Jermaine Pennant claims Arsenal’s title challenge will crumble

Jermaine Pennant feels Arsenal will ‘crumble’ after Christmas, suggesting the Gunners will not be able to maintain their current levels.

Arsenal are on top of the Premier League table after ten games. The Gunners are yet to be declared as title challengers by sections of the media, but Mikel Arteta’s charges have shown no signs of slowing down.

Arsenal fans will be aware of the different narratives built around their team’s chances from the start of the season. At first, it was justifiably the favourable opening fixtures, which they won. However, since losing to Manchester United, the media has been suggesting they cannot win top-level matches.

The Gunners have proven that narrative wrong after back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Liverpool. Yet, sections of the media failed to recognise Arsenal as a genuine title challenger. Time and again, they have claimed Manchester City as outright favourites.

Arsenal strengthened their hold on the table last weekend after a laboured victory over Leeds United at Elland Road. As a bonus, Manchester City lost to Liverpool, allowing Arteta’s side to open up a four-point gap at the top.

The likes of Gary Neville and Roy Keane recently suggested Arsenal may drop down the table after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And Jermaine Pennant has become the latest to join the bandwagon, with the former Arsenal and Liverpool man insisting they would ‘crumble’ after Christmas.

Pennant, on talkSPORT, said, “I think that Arsenal, after Christmas, will cookie crumble like they did the year before to drop out of the Champions League spots. What Arteta has done at Arsenal, where they were two, three seasons ago and what they are doing now, is absolutely amazing.”

“We are giving Arsenal a lot of praise about where they are going and how they have conducted themselves in the first ten games. But it is all about whether they will maintain that or continue that after Christmas? We have seen a lot of teams come flying out the blocks, and then as soon as the Christmas period comes and the games come thick and fast, they slip over easily.”

Those comments have some merits, as Arsenal have failed to make up ground in the last few years. However, the current side looks different and seems much stronger mentally to get through a difficult patch.

Arsenal have won nine of their opening ten games this season. It is imperative to maintain that run and form until the World Cup break. Only then, the Gunners will surely be taken seriously as genuine title challengers. Moreover, the upcoming fixtures seem favourable to their cause, although all eyes will be on their trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

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