Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has delivered a harsh verdict on his side’s current state, saying they are lacking in discipline, attitude and self-confidence.
The Gunners managed to draw Southampton 1-1 on Wednesday, ending a run of three straight Premier League defeats.
But Arsenal still ended the match in 15th place and with just 14 points from their first 13 Premier League games this season, their lowest tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1974-75.
Discipline has been a major issue under Mikel Arteta, with Gabriel’s red card against the Saints making it seven reds for Arsenal since Arteta took charge on Boxing Day 2019, four more than any other Premier League side in that time.
Leno, though, has defended Arteta, saying that he and his team-mates are to blame for the position they find themselves in currently.
“That [pressure on Arteta] is not an issue at all. The coach is least to blame for the fact that we are in this situation,” Leno told Sky Germany.
“If you look at the way we were running around on the pitch at times, then the players are the only ones to blame. I have to be honest about that.
“We’re getting red cards, making mistakes, standing out of position. These are things that we have clearly addressed a thousand times. In the end, it’s a lack of focus on the part of the players.
“The coach is not an issue in the dressing room, there is no criticism of him. We criticise ourselves and the players know that they are responsible.
“We actually have quality, but all of a sudden there was this break. But nobody can pin it on just one person.”