Paul Merson: 'Arsenal players too nice'

Aaron Ramsey takes a seat during the Champions League game between Arsenal and PSG on November 23, 2016
© SilverHub
Paul Merson says that the current crop of Arsenal players are too "nice" and are 'letting down' manager Arsene Wenger.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has criticised the current squad for being "nice players", suggesting that their demeanour is a factor in their questionable performances.

The Gunners are facing a last-16 exit from the Champions League after a 5-1 mauling at Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, while they sit 10 points behind leaders Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title.

"The problem is with Arsene Wenger is he brings in nice players," Merson told Sky Sports News. "They get beat, they'll all be sitting there going 'that wasn't very good, was it?'

"He ain't gonna buy a Roy Keane kind of player, who's going to question his tactics - he wants players around him that are nice. That's the problem - it's nice, they're comfortable, and they're letting him down now. At the same time he's the one who brought these players in.

"Sometimes you've got to draw a line. He takes all the stick. I'm one of those people on his back as much as anyone else, but let's draw a line now.

"These players are letting him down. These are the ones. He's put a lot of faith in these players who have been there for a long time, not a year or two years... they're not performing, they're letting him down and they keep getting away with it."

Next up for Arsenal is a potential banana skin when they travel to National League outfit Sutton United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline during the North London derby at the Emirates Stadium on November 6, 2016
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea26203355193663
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton26128642271544
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2611783632440
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113544-933
10Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
11Burnley2694132837-931
12Watford2687113043-1331
13Southampton2586112831-330
14Bournemouth2675143651-1526
15Swansea CitySwansea2673163257-2524
16Middlesbrough26410121928-922
17Crystal Palace2664163346-1322
18Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
19Hull City2656152350-2721
20Sunderland2654172448-2419