How team selections can be the making or breaking of a game!
There is no doubt that Mikel Arteta does not know his first-choice team. And with a load of talented players it is always hard to decide. Yet fans can see who the best XI is, but the manager cannot!
Now we will never truly know if Arteta had gone with the team who won 2-0 and rather comfortably on Sunday against Newcastle, whether they would have got a better result.
But surely even Arteta is not blind, surely, he could see that the team worked well on Sunday, they gelled, they created, they pressed, they scored, they defended!
Is that not what you want from your team in games? Or is it all about pass, pass, pass and try not to concede?
Well I hate to break it to Arteta, but that is not what football is about, and if he thinks it is, he is in the wrong job!
Gabriel Martinelli made an impact yet again against Villarreal, and after playing well against Newcastle I really thought he should have started. But once again he was overlooked!
Too many mistakes were made in midfield. Partey has lost his defensive ability and his timing was all wrong yet again. Saka and Smith-Rowe clearly need to work on their defensive ability, because they lost the ball numerous times and failed to win it back!
The pressure of “carrying” an Arsenal team seems to have got to both Saka and Smith-Rowe. They exploded onto the scene, but they haven’t stayed at the top for very long.
For the first time in a while though Leno did a good job in goal, but it is no good keeping a clean sheet if you cannot score at the other end!
But what is clear is that it seems Arteta has lost his dressing room! Maybe not all but enough!
I can only be grateful we didn’t get through to the final, because I am not too confident that we would have gotten a result against Manchester United, not with Arteta and his lack of tactics!
And to lose yet another Europa League final to a Premier League rival would surely have been the final nail in the heart of Arsenal fans worldwide.
So, after a shocking and shameful season will it get better? With Arteta? Don’t hold your breath!