By Richard Parks
Arsenal fans have taken to Twitter to express their concern at the selection of Hector Bellerin for Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second leg clash against Ostersunds.
The Gunners have a 3-0 lead from the first leg in Sweden last week but Arsene Wenger has opted to field a surprisingly strong side for the second leg fixture at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have made three changes from the first leg, with Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac and Jack Wilshere taking the places of Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil, who is ill.
That means starts again for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck and, more surprisingly, Bellerin, who has played 2,880 minutes this season, 256 more than any other Arsenal player.
Many Arsenal supporters on social media were critical of the decision to select the Spanish right-back given Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City and the player’s already hectic schedule this season.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Bellerin is just going to play every game until he drops dead isn’t he?
— Nic English (@nicwenglish) February 22, 2018
I can’t believe Bellerin is playing. Surely just play *anyone* there
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) February 22, 2018
Great, but really should play AMN at RB and Willock in midfield. There’s no reason to risk Bellerin, or even just tire him out ahead of a cup final. https://t.co/xbYKxEqYgx
— I bomb atomically, Socrates philosophies and hypot (@LeutrimRexhaj) February 22, 2018
Why are Bellerin and Wilshere playing? We have a final in 3 days against City. This is so needless.
— Tom (@TomL_1904) February 22, 2018
Why would he risk Bellerin? Absolute madness. Also really disappointing to not see at least one of Nelson or Nketiah starting.
— David (@Gooner_66) February 22, 2018
Decent lineup, would much rather Bellerin was rested and Nelson & Nketiah played but ih well, just need a good start and by the 50th min sub off Bellerin and Wilshere and we feast #COYG
— Shay ???? (@Seyi223) February 22, 2018
Surprised that Wilshere, Mkhitaryan and Bellerin haven’t been rested ahead of the cup final https://t.co/v0dD1LnAHk
— ²⁹ (@XhakaEdition) February 22, 2018
Big risk starting Bellerin given that he is our only recognised right back. Why not start Maitland-Niles or Nelson out on the right. Even revert to a back three with Elneny in that hybrid position between defence and midfield.
— Tad Swar (@tadswar) February 22, 2018
Why on Earth is Bellerin playing in this game? He needs to be rested for Sunday, Wenger is going to run the poor lad into the ground ????
— Mark Holmes (@Holmster79) February 22, 2018
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