Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has had a go at Mikel Arteta for his tactics in Chelsea’s win over Arsenal on Sunday.
The Gunners hosted the Blues and were simply outplayed. We conceded two fairly simple goals, and once that happened, it became impossible for us to get back into the game.
One of the biggest issues on Sunday was the gap between our centre-halves and our midfielders. There was a huge pocket of space for someone like Kai Havertz to drop deep and pick the ball up, and that made Chelsea’s transitional play very easy.
Murphy has slammed Arteta for not setting out his side properly. He claimed that Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga were forced to do four or five people’s work, which he labelled ‘amateurish’.
Danny Murphy: Arteta’s Arsenal tactics bemuse me
He said on TalkSport (Monday, 10.20 am): “My worry is, watching it from a tactical point of view, I was so bemused.
“They started off OK until Chelsea started beating the press (but) they never changed! They got so stretched, the gap between their defence and the midfield unit when they were trying to press. I felt for the two midfielders (Lokonga and Xhaka) trying to do the job of four or five men.
“The gaps were so big. It was amateurish, tactically. They were all over the place. Half pressing at one time and getting played through, then dropping off. You’ve got Steve Round and Mikel Arteta watching this game and not doing anything about it.”
The Insider’s View:
Thomas Partey’s injury has really complicated things for Arsenal. When the Ghanaian is available, Xhaka usually occupies an unorthodox left-back position to provide cover for Kieran Tierney when he’s higher up the pitch.
On Sunday, with Partey unavailable, the Swiss international had to focus more on the midfield than on the left side of central defence. That really hurt us as Chelsea exploited that very area for both of their goals.
Partey’s return followed by Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White also coming back should solve that issue for Arsenal. However, until they’re available, Arteta has to find a way to organise our backline – in a much better way than he did against Chelsea.