Football

Thierry Henry: Sanchez should leave 'unwatchable' Arsenal

Former striker Henry leads pundits' criticism of hapless Gunners

Arsenal's shocking performance in their 4-0 defeat by Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time) was slammed by the club's former greats with all-time top scorer Thierry Henry describing the team as "unwatchable".

Arsene Wenger's team were 2-0 down at the break and could have lost by an even bigger margin if it had not been for their goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Henry, now working as a pundit for Sky Sports, said he had turned his studio seat around at one moment during the game.

"It was unwatchable, at one point I wanted to leave. I don't relate to the team and I don't think a lot of the fans do. That is a problem," said the Frenchman, who won two Premier League titles and scored 228 goals for the north London club.

"It's painful. It's how they lose. It's always the same. You have seen it before.

"Everything you see reminds me of what has happened for the last 10 years."

Henry also questioned why Alexis Sanchez would stay at Arsenal after the dismal display.

Sanchez, who made his first appearance of the season at Anfield but had no impact on the game, was substituted after 62 minutes.

The Chile international has less than a year left on his contract and there has been speculation that he will leave this summer, even though Arsene Wenger has said he hopes a new deal can be agreed.

“It’s painful. It’s how they lose. It’s always the same. You have seen it before.”Thierry Henry

Asked about Sanchez, Henry said: "Why would he stay after watching this? After this type of performance?

"That is why they (Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) are not renewing their contracts.

"There is something wrong with Arsenal at the minute."

Former Arsenal fullback Lee Dixon, now working for US television network NBC, said it was the worst performance from the club he had witnessed since retiring in 2002.

"That was abject. Every one of them should be given a train ticket and be made to go home with the fans," he said.

"That was embarrassing. I was embarrassed to do commentary up there.

"The shape was all wrong, we were outnumbered in midfield, the tactics was wrong from Arsene, the players didn't give it their all.

"Every single part of their game was off. If their star players don't perform, they're bang average," he said.

BLAME

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson placed the blame on the players.

"When you travel to a notorious place like Anfield, mentally you've got to be prepared for a tough game, you've got to be prepared to run back, to tackle and to earn the right," Hartson told Radio 5 live's 606.

"Arsenal did not earn the right - they were lacking all over the pitch.

"Blame Arsene Wenger all you want but, if the Arsenal players cannot muster up some fight, then there must be something seriously wrong at the football club.

"I would have liked to have seen Wenger leave at the end of last season after winning three FA Cups in four years.

"He'd have left with the respect of the crowd and with his head held high. The club need freshening up."

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville slammed Arsenal's performance as "absolutely disgraceful" and "unacceptable".

"I can't personally look any further than the players," said Neville.

"I don't think the team are correct. Setting up with (Granit) Xhaka and (Aaron) Ramsey in central midfield at Anfield, with Sanchez and (Mesut) Oezil just outside them, is never going to be enough with Liverpool the way they are.

"I've never understood the lack of attention to the opposition.

"The issue today I had in the first 15 or 20 minutes was Oezil, Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka and Ramsey didn't do most basic things I think every fan, manager, and player knows - when the ball goes past you and it goes towards your goal and your teammates are struggling, you run back as quickly as you can.

"I'm naming those five - there may be more - but that is absolutely disgraceful.

"That doesn't represent the Arsenal shirt or what they're about and they've let themselves down as individuals." 
- WIRE SERVICES

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