Arsenal cannot beat Chelsea or Manchester City to title - Alan Smith

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Arsenal have no chance of challenging Chelsea or Manchester City for the league title despite splashing £80 million in the transfer window - according to former striker Alan Smith.

The Gunners signed five new players before the window shut but Smith says they still don't have the depth to challenge at the very top - and believes they should target cup success once more.

They claimed the FA Cup with victory in the final over Hull last season, and Smith says that represents their best chance of winning more silverware having ended their nine-year trophy drought.

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Arsenal have never failed to reach the Champions League under boss Arsene Wenger, and Smith believes that keeping up that record and winning a trophy will represent a good season - but believes that the league is beyond them for another season.

"Another trophy would be great this season, but I can't see them winning the title, I really can't," he told talkSPORT.

"They're still a few furlongs behind Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as they might have done in the summer transfer window. I think they have moved forward with the signings of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers, but I still think they are weak in terms of protecting the back-four.

"Realistically you're looking at another top-four finish, and maybe they can nick a cup again, but unfortunately I still don't see them as title challengers."


Rio Ferdinand was slightly more upbeat when discussing Arsenal's transfer business - and was particularly impressed by their £16 million capture of Danny Welbeck on deadline day. The defender described his former Manchester United team-mate as a 'top' player, and says the Red Devils are mad to let him go.

Welbeck's arrival at Arsenal at the last minute has been met with some criticism but Ferdinand believes he can flourish if given the chance to at the Emirates Stadium.

He told the Sun on Sunday: "I cannot believe United let Danny go, especially to Arsenal. That seems mad to me.

"He's a real threat to defenders and, if Arsenal use him right, he will be very dangerous for them.

"I think he felt frustrated at Manchester United because, even if he did well, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney would be ahead of him. I do wonder if they will live to regret not keeping Danny.'

Podolski doubts

Welbeck's arrival at Arsenal cast doubt over the future of Lukas Podolski, and while the German didn't leave the club before the close of the summer window, he does concede that his playing time will be further limited by the ex-Manchester United ace.

Initially, it's a difficult situation for me," the German told Kicker. "When you buy new players for a lot of money, they have an advantage because they will play.

"But we've got a long season ahead of us and we'll see what happens. When I am in top shape, I am a perfect fit for the Arsenal team and I see myself in the first XI. That's what I work towards. I am not sure [but] I hope that that's the case."

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