Ian Wright has faulted Mikel Arteta’s decision to play Nicolas Pepe in the Manchester City game instead of the trio of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard.
The youngsters had been in impressive form in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds United, yet the Spaniard changed things around for the City game.
It backfired with his Arsenal team lacking the needed cutting edge to get something against the league leaders.
Wright admitted that Arsenal struggled in the game but claimed that had they been more intense, they would have gotten something from City.
He also said Arteta decision to play Pepe instead of Smith Rowe wasn’t a good one as the Ivorian was anonymous and Odegaard didn’t deliver either.
‘Arsenal had three shots and one on target and didn’t look too threatening but for me it was a little bit of an opportunity missed in respects of Arsenal having a go at them,’ he told Premier League Productions as quoted by Metro.
‘There were certain opportunities where Arsenal did win the ball back but they didn’t get into them quick enough, it wasn’t intense enough.
‘Mixing up that three of Odegaard, Saka and Smith Rowe… I think they had something going.
‘It would have been brilliant to play them in a game like that to see how they get on against that kind of City side. All that does is build confidence, build momentum.
‘In the end, he went with Pepe and it didn’t work out, for me, today for Pepe and I don’t think it worked for Odegaard in there either, to be honest.
‘But in the end, City were too good, closing down spaces and Arsenal couldn’t break them down.’
City is in the form of their lives and has crushed the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham in recent games. Arteta will now turn his attention to the crunch Europa League game against Benfica.