Jamie Carragher has continued his attack on Arsenal’s senior players, who have proven to be expensive flops at the club this season.
After winning the FA Cup in the last campaign, the Gunners had expected to end this season inside the Premier League’s top four.
However, that will not happen as inconsistent form threatens to rob Mikel Arteta’s team of a European place.
The good things that have happened at the Emirates this season have largely been spearheaded by the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and other youngsters at the club.
The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian have underperformed and Carragher says they are a negative influence on the team.
The former Liverpool defender says Mikel Arteta’s biggest problem is fixing the attitudes of the senior players at the club who are contaminating the training ground.
Their conduct, he reckons will force Arteta to continue to rely on the club’s younger players.
The former Liverpool defender told The Telegraph:‘They are a malignant influence who will contaminate the training ground and may leave a negative legacy for the generation which follows.
‘That’s arguably the biggest, most recurring problem Arteta is trying to fix right now.
‘What was the club’s strength at the turn of the millennium is a serious weakness in 2021. That’s why patience has run out amongst the club’s fanbase and they would prefer to see Arteta build around his exciting youngsters.
‘That perspective is understandable and Arteta may have no option but to go down that route in the short-term, but it is as damning on the club’s established stars as it is as a compliment to the young talent.
‘Through the latter years of Arsene Wenger, into the reign of Unai Emery and now Arteta, there has been a massive erosion of trust in those who are supposed to be leading by example.’