Emmanuel Petit has launched a scathing attack on some players at Arsenal, claiming some of the senior stars see the club as a ‘retreat football club’.
The Gunners were swatted aside by Liverpool 3-0 last Saturday in what proved to be one of their worst performances of the season.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the former Gunners midfielder claimed half the squad need to be sold and that only four players are worth their salt.
Petit said: “When I look at the older players in Arsenal’s team, it’s like they think it’s a retreat football club, somewhere you just go for a vacation. If you took away the name ‘Arsenal’ and looked at that group of players… average.”
“At the end of the season, if I’m Arsenal, if I’m Arteta, if I’m on the board, to be honest with you, I think my main concern is getting half of the dressing room out. Honestly. For me, if you look at the last two or three seasons, how many players are exempt of any criticism? Three or four, probably: Kieran Tierney and Bernd Leno. I really like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe; the way Smith-Rowe plays really reminds me of Paul Gascoigne.”
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The levels to which this football club have plummeted are quite sensational. From qualifying for the Champions League year in, year out, to struggling to even make the top half of the Premier League, Arsenal’s fall from grace has been hellish.
Whilst the blame can be firmly placed on the players, the club from top to bottom has been a bit of a shambles with Arsenal struggling across the board.
The constant change behind the scenes doesn’t make for great news especially for off the field situations like transfers. Raul Sanllehi, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy have come and gone over the last few years in what can only be described as a boardroom merry-go-round.
However, looking back at the first-team squad, the level of consistency has been a bit of a rollercoaster. From beating Chelsea and Manchester City (twice) on the way to FA Cup success, to struggling against the likes of Burnley, Wolves, Southampton and Aston Villa at home, some of the displays reek of a lack of effort.
Given the fact this has been occurring for a number of years now, questions need to arise of the players. The level of effort simply hasn’t been good enough as Arsenal look for a return to the top of English football.