Roy Keane was in an unforgiving mood when assessing Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Östersund on Thursday night.
Arsene Wenger’s side survived a first-half scare at the Emirates to progress to the last 16 of the competition – and although they won 4-2 on aggregate, the 2-1 defeat the Gunners suffered on the night led to fierce criticism from all corners.
Analysing the match as part of ITV’s highlight’s package, Keane condemned the players’ collective attitude to the match, and questioned their commitment.
“Arsenal are a great example of how not to start a game of football. They are so slow out of the blocks. Poor attitude, no energy, no desire. It’s not like a light switch, you can’t just turn it on and off.
“A lot of that will come from the manager and his coaching staff, but ultimately it has to come from the player. You have to motivate yourself. You have your pride and you want to do well for yourself, your team-mates, your family and to turn up like that was a shambles.
“We have seen it so many times from Arsenal. They went to Nottingham Forest (in the FA Cup last month) with exactly the same attitude and lost. You make excuses for Arsenal all the time, but it’s a load of rubbish. The Arsenal players must drive you crazy. A shambles.”
It’s safe to say he’s not impressed! ?
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) February 22, 2018
The Ireland assistant manager went on to single Jack Wilshere out in particular. The England midfielder has been receiving rave reviews from the English media since recovering from injury to force his way back into Arsene Wenger’s plans – but Keane is having absolutely none of that:
“You look for your senior players to lead by example…when Wilshere is your captain, to me, he is probably the most overrated player on the planet.“
Despite their shoddy performance on Thursday, Arsenal did enough to qualify and find themselves in the hat for Friday’s last 16 draw, where one of Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, RB Leipzig, Lazio or Lyon could await them.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look back at last week’s season-opening Dublin derby and debate Graham Cummins’ controversial red card as we review and preview all of the latest League of Ireland action.