An ex-Arsenal star has said that his former side will crumble after Christmas following their best ever start to a Premier League campaign. The Gunners currently sit top of the standings after ten league games.
Arsenal have won nine of their opening ten PL fixtures, with their only defeat coming at the beginning of September against Man United. The result at Old Trafford is the only game Mikel Arteta’s team have dropped points in across all competitions, placing them top of both the PL and their UEFA Europa League group.
The Gunners have a four-point buffer over second place Man City, who lost at Anfield on the weekend and are only above Spurs on goal difference.
Arsenal have a relatively favourable run-in before the World Cup with fixtures against Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Wolves. The game against Forest represents Arsenal’s only home league game before the tournament in Qatar, with the trip to London rivals Chelsea the clear standout of the bunch.
Despite the decent set of matches before international duty, ex-Arsenal player Jermaine Pennant believes the Gunners will ‘cookie-crumble’ after Christmas, which coincides with the return of the Premier League after the World Cup.
Pennant praised the job Mikel Arteta has done with the squad so far, but has questioned whether Arsenal can maintain their form after the season’s break.
“I think that Arsenal, after Christmas, will cookie crumble like they did the year before to drop out of the Champions League spots,” said Pennant on The Sports Bar hosted by talkSPORT.
“What Arteta has done at Arsenal, where they were two, three seasons ago and what they are doing now, is absolutely amazing.
“We are giving Arsenal a lot of praise about where they are going and how they have conducted themselves in the first ten games. But it is all about will they maintain that, will they continue that after Christmas?
“We have seen a lot of teams come flying out the blocks and then as soon as the Christmas period comes and the games come thick and fast, they slip over easily.”
Oddly enough, it was Jason Cundy, who’s notorious for his somewhat hot-takes on Arsenal, that gave the Gunners some praise, albeit in typical Jason Cundy-fashion.
“Arsenal are there and they’re not going. They’re annoying, Arsenal,” said Cundy on the same show. “I was saying to the boys in the office, Arsenal are like that fly in the summer when you’ve got the windows and doors open, but he just flies around the house at a lazy pace and you’re like, ‘Come on, go! I’ve had enough now!’
“Then you go into the other room thinking he’s gone and he just follows you in and goes past you. You open the windows and try to force him out, but he keeps flying into the closed window!
“Go! Arsenal are like that annoying fly!”
The Gunners host PSV Eindhoven on Thursday in a Europa League tie that if they win, should effectively guarantee Arsenal top spot in their group.
The league-leaders then travel to St. Mary’s on Sunday to take on 18th place Southampton.