Gary Neville highlighted the performances of five Arsenal players in particular after their thrashing at the hands of Liverpool.
The Gunners were humbled at Anfield as Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge put them to the sword. Read 16 Conclusions. Now.
Neville delivering a damning assessment of the performance as a co-commentator during the game, and pulled no punches afterwards either.
“When you’re at a football club you all take the blame. I can’t personally look any further than the players,” he told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think the team is correct. setting up with [Granit] Xhaka and [Aaron] Ramsey in central midfield at Anfield, with Sanchez and Ozil just outside them is never going to be enough with Liverpool the way they are. I’ve never understood the lack of attention to the opposition.
“You play against an Arsenal team 10 or 15 years ago and at United, Darren Fletcher comes into the team to sit to the right-hand side. You play against Liverpool, you have to go and mark Steven Gerrard on the right because you know he’s going to whip crosses in. You have to pay attention to the threats and Arsenal never do that in games.
“The issue today I had in the first 15 or 20 minutes – and why I was as scathing I was – is because Ozil, Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, they didn’t do most basic things I think every fan, manager, and player knows – when the ball goes past you and it goes towards your goal and your team-mates are struggling, you run back as quickly as you can.
“You’re told that at the age of five. Aged 12 or 13, you’re told to get into your shape quickly and when you get into the first team you’re told about transition – give the ball way, get back in, transition, transition.
“I’m naming those five – there may be more – but that is absolutely disgraceful. That doesn’t represent the Arsenal shirt or what they’re about and they’ve let themselves down as individuals. In terms of who’s to blame, I can only start and end with that.
“In terms of the tactics, the football, the mistakes, you’d need five Monday Night Footballs to analyse what went wrong there. But the simple premise of working hard, getting back towards your own goal – it’s just unacceptable.”