Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has suggested that the best his old side can hope for this season is third or fourth place.
The Gunners dropped more points on Chelsea and Manchester City in the 2-2 draw against Hull City, which has left Arsene Wenger’s side in seventh place with an 11 point gap to close on the Blues at the top.
“I think Arsenal are fighting for third or fourth place,” Parlour told talkSPORT.
“You look at Manchester City and Chelsea and they're in a different league compared to Arsenal.”
“They're so far above Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs. I think all these teams are fighting for two places, they're fighting for third and fourth.”
So does Parlour have a point?
Arsenal certainly have the quality to win the Premier League, but whether they can realistically claw back such a big gap with a heavy injury list is doubtful.
Consistency seems to be the club’s main problem at the moment, because Arsenal have the players to blow sides away yet they still get bullied physically in the middle of the pitch against lower quality teams.
When Arsenal face a side that takes the match to them, as Hull did over the weekend, they sometimes lack a bit of grit and aggression in the middle of the pitch but when they’re allowed to play, sides can’t get close to them.
“Those two teams are far apart from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs, so that's what Arsenal are left fighting for.”
The Champions League is extremely important to the Gunners but it’s key to bear in mind that we’re still at a very early stage in the season.
Arsenal may have already suffered at the hands of Chelsea but there will be a stage in the campaign when they have players fully fit when they go through a patch of fixtures against their main rivals.
Can they still do it? They can, but they need to improve consistency and need to get everyone fit (and keep them fit) as quickly as possible.