Former Arsenal stars Ian Wright and Robin van Persie have criticised the tactical approach of Gunners manager Unai Emery in last night’s 1-1 draw away to Manchester United.
Scott McTominay opened the scoring for United in the first half before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised in the second half, but both Van Persie and Wright feel the team’s tactics were too negative.
Arsenal have not won a league match at Old Trafford since 2006, and last night perhaps looked their best chance of doing so for some time against a weak Man Utd outfit.
Still, Emery started with three defensive-minded midfield players in Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, leaving creative star Dani Ceballos on the bench.
Wright was particularly critical of the Spaniard’s cautious approach, and Van Persie echoed those criticisms.
“The disappointing thing from my side of it, when you look at chances created, Arsenal did do as much in the second half but I think his selection initially [was wrong],” Wright told Optus Sport, as quoted by the Metro.
“With [Granit] Xhaka being the captain it then takes it away from [Lucas] Torreira, because I think Torreira should start and he did.
“But I do believe [Dani] Ceballos should start. They could have the protection of Torreira and [Matteo] Guendouzi and a bit more creativity.”
Van Persie added: “I agree. The way they started in the second half they should have started the first half.
“More pressure, chasing the game. Even though you’re just starting the game, try to win it. Try to play positive, try to attack. They waited 45 minutes for that, it’s too late playing in a game like that.”
Arsenal fans will certainly have hoped to see more from Emery by now, with the former Sevilla boss in the job for over a year now but failing to build a clear style, often looking more like his focus is on nullifying opponents’ weaknesses instead of playing on the front foot.