MARTIN KEOWN: Mikel Arteta might have to DROP Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli

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MARTIN KEOWN: Maybe it’s time for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to DROP Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and start Gabriel Martinelli … the 19-year-old Brazilian star is too good to sit on the couch

  • Arsenal fell to a miserable 3-0 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday evening
  • Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang barely succeeded
  • Meanwhile, 19-year-old talent Gabriel Martinelli continues to wait on the bench
  • I am amazed that the Brazilian will stay put and Mikel Arteta has to play the talent

This was Mikel Arteta’s 50th game in charge of Arsenal and it’s hard to remember a worse performance.

This only makes Thursday’s Europa League encounter with Slavia Prague even bigger.

Arteta has to make a big decision about his captain. He set a good example by dropping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang recently for the North London derby. Aubameyang was supposed to start against Spurs, but showed up late and was drawn.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to perform, as Arsenal were beaten 3-0 at home by Liverpool

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to perform, as Arsenal were beaten 3-0 at home by Liverpool

Gabriel Martinelli (R) came in for the skipper as a late substitute, but struggled to earn starts

Gabriel Martinelli (R) came in for the skipper as a late substitute, but struggled to earn starts

Gabriel Martinelli (R) came in for the skipper as a late substitute, but struggled to earn starts

Shouldn’t Arteta drop him because he performed as poorly as against Liverpool? If he stays with him, he risks losing the group’s respect.

It’s time to bring in 19-year-old Gabriel Martinelli. He’s too good to sit on the couch. His teammates see him in training and know what he can do.

They will be amazed at his continued absence. I know I am.

Use it on the left. Use Martinelli’s 19-year-old Bukayo Saka on the right. Start Emile Smith Rowe. Then you have a team that can get the opposition into trouble. There were too many passengers against Liverpool.

The visitors’ weakness was their central back pair of Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips, but Arsenal couldn’t test them.

Mikel Arteta has to start using the Brazilian teen because the Gunners continue to lack energy

Mikel Arteta has to start using the Brazilian teen because the Gunners continue to lack energy

Mikel Arteta has to start using the Brazilian teen because the Gunners continue to lack energy

Arsenal must count on the youth to save their season, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe

Arsenal must count on the youth to save their season, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe

Arsenal must count on the youth to save their season, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe

They had Aubameyang on the left, Alexandre Lacazette in the center and Nicolas Pepe on the right – three club records – but they lacked the energy and drive of Smith Rowe and Saka.

Arsenal players don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves. They have to bounce back against a Prague team that have knocked Leicester and Rangers out of the Europa League.

Arteta has to make big decisions – decisions he has to make right.

Martinelli showed flashes of his incredible talent last season, but an injury brought him back

Martinelli showed flashes of his incredible talent last season, but an injury brought him back

Martinelli showed flashes of his incredible talent last season, but an injury brought him back

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