Talkative pundit gives his verdict on Arsenal’s title challenge

Graeme Souness has dismissed Arsenal’s chances of challenging for the Premier League title this season despite the progress that they have made under Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners have become a better team since they made Arteta their latest manager as the Spaniard has transformed their performances.

They finished 8th on the Premier League table last season but ended the campaign by winning the FA Cup.

They have also won the Community Shield this season and they have started their campaign with three wins from three domestic games.

They will visit Liverpool next in the Premier League, a team that won the title and finished 43 points above them last season.

They beat the Reds in the Premier League during Project Restart as well as the Community Shield before this season started.

Souness has praised some of the club’s players, but he still doesn’t feel that the Gunners are ready to win the Premier League yet.

‘Arsenal are nowhere near challenging for the Premier League,’ Souness wrote in a column for The Times

‘They finished eighth, 43 points behind Liverpool, last season, and that’s not a gap that you close in one transfer window. 

‘The knockout tournaments are again their best chance of success this season. Trying to retain the FA Cup, a decent run in Europe and maybe the Carabao Cup.

‘I’ve always been a fan of Willian and have no fears that he still has a couple of years left at the highest.
 
‘The hardest players to get are the ones that score and create goals, but Arsenal have plenty of attacking options. 

‘Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are backed up by talented youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah. Keeping Aubameyang is a huge boost.

‘He was entering the last year of his contract, so they would have sold him at a discount and received nowhere near enough to buy a replacement of a similar standard. 

‘I still see a player in Nicolas Pepe, too, and I’m hoping he has a big year because he’s not really grasped the intensity and physicality of the Premier League yet. 

‘I also like the look of Bernd Leno, their goalkeeper, but none of their midfielders or back four would get anywhere near the Manchester City or Liverpool team, hence the points difference between them in the final table last season.’

Souness is ignoring the progress made, there is no way there will be a huge gap between Liverpool and Arsenal this season, it will close significantly in my opinion but pundits prefer the anti Arsenal narrative that seems to be criteria for being a pundit.

Tags Graeme Souness

34 Comments

  1. Deano says:

    Ex Spud hates Arsenal & always has an agenda against the club, he does make a valid point about the points gap & the title, we are imo looking more cohesive, prepared & better defensively than Manure or Chelski who I believe are the main rivals for top 4 then also rans of Wolves, Leicester & Everton oh & that club down the road who are paying £500k a week for a player who prefers the green than the pitch

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Deano, Graeme Souness is a Liverpool great. He had 2 years at Spurs but made no senior appearances.
      I do not believe he “hates Arsenal”, but despairs like many of us, that Arsenal has been a shadow of the Club, he played against.
      What did he say, other than to state his opinion, which in all honesty is difficult to disagree with?

  2. Declan says:

    I think Souness is spot on. Does anyone on here think we are better than Liverpool, Chelsea or City? We will be fighting spurs, Everton and Man U for 4th at best. As for an anti Arsenal agenda, its called being realistic.

    1. Declan says:

      Oh yeah, and Wolves and Leicester will be in the mix too.

    2. NY_Gunner says:

      @Declan
      Real Talk … He’s calling it straight. We might do better than last season and I’ll be happy if we do. But we’re still a work in progress.

    3. ACE says:

      Chelsea?

      All that money spent yet they still
      havent addressed the teams major
      deficiencies @ CB. Until they do
      expect more WB performances.

      And Pool HAMMERED them last
      week @ Anfield.

      Lets pump the brakes on Lampards
      crew.

      1. Sue says:

        Exactly!! Chelsea 😳

        1. AidanGooner says:

          Chelsea have a lot more quality in their squad than us; we’re three games into the season- their team is so different that of course they will have barely gelled. Souness is spot on- if we nick fourth we will have overachieved; and yes- defence and most certainly our midfield are way off a title winning side.

          1. Sue says:

            Ther defence is still suspect imo…..

  3. GunneRay says:

    As someone who has been very honest (and correct) about Arsenal over the years, he has a very valid point. Until the “proof is in the pudding” has been witnessed, we have wait and see. Personally, I agree with Souness based on fact we have not fixed the main issues within the current squad. The midfield has been weak for years and has not been addressed because we need to raise the funds first. If we can’t get players out, we can’t get players in. No sales, no buys! Souness is right!!!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  4. Deano says:

    OT Aouar has started for Lyon as Aulas said he would

  5. NWL Dan says:

    Although I agree that we are still not at the point to challenge for the league Souness has one of the most miserable, gloomy and negative characters in punditry. Apart from Roy Keene that is.
    Their faces could both become miserable emoji’s.

    1. Kev82 says:

      Well said NWL Dan 😂

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Still knows his football.

        1. NWL Dan says:

          I wasn’t questioning his credentials or knowledge. I agree with what he said.
          My problem with him is he is so miserable. Look at the photo of him above. That’s his cum face.

  6. Howard says:

    Lest we forget, Leicester won the title and no one tipped them. You can’t predict the future, you can only estimate and that’s what he was doing. Only God knows.

    1. CorporateMan says:

      Leicester capitalized on the weaknesses of the top teams to win the 2015/16 league. Weaknesses which we had a chance to cash in on with just a wee bit of seriousness.
      Such weaknesses I do not see in any of the top trams this term. If anything, they are all getting even stronger.

  7. Highbury Hero says:

    This is not last season. Last season is done and dusted. They finished 43 points above us so what? Did they start this season with 43 points? All teams started at 0 and that’s what is important.

    Why don’t they just give Liverpool the title then and save everyone from corona.

    1. David Rusa says:

      I really respect your wisdom HH. You reason in a very rational manner. I always get incensed when I read about a 43 point gap as if this a continuation of last season! What happened to common sense? This is a new season which does not take stock of the last one. I was amused at the way the so-called big boys were being bullied over the weekend. I am beginning to think that perhaps the big boys are greatly assisted by the strong fan base and in the absence of fans they are just ordinary. Time will tell.

  8. RSH says:

    He’s right that we are not ready yet but I dont think we are as far away as he thinks. We wont challenge for title but we CAN get top 4 if we get a couple more midfield signings in. I think the way Arteta sees the game is better than most managers in the league and he can get us top 4. It’s going to take something special to currently disrupt what LFC and City are doing, but winning the league is never easy. Arteta is trying to do more than just make a good team. He sees the entire organization needs a culture change. This is why he is pushing for investment, behind-the-scene changes, and doesnt tolerate certain attitudes in teh squad. Notice he will pick lesser talents over bad attitude players that dont give him what he wants. This is what is required to change a club culture. Keep going Mikel!

  9. Mohsan says:

    I think souness is one of the more logical and wise pundits then others out there. He is right we are not a title challenging team yet, if fans think we are then they are kidding themselves. The best outcome for us this season would be to finish in top 4, give our youngsters more exposure to football on highest level and keep progressing the team. Most of our team is young so if we keep developing them further and keep them together I bet in 2 years time we will be not only be challenging but will be winning some of the big prizes in football. We can then dominate for few years or be one of the favourites every year. We are definitely on right track just need to qualify for champions League and invest the money from champions League to buy few quality players in areas we lack also to keep our talented youngsters like Saka, Martenelli, Saliba, Gabi, Tierney so and so at the club.

  10. Howard says:

    I say Leicester won it and one ever thought of them winning.

    If we manage to beat or draw with Pool, Man City and ManU in upcoming games in October, we’ll be in the chase already despite our weaknesses.

  11. jon fox says:

    Admin MARTIN , A question for you. What amount of points would you consider to be a small gap and how many a large gap? I MUCH DISAGREE WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT WE WILL BE CLOSE TO LIVERPOOL. Closer than last season certainly but at least 15 -30 points behind them IMO.

  12. NWL Dan says:

    On another point but still relevant. Because of the lock down last season and having to play the remaining games in a short space of time, hardly any rest in pre season and the late start to this season meaning cramming in games. Tiredness and injuries are going to play a part towards the end of the season.
    Teams with depth in squad won’t suffer as much. As for the others managing player fitness could make or break a teams season.

  13. Matthew Shannon says:

    Pffft I’d take BELLERIN, Tierney and Gabriel over city’s lot right now and I reckon Gabriel would get in Liverpool’s back four. I think if we get Aouar in we will be in the hunt for the title and most certainly if we get both Aouar and Partey.

  14. Kev82 says:

    Haha Souny Mustafi would walk into that city team after what I saw today 😆😆😆 Souness is a hybrid Liverpool utd supporter he actually said utd look the real deal.. yeah of course who else wins a game that ends in a draw 😂 talking up city and Chelsea also I see nothing special with those 2 teams!

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      And yet people still refuse that we are challenging for the title.

      1. Kev82 says:

        Haters will hate Highbury hero! We concede 1 goal at home and our defence is still a Shambles.. city let in 5 and it’s City are lacking match fitness.. you couldn’t make it up.

  15. Reggie says:

    Cant argue with anything he says, its his opinion and he gives it as a pundit and not as an Arsenal supporter. Some fans cant or dont want to see our own weaknesses but non Arsenal fans can sometimes. Its upto the players to prove people like Souness right or wrong.

  16. Wealth🤷‍♂️ says:

    About being finished the league with 43 points behind Liverpool is not a point for me, Arsenal were really unstable last season, we changed 2 coaches before we eventually had Ma. I see lot of positivity in this team. Don’t be surprised when we finish 1st.
    And about Chelsea??.. He said we are not up to their standard… Please think deep before posting ur writings.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      He has to think deep about Man City too 😂😂😂. Seems there’s going to be a lot of deep thinking going around.

  17. David Rusa says:

    I am sorry to state this but it’s true that many people are lazy thinkers and only echo what others say. I have not seen enough to convince me that our team is far below the other big boys. In fact we are at par with the other big teams and still on the rise. Even if we lose to Liverpool today, which I doubt, we will still perform much better this season. If we get one more stellar signing we shall challenge for the title this season. What matters in winning titles is consistency which comes from team ethic, hard work, focus, team spirit and belief. I believe Arsenal is beginning to develop these ingredients because of Arteta. He may be an unknown quantity as of now but there is always a beginning to someone’s greatness. A young boxer Cassius Clay shocked the world when he beat a renowned professional to claim thevworkd heavyweight crown in 1962. In similar manner novice Arteta can shock everyone and win EPL this season. There is nothing impossible.

  18. David Rusa says:

    Corrections: should be “to claim the world—–“.

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