Merson: Top four ‘still on’ for Arsenal; ‘not convinced’ by Spurs

Date published: Tuesday 12th April 2022 7:10 - Dan Butterfield

Ex-Arsenal man Paul Merson

Ex-Arsenal man Paul Merson isn’t convinced by Tottenham and believes his former side could still make the top four this season.

Arsenal looked to be in pole position a few weeks ago but after losing three of their last four Premier League fixtures, Spurs now appear to be the favourites.

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Antonio Conte’s side have taken advantage of Arsenal’s blip, winning their last four in a convincing fashion to move ahead of their great rivals and into the top four.

However, despite Spurs now holding the advantage, Merson hasn’t been fully convinced by Spurs and believes his old side are still in with a good chance.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, Merson said: “I still feel Arsenal have got a chance. Arsenal have got to go to Chelsea and Tottenham have still got to face Liverpool, which will be a different game. With Chelsea beating Southampton last weekend, that’s sort of cemented their top-four place.

“What I would say is that the Arsenal players are at their ceiling. They’re playing as well as they can and there isn’t too much more in the locker. They had a day against Brighton where they dropped off that level and they got beaten.

“If you take a couple of players out who are very influential in that team and things aren’t great. The squad’s not big and Mikel Arteta virtually picks the same players all the time and against Brighton, they bumped into a team who had nothing to play for and who had a free swing.

“I felt it would be a dodgy game. Brighton hadn’t been playing well but you sensed it would be a nice football match.

“Arsenal couldn’t get their full team out and it became a bit of a struggle. Kieran Tierney is a massive player and Thomas Partey has become increasingly influential.

“I still feel Arsenal are in it because Tottenham have still got a Tottenham in them. I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but they still have got a Tottenham in them. Everyone was going mad about them but they could’ve been blown away in the first half against Aston Villa.

“Villa should’ve been out of sight and they only have to have one of those days in the next seven weeks. The 4-0 win over Villa covered over the cracks.

“They did some great stuff, don’t get me wrong, but in the first half Hugo Lloris had to make save after save. So I’m still not convinced by Tottenham.

“The top four is still very much on for Arsenal.”

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