Jermaine Jenas has revealed that he struggled to understand Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s approach to the Liverpool game.
In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s side were dominant from start to finish, with the only surprise being it took until after the hour mark for Diogo Jota to break the deadlock en route to a 3-0 win over Arsenal.
And Jenas, speaking on Match of the Day on Saturday night, was critical of Arteta ‘s tactics as he couldn’t quite believe the Spaniard instructed his players to not take the game to Liverpool.
“I watched a team today that didn’t believe in the tactics set out by Mikel Arteta, I thought the body language from Arsenal players was poor,” Jenas said. “I’m struggling to figure out why you’re playing [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Martin] Odegaard, [Nicolas] Pepe – all these attacking players and not actually playing on the front foot.
“This pretty much summed it up for me, you’ve got Pepe with his hand in his air asking for it to be kicked up the pitch, but who actually wants the ball?
“You’ve got Odegaard in a good position behind Fabinho, slide that ball forward, get in the pocket, but they didn’t have any urgency to get on the ball or help the person on the ball.
“I imagine Arsenal fans are sick of this now.
“How often have we seen Arsenal give the ball away from the back and concede goals, it’s getting to the point where it’s getting ridiculous. I do get that you want your team to play, but if they’re not good enough to do it – then you’ve got to stop doing it.”
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Arsenal don’t have long to reflect on the Liverpool result as they are back in action on Thursday against Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-final first-leg.
And after losing to the Reds, winning the competition could be their only route to European football for next season.
The Gunners remain ninth in the Premier League table, but will slip a place should Aston Villa beat Fulham on Sunday.