Prior to last month’s international break, the Gunners looked odds-on to qualify for next year’s Champions League but successive losses to Crystal Palace and Brighton has left them trailing fierce rivals Tottenham by three points, albeit having played a game less.
Meanwhile, injuries to Thomas Partey and left-back Kieran Tierney, who is out for the rest of the season, has added to the problems that are piling up for manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the run-in.
However, former Arsenal star Merson thinks his old side are still in with a chance of pipping Tottenham to fourth place providing they can bounce back at Southampton this weekend.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ‘I still feel Arsenal have got a chance. Arsenal have got to go to Chelsea and Tottenham have still got to face Liverpool, which will be a different game. With Chelsea beating Southampton last weekend, that’s sort of cemented their top-four place.
‘What I would say is that the Arsenal players are at their ceiling. They’re playing as well as they can and there isn’t too much more in the locker. They had a day against Brighton where they dropped off that level and they got beaten.’
As Arsenal’s young guns have gone off the boil, Tottenham have been hitting form at the right time, winning their last two matches against Newcastle and Aston Villa, scoring nine goals and conceding just once in the process.
A rejuvenated Harry Kane has led Tottenham’s charge, along with his striker partner Son Heung-min, Despite their recent upturn in results, however Merson has warned Tottenham not to count their chickens just yet and anticipates a few more twists and turns.
He said: ‘I still feel Arsenal are in it because Tottenham have still got a Tottenham in them. I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but they still have got a Tottenham in them. Everyone was going mad about them but they could’ve been blown away in the first half against Aston Villa.
‘Villa should’ve been out of sight and they only have to have one of those days in the next seven weeks. The 4-0 win over Villa covered over the cracks. So I’m still not convinced by Tottenham. The top four is still very much on for Arsenal.’
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