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Richard Keys brands Arsenal player a 'busy fool' and says he should be making teammate 'furious'

Richard Keys brands Arsenal player a 'busy fool' and says he should be making teammate 'furious'

Richard Keys slammed the Arsenal star after defeat to Aston Villa.

Richard Keys described one Arsenal star as a "busy fool" after the Gunners lost to Aston Villa on Sunday.

A 2-0 defeat to Villa at the Emirates Stadium dealt a damaging blow to Arsenal's Premier League title hopes, leaving them two points behind leaders Manchester City with six games left to play.

Arsenal were far from their fluid best, and defensively they looked shaky and disorganised.

After Arsenal rode their luck on several occasions, two quick-fire goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins in the closing stages secured a deserved victory for the visitors.

While there were many Arsenal players who failed to show up on the day, Oleksandr Zinchenko was particularly underwhelming.

The defensive weaknesses of the Ukrainian left-back were clear for all to say, but unusually for him he was caught in possession multiple times and offered little in attack.

On one occasion, Zinchenko played an attacker onside by sanding a good 10 yards behind the defensive line.

BeIN Sports presenter Richard Keys was quick to call out the 27-year-old, as well as the team selection of Mikel Arteta.

"I also felt he played the wrong team. I notice Piers Morgan made the point Arsenal still don’t have a centre-forward, but that wasn’t the problem for me," Keys wrote on his blog.

"They’ve been playing with one. Ok, Havertz isn’t a natural 9, but he’d been in good form operating as a centre-forward with five in eight league games.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was poor on Sunday. (

“Also in really good form – Declan Rice, who I’ve previously said I wanted to see a lot more from. Arteta made a subtle change recently – playing Jorginho – which allowed Rice to start bossing games in the way he used to at West Ham.

“So why change it Sunday? Rice was back to being 'Declan Nice', tippy-tappying about allowing Zinchenko to try and run the midfield.

"What is Arteta’s obsession with crow-barring Zinchenko into his team? Is he really so important?

"If I was Rice I’d be furious. I’d be asking ‘why pay £100m for me – only to ask me to play second fiddle to that busy fool?' Zinchenko doesn’t affect games in the same way Rice does.

“Zinchenko’s inclusion also means a different role for Havertz of course. The whole balance of the team has to be different.

“I guess the answer is that Arteta wants us to believe he’s as clever as [Pep] Guardiola, whose also made baffling team-selections in the past – proving to be too clever for his own good – just as Arteta was on Sunday."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Premier League, Richard Keys, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mikel Arteta, Declan Rice, Aston Villa, Football