Mikel Arteta disrespected FA Cup with Arsenal team selection in Southampton defeat as club told they will be pushing for Premier League top six

Gabby Agbonlahor has accused Mikel Arteta of disrespecting the FA Cup following Arsenal’s fourth round exit to Southampton.

The Gunners boss made seven changes to his side as they were beaten 1-0 thanks to Gabriel Magalhaes’ own goal on Saturday.

Arteta guided Arsenal to a 14th FA Cup success last season, but was punished for fielding a weakened team at St Mary’s.

And Agbonlahor has taken aim at the Spaniard, whose Arsenal side visit Southampton again in two days’ time in the Premier League.

He told reporters: “Southampton have played their full strength side because they’ve taken the competition more seriously.

“Maybe Arteta thought he could rely on these players to get a result.

“If they win the game then everyone’s applauding Arteta for making these changes.

“When it doesn’t go your way and you lose then you have to face the scrutiny you’re going to get because it does lack a bit of respect for the competition, especially when you’re the holders as well.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Ray Parlour was shocked by Arteta’s team selection.

He told reporters: “It really baffles me.

“I’m not saying Arsenal will be mid-table, they’ll be pushing for that top six, but teams who can’t win the title and are not going to be relegated, why do they rest players in the FA Cup?

“I just don’t get it. I know the prize money is very good in the Premier League and financially it’s better for your club to finish as high as you can.

“But this is the FA Cup, this is the best competition around the world. I just don’t get it when mid-table sides start resting players and looking at the Premier League game.

“It’s so good to win a football match, walking off and saying, ‘we really did well today, we got that three points’ or ‘we got that win in the FA Cup’.

“It gives you confidence going into the next game. I know they go back there on Tuesday night and I’m sure it’ll be a totally different side going there and maybe they’ll win the game.

“I still think Southampton will be sitting in that dressing room going ‘we’ve beaten them once already, let’s beat them on Tuesday as well.’”

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