Glen Johnson makes prediction about Arsenal’s title hopes this season
Glen Johnson delivers an honest assessment on Arsenal's hopes of winning the Premier League title this season
Glen Johnson is expecting to see Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge “fade away” in the latter stages of the season despite their impressive start to the new campaign.
The Gunners have earned plenty of praise for their promising form so far this term and they currently find themselves top of the Premier League table, having won all but one of their seven games so far.
The only blip on their record this season is their 3-1 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier in September, but the north Londoners bounced back from that loss with a 3-0 win at Brentford.
Arsenal have not lifted the Premier League trophy since their famous unbeaten triumph under Arsene Wenger in the 2003-04 campaign – and the closest they have come recently to the title was in the 2015-16 campaign, when they finished second and 10 points behind champions Leicester City.
Former Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC star Johnson has been impressed by what he has seen from Mikel Arteta’s men this term, but he doubts that the Gunners will be able to sustain a title challenge throughout the whole season – unless they spend big on strengthening their squad in the January transfer window.
“They’ve started very strong and I think they surprised most people the way they’ve come out the blocks,” Johnson told The Daily Express.
“I don’t think they’ll have the squad or the character to sustain a proper title challenge until the end. I think they will for a while, but it’s so tough to do that across a whole season.
“I expect them to be there or thereabouts but I think they will fade away. I’d just put that down to having a slightly lighter squad, but if they strengthen and get a couple of people in they might have the legs to take it to the end.”
Johnson added: “Some of the youngsters I think [will be important]. Gabriel Jesus has been amazing and it still shocks me that Manchester City let him go, to be honest.
“He’s always going to score goals and works his socks off. I just think as long as the young kids, like [Bukayo] Saka, keep performing then they’re going to go far.”
Arsenal’s title credentials are set to be put to the test on Saturday when the Gunners welcome north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to The Emirates.
It’s the first meeting between the two bitter rivals since Spurs claimed a 3-0 win over the Gunners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in May to all but seal a top-four finish ahead of Arsenal last season.
Arsenal appear to have been handed some positive news on the injury front ahead of Saturday’s clash, with Football.London reporting that both Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney are set to be available for the north London derby.
The pair both missed the 3-0 victory over Brentford but are on course to be ready for the visit of the Lilywhites, according to the website report.
However, there have been concerns about midfielder Thomas Partey’s fitness after he returned to Arsenal from international duty with Ghana early due to a suspected knee injury.