ARSENAL’s Europa League defeat away at Rennes was ‘absolutely ridiculous’.
That’s the verdict of former Gunners striker Paul Mariner, who is amazed by how up and down Unai Emery’s side are proving this season.
Arsenal were left red-faced in a shock slip-up away at Rennes – who currently sit 10th in Ligue 1.
After Alex Iwobi broke the deadlock for them in the third minute, Sokratis saw red four minutes before half-time when his foul on Ismaila Sarr saw him brandished a second yellow card.
That proved a key turning point in the game, as the home side subsequently equalised from the resulting free-kick, before a Nacho Monreal own-goal and a late strike from Sarr earned them a 3-1 win.
And Mariner was left seething with his old team’s performance in France.
“I looked at the team that he put out today and I thought: ‘oh great, he means business,’” he told ESPN FC.
“Rennes are 10th in the French league. 10th. Not exactly a dynamite league.
“They go there and they get turned over 3-1. Your central defender was fantastic at the weekend, gets sent off, puts his team in a hole and this team, it never ceases to amaze me how up and down they are.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous”
“It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
The result came as a huge surprise following Arsenal’s impressive display in a 1-1 draw away at Tottenham last Saturday.
Mariner, who made 70 appearances in three years at the club, doesn’t understand why the Gunners couldn’t put a similar performance in away at Rennes.
“The problem is, if you’re an Arsenal fan and you see what they’ve been doing in the league, they haven’t been particularly great and consistent, and then they play against Tottenham and, for me, they were fantastic,” he said.
“Then he plays a decent side today, why can’t that group of players put another performance together?
“You’re getting beat 3-1 to Rennes. It’s unacceptable.
“This is the Arsenal for goodness sake. If they bring it, of course they can turn it around. They’ve got that away goal.
“I’m just frustrated with this group of players. It shouldn’t come to this.”