Arsenal legend Martin Keown has advised manager Mikel Arteta to drop both Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard after their poor performances in the starting line up that was beaten by Manchester City on Sunday.
The Gunners lost 1-0 to Man City thanks to an early Raheem Sterling goal, and they rarely did much to threaten a comeback in a disappointing performance overall.
Arsenal fans may be questioning some of Arteta’s selection decisions on the day, with Emile Smith Rowe harshly dropped from the starting XI despite a strong recent run of form.
Keown was not impressed with Arteta including Pepe and Odegaard, who didn’t offer enough in terms of pressing and work rate against City.
The former Arsenal defender now believes it’s important that Smith Rowe is brought back in ahead of those two, whilst also naming Alexandre Lacazette as someone who has more of a role to play.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Keown said: “It surprised me that Arsenal didn’t press Manchester City like they had pressed Leeds in their last home game.
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“It was courtesy of their high press against Leeds that Arsenal won a penalty to make it 2-0. Emile Smith Rowe later picked up possession on the edge of the opposition box before assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to make it 4-0. Yesterday was different. Arsenal showed the visitors too much respect and City were allowed to dominate.
“For Mikel Arteta, the front four who finished this game are his best combination and they need to be starting matches. I’d like to see Aubameyang on the left, Alexandre Lacazette central, Bukayo Saka on the right and Smith Rowe in behind.”