As seems to be the case every time they lose, the knives are out for Arsenal this week and the criticism is coming from former figures at the club.
The Gunners fell to a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, leaving their title hopes, if they ever genuinely had any, in tatters for another season as they once again failed to deliver in a big game against a direct rival.
They may have had their moments, but there were a number of question marks raised by their performance, as Lee Dixon in particular nails with his analysis of their pressing and work off the ball which looked disjointed and lacking any sort of cohesion to be able to even come close to containing City.
However, the former right-back isn’t the only one to launch a scathing attack on the club this week, as Emmanuel Petit has shared his frustration with the current problems as has former boss George Graham.
“There are questions they’re obviously not going to answer,” Graham told The Guardian. “I heard [chief executive Ivan] Gazidis say they were over-performing. Over-performing?”
While he pointed the finger at the board, and rightly so as they have been complicit in Arsenal’s failings for a number of years now, Dixon was more critical of Wenger’s management, as he believes the lack of defensive organisation discussed above comes back to the manager and his preparation prior to games.
Winning the odd FA Cup is undoubtedly a boost for Arsenal, but ultimately, they look set to fall way short of the big prizes once again this season and Dixon isn’t impressed.
“He has created an environment that doesn’t really know what they’re doing without the ball,” Dixon told BBC Radio 5 Live, “Just running willy-nilly at the ball is a disaster against Man City.”
As for Petit, he argued that the players need to take responsibility and part of the blame too for their ongoing failures, but a combination of that with the problems that Wenger has failed to deal with, has led to a troubled few years for the club with no silverware to show for their efforts.
“The fault for this lies not just with the manager, but also with the players,” he told Paddy Power. “When the chips are down, several of them keep going missing. Sometimes talent wins you games, but sometimes spirit is also vital.”
With the north London derby coming up after the international break, it remains to be seen whether or not there’s a response from Arsenal, or if their bitter rivals Tottenham begin to pile further misery on them…