Arsenal crashed out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night as they lost 3-1 to Brighton at home and after the game, Mikel Arteta was keen to defend a few of his players who came in for criticism.
Arsenal’s 3rd round EFL Cup match against Brighton was not televised anywhere in the world, so, unless you were in the ground, there was no way to see the game.
That didn’t stop a number of players coming in for criticism with Fabio Vieira topping the list.
Mikel Arteta made a number of changes from the side that beat Chelsea at the weekend, most notably in goal where he started Estonia international Karl Hein.
Both Aaron Ramsdale and Matt Turner were at the Emirates, with the latter on the bench, so this decision seemed to be more about giving Hein a start and protecting the two keepers who are heading to the World Cup.
“I think he deserved the chance,” Arteta said after the game when asked why he had started the 20-year-old.
“He’s the Karl Hein called up for internationals despite 0 senior club minutesfirst goalkeeper of the national team at his age and I think that’s something that is not usual.
“He totally deserves his chance and if I had to play tomorrow again, I would play him again because you only get experience when you’ve played football matches. Karl has that and errors are part of football.”
Arteta was then asked if he had spoken to Hein after the game. “No, everybody was supporting him straight after,” Arteta replied.
“We all make mistakes. Me the first one. The players all the time, because it’s part of the game. He needs to carry on.
“It’s about when you make an error, how you react. It is not about the error. This is going to happen in his career, and it happened today, unfortunately.”
Vieira’s inclusion was no surprise but his performance, perhaps, was. One Arsenal fan commented that he had been downgraded from Fabio Vieira to Fabio Denilson after it.
“I think in front of goal he’s been a little bit unlucky because the last two games he could have scored a few goals,” Arteta said about the midfielder.
“Every new player needs time to adapt and to play. Obviously when he played against Brighton away from home and he was surrounded with players he’s been more familiar with, it’s a little bit easier.
“We have asked him to play in different positions as well because of the needs we have in the squad. I’m not worried at all.”
Has he struggled to settle? “Well he’s missed a big part because he came and he was injured for two and a half months.
“So he’s missed a whole pre-season, and I think that period now in the World Cup [break] is going to make him very good.”
Ultimately, most Arsenal fans know we don’t have a deep enough squad to compete in four trophies this year.
While nobody likes to lose, the overwhelming emotion of most fans on Wednesday night was ‘meh’.
This one gif is being tweeted en masse by Arsenal fans https://t.co/URGpTR6Fpe
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) November 9, 2022
Bring on Wolves and the chance to be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day.