Paul Merson issues bold Arsenal statement after North London Derby performance

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Paul Merson has issued a pretty bold verdict on what Arsenal are capable of this season.

Just a matter of weeks ago, it was panic stations for the Gunners as they started the season with three consecutive defeats.

But after four straight wins across all competitions, including a romping of north London rivals Tottenham, things are looking up for Mikel Arteta and his men.

And on the back of that upturn in form, former star Merson has been speaking about what the Gunners might be capable of this season.

The Sky Sports pundit is rather hopeful, too, suggesting that Arteta’s men have the talent to finish as high as the top four this term.

“If Arsenal keep those players fit and they play every week, they would have a chance of getting in the top four and cause problems,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team.

“The game on Sunday was their bread and butter – but if they win away at Brighton on Saturday, then I will sit up. They need to get a run of games together.

“This is a good XI but, if they get injuries, they are going to struggle as there is not much after that. But from what I’ve seen the last few weeks, fair play to them

“They have set themselves a yardstick now. They’ve put the bar there – now good teams stay at that level.”

Arsenal do have a much more talented squad this season, but top four might be a little too hopeful from Merson.

Just a matter of weeks ago, the Gunners were putting awful performances in to start the season, and since then, Tottenham, with no disrespect to the others, are the only high-quality team they have beaten.

That feels like too quick a turnaround to get quite so hopeful so soon, and Arsenal will need to prove they can put on these sorts of performances consistently if they are going to reach the top four, which is far more likely to include Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

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