Former Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray believes Arsenal deserve respect for their outstanding start to the Premier League season.
The Gunners were in scintillating form on Sunday after as they romped to a 5-0 win over struggling Nottingham Forest as two goals from Reiss Nelson and one apiece from Gabriel Martinelli, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard helped Mikel Arteta’s side claim a tenth win in 12 league games.
More significantly, in beating Steve Cooper’s side, Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table and ended Manchester City’s 26-hour stay at the summit following their Kevin de Bruyne-inspired win at Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime. Although many onlookers have doubted whether Arsenal’s unlikely push for a first league title since 2004 will be a prolonged challenge, they remain at the top of the table on merit and confidence is high at the Emirates Stadium as the World Cup Finals break approaches.
Away days at Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers remain on the league agenda for Arteta and his players before thoughts turn towards the finals in Qatar - but there seems little doubt they will remain in the title picture come the turn of the year. Former Palace star Murray compared the Gunners to Manchester United’s Class of 92-inspired side that lifted the Premier League title against the odds in 1996 and insisted Arteta’s men could ‘prove everyone wrong’ and become champions this season.
He told BBC Radio 5Live: “From a personal point of view, I don’t think Arsenal can go all the way but we have to give them the respect they deserve. They are top of the Premier League at this point. If they are top of the league going into the World Cup, why can’t they go and win it? When you’ve got a young side like this, special things can happen. We’ve seen it with Man United, the famous quote ‘you can’t win anything with kids’. Well, this could be another group that prove everyone wrong.”
Next up for Arsenal is a home game against FC Zurich as they continue their Europa League campaign on Thursday night.