Arteta was disrespectful to Lacazette with Willian choice

Mikel Arteta has been criticised for picking Willian to start up top over Alexandre Lacazette in Arsenal's defeat to Manchester City.

The Gunners fell to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday after Raheem Sterling's first half strike handed Pep Guardiola's side all three points.

Lacazette did come on for the Brazilian winger in minute 69 but failed to make an impact.

Arteta's decision to bench Lacaztte has been labelled "disrespectful" by Manchester United legend Andy Cole, who believes a team-mate of a different position playing in a striker's role is the ultimate insult.

"I think he is being disrespectful to Lacazette as well. Willian is not a centre-forward," Cole said on talkSPORT.

"If you have got a centre-forward on the bench who is your top goalscorer as well, to turn around and say, ‘Look, I am going to play Willian as the centre-forward. You sit on the bench and watch him play centre-forward’, I think that is very disrespectful."

Willian failed to register a shot on goal or even a successful pass in the opposition box.

Arteta was questioned about the decision and explained his tactics.

"We need to have the versatility to play in different formations occupying different spaces. It was a game for him, the way City plays and the way they track the opponents and the spaces that can be used," said the Gunners boss. "He was really convinced as well.

"It was obviously really hard to leave two strikers on the bench but it was a tactical decision."

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