Jamie Carragher: Arsenal do not have a centre forward and a goalkeeper who can win you the league

Arsenal suffered their first Premier League defeat of the 2023-24 season at the hands of Newcastle United at St. James Park on Saturday, and they have found themselves three points behind current leaders Manchester City after 11 games.

The Gunners will argue that the Newcastle goal should not have stood, and while the officiating today was very poor, the truth is that the North Londoners were not at their best against the Magpies.

They struggled in front of goal and just one of their 14 attempts hit the target.

Jamie Carragher was not impressed, and he believes Arsenal do not have a centre forward and a goalkeeper that can win them the Premier League title.

Manager Mikel Arteta brought in Spain international goalkeeper David Raya on loan from Brentford in the summer, and he has since established himself as first-choice in goal ahead of England international Aaron Ramsdale.

The Spaniard should have done better to prevent the Newcastle goal as he fumbled his attempt to punch the cross that eventually led to the controversial goal.

Raya has not been exceptional in some of the games he has played despite suffering just his second defeat at the club, and Carragher is far from convinced.

“Have Arsenal got a centre forward and a goalkeeper who can win you the league?,” the Sky Sports pundit asked after the match.

“I’m not sure they have. I don’t think they have. And when you think of vital positions where teams win leagues, in both boxes, and right now, I’ve said this before, it wasn’t a mistake, as in looking to replace Ramsdale.

“For me, Ramsdale is not going to win you the league, but the guy he (Arteta) has chosen right now to come in, Raya, is absolutely all over the place.”

Brazil international Gabriel Jesus leads the line for Arsenal when fit, while Eddie Nketiah is deployed whenever the former Man City striker is unavailable.

The duo are capable of producing the goods on their day, but they are not the most prolific of goalscorers, which is why Carragher does not see either of them capable of firing the Gunners to the title.

Jesus is yet to score 15 league goals in a season since he turned professional in 2015, and while he is a quality forward, he is often guilty of missing chances.

The Brazilian is perfect for the style of play Arteta deploys, but the fact that Pep Guardiola was more than keen to sell him to a rival club speaks volumes.

Nketiah could finally hit double figures in league goals this term, but he has battled inconsistency and will need to improve significantly if he wants to fulfil his huge potential.

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