Willian and Nicolas Pepe have done little to earn their places in the Arsenal starting XI, according to Peter Crouch.
The Gunners pair were recalled for Arsenal’s FA Cup game against Southampton today.
Both players had the chance to show Mikel Arteta that they were ready to get back in the team on a consistent basis.
But they put in some poor performances for the Gunners, and now that the club has exited the competition, they will struggle to feature in future games.
Crouch says he understands as a former player that their confidence is now low. They will not be happy that youngsters have broken into the team and are being picked ahead of them.
However, the best way to get themselves back into reckoning is to deliver good enough performances, but they haven’t done that in this game.
After watching them struggle in the match, he says that they have to be eager to do more and that they have no right to complain if they don’t play the next match.
‘They were disappointing,’ Crouch said of Pepe and Willian on BT Sport via Mail Sport after the match.
‘I think they are very good players [but] at this moment in time they’re suffering a lack of confidence, their ego has been dented because young players have come in in their place.
‘I know what that’s like if you’re an experienced professional and kids play ahead of you. You’re going to be angry and there’s two ways you can react – you can throw your toys out of the pram or you can knuckle down, work hard and win your place back.
‘But I don’t think they’ve done enough to warrant their place in the starting XI.’
‘There’s been an upturn in fortunes for Arsenal recently but most of the players involved in that weren’t involved today,’ he added.
‘You can’t be relying on kids, you’ve got Willian, Pepe, top players on the pitch there. You’d expect them to come here today hungry and showing the manager they don’t want kids playing in front of them, but that didn’t happen.
‘They can’t be knocking down the manager’s door when they’re dropped on Tuesday.’