Perry Groves has laid into Arsenal after their 3-1 Europa League defeat to Rennes on Thursday night, singling out head coach Unai Emery and defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for criticism, while speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT (8 March, 12.50am).
The Gunners were a goal to the good inside three minutes in Brittany; Alex Iwobi giving the North Londoners what could be a vital away goal in the round of 16 tie.
But Rennes came roaring back after Sokratis was sent off after a series of silly challenges; finishes from Benjamin Bourigeaud and Ismaila Sarr either side of a Nacho Monreal own-goal sealing a famous win.
Arsenal legend Groves was far from impressed, taking aim at the experienced Greek international Sokratis while suggesting that Emery failed to react to the problems posed by Rennes.
“Totally unprofessional. Sokratis, just completely brainless, he could’ve been booked three times,” said Groves, who also hit out at Emery’s decision to keep the ineffective Mesut Ozil on the pitch at the expense of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
“Starting (Shkodran) Mustafi at right-back when he had a nightmare against Spurs (in Saturday’s 1-1 draw), he’s not a right back at all. You have to go to three centre-halves. (Emery) didn’t change it so tactically he was poor.”
Arsenal do have history when it comes to turning around first leg defeats in Europe, beating BATE Borisov comfortably at the Emirates last month despite suffering a shock 1-0 loss in Belarus just seven days earlier.
And Iwobi’s away goal means the tie is far from over yet.
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