Ray Parlour says Arsenal have no leaders
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 29/02/16 11:52am
Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes a lack of on-field leaders was to blame for the Gunners' loss at Manchester United.
Arsenal are now five points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester City with 11 games left to play.
The weekend loss was a costly one and drew some fierce criticism from Graeme Souness, who described Arsenal's performance at Old Trafford as "totally unacceptable" and said they "bordered on being a joke" in the 3-2 defeat.
Parlour feels there was a clear absence of leadership during the display and that the title advantage may now be with Tottenham.
"I didn't see anyone on that pitch demanding more from the players," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "The big players didn't turn up and at the back they were all over the place.
"The most important thing is the leaders. When the going gets tough you need people like that; when I played we had Tony Adams and guys like that demand more from you when you're up against it.
"Swansea on Wednesday is now a massive game for them and then they play the north London derby, and at the moment, Spurs are looking a much more complete team than Arsenal."
The most important thing is the leaders. When the going gets tough you need people like that; when I played we had Tony Adams and guys like that demand more from you when you're up against it.
Parlour also felt the loss represents a missed opportunity for Arsenal to show they are capable of winning difficult away games, with the Gunners still to play at Tottenham, Everton and West Ham this season.
"It's undoubtedly a big blow to Arsenal because with the players United had out it was a real opportunity for them to set their stall out," he said.
"They're going for the title and I didn't see the desire and the grit in their performance. I didn't see the togetherness that you've got to have at this stage of the season.
"They've got some massive away games coming up and this was a chance to make a massive statement at Manchester United.
"Now they've got to beat Swansea and Spurs and they are really up against it. If they play like they did against Manchester United there is no way they'll win the league."