Arsenal could join new European Super League as Mikel Arteta 'disrespects' Alexandre Lacazatte
The latest news from around the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal and Mikel Arteta prepare to face Rapid Vienna on matchday one in the Europa League on Thursday
Arteta accused of disrespecting Lacazette
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta dropped Alexandre Lacazette for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City. He then did not introduce the Frenchman until the 68th minute, playing Willian, a natural winger, in the centre-forward position.
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole argued that the selection was disrespectful to Arsenal’s top goalscorer this season.
“I think he is being disrespectful to Lacazette,” he told talkSPORT . “Willian is not a centre-forward.
“If you have got a centre-forward on the bench who is your top goalscorer, to turn around and say, ‘Look, I am going to play Willian as the centre-forward. You sit on the bench and watch him play centre-forward.’
Garth Crooks questions Willian decision
Andy Cole is not the only pundit to question Arteta’s decision to start Willian through the middle. BBC pundit Garth Crooks also criticised the selection of the Arsenal manager, stating that it was “desperately disappointing”
“To see the Gunners playing Willian in a striking role with Alexandre Lacazette, a proven striker, on the bench – particularly having seen what Leicester did to City – was desperately disappointing,” said Crooks.
“Manager Mikel Arteta wasn’t being calculating – it was padding and the Gunners got what they deserved: nothing,” he added.
In his unusual role, Willian struggled to impact the match. Chris Wheatley, in his player ratings for JoriPress , assessed his performance with a 5/10 rating, commenting: “Started in an unorthodox no.9 role but contributed very little. A couple of decent deliveries from set pieces but unable to exert any influence on the game.”
Arsenal could join European Premier League
Arsenal have reportedly been approached to join a European Premier League, which is being pushed by Manchester United and Liverpool.
Sky News reports that a FIFA-backed proposal would see the best clubs from across the continent, with each of the top six in England named as potential candidates, partake in an 18-team league campaign with midweek fixtures and a knock-out stage to determine the winner.
Other clubs that have been included in talks are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and others from the best leagues in the world.
2022 has been mentioned as a provisional start date, with the competition intended to replace the Champions League for the teams involved.
A source told Sky News that this was “potentially the most important development in world club football for decades”.