Mikel Arteta is under immense pressure. (Photo by Peter Powell)

WEST Brom manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday taunted old rivals Arsenal by claiming the struggling Gunners are in danger of relegation.

Arsenal are languishing in 15th place in the Premier League after their worst start to a league season since 1974-75.

Mikel Arteta’s team are just four points above the relegation zone and were thrashed 4-1 by Manchester City in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Albion are second from bottom with seven points, five adrift of safety, and host Arsenal on January 2 in what Allardyce believes will be a crucial relegation showdown.

Asked if he regarded Arsenal as rivals in the fight to avoid the drop, Allardyce said: “If they are in the bottom eight at the moment, yes, absolutely.

“They’ve only won maybe one in the last 10 or so, and it appears their big results have come in the Europa League.

“And of course getting beat again last night (Tuesday), even though it’s not in the league, as it does with our players, drains the confidence of Arsenal’s players, of course it will.

“Because they’ll be wondering what has hit them, why they are down there, and what it is going to take to get out of that position.”

Allardyce often jousted with former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger whenever his teams faced the Gunners.

A veteran of several successful fights to avoid relegation in his long managerial career, Allardyce is confident he can save West Brom, potentially at the expense of Arsenal.

“I know what it takes, I hope I can convince the players to respond to what I say on what it takes to get out of it, and I hope we can push on Arsenal when they play us because they’ve got a lack of confidence, and try to beat them — or anybody in the bottom eight,” Allardyce said.

The Arsenal manager would long for supporters like Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola experienced a trophyless season in his first term in charge of City in 2016/17.

However, he has gone on to win two Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup.

 “I know his incredible quality as a human being and especially as a manager, how he is involved in everything,” said Guardiola.

“It’s just a question of time and he will do well.

“Football changes in one week so quick.”

Guardiola said Arteta’s ability is not in question and was as responsible for City’s success as he had been.

“I can speak about my experience alongside him — one of the most incredible, successful teams in English history we had, and he was part of this success,” said Guardiola.

“It would not be possible without him. To create something like this you need time like I had in my first season.”



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