Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Gunned Down
'Arsenal are unfixable under Wenger. They don't know what they're doing without the ball'
Former defender Lee Dixon has had his say.

FORMER ARSENAL DEFENDER Lee Dixon says the current state of the club cannot be fixed by whilst Arsene Wenger is in charge.

The Gunners occupy sixth spot in the Premier League table having been beaten by leaders Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad on Sunday, leaving them 12 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side.

Last season marked the first under Wenger in which the north London club failed to qualify for the Champions League and in turn intensified the pressure on the Frenchman to leave his position.

Tensions between the Arsenal hierarchy and supporters were only highlighted in a recent Annual General Meeting after fans heckled chairman Sir Chips Keswick’s dismissive attitude towards questioning.

Asked what he thought the problem currently is under Wenger, former player Dixon told BBC 5 live:

“I honestly think they’re unfixable under Arsene. What he’s got there is he’s created an environment which the players don’t really know what they’re doing without the ball.

“It’s quite simple — when I watch them I think ‘They could beat anyone on their day going forward, but they could lose to anyone defensively’. That summed it up at the weekend against City.

“The Lacazette thing is another issue, as to why he’s not playing, but you play Sanchez up front, who is a chaser of the ball; if he loses the ball then he’ll chase to win it back.

“If you’ve got that, as a manager, you have to have the players to go and back that up, and he didn’t have that. He hasn’t got that because they don’t know how to do that on a regular basis – they are not a pressing side.

“They do it now and again – they did it against Chelsea, they got it right against Chelsea in the cup final and in the league, and you think ‘Wow, they’re back’. And then the fall again like they did against Watford, and then you see them trying to press Man City, one of the best passing sides in the league. How is that allowed to happen?

“If you’re not a pressing side, then you have to press for months and years at a time in order to get it right, it’s really difficult. It’s not just a case of ‘you all just rush to the ball’.

“They have to be triggers, and you need to know when to press – which is just as hard as knowing when not to press if you’re a pressing side, because sometimes you have to unpress, if you like, and just sit where you are. Just running willy-nilly at the ball is a disaster, especially against City.”

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