Joe Cole has told talkSPORT that he believes Arsenal could drop out of the Premier League’s top six in the 2019/20 campaign.
Cole, who joined Adrian Durham and Matt Holland in the studio on Tuesday afternoon, feels there is too much uncertainty around the Emirates right now in order for the club to kick on and progress.
“I can’t really see anyone breaking into it, but I could possibly see Arsenal falling out of it, because there doesn’t seem to be enough harmony around the club,” he told Drive.
“At Manchester United he [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] seems to be getting his act together a little bit. I like the signings they’ve made – they’ve been good additions.
“Arsenal possibly could, but it depends on the last few days of the window.”
Lille winger Pepe is closing in on a £72m move to the Emirates – which will see the club smash their all-time transfer record.
The Gunners have also forked out £27m for highly-rated defender William Saliba, £6m on Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli and a whopping £15m to bring Dani Ceballos to the club on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.
However, despite that Cole doesn’t believe those additions will be enough for them to seriously challenge for honours, both domestically and in Europe, as defensively they are still weak.
“It’s not like this is something new. I guarantee you whoever has sat in this chair [at talkSPORT] for the last 10 years talking about Arsenal would have said the same thing,” he added.
“I don’t understand why they aren’t in the running for someone like Lewis Dunk [Brighton defender].
“If they do fall out of the top six it will be because of the policies that are in place at the club.
“They’ve been crying out for 10, maybe 15 years, to strengthen defensively and bring the right characters in.
“If they don’t do that they’ll keep conceding goals from set-pieces and conceding too many goals in general.”
Meanwhile, Cole, who won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and one League Cup during a seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge, says Arsenal’s arch nemesis’ Tottenham must win a trophy sooner rather than later to be classed a ‘proper team’.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men reached the Champions League final last season , as well as securing a top-four spot, however the search goes on for that elusive piece of silverware – that last of which came back in February 2008 when they won the League Cup.
“I’m a romantic when it comes to that kind of thing. I think winning a trophy is the main thing,” he explained.
“I think of myself and the days we won things [at Chelsea]. I don’t think of the times where we got to the quarter-finals of a competition and we played well or we got to the last four.
“You remember the days, both as a fan and as a player, when you go to Wembley and win things.”
He continued: “I think Spurs as a club have been ran fantastically well for the last 10 to 15 years.
“They’ve developed and come on a bundle, but I feel like if I’m working for Spurs now I’d be saying to those lads you’ve got that experience under your belt now, you’ve had this great run [to the Champions League final].
“You’re already getting older so now’s the time, if they’re going to be a proper team, to put some silverware on the table.”
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Cole also praised new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard for ‘galvanising’ the west London side during his appearance on the show.
“He’s galvanised the club. No one would have asked for the club to be handed a transfer ban, but it’s allowed them to take a step back,” he said.
“Frank’s the right man at the right time. Younger players in and around the building are seeing that they’re going to get an opportunity.
“Frank’s being very clever and he’s said he’s going to pick players that are ready.
“When you get the chance you have to take it, which is easier said than done when it comes to young players.”