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Carragher blames one Arsenal player for the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League

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Carragher blames one Arsenal player for the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League

Arsenal would ‘probably’ be playing Champions League football this season if it weren’t for Nuno Tavares, according to Jamie Carragher.

The Gunners missed out on a top-four spot on the final day of the Premier League season, with Spurs securing the fourth and final CL spot.

Jamie Carragher has claimed that if it hadn’t been for Nuno Tavares, we would have finished in the top four, citing his performance at Palace as an example.

“Tavares has gone out on loan, I saw,” said Carragher. “I think if they had a better left-back, then you probably would be in the top four now.

“I don’t like singling one player out, but I just think he cost you in certain games. I remember that game at Crystal Palace last season, it was on Monday Night Football and I said on TV ‘he has to come off at half-time’. I think he put Xhaka left-back.”

It would be unfair to blame Nuno alone for our failure, but some of his performances fell far short of expectations. 

The fact that Mikel Arteta’s  missed out on the top four by one win means that we could blame any of our losses for our failure, and I’m sure he wasn’t at fault for all of them, but that doesn’t mean Carragher is incorrect in his assessment.

The Liverpool legend discussed Tavares leaving Arsenal and how, if Mikel Arteta had a ‘better left-back’ option to Kierney, they would have finished fourth in 2021/22.

Arsenal signed Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City this summer, and he has played left-back/left wing-back in their last two pre-season games.

There’s no doubt that the Ukraine star is a vast improvement over Tavares, and the north London club can now afford to rest Kieran Tierney.

Tierney has not played in pre-season for the new Premier League season due to injury, and fans would normally be concerned.

But now that Zinchenko has joined Arsenal, they have a player who can not only cover for the flying Scotsman, but also possibly take his place if he starts well.

That journey begins away at Crystal Palace on Friday night, a game that will put Arteta’s defence and mental strength to the test.

Carragher blames one Arsenal player for the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League

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