Sky Sports pundit criticises ‘lazy’ Arsenal star
Charlie Nicholas has his say on Bernd Leno's recent performances in goal for Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas has hit out at Bernd Leno for being “lazy and slack-minded” at times during his recent performances for Arsenal.
The north London side crashed to a surprise 2-1 defeat by Greek side Olympiakos in the Europa League last Thursday as they were dumped out of the European competition on away goals.
Leno has been Arsenal’s number one choice in goal this season but the German has been criticised for a number of sloppy errors in recent games.
Former Arsenal star Nicholas feels that Leno and his defensive colleagues are guilty of being too casual at the back this season.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports as he reflected on the loss to Olympiakos, Nicholas said: “I am a fan of Bernd Leno, but he gets lazy and slack-minded, and the whole of the defence is like that.
“[Mikel] Arteta has worked on the shape and protection with organisation – it is better and it looks better, but the issue is not solved.
“I watched them win at Olympiakos, this was their best route into the Champions League. However, they are a million miles away from a team that would win the Europa League.
“This is not the toughest Europa League to win. Some of the teams that have come in from the Champions League are not as great as what they were. Sevilla are not as good, Ajax are now out too.”
Arsenal are currently preparing for a return to FA Cup action on Monday night when they travel to Portsmouth.
After that, the north London side will focus on putting together some positive form in the Premier League, starting with a home clash against West Ham United on Saturday.
Arsenal – who finished fifth last term – are currently eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea FC as the race for Champions League qualification via a top-four finish starts to hot up.