Arsenal are 'losing sight of top four' ahead of Man City clash, says Simon Jordan

Simon Jordan and Alan Smith discuss on The Debate whether Arsenal are still top-four contenders

Arsenal are "losing sight of the top four" and are "slipping down the pecking order" ahead of their Super Sunday clash with Manchester City, according to Simon Jordan and Alan Smith on The Debate Live.

The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since Arsene Wenger took over as manager in 1996 when they finished fifth last season.

They have won six of 10 games in the Premier League this season and sit fifth in the table, level on points with Chelsea and nine points behind leaders Manchester City.

But former Crystal Palace owner Jordan said on Friday's The Debate Live on Sky Sports Premier League: "Arsenal are losing sight of the top four, which they used to be part of.

"I am a great admirer of Arsene Wenger but everyone has their time and the DNA of this club needs to change slightly. They changed with Wenger from an Arsenal team that people ridiculed for being boring to a beautiful team that played, and sometimes overplayed, and now there has to be a change again.

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"The oxygen has gone out of Arsenal and it needed someone like a Diego Simeone to come in and give it a new energy and attract the elite players... I don't think they are what they were."

Former Arsenal striker Smith agreed with Jordan, saying: "They are in limbo. The fans aren't expecting any better than last season, they are always one game away from rebellion among the fans.

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"Have Arsenal lost some of their appeal to potential signings? From a football level, do players look at Arsenal and think 'where is that team going? Am I going to win silverware there?' Arsenal seem to be slipping down the pecking order."

Watch a preview of Sunday's Premier League fixtures including Manchester City against Arsenal, and Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea

Arsenal have not beaten one of their big five rivals on the road since they travelled to the Etihad nearly three years ago and beat City 2-0.

They did, though, draw at Chelsea earlier this season, and Smith hopes they can produce a repeat performance.

"It will be a fascinating clash on Sunday," he said. "How Arsene Wenger approaches the match in terms of the team he selects and the attitude he adopts, I hope it is a similar one to the one at Stamford Bridge, when we were all pleasantly surprised with their shape and the way they coped without the ball.

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"That day, [Alexis] Sanchez and [Mesut] Ozil weren't available, and [Alex] Iwobi and [Danny] Welbeck played either side of Lacazette and that played in Arsenal's favour.

"Iwobi and Welbeck are very disciplined, they funnelled up and down all day, and that is something that should have happened years ago. Will Sanchez and Ozil change the chemistry? Will it make Arsenal not as solid and resolute? We will probably see in the first 10 minutes on Sunday.

"The performance at Stamford Bridge was the template of how to approach big games."

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