Saturday, July 13, 2024

Mikel Arteta admits taking off struggling Arsenal star ‘didn’t work’

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Mikel Arteta has admitted that his decision to substitute struggling Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli during Sunday’s loss to Fulham ‘didn’t work’.

The Arsenal boss replaced Martinelli for Leandro Trossard on 68 minutes but the Gunners fell to a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage.

Martinelli has been in poor form for the north Londoners this term, producing just two goals and two assists across 18 Premier League matches.

Arteta was forced to defend the Brazilian prior to the game against Fulham while Gunners legend Ian Wright feels his manager is not getting the best out of him.

Quizzed about his decision to substitute Martinelli, as well as Ben White, who was taken off for Gabriel Jesus, Arteta said: ‘When you don’t change the result, they didn’t [work].

‘That’s for sure, it didn’t work in the first half, and it didn’t work in the second half. Throughout 100 minutes, we were never at the levels that we wanted to [be at].’

Arsenal do not return to Premier League action until January 20 and Arteta admits that his side need a break to recover from their back-to-back defeats.

‘We certainly need a reset after today because that’s going to be in our tummy for a few days,’ Arteta added.

‘The game against West Ham felt very different because you can move on, it can happen. What happened today cannot happen again.

‘If you do that, you’re never going to have the chance to be where we want to be. Today it could have been a beautiful way to finish the year top of the league.

‘These are the margins and you have to find the balance. It could have been the best day and it can be even the worst day because you have lost a game but we have to look at ourselves in the mirror because today is the worst game that we had this season, that’s for sure.’


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