Thursday, June 1, 2023

Arsenal set to lose top seeding in Champions League

Arsenal are likely to find themselves with a much tougher Champions League group next season – should we qualify.

UEFA have announced new rules for the seeding for the tournament are to come into effect next year. In season’s past, the top seeded group has been based on the UEFA coefficient, but from 2015/16 the top group will be made of the title winners from the top seven ranked leagues, plus the defending champions.

That means that unless we win the Premier League or the Champions League, we’ll find ourselves out of the top seeded group for the first time in over a decade.

UEFA General secretary Gianni Infantino said yesterday, “It will be ratified later on by the executive committee but it’s a clear recommendation of the club competition’s committee that the seeding system changes in this respect as from next season.

“People had difficulties in understanding how the champion of a country is in a lower pot than the third-ranked in that country.

“This will give another dynamic with the draw and in the way the groups are composed. It will be approved with the regulations at the start of next year.

“The club committee felt that there should be somehow an additional award given to the winners of the different national competitions.”

It’s unclear as yet as to which pot we might end up in, but it seems likely to be dependent on where we finish in the league and perhaps on our Champions League performance this season.

Interesting times … they should have a Champions League for most injured players? Am I right?! We’d win then because … er … we’re injured. A lot. And that.



Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We’ll just have to win the league and CL then. Guaranteed first seeding.


I love this, it will really improve us and make us compete stronger, also no one would say ‘anyway they were top seeded and got easy draws’ and to be honest, showing we can beat the very best in the group stages and to also top the group would mean a’ gung-ho’ boost to us in the knockout stages. Like facing your worst fear earlier so when you face other kinds later it’ll look very familiar, i really hope we get the champs of spain,germany,italy and france not like.. Ajax? Zenit?

Andy Mack

It won’t make much difference. We usually get at least one really strong team anyway. Going back a few years we’ve often had 2 strong teams in our group.


Your article portrays as if Arsenal are the only team which would face such a situation.

If you look at last year the pot would look like :-
Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid
Man C
CSKA Moscow

Its not just Arsenal, Chelsea Porto & Barca get knocked off too !!


How does the article portray that? I thought it was quite clearly written.


Everyone will be hoping to draw the Russian league winner every year!


Both turkish teams (there are only two, right?) would get top seeding too.


There is no way Arsenal deserve top seeding in the CL. They’ve never won it either in it’s current incarnation or when it was the EC. They haven’t gone in a EPL Champions in over a decade. And in recent seasons, they have gone out the first time they’ve faced any decent opposition. Having said that they’ve got to get there first. Given the way this season’s going that’s far from certain. Incidentally Bloggs your sense of irony remains as profound as ever. Calling for more ‘Football minded’ people on the Board…..I totally agree………..except didn’t we once have your bete… Read more »


What’s ‘ironic’ about it, is that having jumped up and down on Dein’s ‘grave’ you now lament the fact that we have no one like him on the Board – unless little ol’ Josh morphs into something special, which we both rather doubt – and haven’t had for years. So Dein sold his shares for a profit ? Hmmm…..remind me what your pal Hill-Wood did with his much smaller share holding ? In fact remind me how Dein got any shares in the Club in the first place ? Did they fall from the sky ? Or did Hill-Wood flog… Read more »

Alan Partridge

Hi Mr Dein.


its not irony at all. Dein was poisonousness in the end and it was better that he basically engineered his own exit. it doesn’t change the fact that he had many qualities that we miss.


Exactly ! That’s what I’m saying. Dein himself isn’t the issue. But what he did is. And the fact the Board made no attempt to cover for the areas he oversaw, left a gaping hole in the way the Club functions. I take the point that “Dein’s” aren’t available off the shelf. But the day after he departed they should have sat down and analysised what Dein did and then set about ensuring they brought someone in who in – say – ‘three years’, had a grasp and a coverage of the areas Dein left behind. An ex Arsenal player… Read more »

Mark Hughes

I think the coup Blogs is referring to is that of a certain fat russian who is the second majority shareholder….


You’re getting too sensitive in your middle age. This is blog for ‘free-ish’ opinions not a court room and I’m accusing no body of anything. I’m simply pointing out that having got rid of the one person on the Board who had real football input – and he obviously did – there has been no successful attempt to replace him. Do I think Dein is irreplaceable ? Of course not . No one is and certainly not Wenger. But being irreplaceable – and not being replaced, are two different things. Take one example. Would Dein have spent a week in… Read more »

Springbank 1965

“maneuver?” “manoeuvre!”

… let’s call the whole thing off.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson



Rob67, I agree this blog should be and indeed does encourage and respect opinions. You speak of irony, and if there is one, it is that you, one one hand lambaste the lack of freedom of expression, whilst at the same time you are not only accusatory, but you are also surprisingly opinionated considering that the strength of your arguments are both sporadic and disjointed, thus pretty weak and unnecessary. May I suggest that as a fellow Gunner, sharing and differing opinions are healthy… but being obtuse among your friends shows you have a bit too much time on your… Read more »


at least we still got this jonker of a man.. he is surely our best joker so far


Tangoman wasn’t a football man. He was a sugar trader and very clever businessman who made a lot of £££ off the back of Arsenal Football Club. He learnt how football worked from a business point of view, but he’s not the kind of person that Blogs is advocating. What would add value to Arsenal is someone that not only understands the business side but also football from the perspective of a top pro. The Overmars type of appointment…

Andy Mack

Exactly! He was a business man and a very competitive person but not a ‘football man’.

remember the invincibles

We deserve to be in pot 1. We’ve qualified for 17 years in a row now. Okay so we’ve not won it, and we’ve not challenged in recent years but have Man City? They should be in pot one because the won the championship, if Liverpool had won it instead your saying they should have been in pot 1, despite not being good enough to qualify for 5 years, and having one fluke season? No. Nobody wants to reward our consistency, nobody cares for it because ‘we didn’t win’. I say thats complete rubbish. We deserve to be there. Its… Read more »

Mark Hughes

I doubt you’ll get a lot of people that agree with you. The top seeds should be the champions as they’ve put the time, effort and/or money into winning their respective leagues. Yes, the PL is heavily stacked in the cash rich clubs but do you honestly not think that this year Juventus or PSG should have been in the top pot? They did all the consistent hardwork with winning their leagues, so they should get the reward of playing lesser teams. This was the top pot this year: Real Madrid CF – Holders FC Barcelona – Runners-up, Spain FC… Read more »


I agree, to an extent. The original idea was in fact only the champions of each league competing against one another, hence the title. The problem now is that the top seeding will be from the top *seven* leagues, I’m guessing that’s the Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. There is a huge disparity in quality between some of those leagues. You could reasonably claim that any top four team in the English league would be stronger than the champions from the Dutch and Portuguese league, and maybe the Italian as well. That is a problem for me.… Read more »

I miss Bergkamp

“The top seeds should be the champions as they’ve put the time, effort and/or money into winning their respective leagues… They did all the consistent hardwork with winning their leagues, so they should get the reward of playing lesser teams.” As has been proven repeatedly, winning the Russian or Dutch league against “lesser teams” is certainly not any indication that they can compete with the top 4 of England/Germany/Spain. Why would I want to reward minnows with a top seed if they can’t even get out of their group on a regular basis? If they are truly that good they… Read more »

Robert Ochieng

So Benfica deserve to be seeded but not Madrid or Barca!


I’m just happy this whole restructuring will make us sit-up and prepare better, i dont know about others but i feel very happy seeing us compete against much stronger teams, sometimes i wish we could be in a league containing just bayern,madrid,barca,juve,psg,man city,chavs,dortmund,ath m,arsenal to see how we’ld come out! I believe we’ll finish 3rd!

Az Ahmed



above spurs


We’d have lost it anyway, even under the old system. In fact we already have done. We were ranked 9th or 10th when this year’s draw was made, so got in pot 1 because two clubs with a higher ranking (United and Valencia) failed to qualify. We’ve never really had the quality, or the tactics, to look like possible winners but, that said, exiting in the last 16 is a serious underachievement given our wealth. As the 8th richest club Europe, only having made the semis twice just isn’t good enough when you consider how several poorer clubs have somehow… Read more »


Adebayor was bought in January 06, and so he did play in the PSV game from Feb 07 that you are talking about. Back then we were financially tied down, and were heavily invested in ppl like Fabregas, Hleb et all coming through.


Is it just me? Perhaps I fail to understand the concept of irony. I get the irony here at all.


* don’t….


Sure there’s the potential to draw Barca/Real or Bayern, but it’s also possible to draw the winner of Portugal or Russia’s league
Considering we’ve been drawn against Dortmund this year, and could have been against PSG, it’s not going to make things VASTLY more difficult


I agree. But I also think that facing one of the best in Europe early on in the group stages will do the lads some good.


We are facing a top team in Dortmund. They’ve got a manager who could actually improve lots of teams.

Andy Mack

Does facing the champions of Greece, Turkey, Belgium, Holland etc really equate to facing one of the best in Europe?
Personally I don’t. Dortmund is a much bigger challenge.


If we scrape 4th again, and make it through the qualifiers, then why should we be considered a top seed? Seems a fair rule. Champions league for the champions. Let’s go win the league then.


We were about to loose top seed, anyway. Another quarter-final – or even earlier – defeat and Schalke would have taken our place – even if they drop out in group stages!


Schalke probably won’t be in the champions league next season.


Well, that’s what the Champions League is all about, playing the big boys and beating them.


Tough but fair really.

Clock End Mike

Actually, I think that’s fair. Arsenal may be one of the most consistent entrants in the CL, but it’s been a while since we could claim to be among the best eight. In fact, it means that only one English or Spanish side (unless one of them wins the CL this year and, presumably, not their own league too) will be in the top seeds, which could make things interesting for more teams than just Arsenal.

Still, it was fun while it lasted…

Clock End Mike

I mean, of course, one English *and* one Spanish side. I could have been more clear.


Arsenal set to lose? very negative title, blogs. I know we have very little chance of winniing the league, but I thought you are a glass half full kind of guy.

Mark Hughes

What? Did you read the whole title or just that bit?


Eh, you don’t understand, an appropriate title would be “Arsenal at risk of losing top seeding in the champions league”

Blogs title is more negative, suggesting it is a foregone conclusion, while Santhosh points out that we could in fact win the league (or CL), and an optimist would write a title that reflects that. However, based on the thumbs rating it seems Santhosh’s intent was lost on the average reader.


At the end of the day… we always get a tough draw in the CL so I don’t see this making too much of a difference…


This will please Martin Samuel, maybe now he’ll stop going on about it and go back to sucking John Terry off

Andy Mack

As John Terry is a cunt, shouldn’t that say ‘licking john terry out’?


Interesting. Does this mean the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and the Chelsea may not be top seeds if they don’t win their league?


I honestly think it will breathe new life into our competition. We”re not strong enough to get past the first knock-out rounds so perhaps we get to play Real Madrid or PSG a bit earlier, which is the point of the CL. I welcome some much needed excitement into our group stages.

Finsbury Park Gooner

And maybe even one year it’ll mean Chelsea won’t get three no-mark teams to play against.

What can I say, I’m an optimist.

Andy Mack

We usually get 1 or 2 very strong teams in our group, so it won’t make much difference.


Still drawing Dortmund every season so may not make much difference?


Makes sense that Champions form the top pool of seeds. What would be interesting would be how the pots below are arranged. If it was coefficient based as currently then it would be likely that all three other English qualifiers would be in pot 2. There would be just as strong an argument to put the 2nd placed English team in pot 2, the 3rd placed team in pot 3 and the 4th based team in pot 4.

That would really shake things up.


To be fair we don’t deserve a top seed. Never won it and have been piss poor in recent times.


This won’t make the groups that much tougher for us. Sure, it means you can get Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but it also excludes Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and so on. Getting a #2 from Spain or Germany is much worse than getting the winners from the Netherlands, Russia etc. In fact, it doesn’t make much sense for Ajax or something to suddenly be top seeded.


As a ECL side one will have to play top teams whether at the group stage or the KO’s. So nothing much will change for Arsenal. Ultimately the big boys will qualify for the latter rounds. There is nothing to worry about. Now, I would suggest, Arsenal go and win the league soon. It will shut Moaninho up. No better feeling than seeing that smug go nuts because of frustration….


The top 7 leagues? It feels like it will create unbalanced groups – there will be even worse groups of death and even easier groups.


Well…… that means either one of barcelona or real madrid will also be out of top seeding.


So basically there are 2 strong teams and 2 weak teams in every group. I don’t see how this impacts what we’ve got in recent years. As a matter of fact, it might give us better draws. Besides, it’s better to face the likes of Bayern and Barca in the group stage than the knockout. A home win and an away defeat is a good result in the group stage but it can mean going out in later stages of the tournament.

Soqed Hozi

So what if one side wins the champions league and their domestic title? Would their pot1 seeding go to the second placed side in that division? Thinking bayern/real Madrid /barca


Tried to thumb down your architect of his own downfall comment. We would be the Aresenal we are now without that mans input for years.


Can’t really argue with that to be honest…

At the end of the day, if you’re gonna win the Champions League, you have to beat the big boys – Be that in the group stages or in the knock-out stages.


some unknown clubs from jonker island will probably be top seeded and but they have to play at the Emirate anyway… and does being top seeded mean 3 points? oh na na na…. I like us to be potted with top seeded clubs from jonker island.. hehehe

Anthony Payne

I am all for anything that disturbs the misplaced complacency at our club. Sure enough qualification in so many consecutive seasons is no mean task and Man Utd’s failure to qualify for this season’s tournament reflects this. However all we have to show for it is one final and two semis. Equally worryingly, we have a 100% losing record in head to heads with fellow English clubs (Chelsea 2004, Liverpool 2008,Man U 2010), and for the past four seasons we have failed to at least reach the quarter finals. This might force us to raise our game both on pitch… Read more »


would be funny when we draw Zenit, Anderlecht and BATE borisov.


While I agree that Arsenal don’t deserve a top seed at present, the winners of the last two of the “top football leagues” deserve it even less. I can see league winners in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France deserving a top seed….but after that there are no more “Top” leagues. Turkey? Russia? Portugal? Holland? MLS is probably stronger than any of those leagues.


It’s not.


MLS is League One at best, Conference at worst. There is a handful of good teams, a handful of mediocre teams, and quite a few really bad teams. For example, my Vancouver Whitecaps are currently in the play-off positions in MLS, but if they were to play in England, they’d finish bottom half in League One at best.


Common sense prevails at UEFA. Who’d have thunk it.

Me So Hornsey

Wow, Man City and PSG’s influence is growing by the year.


Fair enough we’ve been declining in Europe the last few seasons. To be honest we are only a couple of injuries away from complete disaster and the chances of being in the draw would be slim indeed.


Completely disagree with this, we’ve seen in recent years how clubs have been able to come in and ‘buy’ themselves the league title. The champions league eeeding should be based on consistency over periods of time, not an influx of quick cash and short term big spending.


True, But this is the champions league. Not the who’s-been-more-economically-prudent-to-maintain-footballing-consistency league


Wow, that sounds like the name of Wengers dream league!!!!


Any team that wins the league title doesn’t win it by just kinda finding the trophy lying around, you need to be reasonably consistent over 38 games. Plus, the result of that influx of cash and short term big spending is usually a star studded squad of elite players. Y’know, the kind of thing you’d expect from a Pot 1 team.


Much as I love the relative protection we get from top seeding, the draw should reward winners with top seeding. It’ll be interesting to see if the other 3 pots are based on UEFA coefficients, domestic League position or a combination; but even as a die-hard Gooner you can’t really argue with the Pot 1 change!

Man Manny

Would like to know how pot2 to 4 will be arranged. It doesn’t change much if you ask me. I think playing Ajax (champion) in the group stage is easier than playing Dortmund, for example. We can meet only one of Barca, Real, Bayern or PSG at a time. And apart from those, we don’t have anyone to fear because, considering our financial health, we can only get better each year as a team. I am certain that, with what we did in the market this year, we will even have a stronger team next year. The CL Is like… Read more »


I would have thought the bigger potatoes would work their way to the bottom…….

Monkey nuts

I was going to use the same analogy! Who’d have thunk it? Have to think of another one about cream or something.


‘Arsenal set to lose top seeding in Champions League’ – That is also an indirect way of saying Arsenal is set not to win the league this season, blogger!


This is going to be interesting actually. We’ll still graduate from our group, but now we get to face at least 2 top teams, one in the group, another in the R16. Since the UCL is the only football on free TV in Aus, this means I get to see 4 games of Arsenal vs top European sides (hopefully). Not overly optimistic about the result, but keen nevertheless.

Did they say anything about how the other pots are going to be sorted?


Seems entirely fair, to be honest.

Monkey nuts

Except that one big but ultimately shit team from Portugal, Netherlands, etc. who can win their league without getting out of 2nd gear will always be a top seed at the expense of a team from England, Italy, Germany, etc. who had a much harder task of finishing 2nd in their much tougher leagues.

Still be luck of the draw who you get though because some top seed teams will be good and some will be shit.

So who cares.


Fair. Should freshen things up nicely. Very jnterested to know how other pots are decided, what new role country and club coefficients play and how the last top seed is determined if a domestic champion is also the current CL title holder.


As well we should.

We have been frankly underwhelming despite achievement of 18 seasons straight in qualifying.

Feel we needed a bit of extra magic like a Falcao up top this season in Europe to bring a bit of belief.

That said, Welbeck is settling in well and our best hope now is he starts to get some consistency and fire them in.


We struggle to finish 4th for nearly 10 seasons when 10 seasons ago we were invincible. Kroenke out. Red and white. Dien. In.


Dein. ffs.


Guess we’ll be going out in the group stage then. The Europa cup beckons.


This is good that we would face tougher opposition in the Group stages, but knowing Arsenal we would end up with a fixture list like this lol 18 Oct – Premier League 15:00 Manchester City v Arsenal 22 Oct – Champions League Group Stage 19:45 Arsenal v Real Madrid 25 Oct – Premier League 15:00 Chelsea v Arsenal 1 Nov – Premier League 15:00 Manchester United v Arsenal 4 Nov – Champions League Group Stage 19:45 Real Madrid v Arsenal 9 Nov – Premier League 16:00 Arsenal v Liverpool 22 Nov – Premier League 17:30 Liverpool v Arsenal 26 Nov… Read more »

Man Manny

Why the thumbs down? Where is your sense of humour.

Rectum Spectrum

While this ia disapointing it makes perfect sense and its hard to have a problem with it. When you look at the rest of the top seeds, well, they’re mostly all previous champs league winners and current/very recent domestic champions.


It does not change much.

This year’s seeding with the new rules:

Anonymous Physicist

How this works out depends on what they do to the other 3 pots, but they risk making the draw like the World Cup one: a ridiculous shambles of a seeding system that puts three semifinalist contenders in the same group while other teams get pretty much a free pass for no apparent reason. The point of seeding is to keep the strongest teams apart until the latter stages of a tournament so that you’re most likely to get the 8 best teams in the quarterfinals. This doesn’t accomplish that. If they want to get rid of champions being seeded… Read more »


It’s a good thing. If arsenal r not good enuff to win against best then they shudnt progress any further than group stage. Arsene dreams of winning CL one day but nothing till now has suggusts he is serious about that dream.
I only remember one defensive masterclass by wenger’s side – that was at camp nou until that Crap Garbagegase assisted Barcelona’s 1st goal.


For me it’s the same if we ore pot 1 or pot 2 we get tough teams or group of death every time and now we will not be the only ones that got tough group the likes of city, chelsea, liverpool barca or real will get to.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x