Arsenal: Chris Sutton slams ‘unfair’ criticism of Oleksandr Zinchenko | Football

Chris Sutton has defended Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko (Picture: Getty)

Chris Sutton has hit out at the ‘unfair’ criticism of Oleksandr Zinchenko and says the defender is being used as a ‘scapegoat’ during Arsenal’s recent wobble.

This time last week Arsenal were one win away from the semi-finals of the Champions League and tipped by many to win their first Premier League in 20 years.

But Mikel Arteta’s side now find themselves out of Europe following a quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich and two points behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal suffered a rare defeat in the league last weekend, losing 2-0 at home to Aston Villa, and Zinchenko attracted much of the criticism following the match.

The Ukrainian was subjected to some jeers as he was subbed off in the closing stages and Arsenal legend David Seaman claimed he ‘put everyone on edge’ with his performance.

But Sutton believes the criticism of Zinchenko is ‘unfair’ and says he has emerged as a ‘scapegoat’ during Arsenal’s difficult run.

Asked if some of the criticism aimed at Zinchenko has been unfair, Sutton said on the It’s All Kicking Off! podcast: ‘Yeah, it is. I can’t stand things like this actually. 

Zinchenko has attracted criticism from fans and pundits in recent weeks

Zinchenko has attracted criticism from fans and pundits in recent weeks (Picture: Getty)

‘But in the history of football there’s always been scapegoats, someone to blame. Someone has to take the blame for Arsenal’s poor form. 

‘I’m not going to say all Arsenal fans, but they can be quite a strange bunch. I mean, there were Arsenal fans who didn’t bother to stay until the end of the game. 

‘They’re very, very, very reactive, aren’t they. They should remember that they’ve had a good season.’ 

Arsenal boss Arteta addressed the jeers aimed at Zinchenko prior to the Gunners’ Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

‘I love Oleks, he has given us so much. He gives us a lot,’ Arteta said.

‘He is a player with different qualities and an unbelievable courage to play football in any circumstance. We want the fans to stay with our players because for sure they are going to perform better.’

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