Paul Merson has said that Arsenal are simply not good enough defensively to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
Arsenal got the post-Arsene Wenger era off to a disastrous start, losing their opening two league games of the season against Man City and Chelsea respectively. However, they quickly responded by going on an 11 game winning streak in all competitions to propel them into the Premier League‘s top four.
During that winning run though, The Gunners have relied on their attacking riches to get them through games, as their defensive fragilities continue in what seems like a deep-rooted problem from the Wenger days.
Those problems at that back finally caught up with Unai Emery’s side at the weekend, giving away two penalties against Crystal Palace in their 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park, leaving Merson to say that they aren’t good enough to challenge the big teams just yet.
“It looks like an Arsene Wenger team defensively, and they have always been irresistible going forward on their day,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I think they will get turned over by a couple of smaller teams and I don’t see them beating the big ones.
“I don’t think they were good at the start of the season. They went on a great run, but defensively they will get found out. Nothing has really changed at the back.”
However, Merson isn’t being totally doom and gloom, saying that their decent start to the season has given them a platform to build on.
“At the start of the season, I don’t think anyone would have given them a shot of finishing in the top four, but he’s given them a chance at least, it could happen,” he added.
“He’s a good manager and he needs a couple of windows. In time he will bring in his players. They’re a long way from Manchester City, but they will be more competitive.”