Newcastle legend Alan Shearer doesn’t just reckon that Arsenal should have sold Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over the summer, he believes that Arsene Wenger should have gone too.
In his column for the Sun following Arsenal’s rather embarrassing 2-1 defeat away to Watford on Saturday, Shearer explains how the Gunners should have cashed in on Ozil and Alexis over the summer as neither really look as if their hearts are in it anymore.
“They were missing Sanchez, rested after international duty, but despite that you do get they sense that his heart isn’t truly in it anymore,” Shearer wrote.
“Speculation of a move in the next transfer window doesn’t help.
“It doesn’t help the overall attitude and feeling in the squad knowing that in a couple of months those two key players [Sanchez and Ozil] can start negotiating to play for another club with their contracts up in the summer.
“Two players worth a combined £100million in today’s market are heading out the door for free in two of the longest and potentially most ignominious goodbyes in the club’s history.
“That is unless one of the big clubs is so desperate for an injection of talent that they will pay good money for one of them in January.
“That in a nutshell is the problem at Arsenal.”
What’s more, the ex-striker believes that Arsenal should never have offered Wenger a new, two-year deal with the club back in May as it’s sent out the wrong message to players.
“By giving Arsene Wenger a new contract in the summer it was made clear to the players and the fans that failure to win the title over the last 13 years doesn’t matter,” Shearer continued.
“Arsenal should have sold them at the start of the summer transfer window, or even six months before that and got in some young hungry players who do want to be there.”
Hardly anyone seemed all that surprised after the Gunners’ gutless display against the Hornets at the weekend. Not only have we seen it before but our brief spell of decent results always felt very temporary.
Despite the clean sheets, there had been instances where we got lucky. Whether that was West Brom not getting their penalty at the Emirates after Shkodran Mustafi slid in for that stupid challenge on Jay Rodriguez or Doncaster Rovers not taking their chances in the League Cup.
It never really felt like Arsenal had turned a corner despite us creeping up the Premier League table.
And therein lies the problem. As long as Wenger’s in charge, I have a suspicion that this is how we’ll always feel.