Arteta sacrifices FA cup for nothing by Konstantin Mitov
Well lads and ladies, we ruined the best chance we had to win a trophy this season by being ignorant. We played a second string side that showed the old Arsenal that cannot win football games. In the first half we were particularly dreadful. Gabriel was extremely poor, not only because of his own goal, but his overall play.
We could’ve played Mari, who did excellent with Holding, but we opt to give out of form players time and it showed. Willian, Pepe and Eddie have no place in our squad. Willian created next to nothing as usual, but he is also so slow. You can clearly see why we are interested in Odegard.
There were hardly any one-twos like you see with Saka, Laca and Smith Rowe, because Eddie cannot control the ball and there aren’t runners with pace around him. I don’t think Nketiah has it in him to lead the side even in a cup game. True, Southampton put out their best side, but this line up we put out was very similar to the one that left us 7 or 8 games without a win, and we immediately were reminded why it was so.
There is just no pace in this attack. I am running out of excuses for Pepe too. His performance was epitomised by a free kick we gave him deep on, when he squandered the ball well over the bar. Put it in the box, at least try to create a chance. We should be looking to move him on in the summer and add another winger. Same goes for Willian and Eddie.
Arteta didn’t manage the game well either. We waited too long for subs, when it was evident in the first 5 minutes after the break, that with that side, we cannot score. We only had like 15 minutes of good play when Saka and Partey came on, but then when we moved Saka to left back everything died.
Some of the players he left on that pitch today, almost got him sacked. Yet he opted to move our brightest prospect to create something in Saka to the back line to keep the likes of Willian on. We should’ve subbed Willian for Laca and put him in the number 10 or replace Eddie and put Laca on top, but lessons at Arsenal are always learned the hard way.
We are 10th in the league, and we’re holders of this cup. We should’ve taken the game more seriously, but we tried to rotate and the limitations of this squad were shown. The only positive I can take from this is that hopefully, this will confirm the exclusion from the squad of some players, and their listing on the transfer market in the summer.