‘They are a malignant influence who will contaminate the training ground’ Carragher slams Arsenal’s senior stars

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.’ 

Tags Jamie Carragher


  1. Silentstan says:

    And how would he onows what happens on the training ground

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Well hes a former pro, currently a pundit and likely is involved in most circles that would have some inside info

      Think it’s fair to say he’d like not say this out of the blue

      1. A J says:

        Spot on PJ-SA.

        Even I’ve had a tad of first hand insight into our lots attitude ( not the current squad but recent enough to gain an impression ).

        Of course ex pro’s pick all sorts up on the “circuit “.

  2. Grandad says:

    Strong words from Carragher, which suggests he has some insight concerning the training ground atmosphere which is not readily apparent to fans..As he indicates many fans would prefer Arteta to give youth a chance now and unload our over paid, under performing prima donnas, and I am one of them.Auba, Laca, Pepe and Willian can all leave as far as I am concerned and the sooner the better.I would rather support a mid table team of young up and coming players than a mid table side of aging mercenaries.

    1. Davi says:

      Spot on. I think most people agree this has been Arteta’s biggest mistake. He went half way, getting rid of Ozil and Mustafi, but sticking with some of the others, and he doesnt seem to see that they’re not fully committed (I guess they must be putting in the effort on the training ground?). I think everyone wants to see him just push more with the younger talents and build for the future. The only concern I have is that we probably don’t know how good players like azeez really are, and you’d expect the coaching staff to know better(?) but I expect its actually just tentativeness and desire to rely on the experienced players to pull through, which clearly isn’t working

  3. Ausgooner says:

    I’m with you Grandad. I’m not much of a Carragher fan but I agree with a few things he has said recently and am sick of players not turning up.

  4. Durand says:

    I’m with you 100% about your last comment. Why not play some youth today paired with experienced players?

    Balogun as ST and Willian behind as a 10? Azeez in midfield and Partey doing the dirty work? Or midfield 3 with Xhaka? Lopez at LB?

    Perfect opportunity play 20th placed team and we’re in 11th place. I hope Arteta sees this opportunity for what it is;

    Chance to blood some youth and see what they can do in league play while not hurting team in league results.

    As well as bench some underperformers. Missed a trick with Saliba having a solid showing so far at Nice.

  5. Jimmy B says:

    When Dick Emery arrived at Arsenal, the first thing he had to do was get the squad to lose weight. Tells you all you need to know. Get rid of all the senior players and start over. We’re mid-table anyway.

  6. A J says:




    My point.

  7. proudgunner says:

    I watch as many photos and videos that go around after training and I don’t see anything that Carragher says, if he sees something it must be what he knows from been involved in that at pool. Lets hold back till end of season and then judge Arteta and if there are any players like that they will be gone form the club, interesting transfer market in the summer COYG

    1. A J says:

      Hi proudgunner.

      The club would vet what is released for public consumption.

      For instance in the official training vid’s we consistently see players planting shots in the top corner from left, right and centre – you don’t see that in games !

      Your’re not gonna see players bitching that’s for sure.


      WHU 3. Leicester 0 so far.

      West Ham play to their strengths, employing a basic 4-4-2 under DAVID MOYES!

    2. Reggie says:

      But many of these so called players have been made captains of this club for games this season, i dont get it or see it and obviously neither does Arteta because he put all his trust in the players the finger is being pointed at by a Liverpool ex player.

  8. Loraine says:

    Carragher describing Aubamayang & Willian as ‘malignant’ and ‘contaminants”. Auba, who only only played 1/2 a season under Wenger, has scored 61 goals for Arsenal in the last two season. He is hardly ever injured so he must be used to training hard. He does not seem lazy to me as Carragher implies.
    On the other hand, Willian who was signed by Arteta has not scored one goal got Arsenal.

    1. jon fox says:


  9. Iyke says:

    The big boys are all training materials who performs in training just to make match day square. I thing Arteta is afraid of some of this big boys

  10. Iyke says:

    I mean match day squard

    1. Reggie says:

      Dont you mean Squid. Lol

  11. jon fox says:

    I respect CARRAGHER BECAUSE HE ALWAYS SAY THE TRUTH AS HE SEES IT . On this occasion he is clearly spot on and most of us – those who are capable of being honest with ourselves – know it very well.

    1. A J says:

      Well said jon.

      It is very obvious this problem has been plaguing us for a number of years now.

      Players have had too much leeway, with some responding like spoiled children (hopefully some now weeded out).

      If you don’t like something on the playing front, go to the manager and discuss it man to man – do not “throw your toys out of the pram”.

      This in terms of being allowed to believe they could almost dictate matters above and beyond training correctly and performing on the pitch.

      Of course players should have a voice regarding “general” club issues, but address them in the proper manner.

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