Paul Merson delivers blunt verdict on Arsenal under Freddie Ljungberg

Paul Merson says Arsenal are suffering from a major lack of confidence as things stand

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson believes that Arsenal are suffering from a major lack of confidence at the moment.

The Gunners secured their first victory under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg on Monday night thanks to a 3-1 victory over West Ham United at the London Stadium.

The north London side have been struggling to find consistent form all season and they have only won five of their 16 Premier League games so far this term.

That poor run of form culminated in the sacking of Unai Emery last month, with Ljungberg having assumed temporary charge until they can find a long-term replacement.

The Gunners produced an impressive second-half display on Monday night after having struggled before the break.

And former Arsenal star Merson feels that the Gunners’ current struggles are down to a lack of confidence.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “Arsenal’s win at West Ham papered over huge cracks at the club. Don’t let the late turnaround fool you, Arsenal are heading nowhere.

“I’ve never seen a game like it. It comes back to the same old thing – confidence, confidence, confidence. It sums up the situations Arsenal find themselves in at the moment, and West Ham for that matter.

“If you’re not winning football matches your confidence goes, it’s the worst feeling in the world. It doesn’t matter how good you are as a player, when the confidence goes, that’s it.

“When Arsenal turned to Freddie Ljungberg, they wanted him to come in and steady the ship. They would have thought ‘we’re not going anywhere, we’re not going to get relegated and we can save a few quid’.

“But, all of a sudden, a couple of dodgy performances and it’s panic stations. I just don’t know where they go next.”

Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they host defending champions Manchester City at The Emirates.

Before that, they will take on Standard Liege away from home in the Europa League knowing that a draw will secure their spot in the knockout phase of the competition.

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