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Roy Keane.

Roy Keane brands Arsenal weak after their defeat to Barcelona

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Roy Keane has never failed to hold back his view and Arsenal have become the latest club to feel the Irishman’s wrath.

The Gunners exited the Champions League after losing 3-1 to Barcelona on Wednesday and Keane criticised the “weak” mentality of Arsene Wenger’s squad. (Scroll down the page to watch Keane's assessment.)

The Frenchman saw his team put in a spirited performance but goals from Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi sealed a 5-1 aggregate win for Barcelona.

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And Keane, a Champions League winner himself, asked why Arsenal’s players can’t lift themselves in the same manner when playing the likes of Watford or Swansea.

Speaking to ITV, the former Manchester United midfielder said: “They've got a weak group of players, who can't seem to lift themselves for certain games.

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“A lot of pressure seems to have got to them over the past few months. For players at Arsenal football club, if you can't deal with the pressure, well you shouldn't be there.”

The Gunners have seen their Premier League dreams fade in recent weeks and their FA Cup and Champions League hopes completely vanish in the past five days.

Shock defeats

They have lost four of their last seven fixtures, two of which came at the hands of Watford and Swansea.

Keane added: “Tonight, the damage was already done in the first game. There's no shame in losing 3-1, sure. The effort was there, Barcelona had switched off.

“But it must be hard for the manager and for the supporters when they see the players lifting it for certain games but then can't do it for Watford at home or Swansea at home.

"They're cheating the supporters in that sense.”

Watch the video

Yesterday’s result sparked the sixth straight season Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League in the last-16 round.

Given their league and cup fortunes, Gunners fans are only right to ask questions of Wenger and his team.

Where's the leader?

For all of Mesut Ozil’s assists, Olivier Giroud’s goals and Alexis Sanchez’s skills, Keane thinks Arsenal are still missing a key ingredient.

“They seem to have a lack of characters there. Technically they are very good players but where are the leaders of the group, to get a grip of these players when they don't seem up for it?

“Clubs are obsessed with recruitment. They're looking at technique and fitness levels, but where are the characters?

“There seems to be a weakness running through the whole club.”

FC Barcelona v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

Arsenal fans weren’t the biggest supporter of Keane during his playing days but many will agree with his scathing assessment of the north London team.

Their 12-year wait for a Premier League trophy looks set to become 13 - Arsenal are 11 points behind leaders Leicester - and they were beaten 5-1 by a Barcelona team that wasn’t even at its best.

Should Arsenal sack Arsene Wenger? Have your say in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona
Thierry Henry
Roy Keane
Football
Arsenal

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