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“Bad decision” – Arsenal legend baffled by Mikel Arteta gamble that backfired vs Southampton

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has laid into manager Mikel Arteta for his team selection in yesterday’s FA Cup defeat to Southampton.

The Spanish tactician rested a number of players and fielded a weakened team as his Gunners side were dumped out of the cup by the Saints.

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It was another poor result and performance in this hugely disappointing season for Arsenal, and Merson cannot understand why Arteta didn’t do more to try and prioritise winning this trophy again.

Arsenal emerged as surprise FA Cup winners last season as Arteta made a hugely promising start to life at the Emirates Stadium, and he could’ve done with the silverware again this year after such a poor showing in the Premier League.

Merson has slammed this decision by Arteta, saying it’s hard to understand why he did it given that his team are surely not going to get relegated or finish in the top four this season, meaning there’s little to play for in the league.

“I don’t know what he’s doing, they’re not going to win the league, they’re not going to get in the top four of the Premier League unless they went on one of the best runs in the history of the league,” the Sky Sports pundit said, as quoted by the Metro.

“This is the one that made Arteta last time around, he came to Arsenal, he had a great semi-final and a great final [in the FA Cup].

“And I honestly can’t believe it, this is a more important game than the midweek league game. They’re not getting relegated and they’re not getting in the top four.

“You don’t really want to end up getting sixth or whatever again and then you play in the Europa League on Thursdays, that just sends them back.

“So for me, bad decision.”

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