Ray Parlour delivers verdict on Arsenal top-four chances, criticises two summer recruits
By Will Butcher
Ray Parlour believes Arsenal will fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 21 seasons after their 3-1 loss to West Brom on Saturday.
The defeat to Tony Pulis’ Baggies was the Gunners’ sixth loss in nine league and cup outings, and has seen them plummet down the Premier League table to sixth place.
Speaking on Alan Brazil’s Breakfast Show on talkSPORT, ex-Gunners midfielder Parlour believes they have “no chance” of finishing in the top four if they play like they did on Saturday.
Parlour, 44, also claimed that Arsene Wenger must spend big in the summer if he remains in charge, and criticised the form of summer signings Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka.
“They’ve got to break the bank. They’ve got to buy more quality,” Parlour said, in a video posted on Alan Brazil’s official Twitter account.
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“I don’t know what’s happened to Mustafi; he started alongside Koscielny so well. Since he got injured it looks his like brother is turning up every week. Xhaka is okay, but is he the real quality needed? He’s got to spend.
“Watching the game at the weekend, I can’t see them getting in the top four. If they play like that, they’ve got no chance.”
— Alan Brazil (@SportsBreakfast) March 20, 2017
The Telegraph reported that manager Wenger wants to stay at the Emirates Stadium despite rumours that he was set to end his 21-year stint with his contract up at the end of the season.
If he does stay, Parlour has called on him to conduct major surgery during the summer ahead of the 2016-17 season as the likes of Xhaka and Mustafi fail to hit the heights expected.
The Gunners suffered their seventh league defeat of the season at the Hawthorns, the same amount that they lost throughout the entire 2015-16 campaign.
Goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and a brace from defender Craig Dawson cancelled out Alexis Sanchez’s strike, leaving the north London side six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
However, Arsenal fans can take a positive from the fact that they have two games in hand over Jurgen Klopp’s side, as the race to qualify for the Champions League hots up.
In other Arsenal news, Alan Shearer has had his say on the future of Frenchman Wenger.