Pundit hits out at Arsenal star for doing ‘the complete opposite’ of his manager’s instructions

Joe Williams
Arsenal winger Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard looks in pain during a Euro 2024 qualifier.

Arsenal winger Leandro Trossard has been accused of “slipping into relative anonymity” during Belgium’s 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Saturday.

The Red Devils narrowly defeated the eastern Transcaucasian country in their Euro 2024 qualifier thanks to a single goal from Yannick Carrasco.

Belgium lead Group F on goal difference from Austria – who also have ten points from four matches – but it was a far convincing performance against the team bottom of the group.

It wasn’t the most convincing performance from Domenico Tedesco’s side and former Belgium international Philippe Albert was frustrated at Trossard’s performance.

The 28-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Brighton in January, has only played 62 minutes of Premier League football so far this season at the Gunners and he played 79 minutes against Azerbaijan for his national team on Saturday,

Albert told Sud Info: “I saw that Tedesco covered the latter somewhat in the press conference, but the Arsenal player often did the complete opposite of what he should have done. That is to say, turn his opponent around instead of dropping back like he almost always did.

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“There’s no point in coming to get the ball at Tielemans’ level. There are enough players on the halfway line to do the dirty work. If, after hitting the post at the very start of the game, Trossard slipped into relative anonymity, he owes it only to himself.”

William Saliba is one player who took a while to get into Mikel Arteta’s first team and now France and Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit reckons the former St Etienne man has now “adapted to the demands of English football”.

Petit told Le Progrès: “He’s one of the best in England at centre-back. He’s a stalwart. He has a lot of composure and personality on the pitch. He’s improved his communication, his reading of the game and his management of what’s behind him. He relied a bit on his strength and speed, but now, he’s adapted to the demands of English football.”

But Petit still thinks there is a lot of room for improvement after Saliba has begun his second full season in the Arsenal starting XI.

Petit added: “With his physical dimension, he could bring more to set piece, like John Terry or Rio Ferdinand did. Passing out the back, he’s progressed a lot and he shouldn’t hesitate to take risks to go up a level, especially in the style of game in place at Arsenal.”