Charlie: Arsenal have the quality, no more excuses

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Former Gunner Charlie Nicholas says that Arsenal the squad depth and quality to win the Premier League and go further in Europe, but it’s down to the players to prove it.

The Gunners blew FC Basel away 4-1 last night, and showcased the strength of the squad by fielding a team with 6 changes from the one that beat West Ham 5-1.

“There are no excuses for Arsenal anymore,” he said on Sky Sports News. “You have the money, you have the capacity and you have the quality.

“It’s up to them to prove it and not just Arsene standing up in his loyal chair and saying I believe in these guys.

“They have to prove it. I just feel this competitive edge with Ramsey, Walcott, Chamberlain all fighting for positions.

“It’s something new, this hunger, this desire they must focus on, this togetherness, it’s becoming a reality for me.”

Watch his full comments below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nh_iYJZpFU

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58 Comments on "Charlie: Arsenal have the quality, no more excuses"

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Timo

We definitely have all the weaponry to win big this year. Depth is there, ability is there, just need to nail down that mental strength and resilience

Response to the next time we lose (if…?) will be everything

Pedant

How many think we are over-reacting positively, just like lots of people over-react negatively if we have a bad result?

Thumbs up if we are, thumbs down if we are not over-reacting positively.

Tim

Oh dear. Not sure this is how we do things here

Tomek

The emotional roller-coaster is what being a Gooner is all about, i think.

Maddolove

I love my team
Arsenal

gooner1981

Agree with Nicholas. We have world cup winners, euro finalists, Copa America winners, expensive purchases, experienced heads, exciting youngsters and world class talent. This is our best chance in a while to win the league or progress really far in the Champions League (why not both?) We have a hungry squad, keen to prove themselves, and we could make a good run for the FA Cup as well. We’ve survived one of our toughest months traditionally, and some of our players are coming back from injury. It is a good place to be in right now, and long may we sustain the success, and the sense of optimism!

AngelGooner

#WengerOut

Campbell's forehead

We had some of our toughest games in a month we historically struggle in and we only lost against Southampton (it was the efl cup anyway). I’m hoping we see good things from this team now that month is out of the way!

Yangg

We have a uefa champions league winner as well.

ScotchEggsRules

Agree with him 100%.

Please lose the earing though Charlie, you’re in your 50’s mate lol

Papas

next thing they’ll be telling is you shouldn’t wear jeans, you’re in your 50s…some of us want to grow old disgracefully…

Tommygun

It’s not disgraceful, just naff.

Papas

being naff has never killed anyone…being narrow minded has…what happened to live and let live? and who the fuck is to be the judge of what is naff and what isn’t?

Tommygun

Dry your eyes mate. What is narrow minded about thinking a 50 year old man with an ear stud is naff? He can do whatever he likes and that is up to him, if I think it is naff I doubt he gives a shit. You don’t need to get upset about it.

Anunbelievableclimax

Do you have an earring?

Tommygun

No, just got my nipples done.

NicktheGooner

Just got my nipple done too and I’m 48 …good or bad ?? Lol

Papas

It’s not about whether Charlie or I give a shit about what you think, (I personally don’t) it’s more about this conformist view of the world, that we have to comply with some arse’s idea of what’s acceptable, , cool or naff…if we do that, it won’t be long before we’re all wearing naff uniforms and marching to some stupid music, off to murder some people we know nothing about…rant over…

Tommygun

When did anyone say anything about having to comply? You talk about conformity but then get upset if someone has an opinion that is different from your own. Is non-conformity ok as long as everyone agrees with you? I am not sure how you link wearing an ear stud with mass murder but well done for trying… that is quite the leap. Charlie can where whatever he likes – an earring is hardly non-conformist but in my view it is a bit naff. That is just my view. People wear ear studs (as well as other things) because they want other people to think of them in a certain way. By that reckoning people will have different opinions and that’s fine. If he is happy wearing it, good for him. If you want an ear stud or already have one good for you! Crack on treacle!

Edu's Braces

It’s painful but hard to escape the fact that we would have won the league with this attitude last year. Im sorry, the thought just made me ill as i read this article so i thought sharing it would lighten the load.

eternalflamini

Maybe but for me Mustafi was the key purchase, and (Holding might prove to be another). We look a different team with a high class centre back pairing. It also helps that Wenger has abandoned tiki taka and gone for the pressing game instead, it just suits us better.

Campbell's forehead

Not sure why this got thumbed down but I agree with you. The pressing game is the way to go.

eternalflamini

Yeah I was surprised as well – surely nobody can want a return to the 4 million aimless passes around mid-field and the classic “fruitlessly trying to pass the ball into the net and then conceding in the 89th minute” nightmare.

I also agree with loose_cannon that our pressing game is not quite there yet. With Liverpool and (forgive me) Sp*rs they seem to do it instinctively, all the players pushing up as soon as the striker begins to press, they don’t seem to need a signal from anyone.

loose_cannon

Our pressing game still needs work though, against PSG, United and Spurs we struggled to co-ordinate at times. Looking at Sanchez and Ozil waving players to push at lot makes me feel it’s not instinctual yet but we’re getting there.

Last season a lot was made of our poor wastefulness in front of goal (Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud, Ramsey etc) but our defending against the other “top teams” was atrocious too. OT, WHL and Anfield spring to mind. Scored six goals between those 3 fixtures and our return was 2 points! Mustafi and Xhaka have been very helpful in that regard

loose_cannon

7 goals*

PFo

We don’t need to sell ourselves entirely to a pressing game to the degree of Sp*rs or Liverpool, as we’ve got way more attacking quality than either of those teams. Pressing is very useful, and we can do it better, with greater coordination, but I can’t see Arsene being a disciple of pressing to the degree of a Poch or Klopp. Our quality and depth means we can afford to be more versatile. Horses for courses and all that.

loose_cannon

Would agree with that. It’s funny that Klopp was the one to say “gegenpressing was his most creative player” when I think that’s more true of Poch’s side than anyone else. Spurs press really well but on a technical level they’re bang average

Campbell's forehead

Yes our pressing game still needs work and we’re never going to be the perfect pressing team due to personnel but as eternal flamini said – I got tired of dominating the ball the whole game against a packed defence only for the opposition to score on their first chance. Pressing bypasses this and opens up spaces you don’t usually get with a passing game.

CLEGooner

Perhaps, but more to the point is we would have won with this squad.

We’ve got the typical injuries, but we bought players to replace the wounded, and to actually allow rotation.

GoonerAbroad

No excuses is exactly right. Aside from RB (although Gabriel is impressing me a lot) we have two strong options in every position so every player knows his place is constantly under threat and that he has to perform

Tommygun

We also seem to be getting less injuries because we are able to rotate a lot more.

Dawn

It also helps that players do not feel they have to be rushed back from injury because we have quality replacements!

Graham

Its the best we’ve looked in a long time but I think we’ll also need a bit of luck. The other teams look pretty strong too. πŸ‘

Morten TZ

He’s right. No doubt about it. This is simply the best team we’ve had since the Invincibles. That being said, Chelsea in particular is also a strong candidate, especially given their fixture list, but I think it’s fair to say that we should be in contention this year.

In short: I’m not necessarily expecting us to win it, but I am expecting us to give it a proper go, and not fall off in December or January. I’d be massively disappointed if we ended up trailing halfway through the season.

eternalflamini

Everything about Champagne Charlie is awesome. Even his ridiculous earring. That is all.

Chamakh

We are improving and the squad is the best it has been for a while. Still we aren’t on the same level as Bayern, Real, Barca on paper. It doesn’t mean we can’t beat them but to go deep in CL we need to play tactically pretty much perfect matches and our players will need all to perform at the same time. The PL title is realistic but even there we have to deal with a high-flying Chelsea who don’t have the European football to deal with. City will also certainly find form again. Just saying that even while we have a strong squad we aren’t the only ones having one.

Runnings

We now have good players creating goal scoring opportunities and defending quite well also. It’s up to them to step up and win the games. Put the ball in the back of the net, even after 23 passes….

Mustrum Ridcully, Unseen Academicals
Mustrum Ridcully, Unseen Academicals

So, if you could only win one, which of the Premier League or the European Cup would you choose. Me it would be the European Cup!

BromleyGooner

I agree with you. But beggars can’t be choosers. I’d be ecstatic with either

Campbell's forehead

Premier league all the way.

Lone Star Gunner

If the Universe would guarantee we’d win one of those I’d be happy to let it choose which one! πŸ˜„

Think the PL is more realistic but you never know.

Andrew

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but we shat our pants against United and PSG at home a couple of weeks ago. Both West Ham and Basel aren’t real competition. Take out City away? Spuds away? United at home? OK, then we’ll talk. We still need another quality midfielder to replace Cazorla and unless Welbeck comes back firing on all cylinders and stays fit, a superstar striker.

Chamakh

Agree with you, except for the “superstar striker”. I think we have that in Alexis, he getting better by every match, the problem is our wide players are so up and down and definitely not world class (yet at least). Ox and Walcott seldom perform well beyond a 2-3 match streak, Iwobi is still raw. Lucas looks like a quality player so perhaps he can provide the competition needed for everyone to step up. We also need a wide player who can also play striker so that Alexis up top works, looking at Theo and Lucas.

PFo

We have a superstar striker. His name is Alexis. We weren’t bad against PSG (came back strong in the second half, but let ourselves down with a stupid defensive error from a corner), and even though we were INCREDIBLY poor against United (a) it was right after the international break with Alexis carrying an injury, (b) Arsene got his team selection wrong, (c) at Old Trafford against Mourinho was always going to be a big test, (d) we ground out a result in the end.
I agree City away is going to be a real test…

Matt P

Yes let’s see where we stand at xmas, especially after we have played city.
I’m cautiously optimistic….

Barnaby

This is all true. No more excuses. But I fear that time and time again – Arsenal will disappoint us at one point or another. I really wish we pull through but when you look at Chelsea and how they operate with sheer ruthlessness it is going to be difficult. The probability of Chelsea losing their momentum is much smaller than that of Arsenal because history shows the evidence.

I am crossing fingers. Walcott needs to score another 5 goals in a row, Cazorla to come back fit in 3 months to rejuvenate the side when others will get seasonally tired, and Sanchez to keep beasting through.

time will tell

I’m sure fans of other teams, Chelsea included, think….Fuck me,
The Arsenal, look more switched on this season.

time will tell

Sorry.. had the whole conversation, in my head, but never typed it.
What I’m meant to say was, even though, we have these doubts, I’m sure fans of other clubs feel the same, as I’m sure chelsea will have have a massive dip, man City should have won as we know.
Chelsea look great but we look a whole better, rotating our team…Chelsea only put out the 1st team.
We ARE GOING to win the league. …..believe my friends.
By the way I think Wenger is off to Real at the end of the season.

BrewCityGunners

If he wearing a Cyberman pin on his lapel?

die hard gooner

Is it just me or is the media bias against us deep in their core! ” sanchez will leave” , ” if they dont do this he will be looking for a new club” ” ozil must be mad as hell that they did this” and other crap they come up with. when have u heard them speak about leaving? have u seen a frown on their faces? why would they leave when they are in a team that is going somewhere and they are the main men of the team? do u think sanchez would swap the best years of his carrer in a competitive league for china just for money? for fucks sake be objective for once. Itd like they are trying to programme them no to sign a new contract.

Pedant

Ramsey and Xhaka our new midfield regularly?

PFo

Xhaka and Coquelin for me, until Ramsey proves he wants to be smart and disciplined in his positioning and passing and his form is better than le Coq’s over a stretch of time. I don’t have anything against him personally, but I don’t think Rambo has done enough to walk back into the starting lineup right now. Let him work for it.

CLEGooner

That brogue. And the earring!

Delightful.

bazza-wicks

I rather like hearing positives and negatives from legendary charlie tells it as it is, but when i hear Merson spouting out shite i instantly look for the mute button

Anunbelievableclimax

I think Merson’s got a grudge against Wenger, if I remember rightly he was one of the first players Wenger got rid of when he first came to Arsenal. He’s a proper dafty anyway so I wouldn’t let his shite bother you πŸ™‚

santori

I wasn’t aware we were making any excuses for ourselves all these years?

We have been reconstructing the team since 2010 when Wenger realised the Denilson generation was not going to cut it and brought Arteta/Per to stabilise the ship.

Since then he added experience through the team, and recent seasons started to (SLOWLY) add quality with panic buy Ozil, Alexis, Cech, Santi, Granit and Mustafi.

It takes time to put it together especially since we suffered key departures for 3-4 seasons hampering the rebuilding.

Whether we could have done it slightly quicker is moot.

There was also the sponsorship re-negotiations to come through. Maybe we could have been bolder and brought in more quality slightly earlier but considering the permutations, we have done OK staying in CL despite and winning to FA cups recently.

We now have the complete squad to push for the big prizes.

BUT more importantly, we have a team in sync.

And we have tools up front to break any team down.

Wenger has done (not surprisingly) well again with his summer buys –

Mustafi has slotted right in. When you consider the (STILL) erratic David Luiz for 34m, Mustafi has been exceptional bearing in mind Koscielny’s first season for us was abit of a nightmare.

Granit was brought in EARLY. Again, he has been brought in not just for defensive cover in midfield but also to replicate some of the deep playmaking we missed in absence of Santi. Considering 35m against Pogba, I’d say another well spent sum.

Holding for 48m less than Stones (a media favorite)…enough said.

Lucas at 17m when you consider what Vardy was fishing for. Even some relative lukewarm player like Marcos Alonso cost more.

No excuses?

The only ecuse there will be is that coming from the press.:D

santori

Wonder what the excuse is for their prediction.

They said it was highly UNLIKELY we would top the group.

What makes them say that?

We were :

1) Level on points

2) Had a better goal differential (we have double now)

3) Are PSG that good if they failed to beat us over two legs and drop the shoe with Ludogrets at home? Is that an undeserved win for us away at Basle when we did the business?

The press are full of gems.

They prattled on about the pacy threat Basle had against us. When we had Bellerin? Walcott? The Ox? Alexis? Gibbs? We are worried about pace?

The only excuse is from these media numpties.

Time was when they said Arsenal can’t win trophies. We put that to bed with back to back FA cup wins.

There is no limits unless you are the press.

They don’t seem to understand there is such a thing as ‘progress”. Things do not stay the same.

Matt P

Charlie is right. No more excuses. We have a very good squad, probably the best balanced in the league.
Now is the time.

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