Robin van Persie blames Arsenal’s midfield for the team’s lack of goals

Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie (Picture: Getty Images)

Robin van Persie lays the blame at Arsenal’s midfield for the team’s lack of goals, singling out Granit Xhaka, Joe Willock and Matteo Guendouzi as players who lack creativity.

The Gunners picked up a good result on Thursday night in the Europa League , winning 1-0 away at Olympiakos thanks to a late Alexandre Lacazette goal.

The win continues the encouraging progress the side are making under Mikel Arteta as they extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions and record their third straight clean sheet.

However, goals have been an issue for Arsenal this season, scoring 36 in 26 games in the Premier League, leaving them 10th in the division with just seven wins.

Van Persie does not see the forwards – Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli – are to blame, but the midfielders who are failing to create chances for the front line.

‘What is the reason why Arsenal don’t create so many chances? I believe it’s because the midfielders,’ said the Dutchman.

‘The strikers don’t believe that final ball can come.

‘If you look at Xhaka, Willock, Guendouzi they don’t have that final ball in their locker.

‘I think it affects the front three in a bad way. The strikers need to have that feeling like the ball is going to come. It’s not coming that often.’

Arsenal have drawn more games than any other team in the Premier League this season, recently being held to stalemates by Burnley, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.

However, after some calamitous defensive problems under previous manager Unai Emery, Arteta is encouraged by the improvements at the back rather than the struggles up front.

‘I have told the players they have to enjoy defending as much as they do attacking because it’s a big part of the game,’ said the Spaniard after the win in Greece.

‘So if you give simple balls away you’d better run back and recover that ball as quickly as possible.

‘But this team plays with a big heart and I see a lot of effort from these players. Instead of splitting they have joined together really quickly.’

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday in a huge clash in the race for European places at home to Everton.

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