TV pundit slams two Arsenal defenders for not doing enough to help Leno

Charlie Nicholas heaps criticism on Arsenal duo for leaving Leno vulnerable.

Former Arsenal ace Charlie Nicholas has left nothing behind as he slammed Arsenal duo David Luiz and Sokratis. The duo’s performances in front of Bernd Leno this season have not impressed the Sky Sports pundit.

The former Gunner also slammed Unai Emery for still keeping Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin out of the team.

According to him, Leno is still quite young even though he is a good goalkeeper and expects the experienced duo of Luiz and Sokratis to help make his work easier, but they haven’t been able to do that so far.

The Gunners were close to losing their second consecutive game when Vitoria Guimaraes twice took the lead at the Emirates on Thursday. Two stunning free-kicks from substitute Nicolas Pepe was able to help turn the game on its head.

Nicholas is particularly worried ahead of the Arsenal game against Crystal Palace this weekend.

‘Why have they paid the money for Kieran Tierney and are not playing him, despite getting him fit? Why are you not playing Hector Bellerin when fit?

‘I do not understand why he gets these players fit and he doesn’t play them. ‘Bernd Leno makes some mistakes and is young. But he is left completely and utterly isolated by the lack of a defensive partnership. I feel sorry for him.

‘David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos high five each other when they give corners away.’

The last time Arsenal faced Palace, it ended in a 3-2 win for the visitors with Wilfried Zaha stealing the headlines.


  1. I came across an article two days ago quoting a former staff of Manchester City who explained that before they got Ederson. Leno was Guardiola’s first choice. That the difference between both was that at that point one would cost a massive amount and the other one was only requesting more wage. So Pep settled for Ederson.
    It was a year later that Arsenal got Leno. Going by simple logic, I think Bayern Leverkusen demanded an outrageous fee, only a year later with his contract running out they decided to sell him to us.
    I’ve always admired Leno as a Goalkeeper right from his bundesliga days. Leno is a really good sweeper keeper. He seems to be struggling to do what he used ri do easily here, and it’s understandable cuz our defense has been nothing to write home about and truly like Nicholas said, our center backs doesn’t help him.
    I made the same statement in Cech’s second year for us that even if we ended up getting Neuer or Ter Stegen, they’ll both concede large amount of goals because of our defense.
    I’m still rooting for Leno to come by and get his perfection back. Even though right now he seems shaky sometimes with the ball at his feet, I can’t wait to have him in the best environment and protection surrounding him with good ball playing defenders.

  2. I think Leno is a very good keeper too, and if we had an effective DM (we used to have that in Torreira, until Emery decided to push him forward), and our sorry excuses for CBs don’t keep gifting opponents free passes, we’ll get to appreciate his true worth. And Like already mentioned by Eddie, even Neuer will suffer behind our backline

  3. Just like De Gea is being made to look average at Man U……. His class shines through occasionally though

  4. But us watched Bellerin, Tierney and Torreria played for 90 minutes but Torreria in the ELC match for Arsenal at the Ems against Guimaneas yesternight. And I must say both Bellerin and Tierney in particular all looked short in match fitness in their defending in the match for Arsenal.

    So, this thing is not as easy as it’s made to look. The lack of proper partnerships between Luiz and Sokratis has been talked about. But let it be known that the duo centrebacks have not long just started playing together in the heart of the Arsenal defence. So, it will take a little while before proper partnerships will be forged to reign impregnable in the heart of the Arsenal defense-line between Sokratis and Luiz I am imagining. As a matter of fact, the current regular playing Arsenal 4 defenders of: Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz and Kolasinac have just for the first time this season started playing together. And I don’t think they have played more than 6 matches together in the PL this season. Before, the Arsenal 4 man defence for PL matches consisted of: AMN, Mustafi, Sokratis and Kolasinac. But Emery brought in Chambers and signed Luiz to replace AMN at right back and replaced the departed Koscielny with Luiz. So, let time be allowed these 4 Arsenal defenders to forge strong partnerships together among themselves as the season pans on. I am anyway sure Emery will not take the risk to start the match rusty Bellerin and Tierney in our home match against Crystal Palace next Sunday in the PL. To do this will amount to deliberately be inviting trouble for Arsenal to happen in the match.

  5. Isn’t what Charlie says exactly the same as most on here?

    As for getting players fit and then not playing them, UE has been doing that for quite a while now…Ozil, Torerria, Holding, Bellerin, Kierney to name a few….it’s all part of his masterplan in tactical awareness..

    Convince others you haven’t a clue what you are doing, then prove them right with every team selection.

    If he’s still with us next season, both Auba and Lacs will not sign new contracts…just my opinion.

    1. The guy UE is a joke, as long as he’s at the helm of affairs, we can’t get anything right. Always wanting to prove a point about his team selection when he knows he’s wrong. Making Xhaka the captain, a player that doesn’t have clue of what positioning and off ball his, no hunger or winning spirit. Imagine playing 2DM and a b2b behind 3 attackers and then 2 clueless CD. We’re going nowhere with UE.

  6. how can liverpool play that system and it works??? I think this team needs to be given this season to play together and understand the system. even liverpool took 2.5 seasons to build a real competitive team

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors