Roy Keane casts doubt on Arsenal’s top four hopes after ‘blowing it’ last season

After a myriad of arrivals at the Emirates, there is an understandable aura of positivity with many believing Arsenal can finally breach the top four as a result.

Mikel Arteta has not had the best time in the Premier League, with finishes of eighth, eighth and fifth – the last campaign perhaps being the most disappointing having been in the top four for much of the season until the final few weeks where they relinquished their spot to rivals Tottenham.

Nevertheless, that has not stopped the Gunners coach from believing in his project and, together with sporting director Edu Gaspar, has overseen a summer splurge in the transfer window. Gabriel Jesus, Marquinhos, Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira and Oleksandr Zinchenko, as well as the return of William Saliba, have given Arsenal fans reason to be optimistic.

READ MORE: Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko backed to quickly settle at 'institution' Arsenal

However, they have not impressed Roy Keane – who believes that the same old issues are present and that the upcoming season. A run of three defeats in a row that saw the Gunners blow the top four have left a bitter taste in the Manchester United legend's mouth.

"I think last season was their big opportunity [to return to the Champions League]. They blew it, they got into a great position, four, five games to go in the season you think they’re in pole position and they blew it. They couldn’t get over the line," Keane told Sky Bet.

"They were poor, the Newcastle game was a real blow to them where they never turned up. The manager was quite critical of them after the game, some of the players were senior ones. So you wouldn’t be putting any bets on Arsenal to finish top four next season because the other teams.

"Manchester United will get better you’d of thought. Tottenham will be stronger, so you can’t see it for Arsenal, big set-back. The way they finished last season was a big setback. Arsenal should be competing for a top-four so to come up short and finish behind Tottenham was a hammer blow.

"There’s still a softness to the group. Okay, they’re young and sometimes you need experienced lads to get you over the line in the big games. But there’s a softness to them, even the two centre-halves, they’re not convincing."

Arsenal open the season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Friday night going in with confidence after a fine pre-season. Some of the highlights include thrashing Premier League rivals Chelsea 4-0 and Sevilla 6-0.

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