Have Arsenal bottled the title? Ex-Spurs striker says no, despite ‘not being good enough’ in run-in

Jason Soutar
Arsenal players in a huddle

Teddy Sheringham does not think Arsenal have “bottled” it in the Premier League title race as “you need to be almost perfect” when you are competing against Man City.

The Gunners are now second in the Premier League following City’s 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side can regain their spot on top of the table with a win against Chelsea on Tuesday evening.

No matter what happens at The Emirates, City will remain the favourites to win the title and will have two games in hand on Arsenal.

Many believe Arsenal have bottled the title having sat top of the table for the vast majority of this season.

Cracks in their title challenge really began to form when they threw away a two-goal lead at Liverpool on April 9.

The Gunners were given the benefit of the doubt with a trip to Anfield always extremely difficult.

However, nobody was so generous after the 2-2 draw at West Ham – having led 2-0 once again – and the 3-3 home draw to bottom-side Southampton.

These results meant Arsenal lacked momentum going into last Wednesday’s match away to Man City and they were battered 4-1, making Pep Guardiola’s side the strong favourites to win the title.

Had they won two of those three games, the Gunners could have lost at The Etihad and their fate would have remained in their own hands.

Former Man Utd and Tottenham striker Sheringham thinks those poor results before the game at City played a huge part in their below-par showing in what many said was a title-deciding fixture.

“Arsenal put pressure on themselves by losing the two-goal leads against Liverpool and West Ham and then there was the Southampton game as well,” he told Lord Ping. “Being 1-3 down, yes, they got back into the game and got a draw, but at this stage of the season you cannot be drawing those games.

“Those results put so much extra pressure on them. If they hadn’t of drawn those games, they would have gone to Manchester with more optimism. They would have known that even if they had lost, the title was still in their hands.

“They came up against a far superior side in Manchester City. City are in full flow at the moment – they are great to watch – the football is genius and it deserves applauding.

“Arsenal were swotted away by City like most teams this season.”

Despite Arsenal’s poor form in the run-in and the fact many people have been heavily critical of them, Sheringham does not think they have “bottled” the title.

“Arsenal have had a great season; they’ve played some lovely football and taken a lot of plaudits,” he added.

“I was out in Dubai recently and bumped into some Arsenal fans who told me they were planning on coming back for the last game of the season and hopefully a parade – I thought they were planning way too far in the future.

“Nothing can ever be taken for granted, especially when you’re competing with this City team.

“City have worn Arsenal down and, over the last few games the pressure has cranked up.

“I don’t think Arsenal bottled it, they just haven’t been good enough and you need to be almost perfect if you want to compete with this Manchester City team.

“They have a young team that is a little bit short of the standard required to win a Premier League title.”

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