Andy Townsend, a former Chelsea midfielder, has expressed skepticism about Arsenal’s ability to compete seriously for the English Premier League championship this season.
With a convincing 3-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday, the Gunners reclaimed first place in the Premier League standings.
Mikel Arteta’s team has won 18 of a possible 21 points, marking one of their finest starts to an EPL season in recent memory. They have only lost once this season, to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
However, Townsend does not consider them a strong title contender.
“I don’t believe they will be right up there when it matters, but I’m very impressed with what I’m witnessing right now,” Townsend told talkSPORT.
Former England striker, Alan Shearer also shared a similar sentiment as he opined that despite starting the season on a good note, they cannot be called title contenders yet.
However, Shearer acknowledged that the current Arsenal team is distinct from previous iterations.
“It’s not time to talk about them as title contenders yet, but people now know that this is a different Arsenal to the team we saw just 13 months ago,” Shearer wrote in his weekly column for the BBC.
“The Gunners’ 3-0 win at Brentford on Sunday epitomized their progress under Mikel Arteta because we all remember what happened in this fixture on the opening weekend of last season – when the Bees didn’t just beat them, they bullied them.
“Everything was different about Arsenal this time – in attack and defense, plus the way they controlled the game, and with their attitude and intensity. They ran out comfortable winners.”