Merson fears for Gunners
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Merson has told Sky Sports News his old club might struggle to finish fourth.
Paul Merson fears Arsenal will fail to make the Champions League without Thierry Henry.The former Highbury favourite says it is 50-50 whether they, or bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur grab that fourth and final qualification place in the 2007-08 Premier League.
Merson, who scored 98 goals in 427 appearances for the Gunners, applauded the arrival Eduardo da Silva from Croatia Zagreb - but still fears his old side will fall short having flogged Henry to Barcelona.
"Arsenal worry me this season," he told Sky Spors News. "They worry me immensely.
"I honestly think it's heads or tails for them to finish fourth - and for Arsenal not to get into the Champions League with the new stadium would be a nightmare.
"I just worry for Arsenal. Tottenham have bought well - I know they paid over the top for Darren Bent, but it's not his fault. It will be between them and Arsenal as to who will finish fourth."
Da Silva, a Brazilian-born Croatian, has signed a four-year deal at the Emirates for an undisclosed fee .
Merson believes he is talented enough to succeed in the Premier League, but admits that Henry's boots will be almost impossible to fill.
"They had to get someone in to replace for Henry but this is a horrible one for the lad to do because he's got to replace the best centre-forward in the world, no doubt about that," he said.
"It's not fair on the lad to come in and replace him. He's a decent player, we've seen him enough times and there's no question he's decent.
"But to come in and fill the boots of Henry is just phenomenal. I do feel sorry for him and I hope people won't judge him on that."