It’s now back-to-back defeats in the Premier League for Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta.
Last Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at the hands of Wolves was followed up with a 1-0 reverse against Aston Villa at the weekend, as Ollie Watkins’ goal inside the opening two minutes proved to be the difference.
As a result, both Midlands clubs have completed a Premier League double over the Gunners this season as they lost ground in the race to qualify for Europe.
“Really strong performance again today we completely dominated the game, we dominated every department and we should have won the game,” Arteta told reporters in his post-match press conference.
“But, in the Premier League when you just give a goal to opponents, and we gave them another three opportunities to be fair ourselves, we gifted it to them, and then you are not ruthless in the box, you cannot win these games.”
Arteta did make attacking changes in a bid to break down a resolute Villa defence by bringing on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and January loan signing Martin Odegaard in the second half.
And the latter wasted a great chance to equalise when he blasted over from close range.
But some Arsenal fans have spotted something rather interesting about Arteta’s final substitution as he chose to bring on Willian for the injured Thomas Partey with 15 minutes to go.
With the Brazilian once again failing to make any sort of impact, it has left some supporters questioning why Gabriel Martinelli wasn’t introduced instead.
Take a look at what’s been said on Twitter…
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@DaPrinz12 said: “Arteta has his faults tbh. He needs to cut out his likeness for some players that’s causing him issues.
Take the Villa game for example. What is Willian doing as a sub when we have Martinelli? So also the Wolves game I believe he could still win it with good subs.”
@XpectationsOOZn said: “A slap in the face to play Willian thinking he can contribute against this Villa side. It should have been Martinelli instead. No surprise again from Arteta.”
@kylegerrard8 said: “Arteta persisting on Willian over Martinelli , upsets me more than losing the game. Can’t even really moan about the game the effort and performance was there just poor in the final third. Shot ourselves in the foot early again and played into Villa’s hands.”