Written by

Hripsime Hayrapetyan

07-05-2021 | 18:33 Football

Freddie Ljungberg singles out one Arsenal star for praise after Europa League exit

Freddie Ljungberg has singled out Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli for praise, following the club's Europe League defeat last night. The Gunners crashed out of the European competition, with Villarreal securing their place in the final, where they will play against Manchester United. After yesterday's match, Martin Keown and Ljungberg discussed Arsenal's approach to the game, while the club's former interim coach believes that Martinelli was the only player from Mikel Arteta's side to showed any urgency. "I think the manager obviously comes under enormous pressure," Keown told BT Sport. "You start to look at the wisdom of a young manager coming in to take a job here, it’s a huge job, a massive job at this football club and I think his inexperience has cost him. "Of course, he’s still here as manager and we’ll have to wait to see what happens on that. It seemed to me though that this was the rescue package tonight and it didn’t arrive, the team didn’t turn up. "Whether it was the motivation, the tactics, he was outsmarted by the previous manager which is a bit of an embarrassment. Both games – the false nine and then today where we changed the midfield completely and we looked like it was something brand new to us – we didn’t look like we had the experience to adapt, to change, we looked lost. "They seemed prepared to just let the game flow away. It was really disappointing, there was hardly any reaction from the team. I think it does come from the manager, he gives the tactics from the start, that’s the base for the players to play from, and they looked lost. "Odegaard didn’t know when to press, when to sit back in midfield, you’ve got to go and press the ball, ask questions of your opponent, Arsenal didn’t do that." Then he added: "You saw that in the first half and in the second half, the back line of Villarreal had the ball and no one was pressing. We’re playing at home and we have to win the game. I agree, you could see something was wrong. "I felt like they didn’t know what to do. In their aggression, they were not quick going. "The only time I felt the pressing worked really well was when Martinelli came on. He had that intensity and a few times they had to kick the ball away because he pressed really well. "To be at home at Arsenal and you have to win the game, it felt a bit passive, I hope I’m not the only one to think so, but it felt a bit passive." 
Source: Metro UK 
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