United appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer permanently after an initial interim period, but results remained mediocre after a strong two month winning sequence in the beginning. The Blues, meanwhile, appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager and are under a transfer ban that denies them the chance to strengthen their squad.
Groves, who played for Arsenal for six years, believes that the time is ripe for them to take advantage of the situation and aim for the Champions League places.
He told talkSPORT, “I know we’re battling to be best of the rest again. Realistically, that’s fourth. Manchester United are in a bit of turmoil – Solskjaer is not going to be good enough. Chelsea are in a little bit of turmoil; they can’t sign any players, they’ve got Frank Lampard, and they’ve got young players coming in.
“So fourth place is really going to be competitive and I want us to be in a position to be able to compete. I know it shows how far we’ve dropped, competing for fourth place – but we’ve got to be realistic. And if they sign these younger players, hungry and with the right attitude, then as an Arsenal fan at the end of the transfer window I’ll think, ‘OK, we’re looking to go forward’.”
It remains to be seen if Arsenal can indeed use the situation of their rivals to their advantage or if they will once again finish out of the top four, which would make it four seasons in a row.