Does Mikel Arteta’s recent decisions need to come under scrutiny? (Opinion)

Mikel Arteta has gotten off lightly where it comes to certain Arsenal decisions of late, but with injuries stacking up, he may well have to answer for his Europa League squad.

The snubbing of Sokratis for both the Premier League and Europa League competitions, and William Saliba for the latter only, has already come back to bite Arteta.

Many fans questioned why he left out the Frenchman, after Arsenal were so happy to sign him, yet Arteta has stated that he feels Saliba needs more time to adjust to life in England, especially with the lack of game time he had due to injury and the pandemic.

Deciding to leave him out alongside Sokratis, has actually proven to be quite costly given that Rob holding has been ruled out for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury and our latest casualty coming in the shape of David Luiz, who hobbled off midway through the game against Leicester on the weekend, with what seems to be a suspected calf injury.

Luiz was doing well until he dropped to the floor injured against the Foxes. Of course if it is not serious he still won’t be risked on Thursday against Dundalk, but we are already short of centre backs, what with Mustafi just returning from a four month injury lay off, Pablo Mari yet to return to full training after his injury and of course the loss of Rob Holding too.

So, with no Sokratis or Saliba to choose from, no Luiz, Holding or Mari, pressure will no doubt fall on to the newly returned Mustafi, unless Arteta opts to go with either Maitland-Niles, Calum Chambers or the out of position Kieran Tierney/Kolasinac.

After spending on defenders in the transfer window, nobody could have guessed he would have left both Sokratis and Saliba out, but he did what he thought was best and now there will be some key choices to make for Arteta, but whether they will be the correct ones or not remains to be seen.

Arteta thought he knew what was best and that he could run before he could walk, but karma had other plans!

Shenel Osman

Tags injuries mikel arteta


  1. Apparently Luiz is a major doubt for OT…I’d rather Gabriel was rested for Sunday.. but can’t see that happening now…
    And let’s all pray that we have an injury-free night tomorrow 😬

  2. Oh, my God! Why does the history of injuries keep repeating itself. I am freaking out!
    Now Gabriel will be overused which might wear him out. But he is a big strong boy I believe he can scale through.

    Let’s see what decision Arteta takes with his selection tomorrow.

  3. The author, with the benefit of hindsight, sounds like a professional fortune teller – unfortunately Mikel Arteta doesn’t have that luxury.

  4. We played far too many “first team players” against rapid, an Arteta error of judgement. Our yoing guns the last two years have a fantastic record in the EL, we should have played them last Thursday.

    1. Ordinarily I’d agree Reggie but our current plight suggests to me that however unpalatable the EL competition is, Arteta needs, even at the early stages, to win. Not a great excuse, but one nonetheless

      1. Sue P, i see your point but i think you miss mine. I think the youngsters could have easily gone and won going on past achievements but Arteta didn’t trust them and by playing our so called first teamers he put more strain on them and ultimately paid the price. It could have also been a factor in the flat second half against Leicester.

    2. Isn’t that the case though Reggie. I don’t know why he does that to be honest. Our youngsters would have gotten us result against Olympiacos last season but Arteta panicked. He seems to panic alot and too short sighted to see the quality of our youngsters. Imagine wanting to send Reiss out on loan when u need him for Europa group stages at the very least. I’ll bet you if he keeps going at this rate, half of our first team will be injured by December. He needs to learn how to rotate teams. Wenger did it, emery did it and they both got results. When you play weaker opposition, give your first team players the much needed rest.

  5. Reggie,I was wondering too is it that Arteta dont trust the young guns or is it that they are not fit to play? I think the former is true because they have been playing in that competition and performing,why not continue the trend instead of over working the big guns

    1. We wont know how fit they are until he actually plays them. I for one like watching them in the EL and early FACups rounds.

  6. Arteta should not use any of the first team players tonight. They should not be risked and rested for the big game on Sunday. My line up for tonight would be:
    Soares Mustafi Chambers Kola
    Willock AMN ESR
    Nelson Nketiah Willian
    This line up is enough to get through Dundok.

    1. Spot on but we’ll probably see Leno in goal again. Gabriel in defence and Partey, lacazette etc. This will be very dumb if Arteta does this. Because these players will be worn out sooner than later

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