Mikel Arteta laments Xhaka injury blow for Arsenal
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Arsenal’s continued struggles in the Premier League has meant that European competition continues to pass them by. And in a scathing attack on the club, ex-player Jens Lehmann has slammed their star players.
Lehmann was part of the ‘Invincibles’ side who went an entire Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2003/04 with 26 wins and 12 draws.
Arguably the best side in the world at the time, the Gunners were expected to go on and compete year upon year domestically at a minimum.
If you had told an Arsenal fan at that time that the title that year would be their last for a long time, they would have scoffed at the idea given the prominence of Lehmann, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Ashley Cole and others.
But that has become a reality with current stars not stepping up to the plate alongside a poor recruitment policy.
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And Lehmann has taken to the media to slate the current outfit for their inconsistencies.
“Well, I think there are four fantastic players,” Lehmann told BILD.
“They are young, they are not yet in a position to take the club forward, but they always say the future is golden.
“Whether that will be the case for the players at Arsenal, I don’t know. In any case, they have potential.”
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Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli are part of the contingent which will look to serve Arsenal well in the future.
But for now, the current crop of senior stars are the ones to guide them through the mire – something that Lehmann believes they are failing to do.
He continued: “All the other players who are older, just deliver a bit. Qualify for the Champions League or win something, and then you can also say they are great players.
“But otherwise, everything is actually mediocre.”
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Lehmann won a Premier League title and an FA Cup in his time at Highbury, although he fell short in the 2006 Champions League final after being sent off early on.
And with the current squad not having won a single Premier League title between them, the Gunners will likely need more of that experience if they are to repeat the process Lehmann did.
They take on Aston Villa on Friday night in a bid to re-enter the top half of the table.
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