Kevin Campbell refuses to blame Arteta for Manchester United loss

Kevin Campbell has defended Mikel Arteta after his triple substitution against Manchester United was blamed for Arsenal’s loss to the Red Devils.

The Gunners visited Old Trafford at the weekend with their 100% start to the season still intact.

However, the Red Devils defeated them 3-1 to earn all the points from the encounter.

When the Gunners were losing the fixture 2-1, Arteta made three changes, bringing on Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah to replace Albert Sambi Lokonga, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard.

United scored their third goal two minutes after Arteta had made these substitutions.

Some pundits blamed the Arsenal gaffer for that and believe his subs made Arsenal weaker than they were before they introduced the new players into the game.

But Campbell disagrees, he tells Football Insider:

“The issue Mikel Arteta had was that we were losing. We were losing the game.

“It took a while to equalise. United caught us on the break and we were back to square one. As a manager, what do you do?

“Smith Rowe has not played enough minutes and neither has Vieira. Smith Rowe can nick a goal and create something and so can Vieira. We had to try and nick a goal.

“I do not understand fans saying it upset the balance of the team. The balance was upset because we were losing.”

Just Arsenal Opinion 

Arsenal had a bad day and they took the decision to switch things around because we needed a different approach to breaking United down.

In another match, the new players could have helped us get something from the game. It didn’t work this time, but that does not mean Arteta didn’t know what he was doing.

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Tags Kevin Campbell Mikel Arteta


  1. United, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool or even City. Their dropped points were more acceptable than Arsenal’s away at Man Utd that is why everyone is up in arms despite us being top.

    1. Lol, potter should not go to Chelsea imo, they want instant success
      (Winning the league) and that’s unlikely to happen at Chelsea…Auba must be completely despondent atm he never wanted to leave Barcelona and now a new manager will want to put he’s own stamp on the team🤔 crazy crazy times

  2. Let me guess ,it was the players that lost us the game .
    That third goal had absolutely nothing to do with personnel but tactics .
    I’ve given praise for the wins leading upto the Utd game but unfortunately that was like a teacher and a young student trying to get one over on him ,it didn’t work and the best team and manager won .

    1. We are still top and our rivals still dropped points in worse circumstances (lower quality opposition sometimes at home) so at this point in the season, what is the beef? We played better overall even Neville had to admit, we lost thems the breaks.

  3. No one is up in arms Angus, we are debating the views of a pundit regarding Mikel’s substitutions.
    Neither is anyone complaining about being top, you are avoiding the issue, by bringing in deflections.

    1. Did his substitutions improve the team?
    My opinion… No they didn’t.

    2. Why were the three substitutions made at the same time?
    My opinion… Haven’t a clue, especially hearing the manager saying that ESR has been struggling this season with an injury and has left him at home for tomorrow’s game.

    We all saw how well we played, how var was very harsh, the total commitment of the players, but what that has to do with points 1 and 2 above and Campbell’s view’s I fail to understand.

    Again, it seems that one cannot question Mikel, without it raising hackles and a defensive attitude.

    All managers make mistakes – look how klopp and liverpool are doing!!

    1. As a reply, 1.) yes or no we were 2-1 down scored directly after, how was our finish.
      2.) Would he have been argued against had he not? Alternative stay the same?

      Overall you agree. So why when top, when our competitors have lost points in easier circumstances is there an issue.

      We agree, managers make mistakes. Arteta didn’t this game (he has repeatedly) but we should of won.

  4. My own quarrel was not about the substitutions; my grouse is with the tactics before then.
    After we equalised, I expected a more conservative, compact and precautionary approach to the game
    United are not very good at breaking down compact play. They would have come at us with the hope of regaining the lead. That would have created counter-attacking opportunities for us.
    But rather we went gong-ho as if winning the game was a must when, in fact, a draw would have been great

    1. Spot on, last season we drew 3 games we could of easily seen out a draw and probably nicked a win by being compact. He went all Wenger on us with all attacking subs, and it didn’t give us the desired effect of having more chances. Not sure if that has ever works 🤔but fair play to Arteta for trying but hopefully learnt a lesson…….

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