FORMER Arsenal striker John Hartson has written off the club’s chances of challenging for the Premier League this season because he believes their squad is too thin.
Hartson, who is now looking to get into management having won an 18-month battle with testicular cancer, insists the title is a two-horse race between Chelsea and Manchester United.
But the 35-year-old is convinced Arsene Wenger’s Gunners are well equipped to end their five-year wait for silverware in one of the cup competitions.
“I don’t think they’ll win the league. I didn’t think that at the start of the season. I think the league’s between two teams: Chelsea and Man Utd,” he told City A.M.
“I think they’re good enough to win a trophy and could win one of the cups.
“Arsene Wenger will realise now it’s been five or six years and, no matter what he says in the press, I believe they want to get that monkey off their back.”
Arsenal were boosted yesterday by the news that captain Cesc Fabregas and England winger Theo Walcott are set to return from injury after the international break. But Hartson believes that Wenger still needs to enhance his squad with a handful of signings in order to bridge the gap with Chelsea and United.
“I think they’re missing two or three players,” added the Welshman. “I think they’re missing a big commanding centre-half in the Tony Adams, Steve Bould or Martin Keown mould.
“I think they’re missing someone like a Paul Merson to open up that link. I know [Andrey] Arshavin does it but not like Merson used to do it for me. And I still think they need that 25 goal-a-season man. This year I think it’s intriguing to see if [Marouane] Chamakh can come up with the goals for them. He’s started very well.”
John Hartson will be at Waterstones, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf today at 12:30pm to sign copies of his new book, ‘Please Don’t Go: Big John’s Journey Back To Life’.