Jamie Carragher warns rivals to ‘closely’ watch Arsenal this season
Jamie Carragher suggests that Arsenal could be one of the outsiders challenging for a top-four finish this season
Jamie Carragher has claimed that Arsenal are worth “watching closely” in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
The north London side have bounced back from a difficult start to the new season by claiming 10 points from their last four games, a run which included three wins on the spin.
Mikel Arteta had initially found himself under intense pressure at The Emirates at the start of the season after the Gunners lost their first three games in a row.
However, Arsenal – who are not competing in Europe this season – have managed to find some form lately and have beaten Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham, before their goalless draw at Brighton last time out.
Arteta will be focused on trying to guide Arsenal back into the Champions League spots this season but the Gunners currently find themselves in 11th place in the table and four points adrift of fourth spot.
Former Liverpool FC defender Carragher has been impressed by what he has seen from Arsenal lately, and he thinks that the Gunners could be the main dark-horse challengers for a top-four finish this term.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Carragher said: “I can’t see anyone else breaking through [into the top four as things stand].
“We can already see which are the top four strongest Premier League teams. West Ham have had a good start, as have Brighton and Everton, but over the course of 38 games I am sure both clubs would take a Europa League place if it was offered right now.
“The team that I think is worth watching closely as the season evolves is Arsenal.
“If they can get the consistency into their young side, the lack of European football can be a massive help for Mikel Arteta as he spends more time with his players on the training ground.
“I think it is too soon for them to qualify for the Champions League, but of the chasing pack they may prove themselves best equipped to challenge.”
Arteta admitted that his side still have plenty of room for improvement after their 0-0 draw at Brighton at the weekend.
“We have to improve individually and collectively and prepare well because a roller-coaster is coming with the amount of games,” said Arteta after the game.
“I’m never happy with a point, but I don’t think we deserved anything more than that.
“We got a point because we defended really well in the last 15 or 20 metres of the pitch, and for the rest I think it was a game that we have to improve and do better in many other areas.”
Arsenal will host Crystal Palace after the international break on Monday week.