Merson tells Arsenal how they can ‘run riot’ vs Tottenham; performs U-turn to laud ‘patient’ star

Date published: Friday 13th January 2023 4:02 - Lewis Oldham

Merson speaks on Arsenal

Paul Merson thinks Arsenal are capable of ‘running riot’ when they face their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this weekend.

The Gunners head into Sunday’s huge game at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium flying high at the top of the Premier League. They are currently five points clear of rivals Manchester City.

Arsenal have picked up seven points out of a possible nine since the World Cup break. They have beaten West Ham and Brighton before they dropped points in a goalless draw against Newcastle.

Tottenham meanwhile have been inconsistent since the Premier League restart as they have four points in three games. They returned to winning ways last week as they hammered Crystal Palace 4-0.

This result leaves Spurs fifth in the Premier League and they are two points adrift of third-placed Newcastle United.

Arsenal triumphed when the North London rivals faced off earlier this season. Mikel Arteta’s side were much the better side as they dispatched their opponents on home turf.

Another win this weekend would be a huge statement and Merson thinks Arsenal can ‘run riot’ if Spurs ‘play a dangerous game’.

The pundit has also praised Eddie Nketiah after previously suggesting that Arsenal could miss out on the top four with him up front. 

But Nketiah has four goals in his past five games and Merson thinks he has been “playing very well”.

‘This is the only time I miss playing football. This game never lets you down. Everyone goes on about all the other big games, but you never come away from this derby with nothing happening. It’s the most entertaining Premier League game on a consistent basis – goals galore!’ Merson wrote for Sportskeeda.

‘Eddie Nketiah is playing very well at the moment, and I expected nothing less in his first three or four games. He needs to keep going now – that’s how the top players do it. He will score goals, and he’s got attributes that Gabriel Jesus does not have. He’s been patient and I’ll give him his due – I hope it keeps going for him.

‘I think Odegaard and Saka have been great. Everyone has been outstanding for Arsenal, and that’s why they are where they are. Tottenham, on the other hand, are nine on ten in one game and five in the next.

‘Harry Kane causes Arsenal problems, and Arsenal cause Tottenham problems.

‘If Tottenham want to play defensively, Arsenal will run out of ideas quickly like they did against Newcastle.

‘If Tottenham play a dangerous game, however, Arsenal could run riot. I don’t see this game as a foregone conclusion – I hope Arsenal wipe the floor with Tottenham, but I don’t think they will.’

READ MORE: Big Weekend… Manchester derby, Tottenham v Arsenal, Frank Lampard, Mitrovic back in Toon


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