Speaking on last night’s Match of the Day (BBC1, 10:45pm), pundit Danny Murphy criticised Arsenal’s start to last night’s match against Southampton.
He claimed he spotted Arsenal were far too deep within a minute of kick off, which allowed the Saints to get a foothold in the game
Southampton went in at half time 1-0 up thanks to a goal from Gunners old boy Theo Walcott.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point, but Murphy was critical of the start Mikel Arteta’s side made in his post-match analysis.
“The first minute of the game, if you look at the setup,” said Murphy. “You’ve lost your last four at home. What do you do? You don’t drop off and let the Southampton team play. Look how far back the wing backs are.
“(Eddie) Nketiah’s gone and pressed on his own, and even he’s dropped back eventually. You’re at home. You’re desperate for points. It’s fear.
“It’s the manager maybe being too cautious with them. Don’t lose this game. Dropping off. It could have put Arsenal to bed by half time. You can’t go into games like that.”
Arsenal are playing like a team short on confidence and it showed again last night.
Especially at the start of the game, they didn’t take the fight to Southampton. As Murphy says, they let them play and get confidence up.
Arteta will take heart from the way his side battled for a point with ten men, and could have won it late on when Rob Holding’s header came back off the bar.
But their start to the game was sluggish again, and against a different side, the game could’ve been over by half time.
Arteta will hope to build on the point, which stops the run of home league losses, and see his side gain confidence.
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