Arsenal have been branded ‘more Spursy than Tottenham’ by former West Ham and Chelsea star Carlton Cole after another blow to their Premier League title run-in.
The Gunners have yet again allowed their healthy lead at the top of the Premier League to crumble after three straight draws – with their latest against Southampton raising serious questions over their champion credentials.
After letting 2-0 leads slip in back-to-back games against Liverpool and West Ham, it was Arsenal’s turn to launch a comeback in an astonishing game at the Emirates Stadium where rock-bottom Saints were leading 3-1 win ten minutes to go, only for Mikel Arteta’s men to rescue a point with two late goals.
It meant Arsenal’s lead at the top has been reduced to five points, with title rivals Man City having played two less games ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
In January the Gunners held an eight-point lead over City, but a run of just one point from three games – including a defeat at home to Pep Guardiola’s side – saw the defending champions close the gap and then briefly go top of the table.
Arsenal then bounced back with a run of seven straight victories to reestablish an eight-point lead, but City are now on a run of six wins in a row and the three draws from Arteta’s men have put the Etihad Stadium outfit straight back into the mix.
The Gunners may still be five points clear for now, but Man City have played two less games and the title rivals’ upcoming showdown in Manchester on Wednesday is looking more like a title decider with every match.
Friday night’s Sports Bar on talkSPORT was inundated with calls from angry Gooners, with many of them admitting they have ‘bottled the title’ and ‘thrown it away’.
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Ex-striker Cole says Arsenal are not playing like champions and aimed a brutal dig that upset supporters will not enjoy reading – comparing them to arch rivals Tottenham.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – Arsenal’s nerves, they were twitchy,” said the talkSPORT pundit.
“Well done to both teams, they battled it out like gladiators, it was great entertainment, but I know Arsenal fans are going to be really upset.
“If you’re serious about winning the title, you can’t let a lead slip in two straight games and then go 3-1 down against the rock-bottom team, the worst team in the league, at home!
“They were scrambling to get a draw, nah, I’m not having that. You’re not going to win the league in that fashion, it’s not going to happen.
“This is not title-winning form. At this stage of the season you need to see the winners come out and you need to be putting teams like this to bed. Southampton!
“What message do these games send to the teams they’ve got coming up? They can be got at! They will feel like they can get something out of Arsenal now, so it’s going to be harder for Arsenal.
“They are not the force they were at the start of the season. These three games were winnable games for Arsenal, but they’ve let it go.
“Arsenal fans, I’m not going to lie, you’re looking more Spursy than Spurs at the moment.
“It reminds me of when Leicester won the league after Spurs were top – is it going to happen again?
“We want to see a change and I’m rooting for Arsenal, we can’t just have Man City winning the league all the time, but you’ve got to earn it!
“This is three games on the bounce now. You can’t let these games go.”