Mikel Arteta has insisted he will ‘talk about’ Thomas Partey’s controversial decision to remain on the sidelines with an injury whilst Spurs hit Arsenal on the counter-attack.
Arteta was questioned on whether he felt any ‘frustration’ or ‘annoyance’ with the marquee summer recruit’s actions, as the Spaniard literally had to push Partey back on to the pitch, though it was too late.
Partey pulled up when Arsenal were on their own counter-attacking opportunity just moments before, with the ace left hurt after a heavy decision left him needing to lunge in on Steven Bergwijn.
Arteta insisted in his post-match press conference following the 2-0 defeat to their heated rivals that he hasn’t ‘spoken’ to Partey about the moment yet.
Arsenal’s gaffer mentioned earlier in this segment of the press conference that Partey’s controversial choice may be explained by the fact that he could’ve been in a ‘lot of pain’.
Here's what Mikel Arteta has had to say on Thomas Partey's injury and that the ace didn't run back onto the pitch immediately before Spurs scored their second… pic.twitter.com/PU0w5FYry5
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“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 are coming to us.”
“Thomas is walking to me, I’m trying to push him. I haven’t spoken to him, I don’t know exactly how it happened, if he felt something really serious I will look at it and we will talk about it.”
Partey did eventually make it back onto the pitch, but he only let off a couple of strides before he pulled up again, soon after Giovani Lo Celso played the ball into Heung-Min Son, who teed up Harry Kane.
Liverpool legend Graeme Souness and Arsenal legend Alex Scott were both unimpressed by the star’s decision, with the Scotsman stating that ‘leaders’ in the team wouldn’t allow that.
The leaders comment is what Arsenal fans should be worried about, Partey was a player that the Gunners chased for the entire window and is a high-profile – and big-money – figure that was brought in to transform the side in a key area.