“Players want to go to the better performing teams ” Pundit sends out Arsenal warning

Micah Richards says Arsenal cannot attract big-name players at the moment and too much reliance on young players will get Mikel Arteta the sack.

The Gunners have added the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga to their squad in this transfer window.

The club’s owners have kept their promise in backing Arteta, but his team has started this campaign poorly.

Looking at other clubs, Manchester United has added Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their squad, while Manchester City has splashed the cash on Jack Grealish.

Arsenal is still expected to compete for a place in the top six this season, but Richards says Arteta cannot add big-name players to his squad because of how poorly his team is performing and the current group of players that he has will not help him save his job.

The Gunners will face Manchester City in their next Premier League game and they will have lost their first three matches at the start of the season if they are beaten.

Discussing Arsenal on BBC Radio 5 Live, Richards said: “At this moment, Arsenal can’t attract the top, top players, because players want to go to the better performing teams at this moment in time.

“When you say they’ve spent a lot of money, they’re buying second-tier players, or players with good potential who could become that.

“You should think that the manager’s got some input in the players that they’re getting.

“But I just think with Arsenal now, they’ve got themselves in such a rut, they’ve done a couple of panic buys.”

Tags Micah Richards


  1. Spot on!

    This is why MA wanted Xhaka to stay. Because of his age and experience. We are likely to be at least five years behind the top six at this rate because of the youth we have.

    The senior players we have are not performing and haven’t been for years. Auba, Laca, Xhaka, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Pepe etc. are all performing badly under MA. What chance do youth have of getting good results?

    1. GunneRay, you are hard on Pepe (improving each season, when given opportunities), Aubameyang (one poor season after contending for “golden boot” previous two) and Lacazette (top scorer last season).
      When is Granit Xhaka going to show leadership on the field?
      In response to Micah Richards, all clubs apart from Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea face the same problems. Leicester City, Aston Villa. Tottenham, West Ham, Everton etc are shopping in the same market and are able to uncover gems. Even Brighton has/had Bissouma and White.
      Arteta needs to knuckle down and manage the resources he has available (9 of whom he has brought in), including the Academy to develop individual players to optimize their performances and the team.

    2. The entire team is under performing, not just those players. Arsenal were 8th. The team is poorly manages and poorly balanced. No assists and no goals from midfield. Remember, Aubameyang scored 20 the year before and Arsenal were still 8th. Why?

      The best (only) senior attacking midfielder on the team was not even in the squad.

      Arsenal’s top signing to a defense that was third-best in the league was a center back.

      With the team needing goals and assists from the midfield, Arsenal signed two midfielders, neither of which score or provide assists.

      With several senior players out against Brentford, Arteta left his senior right back on the bench so he could continue to falsely claim Bellerin is not playing well. The same way he led Arsenal to 8th with Ozil out of the team and the club desperate for creativity.

      It makes no sense to get hysterical over losses to Chelsea and Man City (both of which were always likely, regardless of the Brentford result) The problem is, Arsenal were so poor against Brentford that it would be easy to imagine a loss to Norwich in Week 4.

      I think the reason Arsenal fans are so angry with Micah Richards, Rio Ferdinand and company for criticizing the team is that we know they are right. It is hard to imagine this team, absent dramatic action, anywhere higher up the table than 10th at Christmas.

      Saka, ESR, Ben White, and Lokonga might turn out to be future stars. Right now, they are good players with potential.

      The same was once said about Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Nicholas Bendtner, Chris Willock, Alex Iwobi, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshire, Ainslley Maitland-Niles, Mateo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chuba Akpom, Isaac Hayden, Joe Willock, with a lot more evidence to support the claims.

      Injury, bad luck, a change in manager, off the field issues, and it all goes awry.

      Anyone who saw a healthy Jack Wilshire boss the midfield against Barcelona at age 16 knew that were watching greatness. Bendtner could be unstoppable when he bulled into the box, determined to score. Abou Diaby was the second coming of Patrick Viera before his catastrophic injury.

      Some were good early; Isaac Hayden and Maitland-Niles were miles about their peers at 17, but at 22 look mediocre. Torreira looked a worldie in Italy, but in England he lacks the size and pace to dominate as a holding midfielder. Chris Willock was not physical enough, Gibbs was oft-injured and too offense-minded. Iwobi had some terrific games for Arsenal, but never scored or assisted like he should of, given his talent.

      Putting trust in youth is what teams do when they have no option.

      Adding Marcel Sabitzer and Youri Tielemans to the Gunners would have cost about the same as Ben White, Martin Odegaard, and Aaron Ramsdale; but those two signings would have addressed Arsenal’s two principal needs. with players in or entering their prime. Instead Arsenal have added a lot of potential, nothing in the way of goals, and a defender, who while good, is not going to make the third best defense into the second best defense, not for a few years,


      Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney
      (Chambers), (Mari), (Saliba), (Tavares)

      Partey, Tielemans
      (Lokonga, Elneny), (Xhaka)

      Pepe, Sabitzer, Aubameyang
      (Saka, Reiss-Nelson), (ESR), (Martinelli)

      (Balogun, Aubameyang)

      This team has weaknesses in the reserve goalkeeping position but is otherwise solidly two-deep at every position.

  2. Pepe outperformed Saka.

    All Arsenal’s forwards struggled, Not just Aubameyang. Lacazette struggled as well, and so did Nketiah. That should tell anyone who knows anything about football something, but not Arsenal fans.

    Arsenal can attract big players, they just have to pay big money. Which, not to be too obvious, so do Man City, Man U, and Chelsea. Grealish would not be a City player if they hadn’t paid the 100 million. Sancho would still be at Dortmund if not for United overpaying. Ditto for Lukaku and Chelsea. All arsenal have to do to get those players is pay that money. And their wages on top, of course.

    Arsenal just paid 129 million for potential; they did not sign a single established star or world class player.

    A team that was two games from fourth place last season with two very obvious serious needs; a central midfielder capable of goals and assists, and an attacking midfield player capable of scoring goals and tallying assists; signed neither.

    The club addressed its need for a reserve left back, a reserve goal keeper, signed a midfielder who doesn’t score, and another who plays deep.

    Meanwhile, the manager has banished the best right back on the team for the usual false reasons Arteta loves to trot out, and continues to play two holding midfielders in the same side.

  3. Couldnt agree with you more Paul. We have invested but the investment does not necessarily solve our glaring problems, scoring and assisting from the midfield and a steely defensive midfielder. I think Bissouma was a must signing.

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