‘Inspired’ Mikel Arteta tactic vs Leicester hailed by Arsenal legend, who suggests one regular will lose his place
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has sung Mikel Arteta’s praises for the way he used Leandro Trossard against Leicester City, while also naming the first-team regular he expects to be left on the bench over the next few months.
Arteta raised eyebrows when deciding to drop striker Eddie Nketiah for the visit to the King Power on Saturday. Nketiah had started every game for Arsenal since the World Cup prior to that, amid Gabriel Jesus’ recovery from knee surgery.
According to the Evening Standard, Arteta opted to start Trossard as a false nine instead of using Nketiah due to the busy fixture schedule. Nketiah will likely feature when Arsenal play Everton at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Trossard did well for Arsenal against Leicester. He scored a fine goal in the 26th minute after Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward failed to properly deal with a corner. But VAR subsequently ruled it out for a slight Ben White push on Ward.
Despite this disappointment, Trossard did go on to have a big influence on the outcome of the match. He sent Gabriel Martinelli through in the 46th minute and the winger made no mistake when sliding the ball into the far bottom corner. This proved to be the winning goal as Arsenal picked up three important points in the title race.
During an appearance on talkSPORT, Keown, who won three league titles with Arsenal, labelled Arteta’s decision to play Trossard ‘inspired’.
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“A fantastic response at Villa and then a really convincing performance against Leicester,” the pundit said. “We know that Brendan Rodgers knows his tactics, tried to press against Arsenal.
“I thought the move to put Trossard as a false nine was really inspired. Eddie Nketiah, you could see against Manchester City maybe lost his way in front of goal a little bit. [He] just needed to be brought out of the firing line.
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“The way that he [Arteta] interchanges Trossard, that’s been a snip.”
Keown was not the only pundit to laud Arteta for his selection versus Leicester. Alan Shearer said it was ‘the right decision’ to give Nketiah a rest, while Ian Wright called it ‘good management’.
Keown also gave his verdict on Jorginho, who joined Arsenal alongside Trossard in the winter window. The former centre-back thinks Jorginho has been so good that he could leave Thomas Partey on the bench when the midfielder returns to full fitness after injury.
“The business that they made, Jorginho as well, he’s so intelligent with his passing,” Keown added.
“They could leave Thomas Partey on the bench because they knew that they’ve still got a player. They don’t have to rush him back.”
Partey would be frustrated to sit on the bench during the season run-in after putting in some exceptional performances before his injury. However, this is the positive headache Arteta now has. He has better midfield options now Jorginho has arrived.
And Jorginho is not the only Chelsea man who could move to north London. A report claims Arteta is a ‘huge fan’ of one of Graham Potter’s forwards.
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