Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is not happy that his midfielder, Thomas Partey, walked off the pitch when Arsenal was under attack from Tottenham Hotspur.
On Sunday, December 6, Arsenal visited Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium for the club’s 11th Premier League match of the 2020-2021 season. In the first 13th minute, Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son had already put the host ahead.
Arsenal continued to enjoy the possession despite being a goal down until towards the 45th-minute mark of the first half when 27-year-old Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Partey, decided to limp off his position to the sideline.
Partey left his teammates when Arsenal were with the ball. Seconds after he left the pitch, Tottenham Hotspur gained possession and started attacking Arsenal. The Arsenal’s coach that was standing next to Partey began to urge him to return to the pitch.
The versatile defensive midfielder tried to run back to the pitch but it was too late for him to do anything. Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane had combined perfectly to score Tottenham’s second goal in the additional one minute of the first half.
Harry Kane’s goal became the last goal of the match which ended 2-0 in favor of the host, leaving Arsenal to end the match with 70 percent of the ball possession.
In the post-match press conference and an interview with Sky Sports after the North London derby, Arsenal’s coach lamented that Thomas Partey shouldn’t have left the pitch because he was needed at his position when Tottenham were on the verge of scoring the second goal.
He said though he didn’t know the gravity of the pain the defensive midfielder was feeling, the best he should have done was to fall on the pitch instead of walking off at such a crucial moment of the match.
“Thomas is out, he’s limping, he’s in pain, he has to come off and we lost a man in that crucial transition moment,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “He has to fall on the floor.
“I wanted him on the pitch, doing whatever he could for the team in that situation. No one expected him not to be in that position.”
“I was trying to push him back on the pitch, I don’t think he realized the gravity of the situation when he left his position.
“That was probably because he was in a lot of pain. There is nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that.
“It was too quick, we were through, I think it was a four-against-three situation for us to play the final ball and we were through. Suddenly they were coming to us and Thomas is walking to me and I am trying to push him.
“I haven’t spoken to him. I don’t know exactly how it happened and if he felt something really serious. I will look at it and we will talk about it.”
Watch how Thomas Partey walked out of the pitch when Arsenal was under Tottenham’s attack.
THOMAS PARTEY JUST GAVE UP ON ARSENAL FC pic.twitter.com/Z0JibMZrCc— Saint Woolwich Day (@StWoolwichDay) December 6, 2020
The defeat in the hands of Tottenham on Sunday has left Arsenal in the 15th spot on the league table with 13 points in 11 league games. So far, Arsenal have lost 6 matches, drawn one, and recorded 4 wins.
While the win has returned Tottenham Hotspur to the top of the league table with 24 points out of 11 league matches. Jose Mourinho’s led team has recorded 7 wins, three draws, and a defeat so far this season.