Belfast Telegraph

Petit calls for Gunners clear out

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit warned the club need to completely overhaul their squad if they are to start challenging for trophies again.

The French World Cup winner claimed the Gunners needed to sell a host of their star names and bring in at least five established players in the wake of their 4-0 Champions League thumping by AC Milan.

"We shouldn't hesitate to talk about the end of the cycle. Regardless of age, we have to look seriously at certain players. Right now," Petit told

The 41-year-old, who formed a formidable partnership with Patrick Vieira in his three years in north London from 1997 to 2000, singled out Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky as players who were letting manager Arsene Wenger down.

He added: "Certain young players haven't done enough to justify the confidence that Arsene has in them. Walcott - somehow he's going to have to reach the next stage. It's been years that he's been at the same level.

"Ramsey, against Milan, I got the impression it was his (twin) brother on the pitch. In the way they behave, in their body language, we see they're not there anymore.

"You have to send out a strong signal. You have to say to Arshavin, and to Rosicky: 'Gentlemen, thank you, but goodbye'. And soon.

"What's needed is five or six players of real stature, great experience. Players who are 27 - 30 years old at most.

"Players with technical qualities, obviously, but also strong character. A group of guys who refuse to accept defeat, who inspire confidence in the rest of the team."


From Belfast Telegraph