Stuart Pearce thinks that a top four finish would represent a good season for Arsenal.

The former England u21 manager believes Arsenal are performing about as well as expected after a poor start to the season.

Back-to-back defeats to Stoke and Liverpool caused some to write off the season by the end of August. However, six wins from our last seven games has seen us climb the table and look like a decent team again.

“Arsenal have started OK, and in Europe they’ve done well enough too,” Pearce told Sky Sports (via the Daily Star).

“With my expectations of Arsenal this season, it’s a B as well.

“There was a lot of chit-chat about Arsene Wenger early in the season, but they’ve been consistent against teams they should beat, for example rolling Brighton over at home.

“If they get in the top four they’ve had a good season.”

It’s tricky to pinpoint exactly what would be a successful season for Arsenal.

Fans want the team to be challenging and, eventually, winning the Premier League title, but that might be beyond Arsenal given the strength of the competition.

Having finished fifth last season, an instant return to the Champions League is the minimum expectation.

Arsenal will have to finish above some good teams to achieve that. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if we missed out again having gained even more points than last time.

We can, of course, get back into the Champions League without finishing in the top four.

If our league season goes badly, we would still have the chance to win the Europa League and gain qualification that way.