Arsenal legend Tony Adams has questioned Per Mertesacker’s role at the club after he decided to join Freddie Ljungberg’s coaching staff rather than focusing on his permanent job as academy manager.
Mertesacker was on the touchline along with interim boss Ljungberg to witness the Gunners’ dismal 2-1 loss to Brighton , a result which stretches the side’s winless run in the Premier League to seven games.
The former German defender has been assisting Ljungberg with first-team training and matches, but according to Adams he is much more valuable working with the youth team in the club’s academy.
Speaking to Premier League Productions Adams said: “Per Mertesacker is the academy director. The club have taken him out of his role. He’s got to do recruitment for the future of the club. We’ve got to produce players.
“That’s what he’s got to do, concentrate on that. Go and find the players, go and sort that out. You can’t take him out. What’s the academy doing at the moment?
“How long does this continue, did it (Mertesacker helping Ljungberg) really affect it? I think I’ve made my point.”
The Gunners are on their worst winless run since 1977 and have failed to win any of their last nine games in any competition.
Ljungberg appeared at a loss to explain his side’s performance after the game, admitting the team are lacking confidence.
“Second half we were better but we are suspect on the counter and we have no confidence,” he said.
“It’s a concern for any coach, a lack of confidence. It’s obvious that nervousness from the home crowd can affect players no matter what quality they have.
“They’re human beings like everyone. They want to do well, and they feel the pressure. We need to just dig out a win to get some confidence.”