Sol Campbell has slammed Arsenal’s midfield and suggested they need a player of James Milner’s ilk to solidify them tactically.
The Gunners have tremendous players up top, but have been wildly inconsistent this term and were taught a footballing lesson by Liverpool at Anfield.
Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka didn’t get a kick as Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum ran the show – and in truth – the 3-1 scoreline massively flattered the visitors.
“You can have a strong back or a strong front, but if you haven’t got a middle that’s really solid, then you have forwards dropping too deep because they’re not getting fed and defenders doing too much,” the 45-year-old told talkSPORT.
“You get less attacks against you [with a stronger midfield], because you control the game more and you have the ball more. You win second balls and you don’t give silly fouls away. Yes, you’ve got to sort out the back.
“But in the middle of the park, they’ve got to get someone solid. They’ve got to realise the ingredients they need to win in the Premier League. At the moment, the ingredients aren’t right.
“You look at someone like Milner, the attitude. The Ray Parlour attitude. That’s the kind of attitude that Arsenal need. The love of football and desire to keep going, I think they’re lacking that. I look at Milner and think we need a little bit of that at Arsenal.”
Campbell makes some fair points, although we’re not sure Milner’s professionalism should be compared to Parlour’s, as good a footballer as the Romford Pele was!
Milner has found minutes hard to come by this term, only starting once, which came in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Napoli.
He struggled to get into the game and found himself drifting into wide areas instead of dominating the middle of the park.
We can only see Milner as a sub this term, but his presence in the dressing room and on the training field is obviously still superb.
But if he can’t get in the team now, he’ll only fall further down the pecking order with Naby Keita fully fit and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back to his best.