‘He’s slow’ – Ljungberg criticises Arteta decision

Mikel Arteta has been questioned from all kinds of angles after his team selection last night, with Freddie Ljungberg and Martin Keown admitting their unhappiness seeing Granit Xhaka as Arsenal’s left-back.

The Swiss international has been filling in on the side of the defence in the absence of main option Kieran Tierney, with Cedric Soares failing to convince the manager that he is suited to the role.

The Portuguese defender has played there on a few occasions, but his lack of comfort using his left-foot appears to have left the manager with decisions to make.

The pundits at BT Sport last night were not happy however, as Xhaka’s frailties in the tackle looked suspect, as discussed by Martin Keown and Freddie Ljungberg.

Our former defender believes that Xhaka isn’t comfortable in the role, as highlighted by his shouts to Ceballos to cover in front of him.

“He’s pointing to Ceballos to get in front of him,” Keown said on BT Sport after the game(via HITC). “It looks like the action of a player who is not comfortable in that position and the manager has put him there.

“So it’s about the decisions of the manager, it’s not Xhaka’s fault.

“I do believe he’s the most improved player we have. But to play him at left-back leaves him exposed for me.”

“That’s what I wanted to say,” Ljungberg agreed. “We know Granit’s weaknesses, he’s a fantastic player with the ball and his left foot is very good but he’s slow.

“So one against one that’s why he drops all the time, he doesn’t dare to come up because he’s scared to get done. You can’t blame him too much though.”

The experiment with Xhaka at left-back will hopefully be over before the second-leg however with talk that Tierney is set to return to action.


Tags Freddie Ljungberg Granit Xhaka Martin Keown


  1. Granit Xhaka gave the ball away 16 times last night with his passing. Please xhaka love boys open your eyes to this ponderous oaf.

      1. Am not feeling well with Mikel up to now he doesn’t know his first eleven he knew before the game that is the only tropy arsenal is looking for am sad

  2. Look he isn’t my first choice at CM. But ultimately I think this season he has been okay. A few good moments and good games and equally a few bad ones.

    For me the manager has got it wrong again xaka is a mistake prone player and shouldn’t be stressed in defence. The obvious choice was centric with saka as a option. The other option was 3CBs. And inally saka as a lb.

    Cebellos is terrible and the red card was coming. He should have been subbed off. I mean artat is making no end of mistakes.

    If we loose the tie over all thab it’s squarely artetas fault at this moment in time imo.

    What did martinelli not start up front ? Sigh this is just not good enough


    1. The team is not work in progress, Arteta is. He is busy lear ing on job and allowed to continue. Has zero tactical knowledge. With that squad I bet Alladyce or Steve Bruce would be nearer top 4 than where we are with Arteta at the helm. Solution is to get rid of Arteta if he doesn’t win Europa Cup.

  3. It is beyond my understanding why they chose Arteta over him. Team was improving slowly when ge took over, he knew the academy players, played at top level, managed the u23 and had decent results and assisted an arguably big/experienced coach.
    It would have made sense if got a top coach but not MA.

    1. .”.. they chose Arteta over him”. No mention of who “him” is though. Are we supposed to be mindreaders! I assume you meant Ljungberg and if so, why not mention him?

  4. Arteta is now in the same Trajectory as Unery. No first after 3/4 of the season is gone.

  5. To send in 2 substitutes in the 90th min WHILE trailing, is laughable.
    Anyways #KroenkeOut

  6. I think Cedrics is better than Granit Zhaka who is a midfielder being played at the wrong position, better young man Saka.

    1. Arteta is a slow learner , that’s why our team is slowing in progressing, why xhaka at the left back really, Cedric can do that and he has done it perfectly for so many occasions, he is hard to penetrate cos he is a topical defender, we are missing xhaka in the midfield

  7. Arteta tactics are boring which is proven by wrong positioning ana not able to realize warning or threat when match is on as we seen xhaka making mistake at left back always ,another example was Dani cellbacos who was unstable during first leg with vill ,if u really need to win why leave martinelli on bench,me as non player ican select a better squad and manage arsenal more than arteta

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