Arsenal legend Ian Wright has criticized the Gunners for their lackluster performance against Aston Villa on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta’s team came into the game on the back of an impressive win over Manchester United last week. Arsenal were expected to build on that performance against an Aston Villa team who were showing cracks after a fantastic start to the season.
However, it was the away side who looked the better team all game. Aston Villa took the lead in the 25th minute through a Bukayo Saka own goal before Ollie Watkins hit two in quick succession in the second half to further pile the misery on Arsenal. The Gunners were outrun and outplayed throughout the 90 minutes and displayed a lack of creativity on the pitch.
It was a stark contrast from the performance against the Red Devils; the Gunners lacked the desire to fight back against a Villa team that did not offer them an inch of the pitch for free. It was one of Arsenal’s worst performances in quite a few months and Wright was hardly impressed.
Arsenal lack a creative midfielder, says Wright
Wright was very disappointed with every aspect of Arsenal’s game and pointed out that Aston Villa performed far better than the Gunners.
It was poor in every department. They need to break the lines, they need space to hit the ball into, they were dithering on the ball. It was a million miles away from the performance against Manchester United [where they won 1-0]. They were streets ahead of us today.
The Arsenal legend lamented the lack of creativity in Arteta’s midfield, while also slamming the work rate of the Gunners.
The effort and workrate from a team that was rested was nowhere near good enough. You need to impress your game upon them. There's a lack of central midfielder that can create what [Arteta] needs, but you can't go into a game like that.
Fellow Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer was delighted with the ‘fantastic’ Villa players
Every single one of them was fantastic. It was a complete team performance, with and without the ball. Close control, running in behind, working as a team, ability on the ball.
The Englishman singled out Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish for special praise and added that Arsenal were lucky not to concede more.
Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish ran them ragged at times. It could've been a lot more [than three goals], it should've been. The performance was magnificent, it had absolutely everything.Published 09 Nov 2020, 22:56 IST