Micah Richards suggests Arsenal Fan TV is ‘piling the pressure’ on Mikel Arteta’s players with ‘people being horrible’ and negativity hitting their confidence as the team spiral… even though he admits he loves watching it!
- Arsenal were knocked out of the Carabao Cup quarter-finals by Manchester City
- It continued a poor season which sees the Gunners in 15th in the Premier League
- Mikel Arteta’s men have not won any of their last seven top-flight fixtures
- But Micah Richards believes AFTV’s ‘negativity’ is partly to blame for their slump
Micah Richards has suggested Arsenal Fan TV are piling the pressure on Arsenal’s players amid their slump in form because comments from the fan channel are affecting players’ confidence.
The Gunners’ crisis on the pitch this season continued as they were hammered in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals by Manchester City in a 4-1 defeat.
Mikel Arteta’s men are also sat way down in 15th position in the Premier League table and have failed to win any of their last seven top-flight fixtures and have not taken the lead in such a fixture since November.
Micah Richards believes AFTV (above) are partially to blame for Arsenal’s slump in form
The Gunners’ poor form this season continued as they suffered defeat by Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup
The Spaniard’s position as boss has therefore been question but Sportsmail columnist Richards believes the Arsenal fan channel – which he admits he loves watching – are adding further issues to the internal problems at the club through their excessive criticism of the team.
The former Man City right-back also urged Arteta to give youth a chance now, believing some experienced players like midfielder Granit Xhaka have become ‘a bit of a scapegoat’.
‘I would just play the kids. The kids are better than some of the senior players,’ Richards told Sky Sports.
Mikel Arteta (right) also sees his side sit 15th in the Premier League and winless in seven games
‘People talk about Granit Xhaka and I feel sorry for him because I think he’s a bit of a scapegoat but just play the kids.
‘They’re playing with more freedom, with more confidence.
‘You know AFTV, I’m a massive fan of it, I love it. But for the players, the amount of pressure… you could be scrolling through and your name pops up and someone’s being horrible and it can affect your confidence.
And Richards believes that the fan channel’s negative comments have affected the players
‘These players now look at social media. Players work hard, trying to be better every day but there’s negativity…’
AFTV, previously known as ArsenalFanTV, was started in 2012 by Robbie Lyle and is a YouTube channel and website directed at supporters of the club.
The channel were forced to change their name to AFTV following discussions with Arsenal in regards to them breaching copyright by using the term ‘Arsenal’ without authorisation.
Richards’ comments came on the same night as fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp named the Gunners’ experienced stars as ‘ a team full of kidders’.
Richards urged Arsenal to use youth with the likes of Granit Xhaka (centre) being scapegoated
AFTV, previously known as ArsenalFanTV, was started in 2012 by Robbie Lyle (above)
The defeat by Manchester City was a particularly difficult night for goalkeeper Alex Runarsson, who deleted his Twitter account following his nightmare performance.
The summer signing from Dijon received abuse on social media after punching Riyad Mahrez’ free-kick into his own net for the second of City’s goals