Jamie Carragher has warned the Premier League top four that they must “watch Arsenal closely” this season as the ex-Liverpool defender reckons the Gunners could cause an upset. Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal are the Premier League outsiders to watch in the race for the top four this season.
The former Liverpool defender claims that Mikel Arteta’s men – despite opening up with three straight defeats – remain in contention for Champions League spots.
Already Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United look firmly entrenched as the top four favorites – having been tipped by bookmakers’ to lead the way at the start of the campaign.
The Gunners meanwhile had one of the worst starts to the Premier League ever, but have since gone four games unbeaten.
After 1-0 victories over Burnley and Norwich, Arsenal beat Tottenham in an emphatic 3-1 win in the North London derby, before drawing with Brighton in their last match before the international break.
Mikel Arteta’s side currently sits 11th in the table, with 10 points from their opening seven games.
And Carragher insists that, one month after being a club in crisis, no one should write Arsenal off.
Writing in the Telegraph, the ex-England international said: “We can already see which are the top four strongest Premier League, teams.
“West Ham have had a good start, as have Brighton and Everton, but over the course of 38 games I am sure both clubs would take a Europa League place if it was offered right now.
“The team that I think is worth watching closely as the season evolves is Arsenal.
“If they can get the consistency into their young side, the lack of European football can be a massive help for Arteta as he spends more time with his players on the training ground.
“I think it is too soon for them to qualify for the Champions League, but of the chasing pack they may prove themselves best equipped to challenge.”
Arteta’s side will be helped in their pursuit by not having to juggle European action this term, allowing the Spaniard more time on the training ground with his stars.
Arsenal will be looking to continue their recent run when they play host to Crystal Palace on October 18, following the end of the two-week international break.
The Eagles, under the new boss and ex-Arsenal man Patrick Vieira, are currently three points off Arsenal in the Premier League table.