Ex-Arsenal boss Graham insists Gunners have no chance of lifting title
20 July 2009 10:04
Former Arsenal and Tottenham manager George Graham does not see a Premier League challenge coming from north London next season.
Graham believes the title will be contested by Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea - with no one ready to dislodge English football's elite trio.
He thinks the £25 million sale of Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City leaves the Gunners short on firepower and Mark Hughes' side is top-heavy with strikers.
Graham said: 'It's interesting that Arsene Wenger said Adebayor is a great player so why is he selling him?
'If he's disruptive in the dressing-room, doesn't get on with the other players and is adamant he wants to leave then Arsene has a problem.
'But problems like that are part and parcel of being a manager. You have to get into the player's head. Sir Alex Ferguson is a master of this.
'Adebayor is a top goalscorer but in games I've seen his attitude has been poor so if Arsenal are going to sell him they must ask if they can get someone in to replace him.
'Look at Arsenal's forward line. You have players of the quality of Van Persie, Walcott and Eduardo but they have had injury problems year after year.
'They also have Bendtner and it doesn't look to me as if they are going to be challenging for the title next season.
'City have lots of money and you think they could be the team to challenge the Big Four but I still believe it will take some time.
'They have all these forwards but they need a back-bone and need to start buying defenders.
'I think John Terry has another six years even though some people say at 28 his legs are beginning to go. Tony Adams was picking up trophies for Arsenal well into his thirties.
'I think he's looking for a much improved contract at Chelsea. If he's on £130,000 a week now he's probably looking for £180,000 or £200,000.
'Chelsea know he's the heart and soul of the club, has some good years ahead of him and they'll probably sign him up.'
Graham is surprised that there has been little wheeling and dealing by Harry Redknapp at Spurs who may have to break their wage structure to sign Peter Crouch from Portsmouth.
He said: 'You look at Harry . I thought there would be a lot more transfer activity at Tottenham. He's finding it difficult to bring players in while he has some players there who cost a lot of money and are on big salaries - why should they leave?
'Harry loves Peter Crouch and I'm sure would love to have him again but Portsmouth are big payers so Spurs may have to break their wage structure to sign him.'