Rio explains why he ‘feels sorry’ for Arteta and his Arsenal youngsters

April 5, 2021 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Rio Ferdinand blames the experienced players at Arsenal for their terrible season with the former Manchester United defender expressing his sympathy for Mikel Arteta and his younger players.

A brace from substitute Diogo Jota either side of a Mohamed Salah strike saw Liverpool ease past the Gunners on Saturday evening with a comfy 3-0 win.

It was poor performance from Arsenal, who could only manage three shots all match, with the Gunners now back down to tenth in the Premier League with promoted Leeds United level on points.

OPINION: Liverpool return to top of Premier League winners and losers

Experienced players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came under fire after the loss and Ferdinand reckons the older heads have been to blame all season.

“It does (feel flat),” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “They were totally dismantled at the weekend.

“They were destroyed by Liverpool and that’s a Liverpool team that hasn’t scaled the heights they have of the previous two seasons. They’re reliant on young, homegrown players.

“Their best players this season are the ones that have come through the system, which is great on the one hand, but when you’ve had investment in other areas of the team with experience, you want those players to come to the fore as well.

“They’ve been let down by those experienced and seasoned players this season.”


Ferdinand continued: “I feel sorry for Arteta – you bring these young kids in, which the fans all want as they can identify with the young players as they feel that’s them coming into the first-team as well, but you need to be able rely and call upon the experienced players to usher those players through with you.

“We didn’t get into the first-team and were able to produce without the help of our senior players, we know how important it is.

“They need that support and need other people to look at when the chips are down a little bit, look at that senior player who says ‘come on, follow me, this is how you get through it, I’ve been there and done it, just sit behind me and let’s go’.

“The young players have been the ones that have been pushing from the front all season, that hasn’t helped Arsenal or Mikel Arteta in this period. I see the patterns, we watched them against Fulham in the first game of the season and they had the wide players coming inside and the full-backs getting wide.

“So I see the tactical stuff and that’s great but it’s not consistent enough and there’s things that we’ve been talking about behind the scenes that have contributed to that.”


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