Arsenal

Mikel Arteta must drop £32m Arsenal star vs Fulham after a string of ‘weak’ displays

Mikel Arteta must drop Oleksandr Zinchenko against Fulham tomorrow after several disappointing displays for Arsenal.

Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat against West Ham United on Thursday as Mikel Arteta’s side were punished for their lack of a clinical edge in front of goal.

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The Gunners registered a staggering 30 shots on goal in that match. It was the first time since December 2017 that any team ended up on the losing side after accumulating such a total.

What was more alarming for Arsenal was how vulnerable they were defensively. David Moyes managed to devise a plan to expose their vulnerabilities and it worked a treat as Tomas Soucek and Konstantinos Mavropanos scored to condemn the hosts to only their third defeat of the season.

One man who was criticised once more in that harrowing loss was Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has been poor in recent weeks.

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s poor run of form continues
Zinchenko has massively let Arsenal down in the last three matches and there are huge concerns over his current form.

In the 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, he was guilty of being careless in possession and was a rare negative in a positive performance from the Gunners.

He followed that up with a ‘weak’ display against Liverpool and was branded as a ‘liability’ by Gary Neville who called for him to be substituted after struggling to live with Mohamed Salah.

The Ukraine international had an opportunity to put that right against West Ham, but he again received more criticism for an underwhelming display as pundit Jay Bothroyd labelled his performance as ‘awful’.

Zinchenko won just one of his five attempted ground duels, as per Sofascore, and was dribbled past the joint most of any player on the pitch (twice) as Hammers attacker Mohammed Kudus had a field day against him.

Arteta saw enough from the £32m man to substitute him for Reiss Nelson in the 64th minute with the Spaniard opting to change the system in an attempt to mount a comeback

Mikel Arteta should drop Oleksandr Zinchenko
Although the 27-year-old possesses the undoubted quality to turn his form around, dropping him could be the catalyst to propel him back to his best.

Arteta has reaped the benefits of dropping one of his first-team stars in the past. He gave Leandro Trossard a run in the team ahead of Gabriel Martinelli last term and once the Brazilian returned to the starting XI, he began fully firing.

The Spaniard should perhaps rest Zinchenko in what is a busy period and replace him with Jakub Kiwior, who has rarely put a foot wrong when given the chance.

Although he isn’t a natural left-back, putting him alongside Gabriel could allow Arteta to shuffle to a back three when in possession and give Ben White the license to maraud further up the pitch against Fulham.

If the Arsenal boss had Jurrien Timber or Takehiro Tomiyasu at his disposal, there is no doubt Zinchenko would be dropped for one of them, but for now, he can settle with giving Kiwior a chance to shine at Craven Cottage.

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