Paul Merson has claimed that he ‘doesn’t see’ how Arsenal can win against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, before criticising the likes of Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gunners have just four points from their last six league fixtures, and you can understandably be lacking in confidence in our side securing a result this weekend.
Tottenham meanwhile are in the form of their lives, and this fixture could either be a blessing thanks to the magic of the derby, or could be a killer blow to the remaining confidence left in the side.
Merson just can’t get his head around the possibility of a win on Sunday however, before adding that both Willian and Aubameyang are lacking.
“I don’t see how my old club can beat Tottenham this weekend,” he said in his Daily Star column. “They are too predictable and getting nothing from their stars.
“Willian has not got going at all, and is having a real nightmare. And Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been atrocious.
“What does he bring to the party? Absolutely nothing at the moment. You need big performances from your big players when things aren’t going well. Arsenal aren’t getting that. That’s a dangerous thing.
“Has Aubameyang relaxed too much after signing his contract? Only he can answer that. But he’s not earning his money.”
The former forward-turned midfielder adds that he is saddened by the downturn of his former side, who are ‘so easy to stop’.
He added: “It’s sad how far Arsenal have fallen behind Spurs. It’s hard to understand.
“Arsenal built a new stadium and had to sell players every year. Spurs built a new stadium and they’re still spending big money!
“It’s so easy to stop Arsenal at the moment. Teams go to the Emirates thinking they should be getting something there.
“Mesut Ozil would make a difference in this team. Who else have they got who can pick a pass or thread the ball through the eye of a needle? I really worry for Arsenal at the moment.
“Don’t get me wrong. Arteta is safe. They won’t make a change, so I don’t think he’s under that much pressure. He’s there for the long haul.
“But at the start of the season everyone was saying: “Oh it’s strong management leaving Ozil out.” I think it’s come back to haunt them now. They have no guile.”
Continuing his criticism of Aubameyang, Merson said: “I don’t even think they have a plan to get players like Aubameyang and Willian on the ball. They hardly touch it in some games. If you touch the ball 80 times in a game, you are going to do at least 10 good things.
“But I watch him in the Premier League and at the moment, Aubameyang is doing absolutely nothing at all.
“You have got to get them into the game. Get them more involved somehow. Arsenal are a bit too predictable. But they wouldn’t be so predictable with Ozil in the team.
“Even in the later years of Arsene Wenger, when Arsenal weren’t a great team, they had movement and they were hard to stop.
“If Aubameyang plays in the North London Derby, he really needs to show up. And if he doesn’t, Arsenal have to find a solution.”
Do Arsenal rely too much on Aubameyang to make a difference? Do you believe we still hold a chance of winning on Sunday in the big derby game?
I certainly can’t remember the last time we went into the North London Derby with such little confidence…