Gary Neville slams Mikel Arteta for ‘desperate’ triple change in defeat to Manchester United

Gary Neville slams Mikel Arteta for ripping up Arsenal’s game plan with a ‘desperate’ triple change after 74 minutes in their defeat by Man United… as he says the Gunners showed ‘naivety’ and ‘deserved to lose’

  • Gary Neville criticized Mikel Arteta’s second half changes in Man United defeat
  • Arsenal found themselves behind after a second-half Marcus Rashford goal
  • The Gunners boss then elected to make an ultra-offensive triple substitution
  • But Arsenal’s attacking mentality was exploited and United scored again

Gary Neville has criticized Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for his ‘desperate’ tactical changes during their defeat by Manchester United on Sunday that ended their 100 percent start to the new season.

United took the lead in the first half through new £85.5 million summer signing Antony but the Premier League leaders fought back well and equalized through Bukayo Saka after the break.

However, Erik ten Hag’s team answered back just minutes later with Marcus Rashford putting the home side back in front on 66 minutes.

Gary Neville criticized Mikel Arteta’s tactical decisions in Arsenal’s defeat against Man United

The Spanish manager ripped up his game plan with a triple change after 74 minutes on Sunday

The Spanish manager ripped up his game plan with a triple change after 74 minutes on Sunday

With his team once again searching for an equalizer at Old Trafford, Arteta elected to make an ultra-offensive triple change after 74 minutes.

The Spaniard elected to replace Martin Odegaard, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Oleksandr Zinchenko with Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah.

The Arsenal manager’s decision to switch things up and go for broke in search of a second goal would not prove to be a wise one, though.

United exploited the newfound space in the Gunners’ back line on the counter, with Bruno Fernandes playing through a surging Christian Eriksen who laid the ball off to Marcus Rashford for United’s third goal, effectively killing off the game.

Emile Smith Rowe replaced Martin Odegaard as the Gunners chased the game at Old Trafford

Emile Smith Rowe replaced Martin Odegaard as the Gunners chased the game at Old Trafford

Fabio Vieira also came on for Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has been injured recently

Fabio Vieira also came on for Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has been injured recently

Speaking following the match, Neville expressed his confusion with Arteta’s second-half substitutions and called the Gunners ‘naive’.

The Sky Sports pundit said: ‘At 2-1, there was no need to go so desperate, so early.

‘With 20 minutes to go, I thought “this could be 4-1 or 5-1. United actually went more solid, Fred and Casemiro came on. And they just counter-attacked off the back of that. I don’t think they needed to go so desperate.

‘What shocked Arsenal, was that second goal going in. It came against the run of play and Arsenal did not handle that point in the game well. They deserved to lose the game, because they never handled that second goal going in.

‘Arsenal, if they kept on playing the way they were, they’d have got back into the game.

‘As soon as they lost their shape with all those substitutions, United were always going to score that third on the counter-attack.’

Eddie Nketiah came on up front but was unable to threaten David da Gea in the United goal

Eddie Nketiah came on up front but was unable to threaten David da Gea in the United goal

United exploited the extra space on the counter allowing Marcus Rashford to score his second

United exploited the extra space on the counter allowing Marcus Rashford to score his second

Neville further alluded to Arteta’s tactical ‘naivety’, and questioned whether the club can continue the form that has seen them top the Premier League since week three.

‘Last year, Arsenal, that lack of maturity was the question,’ he added.

‘They showed in that last 20 minutes a lack of maturity, no doubt.

‘I thought they were really good today. I like watching them, they’re better than last season.

‘But against Tottenham last season near the end, they got played a little bit. In that last 20 minutes today, there was naivety.’

Arsenal will look to rebound from a disappointing defeat at Old Trafford when they travel to FC Zurich on Thursday to begin their Europa League campaign.

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