Paul Merson blasts three Arsenal players for North London derby showing

Jonny Whitfield

Paul Merson has criticised three Arsenal players for their performances in the North London derby draw with Tottenham on Sunday. 

Unai Emery’s side, who went 2-0 down after Christian Eriksen’s goal and Harry Kane’s penalty, recovered to claim a draw thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette late on in the first half and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike after the break.

Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka was responsible for giving away the spot-kick which Kane dispatched after sliding in on Son Heung-min, and writing in a Sky Sports column, Merson put blame on the Swiss international along with Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.

“Every time Tottenham broke they looked like they were going to score, Arsenal were that open. The midfield issues were serious,” the former Arsenal man wrote. “You’ve got Granit Xhaka who goes around kicking people and getting booked.

“Yes, Matteo Guendouzi found a great pass for the equaliser, but you cannot rely on him or Lucas Torreira to thread the ball through the eye of a needle on a consistent basis.

“In Xhaka, Guendouzi and Torreira, Arsenal have three players who are not creative. They are three holding players, but every time Tottenham broke, they had the freedom of the Emirates. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was reminiscent of when Arsene Wenger was managing.”

Arsenal’s next Premier League fixture sees them play Watford after the international break.


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