GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS
ALBERT SAMBI LOKONGA has urged Arsenal to sharpen up.
The 21-year-old Belgian midfielder admits his clanger – plus Thomas Partey’s mistake – cost the Gunners two points in Monday’s 2-2 Prem draw at home to Crystal Palace.
Only Alexandre Lacazette’s last-gasp leveller rescued Arsenal a point.
And Lokonga declared: “The goals came from two mistakes, one of them mine.
“It is an area where I cannot lose the ball, so it is difficult to speak about the goals when I made a mistake, but we have to analyse them.”
Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal an eighth-minute lead.
But Lokonga – who came on as a second-half sub – added: “It is difficult to say we started the game well because, apart from the goal, we didn’t do well in terms of quality, simple things.
“After the opening goal we relaxed too much. We had to look for the second goal, we had to put more pressure on them and we didn’t.”
Palace capitalised on the second-half Partey and Lokonga blunders – where they were both caught in possession – to score through Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard.
Lokonga is now desperate to make amends as soon as possible.
Arsenal are next back in action on Friday night, when they host Aston Villa.
And he insisted: “I want to play the next game as quickly as possible to change everything.
“When you play a game like this, you are hungry inside because I made a mistake.”
Elsewhere Mikel Arteta could barely believe James McArthur was not sent off for his volley-like kick on Bukayo Saka.
The Crystal Palace midfielder scythed down Saka with a brutal boot to the back of the leg – but only received a yellow card from referee Mike Dean.
VAR took no further action, and Arteta raged to Sky Sports: “If we want to detect things that are really relevant in a game and can change a football match, then they have to be looked at.
“That situation is not only affecting them, but we have to take the player off because of the action so it is affecting it two different ways. It is not right.
“You [need to] make a straight decision, when it is so clear and so obvious straight away and they have to play with 10 men.
“Bukayo could not continue, we had to take him off at half-time, I saw the action and I can’t believe how the player continued on the pitch.
“I don’t get it. With what we were explained at the start of the season and what happened tonight, it doesn’t make any sense.”
And finally, Super League rebels have drafted a new plan – for a 40-club breakaway.
Despite the bail-out by the six Premier League clubs involved, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are still refusing to give up on their plot.
And their latest plan, being sent to stakeholders across Europe, shows a desperate effort to restore life to the fading scheme.
Under the draft, Super League insists it will not be a ‘breakaway’ or even a closed shop. Instead, it envisages two leagues of 20 clubs.
Clubs that qualify for the competition would be ‘shareholders’ for the year, following the model of the Prem and other major leagues and liable to relegation out of it.
In a sop to those who criticised the clubs for their greed in joining the initial £4.6bn venture, Super League is now claiming it is in favour of tight cost controls and accusing Uefa and President Aleksander Ceferin of abandoning efforts to make clubs live within their means by the planned changes to its Financial Fair Play regulations.