Graeme Souness criticised some of Mikel Arteta’s tactics after Burnley beat Arsenal 1-0 on Sunday, while he also questioned Mohamed Elneny over his marking.
A turgid first half in front of 2000 fans saw Alexandre Lacazette have the only shot on target but the game livened up when Granit Xhaka was dismissed for a needless grapple with Ashley Westwood.
The Burnley midfielder was then on hand to send in a corner which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, without a goal from open play for Arsenal since the opening weekend of the season, headed to beat his own goalkeeper and settle the game.
The goal came from a corner, with Arsenal midfielder Elneny booked for wrestling James Tarkowski to the ground before the set-piece, when it was eventually swung into the near post, Aubameyang could only get his head to the ball and turn it into his own net.
Souness couldn’t believe that Arteta and his staff had allowed Elneny, who was perhaps fortunate to avoid a red card. to mark a crucial player from a set-piece.
“You’re setting your team up yesterday defensively,” Souness said on Sky Sports . “Who in his staff has thought it would be a good idea for Elneny to be a marker at a set-piece, when Elneny is ignoring the ball completely and just staring at his man and pushes the guy down?
“He [Elneny] goes down pretending he’s been pushed. He should have been sent off there.
“Who has looked at the situation and thought ‘he could be one of our markers?’. If he does that once you don’t have him anywhere near marking a player.”
On Elneny, Souness continued: “That guy’s 28 years old.
“Someone in his staff must have seen that and thought, ‘Not sure about that boss, let’s put someone else there’. Someone on his staff has to go, ‘That’s down to me’.
“You learn at 15, 16 how to mark properly and if you’ve got half a brain it’s in your head forever. Don’t tell me that Elneny’s not marked someone in the past at a set-piece for Arsenal and shown signs that he might not be very good.”
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