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Europa: Ian Wright hands Arteta match-wining tactics


Mikel Arteta Ian Wright Europa Villareal

As Arsenal’s hopes of silverware this season hang in the balance, club legend, Ian Wright, has given a potential match-winning tactics to manager, Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners host Villareal at the Emirates later tonight for a crunch UEFA Europa League semi final second leg after suffering a defeat in the first leg last week in Spain.

Arteta’s men were undone by goals from Manu Trigueros and Raúl Albiol in the first half but a penalty from Nicolas Pépé in the second half kept the Gunners in the game.

Ahead of the return leg tonight, Wright has highlighted one error made by Arteta; fielding Granit Xhaka at left-back to deputies for injured Kieran Tierney.

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Football London reported that the decision by Arteta allowed Nigerian winger, Samuel Chukwueze to run almost unchecked in the wing, causing Arsenal a lot of problems.

While Wright faulted Arteta’s decision, he advised that the Spaniard move Xhaka back to midfield where he is naturally fitted.

“Ideally for me, you play Cedric Soares at left-back and put Xhaka back in midfield because he can keep the ball safe and give that pass that we need,” Wright told Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House podcast.

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“It does not make me comfortable seeing Xhaka at left-back. It’s not his thing, that’s not where he should be.

“Cedric was bought and signed for four years to play at either right or left, play him! Play Xhaka where he should play and then it’s out of Saka or Pepe to be on that side.”

Aside from seeing Xhaka back in the middle, Wright also wants to see Mohamed Elneny deputise for the suspended Dani Ceballos.

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Wright added: “Go with the strongest team. [Dani] Ceballos doesn’t make my team, I would rather have Mohamed Elneny in there.

“I know he scored the other day but he’s got a drive and a determination about him. You cannot dislike his output.”

However, Arsenal have got a boost with the return of their skipper, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who previously suffered from malaria.

His return could prove vital for Arsenal as they aim to overturn the deficit and qualify for a chance in the final against either Manchester United or Roma.