Arsenal attacker slammed for dreary international appearance; did ‘complete opposite’ of what manager wants

Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard, Arsenal

Arsenal wingers Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard

Arsenal forward Leandro Trossard has been criticised for his poor performance in Belgium’s 1-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday.

Belgium were looking to strengthen their grip on Group F of Euro 2024 qualifying when they travelled to Baku to face minnows Azerbaijan. The Red Devils would have been expected to breeze past Azerbaijan as they had big-name players such as Trossard, Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Carrasco, Youri Tielemans and Amadou Onana starting.

However, Belgium only managed to win by one goal. A Johan Bakayoko shot, which deflected off Carrasco to wrong-foot the goalkeeper in the 38th minute, ultimately proved to be the difference.

Trossard almost scored early on, as he hit the post with a right-footed shot following some good hold up play by Lukaku.

But the Gunners winger did not continue that momentum. Instead, he failed to cause the Azerbaijan defence many problems at all.

Perhaps this is because he is slightly rusty, having only played 77 minutes of football for Arsenal so far this season. The 28-year-old managed 79 minutes for his country, meaning he has beaten his club tally in just one international game.

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Despite this potential excuse, Belgium hero Philippe Albert has blasted Trossard for his negative performance.

During an interview with Belgian source Sud Info (via Sport Witness), Albert said:  “I saw that [Belgium boss Domenico] Tedesco covered the latter [Trossard] somewhat in the press conference, but the Arsenal player often did the complete opposite of what he should have done. That is to say, turn his opponent around instead of dropping back like he almost always did.

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“There’s no point in coming to get the ball at Tielemans’ level. There are enough players on the halfway line to do the dirty work. If, after hitting the post at the very start of the game, Trossard slipped into relative anonymity, he owes it only to himself.”

Trossard will be aiming to show his true ability in Belgium’s upcoming match. They play Estonia in their next Euro 2024 qualifier on Tuesday night. However, Tedesco might decide to give another winger an opportunity instead of Trossard.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta may be slightly worried about Trossard’s poor display against Azerbaijan. Although, the former Brighton ace remains a classy and talented player, so it is likely he will bounce back quickly.

Meanwhile, Arsenal insider Charles Watts has ranked all of Arsenal’s incomings and outgoings during the summer window.