Matthew Upson delivers Thomas Partey a warning to Mikel Arteta after the Spurs’ triumph
Keeping Thomas Partey healthy is crucial for Arsenal’s title hopes, and Matthew Upson has cautioned Mikel Arteta it that he must do everything in his power to that end.
The Ghana international has missed four games already this season owing to chronic fitness difficulties, including his team’s first loss of the season at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
After making his return from injury against Brentford just before the international break, Partey was forced to sit out of Ghana’s recent friendlies due to a new injury.
On Saturday, the former Atletico Madrid player started for the North London derby and delivered an excellent performance that was capped by a goal.
Even though Arsenal ran out deserving winners at the Emirates, Matthew Upson thinks Partey’s presence will be crucial if the Gunners are to compete against the teams who will be challenging for a top-four berth this season.
Ex-Arsenal defender Upson said of him at Stadium Astro, “He was the man of the match for me.” The goal contribution is crucial for a defensive midfielder, but I felt he was fantastic overall.
However, the ease of this is what stands out. Because of his steady presence in the middle of the field, players like Xhaka and Odegaard are comfortable taking on greater responsibilities on the field because they know they have someone like him sitting behind them to be accountable as a man-of-the-match performance from a midfielder, and he was terrific and important in the buildup today.
That’s a huge goal that they’ve set for themselves. Whatever it takes to keep him fit and ready for days like today, I believe it is his team’s responsibility to do so.
While the decisiveness with which Partey scored from outside the box was certainly unexpected, colleague Martin Odegaard disclosed that Arsenal had been working on getting the 29-year-old into a shooting position in practice.
Odegaard remarked, “That was a terrific goal. We had a lot of practice finding him in those spots where we knew he would be open, and his shot was fantastic.
“I also thought he played well, so a lot of credit should go to him”