Emmanuel Petit is ‘very upset’ with Arsenal following their 4-0 loss to Liverpool.
Instead of directing his anger towards Arsene Wenger, the former Gunner has put the blame on the players’ shoulders, as they’re the ones that should be motivating themselves. They play for Arsenal and they don’t realise how lucky they are, claims the ex-midfielder.
“When I see them play – and I see them a lot – they seem to play without motivation,” said the Frenchman. “The blame is put on Arsene, but I cannot see that it is all down to him. Why should it be?
“Why should a player need motivating to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, in one of the best stadiums in the world?
“Some of them do not seem to know what it means to wear that Arsenal shirt.
“Their image from last season was that many players looked so disinterested. They get good money to play for a club like Arsenal. Yet, so few of them look happy and motivated. How can that be?
“Maybe they should take a step back and ask themselves what they can give to the club. Not what the club can give to them.
“Someone should sit them down and tell them not to act like babies and kids. They should be proud of wearing that Arsenal shirt.
“No one expects them to win every game. That is not going to happen. But there must be pride in playing for the club. The body language of players puzzles me. Yes, Alexis Sanchez is a warrior. He always plays like that.
“But many of those players do not seem to realise how lucky they are to be at the club. I just want to shake the tree and tell them how fortunate they are to play at a club of Arsenal’s standing. If Arsenal are to achieve anything this season, then the motivation must come back into the team – and the players have to be responsible for that.
“There is only so much the manager can do. But how can these players not motivate themselves to play? How is that possible?
“There will be motivation for some who have the World Cup at the end of the season. But you can not hope to go to a tournament like the World Cup if you are not in good form for your club.
“But that should not be the reason for them to play well. To play for Arsenal should be enough. That is what makes me so very upset.”
Petit isn’t the first former player to come out in criticism of the current starting XI. Their body language, as the 46-year-old points out, was concerning against Liverpool.
When the former France international played for Arsenal, they won the FA Cup and the Premier League title. Their team included Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright. It was a huge era for the Gunners; players were proud to don their red and white shirt.
There’s a strange vibe around the club at the moment. Arsenal have only won three points in three games after narrowly beating Leicester on the opening day of the season. However, it’s not just the results but the performances, which have let everyone down.
At the moment, you can sense the frustration in the fans and former players, and while Mesut Ozil insists that ex-players should just start supporting, it’s hard to do when you’re watching the same car crash happen every year. Sometimes it happens sooner, sometimes it happens later, but it always happens.
Arsenal face Bournemouth after the international break. Let’s hope we can at least play with a little pride.