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Jan 23, 2021 at 12.15pm UK
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ArsenalArsenal
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/esi/1339/6_G_1_131328/index.html?art_id=431970&game_id=131328&sport_id=1&ESI

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour "baffled" by Mikel Arteta team selection

:Headline: Arsenal legend Ray Parlour 'baffled' by Mikel Arteta team selection:
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour criticises Mikel Arteta for not putting out his strongest team in their FA Cup defeat at Southampton on Saturday.
Sports Mole

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has claimed that he was left "baffled" by Mikel Arteta's team selection in the FA Cup against Southampton.

The Gunners rotated heavily for the tie and welcomed seven new faces to the starting lineup, but the defence of their crown ended at the hands of a full-strength Saints outfit in a 1-0 defeat.

Arteta has since defended out-of-favour players such as Willian and Nicolas Pepe, who failed to grab their opportunity on the South Coast, and Parlour cannot understand why the Gunners boss did not field his best XI.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Parlour said: "You have to put out a strong side. You know Southampton are in good form, they're an excellent side this season and they were always going to put out a strong side, and I expected that from Arsenal.

"I know they're looking at the league, but the FA Cup is very important, it certainly was in my era, when I played under Arsene Wenger he put a strong side out in most cup games.

"But Arteta rested a lot of players today. I would have played my best team, get in front, and then rotate your players in the second half. First and foremost, you have to make sure you win the game.

"It really baffles me. Clubs in mid-table, teams that can't win the title but aren't going to be relegated, why do they rest players in the cup? I just don't get it!

"It's the FA Cup, the best tournament in the world, but now Arsenal are out, so they have to concentrate on the league."

Arsenal must travel to St Mary's again on Tuesday for their Premier League fixture with Southampton, although they have turned their fortunes around in the league to sit 11th in the table. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City25185250153559
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
5Chelsea25127641251643
6Liverpool25117745341140
7Everton2412483733440
8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich32207545252067
2Brentford32179659342560
3Watford32179643232060
4Swansea CitySwansea30178538191959
5Reading32156114437751
6Cardiff CityCardiff321471148341449
7Bournemouth321310946321449
8Barnsley31146113635148
9Middlesbrough32137123734346
10Stoke CityStoke32111293735245
11Millwall3291673128343
12Bristol City32133163243-1142
13Queens Park RangersQPR301010103034-440
14Preston North EndPreston32124163442-840
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn31116144537839
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest32109132731-439
17Luton TownLuton31108132435-1138
18Derby CountyDerby31107142432-837
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield32106163847-936
20Coventry CityCoventry32810142943-1434
21Birmingham CityBirmingham32710152340-1731
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham3085173341-829
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds3197152135-1428
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe3158182351-2823
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