Former Manchester United player Gary Neville pulled no punches as he criticised the Arsenal side that collapsed to a 3-2 defeat at Stoke over the weekend. The Gunners, who had won three games in a row before they travelled to the Britannia, looked a shadow of themselves and fell behind after only 19 seconds as Peter Crouch scored from the first attack of the game.
Giroud then missed a good opportunity to equalise and we shipped two more goals before half time, going into the break 3-0 down. After the break, our play improved considerably, and we scored two courtesy of a Cazorla penalty and a Ramsey goal from a corner. But the sending off of Calum Chambers after a second bookable offence condemned us to yet another defeat at the Britannia.
Gary Neville, speaking to SkySports on Monday, blamed the team as a whole for the defeat and said that they left much to be desired while defending. He also went on to claim that the players behaved as if they had ‘no respect’ for each other. He was particularly annoyed by what he viewed as players not tracking back or covering for one another, commenting that watching it ‘made his blood boil’.
It’s like they’ve no respect of each other at times. You can’t abandon each other on the football pitch. Abandon ship is a good point, but abandoning each other is not acceptable.
They played 4-3-3, so why not 4-5-1 when defending. What happened to Chambers against Swansea (previously) should never happen. It happens time and time again and its terrible to watch. It is your duty to sacrifice your game to help out your full backs.
It makes my blood boil.
Against Swansea, Chambers was beaten time and again by the pace of the opposition wingers. The failure of winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to track back and help out his defender further aggravated Chambers’ problems in that game. The same thing happened against Stoke, only this time it was youngster Hector Bellerin who took the brunt of the Stoke attacks. He did not fare well and was substituted by Wenger at half time. Again, the Ox was to blame for not helping out his defender; over the entire game he failed to win possession even once while defending.
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Poss Won Att 3rd Poss Won Mid 3rd Poss Won Def 3rd
Ox 1 0 0
Cazorla 0 4 2
Sánchez 0 3 2
Chambers also had a game to forget; the youngster, a summer transfer from Southampton, was played as a central defender, and made a host of errors before eventually being sent off for a pull on Bojan. He was responsible for failing to track Crouch during the opening goal as well.
This game as a whole was one to forget, and one that the manager and players would like to put behind them as quickly as possible. A strong result against Galatasaray today would help, but that is by no means an easy task. Let’s hope that the young Guns that Wenger has taken to Turkey are able to pull it off.