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Thursday Cannon Fodder: basking

Arsenal FC v PSV Eindhoven: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Hans van der Valk/BSR Agency\Getty Images

Good Thursday morning, TSF. I hope everyone is enjoying the afterglow of yesterday’s Arsenal performance as much as I am. Arsene Wenger’s tenure winding down and the ensuing years were tough, and it feels as if this young, reinvigorated, and exciting roster is a reward, of sorts, for our continued support.

I don’t like when people say “Arsenal are back where they belong” and other things that suggest any kind of entitlement. You have to earn your place — every match and every season. There are plenty of clubs like Brighton who want to snatch it away from you and Tottenham, perpetually waiting in the wings, looking for their chance to join the big boys.

At the same time, “Arsenal are back where they belong” contains a kernel of truth. This club should be at the top of the European game. That’s the pedigree of the club, that’s what we’ve come to expect, and quite frankly, that’s what the level of spending from ownership and amount of talent on the roster demand. It’s an expectation of excellence, a high standard against which we should measure Arsenal and Arsenal should measure themselves. Nobody is going to hand it to them, they have to work to earn it. But that high standard should be the goal.

I can hardly turn my thoughts towards Sunday’s important North London Derby. I just want to marinate in the immaculate vibes from Arsenal’s return to the Champions League with a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven. It’s easy to support the club when they’re in the CL for 19 consecutive seasons, it’s a bit more difficult to support the club through Thursday nights in Molde and empty midweeks. We’ve all earned another day of enjoying Arsenal’s return to the pinnacle of European competition.