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Arteta ‘rightly being criticised’ for Xhaka mistake vs Brighton – Pundit

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Kevin Campbell has slammed Mikel Arteta for starting Granit Xhaka at left-back in Arsenal’s defeat to Brighton.

The Gunners were abject at best as they were beaten 2-1 by Graham Potter’s side at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

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They were without Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney due to injury. This left Arteta with a selection dilemma after Nuno Tavares struggled five days prior in the 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard opted to move Xhaka from centre-midfield to left-back, leaving Sambi Lokonga exposed in the middle of the pitch.

It was a poor performance against an out-of-form Brighton team, who took all three points as the Gunners were dealt another blow in their bid to finish in the top four.

“Arteta is getting criticised and rightly so,” Campbell told Football Insider. “That one is on the manager.

“If Partey is not there you need Granit Xhaka on the pitch. Coming from me, that is saying something.

“Xhaka has been a constant in midfield along with Partey. So to take him out of there to play left-back weakens us. That is what the big issue is.

“The centre of the pitch is the engine room. Xhaka is not the best player but he can do a job in there. He is also experienced so he could help Sambi Lokonga. Sambi looked like he was on his own in there. It was not right.

“The team didn’t perform. It is simple.

“But the manager rightly comes under criticism because he moved our second best midfielder to left-back when he really should have been in the middle of the pitch.”

Meanwhile, ex-Arsenal man Paul Merson isn’t convinced by Tottenham and believes his former side could still make the top four this season.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, Merson said: “I still feel Arsenal are in it because Tottenham have still got a Tottenham in them. I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but they still have got a Tottenham in them. Everyone was going mad about them but they could’ve been blown away in the first half against Aston Villa.

“The top four is still very much on for Arsenal.”

The post Arteta ‘rightly being criticised’ for Xhaka mistake vs Brighton – Pundit appeared first on Football365.

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