Ray Parlour rules Arsenal out of race for Champions League qualification

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

Mikel Arteta’s team are currently on a four-match unbeaten streak in the league (Picture: Getty)

Ray Parlour believes that Arsenal should be competing to finish in fifth or sixth place in the Premier League table this season, but thinks the top four is currently out of their reach.

The Gunners started the season with three consecutive defeats against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City, but have since bounced back to go four matches unbeaten, a run which included an emphatic 3-1 win over north London rivals Tottenham. 

Mikel Arteta’s side currently sit in eleventh place in the league after seven games following on from two back-to-back eighth placed finishes in the previous two seasons.

But former Arsenal midfielder Parlour thinks that the club can push themselves into a European spot this term, despite being held to a 0-0 draw against high-flying Brighton in their last match.

‘Before the game, if Arsenal got a win it would have been brilliant, but I would have taken a draw against Brighton. I’m going by being realistic,’ Parlour told talkSPORT.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal - Premier League

Parlour was satisfied with Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Brighton last time out (Picture: Getty)

‘Arsenal are not going to be in the top four this season, they’re competing for fifth and sixth. They’re still in the hunt alongside Everton, West Ham, Spurs. West Ham are flying at the moment, I’ve had a bet that Arsenal will finish above both West Ham and Spurs.’

Arsenal spent more than £150m on six new signings in the summer – the most of any Premier League club – but Parlour believes they must continue to invest if they hope to achieve success.

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‘I think they’ll have a good season and I think you have to give Mikel Arteta time. It’s a situation where they’ve got to keep investing, they’ve invested a lot of money in the summer, whether it’s the right investment [remains to be seen]. I think the back four will be very important. 

‘I was with [former Arsenal manager] George Graham yesterday, If this Arsenal team can get that back four right like it was in his era, get the goalkeeper right. If you can keep the current back four fit and keep it solid. He might have a chance this year Arteta.’

The Gunners will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday.


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