Arsenal Invincible Ray Parlour is backing Mikel Arteta’s side to challenge for their first title in 20 years AND challenge for a first Champions League trophy on the back of their impressive defeat of Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Arsenal’s third win in a row has put them back in a three-way title race with Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City. They also have Porto coming up in the Champions League last 16.
And former England midfielder Parlour knows what it takes to go all the way having won three championships for the Gunners as well as claiming four FA Cup Final wins and a memorable European trophy in the form of the 1994 Cup-Winners’ Cup.
Now he thinks Arteta and his players have the ability and mentality to transform their promise into silverware and add to the 2020 FA Cup they won in the Spaniard’s first season in charge.
Parlour, speaking exclusively to HaytersTV as a brand ambassador for NetBet Sports Betting, explained: “You’ve got to fancy Arsenal for something now. And it’s all about a little bit of luck along the way.
“I think if you’re an Arsenal fan, as I am, I would rather win the Champions League. That would be the first time they’ve ever won it. I do believe they can do it. Definitely go on both fronts. But if I had to pick one, I’ll go Champions League.
“The Champions League is all about the draw and who you get. You want the big sides to draw each other. If Manchester City, Bayern Munich, or someone draw each other then one of them gets knocked out and then you’ve got a chance.”
Parlour cautioned that Pep Guardiola’s City side rightly remain favourites to defend their trophies from last season and thinks there is no danger Arteta and his players will think they have already achieved their aims for the season.
He added: “There’s a long way to go yet but if they’d lost that to Liverpool at the weekend that was a title race over.
“I think it was more relief, really. People are thinking ‘they think they’ve won a league already’ No, we’ve not won the league. You’ve got Manchester City, and they are still the ones to beat for me.”
Parlour praised Arteta’s tactics and named goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli, fellow forward Kai Havertz and experienced midfielder Jorginho as key players in the deconstruction of Jurgen Klopp’s seemingly invincible Liverpool side.
And he had a word or two for the celebration police such as ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who accused the Londoners of over-doing the post-match celebrations.
Those of us fortunate to cover the match can testify to the electric atmosphere that promoted the euphoric reaction to such an emphatic and unexpected victory.
Parlour smiled: “I love Jamie. He’s going to be a little bit more bitter because Liverpool lost. He’s a Liverpool legend. But do you know what? I think there was a lot more at stake for Arsenal. If Arsenal lose that game, they’re out of it.
“But you’ve got to enjoy the fans. The fans really played their part yesterday as well and they got right behind and emotions sometimes just go away from you. But you got to celebrate.
“You have got to enjoy those moments; you get into the hype with the fans. The fans must have been buzzing knowing they beat Liverpool. I celebrated into the early hours of the morning!”