Opinion: What should Arsenal’s realistic target be as the football season returns?



In a matter of days, football will return and we’d get to see our favourite football teams return to action. Football would return to a world different from what it was before the COVID-19 enforced break.

To say the Corona Virus outbreak – a human tragedy whose impact on the global economy is still growing, has done more harm than good will be an understatement. Experts have predicted it might take between 3 and 5 years before the economies of nations all over recover from the full effect of the pandemic. The sad reality is that sports would not be left behind and the money-spinning world of football in particular would be one of the sectors that will take most hit.

In a matter of hours, Premier League football will return and we’d get to see our favourite football teams return to action. Football returns to a world different from what it was before the COVID-19 enforced break.

To say the Corona Virus outbreak – a human tragedy whose impact on the global economy is still growing, has done more harm than good will be an understatement. Experts have predicted it might take between 3 and 5 years before the economies of nations all over recover from the full effect of the pandemic. The sad reality is that sports would not be left behind and the money-spinning world of football in particular would be one of the sectors that will take most hit.

The truth remains – our world, sports included, would never remain the same. One of the few areas in sports and football that might experience drastic changes would be recruitment. Considering the effect COVID-19 would have on profits generated by businesses which will in turn affect what these businesses put out into sponsorship of football clubs, and the fact that potential revenues from ticket sales would most likely take a hit especially if there is no vaccine before the start of next season, we might see a massive reduction in the fees players and their agents command.

This just goes to show that there is no sector of the global economy that won’t be hit. In the next couple of days, there’d be numerous articles on the impact of COVID-19 on football revenues, so I’m not going to dwell much on that. I’d rather leave that to the financial experts.

Now to the focus of this piece – Arsenal and what our target for the rest of this season should be.

It is an open secret that Arsenal’s season has been an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. This is typified by the fact that we are on our third manager this season.  The season began with Emery who was rightly sacked, albeit late, after a run of poor form. Freddie Ljunberg took over on an interim basis until Mikel Arteta was appointed on a permanent basis in December.

Anyone who saw Arsenal under Emery in the last few games of his Arsenal reign could see the team was on a downward trajectory – inconsistent formation choice, no settled first XI, a reactive approach to games, lethargic attacks amongst others ills were the highlights of his time at Arsenal. Arteta has however looked to correct some of these glaring deficiencies in his short time in charge but there’s still a lot to be done.

Arteta Celebrates Arsenal’s goal against Manchester United

While it is true that things had somewhat take a positive turn during the first few weeks of Mikel’s reign, results are still not as fantastic as they should be at a club like Arsenal.

40 points out of a total 84 is not just acceptable!

With Arsenal 9th on the table, and 8 points away from the coveted Champions League place, what should the aim be as the season restarts? Go all out for a Top 4 place? Continue their steady progress and end up in an Europa League place? Or should they drop out of Europe entirely to focus solely on league football next season?

Dilemma everywhere!

However, irrespective of the underwhelming season we have had so far, a lot of fans just want to see their team back in action again.

Considering how Arsenal fared before the pandemic enforced break, and what could be expected of Arteta’s men as they stage a return in what promises to be a thrilling encounter against the defending champions Manchester City, it is imperative to note that it is not all gloom and doom irrespective of Arsenal’s current stand on the league table.

Aside losing to Olympiacos on away goal in the Europa League, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are yet to lose a league game in 2020. This might look intangible to some but for Arsenal, considering what they’ve been through this season, this should serve as a morale booster – one on which they can build their momentum on as they seek to finish the season on a high.

Arteta and Arsenal Players
Mikel Arteta

Though it seems a bit ambitious to aim for a Champions League place but with a game in hand, a win on Wednesday could take Arsenal within five points of Chelsea who are currently fourth.

Regardless of how the season ends, Arsenal fans can be rest assured that a place in Europe next season is a realistic chase. Whether they achieve that remains to be seen.

In Mike Arteta, they, once again, have a manager who can take them all the way.


This article was written by Eweobaja Olumuyiwa and Adegoroye Olatunde. You can follow both on Twitter by clicking on their names.


As the Premier League returns, you need an app to stream all games free of charge, download our MatchDay Live app here and enjoy. Please share with your friends.


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