Kevin Campbell has backed Oleksandr Zinchenko, saying he ‘can’t believe’ the criticism levelled at the Arsenal defender and how he should be dropped for Wednesday night’s game against Manchester City.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has been under fire for everything from being nutmegged by Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield to that team huddle when Arsenal were 2-0 down against Southampton.

But club veteran Campbell wants to remind those firing bullets that their quick-thinking left-back is one of the’main reasons’ they are top of the Premier League league.

Mikel Arteta’s team is in a rut, having lost three games in a row, so it’s logical that there’s a negative vibe around the place.

But, as Kevin Campbell told the Highbury Squad, he doesn’t appreciate what’s being said about Zinchenko ahead of the title clash with Manchester City.

“Let me tell you why he huddled,” Campbell explained. “He needed to wake up the boys. It’s not a congratulatory swarm. The team is sleeping, and we are down 2-0 at home.

“I can’t believe some of these people (who criticise Zinchenko).” Who says we’d be back in that game if he hadn’t spoken something as one of the experienced guys and left it? We began to play in a more progressive style after that one.

“The truth is that we are in this position because of how we play, with our left-back joining our midfield to dominate and suffocate the opposition.” You fans are sometimes so quick to dismiss players. Why do you think we’re the best? He’s a big reason we’re at the top of the league.”

One thing is certain: Zinchenko will not be huddled when Arsenal takes on Manchester City on Wednesday night.

For the Gunners, this is it. They’ve been questioned from every angle. But now is the time for them to speak up on the pitch of play.

Arsenal has been on fire offensively, but it is what they have done in the defensive third that has cost them dearly.