Mikel Arteta pushes Thomas Partey back on the pitch after injured Arsenal star WALKED OFF while Tottenham were breaking for their second goal… but Graeme Souness blames Granit Xhaka: ‘Big players, leaders don’t allow that to happen’
- Thomas Partey had limped off the pitch ahead of Tottenham’s second goal
- Graeme Souness was not impressed with how Granit Xhaka covered the space
- He says he is not sure what role he fills in Arsenal’s midfield after many years
Graeme Souness was not impressed with Granit Xhaka’s role in the Arsenal side during the first half of their game against Tottenham on Sunday.
The Gunners went 1-0 down early thanks to a superb effort from Son Heung-min, and then Harry Kane linked up with Son later in the half to make it 2-0.
For the second goal, Arsenal were overwhelmed on the break, but Souness believes Xhaka should have had more awareness to stop the attack.
Granit Xhaka has been criticised for leaving space in the build-up to Harry Kane’s goal
Thomas Partey had limped off to the sidelines, leaving a lot of room for Tottenham to break
Spurs had four men against two for the second goal, but Arsenal would’ve had three defenders if Thomas Partey hadn’t limped over to the sidelines, leaving a huge gap for Tottenham to exploit.
‘Big players, leaders, don’t allow that to happen on the football pitch,’ said Souness, saying that Xhaka should’ve moved to cover the space.
‘As a central midfield player, as a holding central midfield player – I don’t know what Xhaka is, it’s been about six or seven years and I’m not quite sure what he is – the alarm bells are ringing,’ said the former Liverpool man.
Mikel Arteta could be seen trying to push Partey back onto the pitch to take part in defending
‘All the time you’re looking over your shoulder, “where are we vulnerable?”. But they just empty the space, [Giovani] Lo Celso picks it up, “on you go,” 2-0, game over, possibly.’
Mikel Arteta could be seen trying to push Partey back onto the pitch, but by that point is was already too late.
The midfielder has been out of action with an injury, and his presence in the middle has been missed.
Tottenham pulled away to a two goal lead in the first half thanks to Kane and Son Heung-min
However he may now be set to face more time on the sidelines, as he was substituted immediately after the goal, with Dani Ceballos coming on to replace him.
Tottenham are flying high in the league, and will go top if they hang onto their lead for the rest of Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s men are slipping deeper into trouble, currently 15th in the standings.