Jamie Carragher slams Mikel Arteta’s “naive” approach in Arsenal loss to Chelsea

Arsenal were soundly beaten by London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday evening as Romelu Lukaku and Reece James capitalised on weak defending to score in the first half

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“Hopefully things will get better” – Arteta on Chelsea defeat

Jamie Carragher has issued a withering criticism of Mikel Arteta for setting up Arsenal with “naive” tactics during their 2-0 defeat by Chelsea.

The Gunners were soundly beaten by their London rivals at the Emirates on Sunday evening as Romelu Lukaku and Reece James capitalised on weak defending to score in the first half.

Arteta’s approach to the Premier League clash has already been questioned by Arsenal legend Ian Wright, who claimed the lack of a game plan was “frightening”.

Carragher echoed those comments as he blasted the Spaniard for thinking he could go “man to man” with the reigning European champions.

Carragher railed against Arteta for trying to go “man to man” with Chelsea

“There was a lot of criticism for the manager, when you have a set of bad results and people say he hasn’t got a clue, what was the plan,” Carragher told Sky Sports .

“Mikel Arteta had a plan, we studied it this morning, it hasn’t worked, maybe it was a touch of naivety, but when you play against Chelsea, there’s a lot of talk about Lukaku but that’s not the only problem, it’s how you deal with their system. A centre-forward and two number 10s, with wing-backs who play as wingers.

“(Rob) Holding’s job was to look after Kai Havertz, (Pablo) Mari was in the middle with Lukaku and Mason Mount was deeper with Granit Xhaka.

“They almost went man to man, maybe a touch naive. You see them sticking with those men and, when the ball goes wide, Kieran Tierney’s job is to get out to the full-back, Reece James, and Xhaka’s job is to get into a left-sided centre-back position, almost a back three.

Did Mikel Arteta get his tactics wrong against Chelsea, or were Arsenal simply beaten by a better team? Comment below.

“There was a lot of talk that they should have played a back three, maybe they would have if Ben White was fit. A lot of the times, it was a back three, you see the initial idea of how they wanted to play.

“The two goals, they went away from the system we’ve been talking about slightly and they’ve got caught out.

“It’s almost man for man but Mason Mount attaches himself to Kieran Tierney and that gives him a problem, you’re back to your conventional 4-2-3-1.

The Liverpool legend picked out midfielder Xhaka and left-back Tierney for criticism

“Granit Xhaka isn’t thinking about the ball into Lukaku, he’s looking over his shoulder to see where Mount was.

“The plan was never to stop the ball coming into Lukaku, it’s how to stop it going into Havertz and Mount. It goes into the striker and you have the problem, Tierney has been dragged inside and we know the consequences.”

Carragher then highlighted the similarities between Lukaku’s 15th-minute opener and James’ strike to double the advantage 20 minutes later.

The former England centre-back added: “The second goal, again it’s the back three. Where Mason Mount goes, Xhaka goes.

“It’s more trying to stop the number 10s than the ball into Lukaku. The problem is, Xhaka sees the big hole and he comes over, Kieran Tierney finds himself caught in no man’s land.

“They eventually get through, Arsenal aren’t aggressive enough. Tierney doesn’t cover himself in glory, he goes towards the ball and gets dragged in.

“It’s not the biggest danger, James is. There was a plan but to think that Arsenal’s back four, or back three, could almost go man-to-man against Chelsea was very naive.”

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