Arsenal

Roy Keane spots “good sign” Arsenal can win title – but Jamie Carragher needs convincing

Arsenal finished five points behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season but have opened up a gap on their rivals this term as they seek to go one better Roy Keane believes Arsenal will have received encouragement in their title push after demonstrating they’re a match for Manchester City, adding that their scrappy wins are a good sign, but fellow pundit Jamie Carragher still feels the goalkeeper situation could prove their undoing.

Arsenal moved six points clear of their rivals after this week’s Premier League fixtures. The Gunners survived some shaky moments from keeper Davd Raya to beat Luton in a seven-goal thriller, with City falling to a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa the following day.
The results mean the teams are separated by six points after 16 matches, with Liverpool and Villa in between them in the table. However, Arsenal’s league victory over Pep Guardiola’s team earlier in the campaign could prove just as important.
The last three games [for Arsenal], the one at Brentford was a 1-0 win, a clean sheet way from home. It was an ugly game and a tough game, but I always felt they would get a goal in that game, and they did,” Keane said on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.. “Then against Luton, they’re all over the place, giving bad goals away, but still won so they’re winning different types of games even if it’s a bit ugly.

“The biggest rivals last year [to Manchester City] was Arsenal and when they played last year, in two league games and the FA Cup, they were so far ahead of them. Whereas this year you look at Arsenal, and that will give them belief that they can compete and beat them.

“I don’t know if they had that real belief last year that they could beat them, but I think if you’re in Arsenal’s camp, you must think, ‘do you know what lads, we’ve got a chance’.” That 1-0 league win in October was the second time this season where Arsenal have bested their rivals, having triumphed in the Community Shield, but Carragher still has reservations.
Speaking on the same podcast, Carragher pointed to the issues in goal during a season where Raya has taken over from Aaron Ramsdale as first choice. “They are the two things [the goalkeeper situation and the last-minute goals] that’s making me think Arsenal won’t win the league,” he said.

“I can’t think of many teams, if ever, who have won a league title without a goalkeeper being a big part of it and I just look at the goalkeeper situation, and it doesn’t feel right. I look at the last-minute goals and it could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing.”

Arsenal have scored winners inside the final five minutes of a game on four occasions this season. As well as the recent games against Brentford and Luton and the earlier victory over Manchester City, they took the lead in second-half stoppage time against Manchester United before finding time for an extra goal right at the death.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was asked about Raya’s struggles against Luton during a post-match interview with Amazon Prime. However, he was reluctant to point fingers after the keeper came in for criticism for his part in two of the Hatters’ goals.

“We have to defend better the situations as a team,” Arteta said. “It’s not about blaming. We have never done it and we’re not going to do it now.”

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