Pundit claims Arteta was disrespectful with selection against Man City

Andy Cole has slammed Mikel Arteta for playing Willian as a centre-forward against Manchester City and leaving Alexandre Lacazette on the bench.

The Spaniard had been looking to surprise his former team and he left the in-form Lacazette on the bench to play Willian as a centre-forward.

It was a plan that would have been applauded if it had worked and Arsenal had won the game.

However, it didn’t as the Gunners missed their chances and lost the game 1-0.

Willian wasn’t the best player on the pitch neither did he look especially at home in the new role, and Cole wasn’t pleased that Arteta left Lacazette on the bench to play the Brazilian.

Cole claimed that it made no sense for Arteta to keep a striker who is also his top scorer on the bench and play Willian out of position.

Cole said on Talksport: “I think he is being disrespectful to Lacazette as well. Willian is not a centre-forward.

“If you have got a centre-forward on the bench who is your top goalscorer as well, to turn around and say, ‘Look, I am going to play Willian as the centre-forward. You sit on the bench and watch him play centre-forward’, I think that is very disrespectful.”

Tags andy cole


  1. Adajim says:

    They all can talk as they like. If he had won the game, they would have been singing his praises calling it a masterpiece, tactician .
    He had a plan doing so, it didn’t work as planned and he accepted his errors. End of story

    1. siamois says:

      I didn’t hear or read anything where MA took responsibility for our performance against city did you?

  2. GunnerDev says:

    I think the whole william as cf idea didnt worked out. MA likes players to change positions when in different moments in the game. Back 5 to 4 when attacking. Xhaka moving to LB when KT goes forward. Willian should have dropped deep to allow auba to go central and leave space for saka down the left. It didnt work but could have. It can be a good way to pull player out of position and leave space for us

  3. Goonerboy says:

    Not only disrespectful, it kills Laca’s confidence, there is nobody anybody can tell me that will convince me that starting Laca wouldn’t have made more sense than Willian, who does that?
    That’s no tactics, there is just pure rubbish!

    1. Goonerboy says:

      there is nothing anybody**** not nobody!

    2. Jimmy says:

      Thanks boss..I don’t like Willian..he is not needed..just waste of time and wages to me..and he keeps using him in every damn matches.. Rubbish

  4. Nasiru Baba kwalli says:

    I start suspecting that M.A don’t like Laca, if this continue Lava may have change of mind to renew his contract.
    And I still rate Lava more than young Nketia.

  5. Reggie says:

    Not only was it disrespectful but it didn’t work. If it had worked he would have been hailed a genius but it didn’t so he is the opposite of genius. As a manager he will live and die by his calls and the more he gets right the more successful we will be. So for goodness sake Arteta stop making bum decisions that are there to fail.

  6. Chico Guerrera says:

    Cole still has it in for Arsenal after they got rid of him for his “dressing room antics”.

    Eh Andy? 😉

  7. ken1945 says:

    I wonder if Andy Cole has wondered if he is being disrespectful to Mikel Arteta and Willian?
    As he hasn’t ever had to make managerial decisions, I would suggest he leaves it to those who are actually doing the job….by the way, I do agree that it was a strange decision, but disrespectful? Nah!!!

    I find it really strange that it is always our club, our manager and our players that cause so much interest and cross examination within the ranks of the media – and has done for as long as I can remember.

  8. Olaitan says:

    Wenger would still have use the same team and approach that got beaten 5 nil.

    Its worth making some changes or have we suddenly forgotten how he outsmarted his master Pep and Jurgen Klop with strange tactical plans and lifted the FA cup. Notwithstanding, MA stop that silly tactic of using William as CF against a formidable team like MC.

  9. gunnerforlife says:

    The use of Willlian was never going to succeed considering the strength of the opposition. He could have used willian as a deep lying midfielder and Laca as CF. With such decisions in critical matches Arsenal are bound to suffer. Also I agree that leaving your top scorer on the bench deprives Laca of confidence.

  10. EMMANUEL Tochukwu NWACHUKWU says:

    I totally agree with Cole…. I think MA is only experimenting with the team. Arsenal is beyond the hold of apprenticeship. Experimenting says you are not ready to compete at the highest level. That singular experiment act was disrespectful to Laca (your top scorer for Godsake)

    1. mbuyiseni masondo says:

      If that’s the case with MA not treating all his players eQually, then am afraid he wont succeed in his future endeavors with Arsenal period because that will only cause turmoil at the club amongst the players rather than bringing success…so definitely he has to change his mindset completely if his approach to players is like that !

  11. Top Gunner says:

    Arteta doesn’t treat his players equally. Lacazette, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli, Gouendouzi, and Seliba have to dig deeper in order to be recognised

    1. Reggie says:

      Totally agree, i would add Martinez and Torriera to that list.

  12. Top Gunner says:

    Disrespectful indeed, of Lacazette

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