Merson says Arsenal 'have to' be challenging for the title next season

Paul Merson

The Sky Sports pundit pointed to the Gunners' win over Manchester City as a key point in their season.

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has been talking to Sky Sports about where he thinks his former side's season changed for the better, while also outlining what Arsene Wenger's league target needs to be next year.

Speaking at a five-a-side exhibition match, the ex-England star picked Arsenal's 2-0 win at the Etihad as a moment when the players started to believe in their quality, but said that they need to be putting together a stronger challenge for the league in the new season.

“I think the turning point was Man City away when they went up there and beat City well", said Merson. "But it’s got to change next season, they’ve got to be in the running.

In reality, Arsenal were never close to a title shot this season, despite a phenomenal spell of results in 2015.

The Londoners have been in sensational form in the league since New Year's Day, winning a high percentage of their games and being beaten just once between January 1 and Monday's defeat to Swansea.

But Merson doesn't feel such a run of form will be satisfactory for Wenger next season, if the Gunners performances in the rest of the season don't allow for a title shot. After the loss to Southampton at the start of the year, Arsenal were down in 6th place, already 13 points behind Chelsea.

“They can’t win their last 10 games of the season and still finish 10, 11, 12 points behind Chelsea – that’s just not good enough," he added.

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