Alex Scott criticises Mikel Arteta for starting 'bang average' Arsenal player

Alex Scott has questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to start Martin Odegaard ahead of Emile Smith Rowe against Manchester City and says his Arsenal loan could be ‘a short one’.

The Gunners fell behind early on at the Emirates on Sunday to a Raheem Sterling header and mustered just one shot on target as the Premier League leaders held on comfortably to see out a 1-0 victory.

Odegaard had a quiet game and did not create any chances for his teammates or have a shot, with Sky Sports pundit Scott critical of his performance and sceptical over his long-term future in the team.

‘Today you look at Odegaard, for me he was bang average,’ said the former Arsenal women’s defender after the game.

‘And so you question the decision actually with Smith Rowe not being selected ahead of him.

‘I think we’re going to see his [Odegaard’s] real qualities over the next couple of weeks.

‘Is he good enough to be in this starting XI of Arsenal? Or actually is this loan period going to be a short one?’

The result leaves Arsenal in 10th with second-placed Leicester City up next and Scott is worried that Arsenal are not showing enough signs of progress.

She continued: ‘We can sit here and keep saying it’s a transitional season and we’re waiting to see positives, but actually we need that to come to fruition now.

‘It needs to be a regular thing, not a constant up and down, up and down. We need to see signs of more positivity within this Arsenal side.

‘It hurts me to be here, as someone who’s Arsenal connected, that I’m sitting here happy to take a 1-0 [defeat]. And I absolutely get it because Manchester City can rip you to pieces.

‘But when I look at that game, to me that was a Manchester City side in third gear really and Arsenal didn’t have a shot on target, or we could still be here and I don’t think Arsenal would be threatening.

‘I’m not saying it’s all doom and gloom, there were positive signs, but when I assess Manchester City they weren’t even at their best today.’

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