Arsenal have gone backwards since leaving Highbury, says Souness

‘It has always been the classiest football club in British football… right now they seem to be rudderless’: Graeme Souness believes Arsenal have gone backwards since leaving Highbury for the Emirates in 2006

  • REPORT: Arsenal blown away as Kevin De Bruyne stars for Manchester City 
  • Graeme Souness feels that Arsenal have regressed since changing stadiums
  • Arsenal hoped moving from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006 would help them
  • But Sky pundit Souness says that the Gunners are going backwards right now 

Graeme Souness provided a damning assessment of Arsenal’s current plight, labelling the Gunners as ‘rudderless’ after their dismal showing against Manchester City. 

Freddie Ljungberg and his players were outclassed by the Premier League champions and defeat leaves the north London side in ninth. 

For Souness, the club have gone backwards since swapping Highbury for the Emirates Stadium in 2006, having once been ‘the classiest football club in British football’.   

Arsenal had an afternoon to forget as they were thoroughly outclassed by Manchester City

Graeme Souness said the club are going backwards since they moved to the Emirates Stadium

‘This club has always been the classiest football club in British football, they always did everything right,’ Souness told Sky Sports.  

‘And right now they seem to be rudderless, in terms of making football decisions. They’ve not made a decision yet knowing this was coming up. And I just see this football club as drifting. 

‘It’s all to do with non-football people making football decisions. And they’re at a real crossroads. 

The club made the move in 2006 from Highbury with a view to winning the biggest trophies

But Freddie Ljungberg (right) is struggling to galvanise a side who are slumped in ninth

‘They moved to this stadium from Highbury to join the big league, to be one of the big teams in Europe. They’re further away now than they were when they were at Highbury. It’s not happened for them.’ 

The vision when Arsenal left for the Emirates Stadium was that it would provide the foundations to consolidate themselves as one of Europe’s finest.  

But difficulties in the final years of the Arsene Wenger era has followed since his departure with Unai Emery sacked in November having struggled to lift the side back into the Champions League.  

With Ljungberg keeping the seat warm while the club search for their next manager, the club’s struggles have continued on the pitch. Defeat on Sunday leaves them 27 points off league leaders Liverpool. 

For Souness’ colleague Jamie Carragher, Arsenal and Manchester United find themselves in a similar situation with managerial uncertainty contributing to their malaise.  

‘You think of the two clubs in the Premier League era, Manchester United and Arsenal,’ Carragher said. ‘They’ve had managers for 20/25 years. As soon as that manager’s gone they’ve really struggled to bring the right man in. 

Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher feels the club can ill-afford to get another appointment wrong

Unai Emery was sacked last month after a dismal start to the 2019-20 season in north London

‘United are probably three or four managers now, Arsenal are going to be on their third manager after Wenger. We were always told, we at Liverpool at that time were always told Arsenal were the way you do it, Manchester United were the way you do it. 

‘It’s just that they had two legendary football managers who meant they didn’t have to make those decisions. 

‘Now these are in the same boat as everyone else, where every two or three years you’re looking for another manager. You’ve got to get that decision right, and if you don’t it can really affect your club, like we’ve seen here with the appointment of Unai Emery.’

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