Arsenal great Thierry Henry has accused the club’s squad of lacking commitment, desire and leadership during their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s men turned in a tepid display in their loss to a youthful United side at Old Trafford, with recent poor form threatening to derail their Premier League title hopes.
Arsenal have won just three of eight league games in 2016 and, with leaders Leicester City and second-placed Tottenham showing little sign of faltering, Henry said Wenger’s side need a reaction.
“On Sunday there was a lack of commitment, desire, leadership,” he told Sky Sports. “They should have done better and it’s everything you don’t want from a team who want to win the title.
“Now what’s going to be next? Are you driving home from the game saying ‘we’re playing Swansea but let’s see if West Ham can do us a favour [against Spurs] and it’s going to be okay?’
“Or am I asking what do I bring? Are we accountable? Are you grabbing someone or are you being grabbed because you’re not doing your job.
“Are you honest with your team? That’s what they need to do, ask what they need to be champions.
“You have to grab it, even the day when you’re about to be champions – when the guy from the FA passes the cup to the skipper, even then he has to grab it.
“They know that, the positive thing is they are only five points away from the top and there is time to rectify that. But are they going to rectify that? Only they can answer that.”
Henry has previously been critical of Olivier Giroud – doubting whether the striker can provide the goals for a title challenge – although fellow forwards Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott have both also displayed mixed form of late.
Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer added of Walcott: “He should be doing better, we all agree, but Olivier has scored a lot previously and isn’t scoring now. Sanchez has been suffering, so what happened to the other parts of the team?
“Who scored when Dwight Yorke or Andy Cole weren’t scoring? When [Sergio] Aguero wasn’t scoring? Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko.
“[Sylvain] Wiltord scored when I wasn’t. Your usual suspects have to perform but when they’re not, who else is scoring?
“[Leonardo] Ulloa did it for Leicester at the weekend, [Danny] Rose and [Nacer] Chadli did it for Spurs [on Sunday]. That’s how you win a league.”