Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has claimed Arsenal’s upcoming fixtures are too difficult for them to secure a top-four finish this season.
Mikel Arteta‘s side have suffered three successive Premier League defeats, falling to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton – a run of games that has seen them drop to sixth in the Premier League standings. The Gunners now find themselves three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and level on points with Manchester United, who boast the better goal difference.
The Red Devils will travel to the Emirates Stadium next week and Hargreaves has now admitted that neither side are consistent enough to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. “Fixture-wise, it’s tough for Arsenal,” he told Premier League Productions.
“They struggled against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton. They’ve got Chelsea, Man United, West Ham, Leeds and Tottenham coming up.
“Looking at Arsenal’s fixtures I’m saying no. I know they’re close but if you’re losing and not scoring against Palace, Brighton and Southampton, you’re going to struggle.
“It’s made it really difficult for them. Tottenham are still in the driving seat because they’re ahead.
“Arsenal have that game in hand but I think Arsenal will fall short with the fixtures they’ve got. Manchester United are just too inconsistent.
“Tottenham should be able to get the job done.” Former Spurs frontman Darrent Bent then weighed in, urging Hargreaves to not count Arsenal out considering how inconsistent all the competing teams have been.
Bent added: “You can’t rule Arsenal out because as we’ve seen, the teams around them are inconsistent. Spurs are inconsistent, so are United.
“Arsenal have still got the opportunity but they need to find some consistent form from somewhere. You can’t be losing three games in a row.
“After that run they shouldn’t really been anywhere near it but the fact is they are because the race for the top-four has been so poor. We’ve seen that Tottenham are capable of going on a run and I expect them to do that.
“It’s still in Spurs’ hands because Arsenal and United are so inconsistent.”