Rio Ferdinand slams Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe

Rio Ferdinand has criticised the Arsenal duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe. The former Manchester United defender believes that the two players depend way too much on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang right now.

The Gunners are currently languishing in 14th place in the 2020-21 Premier League, having picked up just 13 points from their opening ten matches. That is Arsenal‘s worst start to a league season in almost four decades.

On his YouTube channel ‘FIVE’, Rio Ferdinand spoke about Arsenal’s struggles in the Premier League this season. The six-time Premier League champion said in this regard:

“What’s going on with you lot [Arsenal] over there?! You’re lacking consistency. You’re searching for goals. There’s not goals in the team at the moment. When Aubameyang doesn’t bang nobody else seems to be stepping up, that’s the problem.”

Rio Ferdinand praises Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for promoting young players

Mikel Arteta looks on after Arsenal lost a third consecutive league game at home this season.
Mikel Arteta looks on after Arsenal lost a third consecutive league game at home this season.

The former Manchester United defender heaped praise on Mikel Arteta for playing a lot of young players. However, he is not happy that the likes of Lacazette and Pepe not delivering for the Gunners, saying in this regard:

“I love the way Arteta is bringing the young players in and the young players have been performing, but sometimes you need the experienced players to drag you through a situation like this. Laca man! We need Laca to come up with some goals man! Pepe! When you get your chance come in and bang. We haven’t seen that cutting edge from this Arsenal team.”

Rio Ferdinand continued:

“Arteta came in and steadied the ship and told them ‘This is what I’m doing, this is my team this is what I do at Arsenal’ and the players responded to it. Aubameyang, in particular, was scoring goals, but this just shows you how reliant this team is on Aubameyang. If he doesn’t score, then Arsenal aren’t the same team man.”

Mikel Arteta won the FA Cup last season and started the 2020-21 campaign with a Community Sheild win over Premier League champions Liverpool.

However, the Gunners have been very inconsistent in the Premier League, winning just four of their opening ten matches. Arsenal have particularly struggled for goals in their last six league games, with only Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Gabriel managing to find the back of the net once apiece.

During this period, Arsenal won at the home of Manchester United in more than a decade but have lost three home games on the trot, doing so against Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester City.

Published 01 Dec 2020, 18:33 IST

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