PAUL MERSON has revealed the one big mistake he feels Mikel Arteta has made that will cost Arsenal the title.

The Gunners stunning season began to unravel in April as they dropped points against Liverpool, West Ham, Southampton and in a 4-1 defeat at rivals Manchester City.

Paul Merson has revealed the big mistake he feels Mikel Arteta has made


Paul Merson has revealed the big mistake he feels Mikel Arteta has madeCredit: Getty
The Spaniard's Arsenal side suffered a mini-slump in April


The Spaniard’s Arsenal side suffered a mini-slump in AprilCredit: Reuters

Arteta, who is looking to guide the club to Premier League glory for the first time since 2004, opted to leave January signing from Chelsea Jorginho on the bench in the draws at Anfield and at home to the Saints.

The Italian international midfielder also only made second half cameos in the 3-3 draw at Southampton and the defeat to the Cityzens.

Arsenal boss Arteta has since included him from the off in the two games since, and Jorginho has shone as they returned to form with a win over his old club and then Sunday’s 2-0 triumph at third-placed Newcastle.

Now Merson, who won the title twice with the Gunners during his playing days, believes Arteta has realised his error.

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He told Sky Sports: “I think Mikel Arteta will have learnt lessons from this last month. Looking back, Jorginho should have started against Southampton.

“It was a game Arsenal simply had to win, not by seven or eight goals, just win.

“I know hindsight is crystal clear, but Jorginho was brought in for a reason, and I think he would have helped keep things tight, ensured Southampton didn’t score, and then created chances.

“I was shocked Fabio Vieira, who has not had a great season, played ahead of Jorginho, and Arsenal went on to draw the game.


“Jorginho manages the game. People say he cannot run, but you don’t have to run, his brain is quick. You’re better off having a quick brain than quick legs.

“You know what the best skill in football is? It isn’t stepovers or flicks, funnily enough it’s finding your team-mates with the ball.

“It’s an unbelievable skill that often goes under the radar. Everyone wants to see players beating seven defenders and scoring amazing solo goals, but the best skill is passing the ball successfully.”

Merson continued: “Don’t talk to me about ballers! It’s about keeping the ball, looking after the ball, passing and moving. Jorginho was man-of-the-match at Newcastle because he did just that.

“What he did won’t be on social media, kids won’t be watching that, there won’t be clips, because what he does goes under the radar.

“For me, Jorginho has to play for Arsenal. They have got the ammunition up front, we have seen that, Martinelli and Saka have delivered, whereas Jorginho brings balance.”

Arsenal's form has picked right back up after Jorginho's return to the side


Arsenal’s form has picked right back up after Jorginho’s return to the sideCredit: Getty

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