Arsenal's second-half capitulation at Watford on Super Sunday was just like watching a'semi-pro' group, states Graeme Souness.
Arsenal drove away the points through two defensive errors, after being 2-0 up via a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice. To begin with, Sokratis Papastathopoulos attempted to play out for Tom Cleverley, only of the back to capitalise and halve the deficit, even until David Luiz gave away a penalty which Roberto Pereyra converted.
Arsenal have now conceded seven goals in their last few games and Souness did not hold back from the Sky Sports studio in his assessment of the Gunners.
"They capitulated in the second half, Arsenal. They did not win a struggle. If you're an Arsenal supporter you have to be scratching your mind. It's two teams that are distinct. It is like here is the very first team from the first half, along with another one later half-time. Proper teams don't play like that.
"Arsenal in that second half were just like a semi-professional group playing soccer. That I mean they were not learning from the errors they were performing the time and time again."
Specifically, Souness questioned when major 2-1 in the second 22, why Unai Emery caused Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson.
"They bring about a few kids, which was a match where at 2-1 it was time to dig in and regroup, be sure they did not lose the game, and they should have dropped it. When the kids arrived they were all over the place, it was just like a sport of basketball and if you were an Arsenal fan, that could profoundly, deeply fear you."
The primary goal came from Papastathopoulos' central pass from defence from a Bernd Leno aim kick, something found longer this year after rules changed allowing the ball inside the box to accumulate.
But Souness said Arsenal must have gone after a warning signal in the first half.
"There are senior players in this type of defence. As a manager, you hope your larger players, it doesn't have to be the ones, work it out that they're likely to concede.
"Why did the big players never say'let's go with it for 10 minutes and watch where it takes us', because persisting by it was likely to cost themand they're lucky it only cost one."
One of Arsenal's top players Granit Xhaka, around the day admitted Arsenal were'fearful' in the second half, but stated playing out from the trunk was one of several problems, not the issue.
"That which was wrong [in the second half], we didn't play our gamewe were fearful we know they would push us in the second half but we must show more personality and play, and not be fearful. You can not give a performance in this way.
"We train for brief target shouts, naturally mistakes are here however, it's not an excuse. Next time we must do much better, we have to analyse and then we'll see what happens. It wasn't just this situation that was an issue - it had been the entire second half"
Back in the studio, Souness responded to the meeting of Xhaka by asking:'How do Arsenal be fearful?'
"They are saying that they were scared - I have never been frightened at a game of soccer in my entire life. I don't know it. From the game plan, Arsenal were permitted to have the ball,'' Watford dropped off.
"It's simple to play with nobody's coming after you, in mind. I could have played that Arsenal group at the first halfof the Nevertheless, the thing affects when Watford are allowed off the guide, you are faced with somebody who's going through you, plus they didn't stand up for it.
"Sometimes you have to have a hat on for a single type of game, and yet another hat for some other. Arsenal proved today they could only play one way - they can't go to war."
Talking to Sky Sports after the match, Arsenal director Emery said the ball from goal kicks would have caused his side to drop the conflict that was physical and admits his side should learn from their mistakes.
"Trying the long ballthey are physically stronger than people, and they have been winning that ball. We wanted to break the line and join to Mesut [Ozil], like we did with the next goal.
"It was two unique halves. In the first we controlled the game how we wanted, in the minute they pushed for our mistakes, and we did more than we wanted to do. We need to think about how we could improve, how we could perform.
"We can grow up with the errors and understand for the future games. Knowing they would do more, and in the second half we needed to perform the same work, although we stated at half-time that 2-0 is not sufficient. They did this, and we couldn't break the lines.
"I continue with our way of functioning. We will need to enhance, take some advice. We could be let down, but we learn about that."
Arsenal visit Eintracht Frankfurt in their initial Europa League group stage clash on Thursday at 5.55pm, prior to hosting Aston Villa at the Premier League on Sunday at 4.30pm.

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