Will Arsenal challenge Manchester United and Chelsea for top four and Champions League qualification? Ray Parlour explains difficulties


Arsenal may have desires on finishing in the top four next season by Ray Parlour thinks it will be a tall order.

The Gunners finished a disappointing eighth last season but salvaged the campaign by winning the FA Cup.

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season. Can they carry on their good progress this term?

GETTY

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season. Can they carry on their good progress this term?

Mikel Arteta is now about to being his first full season as Arsenal manager and a return to the Champions League will likely be his first target.

Gabriel, Willian and Dani Ceballos (loan) have signed, while club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to sign a new contract.

The Gunners get their season up and running on Saturday against Fulham, with commentary live on talkSPORT.

Parlour said: “Everybody is optimistic but we know how competitive the league is and how tough it is. All eyes will be on whether they can try and get that top four. It will be very difficult for them.

“I would expect them (Arsenal) to win (against Fulham). I really hope Scott Parker does a good job this year and keeps Fulham in the Premier League. I think we’ve got to be realistic about it and it will be tough for Fulham.

Ray Parlour is an Arsenal legend and assessed their chances of a top four finish

Ray Parlour is an Arsenal legend and assessed their chances of a top four finish

“If Arsenal are going to be anywhere near the top four, or challenge for top four, they’ve got to win games like Fulham away. No disrespect to Fulham but these are the sort of games you’ve got to win.

“They did alright against the bigger sides last season but it’s against the smaller sides is where they struggled. For me, they should win tomorrow but it won’t be an easy game because Fulham will be on a high knowing they are in the Premier League again.

“It looks like (Arteta) is building something there. It’s a big season for a lot of players like (Nicolas) Pepe. He showed signs he can be good and needs to be a bit more consistent.

Dani Ceballos re-signed for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid

Getty Images – Getty

Dani Ceballos re-signed for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid

“He knows exactly what to expect now and hopefully he will kick on a little bit.

“Ceballos was a good signing as well, he’s got him on loan again from Real Madrid. He had a really good end to the season.

“I think the squad itself is a decent squad but teams like Manchester United and Chelsea are strengthening as well. We know how good Man City and Liverpool are as well and that shows how good the league is.

“I can see them being the top four but I’m hoping Arsenal can get into it.”



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