Legend aims another dig at Arsenal recruitment after Elland Road draw

Date published: Monday 23rd November 2020 2:09 - Dave Tindall

Arsenal legend Tony Adams has taken another swipe at his former club by calling into question the club’s recruitment policy after the 0-0 draw at Leeds.

The Gunners were forced to play most of the second half with 10 men. That followed a red card shown to Nicolas Pepe for a headbutt.

But they rode their luck. Leeds struck the woodwork three times and created numerous chances.

Former skipper Adams has been quick to criticise Arsenal in the last few months. And the frustrations spilled out again as Mikel Arteta’s side ended the weekend in the bottom half of the table.

Arsenal’s inconsistency has been shown in their last three Premier League games.

They won 1-0 at Manchester United to record their first victory at Old Trafford since 2006. But that was followed by a 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa. Then came Sunday’s stalemate at Elland Road.

Adams believes a hit-and-miss recruitment strategy is the root cause.

Talking about the two teams on Sunday, he told Stadium Astro (via The Metro): “The Leeds recruitment over the next couple of years is going to be so important, and it’s the same for Arsenal.”

He then contrasted three recent Arsenal signings.

“Bringing [Thomas] Partey in is an amazing recruitment. I think Arteta is doing a fantastic job, but I question recruitment and Willian, Pepe… did we need them?

“Do we fill up the wrong areas? Do we need a right-back?

“I think Gabriel is another inclusion who has been brilliant. I question letting Martinez go instead of Leno. Although Leno by the way pulled off a fantastic save to his top right corner, so maybe he made me eat my words a little bit.

“I think recruitment is so important.”

Adams laments Partey absence

Adams said Thomas Partey was a big miss for Arsenal at Leeds.

“We really missed Partey,” he added. “That performance against Manchester United, and in particular having the quality and stature of Partey in that central midfield area, it just kind of gave other players license to go and play.

“We didn’t have that [against Leeds]. We looked very average.

“It was like an in-between performance between Aston Villa, where we got destroyed on the full-backs and Hector Bellerin in particular.

“And then the Man United game where we did amazing. So we’re inconsistent.”

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