Arsenal “are a bit like Leicester” this season with the Gunners unlikely to win the title next campaign, according to former Liverpool and Chelsea defender Glen Johnson.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been brilliant this season and lead the Premier League by two points with the opportunity to go five points clear of second-placed Manchester City on Wednesday night when they host relegation strugglers Everton.
Not many fans would’ve predicted a title challenge from Arsenal before the season with the Gunners finishing fifth last season.
But fantastic recruitment and coaching has seen them go to another level this term as they seek out their first Premier League title for 20 years.
Johnson has had a bit of a dig, though, with the former England international comparing their achievements this season to Leicester’s fairytale title win in 2016.
On him previously describing Arsenal as a ‘one-season wonder’, Johnson told ICE 36: “That’s not quite right – I wasn’t that harsh! I said that I didn’t expect Arsenal to keep up this level of performance for the next four years.
“At the minute, all of the top teams are underperforming. Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United to an extent, and I don’t expect them to all underperform next year.
“My point was that Arsenal are a bit like Leicester. When Leicester won the league, everyone else was rubbish and they didn’t get close to winning the title again. The following season, they were nowhere near it.
“Arsenal are probably good enough to win the league this year, but I don’t expect them to retain the title because all of the other big clubs will improve and bounce back. I wasn’t brushing them aside and calling them a one season wonder, I just don’t think they will be able to compete consistently for the next four seasons.”
Johnson thinks Arsenal will have another “wobble” at some point before the end of the season and he reckons their success rests on their ability to bounce back from disappointment.
He adds: “Arsenal keep getting really good results. Even when they haven’t been performing, they have been winning, which is the sign of champions. I do expect them to wobble at some point because the Arsenal players know they will be getting close and will want it so badly.
“The City players have the experience of winning it before – they’ve been there and done it – so they can be calm and I don’t expect them to panic.
“There is always the danger that Arsenal could start to fumble if they have a bad result, but they showed how they can bounce back after dropping points against Everton, Brentford and Manchester City.
“I think it will all come down to how Arsenal deal with a setback. If they can get through a period where they do drop points and stay calm, then I think they are probably good enough to hold on. ”