Former Liverpool midfielder Steve Gerrard believes Arsenal don’t make life hard enough for their opponents and have become too easy to play against. The ex-English international criticised Arsenal’s defence, highlighting instances where Stoke breached the backline with ease, and says the Gunners’ won’t win a major trophy playing like this.
“They don’t compete well enough, they’re not solid enough, they’re wide open to counter attacks. “They got away with one (against Stoke), (leading) to a fantastic save from Petr Cech. It’s just weak defending and against better opposition they would get punished for this like Leicester did last week,” he said, reports the Express.
“To be a top team and to compete for this Premier League, you have to be really good in possession and Arsenal are, they’re a fantastic team. But to be a top, top side you have to compete out of possession, you have to be horrible to play against. Arsenal are too easy to play against.” Arsenal are 18/1 to win the Premier League title this season, but their defeat to Stoke City is a big setback given they face Liverpool next.
Arsenal have been without Laurent Koscielny (suspended) and lined up against Stoke with Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac as two of the three centre-backs. Hector Bellerin played left wing-back too. It’s possible all these decisions made by Arsene Wenger may have led to their disjointed performance at the Britannia Stadium.
But Gerrard’s criticism of Arsenal is similar to what most fans have long said of the London club. The defence will improve when Koscielny returns, but Per Mertesacker and/or Rob Holding might have to re-join the backline as Arsenal look porous without them.