Two former Gunners roundly criticised the current crop after a defeat to Olympiacos saw them dumped out of Europe
Former Arsenal players Martin Keown and John Hartson have blasted the current side after a performance Keown deemed ‘unprofessional’ saw them eliminated from the Europa League.
The defeat to Olympiacos sees the Gunners facing a herculean task to qualify for either European competition next season as they are in ninth place in the Premier League table. The FA Cup is their last realistic hope of securing continental football in the next campaign.
Keown said that Thursday’s game was the first time the players had failed to respond to ne manager Mikel Arteta, and that the young Spaniard showed some tactical naivety as well.
“It was the first time I felt that the players were not responding to the manager and the manager did not know what changes to make,” the former England international said on BT Sport.
“There are so many disappointments in that Arsenal performance. There were so many unprofessional performances from players. Such a poor game for Arsenal.
“If you break down the performance you could have looked at every single player and say that they could have all done more.
“[Nicolas] Pepe is going to have to improve. [Gabriel] Martinelli should have come on a lot earlier. [Granit] Xhaka was taking the easy way out. A lot of players were not playing their best.”
Despite their poor performance Arsenal could have won the game when captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spurned a chance as time ran out.
Keown conceded that would have changed the feeling of the evening at the Emirates, but that the Gabon internationals’ failure to convert left the crowd venting their frustration.
“It would have been the perfect way to finish but they didn’t,” he added. “There was a lot of anger, fans were showing their anger at the end of the game.
“There is going to be a lot of fallout from this game.”
Another former Arsenal man, John Hartson weighed in on the defensive frailties that allowed the Greek side to snatch a victory.
“Defensively I questioned David Luiz and Mustafi before the game,” he said from his seat alongside Keown.
“Are they good enough to take Arsenal any further, win competitions, into the Champions League?
”Again tonight they’ve conceded from two corners.”