Redknapp predicts tougher times ahead for Arsenal

Harry Redknapp has seen Arsenal go from pole position to outsiders in the Premier League title race within the space of two home games, and he expects the task for Arsène Wenger to be even tougher next season.

When West Ham were winning at half-time against Manchester United, the championship looked within Wenger's grasp, but Wayne Rooney staged a comeback for the leaders and Arsenal failed to beat Blackburn later that day.

With the next home game at the Emirates Stadium culminating in a dramatic draw with Liverpool, Redknapp's Tottenham can effectively end their rivals' hopes this evening at White Hart Lane.

Wenger's Invincibles were the last Arsenal team to win the title, in 2004, and Redknapp believes it will be more difficult to finish at the summit next season compared to the current campaign.

"I think its going to be harder," he said. "It's only a matter of time before Manchester City win a championship, that's for sure, if they keep buying top players.

"I think Liverpool will be up there again. I think next year will be harder than this year and this year was harder than the year before."

Should they fail to close the six-point gap on United, this season could be seen as a missed opportunity for Arsenal.

"They had ... Blackburn at home and then they threw away a great opportunity on Sunday and only took a point," Redknapp said. "If they took those extra four points look where they'd be. With Manchester United to play at home still. They would have been in pole position.

"When United drew [Manchester] City in the FA Cup semi-final, they had two legs to play. Chelsea and Arsenal had none of that and you looked at it and I fancied Arsenal strongly at that time.

"They had no distractions. Then suddenly on that Saturday, United came back to win the game and Arsenal couldn't beat Blackburn."

Arsenal have only defeated Leyton Orient and Blackpool since losing in the Carling Cup final in February, leading to questions over whether Wenger can take his team further. But Redknapp has defended his counterpart amid criticism from the influential Arsenal Supporters' Trust.

"I don't understand that at all," Redknapp said. "How can they criticise him? They've had fantastic success and play great football.

"You lose a few games and you have these silly phone-ins, someone calling the radio station saying 'they were rubbish today, absolutely useless'. If people ring up I switch over and put Magic FM on and listen to a bit of music. Why would I want to listen to a bunch of idiots? They must have sad lives with nothing better to do."

Redknapp, however, has seen a change in approach from Wenger. He agreed the pressure has got to the Arsenal manager recently "because he has probably not had it [defeat] so much".

Redknapp added: "We can all sit there with a cigar when you're winning 3-0, saying 'this is good'. Suddenly they started losing and he was one of the biggest nutters of all. He's jumping around more than anyone now. That's how it gets you. We all do it.

"What was he going through when Liverpool got that free-kick on the edge of the box? It's the worst feeling in the world waiting for that free-kick. What he must have gone through on Sunday must not be good for your health, that's for sure."

Meanwhile, the Premier League is not expected to move Stoke City's game against Manchester City following concerns over a conflict of interest regarding European qualification.

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam