Arsene Wenger is too nice to his senior players and Arsenal’s defeat was down to his reluctance to reprimand at his players for their positional indiscipline and he is lucky that he is not at another club, because he wouldn’t get away with the continual failures.
That is according to Liverpool legend Graeme Souness, who wrote about the Emirates Stadium club’s manager in his column for the Sunday Times, where he was scathing about the lack of authority in the Frenchman against AS Monaco on Wednesday.
Souness actually admitted he has a soft spot for the Gunners, but dismissed the 3-1 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie as the worst performance he has seen from an Arsenal side at their new stadium.
Arsenal conceded two terrible goals in the break in the match, the last coming during injury time just after cutting the deficit to 2-1, but a lack of cutting edge going forward made everything possible on a miserable night and Souness believes Wenger’s failure to shout at his players during the match was negligence.
“If you can sit on the bench, as manager of Arsenal, and allow Danny Welbeck to be as positionally indisciplined as he was on Wednesday, right in front of you, you either don’t see it or you are not prepared to stand up and shout, “Get out here,” to him,” he said.
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The former Anfield midfield general, who won countless trophies during his playing days so knows what he is talking about, felt that Wenger must be being too nice to his senior players when they do something wrong.
“It also amazes me that you never hear any of his former players criticising him. It’s impossible to be a manager and not fall out with players, for the simple reason that they are young men with enormous egos and you have 25 of them and only 11 can play,” added the Sky Sports pundit.
“The only one who came close to saying something detrimental was Lukas Podolski when he went on loan to Inter last month. Maybe his players don’t have a bad word to say about him because he never falls out with them.”
Wenger's Greatest Failure
Wednesday night was Wenger’s greatest failure as Arsenal manager and is the clearest indicator yet that his time is almost up as a manager. Previous four defeats at this stage to the odd goal and away goals were understandable because of the calibre of the opposition, but not this time.
Souness is right when describing Monaco as a decent team, but one that will be brushed aside easily by the best teams – they are nothing like as good as Bayern Munich or Barcelona and should have been neaten.
After the tough draws in the last four years the Gunners were handed a golden opportunity against the principality side, but they bottled it. Wenger bottled it. He failed to prepare his players for the test and his players failed to keep their heads. He has two years left on his contract, but he needs to be gone in the summer.
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