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Arsenal legend Ian Wright urges Mikel Arteta to play youngsters ahead of underperforming trio

Mikel Arteta needs to turn Arsenal
Mikel Arteta needs to turn Arsenal's season around
Modified 26 Dec 2020, 06:39 IST

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright thinks manager Mikel Arteta should pick youngsters over some of the underperforming senior players in the squad.

Arsenal were put to the sword by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Following the 4-1 defeat, Wright questioned the Gunners manager's selection for the the game.

Arteta's side have struggled to win games domestically this season, and that has led to them sitting at 15th place on the Premier League table.

Arsenal faced Manchester City on Wednesday in an attempt to qualify for the Carabao Cup semi-finals. But Pep Guardiola got the better of his former assistant as City coasted to a comfortable 4-1 win.

Speaking to Optus Sport following the game, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright urged Mikel Arteta to put his faith in some of the club's youngsters since some of the senior players in the squad have continuously failed to impress this season.

"I have to say, from my point of view, with the manager and the players he’s picking now, I think people like Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock and those guys, I’d like to see them have a chance. That’s simply because you’re looking at the Willians, it’s not happening and he’s not playing well," Wright said.
"Why are you playing people like Kolasinac? Why are you playing someone like Mustafi? I’d rather see [William] Saliba who is playing in the Under-23s, I’d rather see Smith Rowe and I’d rather see something different. I would say to the people upstairs: give Mesut Ozil the money if you’re not going to play him and move him on. Same with Kolasinac and same with those players that are in and around the club and aren’t going to contribute," he added.
"That’s what he needs, players who are contributing. Arsenal have to realise they’re in a situation that can get worse and if they do lose those games against Brighton and West Brom… those games are must-win games," explained Wright.

Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi have barely played this season, but summer signing Willian has been a mainstay in Arteta's squad despite his subpar performances. The Brazilian joined Arsenal on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea this summer, but has failed to make any impact since his arrival.


"Do they realise what’s going on?" - Wright questions Arsenal players' commitment

Arsenal have been in a terrible run of form
Arsenal have been in a terrible run of form

Ian Wright also has his doubts regarding whether the Arsenal players knew the gravity of the situation they find themselves in.

"What Arsenal fans have to recognise at the moment is where we are. It’s the realisation of where we’ve also got to look at the players in the dressing room. Do they realise what’s going on?" Wright asked.
"I watched Burnley beat Wolves the other day and it was a performance from a team who know where they are. And this is what I’m saying with Arsenal, there’s not many players… I think [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang in Jurgen Klopp’s last season at Borussia Dortmund might have been flirting with it but they got out of it at the end, no problem," he added.
"I think Cedric Soares at Southampton had a time where they were struggling but there’s not many in that dressing room that know about the situation they’re now facing," said Wright.
Published 26 Dec 2020, 06:39 IST
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