Paul Merson says: Arsenal are ‘bang in’ title race but need a striker like Ivan Toney if they want to go all the way | Football News

Everybody has a bad run. You do. It’s 38 games – it’s gruelling, it’s hard, you are going to get your ups and downs.

But Arsenal’s last two results, losing 2-0 at home to West Ham before a 2-1 defeat away at Fulham, were not good.

They are two games that you want to be winning if you want to be winning the Premier League.

It might do them a favour in a way in that they might have to go into the January transfer market now.

If they had beaten West Ham or Fulham and Gabriel Jesus or Eddie Nketiah had got a goal, people might start thinking do they need a centre-forward?

They need a centre-forward. There is no doubt about that in my opinion.

Jesus had two chances at West Ham, they are gimmes really for someone like an Ivan Toney.

For me there is a long way to go. Arsenal are still in it. I still think they have got to get Ivan Toney. I don’t think they win the league if they don’t get a centre-forward.

Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates at full time after the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium, London. Picture date: Monday March 6, 2023.

If they get a centre-forward, I think they are bang in it defiinitely, like Aston Villa and Tottenham are. We’re halfway through the season now and they are right in there now, both teams and Arsenal.

They are up and down are Tottenham and Aston Villa have got a bit more consistency about them.

But why not? You have got to dream. What’s the point of being a professional footballer and playing if you are not going to believe.

Time for an Arsenal reset?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham’s win against Arsenal in the Premier League

You could feel Mikel Arteta’s anger as he spoke to the media at his post-match press conference, writes Sky Sports News’ Oli Yew.

On Thursday, he had seen his side miss a host of chances as they lost 2-0 to West Ham. Sometimes that can happen and is just one of those things, said Arteta, but the defeat to Fulham was much more “worrying” for the Spaniard.

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Gary Cotterill and Oliver Yew reviewed Arsenal’s second consecutive defeat as they were beaten by Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League

Having only lost two of their opening 18 Premier League games this season (Winning 12 and drawing four), Arsenal have since lost both of their last two, just the second time since the start of last season that they have suffered back-to-back league defeats.

“We had the chance to be top of the table after 20 games. Three days ago, we lost a game that we deserved to win, today was a different story. We weren’t good enough. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror.”

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta claimed the 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the Premier League is their worst performance of the season and suggested that there will be no January signings at the club

The Gunners now have a break from league action. They face Liverpool in the FA Cup next Sunday but after that, their next league engagement is not until January 20 when Crystal Palace visit the Emirates.

It could be a break that is coming just at the right time for Arteta and his side as they look to find the fluency and attacking threat that has eluded them so far this season and was so evident in their second-placed finish last season.

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Jamie Redknapp described Takehiro Tomiyasu as a ‘fish up a tree’ as Arsenal’s full-back’s struggled during the 2-1 defeat at Fulham

It’s been a miserable end to 2023 and after being top of the table at Christmas, they now finish the year in fourth and potentially five points behind leaders Liverpool should they beat Newcastle on Monday.

But just as Arsenal have found out in recent weeks, things can change quickly and that’s something for Arteta and the Arsenal supporters to hold onto.

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