‘I think they will crumble like they did the year before’: former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant tips his old side to collapse after Christmas despite being four points clear of the top of the Premier League after a strong start of the season
- Arsenal are four points ahead of the Premier League after ten matches
- Mikel Arteta’s team took 27 points from those matches and suffered one defeat
- But ex-Gunners star Jermaine Pennant doesn’t think they can keep this form
- Pennant expects his former club to ‘crumble cookie’ after Christmas
Arsenal will ‘crumble cookie’ after Christmas despite their strong start to the season under Mikel Arteta, says former Gunners winger Jermaine Pennant.
The north London club is four points clear of the Premier League after ten games, having won nine and suffered only one defeat.
Their impressive early form has sparked optimism that a title challenge is at stake for the Emirates, but Pennant thinks otherwise.
The 39-year-old, who made 26 appearances in his six-year spell at Arsenal, instead expects his old squad to collapse later in the season, just like last season.
Arsenal will ‘crumble cookie’ after Christmas, says former Gunners winger Jermaine Pennant
Pennant says he doesn’t expect his old side to maintain their solid form all season
During a performance on talkSPORTPennant said: “I think Arsenal, after Christmas, will crumble like they did the year before to fall out of the Champions League places.
‘I am criticized and mistreated by Arsenal fans who are an ex-Gooner!’
He later added: “What Arteta has done at Arsenal, where they were two, three seasons ago and what they are doing now is absolutely amazing.
“We give Arsenal a lot of credit for where they are going and how they have behaved in the first ten games. But what matters is whether they keep it up, will they continue that after Christmas?
The Gunners top the Premier League after taking 27 points so far out of a possible 30
But Pennant is still not convinced and expects Mikel Arteta’s men to collapse like last season
“We’ve seen a lot of teams flying out of the blocks and once the Christmas season comes and the games come thick and fast, they slip easily.”
Arsenal have failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League in the past six years, disastrously missing their best chance to do so since 2016 last season.
With Champions League qualification in their own hands, Arteta’s side suffered a devastating 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in May to let their north London rivals back in with a scream, and a subsequent 2-0 defeat at Newcastle meant that Antonio Conte made them one step ahead. of the last day.
The Spurs went on to beat Norwich to secure the fourth and a painful end of the season for Arsenal, but calm confidence is growing among the Emirates that they could even surpass last year’s target.
Asked if they can build something special in the coming years, Arteta said this month: “I don’t know if that is true, if it is possible. But I would like.
‘Mainly because of how they are as human beings. What we’re trying to do is go much deeper than just being professional and playing for the club. If it’s possible and the results and other things allow us, I’d be happy to do that.
“I’ve said it many times and anyone who works with them on a daily basis will always say the same – to work with them is a privilege. It’s great to see their fun and passion. You see a sense of something that is unique and real. It’s great to be a part of that as a player and as a manager.”