Emmanuel Petit Exclusive: Destiny In Their Own Hands
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Emmanuel Petit Exclusive: Destiny In Their Own Hands

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has backed the Gunners to qualify for the Champions League – despite Monday night’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace. Mikel Arteta’s side are outside of the top four on goal difference but have a game in hand over the team currently in possession of the final Champions League place: rivals Tottenham Hotspur. As far as Petit, who spent three years with Arsenal, is concerned, defeat at Selhurst Park was a minor blip.


Destiny In Their Own Hands

Speaking exclusively to Genting, Petit said: “It was Crystal Palace’s best game and Arsenal’s worst game of the season.

“It can happen sometimes. They were on a very good run and it’s normal you miss a game altogether. I watched the game and Crystal Palace were by far the better team on the pitch and I couldn’t name one Arsenal player who played well. 

“They need a reaction in the next game. 

“For me, their destiny [the top four] is in their hands. They’re going to play against Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham, so they have the opportunities. 

“I can understand Arteta’s frustration, but it can happen. When you look at Arsenal since Boxing Day, they lost against Liverpool and Man City and they were the better team on the pitch.”

Emmanuel Petit Exclusive: Snap Up Abraham And Zaha

Emmanuel Petit Exclusive: Snap Up Abraham And Zaha

Partey And Tierney Injuries A Concern

Perhaps of far greater concern to Gunners boss Arteta was the injuries suffered by Thomas Partey and the knee issue which could force Kieran Tierney to miss the remainder of the campaign.

Petit said: “This is my only worry [for Arsenal finishing in the top four] because this starting XI is good enough to get the Champions League spot. 

“But [Takehiro] Tomiyasu is not there, Tierney is not there and yesterday they lost Partey – he’s been tremendous for Arsenal. 

“Those guys play in the first XI all the time, they’re very important with what Arteta wants them to do on the pitch, especially the left-back and right-back. Partey has also become a rock in front of the defence. 

“They’re going to miss those guys so badly. This is the worry. 

“If they’re all fit, Arsenal can compete for the Champions League spots, but if they’re missing important players, do they have the options? Not so much because Cedric Soares had a terrible game against Wilfried Zaha and it was the same for Nuno Tavares. Without them, it will be more difficult.”

Backing Arsenal For Top Four

Despite those setbacks, Petit is still backing his former club to claim a Champions League spot this season – for the first time since 2017. 

He said: “It depends on Chelsea because they have been dropping so many points over the last few weeks. 

“So it depends what they do against Real Madrid. Everything around the club is happening. 

“For weeks, they were good on the pitch, you had the feeling they weren’t impacted by what was happening around the club, but the pressure is now on Chelsea because they were in the driving seat and they’re now dropping points. 

“There are four teams for two places in the top four, which means if Arsenal win their game in hand they’ll put more pressure on Chelsea. 

“For me, Arsenal are in a very good position to get a Champions League spot.”






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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021