Ian Wright dismisses Arsenal’s top-four chances and highlights the one big problem

Ian Wright pundit, January 2022

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes the Gunners will not finish in the top four of the Premier League because they do not score enough goals.

The race to finish in the Champions League spots is wide open after Saturday. It is a three-horse race between Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United. However Wright says Arsenal are at a huge disadvantage because they cannot score goals.

That was on show again during the 1-0 defeat against Southampton. Fraser Forster was outstanding in the Saints goals. He pulled off some fine saves and denied Granit Xhaka at the death. Bukayo Saka was also denied by a point-blank save.

Arsenal on a shocking run

Arsenal have now lost the last three games on the spin. They have scored just two goals in the last five games and Wright says it will cost them.

On the same day, Manchester United struggled against Norwich. But Wright pointed to the fact that the Reds have Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese saved the day with a hat-trick to earn a 3-2 win.

It is what Arsenal are lacking. Wright can see what Mikel Arteta is trying to do but it is no use without someone to put chances away.

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“The problem is taking chances, they weren’t half chances, they were good chances,” he told Premier League Productions. “They needed a striker, we haven’t got that striker.

“He’s trying to do it through the way we are playing. They created chances, goalkeepers are playing well, but they are chances they should be taking.”

Despite Arsenal being on a shocking run they are still in the mix for the top four. Tottenham slipped up at home to Brighton when losing 1-0. United put themselves back in the mix with the Norwich win.

Arsenal are three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand. However the remaining fixtures are tough to say the least. The Gunners face Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham in the next three games. They also have to play Tottenham.

Wright backs Spurs and United

There is all to play for but Wright says Tottenham and Manchester United are ahead of Arsenal. And that is for one reason only.

“Look at Tottenham they are capable of scoring,” Wright added. “Man United have got Cristiano Ronaldo so you’ll always fancy them two to score goals. But Arsenal at the moment are not scoring enough goals.”

Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are joint top scorers with 10 goals apiece. Harry Kane leads the way for Spurs with 20 goals. Ronaldo has bagged 21 for United.

So once again it is the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January that looks like costing the Gunners.

READ MORE: Arsenal fail to close gap in top four race as fantastic Fraser Forster earns Southampton big win