Phil Neville has said that half of Arsenal’s team against Liverpool no longer want to be at the club.
The former Manchester United player was one of several pundits to rightfully criticise the Arsenal players after yesterday’s 4-0 defeat. He believes that half of the team on the day simply didn’t want to be there.
“I grew up challenging Arsenal as a player for Manchester United and it’s all just a bit sad,” Neville said, as reported by the Express. “I saw things on that football pitch that every Arsenal supporter in that away end and watching around the world, must make their blood boil.
“I thought it was a disgraceful performance – lack of effort, quality and no system. It’s not about systems and it’s about fight and determination and desire. Half of the team don’t want to be here, half of the team have got a year left on their contract and they are looking at other clubs trying to get away.
“They are not committing and don’t want to be here and I think they’ve got a massive, massive problem.”
It’s hard to disagree. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly looked like a player on the verge of leaving as he put zero effort into tracking back, while Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez had performances to forget. The latter made sure to put on a show by getting down on his haunches and looking all disappointed on the bench, knowing full well the camera would be on him.
Arsene Wenger has been adamant all summer long that these players would not be sold despite their refusal to commit to the club. It might now be time to review that stance. The club have practically bent over backwards to keep the Ox.
Not only have they offered to make him one of the best paid players at the club, they’ve played several players out of position just to get him into the team. Given his performances and the state of the Arsenal backline, this has been a mistake.
Ozil and Alexis, meanwhile, remain precious assets to Arsenal. Wenger is understandably reluctant to lose either of them. However, counting on their professionalism is a risky game, and all the uncertainty isn’t healthy for the squad.