Patrice Evra ‘knew’ Arsenal would bottle Premier League top four | Football

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Arsenal have not finished in the top four since 2015-16 (Picture: Stadium Astro/Getty)

Patrice Evra has blasted Arsenal for missing out on the Premier League top four last term and says he knew it would happen as the squad ‘lacked character’.

The Gunners have failed to reach the top four the the past six seasons, finishing fifth in 2021-22 after a late collapse handed the final Champions League spot to north London rivals Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s side were thumped 3-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 12, which put Spurs one point behind them with two games to play.

But the Gunners would go on to lose to Newcastle four days later and despite victory over Everton on the final day, it was not enough as Tottenham held their nerve with wins over Burnley and Norwich.

It meant that Arsenal had to settle for the Europa League following back-to-back eighth-place finishes in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Manchester United legend Evra feels that the Gunners failed to make the cut due to a lack of character in the dressing room.

‘Personally, I knew they would not finish in the top four,’ Evra told Stadium Astro.

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Mikel Arteta faces a massive season as Arsenal look to reach the top four (Picture: Getty)

‘Not because I’m a Manchester United fan, but because they lack character.

‘This year, if they don’t finish in the top four [again], people will say it is not a successful season.’

Tottenham wing-back Ivan Perisic also felt it was ‘obvious’ Arsenal would not finish in the Premier League top four last term after their defeat to Spurs.

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Champions League winner Ivan Perisic joined Tottenham this summer (Picture: Getty)

Perisic moved to Tottenham this summer and revealed that he had his first contact with boss Antonio Conte in March, with their second conversation coming after the north London derby when it was clear Spurs would beat Arsenal to fourth.

‘I think our first contact was in March,’ Perisic told Sky Sports. ‘And the second one was when I think they won against Arsenal, and it was obvious that maybe they’re going to reach the Champions League.

‘I always wanted to play in the Champions League and my wish was also to try to come to the Premier League.

‘When they reached the Champions League, we spoke and the deal was done in two days, and it was much easier.’

Tottenham impressed under Antonio Conte last season and after a strong transfer window many are tipping them to challenge for the Premier League title, including Gary Neville.


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