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January 16, 2021

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Arsenal news: Martin Keown reveals he was ‘screaming at the TV’ over Mikel Arteta decision in Man City loss

3 min read

Keown was not happy with Arteta’s call (Picture: Getty Images)

Martin Keown has questioned Mikel Arteta’s ‘really unusual decisions’ at Arsenal, including not taking off Gabriel Martinelli at half-time of Tuesday’s defeat to Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side inflicted even more misery on the Gunners as City eased to a 4-1 win at the Emirates to progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Arsenal were hanging on in the game at 1-1 until backup goalkeeper Alex Runarsson punched a Riyad Mahrez free-kick into his own net for City’s second goal of the night.

Martinelli went down holding his shin (Picture: Getty Images)

Martinelli was a bright spark for the Gunners and set up Alexandre Lacazette’s headed goal with a teasing cross.

But the Brazilian, who has only just returned from a long-term knee injury, was on the wrong end of a challenge from City goalkeeper Zack Steffen towards the end of the first half which left him in a heap on the floor.

Martinelli held out until the break and surprisingly re-emerged for the second half, only to be forced off the pitch and replaced by Nicolas Pepe after 49 minutes.

Despite the 19-year-old insisting he is ‘feeling fine’ on Wednesday, Arsenal legend Keown admitted taking a potential risk on the wonderkid is one of a number of strange decisions Arteta has made of late.

‘It’s turned into a crisis and the manager has joined in with really unusual decisions,’ Keown told talkSPORT.

‘He played the young kid [Runarsson] last night, no-one likes to see that [the mistakes], but I don’t believe his performance was a surprise.

‘If [Bernd] Leno now gets injured having allowed [Emiliano] Martinez to leave the football club, they’ve left themselves wide open from a goalkeeping point of view.

‘Keep it simple, Martinez was an outstanding addition to the group last year playing in goal in that Cup final the way he performed. He was allowed to leave, people weren’t happy with that.

‘It’s looking again at decisions at key moments, [Thomas] Partey coming back after just a couple of days training, now we’re without him. 

‘I think the support basis around the manager has really got to help him when it comes to every single decision. 

‘I was screaming at the TV last night, Martinelli, fantastic, a player really good talent. He’s injured for five minutes before they reach half-time, don’t bring him out. 

‘He comes back out and he lasts about two minutes, make the right decisions, and people around need help him to make the right decisions when he’s under pressure and he’s under massive pressure at the moment.’


MORE : Chelsea legend Petr Cech sends message to Arsenal board over his former teammate Mikel Arteta


MORE : Unai Emery sets Villarreal club record while Mikel Arteta fights to save his Arsenal job

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