Arsene Wenger is reported to have accused Arsenal’s players of not working hard enough in the wake of their 3-2 defeat against Olympiacos.
Arsenal suffered a second straight defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday night, with Wenger afterwards describing it as a “farce” to blame the result on his decision to start David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech.
Wenger will recall Cech for the next two games against Bayern Munich, according to the Daily Mail, but he made it clear in no uncertain terms at the club’s training ground that he expects an improvement from every player.
He criticised his squad’s ‘work-rate, intensity and attitude’, apparently leaving first-team stars stunned in silence as they took in the words of a manager that rarely raises his voice.
Per Mertesacker, meanwhile, says Arsenal need to be more aggressive and direct if they are to stand any chances of making the last 16.
“At home we should be much more aggressive from the start and be more dynamic. That is what our game is all about, possession, but also dynamic-wise we should do much better, with the tempo and the speed,” said Mertesacker, who turned 31 on Tuesday.
“We need to come back to that if we want to be more successful in the Champions League and to qualify, we need to do much better.
“When we play like we did (on Tuesday), with that lack of concentration and discipline, then we have got no chance.
“Everyone is disappointed, but we will get up and fight for a minimal chance (of qualification).
“We play Bayern Munich twice in a row and that is a big chance for us to show what a great team we are.
“We have to prove that we can show up with another performance, to play more aggressive, be more direct to the goal and be more convincing.”