Premier League • England

‘A lot has changed’; ex-Arsenal star reveals four key traits underpinning top-four push

Mikel Arteta press conference Arsenal manager before FA CUp tie with Nottingham Forest

Former Arsenal star Bacary Sagna has been impressed with the way Mikel Arteta has turned his season around and feels they could now finish in the top four.

The Gunners endured a tough start to the Premier League campaign, losing their first three games.That included an opening 2-0 reverse at top-flight new boys Brentford. The north Londoners conceded nine goals and failed to score to sit rock bottom of the table after three matches.

However, a 1-0 triumph over Norwich prompted a run of six wins and two draws. And, with 16 games to go, they are now just four points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United.

The Emirates outfit have three games in hand on both United and West Ham in fifth. Their fate is in their own hands and it looks set to be a tense run-in to the end of the season.

Sagna was less than complimentary about his old side during their struggles. But he admits he may have jumped the gun and is happy to eat humble pie.

“I was maybe a bit harsh on Arsenal after the beginning of the season after they lost the first three games,” he told bettingexpert, via

“Maybe the commitment wasn’t perfect, maybe they had some issues with some of the players having Covid. Maybe they just needed time because they were all at different stages of fitness, but since then a lot has changed.

“I think they have shown some character, they’ve shown some great team spirit. They have the right mentality and they have the right commitment.”

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Sagna wants more of the same

Arsenal have been praised for their attacking style over the past few months. The shackles have come off and there is the basis of an exciting team for Arteta to work with.

And Sagna, who played 284 times for the Gunners, has urged the side to continue in the same vein.

“So yeah, they totally deserve to be where they are today, and honestly, if they keep going that way, playing without any fear in them, keeping the strong basics they have at the minute, I think they have a chance,” he added.

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“To finish in the top two is difficult because you have Manchester City and Liverpool. But I believe they have a strong squad.”

Arsenal are next in action on Saturday when they will look to avenge their loss to the Bees.

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