‘Arsenal had better get used to being below Manchester City’

Read Nigel Winterburn’s exclusive Arsenal column here every week

Pathetic is the only word I can really use to describe Arsenal’s defending and their performance in general last weekend.

No matter what the situation is regarding the season, at a club like Arsenal you have to turn in a performance in every game, and that wasn’t good enough.

It’s more professional pride than the fact they could now finish fourth, face a Champions League play-off and maybe miss out on the tournament altogether.

Of course that would be a disaster and, given where Arsenal were a couple of months ago, to be left with just fourth place is hard to take.


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The supporters were not happy on Sunday and I don’t blame them – they pay good money to watch this team, and what they have seen in the last few months has been so disappointing.

All the team can do now is go out and win at Fulham and hope that City slip up at Bolton but I can’t really see that happening.

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City have shown by winning their first piece of silverware for 30 years that they are back in business, but of course it is the top-four finish and the ticket to the Champions League that will make all the difference to them.

The kind of players they can now bring in is frightening – they can afford anybody, and now they have Champions League football to offer, there are not many who will say no. The sky really is the limit.

It is time to accept that City are going to be a force, and certainly one that will compete for the title, if not next season then very soon afterwards.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are facing a really difficult decision over Carlo Ancelotti, and I just can’t believe there is a better-qualified man out there to do the job than him.

He has won them the Double in his first season, and come second this time around, but the signs are that he will be sacked.

Arsenal won’t behave like that, and you have to be glad of that. It’s been a tough season, but things are going to improve.

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