Winterburn slams Gunners’ defence

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has stated that the current Gunners rear-guard lacks the organisation and commitment to lead the club to success.

Back-to-back defeats against Fulham and Swansea have dented Arsenal’s chances of a top four finish, with defensive errors in both games costing Arsene Wenger’s men.

Winterburn has little confidence in the side’s defenders, and feels their attitude is wrong.

“I feel that the players technically are very good, but sometimes they don’t sense danger or show a ruthlessness in certain situations to win games,” Winterburn told talkSPORT.

“When Arsenal lose control of the game, it just goes disastrously wrong for them.

“It’s great to see Thierry Henry back for six or eight weeks, but it’s a short-term fix. They need another quality centre forward to help Robin van Persie. If Henry wants to come back and help, anyone given that opportunity should take him up on it.

“I still look at the squad. They’ve got a lot of midfield players and a lot of them are very, very similar. You can’t keep looking back to your Patrick Vieira’s and Emmanuel Petit’s.

“They haven’t got that real type of character who can boss a game and then you can have your more technical players around them who can try and express themselves.

“You could see at times they were being over-run. When you get over-run, you need good organisation from back into midfield and it didn’t look like that.

“I always expect Arsenal to concede goals and it disappoints me to say that.

“The worrying thing was the way they collapsed against Fulham. They were leading 1-0, we can debate the Djourou sending off, but then the way they conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes was a team that didn’t show any composure or any real desire to hold onto the game.

“Again at Swansea, at times, I think Arsenal took unnecessary risks in and around their own area. I’m sure people even when they go 1-0 up, people are always saying, ‘This is not the end of the game.’ They’re always likely to make a mistake,” he concluded.

Arsenal take on Manchester United next, with the crunch tie in London a test to see how far the side have come since their 8-2 mauling by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men earlier in the campaign.

By Gareth McKnight