Former Arsenal chief David Dein doesn’t believe Arsenal should be aiming for the top four, but instead has challenged the club to a spot in the Premier League’s top two.
The Gunners are just one point behind second place Manchester City after eight games played.
Arsenal’s only defeat this season has come against European champions Liverpool, who have taken a commanding lead in the title race.
Unai Emery’s side scraped past Bournemouth last weekend in unconvincing fashion, but have ensured they will spend the international break in the top four.
However, Dein – who left his position with the Gunners in 2007 after 24 years at the club – says Emery should be aiming higher.
“I’ve never subscribed to that [aiming for the top four],” he told Sky Sports (via Mirror) at an event honouring former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
“I’ve always felt Arsenal had to be challenging for at least first or second in the league every year.
“That has to be the ambition at the start of the season.”
On Emery himself, Dein went on to preach patience.
“I think it’s a work in progress. We have to patient,” he continued.
“It’s not easy today as everyone expects instant success, and you can see what has happened to other clubs around us.
“Everyone thinks it is so easy, you turn the tap on and you get hot water, but it’s not quite as easy as that.
“[But] I think we set a certain standard and we expect them to be up at the top challenging for first or second place.”