Date: 23rd February 2021 at 6:00pm
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Ian Wright has identified where Mikel Arteta went wrong during Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in Sunday’s clash.

The Gunners lost thanks to a 2nd minute Raheem Sterling header, which proved to be enough for Pep Guardiola’s side, who extended their long winning run.

Speaking to Premier League productions (via the Metro), the former Highbury favourite lamented the changes made by the Spanish manager in the defeat.

Wright said: “Mixing up that three of Odegaard, Saka and Smith Rowe. I think they had something going. It would have been brilliant to play them in a game like that to see how they get on against that kind of City side. All that does is build confidence, build momentum.”

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Whilst Wright is right about the trio of youngsters being Arsenal’s best bet in playing fast, fluid attacking football, there needs to be an element of caution in their use.

Mikel Arteta risks burning out the players should he not rest them, hence why the likes of Emile Smith Rowe was rested ahead of Thursday’s crucial Europa League clash with Benfica.

Bukayo Saka is one of the players who is due a rest given the fact the ace has played 19 of the last 21 Premier League clashes for the Gunners. His energy and determination make him a key asset in the final third, but, there’s a risk of injury if he’s overused.

Smith Rowe, himself, has a history of injury problems despite being just 20-years-old and is almost definitely one who needs a rest from time to time.

The feeling is that whilst Arsenal have a raft of attacking options off the bench, they aren’t good enough to fill the void left by any of the youngsters. It’s a premise I agree on with the club legend with various examples having been showed throughout the campaign.

In other news, Mikel Arteta voiced a rallying cry for his troops ahead of Thursday’s second-leg.