Arsenal legend Ian Wright has spoken out on his former clubs top four chances and has hailed their recent form, however the Englishman believes they are not yet consistent and there still is a lot more to do in order to compete with the Premier League elite.
The Gunners initially picked up just four points from the first five Premier League games this season, and after the 8-2 annihilation to Manchester United Wenger dipped into the transfer market and now finally the new look Gunners side is gelling.
Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Chelsea highlighted Arsenal’s form even further after they recorded their eighth win in nine outings. Ian Wright believes the impressive turn around of results, which included Carling Cup quarter final progression and topping their Champions League group, proves his former club are heading in the right direction.
Speaking before Tuesday’s goalless draw with Marseille, the Arsenal legend told SunSport:
When we went to play against Manchester United, I was genuinely worried.
It simply wasn’t a good enough team to play against a United in that kind of form.
But with the line-up against Chelsea, this time I just felt confident.
With Van Persie playing, you really do feel differently going into games right now as an Arsenal fan.
He gives you that kind of confidence and I think the boys played pretty well in general against Chelsea.
People talk about how badly both sides defended, but I’m not really bothered about that. I’m more pleased with the fact Arsenal were able to come from behind.
It is a worry about how many goals they are conceding, but it was great to see them kick on again and again. It proves the fantastic character within the squad.
I don’t think you can say the corner’s been turned just yet.
Chelsea themselves — without taking any credit away from Arsenal, who I thought deserved to win — obviously have problems that look they’re going to go on for a bit.
It was a good time to play them, but now in the next few games is going to be when Arsenal can cement the fact that they are on a great run.
[on Arsenal conceding 21 goals in 10 games in the Premier League] Of course, the back four is still looking a little shaky.
But it’s one of those things where you just have to do the best with what you’ve got — and I think Arsenal are doing that now.
If they can work on being more defensive as a team, I think it will be fine.
Even with Van Persie scoring as often as he is and being a catalyst for everything, I still think it’s unfair to say it’s a one-man team.
Van Persie’s the one enjoying a purple patch at the moment but it’s a bit disrespectful to the rest of the team because they’re all trying just as hard.
Of course, if he wasn’t in there, I couldn’t see someone like Marouane Chamakh finishing a couple of the chances that Van Persie did against Chelsea.
You’d have to think there wouldn’t be as many goals if he wasn’t in the side, so although I think it’s unfair to say it’s a one-man team, you’d definitely notice if he wasn’t playing.
I’m a lot more confident about Arsenal finishing up in the top four now.
Of course, after the United result you were worried and teams were queuing up to play them.
Tottenham look very strong, but Chelsea could go off the boil for a bit and hopefully Arsenal can take advantage of that.
It’s going to be Manchester United, Manchester City and still possibly Chelsea — if the wheels stay on there — but that other spot is up for grabs.
Liverpool could also have a say, especially with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez showing signs of blossoming as a strike partnership, and then Arsenal will be there.
Considering the squad is thin, I think this season will be one of the biggest achievements if Arsenal can finish fourth because Tottenham will push them very hard.
You have to agree with many things that Ian Wright said, including the fact that Arsenal’s squad is very thin. It is full of ‘potential’ young players, however it lacks true depth in a variety of positions, namely the right and left back area and strikers. Despite this though the team has definitely worked harder as a defensive unit recently which has helped with the results, and if they continue to flourish defensively and in attack then they can finish in the top four IF our stars manage to stay injury free. Goal number one has to be beating Tottenham, number two is top four which are both very achievable and MUST be done. It all starts again this Saturday against West Brom at the Emirates, all three points are a must before the international break.