Players join Arsenal ‘for a vacation’ and half the squad must be sold, says Emmanuel Petit

Alex Young
·2-min read
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal are a team to join "for a vacation" and half of the squad must be sold, says former player Emmanuel Petit in a scathing assessment of Mikel Arteta's players.

A dismal 3-0 home loss to Liverpool was the latest low point in Arteta's inconsistent reign, all but confirming another season out of the top four.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague, the tie on which the Gunners' season hangs, Petit says only four players are worth their salt.

"When I look at the older players in Arsenal's team, it's like they think it's a retreat football club, somewhere you just go for a vacation," Petit told Ladbrokes.

"They have ambition, but I don't really expect them to win big games anymore.

"If you took away the name 'Arsenal' and looked at that group of players... average. At the end of the season, if I'm Arsenal, if I'm Arteta, if I'm on the board, to be honest with you, I think my main concern is getting half of the dressing room out. Honestly.

"I try not to get emotional anymore when I look at Arsenal. I try to step back and put away my emotions. I try and look at them like a normal team. I have to tell myself 'don't expect anything special from them today.'"

Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Asked which players he is referring to, Petit focused on those he wants to see stay at Arsenal.

He replied: "The question is simple; how many Arsenal players would you look at and say 'they're one of the best in the league in that position?'

"For me, if you look at the last two or three seasons, how many players are exempt of any criticism? Three or four, probably: Kieran Tierney and Bernd Leno. I really like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe; the way Smith-Rowe plays really reminds me of Paul Gascoigne."

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