Danny Murphy has backed Arsenal to defy the odds this season and secure a place in the top four.
Throughout the second half of the Arsene Wenger era, the north Londoners were regular fixtures in the top four – finishing in either third or fourth place.
The Gunners slipped out of the top four in Wenger’s penultimate season at the Emirates – the 2016/17 campaign – and haven’t come close to returning there since.
Despite lifting the FA Cup at the end of the 2019-20 season, Arsenal’s eighth-placed finish has seen many write off their chances of re-entering the top four.
Murphy, however, disagrees with that notion and wholeheartedly believes the progress the Gunners have made under Mikel Arteta has teed them up for a return to the perch they so often occupied.
“I have been really impressed with Arteta and what he has done at Arsenal in such a short space of time,” he told the Football Index Podcast.
“Even last season, you could immediately see the identity that he is trying to build on the pitch.
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“The Arsenal team under Unai Emery was a joke, an absolute joke, but Arteta came in and organised them straight away.
“To win the FA Cup and Community Shield has also bought Arteta a lot of time to implement his ideas and get the right players into the squad.
“It silenced any doubters about his lack of managerial experience too.
“It’s big progress for Arsenal but I hope their fans don’t get carried away talking about winning the Premier League again.”
Arsenal will be back in action this evening, locking horns with Premier League title hopefuls Manchester City at the Etihad.