Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has hit out at Mikel Arteta‘s current crop of players, claiming their performances this season have damaged the club’s reputation. The Gunners currently occupy 15th place in the Premier League table after picking up just 13 points from eleven matches, which constitutes their worst start to a league campaign since 1981.
Arteta’s side fell to a demoralising defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Tottenham last time out, leading Lehmann, who was a member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, to take aim at the club’s players.
“The position right now is the worst in decades,” the retired German goalkeeper told Sportsmail. “For a club like Arsenal, that is not acceptable.
“All of us old players would try to help and make the Arsenal brand strong and big. We are very disappointed because the brand name is deteriorating, and you simply cannot let that happen.”
Arteta has come under fire in recent weeks, with his position as manager questioned by supporters and pundits amid his side’s desperate run of form.
However, Lehmann believes that while the Spaniard should claim some of the responsibility, a large portion lies with the players who are ultimately the ones who take to the pitch week in, week out.
The former goalkeeper, who registered 54 clean sheets in 148 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, slammed the current crop’s apparent failure to deal with high-pressure situations.
“It is a bit of a mixture,” Lehmann continued. “The board has to make the right decisions, the manager has to make the right decisions by signing players and coaching them.
“The players are in a fantastic environment, they are in London at one of the most traditional clubs.
“It seems that some of them are still having problems to cope with the pressure because everybody expects them to win something.
“But we are not even talking about winning anymore when you speak of Arsenal. There are a lot of problems.”
Arteta will be desperately hoping for a positive result against strugglers Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening as the Gunners look to rescue their season.
One of Arsenal’s major issues of late has been their inability to create chances and be clinical front of goal, with Arteta’s side having scored just once from open play in their last seven league outings.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who signed a new long-term deal with the club in September, has only found the net on two occasions with his most recent league goal coming from the penalty spot against Manchester United back in October.