Nigel Winterburn predicts where Arsenal will finish this season
Ex-defender Nigel Winterburn says Arsenal are outsiders for the top four this season
Nigel Winterburn is backing Arsenal to climb the Premier League table under Mikel Arteta but he feels that a top-four finish may be out of reach for the Gunners.
The north London side have made a promising start to life under their new head coach and they made it back to back wins when they followed up their Premier League win over Manchester United with victory over Leeds United in the FA Cup on Monday night.
The Gunners still find themselves considerably off the pace in the race for Champions League qualification, with Arteta’s men currently down in 10th place in the table and nine points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC heading into this weekend’s games.
Former Arsenal defender Winterburn is expecting to see some significant improvement under Arteta but he feels that Champions League qualification may already be out of reach.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Winterburn said: “We really don’t know where Arsenal are going to finish, but between now and the summer we just have to hope that Arteta can strike a rich vein of form and get the club back up into contention for the top four.
“Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to get into that top four in the final stages of the season, but I think it’s unrealistic given where Arsenal are at this moment.
“It’s also about showing prospective signings that Arsenal are indeed moving in a new direction now, the right direction.
“There’s still a lot to play for. There’s the top four, FA Cup and Europa League – and of course if you win that you qualify for the Champions League, which is so crucial for attracting players. They are all long shots at the moment though.”
Arsenal are back in Premier League action this Saturday lunchtime when they travel to London rivals Crystal Palace in the top flight.
The Gunners are looking to try and finish in the top four this season after they ended up fifth in the table and without a trophy under Unai Emery last term.