Arsenal started the Premier League season with a 2-0 home loss to Manchester City on Sunday, a result that most people expected. However, what they didn’t expect was the likes of Paul Merson and other pundits coming out and criticising the club after just one game. Merson took to Sky Sports to criticise Arsenal, claiming they lack mental strength.
Paul Merson: “If you want to keep on coming along making money and finishing fifth or sixth, nothing has to change. But if you want to break in, get to that level, it’s going to need a better mentality of player; I don’t think the players are mentally strong enough.” [Sky] pic.twitter.com/w5crIfFFP2
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) 14 August 2018
Those that have jumped to attack Unai Emery and slate his Arsenal side have very short memories. In Pep Guardiola’s first season in England he struggled greatly, finishing 3rd and enduring his first season in senior management without winning some sort of silverware. However, just a season later he’d smashed multiple Premier League records on his way to securing the title.
No one is saying that Emery is going to win the league next season, not yet anyway, but the fact that he’s on the receiving end of criticism from those supposedly know what they’re talking about is ridiculous. He’s taken charge of one competitive fixture with the club, his five new signings haven’t had time to bed in and he started with one of the toughest possible games. It would be justified if these comments were coming after ten or so games, but for now, the Gunners simply aren’t having it.
You can read the fans’ verdict on Merson’s comments here:
Sometimes i hate listening to pundits because their judgements are based on what they think, if Arsenal happens to smash Chelsea all pundits will change and say “Arsenal have better mentality” in my opinion Arsenal have great talent and potential
— kenyan Gooner (@kenyagooner) 14 August 2018
After one game???? Wow….. You ppl never fail to amaze me…. It was City…
— Odi3 (@MrWrong4u2) August 14, 2018
It's one game in a new system. It took Pep a full year to bed in his system.
— Loving Father (@bmtopol) August 14, 2018
Its been ONE game under emery and everyone starts talking trash smh
— Gooner (@average_gunner) August 14, 2018
He has a point in some way but it’s one game. Do people really expect things to click instantly? Pep didn’t do well his first year, it takes time for a new system to be implemented perfectly
— Charlie (@volentless) August 14, 2018
Criticizing a manager after only one game in the first season is so unbelievable that I am just speechless, even though its come from an Arsenal veteran.
— reza dalili (@arsenali) August 14, 2018
Ah “mentality”, that boring old cliche that apparently allows you to trap a football better.
— Gurgen Hakopian (@ghakopian1) August 14, 2018
The Gunners will be keen to show Merson that he’s wrong with his mentality comments as they aim to make The Emirates a fortress for the rest of the season.