‘Very disrespectful’: Andy Cole not impressed by Mikel Arteta’s treatment of Arsenal star
Andy Cole reacts to Alexandre Lacazette being dropped by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for Saturday's loss to Man City
Andy Cole has accused Mikel Arteta of being “very disrespectful” towards Alexandre Lacazette by playing Willian ahead of him up front for Arsenal against Manchester City.
The north London side slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat by Pep Guardiola’s men at The Etihad, with Raheem Sterling scoring the only goal of the game for the hosts in the first half.
Arteta opted not to start young forward Eddie Nketiah and instead promoted usual winger Willian to a central attacking role, while leaving forward Lacazette on the bench.
Lacazette did come on to play for the final 21 minutes of the Premier League clash but he was unable to help the Gunners conjure an equaliser against Guardiola’s side.
Now, former Manchester United star Cole has claimed that as a central striker, being dropped to make way for a midfielder in that position is insulting.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Cole said: “I think he is being disrespectful to Lacazette as well. Willian is not a centre-forward.
“If you have got a centre-forward on the bench who is your top goalscorer as well, to turn around and say, ‘Look, I am going to play Willian as the centre-forward. You sit on the bench and watch him play centre-forward’, I think that is very disrespectful.”
Lacazette, 29, has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances for Arsenal so far this season.
The French forward has started three of Arsenal’s five games in the top flight so far this term, and he will be hoping to feature when the Gunners return to action with a home clash against Leicester City on Sunday evening.
Arsenal are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table as they bid to try and break back into the top four in Arteta’s first full season in charge at The Emirates.