Arsenal can challenge for the title after proving their “mental resilience” with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham, who are top-four contenders, says Harry Redknapp.
Arsenal needed a goal from Kieran Gibbs 13 minutes from the end to claim a 1-1 draw in the 82nd north London derby on Sunday, but Redknapp believes the Gunners can view the result as another statement of their Premier League title credentials.
‘Tottenham Hotspur are unbeaten in 11 Premier League games and making real progress under Mauricio Pochettino but it is still Arsenal that are the genuine title contenders,’ Redknapp wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.
‘Arsenal are suffering because of the sheer number of injuries and got an absolute thumping in the Champions League against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, when they were completely outclassed.
‘This was a really good time for Spurs to play them, but in coming back to secure a point it proved that Arsenal have now got the mental resilience they have been so frequently accused of lacking.
‘There could easily have been some scars from that beating in Munich yet this point keeps them right on the tails of Manchester City and in with a chance of winning that elusive title.
‘I fully expect them to be challenging for the title in the final weeks of the season.’
Tottenham dominated the first half in particular at Emirates Stadium and remain unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening game of the season, but Redknapp believes it is too early to consider Mauricio Pochettino’s side as title contenders.
He added: ‘People are now talking about Spurs, one of my former clubs, as potential contenders but I’d be telling a lie if I said I agreed with them. For me, they are still short of the likes of City, Arsenal and United and, if they were to lose Kane through injury, I think they would have a real problem.
‘Spurs have got a real chance of finishing in the top four and finally securing that place in the Champions League, the one competition Chairman Daniel Levy is desperate for his club to be playing in.
‘Thursday night games have a damaging effect on league results and while Spurs are competing in the Europa League I think that is another reason why they will always fall short.
‘Finishing fourth, in only Pochettino’s second full campaign, would still represent a hugely successful season.
‘Spurs could be in a position next season to be in with a chance, but not this time.’