The former Gunners midfielder remains unconvinced by Unai Emery’s side, with there a feeling that they will come up short in a Champions League bid

Arsenal have been billed as “flat-track bullies” by Paul Merson, with the former Gunners midfielder expecting Unai Emery’s side to come up short in their bid to secure a top-four finish.

The north London outfit have moved back into the Champions League spots with a 2-0 victory over Southampton.

That win at Emirates Stadium was secured with the minimum of fuss and lifted Emery’s men above resurgent Manchester United as they regained control of their own destiny.

Having failed to land a place among the European elite in the last two seasons, a first campaign without Arsene Wenger at the helm is considered to be progressing positively.

There are, however, still issues for Arsenal to address.

Their away form remains patchy, while there has been little improvement in results during clashes with those rivals harbouring similar ambitions.

Merson believes that is a problem, with the Gunners sweeping aside the also-rans but failing to do enough against the sides who could ultimately pip them to the post.

He told Sky Sports ahead of a home date with Bournemouth on Wednesday: “Arsenal are flat-track bullies, aren’t they? They finish these teams off.

“With Bournemouth’s injuries, I can only see an Arsenal win. This would be another great result in the top-four race.

“One point ahead of United, I’m still not sure I see Arsenal getting Champions League.

“They’ve got a bad result in them. They will be caught up in the end.”

As things stand, Arsenal are just a solitary point in front of old adversaries United and three clear of capital rivals Chelsea.

The Blues also have a game in hand and remain very much in the hunt for fourth spot despite having slipped to sixth.

Maurizio Sarri’s side will be facing Arsenal’s north London neighbours Tottenham in midweek, while United – who have gone 10 Premier League games unbeaten under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – take in a trip to Crystal Palace.

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