Paul Merson gives Arsenal a relentless reality check over Premier League title aspirations

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Arsenal has seen a much-needed resurgence under new manager Unai Emery, the Gunners had been crying out for long-term boss Arsene Wenger to leave after - in their eyes - settling for years of mediocrity.

The Spaniard enjoyed an impressive 22-match unbeaten streak before losing to Southampton and then arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.

Despite the improvement, a slight dip in recent games has meant that Arsenal are just three points ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United who are hot on their heels.

Fans who remember Arsenal's invincible season of 2003/2004 will settle for nothing less than achieving close to that level of form as a long-term goal.

However, when asked about Arsenal's Premier League title aspirations, former Gunner Paul Merson gave a brutally honest response.

"What do you think? 20 years.

"They're a million miles away at the moment and the way it is going right now they probably need seven players to compete.

"I don't see them winning again for a long, long time." Merson told Sky Sports.

Paul Merson

The former England-international also vented his frustration at the current situation regarding Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

"Letting (Aaron) Ramsey leave is just bad, bad club management isn't it," Merson added.

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"To let player contracts run out in this day and age for how much these players go for and how much they're worth is criminal.

"To let him leave the club and walk away for free, somebody in his prime leaving for nothing, it's a football crime."

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From Ramsey to Ozil, Merson believes the German's wages could seriously affect the chances of any top player joining the club.

"Now they have got to replace him and that will cost money but until the (Mesut) Ozil problem gets sorted out they are going to find it difficult to bring in players.

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"Because if they bid £50-60million for someone, the first thing the player will say is well I want what Ozil is getting.

"And when the club says you aren't getting that then the player will just say 'well I'm not coming then'. And that is what happened with Ramsey."

Any Arsenal fans who thought the North London side were definitely on an upward trajectory may think twice now.

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