Martin Keown believes Arsenal man is too good to be on the bench
Mikel Arteta’s 50th game in-charge was a disaster. Arteta looked confused on the touchline, and his team reflected that by lacking any ideas on how to threaten Liverpool.
For the whole match, it looked like the Gunners were a man down. The front three of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexander Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe cost Arsenal a combined £174 million, almost half of what it cost to build the Emirates Stadium.
But the trio looked every bit of a strike force of a mid-table team. Trying to make things happen but failing miserably.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown in his column for the DailyMail said that he was “baffled” to see Martinelli continuing to sit on the bench.
The defender who made 332 appearances for them across two different spells, said that if the Spaniard keeps on picking Aubameyang, he “risks losing the respect of the group.”
“It’s time to bring in 19-year-old Gabriel Martinelli. He is too good to be sitting on the bench. His team-mates see him in training and know what he can do.”
“They will be baffled by his continued absence. I know I am.”
He continued, “Use him on the left. Use Martinelli’s fellow 19-year-old Bukayo Saka on the right. Start Emile Smith Rowe. Then you’ll have a team who can pose problems for the opposition. There were too many passengers against Liverpool.
Although both team had injury problems, it was the Gunners who looked like a team missing pieces in their jigsaw puzzle.
“The visitors’ weakness was their centre back pairing of Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips but Arsenal couldn’t test them.“
The Arsenal players can’t feel sorry for themselves. They still have the massive incentive to play in the Champions League next season if they win the Europa League.
But if they keep performing the way they did last weekend or the majority of this season, someone can only think that ‘do they even deserve to be in the Europa League?’