Former Gunner Paul Merson claims that Arsenal could have wrapped up the Premier League if they won away at Everton last weekend.
THE LOWDOWN: MISSED CHANCE
Mikel Arteta faced off against an Everton side with the new manager bounce following Sean Dyche’s appointment following the sacking of Frank Lampard from the Goodison Park dugout.
Arsenal lost on the afternoon, putting their chances of winning the Premier League at risk. Luck was on their side, however, as defending champions, Manchester City failed to capitalise and lost their opportunity to cut the lead to two points.
The Gunners are still five points clear at the top but have a tough run of games to maintain or increase their lead, starting with Brentford this weekend, and then Manchester City during the coming week.
THE LATEST: MERSON BACKS ARSENAL IN TITLE RACE
Paul Merson rues the missed opportunity by Arsenal to extend their lead after the Everton loss, claiming that the league would have been wrapped up if Arteta’s side came away with a win on the day.
He also positively spoke about the club’s chances of winning the league while pushing Arteta to keep doing what he is doing.
Merson told Sky Sports: “Arsenal would have won the league on Saturday with a win at Goodison Park. With what happened with Man City at Tottenham on Sunday, it would have all been wrapped up in my opinion.
“They are the fine margins you are dealing with at this stage of the season.
“There are ways of losing. How Arsenal lost at Man Utd earlier in the season was unlucky and I thought they deserved something from the game. However, against Everton, they didn’t deserve anything.
“Arsenal were not moving the ball like they usually do. Martin Odegaard was taking too many touches on the ball, which is unlike him.
“They were not popping the ball about quickly and their play was slow.
“I said before the game that if Arsenal turned up with the right attitude, they’d win 3-0, but if they didn’t have the right attitude, I thought they’d get beat.
“I’m not sure what they expected? It was pretty obvious what they were going to get from Sean Dyche’s Everton. It just didn’t look like they were up for the game.
“This is no time to panic for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, however.
“It was the perfect game for Everton and the worst possible game for Arsenal. Goodison Park was back to what it was like when I used to go there in my career.”
THE VERDICT: STILL HOLD THE ADVANTAGE
Arsenal still hold the advantage at the moment and the next two fixtures could go on to decide the title race a great deal. If the Gunners can beat Brentford at the weekend and also claim a result against Manchester City, the title could well be theirs to lose.