Merson: Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League top four

Merson: Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League top four

Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes his former club is capable of mounting a challenge for the Premier League top four this season. 

This comes following Arsenal's 3-1 victory over north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday. However, Merson believes Mikel Arteta must keep his starting XI that faced Spurs fit for the entire season.

"If Arsenal keep those players fit and they play every week, they would have a chance of getting in the top four and cause problems. They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team," he said. 

"But this is Arsenal though and has been since they last won the league in 2004, since when they have never really looked like winning the league." 

"The game on Sunday was their bread and butter, but if they win away at Brighton on Saturday, then I will sit up. But if we talk next week and they have lost at the Amex, I would not be shocked. And that is the problem, they need to get a run of games together."

Starting XI

"This is a good XI, but if they get injuries, they are going to struggle as there is not much after that. But from what I've seen the last few weeks, fair play to them."

"But how long with Thomas Partey be fit for? How long before Granit Xhaka gets five bookings and misses a game? And then an injury at center-back. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was closing down from the front and setting an example, but where has that been?"

"They have set themselves a yardstick now, they've put the bar there, now good teams stay at that level. I did not expect them to lose to Tottenham at all, as they have been very fortunate in their results so far."

"Mikel Arteta had a lot of injuries at the start of the season and what I liked about him was he went to Burnley with a very attacking team, under pressure, and he took a chance, got the ball down when they had it, and played. And he absolutely produced in that game and they were brilliant when everyone thought they would be bullied."

The win saw the Gunners move above Spurs on tenth in the league standings. 

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