BBC pundit and Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has passed judgement on the current Premier League top four, and stated why he believes London clubs Chelsea and Arsenal lead north-west rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Speaking on Sunday night’s Match of the Day 2 programme, as reported by the Mirror, Shearer has stated his belief that it is the stronger ‘spines’ that see Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger’s sides lead Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s men.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with struggling West Ham, Shearer said, “The two teams with the best spine are sitting at the top of the league, Chelsea and Arsenal.
“And you look at Manchester City, they’ve brought in players to try and play a different way, with a goalkeeper, it’s not necessarily working,” he continued.
Following City’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of resurgent champions Leicester City on Saturday, which featured some unconvincing defensive play by summer recruits John Stones and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, Shearer was clearly unimpressed.
“Liverpool [are] certainly not settled at all. But the two settled sides with the two biggest spines are Chelsea and Arsenal and that’s why they’re sat at the top of the league at this moment in time,” the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer concluded.
While Liverpool and City dropped points, London outfits Chelsea and Arsenal moved clear with home wins over West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City respectively.
Arsenal finished Saturday atop the Premier League after coming from behind to see off the Potters 3-1, with Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi goals cancelling out a Charlie Adam penalty.
It was a more taxing afternoon for the Blues against a well-organised and counter-punching Albion side, but a moment of magic from Diego Costa, after a mistake by Gareth McAuley, clinched a 1-0 for Antonio Conte’s men, and reestablish their three-point lead at the summit.