Football expert, Paul Merson was dazed at the shocking exit of Arsenal against Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the St.Mary Stadium.
The North-Londoners fell before the Ralph Hasenhuettl-led side due to their own error as Gabriel scored the only goal of the match, to his side net at the twenty-fourth minute of the regulation time of play.
The former Arsenal player bemoaned a lot of decisions taken by the club manager Mikel Arteta, which he was made to pay dearly at the later stage. Merson stated that the Spaniard paraded a ‘weakened’ side against the Saints.
Arteta decided to drop Emile Rowe while Bukayo Saka and Alexander Lacazette started from the bench.
All these decisions left Merson to challenge the Spaniard on why he did highly prioritized the importance of the FA
“I don’t know what he’s doing, they’re not going to win the league, they’re not going to get in the top four of the Premier League unless they went on one of the best runs in the history of the league,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“This is the one that made Arteta last time around, he came to Arsenal, he had a great semi-final and a great final [in the FA Cup].
“And I honestly cant believe it, this is a more important game than the midweek league game.”He stated
“Theyre not getting relegated and theyre not getting in the top four.”
“You don’t really want to end up getting sixth or whatever again and then you play in the Europa League on Thursdays, that just sends them back. So for me, bad decision.”
“We had issues in the first half and unforced errors as a result of the high press they do. In the second half, we had two or three big chances.
“It was an even game. In the first half, they won a lot of second balls. In the second half, we added more quality. We became more dominant and created chances, but it wasn’t enough.”He said
Arsenal won the FA Cup last season with a victory over Chelsea which saw Arteta win the first trophy of his managerial career.