Nicolas Anelka has echoed Samir Nasri’s words, accusing the Arsenal players of being psychologically weak.
Speaking at length in a recent interview, the former Arsenal player – who was signed for £650k and sold less than three-years later for just under £30m – also reiterated what Nasri had said recently about Wenger – that it can’t all be the fault of the manager.
“Mentally, there’s something lacking,” Anelka said. “They’ve always had great players, but psychologically, there’s always something. They never manage to hold out until the end. I think Wenger is doing a good job.
“There comes a point where you can’t always criticise the manager. Wenger is good. It’s the players who don’t have that must-win mentality. In my day, there was Vieira, Petit, Dixon, Adams. Mentally they were ready. You knew you’d win. Now, you don’t get that.”
While I understand where they both Anelka and Nasri are coming from, surely it is the job of the manager to make sure the players are psychologically ready? Perhaps the players before, the ones like Vieira, Petit, Dixon, and Adams thrived with Wenger’s approach of calming things to allow players to focus in a trance-like state before a game. Maybe this bunch need a different approach. Maybe they need fired up.
Anyway, after leaving Arsenal, Anelka played for Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua, Juventus, West Brom and Mumbai City. He currently works as a member of the technical staff with Dutch side, Roda JC.