Alan Smith: Why Arsenal must compete for title next season

Alan Smith says Arsene Wenger will be under pressure if Arsenal aren't competing for title next season

Alan Smith has warned Arsene Wenger that he will be under pressure if Arsenal aren’t competing for the Premier League title next season.

The Gunners are flying high in second place in the top-flight table after an impressive run of eight successive league wins, including an emphatic 4-1 win against top-four rivals Liverpool earlier this month.

If they don’t start challenging for the league again over the next year or so then serious questions have to be asked

Alan Smith

The north London side are just seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who face Wenger’s side in the next top-flight game at Emirates Stadium on 26 April.

Smith, who famously won the top-flight crown with Arsenal at Anfield in 1989, believes the Frenchman will be out of excuses if the FA Cup holders aren’t competing with Chelsea for next season’s league title.

“With the finance they’ve got and Fair Play there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be competing with Chelsea and Manchester City and United. With our income there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be competing at the very top level,” Smith told London Evening Standard.

“If you look back now you would say building our stadium and keeping competitive was an amazing achievement. But now they should be looking to kick on. If they don’t start challenging for the league again over the next year or so then serious questions have to be asked.”

Arsenal were 1-0 winners against Burnley at Turf Moor last Saturday after Aaron Ramsey scored an 11th-minute winner.

The Gunners face Reading in the first FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday evening.

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