Paul Merson predicts when Arsenal will win the title
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson says even Pep Guardiola wouldn't be able to help Arsenal to challenge for the Premier League title
Paul Merson believes that Arsenal aren’t close to winning the Premier League title, adding that even Pep Guardiola wouldn’t be able to guide the Gunners to the top-flight crown with the current squad.
Mikel Arteta took over the reins from caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg back in December after Arsenal parted company with Unai Emery at the end of November.
The Arsenal boss has only lost one Premier League game since he took over the reins at The Emirates last year, winning four times and drawing five fixtures.
Although Arteta’s only defeat was a 2-1 home loss to Chelsea FC at the end of December, Arsenal still find themselves in ninth position in the Premier League table.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson admits that he doesn’t feel optimistic about the north London side’s prospects of challenging Liverpool FC and Manchester City for the title.
“Will Arsenal be challenging for titles soon? Even if Pep Guardiola was in charge, no. Not at the moment,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Arsene Wenger used to say it all the time: it’s all about the players. And for Arsenal at the moment, it’s not a good enough team, not a good enough squad.
“I like Mikel Arteta, I really do, and I think he’ll do better than the last manager Unai Emery, but at the same time, to challenge for the title I think they are a million miles off.
“They can’t defend, and if you can’t defend, you can’t challenge for titles.
“Is there room for much optimism? I’m going to say no, to be honest. I don’t know any team that has won anything when they can’t defend. If you can’t defend, you’re not going to win anything! It’s simple.
“You can’t keep scoring three goals every game to nick a point or to only just win a game, so until he tightens that up, they are going to be a million miles off.
“This is going to be a slow, slow journey back for Arsenal.”
Arsenal have struggled defensively again this season despite bringing in David Luiz from Chelsea FC and Kieran Tierney from Celtic in the 2019 summer transfer window.
The Gunners had conceded 36 goals in 28 games in the Premier League this term before the top-flight campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Arsenal signed Spanish defender Pablo Mari and Southampton full-back Cedric Soares in the January transfer window but the duo haven’t had a tangible impact.