Merson lays into Arsenal stars, says 4/10 rating is generous

Paul Merson

Paul Merson believes the experienced players in the Arsenal side let the team down.

Former Gunners midfielder Paul Merson has defended Arsenal's young players after the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and insisted the senior players accept their role in the defeatt.

It is easy to pin the blame of the 3-0 loss on the fact Arsenal started inexperienced players like Alex Iwobi and Glen Kamara, also giving a rare opportunity to Joel Campbell.

Arsene Wenger suggested after the game that the youngsters showed they were not ready for the occasion, telling The BBC: "The level was too high for the young players tonight. They are not ready to play at this level."

Merson told SkySports in the post-game television broadcast that Wenger's criticism was aimed in the wrong direction, defending the youngsters.

He said: "I thought it (Wenger's reaction) was a bit strong. Seasoned professionals let them young kids down.

"You need the older players to help you through. The four or five seasoned pro's wouldn't get 4/10 tonight. I felt sorry for them (the young players)."

Wenger selected Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Flamini, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy among the starters, and none of them even remotely impressed.

The young players needed protecting on the pitch by the senior players, and by their manager in the post-game interview. Neither were able to provide it.

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