Mikel Arteta’s decision to bench Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa has been criticised by Garth Crooks.
The Gunners were beaten by the impressive Villans who did the double over them after their 3-0 win at the Emirates in the reverse fixture.
That loss means Arsenal has lost two league games on the bounce, scoring just once in their last three matches as well.
With his team goal-shy, the Spaniard was expected to start Aubameyang, who is their most potent goal threat.
But he benched the striker and started Nicolas Pepe on the left with Alexandre Lacazette through the middle.
Villa managed to nullify both players and Aubameyang was introduced into the game later on.
Crooks was naming his Team of the Week on the BBC and named Tyrone Mings as one of the defenders.
He then wondered why Arteta would leave Auba on the bench, even though Pepe had scored in the previous game.
Crooks wrote “Aston Villa were run ragged by West Ham in midweek but recovered well against an Arsenal side who lacked cutting edge. I know Nicolas Pepe scored against Wolves last week but can Arsenal really afford to leave someone of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s class on the bench? I don’t think so.”
“Having got his team back on track with some decent results, Mikel Arteta’s meddling again. Meanwhile, Tyrone Mings played a masterful role in organising his troops and keeping the Gunners at bay.”
The Arsenal captain was ineffective when he came on, and that isn’t the performance of someone who wants to get back in the team.
With just 8 goals and 1 assist from 22 competitive matches this season, Auba doesn’t deserve a starting place at the moment.