Emmanuel Petit believes the Gunners currently lack “the characters” required to compete with ambitious rivals, with the Frenchman adding: “I watched the last game with West Ham and I was thinking, ‘How can you put Ramsey on the bench and leave Ozil at home, knowing that you have no creative midfielders?’”
Petit was referring to Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United in which Emery started with three defenders and Alex Iwobi being the recognised creative player on the field but playing in a wide-midfield role as Aaron Ramsey was started on the bench while Mesut Ozil, who looks almost certain to leave Arsenal soon, was left out of the squad completely despite being fully fit.
This led the former Arsenal midfielder to compare the personnel at Arsenal with the one at Liverpool: “Everything is on the shoulders of [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Alexandre] Lacazette to score goals. And for a club like Arsenal, that’s not good enough. It’s about having the characters in the team. Look at Liverpool, the personality of the team, the desire, the anger. When I look at the characters like [James] Milner, [Jordan] Henderson, [Virgil] van Dijk. When I look at [Trent] Alexander-Arnold, [Andy] Robertson. They fight for the ball every time.”
Petit added: “That’s what you need if you want to compete at the highest level. If you look at the big clubs, even Barcelona, it’s all about desire. When you don’t have the ball, it’s about the desire to get it back. It’s really that simple.”