‘He’s a proper player but can’t defend’: Paul Merson questions Arteta’s decision to pair Zinchenko against Antony

By Sportarsh Team
2 Min Read

Paul Merson was spot on when he stated before kickoff that Zinchenko ‘won’t be able to mark’ Manchester United’s Antony.

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Arsenal’s unbeaten streak came to an end at Old Trafford, with Antony scoring his first goal for the club.

Arteta started Zinchenko at left-back to contain Antony, but a mistake in defense by the Ukrainian gave United a 1-0 lead before the half.

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Saka drew Arsenal level after the break, but United ‘killed’ the game off with two quick counter-attacking goals. Erik ten Hag’s tactics were spot on on the day. Merson stated prior to kickoff:

“The thing with Zinchenko is he’ll come and play in little pockets he won’t just play left back. He might have to today against Antony, we’ll have to wait and see.

“He won’t want to mark Antony, you know. He’s not the greatest defender in the world, he’s brilliant when he’s on the ball.”

“He’ll try and make Antony worry about him. I don’t think he’s a natural defender. He loves going forward. He’s a proper player, but he’s a modern day full back you know. He’s a better attacking player than a defender. It will be whoever dips first.”

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