Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans after defeat at Brentford
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Another year, same old Arsenal. Gone are the days where the Gunners were the best the Premier League had to offer, with Friday night’s chastening defeat at Brentford proving as such. And the onus will be on Mikel Arteta for his team to improve – or face the sack, just like Unai Emery.
Arsenal went into Friday’s match against Brentford with reasons to be optimistic.
Despite struggling in the Premier League last term, the arrivals of Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares were meant to represent the start of a new, better era.
Except, that didn’t happen. Arsenal fell to defeat against Brentford on Friday, putting in a dire showing at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Sergio Canos put the hosts in front in the 22nd minute, with Christian Norgaard then striking to secure victory.
So Express Sport will now take a look at four players who need dropping after the dire defeat if the Gunners are to turn things around.
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Bernd Leno is a shadow of the goalkeeper he used to be.
Arsenal know that, which is why they’re keen to sign a new No 1 before the summer transfer window slams shut on August 31.
Leno wasn’t the worst player on the pitch against Brentford. But being beaten at his near post, and failing to command his area properly, helped consign his side to defeat.
Arsenal need a new No 1, and fast.
And though they’re short on goalkeepers, it’s worth rolling the dice to see if the German can respond and reach the level he used to play at.
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To put it simply, Calum Chambers isn’t good enough for Arsenal.
Deployed at right-back, the former Fulham loanee toiled before being taken off by Arteta with the game slipping away.
While Hector Bellerin has struggled for consistency over the last couple of years, the Spaniard still represents an upgrade on Chambers.
And it would be no understatement to say that Arteta got his decision-making wrong for the match against Brentford.
Bellerin should be playing. If not, sell him. Leaving him on the bench, and picking Chambers, is just something that’ll hurt everyone involved if it stays the same.
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We’ve already said that Bellerin is an upgrade on Chambers at right-back.
And the same can be said for Rob Holding and Pablo Mari, with the latter toiling during the match against Brentford on Friday.
The Brazilian struggled with the intensity of the match and certainly lost his individual battle with Ivan Toney.
It would be a surprise to see Mari start against Chelsea next Sunday after this.
And Arsenal would be wise to pursue another centre-back, despite already spending big on White.
There’s no denying that Gabriel Martinelli is a bright hope for Arsenal’s future, with the Brazilian’s talent unquestionable.
But Arteta must now drop him for the upcoming match against Chelsea, if he’s able to have the luxury of picking other attackers.
Martinelli has struggled with injuries and recently came back from the Tokyo Olympics, meaning he needs some more time to rest.
Continuing to select the youngster is harmful to both Martinelli and the club.
And Arsenal will have to carefully manage how they treat the 20-year-old as he battles to prove himself after 12 months of turmoil.
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