Charlie Nicholas rates Arsenal’s Premier League top-four chances under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal are currently ninth in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta
Arsenal are currently ninth in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Charlie Nicholas admits he is ‘not convinced’ Arsenal will secure a top-four finish in the Premier League either this season or next.

The Gunners are currently ninth in the English top-flight – eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.

The 2019-20 season is set to resume on June 17 after a lengthy break due to the coronavirus crisis and first up for Arteta’s side will be a trip to defending champions Manchester City.

Nicholas believes Arsenal have improved since Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates but still doubts his former club will qualify for the Champions League any time soon.

‘Mikel Arteta was bringing something to Arsenal [before the enforced break],’ the Gunners legend told Sky Sports.

‘Yes, there were far too many draws and we were finding it hard to score goals at the start.

‘Am I convinced that the defenders at the club will be able to adapt and make it better? I’m not to be honest.

Gunners legend Charlie Nicholas
Gunners legend Charlie Nicholas (Picture: Getty)

‘We’re talking about David Luiz. William Saliba is coming in but he won’t be able to start until next season.

‘I think this period will have helped because the players needed time to get up to speed. But I still think they need a clear-out and new players to come in.

‘It should improve a bit but I’m not convinced it will improve enough to get Arsenal back into the top-four.’

Arteta was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City before joining Arsenal and must be given time to turn the Gunners around, according to Ian Wright.

The former Arsenal and England striker said: ‘If we’re looking at somebody as a coach with ambition and drive and determination then, without a shadow of a doubt, we’ve got the right person.

‘I think you can see that with the intensity, the energy and the passion that the players have got.

‘I did an interview with David Luiz the other day and when you listen to him speak about Mikel Arteta and what he wants and what he expects and the fitness and the drive that the players now have and you can see that there was a change at Arsenal.

Arteta replaced Unai Emery as Arsenal manager earlier in the season
Arteta replaced Unai Emery as Arsenal manager earlier in the season (Picture: Getty)

‘People are saying we’ve drawn a lot of games but there was a change in the output of the players, the intensity, the determination to try and execute the manager’s philosophy.

‘And I think, as time goes by, hopefully with help from the owners, he will be somebody that if he is stuck with which we probably will then we will be going in the right direction, without a doubt.

‘He’s somebody that’s driven to be successful. You can see that in him.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

MORE: Charlie Nicholas tells Mikel Arteta to sell two Arsenal players

MORE: Tony Adams admits he and Lauren ‘did not like’ each other at Arsenal

No comments