One-time England League Cup winner Robbie Keane believes Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be furious with Rob Holding after the game against Tottenham.
Holding started the game with Gabriel Magalhaes in the centre of the Gunners’ defence last night (12 May) in the north London derby. However, the 26-year-old never really showed any composure and was fouled four times in a row, the last being dismissed in the 33rd minute.
Although Tottenham were 1-0 up at the time, Arteta’s side had created some good chances and could have put themselves back in the game. However, they never really recovered after being reduced to 10 men and ended up losing 3-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
After the game, Arteta defended his players while criticizing the referee’s decision. However, Keane believes Holding has cost Arsenal the game by being sacked. He told Sky Sports (quoted by Metro):
”I understood what he was doing, but he said he was going to ruin the game, but holding killed the team. What he said on TV, I understand, but I’ve been with the managers when people are being sent off. I think, in that locker room, he would absolutely kill the holding company.
Keane, who was part of Spurs winning major trophies last term, added that the Gunners had a good start but were disappointed by a personal error:
”They got off to a good start, they controlled the game for the first 15 minutes and looked comfortable. Then they get a stupid penalty, stupid penalty. ”
The former Republic of Ireland striker concluded:
”I know he has to protect him, he’s the manager and when he’s on camera, it’s for everyone. With two games left in the season, it’s important for them to get six points. But internally, he’ll try their players. ”
Tottenham beat Arsenal to start top-four race
Against Tottenham, fourth-placed Arsenal are four points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham. A derby victory will seal the Gunners’ place in next season’s Champions League.
However, despite a good start, Arteta’s side trailed halfway through the first half. Cedric Suarez fouled Son Heung-min in the penalty area and Harry Kane took the penalty to give the hosts the lead.
It didn’t help that Holder was fired in a little over half an hour. Just as the visitors looked to react to being reduced to 10 men, they were quickly two behind as Kane scored from a well-worked corner in the 37th minute.
Arsenal could barely settle in the second half before Son Heung-min scored Spurs’ third goal less than 90 seconds after the break to seal the deal.
The win puts Antonio Conte’s side one point clear of their main rivals with two league games remaining.