Arsenal’s reputation is in decline amid the club’s weak start to the season, says former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
Although the Gunners protected their perfect record in the Europa League this week to finish top of Group B, they have been underwhelming in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta’s team are 15th in the table, just seven points clear of the relegation zone and 11 adrift of leaders Tottenham, and have won just one of their last seven matches in the top flight.
It is the worst start they have made to a season in 39 years and Lehmann, who spent five years at Arsenal, says it has been an unacceptable beginning for a club of their stature.
“The position right now is the worst in decades. For a club like Arsenal that is not acceptable,” the former Germany international told The Daily Mail.
“All of us old players would try to help and make the Arsenal brand strong and big. We are very disappointed because the brand name is deteriorating, and you simply cannot let that happen.”
He added: “The board has to make the right decisions, the manager has to make the right decisions by signing players and coaching them.
“The players are in a fantastic environment, they are in London at one of the most traditional clubs.
“It seems that some of them are still having problems to cope with the pressure because everybody expects them to win something.
“But we are not even talking about winning anymore when you speak of Arsenal. There are a lot of problems.”
It has been a period of upheaval for Arsenal since Arsene Wenger’s departure in 2018 after 22 years in charge.
Arteta is the third manager to sit in the dugout since the Frenchman left and Lehmann says the pressure is on the Spaniard to impress.
“Wenger teamed together with [former vice-chairman] David Dein for a long time. There was huge consistency, and financial consistency,” he said. “The spine of the team and of the club, that has gone now.
“But look at Manchester United after Sir Alex [Ferguson] has left. It is the same problem there, and football has moved on.
“It is always the same. If you work for a big club like Arsenal, and you don’t fulfill ambitions, then you have to accept to be replaced.” effff