Arsenal v Man City: Match in pictures
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Alex Scott has questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to play Martin Odegaard over Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City. The former Gunners star was unconvinced by the Norwegian’s “bang average” performance after being handed another chance to shine.
Arsenal failed to create any real openings of note as they struggled to breakdown City’s impressive backline.
Arteta’s side were excellent last time out at home to Leeds as they blew Marcelo Bielsa’s men away.
But Arsenal’s blunt attack against City was a far cry from the quality on show against last season’s Championship winners.
The performance left Scott wondering whether Arteta made the right call when selecting Odegaard ahead of the academy star.
“These couple of games when you’ve got Leicester, Burnley trying to pick up points,” she said on Sky Sports when assessing Arsenal’s fortunes.
“The way this season is going with this Arsenal side that are not consistent in their play [it could be a problem].
“Today you’re looking at Odegaard, for me who was bang average, you have to question the decision for Smith Rowe not to be selected ahead of him.
“We are going to see his qualities put to the test in the next couple of weeks.
“Is he good enough to be in this starting XI for Arsenal or is this loan spell going to be a short one?”
Odegaard has enjoyed his first run in the side since arriving on loan from Real Madrid.
The attacking midfielder was a signing that Arteta personally requested and worked for but so far, the 22-year-old has struggled to make an impact.
Arsenal remain 10th in the table and their hopes of a European place remain in the balance.
Scott believes Arteta may be better prioritising the Europa League, as a route back into the Champions League.
“Arsenal have got a testing couple of weeks ahead of them,” she added.
“So they’ve got to pick themselves up and go, the Europa League is their only chance of getting Champions League in my opinion.
“You’ve got Leicester City, Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool. We could be sitting here in a couple of weeks and things are totally looking bad again. They need to reflect on this.”
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