Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has accused some of the older members of the current squad of viewing the club as a “vacation” and described the group as “average.”
Petit was part of a successful Arsenal team with Arsene Wenger. He won the Premier League with his compatriot in the first of three seasons with the club in the late 1990s. However, Arsenal have been on a downward trajectory for much of the time since then.
A recent 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool He highlighted important problems with Mikel Arteta’s side. They face an uphill battle if they want to qualify for Europe next season.
There is some hope left through the Europa League, that they could win to qualify for the Champions League. However, they will need to improve their game if they want to.
Now, Petit has attacked Arteta’s team, embarrassing some of his older players and highlighting how many the coach needs to get rid of.
“When I look at the older players on the Arsenal team, it’s like they think it’s a retreating football club, a place you just go on vacation,” Petit said (via Evening Standard).
“They have ambition, but I really don’t expect them to win more big games.
“If you remove the name ‘Arsenal’ and look 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 the dressing room. Honestly.
“I try not to get more excited when I look at Arsenal. I try to step back and put my emotions aside.
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“I try to see them as a normal team. I have to tell myself, ‘don’t expect anything special from them today.’
Quartet escapes Petit’s criticism
The Frenchman continued his tirade at the Arsenal side by stating that not many can rank among the best in the Premier League at their respective positions.
“The question is simple; How many Arsenal players would you look at and say ‘they’re one of the best in the league at that position’? ”He added.
“For me, if you look at the last two or three seasons, how many players are exempt from criticism? Probably three or four.
“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.
READ MORE: Arteta describes how Arsenal must adapt after confirming the blow of Tierney’s injury