Gunners legend Paul Merson says Arsenal are “millions of miles” away from winning the Premier League title.
Mikel Arteta’s side sit at the top of the table having won their opening five games against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Fulham and Aston Villa.
But they face a much bigger test on Sunday when they travel to top four rivals Manchester United – and Merson believes his old club aren’t quite ready to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool – who have dominated in recent years.
Arsenal have not finished in the top four for six straight seasons and last won the top flight in 2004.
“No club [Arsenal or Manchester United] will lift the title soon,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“The Gunners may have 15 out of 15, but in my opinion they’re a million miles from winning the league.
“However, what they don’t want is a defeat at United – and all of a sudden all those clichés about them come back.
“Here We Are Again,” “Same Old Arsenal,” and headlines about being no more than “flat track bullies.” It doesn’t take long for the mood in football to change.
“The Emirates are louder than ever at the moment, the fans are 100% with the team. But lose to United and Arsenal face even tougher games against Tottenham and Liverpool.
“Mikel Arteta’s side have earned the right to ensure they leave Manchester – with at least a point – thanks to their perfect month. You don’t have to hunt anything.
“Don’t get hit… those Spurs and Liverpool games take care of themselves. There’s actually nothing wrong with being flat-track bullies – as long as you can get something against the big boys.
“Liverpool did that last season and were a point away from winning the title. It shows what can be achieved by holding your own with the top six clubs and winning games that you should.’
Merson feels the top four “must be the goal” for Arsenal this season, having relinquished Champions League football to Tottenham following their late collapse last season, with them coming towards the end of 2021-22 with bad results finished fifth.
“Even if the top 4 – which must be Arsenal’s goal – are just behind them, I would expect the board to go with Arteta again,” he added.
“After all, what other manager could lure the quality of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to North London… without Champions League football.
“It’s incredible that he got this world-class couple to sign for us – and what a difference they make.”
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