Arsenal legend Ian Wright was left perplexed by the defending of Ben White during the Gunners’ 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta‘s men suffered their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches at St Mary’s, extending the alarming slide that has seen them drop out of the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur’s slip-up against Brighton had provided Arsenal with the perfect opportunity to recover lost ground in the race for Champions League football but they fluffed their lines, unable to respond to Jan Bednarek’s opener in the 44th minute.
The Polish international was unmarked in the penalty area as he swept home from Mohamed Elyounoussi’s cutback, with White having made the mistake of not closing Bednarek down.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, Wright criticised the defending of the Arsenal centre-back, revealing he could not understand his intentions.
“He [Bednarek] does well,” said Wright. “I am very confused as to what Ben White is doing there. I think somebody has to get out to Bednarek. No-one gets out to him and he’s finished it well.”
In his post-match press conference, Arteta claimed his team created enough chances to win the game, blaming profligacy and Fraser Forster heroics on the result.
“Difficult to explain because this is football and it is not basketball,” he said.
“With any other sport you win the games very comfortably and you are talking about different things. Difficult to explain considering [the performance], to lose that football match.
“At the end of the day it is decided in the boxes, they scored one goal, and for the amount of time that we spent around the box, and the shots that we had and the situations and the clear-cut chances that we had – we didn’t put them in the goal.
“Because they had an exceptional goalkeeper today, and as well we didn’t have enough quality and enough capacity to break them down when we had the numbers and the situations to do so.”
The result leaves Arsenal three points behind fourth-place Spurs, albeit with a game in hand. They are yet to play the away fixture of the north London derby.