Parlour says Arsenal can be RELEGATED this season if form persists
Arsenal invincible Ray Parlour says Mikel Arteta’s side can be RELEGATED this season if poor form persists… but he urges board to keep faith in under-fire boss to turn it around
- Arsenal are 15th in the Premier League table and five points clear of relegation
- Ray Parlour, part of Arsenal’s famous Invincibles team, fears they could go down
- The ex-midfielder said that Leicester’s shock title win showed it is possible
Arsenal have been warned by one of their own that they are not too good to go down should their miserable form continue.
Ray Parlour, a midfielder in the club’s famous 2003-04 Invincibles season, has admitted there is a very real prospect of relegation to the Championship after a dreadful start to the season leaves them 15th, five points above the drop zone.
The 1-1 midweek draw with Southampton means they remained winless in their last six league games, a run that included defeats to Aston Villa, Wolves, Tottenham and Burnley.
Arsenal are five points above the relegation zone following a disastrous start to the season
Mikel Arteta has been warned by an Arsenal legend that they are not too good to go down
‘Someone asked me the question the other day, can they get relegated?’ Parlour, 47, told Off The Ball.
‘I said, ‘well, probably not,’ but then you look at Leicester winning the league at 5,000-1 and they won it – so they can get relegated.
‘If they don’t start picking up points and turning it around then there’s a real problem there.’
The disappointing form has seen the pressure ramped up on boss Mikel Arteta.
Ray Parlour, part of the 2003-04 Invincibles team, believes relegation is a real possibility
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno came out after the Southampton game and said Arteta is ‘the least to blame’ for the current demise but will know it is the Spaniard that will be first to go if the board wants to make changes.
Parlour, who won three Premier League titles at Arsenal, going on to make more than 450 appearances for the club, backed Leno and insisted the hierarchy must keep faith in Arteta to turn it around.
‘Mikel Arteta has been around Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger – he knows as a player the dressing room is so important,’ Parlour added.
‘If there is a problem, he has to deal with it very quickly. If it does get out of control, the only person to lose their job, it’s not the players, it’s the manager straight away. Hopefully he can turn that around and make sure he sorts that out very quickly.’
Arsenal face a tricky trip to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday night before a Carabao Cup quarter-final with Manchester City and back to the league with a home game against London rivals Chelsea on December 26.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal against Southampton rescued a point on Wednesday
Arteta is determined to see positives from Wednesday’s draw and was optimistic that coming back from 1-0 down can serve them well heading into Christmas and New Year.
Asked if the manner of the fightback could prove the start of a genuine recovery, Arteta replied: ‘Yeah I agree, yes, because if you lose that game at the end it would have been really difficult to take.
‘The players showed what we expect them to do, so at least the work is there.
‘I saw all the players that weren’t participating and they were in the stands, shouting and right behind the team.
‘It’s a really strong signal as well and I’m really pleased with that. It’s very difficult to compete in this league when you play for so long with 10 men. It makes it more complicated, but the boys stood up to it, they showed their character and resilience and they never gave up.’
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