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Scholes accuses Arsenal players of 'going missing'

26 March 2014, 14:48

London - Once one of Arsenal's chief tormentors on the pitch, Paul Scholes dissected the Gunners with a withering verbal assault after a home draw with Swansea City on Tuesday ended any hope of a late Premier League title charge.

The former Manchester United midfielder was known for letting his boots do the talking during a glittering Old Trafford career but when asked to pick over the pieces of Arsenal's season, he held nothing back.

"It was a typical week for Arsenal really," Scholes, who was working for Sky Sports as a pundit, said after the Gunners drew 2-2 with Swansea City, three days after a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea in Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge.

"They capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme again at the top teams.

"It happened at Liverpool, they conceded six against Man City and for one reason or another players seem to go missing...

"It seems like they go on the pitch with no discipline.

"It's as though four, five midfielders go out there and do what you want - try and score a goal. A few nice one-twos, nice tippy-tappy football, but don't bother running back."

Scholes was part of a United midfield that regularly locked horns with Arsenal during a decade in which the two clubs dominated the Premier League.

No leaders

While United are in a post-Alex Ferguson slump this season having won a record 20th English title in the Scot's final season at the helm, Arsenal have rarely seriously challenged for a title since the 2003-04 'Invincibles'.

"There are no leaders, no Patrick Vieira, no Tony Adams, (Martin) Keown," Scholes added of fourth-placed Arsenal.

"Sometimes a midfield player when you're up against it you have to say: 'Look, just come in, get in here beside me for five minutes or 10 and stop the flow of attacks.'

"These, they go 2-0 down and they just carry on what they are doing. And you wonder why they are in the position they are in. I feel for the Arsenal fans, they get a little hint of the title for a few weeks and go to Chelsea, to Liverpool to City and they just do nothing.

"Fans expect Arsenal to go for the league and I know they are third or fourth but they are a million miles away in my eyes."

Scholes also questioned whether Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere was developing at the Emirates.

"Wilshere, what a really top young player, but he has not really gone on," Scholes said.

"He needs players like Vieira to take him to the next level. Injuries have not helped him but his development, from being 17, he does not look any better player now than when he was 17."

Despite sitting just six points behind leaders Chelsea with seven games remaining, Arsenal's grip on a top-four place could still be challenged by Everton, who are six points behind with a game in hand, or even north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

- Reuters


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