Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Arsenal are ‘a million miles away’ from winning the Premier League.
Speaking after Arsenal gave up a lead to draw 2-2 at home against Swansea, Scholes hit out at Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Mesut Ozil for lacking the commitment and work-rate to salvage victory from tough situations.
Following on from their 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea, Arsenal’s draw at the Emirates saw them drop to fourth, six points adrift of their London rivals, who sit top of the Premier League.
“It’s Arsenal fans I feel sorry for because it is the same every year,” Scholes said on Sky Sports, where he was working as a pundit.
“They get a sniff of the title then they go to Chelsea and do nothing. The fans expect Arsenal to be going for the league but they’re a million miles away in my eyes. They need characters and leaders.”
Scholes said Arsenal will not win any trophies until they find leaders of the same calibre as former captains Patrick Viera and Tony Adams.
“They (Arsenal) capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme that happens when they play the top teams. For one reason or another, players go missing,” the 39-year-old said.
“The players like Arteta, Cazorla, Rosicky and Ozil, it seems like they go on the pitch with no discipline. There are no leaders like Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams or Martin Keown.
“When these players (Arteta, Cazorla et al) go 2-0 down they just carry on what they are doing they have a walk up front, lose the ball, play a nice little one-two and not even bother running back.”
Scholes added that the lack of leadership was allowing Arsenal’s promising youngsters to stagnate with the former England international claiming midfielder Jack Wilshire had not improved since he broke into the London club’s first team as a teenager in 2008.
“Jack Wilshere came on the scene and looked a top young player but he has never really gone on,” Scholes said.
“He needs the characters like Vieira next to him to take him to the next level. He doesn’t look any better player now than he did when he was 17.”