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?
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
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.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) June 18, 2020
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
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
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?