Arsenal fans split on Vieira as Neville claims Arteta believed £34m signing would have ‘weakened’ team against Newcastle

ARSENAL fans have been left split on Mikel Arteta’s decision to leave Fabio Vieira on the bench during Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.

The Gunners dropped points for the third time this season after being held to a 0-0 draw by Eddie Howe’s stubborn Magpies.

Vieira was an unused substitute during Tuesday’s gameCredit: Getty

Neville criticised Arteta's decision not to play the midfielder

Neville criticised Arteta’s decision not to play the midfielderCredit: PA

But, despite struggling to find a breakthrough as the game progressed, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta refused to make any substitutions.

His decision to leave £34million summer signing Vieira on the bench was one of the main talking points after the game.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was first to discuss the midfielder’s lack of involvement, suggesting that Arteta did not believe he would make an impact.

After the game, he said: “Fabio Vieira cost £34million. Mikel obviously thought he would’ve weakened the side by bringing him on.”

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Neville’s comment’s caused a stir among Arsenal fans, with some arguing that Vieira would not have been the right player to bring on.

One person tweeted: “Wrong game for him, way too physical. He would have struggled against Newcastle as he has been struggling massively against physical opponents. He still needs to build up more physique or maybe toughen up a bit.”

Another agreed, adding: “Fabio Vieira against the most physical side in the league?”

While a third said: “No chance – that Newcastle team are absolutely huge. He would have been bounced around all over the place. He’s not ready to change a game against a team like that. He will be, but not yet.”

However, some fans were quick to agree with Neville and argued that Arteta should have introduced Vieira.

One fan said: “He’s right. No excuses to not bring on Vieira.”

Another added: “Don’t know how much it would’ve changed but do think we should’ve brought on Fabio Vieira.”

During his post-match press conference, Arteta gave reason for his lack of changes, arguing that his team were chasing a goal,

He said: “Listen, we were on top of them, we were chasing the goal. We were in a good moment and I didn’t want to make more changes.”


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