Soccer

Jamie Redknapp slates five Arsenal players’ ‘schoolboy’ defending vs West Ham

Jamie Redknapp slammed Arsenal's 'schoolboy' defending against West Ham – with five players coming under fire.

Mikel Arteta's side had to come from three goals down against the Hammers to earn a 3-3 draw which moved them up to ninth place in the Premier League.

The Gunners made life hard for themselves after conceding twice in three minutes early in the first half, with Jarrod Bowen doubling West Ham's lead after Jesse Lingard's opener.

Tomas Soucek added a third just past the half-hour mark – but it was Bowen's goal that left Redknapp barely able to believe what he'd seen.

Michail Antonio won a free-kick just, which was quickly passed to Bowen while several Arsenal players still had their backs turned as they walked to take up positions in Bernd Leno's area – with the West Ham winger firing home.

And Redknapp blasted Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Pablo Mari and Leno for not being ready following the soft goal.

"When you talk about when you're a kid, one of the first things you learn when the ball goes dead don't turn your back," said the former Tottenham and Liverpool midfielder on Sky Sports.

"Look at the Arsenal players there, you can see Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, you can see Mari. Look at the goalkeeper – he never gets himself in the right position.

"That is abject. That is what you expect from schoolboys when you talk about football.

"It was a poor piece of goalkeeping as well. But it just summed them up. It's now how you play football. You's got to be bright. You need leaders. Take responsibility. That's why they got caught out."

Asked whether Leno should shoulder the blame for failing to organise his defence, Redknapp said: "It's a difficult one because he's in a position where he's 20 yards away. It's more the players. It's just something you learn as a kid.

"Every one of them goes to sleep there. Full credit to West Ham. But that summed up the first 30 minutes from Arsenal's point of view."

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  • Arsenal had pulled a goal back by half-time through a Soucek own goal, before another oggy in the second half from Craig Dawson.

    Alexandre Lacazette equalised late on to secure a point that kept Arsenal just about in touch in the race for European football, while also denting West Ham's top four hopes.

    READ MORE: Two Mikel Arteta mistakes and one positive as Arsenal fight back to snatch West Ham draw

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