Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal will only become title contenders once they start beating the Premier League's big boys away from home.

The Gunners are currently top of the table after picking up four wins from their opening five matches, but Carragher does not think they can win their first league title since 2004 unless they start picking up points at grounds like Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Etihad Stadium.

"They're playing very well at the moment, they're top of the league and that's exactly where you want to be," Carragher wrote in his latest Sky Sports column. "The Aston Villa result seems a long time ago now and they've come on leaps and bounds since then. But there are a lot of big games to come and they will need to prove themselves in them.

"Once they start mixing it with the big teams and beating them away from home - that's when I think we'll see if Arsenal have a real chance of winning the title."

Arsene Wenger's men recorded a 3-1 victory over Stoke City on Sunday afternoon, with record signing Mesut Ozil grabbing all three of the hosts' assists, to leave the Gunners level on points with north London rivals Tottenham in pole position.

But Carragher remains to be convinced by the Gunners, who must face reigning champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 10 and Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on December 14.

"I think it's going to be a season of up and down results, but Arsenal are top of the table and deservedly so. They've got to go and do something against Man City for everyone to sit up and take notice," Carragher added.

"I never really fancy Arsenal in the big games, especially away from home. They've got to go to Old Trafford in a couple of weeks - let's have a look at them again then.

"If they lose that game, I'm not saying it's over, or they're finished, but I'd like them to go and start winning bigger, more important games."

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