Arsenal are being tipped to fall apart in the title run-in with one observer explaining why Mikel Arteta’s side might not even finish in the top two this season.
The Gunners have enjoyed an excellent season to date, only this week losing their position as Premier League table-toppers. At one stage eight points clear, Arsenal have now seen their advantage dissolve to nothing following just one point taken from their last three games.
The most recent defeat – a 3-1 home reverse to Manchester City – saw Pep Guardiola’s side usurp the Gunners as Premier League leaders. And while Arsenal do still have a game in hand, City are experienced hands at closing out a title race.
Perhaps just as worrying, Alan Shearer felt one Arsenal star was found out in the game. And he revealed his fears that the player in question ‘won’t sleep tonight’ following the game.
Indeed, they have won the title in four of the past five seasons – and can make it three title triumphs in a row if they win it this year.
Lurking away in the background, though, are Manchester United. Erik ten Hag has worked wonders with the squad this year, pushing them back into top-four contention following a brilliant run of results.
Having beaten Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City at Old Trafford, United appear on their way back to the top.
And while Ten Hag’s side look unlikely title contenders, a continuation of their run of results could yet see a huge surprise.
As it stands, Manchester United are currently third and five points adrift of the top two.
However, amid Arsenal’s recent loss of form, talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan has explained why he fears for Arteta’s side.
Simon Jordan tips Arsenal to fall apart in title race
Assessing their worrying results of late, he can see Arsenal continuing to slide down the table. And while Arteta’s side deserve credit for their performances this season, he thinks they will soon also be overtaken by Manchester United too.
“I thought the atmosphere was exhilarating. The Arsenal fans, the Arsenal players and the Arsenal manager are all aligned,” he said on talkSPORT.
“No longer can you make allegations of the Emirates being a library. This is a proper football stadium and proper football fans getting behind their side. So the atmosphere, certainly when they got back in the game and equalised, it was absolutely off the charts – as good as you’ll see anywhere.
“But how much did the title pendulum swing back in City’s favour? I think probably quite a long way.
“I think ultimately Arsenal wouldn’t have needed to be so dependent on that result if they had taken care of Brentford and Everton perhaps the way they should have done.
“What you saw was a difference between two sides. One side carried an impending threat all the time through Erling Haaland and De Bruyne. But the other side, at times Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli have done very well at this during the season, but they didn’t have the same threat.
“There was also a calmness about City, even when they were being put under pressure. And Arsenal were the architects of their own downfall from goals they conceded and the chances they missed.
“They were very much in this game. The second-half performance was a bit more dominant from City. But Arsenal had some real gilt-edged chances to score that they didn’t take.”
Gunners to finish behind Man Utd, says Jordan
Jordan, however, believes that while Arsenal might not win the title this season, he claims they can do so in the next couple of years.
However, as far as the 2022/23 campaign goes, he fears they could now finish third behind Manchester United.
“This is not the Man City side of previous years. They are not as good as they once were. They are not as sophisticated, as slick or as dominant of the ball.
“Some of that is down to Arsenal. But some of that is down to the fact Man City aren’t quite where they once were. Not that Arsenal will want to hear that.
“There is no doubt in my mind watching Arsenal [on Wednesday] and the nature of the fans’ support that this is a side that will inevitably win the Premier League title in the next couple of years.
“They’re a good side, a good unit, a well-coached team, but I don’t think they will do it this season.
“And I think they might even get pipped by Manchester United for second spot.”
Arsenal face former manager Unai Emery and Aston Villa in their next game. And anything less than three points at Villa Park will confirm the title jitters have truly set in.