That’s according to his fellow Stoke City midfield general Charlie Adam. The Scottish international reckons Arsenal are missing out on a player who can dig his teammates out of trouble, just like Whelan does for Adam at Stoke. Arsenal have only won three Premier League games since the turn of the year, appearing to show a lack of fight when the going gets tough on the field.
Adam believes Arsenal are missing that key player to grab games by the scruff of the neck when the going gets tough. Last night Arsenal suffered another defeat, this time at home to Swansea despite going 1-0 up in the first half. Certainly not the pedigree of a team with title aspirations.
There’s players in other teams where you know if you do something wrong you see them get dug out. I see [Alexis] Sanchez sometimes but he does it in the wrong way, he throws his arms in the air and things like that.
If I’m stood beside Glenn Whelan and I’ve done something wrong, he’ll dig me out. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like me, he just knows you’re better than what you are. And sometimes you need that, you need that rollicking to spur you on.
And playing against Arsenal I just don’t see it. I don’t see that type of player, who gets to that stage where they want to have a go at somebody, just to try to gee them up and get them going.
Sadly it’s missing from them.
With European knock-out looming at the hands of Barcelona, and sitting five points behind the high-flying Leicester – even despite the Foxes stumble on Tuesday night – Arsenal need to find some fight and hunger in the run in for the rest of the season if they have any hope of winning the league.