Arsenal's Mikel Arteta made mistake that Man Utd legend Alex Ferguson never did - Chris Sutton
Mikel Arteta has made a mistake that Sir Alex Ferguson never did at Manchester United as Arsenal chase a long-awaited Premier League title, according to Chris Sutton.
Arsenal have enjoyed their best league campaign for several years as they chase a first league title since 2004.
Winning 23 of their 31 league games and losing just three has left the Gunners four points above Manchester City with seven matches remaining.
But Arsenal’s advantage would have been even greater had it not been for successive 2-2 away draws at Liverpool and West Ham.
Arteta said his players ‘got too comfortable’ in their draw with West Ham last weekend but Sutton believes this was an error that Ferguson never committed during his incredible 27-year spell at Manchester United and says the Spaniard should have shifted the blame elsewhere.
‘Arsenal’s players will have felt sick going into the dressing room at London Stadium at full-time last Sunday and dropping points like that is a very different feeling to when you draw after trailing 2-0,’ Sutton told BBC Sport.
‘I don’t think Gunners boss Mikel Arteta got it right when he said afterwards that his side looked “too comfortable” when they went ahead early on against the Hammers.
‘He might just have been emotional at the result but he seemed to be questioning his players’ mentality and I don’t think we ever saw Sir Alex Ferguson doing that at United – he would have blamed the referee, or anything, instead.
‘Maybe the pressure is getting to Arteta too, but his side need to start dominating games again, or at least controlling them – starting with this one.’
Sutton believes doubts may be ‘creeping in’ at Arsenal after they blew two successive 2-0 leads to drop vital points in the title race.
But the former Premier League striker expects the Gunners to prove too strong for bottom-placed Southampton on Friday night ahead of next week’s mouth-watering clash with defending champions Man City.
‘Arsenal go to Etihad Stadium on Wednesday so this is an absolutely must-win game for them to get back on track,’ he added.
‘It would be unthinkable for them to drop points against the bottom side – if they do, I think the title has definitely gone.
‘It’s must-win for Southampton, too, and their situation means they cannot be happy with a point whoever they are playing.
‘It might actually help them that the pressure is off them a bit, because most people think they are down now, but I still don’t see them getting anything at Emirates Stadium.’
While Arsenal host Southampton tomorrow night, Manchester City are in FA Cup semi-final action against Championship side Sheffield United.