Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has blasted Arsenal following their Champions League exit on Wednesday.
The Gunners were beaten 3-1 by holders Barcelona in the competition’s last-16 second leg, with goals from Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi completing a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.
Keane, speaking as a pundit for ITV’s analysis of the game, questioned the mentality of some members of Arsenal’s squad and slammed their inconsistency.
He said: “They’ve got a weak group of players, who can’t seem to lift themselves for certain games.
“A lot of pressure seems to have got to them over the past few months. For players at Arsenal football club, if you can’t deal with the pressure, well you shouldn’t be there.”
The loss was Arsenal’s fourth in their last seven games. They were upset at home by Watford in the FA Cup fifth round and also lost to Swansea City in the Premier League.
Keane went on: “Tonight, the damage was already done in the first game. There’s no shame in losing 3-1, sure. The effort was there, Barcelona had switched off.
“But it must be hard for the manager and for the supporters when they see the players lifting it for certain games but then can’t do it for Watford at home or Swansea at home. They’re cheating the supporters in that sense.”
The ex-Republic of Ireland international also expressed his disappointment in Arsenal’s apparent lack of leaders on the pitch.
Keane added: “They seem to have a lack of characters there. Technically they are very good players but where are the leaders of the group, to get a grip of these players when they don’t seem up for it?
“Clubs are obsessed with recruitment. They’re looking at technique and fitness levels, but where are the characters?”