Carragher explains why Arsenal ‘can’t win the league’ with Saka and co no longer ‘on fire’

Jason Soutar
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher during a Sky Sports broadcast.
Jamie Carragher during a Sky Sports broadcast.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher thinks current pacesetters Arsenal will not win the Premier League if they do not improve their performances.

Mikel Arteta’s side went top of the league after beating Brentford away from home on Saturday evening.

They have not been at their scintillating best in the attacking third this term but are still grinding out results, with the summer signing of Declan Rice helping provide some excellent cover for the back four.

Gary Neville has previously said that Arsenal’s slow, yet positive, start is a better sign of their title credentials than last season when they steamrolled into a lead at the top of the table, as they can only get better and will not run out of steam during crunch time in April and beyond like they did in 2022/23.

His Sky Sports colleague does not have that view, though, with Carragher saying that the Gunners’ current performances are not good enough for them stay on top of the Premier League.

On Monday Night Football, the former Liverpool defender and Arsenal hero Freddie Ljungberg were comparing Arsenal’s stats this season to last, with their attacking output not as impressive as it was in 22/23.

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“If Arsenal continue how they are, if this is the Arsenal we are going to see this season, I don’t think that can win the league,” Carragher said.

“So many games are going to the wire and sometimes that game can go against you. You think of the [Aaron] Ramsdale mistake, the big chance that Brentford had in the second half.

“Those games that are won can easily go 1-0 against you.

“When we’re talking about ‘a different Arsenal’ we can see it in stats, but everyone can see it with their eyes. It’s not the same fluidity, the same pace, energy, creating chances, you can see that.

“I don’t think it’s anything tactical. When I watch Arsenal it’s the same things. [Oleksandr] Zinchenko going into midfield, Declan Rice has come in for Thomas Partey and Partey was outstanding at this stage last season, and Declan Rice has been outstanding. In midfield I’d say they’re more offensive (than last season).

“The reason I don’t think they are as fluent, I think individually the attacking players have been average this season whereas they were on absolute fire last season.

“In terms of [Gabriel] Martinelli, [Bukayo] Saka, [Gabriel] Jesus. [Martin] Odegaard was up there last season alongside Kevin De Bruyne.”

Meanwhile, Ljungberg said Arsenal can compete for the title this term but Manchester City are too strong and will be champions again.

He did, however, add that the Gunners will be City’s closest challengers, ahead of Liverpool.

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