Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he will have discussions with Thomas Partey about his injury and the incident that played a part in Tottenham’s second goal in the North London derby.
Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat to their rivals on Sunday, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for both goals.
The second goal was made a lot easier by Partey walking off the pitch as Spurs went on a counter attack. The midfielder pulled up with an injury.
Arteta frantically tried to get him back on the pitch, but it was too late. The space had already been vacated and Tottenham were clinical in front of goal.
Partey was making his first appearance since returning from an injury he suffered in November. It appears he has now suffered a recurrence of that problem.
However, Arteta still maintains that the summer signing should have stayed in his position.
He said: “I was trying to push him back onto the pitch because I don’t think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position but that probably was because he was in a lot of pain.
“There’s nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that.
“It happened so quickly, I think it was a four versus three situation for us and suddenly they were coming to us and Thomas was walking to me. I wanted him on the pitch doing whatever he could for the team in that situation.
“I tried to push him, I haven’t spoken to him so I don’t know exactly how it happened and whether he felt something really serious. We will look at it and then we will talk about it.
“It is in the same area, unfortunately. We don’t know how bad it is. He will have an MRI scan.”
Pundits criticise Partey, Xhaka
Arteta was not the only one who was dismayed to see Partey walk off the pitch. Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness was also baffled by the situation.
Fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka also came into question for not covering for Partey.
“Leaders don’t allow that to happen on a football pitch,” Souness said. “If he’s injured, he’s screaming at people ‘I’m injured’, if you watch (Granit) Xhaka, he leaves (Giovani) Lo Celso to run into the box, as a midfield player – as a holding central midfielder – the alarm bells are ringing.”
“We’re going forward, all the time you’re looking over your shoulder – where are we vulnerable – but they just empty the space, Lo Celso picks it up, on you go, 2-0, game over… possibly.”