Paul Merson has admitted he is “worried” about his former club Arsenal as Mikel Arteta’s men fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford on Friday evening.
The Bees were playing their first-ever match in the Premier League and they got off to a dream start by beating the Gunners on a fairly comfortable evening for the newly-promoted side.
Arteta was without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for the short trip to the Brentford Community Stadium due to illness and their absence was missed, with the visitors missing a clear goal threat in attack.
However, Merson – when speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday – doesn’t think they would have made too much of a difference if they were available.
The former Arsenal midfielder expressed his concern for his old club and said that just three current Gunners players would get into Brentford’s starting XI.
“There are not a lot of leaders around nowadays. It’s not what it was with Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Patrick Vieira and people like that, but it scared me last night,” Merson said.
“When you watch it on the television, you only see six or seven players because there’s not enough space to see the whole team, but what I watched last night, it was mindblowing.
“When I came back into the lounge after, I was like: ‘I cannot believe what I just watched. I cannot believe what I just watched.’ This is Arsenal, but that’s gone.
“If you’d have said to Brentford before the game that they had to play one of the so-called big teams and asked them who they would want to play, they would’ve picked Arsenal and that’s where it’s gone.
“There was no energy, it was safe. [Emile] Smith Rowe did well, he’s a good player, [Kieran] Tierney did well and when [Bukayo] Saka came on.
“They’re the three players. I’m looking at the other players and I’m thinking: I’m not sure Brentford would take you.
“If you went to Thomas Frank, who would you want to take for Crystal Palace away next week, he’d go: ‘It’s alright, I’ll take my team’ and that’s where it’s gone.
“Even the Arsenal fans, I don’t want to sound disrespectful here, but they’re away from home and they sang one song.
“He’d take those three all day long, they can play for a lot of teams but the other eight, or 10, or 12 players.
“People were saying, well, no [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang or [Alexandre] Lacazette – but Aubameyang did nothing last year, it’s not like he got 40 goals and Arsenal are waiting for him to come back. I worry.”
Source by Football London