Mikel Arteta disgusted by yet another red card from Arsenal after reckless sending Thomas Partey away
Frustrated Mikel Arteta warns Arsenal to ‘wipe out’ ill-discipline after Thomas Partey was sent off for two yellows as a sub against Liverpool in THREE MINUTES – eight hours after AFCON’s landing… the 14th red in under Spanish boss
- Thomas Partey was brought in and quickly booked twice in the second half
- It was an embarrassing cameo for the midfielder, just back from the AFCON
- Second yellow was a hasty challenge on Fabinho who could have been a red
- Fans and pundits criticized midfielder who is the last Arsenal player to be sent off
If one thing summed up an anti-climatic night for Arsenal, it was the late red card for Thomas Partey that neutralized the reasons for rushing him home for Africa and infuriated Mikel Arteta.
Partey was named as one of the substitutes against Liverpool just 48 hours after playing for Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations, landing in London on Thursday afternoon, less than eight hours before kick-off.
After leaving Cameroon’s equatorial climate behind, Partey sat on the sofa, swaddled in several layers of clothing as the temperature dropped to zero, until he was called up in the closing stages.
Thomas Partey (left) was shown two yellow cards with just a few minutes difference to Liverpool
He came on in the 74th minute as a replacement for Emile Smith Rowe, pretended to be jet lagged, received two yellow cards in three minutes, the second for a late tackle on Fabinho, and was ordered by referee Martin Atkinson.
“It’s a great loss,” Arteta moaned. “We can’t afford to be without him with the players we have.
‘We have to learn from that. We’ve played three games with 10 men lately and you can’t do that against top teams. It’s hard enough to beat them with 11 men, with 10 it will be a real challenge.’
It was a 14th red card in just over two years under Arteta, three in the last four games. They managed to hold up 11 in a defeat to Nottingham Forest, in the FA Cup.
The Ghanaian midfielder had only landed back in London from the AFCON . hours earlier
“We have to eradicate that completely,” said the Arsenal boss. “We have to be competitive to win football matches. We have to play with 11 players. We have to learn lessons and we cannot accept excuses.
Partey is now banned from Sunday’s Premier League game against Burnley, and this was a match Arsenal had in mind when he was sent back once Ghana crashed out of the tournament in Cameroon.
Many fans took to social media to respond to the red card. One wrote: ‘Another red card in the competition in both legs of the game. When will this suffering end.
Another wrote: ‘Another red card. Some of our players are absolute imbeciles.’
While a third surmised: ‘Thomas Partey just came from AFCON to get a red card at Arsenal. He certainly doesn’t take the early exit well.
To emphasize the point, fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka is still out serving the second game of his two-game suspension for a red card at Liverpool in the first leg of the semi-final.
Partey now out as Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Premier League
Mohamed Elneny is still on international duty with the AFCON and without them Arsenal have no physical presence in midfield. In that division they were dominated by Liverpool.
“We’re disappointed,” Arteta said. “We did everything we could to create a competitive team and we had moments against a top team. I know what some of these players have done to play.
“Five or six of them without a training season and we’re going to use that in a positive way.”
There was special praise for his Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.
“What he has done is unbelievable, he has had no training,” said Arteta. “We didn’t want to play against him, but without Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers we wouldn’t have right backs and he said he would play. I am proud of the players and grateful.’