The Irishman tore into the Gunners after their performance in Barcelona, reckoning that they're "cheating" the fans by only raising their game for certain matches
Roy Keane has blasted Arsenal after their Champions League exit, declaring that the Gunners are mentally weak and that their recent poor performances have seen them cheat their own supporters.
Arsenal were beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Barcelona, losing the second leg 3-1 in Spain on Wednesday night, thanks to goals from Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
For much of the game the Gunners fought fire-with-fire, creating a number of chances but lamenting their inability to net in key moments, Mohamed Elneny's fine equaliser apart.
But the result was ultimately another defeat for Arsene Wenger's side, who have seen their season implode recently, being knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford and winning just two of their last seven Premier League matches.
- READ MORE
- Players to be banned from World Cup and Euros if they join breakaway 'Super League'
- Japan stands firm on Tokyo Olympics schedule, denies report of cancellation
- Klopp and Dyche almost fight in tunnel during Liverpool v Burnley [Photos]
- Everything you need to know about the coronavirus right now
- Goalkeeper breaks world record for longest goal scored in a football match [Photos]
- Wanyama moves to El Cortegada
That inconsistency has seen them fall 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City, and Keane believes that their inability to perform when it matters shows that Arsenal have "a weak group of players".
Speaking on ITV, Premier League and European Cup winner Keane said: “It tells you that they’ve got a weak group of players, who can’t seem to lift it for certain games.
“No doubt the pressure has got to them in the last few months and for players at Arsenal football club who can’t deal with pressure, then you shouldn’t be there.
“Tonight the damage was already obviously done in the first game. There’s no great shame in losing 3-1 tonight, the effort was there - but I think Barcelona had switched off - but it must be hard for the manager to stomach that, and for the supporters when they see their players lift it for certain games, but they can’t do it for Watford at home, or Swansea at home.
“They’re cheating the supporters in that sense.”
Wenger defended the Gunners European record after crashing out in the last 16 stage for a sixth year running after the game at Camp Nou.
And he admitted being pleased with the performance of his players, in the face of Barcelona's much-vaunted attack.
Yet Keane believes for all technical quality, there is a lack of mental strength that runs, if not throughout team, then the entire club.
“We keep going back and talking about Arsenal, again they seem to have a lack of characters there," added Keane.
“You’re left asking, where are the leaders in the group to get a grip of these players when in certain games they don’t seem up for it.
“When I played against Arsenal they always had a strong spine to their team.
"Now looking at this team you’d always fancy your chances because there seems to be a weakness running through, maybe the whole club."