Arsenal’s Carabao Cup journey came to a disappointing end as they fell 3-1 to West Ham United. Ben White’s own goal put the Gunners on the back foot early on, and Mohammed Kudus extended West Ham’s lead to 2-0 in the second half. Jarrod Bowen sealed the deal with a third goal.
Arteta’s choice to leave Odegaard on the bench proved costly, as Arsenal lacked the creative spark needed to break down West Ham’s defense. The match highlighted the importance of selecting players in form, and Odegaard’s absence left a void in Arsenal’s midfield.
Havertz’s off day further emphasized why Arteta should have opted for Odegaard from the start. The Norwegian playmaker’s ability to unlock defenses and orchestrate attacks could have provided Arsenal with the cutting edge they needed.
As the Gunners reflect on their Carabao Cup exit, questions will linger about Arteta’s lineup decisions. The impact of starting Havertz over Odegaard is clear in the result, and it serves as a reminder that sometimes sticking with the in-form players is the key to success in crucial fixtures.