I know that the name of Mikel Arteta is not exactly flavour of the month with Arsenal fans right now and to be honest the Spaniard would probably agree that the away game with West Brom this weekend was a real low point in his career, but I am going to defend him anyway.
First of all let us just think about that game for a minute with some rational thinking. Arteta was probably not expecting to have to make an appearance at all, never mind being thrown into action after just 13 minutes. Unlucky for some eh? It certainly was not lucky for our club captain.
Some people have been saying that it would have been a penalty for handball if he had not put the ball into his own net but seriously Gooners, that would have been incredibly harsh as he did not move his arm to the ball and that shows that he could not get out of the way. And that so-called free kick should never have been given.
But all in all Arteta had a bad game. That does not mean we should try and convict him though, as he has hardly played any football in the last year because of numerous injury problems and the emergence of Francis Coquelin. So is it fair to expect him to be at the top of his game? O for one do not think so.
I also have to commend Arteta for his attitude towards his lack of game time and in that he has acted like a true captain, putting the needs of the club and the team before his own. I would also like to add that I thought Wenger was wrong to put him on yesterday when I thought that Flamini was the better option in the circumstances,
Finally I think that Arteta still has a part to play for Arsenal but it would be better for him to play alongside Aaron Ramsey or even Flamini or Coquelin in the middle. Anyone but Caqzorla really because they are too similar and neither is really defensively minded.
What do you think Gooners?