Arteta on Arsenal's top four ambitions after Wolves win
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Paul Merson believes Arsenal are now the favourites for fourth in light of their dramatic 2-1 victory in the dying embers against Wolves last week. The former Gunners midfielder is never usually shy to criticise his old side but this time around, he believes they have what it takes to go the distance and secure the return of Champions League football.
With Manchester City and Liverpool now riding off into the distance and Chelsea boasting games in hand, the top-four race has simply become a question of fourth.
There are plenty of teams in the running including Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham, Tottenham and potentially even Wolves – despite recent defeats.
Arsenal were facing a major setback last time out in the Premier League when Wolves led at the Emirates Stadium before late goals from Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette flipped the game on its head.
Now Merson views Arsenal as favourites, permitting they can remain on track and maintain their recent form.
“Arsenal are heading for the top four,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star. “The way they won the Wolves game at the end was big and there’s a bit of unity now.
The fans are onside and winning that game seems to have energised everyone.
“They have nice fixtures too from now until the end of the season and no one else is mounting a serious challenge are they?
“West Ham are a bit hit and miss, Tottenham are all over the place, Manchester United are a shambles, and Wolves just lost at the Emirates. Arsenal have to be the favourites to sneak into fourth now.”
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The Gunners are just two points adrift of fourth-place Manchester United but have played three games less.
Mikel Arteta’s side have shown an impressive consistency since finding their feet at the start of the campaign.
They were bottom of the pile after three matches having lost all of their opening three encounters.
Arteta was feeling the heat after the 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City in August but now the Spaniard is showing his credentials by leading Arsenal back towards Europe.
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A number of his summer signings have been influential including England duo Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White.
Edu Gaspar’s recruitment record has been questioned in the past but the Brazilian and Arteta got it right last summer – a streak they’re looking to continue.
Arsenal travel to relegation-battling Watford on Sunday as they look to take another step towards Champions League football.
The Gunners have enjoyed a prolonged period of rest and have not featured since beating Wolves on February 24.
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