Mark Lawrenson comments on Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four

Mark Lawrenson is not sure that Arsenal have what it takes to finish in the Premier League's top four this season

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson has suggested that it remains unlikely that Arsenal will be able to secure a top-four finish this season.

The Gunners have been left with just Champions League qualification to play for this term after they were dumped out of both the FA Cup and League Cup in January.

Mikel Arteta has been tasked with steering the Gunners back into the top four this season as he looks to guide them back into Europe’s elite club competition.

The north London side currently find themselves in sixth place in the Premier League table and two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, with the Gunners having played a game less than the Red Devils.

However, Tottenham – who are currently level on points with the Gunners – would jump above all of their rivals if they were to win their games in hand.

Despite having just league positions to jostle for this season, former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson feels that Arsenal’s inconsistency is likely to end up costing them in the race for a top-four finish.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Lawrenson said: “There was an opportunity there for Arsenal, but even without the January transfer window you look at Arsenal and after a while you go same old Arsenal.

“They’ll win a few games, go unbeaten for seven or eight games and then go get turned over by somebody.

“I just don’t think there’s great mental strength in that team and I think in there lies the problem.

“There’s a lot of ability, but they keep having a hiccup and if you want to finish fourth in this league, then you can’t afford to do that.”

Gunners boss Arteta, however, feels that his side have a good chance of finishing in the top four this season, despite having one of the youngest squads in the English top flight.

“We have a squad full of enthusiasm and passion, but with the right amount of quality and experience as well, which I think is very much needed,” said Arteta.

“So we are really looking forward to [the run-in], we know what the aim is at the end of the season, where we want to be: it’s high but it’s possible and we’re going to have a real go in the second half of the season to achieve it.

“I am very confident because I see how much they want it, and we still have a lot of things to improve.”

Arsenal will travel to Wolves in the Premier League on Thursday night.

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