Arsenal have come in for huge criticism from Gary Neville following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners went ahead through Theo Walcott but slipped to a second consecutive defeat after second-half goals from Leroy Sane and Theo Walcott.
Manager Arsene Wenger was angered by the match officials, claiming both goals were offside after the game although Alex Iowbi has admitted the Gunners “took their foot off the gas” after the break.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Neville blasted the Gunners’ defence, with Nacho Monreal in particular being singled out for criticism.
“Arsenal’s players look absolutely knackered, shot to pieces,” he said via The Independent.
‘It [the defending leading to City’s winner] was walking pace. You never walk on a football pitch.
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“These players do normally put a shift in, they might not be the mentally toughest players in the world, but there is something fundamentally wrong.
“The back four is lazy, no doubt. You always want your full backs going out and your wide player staying in.
“Monreal jogs, walks, plays as a third centre back and allows the young kid to do his job for him.
“Bellerin was calm, collected and not pro-active.
“Arsenal were always too deep in the game because the two full backs and centre backs took the easy option and didn’t do much running.
“The problem was the back four not being proactive enough, not being bold enough not brave enough, courageous enough.”
While Neville’s criticism is harsh, Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet since the 2-0 EFL Cup win over Reading back in October – a run of 12 games in all competitions and in stark contrast to leaders Chelsea who have conceded just 11 in 17 Premier League matches and just twice in their last eight games.