; he has potential to be better but at the moment he is no where near Clichy’s level even with the latter’s tendency to drop concentration in games. I would say that we might just make it by finishing above Liverpool but i think they are stronger as well and full of confidence. As for Arsenal, I don’t think we’re in as bad a position as the press and most of the fans think but we do need proper centrebacks as well as a mature midfield player. I would say stick with our current keeper with Fabianski as deputy. Finally, we also need to change the mentality of the players and make them believe in winning as opposed to just taking part.

  6. Arsenal will finish 8th that is if Wenger doesn’t get the epl cd who can make a difference.The worst is the gunners get dumped from the group satge.
    That ,I believe and other gooner fans, will be the trigger leading to his demise.So he is to be blamed for not taking the necessary action to stiffen the defence.

  7. i dont get why people are saying liverpool are gonna finish on top of arsenal just becasue they bought charlie adam , jordan henderson and stewart downing thry are all good players but really are they good enough to get them above Arsenal. People dont ebven look at they individuals they brought just becasue they spent money they must improve.

  8. I understand your frustration gooners, but there are many things to take into account.

    Firstly, we need to keep our players fit. Just having RvP and Vermalaen fit for the season instantly increases our chances. Secondly, Wilshire will be a year better, Ramsey will be a year better, as will Chesser in goal. Walcott should improve year on year too.

    Plus, Almunia cost us many points at the start of last season, starting the season with the Pole in goal is already a step up from last season.

    Gerv looks the business. Plus 1 more playing will come in, im sure of it, perhaps 2. Also, last year was Kos and Chamakh’s first season, they should improve also.

    dont panic! anyway, as much as anything else, i think its clear that we need to improve our coaches. Get Keown in to sort the defence out.

    I’m not saying we will defo win the title, but only 1 team each year can. We’re in with a shout.

    Oh, and all of you that think Liverpool will be a threat, have a word with yourselves. I wouldnt want any of the players they have bought at Arsenal. They are a bunch of average crap.

  9. A nonsense prediction and im not even an Arsenal fan. Liverpool are nothing special, and have added average players to the ones they already had.

    Even thought Arsenal have only bought one player they are still far better than Liverpool in my opinion.

    Good luck for the season.

  10. Rubbish,

    Keep Cesc and we are as strong as any of them. In fact, i think AW has finally identified areas that needed dealing with and is trying to address them, the attack.

    Vela, Gervinho, Chamack, Theo, Ryo, etc will provide the needed directness and goals that we have needed. We have relied too much on RVP who plays 15games per season and Bendtner who can’t score. We are much stronger than we look.

    Frimpong, Jerkinson, Bartley, Afobe are like new signings (To quote AW).

    We just need to sell Nasri and keep Cesc. We will be frightening.

  11. You lost all credibility when you described yourself as a big fan of Myles Palmer, the world’s most obvious wind-up merchant, on ANR. Liverpool have shown precisely zero improvement in pre-season, much like Arsenal, but have been shipping far more goals than us. But because they’ve spent millions you think it automatically means success, which is the exact problem with Arsenal fans (other than most of them are mind-numbingly stupid and do things like boo the team in pre-season).

    Is Downing better than Arshavin? No. Is Andy Carroll better than van Persie? Hahaha, but no. Is Jordan Henderson better than Wilshere or Ramsey?

    Although there’s a lot of work to be done, Wenger has this week to get something done. Let’s not run around panicking about finishing 17th just yet.

  12. What the hell is this? Surely in a preview your supposed to analyse the teams strengths and weaknesses against each other. You’ve just chosen one or two reasons for each team to finish where it will without comparing them at all!

  13. Pingback: What Are Your Predictions For The Top 6? | Arsenal 4 Life Blog | Arsenal News, Match Reports, Previews, Opinions, Fans Forum

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