Gary Neville says Arsenal has more than enough young and talented players in their squad, but the team lacks leaders.
Arsenal suffered a 2-1 loss at Everton yesterday, which means they have now suffered defeats in their last two league matches.
Prior to those fixtures, Mikel Arteta’s men were doing well and were on the cusp of breaking into the top four.
The likes of Tottenham and Manchester United have now moved above them on the league table.
The Gunners finished last season outside the European places and now faces the prospect of having yet another poor end to the campaign.
Neville blames the standards around the youngsters for the problem at the club.
‘He’s flip-flopping between doing a good job and being under pressure, there’s no in-between,’ Neville said on Sky Sports as quoted by The Daily Mail.
‘When you look at average age of the squad: if you’re going to Old Trafford or Goodison Park some players won’t have experienced it many times and it’s tough.
‘I remember my first few games at Anfield or Highbury, you need really good experienced players to get you through those difficult moments.
‘You need comfort in there and that spine to be really strong and Arsenal’s senior players are not really massive characters or massive leaders, they don’t get the young players through those difficult moments in the game, and the young players go under a bit, which is natural.
‘There’s a lot of talent there and the young players are not the problem, the problem is the direction and the standards around them. Arteta hasn’t got that as a young manager.’
Just Arsenal opinion
Neville is really full of himself and believes that whatever he says should be taken as gospel, however, most of the time he is best ignored because he really does not have a clue and is a terrible hypocrite.
But on this occasion, he makes a very good point.
This Arsenal team has struggled against the top clubs in this campaign, but Everton isn’t one.
The Toffees have been poor in recent weeks before facing us yesterday and they simply won that match because they wanted it more.
The Gunners were sluggish and even Granit Xhaka didn’t help to boost the confidence of the youngsters.
No team survives without leading figures in the dressing room, and Arteta needs to work on that soon enough.
Though, the real problem is maybe closer to the managers door than anywhere else.