Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Carragher: Arsenal no longer favourites to finish fourth

Jamie Carragher - Jamie Carragher Posted 7th April 2014 view comments

Jamie Carragher says Arsenal's shortage of pace means they are no longer the favourites to finish fourth.

Arsene Wenger's side were beaten 3-0 by Everton on Super Sunday, a result that takes Champions League qualification out of their own hands as Roberto Martinez's side are just one point behind them with a game in hand.

Arsenal: Champions League qualification now out of their hands

Arsenal: Champions League qualification now out of their hands

Arsenal have spent 128 days on top of the Premier League this season, but Sky Sports expert Carragher now thinks there is a real possibility that they won't finish inside the top four - and he pointed to their slow play as the main reason.

He told Monday Night Football: "We knew the Everton game was always going to be a tough game. You can easily lose there - anyone can - because it's a tough place to go.

"It's the way they lost that's worrying. You watch that Arsenal team now and when I think of an Arsene Wenger team I think of power and pace.

"Watching this team I look at it and think it's weak and slow. That would be worrying. No matter who you play, if you haven't got that pace and strength in your team mentally and physically, even if the fixtures are kind it's going to be difficult for them.

"That's probably one of the slowest Arsenal teams I've seen under Arsene Wenger and that's a massive worry for them.

"With the energy Everton showed in that game I think you would probably have to say they were favourites - but I will change my mind next week!"

Never disappointed

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville agrees there is a real possibility that Arsenal could fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1996.

They have reached for Europe's top club competition in each of Arsene Wenger's 16 years in charge and Neville suspects that run will continue because Everton have a trickier run-in with Manchester City still to visit Goodison Park.

However, he says Arsenal's form - the fourth worst in the Premier League in the last six games - suggests they could fall short.

Neville said: "They've never disappointed us in seasons gone by in seeing the job out and recovering. They have shown spirit.

"You just wonder whether this could be one season too far and whether Everton have got such a momentum with them.

"My gut instinct still tells me Arsenal will hang on in there because of their fixtures against Everton's, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was finally the year that Arsenal didn't get into the Champions League space.

"At the moment, the signs are there and it's worrying."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Martin Tyler

Tyler: We need Stevie's values

Steven Gerrard can inspire the next generation of England stars even in retirement, says Martin Tyler....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Real Madrid sign James Rodriguez for £63m, Steven Caulker joins QPR and Stoke snap up Bojan Krkic from Barcelona.

Liverpool 'bigger than Suarez'

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Woodward: United lead the way

Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward insists the club are still the biggest in the world.

Remy having Liverpool medical

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Loic Remy with the French forward reportedly having his medical in Boston.

QPR sign Caulker from Cardiff

QPR have signed Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker on a four-year deal for a fee of £8.5million.

Features

James Rodriguez is a Real Madrid player for £63million - now Carlo Ancelotti must work out how to fit him in

James Rodriguez is a Real Madrid player for £63million - now Carlo Ancelotti must work out how to fit him in

“Why put another layer of gold plate on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”

Steven Gerrard international retirement: England captain deserves our admiration and will be missed in midfield

Steven Gerrard international retirement: England captain deserves our admiration and will be missed in midfield

“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often.