Arsenal MUST learn from Spurs’ mistakes and strengthen in the January window to sustain their Premier League title bid, says Jamie Carragher… as Mikel Arteta insists the club will be ‘active’ in replacing injured forward Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal must learn from the mistakes of their north London rivals Tottenham if they are to win the Premier League this season, according to Jamie Carragher.
The Gunners enjoy a five-point advantage over reigning champions Manchester City at the top of the table ahead of the league’s Boxing Day resumption, when they take on West Ham in the late kick-off.
Though while it’s clear Mikel Arteta’s side have a good chance of winning their first league title since Arsene Wenger’s 2004 ‘Invincibles’, the knee injury suffered by leading striker Gabriel Jesus while playing for Brazil at the World Cup threatens to derail their bid.
Mikel Arteta (R) and Arsenal must strengthen in January if they want to stay top of the Premier League in the second half of the season, says Jamie Carragher (L)
The Gunners are five points clear at the top after enjoying an excellent start to the season
But the injury Gabriel Jesus suffered during the World Cup threatens to derail their title bid
Carragher believes Arsenal must strengthen during the January window to compensate for the Brazilian’s absence otherwise their strongest title chance in years may pass them by.
He drew parallels with Tottenham under Harry Redknapp in the 2011-12 campaign and Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16 as a cautionary tale of how title dreams can fade without January investment.
‘Arsenal should learn from the mistakes their north London rivals made when they were in a similar position,’ Carragher wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
‘Both Tottenham sides had great chances to win the league at this point of the season.
Carragher drew parallels with Tottenham blowing their previous title chance under Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16 because chairman Daniel Levy didn’t spend in January
Carragher believes Arsenal may live to regret not buying new players in the January window
‘In January 2012 and 2016, Spurs were genuine contenders, one quality signing away from continuing their momentum.
‘Redknapp’s side fell away to finish fourth well behind Manchester City, but Pochettino would have pipped Leicester City to the Premier League with more boardroom backing.
‘Daniel Levy favoured the long-term over the here and now and Spurs consoled themselves with the idea that, even though they lost out to Claudio Ranieri, other title bids would follow.
‘The reality is – as a club – they blew their best chance in decades of being champions.
Jesus has undergone knee surgery and is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines
‘Although their long-term planning has taken them this far, Arsenal will not want to look back with similar feelings of ‘if only’ in six months’ time.’
Arsenal will extend their lead to eight points if they beat West Ham on Boxing Day, with City not in action again until they travel to Leeds on December 28.
Arteta said on Thursday that the Gunners would be ‘active’ in the January market after losing Jesus, who has scored five goals and contributed six assists in the Premier League so far.
‘It’s going to take some time for sure,’ Arteta said of the striker.
Arteta has admitted it could take some time for his forward to return to full fitness again
Jesus has scored five Premier League goals and set up six others since arriving at Arsenal
‘He’s gone through surgery and that tells you the extent of the injury, so we will be in the market, always active and we will assess the biggest opportunities we have.
‘We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team.
‘This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not maximising every single window. We have to do that because it’s really important, but then we have to get the right profile.
‘It has to be the right player to take us to the next level.’
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