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!