Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has launched his second scathing attack on the club’s current group of players, pointing out that the likes of Theo Walcott, Andrey Arshavin, and Tomas Rosicky are simply not good enough to be Gunners anymore.
In a recent interview, Petit had criticized Arsenal for going from an entertaining playing style to one that was highly predictable following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer.
Following last night’s disastrous 4-0 defeat away to AC Milan, Petit was left even more infuriated and made it clear that the future prospects of the club don’t look promising unless a group of more experienced and ambitious players are brought in to replace many of the current underachievers.
“The problem is that previously the club compensated for its lack of physical strength with Fabregas,” Petit started off in an interview with sofoot.com right from where he left it last time.
The Frenchman added: “With him (Cesc), Arsenal were the most attractive team to watch in Europe behind Barcelona. There, in midfield, there isn’t anything now, the defence is constantly under construction.
“Certain young players haven’t done enough to justify the confidence that Arsene has in them. Walcott – somehow he’s going to have to reach the next stage. It’s been years that he’s been at the same level.
“We shouldn’t hesitate to talk about the end of the cycle. Regardless of age, we have to look seriously at certain players. Right now. You have to send out a strong signal. You have to say to Arshavin, and to Rosicky: ‘Gentlemen, thank you, but goodbye’. And soon.”
When asked how Arsene Wenger should go about rebuilding his squad, should he stick around at the Emirates past the current season, Petit suggested that young talent be blended with ‘five or six’ players who have proven their pedigree at the highest level before.
“What’s needed is five or six players of real stature, great experience. Players who are 27 – 30 years old at most. Players with technical qualities, obviously, but also strong character. A group of guys who refuse to accept defeat, who inspire confidence in the rest of the team,” the 1998 World Cup winner concluded.