Arsenal hero Ian Wright slams Unai Emery for making key mistake at Sheffield United | Football | Sport
Arsenal missed out on a golden chance to go back up to third in the Premier League table, and Ian Wright is bemused as to why Dani Ceballos didn’t start.
Unai Emery opted to leave the Spaniard in reserve despite his fellow creator Mesut Ozil once again missing out on the match-day squad.
Wright has now blamed the absence of the Real Madrid loanee for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of chances.
“I think he’s got to come here and Ceballos has to play,” Wright told Premier League Productions.
“He’s played the youngsters and I’m pleased to see them in there, with [Bukayo] Saka.
“But Saka, for an 18-year-old, if you’re leaving Ozil totally out of the squad, then we have to see more from him [Saka]. And from Joe [Willock].
“Unfortunately, it was a game where it passed them both by and then it comes down to the manager and his choices.
“He’s made the change at half-time, with Ceballos, so you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Why didn’t you start him in the first place?’
“Start him. He’s someone that gets on the ball when they want to try and play out, [Matteo] Guendouzi’s got a lot of energy and get the boys playing.
“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang didn’t have anything to play off today because there wasn’t any creativity.’
“Yeah [Ceballos would have made a difference], because he wants to try and get on the ball and he doesn’t mind getting on the ball anywhere to try and do his stuff.
“It’s a disappointing one simply because Arsenal could have gone third. ‘It’s the kind of game where they can lay down a marker and they don’t and it’s unfortunate.”
Emery is now under pressure after failed to mastermind a consistent run of good form, and picked out Nicholas Pepe’s miss as a crucial moment.
“The chance for us, for Pepe, was the key,” he said after Lys Mousset’s goal handed the Gunners a 1-0 defeat.
“Because if they score the first goal, defensively they are a very strong team.
“Pepe is improving but the next step for him is to score.”