Arsenal lost 3-0 at Manchester City and, while it wasn’t great, it was mostly David Luiz’s fault and wasn’t going quite so badly until he got involved. So what did Mikel Arteta think about it all and what can we learn from his comments after the game?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: David Luiz of Arsenal receives a red card from match referee Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 17: David Luiz of Arsenal receives a red card from match referee Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)

Until Arsenal were forced into making two changes due to injury, they were holding their own against City.

Unfortunately, both changes came within the first 25 minutes and after Luiz was brought on to replace Pablo Mari, who has missed just nine matches through injury in his entire career before coming to Arsenal, it all went to poo.

Here’s what I picked up from Arteta’s comments after the game.

Mesut Ozil is done at Arsenal

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil arrives at Arsenal's Colney training centre north of London on May 20, 2020 as training continues for Premier League clubs with a June re-start the intention during the COVID-19 pandemic. - Teams have started socially-distanced training in small groups this week, but several Premier League stars have expressed concerns about plans to resume the season. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil arrives at Arsenal’s Colney training centre north of London (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Arteta said the reason he left the German out of the squad for their first match back was ‘tactical’.

It was an excuse Unai Emery used to give quite a lot in regards to Ozil and I slated him for it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have.

I’m a huge Ozil fanboy but when two managers are unable to find a way to slot in a man who is supposed to be one of the best creative players in the game, even I have to admit it looks more like Ozil’s fault than the Arsenal manager’s, whoever that happens to be.

I’d love to be wrong but there’s only so long you can defend someone in this sort of situation without starting to look like a muppet.

Arteta knew Luiz couldn’t be trusted

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: David Luiz of Arsenal battles for possession with with Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City which leads to a penalty for Manchester City and a red card for David Luiz during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 17: David Luiz of Arsenal battles for possession with with Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City which leads to a penalty for Manchester City and a red card for David Luiz during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)

David Luiz was responsible for City’s first two goals and, of course, got himself sent off as well.

Speaking after the game, Arteta said, “I know what happened today, I know the way that David reacted. I know him well, not only as a player but as a person as well. He can handle these situations and it was a reason why I didn’t select him from the start and he had to play because Pablo got injured.”

Being able to handle ‘these situations’ is not a reason to not select a player.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite..

Pablo Mari has Arsenal DNA

Arsenal's Spanish defender Pablo Mari (C) sits on the pitch after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 17, 2020. - The Premier League makes its eagerly anticipated return today after 100 days in lockdown but behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish defender Pablo Mari (C) sits on the pitch after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 17, 2020. – The Premier League makes its eagerly anticipated return today after 100 days in lockdown but behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP)

As I mentioned above, during his entire career, Mari has missed just nine matches through injury before coming to Arsenal. His last period out was back in 2017 and he has recorded just two injuries (ankle and torn muscle in an undisclosed body part).

Now, he looks like he could miss quite a few for the Gunners.

Asked about Mari, and Granit Xhaka, Arteta said, “They are getting assessed at the moment then we will know something more tomorrow morning. Pablo’s one didn’t look very good to be fair.”

With Cedric Soares still injured, you have to admit that, our January transfer window activity was worse than usual this season.

Good job Arsenal didn’t spend most of the lockdown getting rid of a load of scouts, eh?

Previous articleArteta gives the latest on Mari and Xhaka injuries
Next articleArsenal will decide the future of David Luiz this week
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.