Emmanuel Petit worried about Arsenal stars ‘playing s***’ at World Cup in Qatar


    Granit Xhaka's Switzerland face Cameroon in their opening match on Thursday (Picture: Getty)
    Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland face Cameroon in their opening match on Thursday (Picture: Getty)

    Emmanuel Petit is worried about Arsenal stars ‘playing s***’ at the World Cup in Qatar and how it may impact the Gunners’ Premier League chances.

    Arsenal are top of the table having won 12 of their 14 games and are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City with the season now on pause.

    The Premier League does not get back up and running until December 26 with Mikel Arteta’s side set to welcome West Ham to the Emirates.

    That’s due to the ongoing World Cup, with 10 Arsenal stars out in Qatar for the major international tournament.

    That includes England trio Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and Ben White as well as United States goalkeeper Matt Turner and France defender William Saliba.

    Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli are in the Brazil squad while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are representing Switzerland and Ghana respectively.

    Quizzed on why he felt Arsenal were not yet Premier League title challengers, Petit told Compare.bet: ‘[One] reason is the break of the World Cup.

    ‘I have a fear this could break the positive dynamic of Arsenal that they’ve had since the beginning of the season.

    ‘When you play the World Cup your players return with a different mindset.

    ‘Either you have done something good during the World Cup, then you’re full of confidence, however it can also mean that they want to rest – I’ve just won the World Cup so now I’m going to rest.

    ‘This is a big risk to the team. Or in contrast, if you’ve had a bad World Cup and you played s***, and you want to hide yourself in the shadows – you come back from Christmas having had no rest and emotionally things can be very different.

    ‘This is why I’m scared – the break is five to six weeks, it’s like in the summer at the end of the season which means your mind is completely different.

    ‘So you have to link up very quickly when you come back to your club, and you have to come back two months before to get back to how you were before the break.

    ‘The mentality of the team when we were all focused on the same target. This is different now.

    ‘So the work of Arteta and his staff will be very important when all the players come back.’

    MORE : Emmanuel Petit labels Bukayo Saka ‘future of Arsenal’ and says Ben White should start for England

    MORE : Will Ferrell and England goalie Aaron Ramsdale trade expletive-ridden insults

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