It wasn’t a very good week for Arsenal.
The Gunners lost 2-0 to Southampton in the EFL Cup after Arsene Wenger made wholesale changes. While fans usually enjoy the chance to see some of the fringe players play, they weren’t impressed by the performance of one player in particular.
That man was Carl Jenkinson, who received a lot of the blame for the defeat.
When he was subbed during the second half of the cup-tie, the Emirates crowd cheered to see him leaving the pitch - before slaughtering him on social media.
With Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy out injured, Jenkinson would have been hoping to make that right-back position his own. However, it seems as though he’s completely blown that chance with his display in midweek.
That’s according to Wenger himself who has suggested Jenkinson will not be playing against West Ham on Saturday evening. The Frenchman admits that the 24-year-old is lacking confidence after the heavy criticism that was aimed at him on Wednesday.
Wenger on Jenkinson
“He has lost confidence because the Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play, but is not completely Jenkinson because he has no confidence," he admitted.
"That will come back. It is natural and very difficult.
“Jenkinson has not played for a long long period. You think you are there and you will only realise in six months that he is not completely there. And then you will play and realise you are not as good as you think you should be and you lose confidence. He is going through that period at the moment.
“Today it is even more difficult because he gets quickly hammered by everybody on social media. I hope he doesn’t read all that and focuses on his game.
“Does he suffer in comparison to Hector Bellerin? Yes, because Bellerin is one of the best in his position certainly in Europe but Carl can compete with him. At the moment, no, because mentally he has not found back his total level and not his confidence.
“The best way to help them is to respect the fact to play them when they are competitive. Because if you don’t play them, they are not completely ready mentally, it’s even worse.”
So, with Jenkinson unlikely to start, who is Wenger thinking of playing right-back at the London Stadium?
Well, he’s suggested that it will be Brazilian Gabriel, due to his aerial ability.
"I still have not decided for West Ham completely, although Gabriel is a bit in front because of the experience, what we might face in the air as well,” said Wenger.
“Gabriel is good in the air so I go a bit more at the start for him.”
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