Ainsley Maitland-Niles has launched a surprising attack on Unai Emery by insisting that the Arsenal manager got his tactics wrong at Watford.
The Gunners academy star also questioned club captain Granit Xhaka’s claim that his team were ”scared” in the 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
Defensive howlers meant Arsenal sacrificed a two-goal lead to share the points with the Hornets and extend their run without a win to three games.
The North London side were firmly in control until a wayward pass from Sokratis Papastathopoulos allowed Tom Cleverely to score.
And Maitland-Niles believes Arsenal should have been streetwise enough to have mixed up their game-plan of playing out from the back.
He told Sky Sports: “Words can’t describe how I feel about it.
“I don’t think (that the team was scared), I think we tried to play the way we played. We should have changed it instead of being so persistent and trying to play out from the back.
“We’ve spoken to each other as a team and the manager has also spoken to us.
“We know we’ve done wrong, we can all hold our hands up and blame each other if we wanted to, but we’re a team and we take the responsibility as a team to be better.”
But Maitland-Niles’ frustrations reportedly echo that of senior figures at Arsenal, who are concerned about the insistence of playing out from the back.