Jamie Carragher’s brutal criticism of Tottenham and Arsenal has proved to be wide of the mark amid both clubs’ solid run of form.
The Gunners lost their opening three Premier League outings before steadying the ship as Mikel Arteta’s side now find themselves fourth in the current standings, just six points behind reigning European champions Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Spurs have also enjoyed a productive few weeks since Antonio Conte succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo in the managerial dugout, winning four of their last five league fixtures, sitting above Manchester United despite having played one less game than the Red Devils, who have struggled in recent times.
The form of the two north London outfits have gone a long way to proving Carragher’s aforementioned assessment wrong, with the Liverpool icon claiming that United were part of a ‘big four’ in the English top-flight, with any notion of a ‘big six’ old-fashioned.
“This Sunday’s North London Derby is a reminder that the idea of a ‘big six’ in English football is outdated. We now have a big four,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column back in September.
“The worry for Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur fans is how far they have fallen behind the title contenders and how long they will be on the outside looking in.
“Competing for the Premier League is off the table for Arsenal and Spurs for the next two or three years. Champions League qualification is a long shot this year. The same clubs have occupied those positions for the last two seasons and it would be a huge shock if they do not do so again.
“At this particular moment, Arsenal and Spurs cannot fairly be held to the same standard as Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United over the course of a 38-game season.”