Mikel Arteta has claimed that his side were struggling with fatigue last night, and losing David Luiz in the second-half was a blow to Arsenal’s chances.
The Brazilian was a strong outlet for our side yesterday, with his ability to put pressure on our rivals with his long-passing, and we suffered after his departure.
Shkodran Mustafi could well be in line for an extended run in the team, although I’m sure some fans would love to see William Saliba given a chance to shine after his big-money move from St Etienne last summer.
The German wasn’t overly trusted in back-four last season, nor was David Luiz in fairness, but it will be interesting to see how the manager reacts if the Brazilian is ruled out for an extended period of time.
The manager did claim that fatigue played a role in his side’s struggles however, while Luiz’s departure also took some of their impetus away.
“I think fatigue had a say as well. We didn’t look as sharp on the ball. We didn’t have as much purpose on the ball to create,” he said after the game (via Arsenal’s official website).
“Obviously, David was giving us something different when we had to attack the low block with his ability to attack the line and provoke, always threatening in behind. We lacked that a little bit in the second half.
“Still, credit to them, they are really organised when they do that. It is really difficult to create the chances. We created a really good one with Hector again and we didn’t convert. That’s the difference at the end, in the box, what we are able to do. Certainly, it’s an aspect that we have to improve.”
Will Luiz’s injury be a big blow to Arsenal’s progress this season? Will Arteta look at rushing Calum Chambers or Pablo Mari back into the side or could William Saliba get the nod on Thursday to stake a claim for a first-team role?