Paul Merson makes honest admission about Tottenham and Arsenal

Paul Merson discusses Arsenal's fall down the Premier League table in recent seasons

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson has admitted that he cannot believe how quickly Arsenal have “fallen behind” Tottenham Hotspur in recent seasons.

The Gunners have struggled to find consistent form in the Premier League this season in what is Mikel Arteta’s first full campaign in charge at the north London club.

Arsenal are currently in 14th place in the Premier League table after having won just four of their opening 10 games in the top flight this season.

Their stuttering form is in stark contrast to their bitter local rivals Tottenham, who currently top the Premier League table after an impressive run under Jose Mourinho.

Spurs are level on points with second placed Liverpool FC in the table and are eight points ahead of Arsenal in the table heading into this weekend’s north London derby clash.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson has admitted his surprise at how quickly the Gunners appear to have been overtaken by the Lilywhites in recent years.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “The saddest thing for me is how far, and how quickly, Arsenal have fallen behind Tottenham.

“Tottenham have just built one of the best stadiums in the world. I thought they were going to be selling players left, right and centre. A bit like Arsenal after they built the Emirates. Every year a star player went.

“Tottenham are spending more money than Arsenal! Tottenham have a team there, and are in that group where they can win the league. You look at Arsenal, and they’re in the group with Leicester, Southampton, Everton, West Ham, a few others.

“People used to say ‘The Arsenal’… ‘How did The Arsenal do today?’ ‘Who have The Arsenal got today?’

“That’s gone. They just say Arsenal now. It was such a top club. Some of the teams they’ve had over the years have been phenomenal.

“I think it sums up the situation at Arsenal that Wolves can experiment in that game, and play a load of attacking players.

“That fear isn’t there anymore with Arsenal. I know Wolves played a back four the previous week, but let’s get one thing straight: Conor Coady wasn’t available in that game. This was Wolves experimenting.”

Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign, and they have failed to qualify for the Champions League in recent seasons.

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