‘Pretty ruthless’ Arteta apparently culled duo for mistakes leading to goals

Martin Keown has claimed that Mikel Arteta was ruthless in substituting both Albert Sambi Lokonga and Rob Holding shortly after making mistakes in the PSV v Arsenal clash last night.

The Gunners were on the losing end for only the second time in all competitions last night, with the Dutch giants claiming the 2-0 victory, leaving the door open for us to lose out on top spot in our Europa League group.

While it certainly wasn’t our best showing, with VAR having already come to our rescue twice in the first-half before seeing us concede twice in the second, we still have plenty to be positive about as we remain top of both the Premier League and Group A of the EL.

Last night was not our best performance however, and Martin Keown has pointed blame at Lokonga and Holding for costly mistakes, claiming that the manager quickly removed them shortly after also.

“Looking at Rob Holding there [for the first goal], you’ve got to stay goal-side,” Keown told BT Sport’s coverage (via the Metro). “A big man has come on [De Jong], so Holding’s got to come across.

“Lokonga could do more with the initial ball and then he just switches off. He’s got to be breaking every sinew in his body to get back there and get a block in but he doesn’t.

“Arteta was pretty ruthless because both players were hooked soon after. It’s a tough school there.”

Neither of Lokonga or Holding is likely to be in action on the weekend, but I’m not sure they were solely to blame for yesterday’s defeat. I just hope that there is no fallout in the squad ahead of Sunday where we will take on Nottingham Forest as we look to return to winning ways, having also failed to beat Southampton last weekend.

The reaction to bad results will tell us whether this team really is the real deal, and one which deserves to be considered as a real title challenger to Manchester City, who will no doubt be tough to stop from winning a third straight league title.

Could our game at the weekend now be a pivotal moment in our season?


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Tags Albert Sambi Lokonga Martin Keown Rob Holding


  1. The gaffer is as stubborn as a mule, why lose the match with your best starting eleven when you could have achieved it with a weakened team that needed game time.

    1. @Gunsmoke
      RealTalk…He also delivered a blow to their confidence in subbing them. He should have put his trust in them adjusting and learning from their mistakes, as he does with first team players…IJS

      1. You put a weakened team you will be critisized for taking the game lightely …..You put you’r strongest team and you’r still critisized…..We better be more serious next time that’s it….And this is down to the manager Indeed.

        1. You aren’t Gunsmoke!
          When a gun is shot, it smokes.
          Doesn’t it?
          Exactly what MA did. He’s a Gunsmoke, not you!

      2. Its funny NY how he doesn’t apply that rule to his favourites. He will be on a sticky wicket treating players differently.

        1. In two consequtive matches, our entire back four have been found wanting in that they were all guilty of ball watching and were easily dragged out of position which resulted in conceding goals against Southampton and PSVRamsdale was certainly culpable for the second goal but why was Tierney allocated to mark De Jong who towers above him at a set piece?Part of the problem stems from the Manager’s apparent obsession with holding a high line in defence with the aim of quickly regaining possession.Arteta was never more than average defensively and he has to realise that there are times when defenders have to back off rather than to commit themselves to win the ball.Against Southampton and PSV we lost our shape on numerous occasions and work needs to be done to avoid a recurrence against Notts Forest, who will set up with a view to hitting us on the break.It’s up to our Manager and his support team to sort this out before more damage is done.

          1. A bit like our squad Grandad, not as bad as people making out and can only play how they are trained too. I have said before our defence looks wide open from a tactical point of view but when you say that when we have won, people get all defensive and call you. The truth is we are getting found out by the way we play. Watching us is very often predictable and managers are working us out and punishing our problems. PSV could have really embarrassed us, if their forwards had been a bit less naive. Leeds the same and to some degree Southampton really exposed us at times.

          2. In fairness Grandad,our midfield was non existent.PSV players were going through/bypassing it every time.our midfielders didn’t provide any cover for our defenders and the fact that we played a high line made it worse.anyway,I remember Wenger saying that before buying a new playing,he would always look if he could find an internal solution.we have both Tomi and White fit even Cedric.i don’t understand why MA doesn’t try White in the Partey role or someone else but at least,he should give it a try.

  2. The whole team looked nonchalant last night.We should out games to bed earlier as PSV were Ther for the taking .You have to do your duties and be professional which WE weren’t last night .Period.

  3. I think the issue is that the guys are tired.
    We truly need quality squad depth and I ll like us to buy the likes of Danilo , Mudryk, Gakpo n a left centre back .
    All these arsenal need to buy either two in January and 2 in summer.Then I bet it with you if arsenal did not win league ds season we shall win 2023/2024 or 2024/2025.
    Lonkonga should be sent out on loan to English club even if is championship side but not outside England for adaptation to England style if play n speed Should Gakpo to put pressure on Martinelli,Jesus and Nketia for consistency.

  4. Arteta snubbed Youri Tielemens with a view of relying on Lokonga and the move is now backfiring. Why he did not put Turner in goal remains a mystery. Turner has been doing a fine job in this competition. At times Ramsdale is error prone as we saw in the defeat

    1. With Xhaka playing in his new role,we have no need for Tielemans and he wouldn’t have solved anything.as we saw against PSV,Xhaka was played in his old one and we saw the result.we need a proper DM.

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