Brady: Arsenal’s best hope of Champions League is via Europa League

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Club legend Liam Brady says that Arsenal were hard done by against Watford on Saturday due to the award of a penalty for a dive, but that the team’s reaction to that setback demonstrated the mental weakness that has been witnessed countless times before.

He also suggests that the top four will be out of reach this season, and that the best chance of getting into the Champions League next season will come via potential success in the Europa League.

Speaking on The Stand podcast with Eamon Dunphy, Brady was asked about the Gunners third away defeat on the road this season, and the award of what was a contentious penalty despite the fact that Richarlison will face no retrospective punishment.

That was crucial, without that they probably would have gone on and won the match,” he said, “but it did show their frailties and how fragile they are as a team.

“I’ve watched Arsenal a lot this season and they were on a good run going up to Watford, but I still wasn’t confident because we were playing teams that we really didn’t have to do much to beat.

“I’ve got major doubts about, every time we come against a team with character and strength, are we up for it. Can Arsenal cope with it?

“And I think it’s going to be a season where we won’t threaten to the top four, and I think it’s going to be a season where getting into the Champions League relies on the Europa League, where we would have a chance of winning it when we get into the latter stages and he [Arsene Wenger] puts his best team out.”

Europa League all the way!

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48 Comments on "Brady: Arsenal’s best hope of Champions League is via Europa League"

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Ric

Spot on

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa

We don’t have the bottle to win the Europa league.

Vin Unleaded

When Chippy speaks, I listen!

Pedant

He curls it in the top corner (see his best ever goal v Tottenham).

Ulysses 32

Number seven is Liam Brady.

Rich

We were 1point and 3 goals away from 4th last season.
So what he’s saying is, either we’re regressing?
Others are progressing faster?
Or both?
When you consider how Chelsea responded to no CL football? and how some of our players should be fresher already.. due to not playing in Europe.
Then this is the situation we find ourselves in.
Nothing to suggest things will get any better either.
Watching us play i’d suggest we’re heading for a further dip.
I haven’t felt this low about our chances since the mad trolley dash of 2012 and that season Arsene performed a miracle.
Arsene usually pulls something out the bag when he needs it, hopefully the Europa or the domestic cups open up for us.

eddymc2

While Arsene appears to always pull something out of the bag, I think that era is over. Once upon a time a bad season for him was finishing second, as the only real competition was Manchester United. That moved further back as Chelsea and City joined the fray, then Liverpool got first Suarez and then Klopp, and all the while Tottenham just needed to stop thinking about us for 5 minutes and come into their own. Arsene’s never had to face this volume of competition in England – look at some of the teams he managed top 4 with in the Cesc years and tell me they’d even threaten top 4 now? No way. It’s a new day, and we’re not ready for it.

gooner

Those teams in the cesc years were much better than this team. We had the best striker in the league and cesc was the best midfielder in the league. The wingers weren’t bad either. Nasri, arshavin, Rosicky. The weakest point was our defending. Poor goalkeeping and a bad collective defensive mentality.
Which we still have now.

To put it into context, those teams could go toe to toe with probably the best barca team in history and just get edged out or robbed out.

This team with the Ramsey-Xhaka midfield axis however? With strikers who can’t score to save their lives and same defensive failings minus the good entertaining football of the former?

I’d take the cesc RVP Adebayor rosicky team any day.
I’d happily swap this Ramsey Xhaka Welbeck circus

eddymc2

With apologies, gooner, I think you’re patching various different incarnations of the team from roughly the same era and imagining them as the same team. We didn’t consistently have van Persie (that’s who you mean by “best striker”, right?) available until Cesc and Nasri were gone and Arshavin had given up. With Nasri in place a lot of our counter-attacking was infuriatingly slow and ponderous. Cesc’s hamstrings became increasingly unreliable about the same time we became ridiculously reliant on Cesc – there was a marked difference in our ability to create anything in attack when he was on the pitch vs not. I recall a game against Villa which he started on the bench, came on, changed the game, left injured again.

Those teams could go toe-to-toe with Barcelona in a perfect storm – everyone fit, etc. You saw what happened when one or two back-ups had to step in (Messi scores 4), or when we played a half-fit Cesc at the Nou Camp (backheel to Iniesta, silly boy). The past is never as rosy as we like to imagine it was in the face of a difficult present.

Rich

In all fairness in the last 4 seasons he’s won 3x FA cups 3x charity shields, finished second, third, fourth and fifth.
It’s hardly disastrous…. particularly in the current competitive environment like you say.
The problem IMO is we’ve been treading water for far too long and there’s a stagnation and boredom that’s running through the club.

I don’t think Arsene is as bad as some say, but I’ve also been of the opinion for a few years, that if the right person becomes available? Then we should be prepared to do what’s necessary, and quickly.
But it doesn’t look like we are.
The problem we have is Kroenke, he clearly thinks the manager is hitting his targets, and is happy about where we’re at.
Profitable.

eddymc2

True, Rich. Profitable. This is largely down to the TV deal(s) [corollary – presence in the Premier League], so can it be argued that so long as we’re not relegated, Kroenke’s perfectly fine with what’s going on? If that’s the new unspoken minimum requirement, oh dear.

Donald\'s Trump

FA cups are great but let’s not pretend they mean as much. Most teams play their youngsters/back up squad until like the semi finals. Wigan have won it and so have Portsmouth in recent times. The only true barometer is the league and we are going backwards. But not only that when we lose to another big club it’s always in an embarrassing fashion.

Lucas Sam

you meant the league cup, teams tend to take FA cup more seriously.

Martin

Just like when we played the league champions in the Cup Final

NewSeason

One of the best discussion threads I’ve read on this site. Thoroughly knowledgeable and enjoyable. Kudos!

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

Wigan beat Man City to win theirs…

Chuqu

Hello blog, forgive me if am asking for too much. Is it possible to add the comment section in ios arseblog app? Thanks.

Del boy

Yes please!

pajanee

Xaka needs a run in the europa league and league cup. Could sead ‘the tank’ kolasinac be our defensive midfielder a la gilberto silva? We really needs strenght in that midfield. He is a tough tackler and is good going forward too. Wat say gooners?

Yoki Rivero

I’ve really thought about this myself. I don’t know how it would work, but I will try and give Kolasinac a run at CDM on the Carabao Cup games and see if it will work. We really need an imposing, tough guy on that center midfield, and he’s as close as we have for one.

I really don’t know if he can, but the Carabao Cup is a good place to find out.

Crash Fistfight

Yes, yes, and at the same time it’ll offer the opportunity to rotate all the other left wing-back options we have to give them the time they deserve.

Crash Fistfight

Not sure – how tall is he?

Paul

The middle of our midfield is just not up to the task. I’m not really sure what type of player Xhaka is. He arrived here having picked up loads of bookings in Germany so most though he was a tackling midfielder. The reality is that he is a poor tackler and his lack of mobility means he picks up a lot of bookings. We haven’t found an effective pair in the middle. I think we need to move to back 4 and 3 in the middle of midfield to get a better foothold in games. Possibly bring Le Coq back in again to help shield the defense better alongside Xhaka and Ramsey or Jack.

Kwame Ampadu Down

The defensive midfield position is Arsene’s Kryptonite.

Arsenalga

Wing the Europa league is still wishful thinking

Crash Fistfight

I thought our current strategy was to wing the Europa League?

Dave

Even if is our current strategy, is still not an easy thing to do, and given our current situation, I have my doubts we can win it, maybe we can sure, but we will need to up our game. Even if is europe second string competition, it does have some solid teams on it, plus the wave of teams that come from CL means we could still face strong competition. So is still better if we don’t take for granted we are favorites to win it

Crash Fistfight

whoosh

A nihilist Gooner

I know very well that Arsenal is not in a good place right know and big changes need to happen but i can’t give a s**t about media slamming Arsenal , media is as awful as Kroenke and they can kiss each other’s A**es.

We fans will unite and make all the changes happen and once and for all will show that we own the club.

We will start this by getting Kroenke out of our club , we shouldn’t go to the home games and if we have to , “Kroenke Out” banners should be all over Emirates stadium.

This is not just about Kroenke dragging Arsenal down to the bottom of the league it’s also about how much respect he is showing toward fans , the same fans that are filling his pocket to see Arsenal win the league yet that disgusting creature “Kroenke” just sees us as some factory that makes him money , this perspective need to change or he should leave our club.

Crash Fistfight

Surely by definition as a nihilist Gooner you shouldn’t care about anything (seeing as everything is ultimately pointless)?

A nihilist Gooner

I love paradoxes.

A nihilist gooner paradox
A nihilist gooner paradox

Name’s already taken

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

Using a word inaccurately isn’t a paradox.

A nihilist gooner paradox
A nihilist gooner paradox

Correcting people is wrong. There’s your paradox

HM

Best chance of Europe is via Groupon at this rate.

Crash Fistfight

I’ve heard that Tui have got some good deals for the end of the month.

Laughing Stock

Sadly I think the chances of winning the Spursday League are only slightly better than the chances of winning the champions league. Which is halfway between fuck all and zero

santori

A bit too soon still to say that although we are far from convincing.

I wouldn’t say its our best chance but I would rather say we should not be neglecting that chance either and should now take that competition far more seriously.

It may not be a second string event anymore

santori

Completely agree this whole Ozil furor is missing the point.

He was hardly the worse player and he created an excellent chance in as much as he missed one in his short moment on the field.

That said, he is 29yrs and we should move him on if we can.

the question then would be if Wenger will replace Ozil and Alexis with equally technically gifted players. He should plus add one more if we want to regain any form of dominance we once use to have many seasons ago now.

I think an easy fix to replace Ozil will be to grab Pastore off of PSG. He is unwanted there, slightly younger than our German and can contribute creatively in similar role. BUT he can also be re-roled deeper in midfield to help support (back up) the flawed but pivotal Granit. At 6’2, his height may also come in handy given our first choice back line isn’t terribly tall.

When Alexis goes, I personally like to see Draxler or Mahrez or frankly BOTH. Sell Walcott.

We still need to reinforce wing back position too. Beyond Bellerin and Kolasinac (maybe Monreal), the options drop off

We will also need a Cback in the summer. Why WEnger let a maturing and vastly improving Gabriel go is beyond me. Reliance on the unproven Holding (depsite popularity with some fans) is foolish. More foolish would have been selling Mustafi. Its simply insane.

caligunner

What world do you live in?

Arsenic

He has some salient points.

Not sure if PSG will be selling us anyone or if Draxler will want to come to us but we need more skillful players.

Mustafi’s no.1 fan

We won’t win the Europa League! As soon as we come up against anyone half decent, we will fall apart like the joke club we currently are! Fact!

Martin

A joke club who has won 3 FA cups in 4 years and will still be challenging for a top 4 place. Love toxic supporters

Shitbird

If you’re not good enough for fourth, what are you going to do in the Champions League?

You can point to United getting in via the EL, but we’re talking about Arsenal. If we can’t beat Watford this year, how are we going to do against Barca next year?

Counting on a massive improvement over the summer eh?

Martin

Chelsea couldn’t beat Palace. Writing them off as well?

Shank

Liam is Arsenal thro and thro.
You can see the pain on his face at every pundit appearance on RTE, when the Arsenal slagging starts up.
Im truly sorry for him as I am for all Arsenal fans.

Arsen

All right ..Les go coyg
Wining Europa is a cake walk man…sarc OoOasm
There’s no team in the world that doesn’t face difficulties, but the problems that AW has created for Arsenal are unique…the can’t change tactically during matches, they have no voice in the team, they have the likes of Ramseys who sky efforts when players are free and then put their hands up like “wow that’s never happened before”. Osil is not the issue at all; he’s just not going to play any other way, all managers know that, that’s why nobody other than a galactico team would buy him /use him…he’s a player to get you a breakthrough when you know you can keep a clean sheet…arsenal can rarely go into matches thinking they can keep a CS.
AW has to move and a lot of players too…

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Really? We all have a lot tonnes of respect for Chippy, things like “I think it’s going to be a season where we won’t threaten to the top four” are not only miles off but don’t do the fragile team or fragile fans any good.

We finished a point outside the top four last season. Despite our poor start this we’re only a couple points off at the moment and on the same number as Liverpool & Chelsea who are effectively our challengers for those spots with Sp*rs (all three with CL football). Sure, we won’t challenge for the title, and we might miss out on the champions league places but to say we won’t be in the mix for the top four is way off. Utd were still in the hunt until it became clear around the quarters that they were miles better than what was left in the Europa, and still only scraped through games against Anderlecht and Celta Vigo.

The Europa League is a cup competition, and you should never rely on cups until the latter stages, even then it’s a risk – as it stands Dortmund, Napoli, Atletico and Monaco are all in real danger of dropping into the Europa. I’d much rather rely on picking up points against the likes of Brighton, Bournemouth and Burnley than facing one of the above over two legs and certainly not in a final.

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