Arsenal: Mikel Arteta is a ‘victim of double standards’ after Roberto De Zerbi celebration, says Martin Keown

Arsenal: Mikel Arteta is a ‘victim of double standards’ after Roberto De Zerbi celebration, says Martin Keown

Martin Keown has claimed Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are the victims of double standards after the reaction to Roberto De Zerbi’s celebrations against the Gunners.

The Brighton boss avoided any reprimand after racing onto the pitch and doing a knee-slide at the Emirates Stadium in response to the Seagulls’ 3-0 win on Sunday.

Arsenal legend Keown insisted the celebration was deserving of a yellow card, in particular given the talk of clamping down on managers’ behaviour in the dugout - which many have pinned on Arteta throughout the season.

“I honestly feel that if Arteta did a knee-slide down the side of the pitch, we’d never hear the end of it,” he told talkSPORT. “But for some reason it’s okay for De Zerbi to do it?

“I like the emotion on show, but I think because it’s Brighton who are inoffensive and they’re everyone’s second favourite team, we turn a blind eye to it.

“As a goalscorer, you take your shirt off and get a yellow card. Do you not think that if the manager comes racing onto the pitch like De Zerbi did with his celebration, is that not an automatic yellow card?”

Arsenal’s celebrations have become a big topic of discussion in recent weeks, with Gary Neville highlighting the squad’s reaction to mid-season victories as a factor in their title collapse.

“I look at little things that might be a little bit harsh,” he told Monday Night Football.

“[Oleksandr] Zinchenko after the game against Bournemouth celebrating an hour after the game with the fans and screaming. You want your leaders in the team who have been there before to spread composure around the dressing room and to calm everybody down, you don’t want them to lift the anxiety and lift the emotion.

“There is an element of emotion; [Granit] Xhaka at Anfield, [Thomas] Partey losing his form in games and getting caught on the ball in difficult moments.

“It has become very tough on them mentally. I think mentally it has caused them a big issue in the last few weeks.”