Ian Wright ‘frightened’ of Mikel Arteta’s tactics as he singles out Arsenal star after Chelsea defeat


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Ian Wright has labelled Arsenal’s no-show against Chelsea as “frightening” as the Gunners slipped to their second successive defeat to start the Premier League season.

After being soundly beaten by newly promoted Brentford on the opening day of the campaign, Mikel Arteta will have been desperate for a reaction with The Emirates full for the first time in almost 18 months.

But Arsenal were well off the pace against their London rivals, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James earning them a routine 2-0 victory.

The Gunners failed to create clear-cut chances and could have conceded more on what was another sobering afternoon for Arteta’s side.

Arsenal were well beaten as Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners

Asked if he had seen improvement from their defeat to Brentford, Arsenal legend Ian Wright told Match of the Day: “No they didn’t, especially coming off of the Brentford game which was really quite disappointing.

“Brentford… we know what they are coming from, we know what they are going to be like, it looked like we weren’t prepared for them.

“When you looked at the way that Chelsea played us today and the way Lukaku played, either they are not prepared, they are not listening, or they can’t perform what he wants them to do.”

Albert Sambi Lokonga made his second Premier League appearance in the centre of midfield and Wright suggested he was one of the few bright sparks.

“What I saw today, apart from Lokonga, I thought he was very good today, [Nicolas] Pepe did a bit in places, I thought we looked really bereft of anything that we were doing.

“I don’t know what the tactics were. Because when you look how easily they were able to breach. For me it was quite frightening.”

Ian Wright said he saw little improvement between Arsenal’s two performances so far

Arsenal were without Ben White against the Blues after he tested positive for Covid, while Alexandre Lacazette and Willian remained out and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was only fit enough for a second-half cameo.

Speaking after the defeat, Arteta was adamant that when his strongest team is available there will be visible signs of improvement.

“It’s really challenging at the moment,” the Spaniard admitted. “We’re missing nine players, and the majority of them are big senior players. It’s what we have.

Mikel Arteta believes his side will improve once their injury issues are solved
Sky Sports)

“We put a team out there that will probably be unprecedented in the history of this football club.

“But credit to the boys, how they’re trying the passion that they tried to bring to the team.

“They are playing with a lot of courage in this situation which is tough when you know the highlights are on you.

“They are trying their best but at the moment it’s not enough to win football matches.”

Arteta continued: “Hopefully things will get better. In the moment when the players are back – and they will need some time to get back still because they have lost a lot of football – things will be completely different.

“Hopefully we will see a different squad and a different level in the way we can play and hopefully different results.

“The story can change. The good thing is the narrative in football changes really quickly.”


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