Former Liverpool defender and Daily Mail columnist Jamie Carragher has labelled Arsenal ‘naive’ in his latest column for the Mail, arguing that Arsenal have failed to learn from their mistakes over recent years.
In light of Arsenal’s dismal showing against Dortmund in midweek, Carragher highlighted how the top teams know how to play against and beat Arsenal, adding that Wenger has failed to change his side’s style of play to adapt to the problems they have faced.
In his column the former Liverpool great wrote:
Watching them crumble against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, it was impossible to escape the conclusion that they aren’t learning.
For a decade now, Arsenal have been unable to contain opponents who go with a fast, physical gameplan. Everyone knows how to play against them.
Dortmund could have comfortably run up a score similar to the ones posted by Liverpool (5-1 in February) and Chelsea (6-0 in March), but the aspect I found most alarming was the fact they have only kept three clean sheets in their past 29 Champions League away games. That, frankly, is an awful record.
When I watch Arsenal now, I get frustrated. They play the same way wherever they go — with their full-backs pushed up high and wide — and get caught on the counter-attack. They are the away team! They should be doing that to the home team when they go travelling.
Why don’t they learn? It is unforgivable that this keeps happening.
Indeed Carragher’s words do carry credence in that Arsenal have struggled against the top sides over recent years, particularly defensively where they have leaked goals on a regular basis.
Adjusting the style of play though is a different matter, with Wenger seemingly intent on playing his brand of football, which to some extent has worked this season, with encouraging performances against Manchester City in the Community Shield and Premier League.
However, the defeat against Dortmund highlighted the problems Arsenal still face, and only time will tell whether Arsenal and Wenger are naive in their tactics, or whether Arsenal’s style will play off.
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