Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes that the time has come for a power shift in North London and predicts that the Gunners would finish below Tottenham for many years beginning from this season.
His prediction would surely annoy the Arsenal supporters but there’s no doubt that his words are absolutely true. It has been a horrible performance from the Gunners this season and have as usual imploded just when they needed to step up to the next level.
They lost to Chelsea in a must-win game, lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in a pathetic manner, and are at 6th place behind the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. Their chances of finishing in the top-4 look extremely thin now, with their failure to beat Manchester City over the weekend.
With uncertainty surrounding the legendary Arsene Wenger, club legend Paul Merson has hit out at Arsenal and praised Tottenham for the way they have carried themselves over the last two years.
Surely, it is wonderful to hear such words about Tottenham from an Arsenal legend and this clearly indicates the amount of frustration the Arsenal faithful are under. Merson, who scored 99 goals in 425 games for Arsenal, speaking to The Mirror, raged:
“How does it make me feel? It sickens me. Yes, the players are letting the boss down, but Wenger brought all these players in. It’s a nice place to play football, but you don’t want that. When I was at Arsenal, there was a fight every week. You would be training and there would be two players rolling around on the floor.
“Can you imagine sitting in that dressing room after losing at West Brom the other week and waiting for Conte, Mourinho, Fergie or George Graham to walk in? There would have been absolute mayhem. Look at Sunday – Theo Walcott scored to make it 1-1 and you would have thought it was the pre-season Emirates Cup in July.
“If they all cared, they would have run over to the manager and jumped all over him in a show of togetherness. It looks like there is a split. For the second goal, Sanchez called everyone over — but not everyone joined in.”
“Look at Man United in their prime. Every goal they scored, they jumped on each other and Rio Ferdinand, who had run the length of the pitch, was on top of them all. Before the game, the players should have got together and said, ‘Our boss is in trouble here and he has backed us’, or even worn a T-shirt. But how many of them have come out and said they are right behind him?”
Paul Merson believes that the North London Derby on 30th of April could spell the end of an era. He said:
“Arsenal won the title there twice, but that could be the day when they go to White Hart Lane for the last time and it cements Spurs finishing in the top four and Arsenal are out of it.
“Tottenham are flying high and Arsenal are flying down. I know it’s been 21 years since Spurs finished above Arsenal but this season is not going to be a one-off. I don’t think Arsenal will finish above Tottenham for the next five years. I don’t see how it will stop unless Spurs have to sell players to pay for their new stadium.
“Of this Arsenal team, only Sanchez would get in the Tottenham side, and it is so worrying the way Spurs have got a plan. Every other week you see Mauricio Pochettino with a new player signing a deal, but Arsenal seem to be going the other way – eight players out of contract and their two best players by a million miles could soon be out of contract. I think Sanchez will be at Chelsea next season. It’s happened before – Arsenal sold Robin van Persie to Manchester United and they won the league [in the Dutchman’s debut season].”
This finally looks like the season where Tottenham claim the bragging rights over Arsenal and rule North London for many more years to come. The club are in great shape, and the players seem keen to be part of the club’s brand new project. The signs are good and the glory days don’t seem to be too far away.