They might be seven points adrift of the top of the Premier League table, but former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires believes that the Gunners – not leaders Chelsea – deserve to be celebrating a title win at the end of the season.
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He told the Daily Mirror: “In my opinion, this year, Arsenal deserved to be champion, and they won’t be far away. [But] I think, once more, there will be some little regrets at the end of the season.”
“It’s tough and frustrating for the fans. Every time, Arsenal is close. It’s because of the important games that you can’t lose, against Chelsea, [Man] City and [Man] United. But this is the difference. Because against the smaller teams, sometimes there is a misstep or an accident.”
Arsenal have won their last six games to move third in the current table, within touching distance of the long-time favourites. They face a decisive match with fifth place Liverpool on Saturday, knowing that anything other than a win will end their faint hopes of silverware.
Pires was a crucial part of the last Arsenal side to win the Premier League title, and believes that the current crop are of a similar calibre to the all-conquering team of a decade ago.
Arsene Wenger’s side won the league in both 2002 and 2004, but last year’s FA Cup win was the club’s first trophy success in nine years. The Gunners are back in the competition’s semi-finals, but would dearly love success in the league as well.