Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has slammed Ben White and William Saliba for their roles in the Manchester United defeat and insisted the Gunners need a more experienced presence in defence.
Mikel Arteta’s side suffered their first defeat of the season on Sunday after a 3-1 loss at Old Trafford.
After Antony’s first-half opener, Buakyo Saka equalized for Arsenal in the first 15 minutes of the second half, a period of the game in which they largely dominated.
However, Marcus Rashford scored twice to end the game, with Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen finding space at the heart of Arsenal’s defense to serve up their team-mate.
Gallas assessed the two goals and criticized the lack of communication between Saliba and White – the latter playing at right-back that afternoon – and condemned their poor positioning for United’s third goal, which saw Eriksen free to run on goal.
“You can’t concede goals like that against Manchester United at Old Trafford, especially the second and third,” Gallas told Genting Casino.
“That was a big mistake by Saliba and Ben White – they didn’t communicate properly and conceded as a result. Your positioning was bad.
“For the third goal, you have to explain to me why the defensive line was so high. That was a fundamental mistake at this level. Saliba looked like he was in the left-back position and White was isolated alone in the middle.
“I don’t understand why Arsenal played with such a high line when they had time to get back in the game – it was unnecessary to play that high. Teams should only concede goals like this when they’re watching a game in overtime, not when there’s 15 minutes left!’
While Saliba made an immediate impression after his late arrival in north London, Gallas insists Arsenal are still missing an “experienced player” in defence, adding they need to learn quickly from Sunday’s mistakes.
Gallas continued: “That’s why I keep saying that Arsenal need an experienced player at the back. They can’t be in the situation Arsenal were in yesterday, making costly mistakes against a great side.
“When you’re playing against the best teams, your defensive line has to be compact if you want to take something from the game.
“Arsenal has to be careful. I hope they can take what happened in that game and learn from the experience.”
For more stories like this, visit our sports page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.