Ian Wright utterly confused by Arsenal performance as he tears into Xhaka

Ian Wright has blasted Arsenal’s performance against Crystal Palace on Sunday, saying that the Gunners were “confusing” and played without rhythm and ideas.

Having gone 2-0 up inside 10 minutes through goals from David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the hosts were pegged back through a Luka Milivojevic penalty and Jordan Ayew’s equaliser on 52 minutes.

Sokratis thought he had found the winner late on but his effort was ruled out by VAR for a foul inside the box by Calum Chambers.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2, Wright picked out several clips of the match and talked through the issues he saw with Unai Emery’s side.

“Are they closing down because that’s what we’re hearing? Are they pressing? They’re not pressing, you look at that, one pass, good control by Joel Ward and it’s in the box and on another day Wilfried Zaha runs inside him,” the pundit said.

“There’s so much time, so much space. It’s played into an area and Ayew comes off very easily and gets fouled and Palace are up the field again.



“For me, it’s very confusing in respects of ‘what are they doing’? Palace have too much time to turn, two passes and you’re into the penalty box, a cross, David Luiz loses his man and they score.”

Wright also criticised captain Granit Xhaka for his performance, adding that Dani Ceballos would perform better in his defensive midfield role.

“They’re not defending properly as a team,” the 55-year-old said. “Granit Xhaka, for me, he’s having a bad time in respects of what’s going on but watching this I’m not sure if he really wants the ball.

“I’m thinking ‘is his confidence shot’, ‘does he want it?’ Is it because of the stick he’s getting? Because there’s a couple of instances where you’re thinking ‘can he get the ball’.

“I’d put someone like Dani Ceballos in this situation simply because he wants the ball and he’d be working harder to try and get the ball because when you look at this scarce amount of chances that [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Alexandre] Lacazette are getting, again can he get that ball?

“Can he get it and turn and play it into the forwards? He doesn’t seem to me like he wants the ball.”

Arsenal turn their attentions to EFL Cup action on Wednesday when they face Liverpool, who kept up their unbeaten start to the Premier League season on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Tottenham.