Pundit claims ‘switched off’ Arsenal players could end up fighting relegation

Darren Bent has claimed that Arsenal player’s appear to have switched off, and are no longer on board with Mikel Arteta‘s plans.

The Gunners have won just one of their last eight Premier League fixtures, scoring just twice in that time, and have fallen down to 15th place in the division.

Their most recent loss to Burnley at home struck the loudest chord, with the Clarets having been one of very few sides below them in the division currently, and Granit Xhaka’s red card has highlighted disciplinary issues for the second time of late, after Nicolas Pepe found himself red-carded for similar unruly and aggressive behaviour.

Darren Bent, a self-confessed Arsenal fan, has now called for the club to do one of two things; to either give Arteta the funds he needs to fix the issues within his squad (which he doubts), or to replace him, with the current crop of players no longer on the same page as the manager.

He told TalkSPORT: “I know it’s never going to happen because they just don’t do business that way, [but] I’d love for them [the Arsenal board] to go in January, ‘what do you need? Here’s the money, go and buy the players’.

“But right now, it looks like these players have switched off from listening to his ideas.

“I like him as a coach – I think he’s a very, very good coach – but if the players have switched off and are no longer listening to the ideas, it’s going to go from bad to even worse and we might end up being in a relegation battle.

“However good the coach is, if they’re not buying into his ideas then what happens next?

“You can’t just keep having the manager there for the sake of, ‘he’s a good manager’, but the players aren’t listening to him anymore.”

When asked who he thought would be an ideal replacement for the Spaniard, he responded: “Off the top of my head, I don’t think he’d leave where he’s at now, but I love Brendan Rodgers.

“As a coach, he always seems to improve squads. Look at what he’s done with this Leicester team – they’re playing fantastic football. He’d be a very good addition.

“Whether he’d leave Leicester now, I don’t think so, but he’s one I’d love to have in the building.

“As I said, I like Arteta and I think he’s a very good manager.

“But if the players have switched off and they’re no longer listening to his ideas and don’t believe in what he’s saying, then you can’t get rid of the players, so something’s got to change.”

Has Arteta lost the players in the dressing room? Has he tried to implement too much, too soon with the current crop? Is a change in management the only option left for the club?


Tags Brendan Rodgers darren bent mikel arteta


  1. Arteta’s management style has let him down. He’s the master of his own destiny. He doesn’t treat his players equally. His style of play is dismal.

  2. Arteta losing home games against smaller teams we should be beating is reaaly worrying me.
    These are the home games we should be getting 3 points from.
    Losing to Leicester, Villa, Wolves and Burnley at HOME is making me unsure and very nervous.

    I am still going to give Arteta until after January but if this downward spiral continues I will be calling for him to be sacked.

  3. Arteta should have benched some players for the Burnley game, as it was the easiest match of the next several.
    Bench Auba and Laca and bring on Saka and Nelson or Balogun or Nketiah. Next sit Xhaka and play AMN, Elneny seems to do the role of dirty work just fine. Bellerin would be the next I would sit and play Cedric.

    It seems that too many players presume to be starters, and I currently am not seeing the merit or performance based starts Arteta has been saying.
    Balogun has made an impact everytime he is brought on, Arteta even said as much himself. ESR shows he can create, Soares understands he is a defender first.

    Arteta has to mix it up now with the lineups. Xhaka and Bellerin are out, so force them to play their way back into the starting 11. Drop Willian alltogether, even from the bench for a game or two.

  4. this whole debacle reminds me a bit of Jose at Manu…his tactical style made no sense for that particular personnel group…our trade with them was basically the beginning of the end for both Jose and Wenger, at their respective clubs, as this was when we sadly chose Ozil over Sanchez and they paid through the nose(wage-wise) for a luxury player, in Alexis, who clearly didn’t fit the system…I understand that Arteta might have a specific vision and that it requires some patience and heartache before it comes good, but then why is he continually bringing in, re-signing and playing players that are counter-intuitive to this highly structured, largely static, sideways passing cross-fest…I just can’t see where his actions actually match his words

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