Jamie Carragher picked out “really poor” Thomas Partey to illustrate Arsenal’s “cocky” display in their drw with West Ham on Sunday.
The Gunners gave up a two-goal lead for the second game on the bounce as Manchester City closed the gap to four points at the top of the Premier League, with Mikel Arteta’s side having played a game more.
The draws against Liverpool and West Ham in consecutive weeks has led to suggestions that Arsenal are ‘bottling’ the title race, but Carragher told Sky Sports that he thinks it’s “the complete opposite”.
Carragher said on Sky Sports Monday Night Football: “You can’t play as well as they did in the first half an hour at Anfield and the first half an hour of this game if they’re going into that game tense, worried about fixtures, worried that Ciy won – the football was out of this world.
“The problem Arsenal have had in the last two weeks is that they’ve got complacent, they’ve got cocky.
“That game was so easy. I couldn’t believe there was a way West Ham were going to get back in the game. The only way they could get back in the game was Arsenal doing something stupid.”
Carragher then showed the clip leading up to the West Ham penalty, which saw Thomas Partey cede possession to Declan Rice.
“We spoke about [Granit] Xhaka last week doing something silly, in a different type of way, letting Liverpool and the crowd back in the game.
“This is after 32 minutes, and it’s the first thing West Ham did in the game. It’s nothing special – Gabriel gets it and goes back to the goalkeeper.
“The ball’s now going to go into Thomas Partey, who was really poor. Declan Rice, two or three times, went after him.
“You very rarely see a holding midfielder make that run to the opposition’s holding midfielder, because it’s such a long run.
“Thomas Partey has a little look – he sees him coming. He’s now made a poor first touch, but we’re talking about a really powerful man. All he has to do is get his body in the way of Declan Rice and the ball. Declan Rice is not knocking him off the ball.
“And I’m convinced, if that game’s at 0-0 Thomas Partey does that. He uses his power, he uses his strength. The game had become so easy – Gabriel Jesus was playing right-back for five minutes, that’s how easy it had become.
“You don’t try and flick it past someone on the edge of the box – it’s complacency. And then the panic sets in. Gabriel does something stupid because of the panic and it’s a penalty.”
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