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Ray Parlour singles out two of Arsenal’s biggest problems

Ray Parlour, Arsenal
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After Arsenal’s European dream ended in such a disappointing fashion, Ray Parlour has described two of the club’s biggest problem areas.

Ray Parlour believes a lack of home form and leaders in the team have played a role in Arsenal’s demise this season.

The former Gunners midfielder was left disappointed by the club’s performance in Thursday’s second leg 0-0 draw with Villarreal in the Europa League, branding the first-half display like a ‘testimonial’.

The goalless draw at the Emirates meant Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League semi-finals on a 2-1 aggregate defeat.

Mikel Arteta’s men, therefore, are at risk of failing to qualify for any European competition for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Poor home form

Thursday’s draw extended Arsenal’s winless run at the Emirates to six games in all competitions (D3 L3). They’ve also failed to win their last three home Europa League games against Olympiacos (0-1), Slavia Prague (0-0), and Villarreal (0-0).

“They haven’t been great at the Emirates, and that’s where you’ve got to make it a fortress,” Parlour told talkSPORT.

“You’ve got to make sure the teams coming there are fearful, but teams aren’t fearful of Arsenal, they probably enjoy going to the Emirates.

“It’s been really poor this season.”

No leaders anymore

The 48-year-old also bemoaned the lack of leaders inside the Gunners squad compared to his own era, which included legends such as Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams.

“Mikel Arteta will be so disappointed with his players,” continued Parlour.

“They should have been confident going into the game, they know what they had to do, they’ve got the away goal so go out there on the front foot, but it just didn’t work out like that.

“It was like a testimonial in the first half, I just didn’t see any tackles flying in.

“I go back to Tuesday night, watching Man City vs PSG, and that was a proper game. It had everything, great football, tackles flying in, goal, opportunities for both sides. It was a brilliant game to watch – but I didn’t see that from Arsenal last night.

“I don’t see any leaders at Arsenal. Going back to my time, we had three or four of them in our team, Vieira, Keown, Adams, and when you weren’t doing your job you’d get hammered!

“But Arsenal don’t have any players like that.”