Robert Pires claims Arsenal CAN finish in the top four after getting their season back on track… as he insists his old side will be ‘ready to go toe-to-toe with the great English clubs’ when Mikel Arteta has finally built his team
- Arsenal are on a strong run in the Premier League after a dismal start to the term
- The Gunners have picked up 16 points from a possible 18 in their last six matches
- Mikel Arteta’s side sit ninth in the Premier League with much still to play for
- Arsenal face old foes Manchester United at the Emirates next on Saturday
Arsenal legend Robert Pires is highly optimistic about the club’s future, claiming the Gunners can still finish inside the top four despite a dismal start to the Premier League season.
Just before Christmas, Arsenal found themselves only points above the relegation zone but victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day has transformed their season recently.
The Gunners have picked up 16 points from their last six matches, and they have since risen to ninth in the Premier League – seven adrift of Liverpool in fourth.
Arsenal head into their clash vs Man United in confident mood after their recent hot streak
And while Pires understands that it will still be a difficult task to secure Champions League football this season via the Premier League, he still believes that Arsenal – who host old foes Manchester United on Saturday evening – can grab a top four spot if they continue their fine run until the end of the season.
Pires told the Sun: ‘Mikel is young and needs time to implement his ideas but I believe that once he has built his team, Arsenal will be competitive and ready to go toe-to-toe with the great English clubs.
‘It’s hard but I would not even rule out that they finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League this year because things change quickly in the league.
‘If I see Liverpool having tough periods, I’m telling myself there is an opportunity for Arsenal to grab. They only need to get back to winning ways and then maintain the consistency. Then anything can happen.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping the loan arrival of Martin Odegaard can boost Arsenal’s fortunes
Arsenal legend Robert Pires says a top four finish isn’t out the equation just yet for the club
‘It’s imperative the supporters stay patient because Arsenal are in transition but the club’s future under Arteta looks bright.’
Following Arsenal’s horrid start to the Premier League campaign, there were big question marks over the credentials of Arteta.
But he has since answered those critics and Pires, who won two Premier League titles and as many FA Cups in north London, believes Arteta is definitely the right man to rebuild Arsenal thanks to his experience playing at the top level and his understanding of the club.
Arsenal Invincible Pires also urged the Gunners to tie down Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to long-term deals at the Emirates.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have shone for Arsenal during their recent upturn in form
Saka, who last year signed a new deal until 2024, and Smith Rowe have been integral in Arsenal’s upturn in form and there are high hopes they can have huge futures at the club.
‘I like the youthful exuberance and freshness of the academy players coming through,’ Pires added. ‘The number of homegrown players ruffling feathers in the first team is really positive.
‘Smith Rowe and Saka can make a big impact and the club must, at all costs, offer them long-term contracts.’
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