Date published: Friday 14th February 2020 4:06
Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith thinks the Gunners would have been in the Champions League places this season if they had cut down on draws.
Mikel Arteta’s side are currently sitting in tenth position in the Premier League table and are closer to the relegation zone – in points terms – than fifth-placed Sheffield United.
“13 draws have certainly done a lot of damage to the team’s League placing,” Smith told the Evening Standard.
“Imagine if only six of those could have been turned into wins. Arsenal would now be two points above Chelsea in fourth spot, gunning for a Champions League berth that, if secured, would make a massive difference to the whole club.
“But this is no time for ‘if onlys’. Mikel Arteta still has two trophies in his sights — the Europa League coming up next week in the shape of Olympiakos and the FA Cup, where a win at Portsmouth would see my old club through to the quarter-finals.
“And Arteta, I’m sure, would have been pleased to get a bit of quality time with his players in Dubai, both on the training ground and off it, where these kinds of breaks can bring everyone together.
“It’s a great chance to hammer home what he wants from a tactical aspect and also a chance to nourish team spirit.
“But as any coach will confirm, you’re only as good as your players. That’s why Arteta will already be looking ahead to the summer when we will doubtless see some interesting transfer activity.”