Former Arsenal manager George Graham believes that a lack of a competitive edge at his former club is the reason for their recent slump.
The Gunners have failed to lift a trophy in the last nine years under Arsene Wenger and look to be in serious threat of losing their Champions League status – which has often been likened to silverware in the red half of north London – after a dismal weekend loss to rivals Everton.
The Toffees’ 3-0 victory was the latest in a long line of high-profile losses for Arsenal, with Liverpool and Chelsea having thrashed them 5-1 and 6-0 respectively over the course of the past few months to all but end their title hopes.
Graham – who managed the now Emirates Stadium-based outfit from 1986-1995 – says that a lack of fighting spirit in the dressing room has been the major factor in their slide:
“They are not competitive enough,” he told talkSPORT.
“At the beginning of big games there is usually tackles flying about, there’s intensity about the play, there is energy about the play. I don’t see any energy, any competitiveness from the first whistle, and they have got to sort it out quickly.
“They seem to be plodding. Arsenal have always been famous under Wenger for their lovely slick passing and their attacking football, but I just don’t see that nowadays. They are full of talented midfield players but, apart from [Aaron] Ramsey, nobody gets into the box.”
But Graham does think his old team can pull it together to finish in the top four and lift the FA Cup this season:
“I honestly believe Arsenal will win the FA Cup and I still think they have a great chance of finishing fourth, if they get their act together.”
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