Former Arsenal striker John Hartson has spoken out following the dismal defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday, calling for Arsene Wenger to leave, before adding that expectations from the fans is unrealistic.
The Gunner succumbed to their fourth successive away defeat in a row on Monday, whilst conceding three goals in each of those losses, and pressure is mounting on the manager.
Former Gunner Hartson has now moved to call for his former boss to leave.
“I worked under Arsene Wenger and I’ve always sort of been in the camp of ‘Arsene Wenger’s great, he’s done fantastic, the Champions League qualifications, the money that he brings into the club…’, but I just think now it’s time for him to go,” Hartson said.
“It hurts me to say that because I like Arsene Wenger.
“(But) last night you would call that performance inept. There was a lack of leadership, lack of togetherness. The players are playing as individuals, they don’t look like a team. There’s a lack of fight and that’s four (away) losses on the trot for Arsenal, that’s the first time in 20-odd years that’s happened to Arsene Wenger.”
Hartson then moves on to question the players, claiming they are not worthy of challenging for the Premier League title.
He said: “Why aren’t they challenging at the very top? It’s because I don’t think the players are good enough.
“I think there’s a huge expectancy on Arsenal to be challenging but when you look at some of the players who are taking the field for them, I just don’t think they’re up to it.
“I just don’t think they’re at the standard or the level of a team that are capable of winning the Premier League.
“The expectation of some of these players is through the roof, and it shouldn’t be because they aren’t up to it. And they fact they went out of the Champions League 10-2 to Bayern Munich, that just goes to show the quality of the player that Arsenal are putting onto the field.”
He then moves on to claim that Arsenal will struggle to win another league title, due to their unwillingness to challenge for the best players available, and unless this changes, fans need to stop expecting so much from the side.
He added: “You look at Griezmann this summer, he’s available but you know he’s only going to go to Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City because he’ll probably cost around the £80million mark and he’ll go on to over £200,000 (a week) wages. Arsenal don’t pay that. They don’t even entertain that.
“They don’t go in for the top world-class players that become available, so I don’t know where the Arsenal fans really think that the club should be. I don’t think they should be challenging because they’re not good enough to challenge.”
If Wenger leaves and the money isn’t invested to allow a big overhaul, will we have to accept years of mediocrity? Could we become strangers to illustrious top four?