Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Paul Robinson says Arsenal ‘bottled’ the Premier League title as that was the Gunners’ only focus when they were overtaken by Manchester City at the top of the table.
Pep Guardiola’s side wrapped up a third-straight domestic crown with Arsenal’s 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening. Arsenal spent 248 days at the top of the table this season and set an unwanted record by sitting in first for the longest period without lifting the trophy.
Mikel Arteta’s side went into the March international break with an eight-point lead over City, although they had played a game more, but a run of just two wins in their last eight games has saw Guardiola’s side defend the title with a game to spare.
After winning 4-1 at home to Leeds United on April 1, Arsenal drew with Liverpool and West Ham - twice throwing away a 2-0 lead - as well as suffering a 3-3 draw at home to Southampton.
They lost to Man City but picked up wins against Chelsea and Newcastle but back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Forest meant the title headed back to Manchester.
"They bottled it in the end," said Robinson on the Betfred Football Show ahead of the weekend’s action.
"They were eight points clear at the beginning of April when they put four past Leeds and were top of the league with no other focuses. Yet the City juggernaut has continued."
However, Robinson did reserve praise for the Gunners but warned they will need to strengthen this summer as he expects Newcastle United and Manchester United to improve and feels Liverpool and Chelsea could challenge again.
He added: "If you offered Arsenal second place, Champions League football and a title run they'd have taken it from where they were. They have come on no end. They are a couple of players short. I have been really impressed with Arsenal. They had their opportunity this year but they have thrown it away.
"Results and performances against Southampton and West Ham - they are games you'd expect them to win. They had the opportunity to win it. Man City are going to go again next year, Newcastle are coming, Man United are coming back and Chelsea and Liverpool won't be as bad next year.
"If Arsenal were to win it, it has been their best chance for a number of years. For me, the main aim for Arsenal is getting in the top four, I think it'll be a real big ask for them to get in the top four.
"If the manager is backed, they can go on another level. They need reinforcements and they need to buy at the top table to continue where they are."