‘I’m screaming’ – Tony Adams slams Mikel Arteta for dropping Gabriel in Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool

Tony Adams slams Mikel Arteta for dropping Gabriel in Arsenal's defeat to Liverpool
The Gunners legend felt the Brazilian should have kept his place (Pictures: Astro SuperSport / Getty)

Tony Adams has slammed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Gabriel and replace him with David Luiz against Liverpool, while he has called for the back three to be scrapped.

The Gunners were beaten 3-1 by the Premier League champions at Anfield on Monday night, with Arteta restoring both Luiz and Kieran Tierney to the back-line and relegating Gabriel to the bench.

But the older Brazilian was at fault for Liverpool’s match-settling third goal and Adams feels it was a mistake to drop the summer recruit from Lille, having been impressed with him against Fulham and West Ham, and is not convinced by Arteta’s current formation.

Diogo Jota Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League
Luiz’s weak clearance allowed Diogo Jota to score on his debut (Picture: Getty)

‘I think it was a bad decision not to play Gabriel,’ former Arsenal skipper Adams told Astro SuperSport after the game.

‘You’ve brought him into the team, he’s had two good games, and you bring Luiz in. I think that was an error. I’m screaming.

‘The problem that the coach has got is the system has been really working, they’ve [lifted] the FA Cup, you kind of go, “Okay, I’ll run with it, it seems to be working, the lads seem to know what they’re doing”.

‘Arsene Wenger came the first year and we were playing three at the back and he didn’t want it. He didn’t want it but we persevered for the rest of the year and then in pre-season the next season we went in to a back four and we got solid again.

‘For me, it’s done Arteta a disservice by winning the FA Cup in the system they’ve got.

‘Because I think they have got to get Holding alongside Gabriel, get Tierney in at left-back, and let’s put a back four in place with a three [in midfield]. Copy Liverpool! You know, the 4-3-3 has been hugely successful for them. They’re champions, it’s a great model, let’s copy it.’

He continued: ‘I think they’re really at a tipping point for me, they really are. Because of the relative success they’ve had, it can put plasters on the cracks.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Adams feels Arteta needs to move away from playing three at the back (Picture: Getty)

‘If you’re not careful, you can think that you’re doing okay, but I think there’s a long way to go with this team. I really do think there’s a long way to go.

‘It’s a process, and I do think there are signs there that it’s happening. But I would be more confident if Arteta – I think he’s an exceptional coach, to get where he’s got with this bunch of players he’s doing a great job, I’m not arguing with the employment here, he’s doing a phenomenal job – but he just needs to get a back four in place and work with them. I think the system is working against him.’

MORE: Mikel Arteta reacts to Alexandre Lacazette missing ‘best chance in the game’ as Arsenal lost to Liverpool

MORE: Arsenal legend Tony Adams says Bernd Leno ‘is not top-four quality’ and questions Mikel Arteta decision

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