ARSENAL, the invincible Lauren, pushed Arsenal to finish in the top four this season, believing the Gunners are “capable” of ensuring Champions League football.
Mikel Arteta’s side were at the bottom of the league after three games of the season, but Lauren thinks they could have WON the league if not for the bad start.
But after the club’s worst start to the season in 58 years, the 44-year-old former right-back believes that finishing in the top four is now the main goal.
The Arsenal man with 159 caps told the Mirror: “They have to, we still have to put pressure on each other, both individually and collectively, to reach the Champions League places.
“That’s what I believe. You always have to set yourself high goals. They have to try to come back to the Champions League next season and then build on that for the following years because it makes such a difference to get into the top four.
“There’s Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and then maybe there’s an open place. Reality says you can’t fight for the league.”
Two-time Premier League winner Lauren believes the Gunners can meet the challenge of Manchester United, Tottenham, West Ham and Leicester.
He continued: “There are still a lot of points but Arsenal showed it with some of the screens before Liverpool, I think this team can reach the Champions League places.
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“This team can come back to the Champions League and from there they can start building to start something.
“But the goal has to be to get into the Champions League because the reality is that if they hadn’t started so slowly, maybe they could have won the championship.
“But the goal now should be to reach the Champions League positions. I think this team is capable of getting into the top four positions.
“Winning the championship is not impossible but it is really, really difficult.”
Winning the league can be tough, with the Gunners in fifth place already nine points behind leaders Chelsea.
But Arteta and Co are just three points behind West Ham in fourth and can match their London rivals if they beat Newcastle early in the kick-off.
Liverpool’s 4-0 humiliation last week was a bump in the road, but the north Londoners had displayed top-four form in previous weeks.
Eight unbeaten Premier League games saw the Gunners load the standings.
And being in and among the top four at the end of today’s game campaign against the bottom of the table and Newcastle without a win is an Arteta can’t afford to lose.
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