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LONDON – Pundits Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville have slammed Arsenal’s lackluster performance in their dismal 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool.
While the Reds appeared to regain some of their old swashbuckling form on a good night at the Emirates, the Gunners looked to have gone backwards with Mikel Arteta’s men barely providing a contest against their Merseyside opponents.
Former Manchester United defender Neville even joked that he and fellow commentator Martin Tyler could have played in defence for Liverpool, so feeble were Arsenal in attack.
‘I mentioned the word flaky before – this has been really flaky from Arsenal,’ Neville said during commentary for Sky Sports.
‘It’s the most basic I’ve seen them under (Mikel) Arteta. I described the Arsenal players as fed lions. Arteta wants hungry ones. It’s been a really, really shabby performance from Arsenal. I haven’t liked it from minute one.
‘Me and you could have played centre-back for Liverpool tonight, Martin (Tyler). Arsenal haven’t laid a glove on them. I’ve been so disappointed with them.’
Redknapp was equally merciless in his criticism, wryly commenting that Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ‘playing as a left-back for most of the game’.
‘I thought they were so poor today,’ he said. ‘Aubameyang you’re playing so deep, you might as well play (Eddie) Nketiah there because you’re getting nothing out of him. That was like watching them a few months ago when there was talk of Arteta getting the sack.
‘They’re lucky the fans weren’t in there today. (There was) no aggression, (they) didn’t win second balls, the basics of football really. They didn’t cause them (Liverpool) a problem.’
Redknapp continued that Arsenal’s recent performances, which have left them wallowing in ninth in the Premier League, are especially tough for fans to take given the club’s storied history of attacking football.
‘Arsenal have always been an attacking side in the Premier League years, the (Thierry) Henry’s, (Robert) Pires, (Dennis) Bergkamp’s,’ he said. ‘Strikers you couldn’t wait to watch.
‘But right now Arsenal fans are probably watching that game (from) behind their sofa. They don’t want to hear about their team defending better. They’ve got to be exciting to watch. It’s Arsenal we’re talking about.’