Mikel Arteta defends his selection against Portsmouth and explains why he dropped his top stars

Arsenal triumphed 2-0 against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday night with a much-changed side.

The result was a welcome return to form for the Gunners after they lost their last game against Olympiacos in the Europa League game.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave the Gunners the lead in the first half before another goal from Eddie Nketiah in the second half helped the Gunners reach the quarterfinals as they look to win yet another FA Cup.

Explaining his selection for the game after he made many changes to the side including giving a first-team debut for Pablo Mari, Arteta claimed that some of his senior players had spent too much of their energy in the Olympiacos game.

He then added that he was impressed by the showing of his team against Bournemouth in the last round and he decided to give chances to the same players that helped his side reach this round of the competition.

“We had some issues physically after the game,” Arteta said as quoted by the Star.

“We had to adapt to that, the players I’ve selected did really well at Bournemouth and hopefully they can do the same tonight.”

Whatever the reasons, Arteta has been vindicated simply because the team won, however, it may give him food for thought when he selects the team to face West Ham on Saturday. You have to think that some of these youngsters have earned the right to play instead of the so-called big stars.

1 Comment

  1. Shakir says:

    Apart from nketiah and nelson no other youngsters really impressed.
    Willock still has issues but he has improved with his play.The driving runs he make is superb but no end product,a bit like iwobi.
    Guendouzi needs to work on many things if he is to play that gundogan’s type role specially he should be disciplined.
    Martinelli was trying hard but he didnt have a good game.
    Saka was silent as well.
    Mari seems good and i think he should be given a chance instead of luiz but i dont that will happen.

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