Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell has expressed his concern for the Gunners’ mentality and lack of passion, in what is turning into another disappointing season.
Everyone knew that Unai Emery had one hell of a job on his hands when he took over at the Emirates in the summer, with the squad in dire need of strengthening, while there was a deep-rooted mentality issues that had become the norm under Arsene Wenger.
While their early season form showed some signs of promise, recent results and performances are more in keeping with the Wenger days, with the clubs soft underbelly once again rearing its head.
Speaking to Love Sport Radio, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell said that the current crop of players seem to shy away from entering into a physical battle, especially away from home.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s the mentality that you have to have on the road,” Campbell said.
“You have got to be sure and you have got to be mentally strong when you go on the road, especially at the better clubs in the league.
“You have to go there with a toughness, that you know you can get something, and a game plan that you’re going to get something.
“At home, Arsenal can do it because they have got their fantastic fans with them. But away from home there is that siege mentality that you have to have in order to pick up results away from home. Arsenal haven’t had that in a hell of a long time.
“They struggle against the big boys.
“When you actually do the eye test and you look at Arsenal you see some fantastic footballers but what you actually do see is a lack of the passion, the drive to get dirty in the trenches.
“It’s tough because for a lot of Arsenal fans, the team have had it.
“They’ve seen the players who have played there, they have idolised the likes of Vieira and Tony Adams and these guys who, when the chips are down, they stand up. And they just don’t see it anymore.
“I believe Unai Emery, he’s only been there six months, he’s doing a great job considering he’s taken over from somebody like Arsene Wenger after 22 years.
“The issue Arsenal have is how they recruit in the summer.
“I think that’s going to be the key. That defence isn’t good enough if we’re honest and the midfield, going away from home, isn’t strong enough.
“How Emery recruits in the summer is going to tell Arsenal and Arsenal fans a lot about where they’re going.”