Mikel Arteta has explained the reasoning behind his decision to move Granit Xhaka to left-back and play Emile Smith Rowe in midfield after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton.
Kieran Tierney is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign due to a knee injury, meaning Arteta has had to find cover at left-back.
The Gunners struggled to control the game, and went 1-0 down through a Leandro Trossard goal in the first half.
Xhaka was switched to a midfield position in the second half, but the Gunners found themselves two goals behind when Enock Mwepu netted brilliantly.
Martin Odegaard’s deflected strike gave the hosts some hope, but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Explaining his decision to move Xhaka to left-back, Arteta said: ‘Especially the way I thought they were going to play and the space we wanted to attack, it fit reakky well to play Emile in that position [in midfield].
‘Especially because we thought that space was going to be there for Granit to use which it was, but we didn’t use it.
‘The decision that you made, you have to write it before the match. After – it is too late.’
The result has seen Arsenal fail to make up the ground on Tottenham and thus dealt a blow to their chances of finishing in the top four.
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