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Klopp: Arsenal better than eighth in the 'open race' for the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Arsenal were much better than their eighth-placed finish last season, saying that the race for the Premier League title is an ‘open race’.

Arsenal slipped to their worst finish in 25 years last season in a campaign that saw Mikel Arteta replace Unai Emery last December, though they still managed to qualify for the Europa League by winning the FA Cup.

During his short time in charge, Arteta has been credited with improving a number of long-standing issues, especially the side’s defensive fragility and soft mentality, the Gunners developing into a more resilient side under the Spaniard.

Speaking ahead of Monday nights high profile clash at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thinks that Arsenal’s eight placed finish was down to Arteta not having enough time, saying that no club is safe from such a season in what is an ‘open race’ for the title.

“They came eighth because they did not have a time to sort the situation,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference. “They were not the eighth best team in the league, they could’ve qualified easily for Europe [via the league], if not even the Champions League.

“The Premier League and these teams are too good, you can’t decide the season before it starts. It just doesn’t work like this.

“Man City, I think maybe people thought they could have some struggles at Wolves because Wolves are really good…and in the second half they could have got a point.

“Nobody is safe from this kind of thing, so we have to work incredibly hard. And over the other teams we have no influence. When we face them, we want to beat them.

“It’s an open race, Chelsea will be there, [Manchester] United will be there, Arsenal, Tottenham – these teams will always be there.

“There are tough moments for us and other teams and it’s about how you react and are you doing it in the right way.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to go through a lot of moments. I don’t know why today we talk about winning the league, I have no idea who will win but I know a lot of teams will try.”

Arteta looking to exploit Liverpool ‘weaknesses’ but insists the champions are ‘getting better and better’

See also – All or Nothing: 13 of the best moments from the Tottenham Hotspur documentary

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