“This was a horrible night for Arteta” Keown says Arsenal couldn’t do anything after going down to 9 men

Martin Keown has recalled getting sent off in a north London derby game to leave Arsenal with 9 men on the field after a similar incident occurred today against Wolves and said they stood no chance after the red cards.

The Gunners lost David Luiz to a sending off just before halftime and lost their lead after Ruben Neves scored the ensuing penalty.

After Wolves had gone a goal up in the second half, Bernd Leno was also sent off for handling the ball outside his area.

Arsenal would then cling on to their deficit and avoid the scoreline becoming more embarrassing.

Keown reckons that they lost the game as soon as they had those players sent off.

At 10 men, you could still get something from the match, but after losing two players, you are almost guaranteed to leave the game empty-handed.

He writes on Mail Sport: “Arsenal handed Wolves this win on a plate. I can recall being sent off against Spurs at White Hart Lane in 1999.

“That left us down to nine men, with Freddie Ljungberg having already been dismissed, though my second yellow card came in stoppage time

“You might be able to snatch something with 10 men, but nine crushes your chances and left Mikel Arteta on a hiding to nothing.

“Leno took a risk by rushing out of his box — the speedy Adama Traore’s presence perhaps made him uncomfortable — and he played volleyball instead of football. 

“With nine men from then on, Arsenal’s formation became 4-4-0. The job of the two banks of four was to stop Wolves making matters worse.

“Arsenal wanted to keep it at 2-1 in the hope one chance would fall their way late on. Having said that, they could have done with going for it more in the final few minutes.

“This was a horrible night for Arteta and one of huge frustration after Arsenal’s seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.”

Tags Martin Keown


  1. My only fault for Arteta was taking Laca off cos nobody hold it better than him in front. ESR should have been given a rest.
    Then Auba coming on was a waste of space. I knew immediately that he wasn’t going to have any impact. If you’re going to take off Pepe who was good with his pressing, you might as well bring on Martinelli who can do an even better job and can use his speed and tenacity against Semedo.

    Keep same team against Villa. We’re losing only Luiz (which i think isnt a problem as Gabriel is better) and Leno.

    I hope the players heads don’t drop.
    Onto the next one

  2. The frustration stems, not only at the sendings off, but from the fact that in the first half, we were clearly the superior team and ought to have been further ahead.The sending off of Luis in itself was harsh, however often you view the incident, whilst Leno suffered a brainstorm which effectively ended the game.Luis is what he is, and always will be, an accident waiting to happen.If Arteta extends his contract, I and many other fans will be very unhappy.In any event I hope Gabriel plays well against Villa and goes on to forge a good partnership with Holding.

    1. Agree Grandad – I think most of us recall thinking our wasted chances could come back to haunt us – especially as performances can often change drastically after halftime. However I also recall discounting that possibility because we were so good and they were so poor. Things had just been going TOO well for us lately to conemplate this happening. Never factored this in though! Happy we lost from the aberrations though and not from playing badly.

  3. The entire var system is a joke. How could they agree to Luiz getting red. It will be revoked but that will not give Gunners any points. Also Leno deserved a yellow as it was not a goal chance as bellerin was covering, Apology needed from ref Dawson (a Spurs fan ) and var.

    1. Dinny As you too think VAR is a joke, then why not join me in calling the for the total abolitionof this whole silly nonsense! It has spoilt enjoyment,taken the joy and thrill out of scoring, held up thegame for minutes on end and to what avail?
      It massively undermines the on field authority of the pitch ref and encourages player dissent , which should have long ago been cracked down upon.
      I would ban for 6 Prem game any player who is proved to have dived and sent them off, not booked them, no matter where in the pitch it happens. If repeated, I’d double the ban and then for a third time ban them for a whole season. Dissent in any way I would punish with an immediate red card and even a head shake at the ref by players, would be a booking and next time sending off.

      We NEED to MASSIVELY back refs , not undermine them with this stupid concept of VAR that is ruining football. Come on board with me if you are like minded and call for its abolition. I’d keep ONLY goal line technology and mistaken identity red cards.

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