Arsenal were hot favourites to keep their Fourth place in the Premier League when they were sitting pretty with two games in hand, but suddenly all confidence has drained away after consecutive defeats to Crystal Palace and out ofform Brighton.
They have a chance to regain a bit of momentum if they beat Southampton next weekend, but the Gunners have some very tough fixtures waiting for them before the end of the season. Ray Parlour has been very optimistic that Arteta would steer Arsenal to the Champions League up til now. Just a few weeks ago the Arsenal legend said: “I actually think Arsenal should have one eye on Chelsea as I think they could even finish in third place, if a couple of results go their way. It’s definitely worked in Arsenal’s favour that we can focus purely on that race to finish in the top 4.”
But these recent defeats have dampened his confidence somewhat, and this week he told Talksport: ‘It’s been a bad week for Arsenal and being an Arsenal fan,’
‘But look, they’ve got a chance. Look at the table, they’ve got a game in hand.
Goal difference is going against them because Spurs are doing so well.
‘You’ve just got to believe in yourself. As a player you’ve got to sit in that dressing room and say, “Come on lads, we’ve still got a great chance, we’re in a great position, let’s give it everything we’ve got till the end of the season and see what happens.”
‘Whether they’re good enough, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.
‘They’ve got Chelsea coming up, some big, big games. I think that week where they’ve got Chelsea, Man United and West Ham, they’ve got to probably get seven points out of those games probably, to give them a chance.
‘Whether that’s going to happen, we’ll wait and see.
Something will certainly have to change obviously to even get the win against Southampton, but Parlour is under no illusion who should be the favourites now…
‘Tottenham have got Brighton next, Brentford, Leicester then Liverpool.” Parlour continued. ‘They’re in pole position now. They’re probably massive odds-on favourite to get fourth place. That’s what it is.’
Well, maybe Brighton could beat them after our defeat, and Brentford are in very good form too. There could still be many twists and turns on the rollercoaster. Hold on to your hats!
Video – Mikel Arteta post-Brighton “It’s time to criticise ourselves”