Arsenal star stormed down tunnel after furious dressing down from Odegaard
Albert Sambi Lokonga headed straight down the tunnel after being given an on-pitch grilling from captain Martin Odegaard during Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.
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The 23-year-old was introduced at half-time at the Etihad on Friday night in place of Thomas Partey – who injured a rib and will undergo a scan – and gave a very poor display in midfield.
Lokonga frequently lost his man and left acres of space in front of the back four, with Julian Alvarez granted space to fire off a shot from the edge of the box on multiple occasions – the first of which ultimately resulted in Nathan Ake’s decisive goal.
As the seconds ticked away and the match entered injury time, Lokonga was still being dragged out of position by City’s attackers and that prompted an angry dressing down from Odegaard.
The Norwegian, who came on late in the match, can be seen gesticulating at his team-mate to stop following the runners and instead mark the man in space – on this occasion it was Ilkay Gundogan.
But Lokonga was dragged out wide leaving Gundogan with the freedom of the Etihad in the middle of the pitch, and he was picked out by a simple pass between the lines.
Odegaard was absolutely livid, throwing his arms up in the air in disgust, and was eventually forced to foul Gundogan in order to stop the move from progressing.
‘With someone like Sambi, he needs minutes, he needs to be playing, he needs to be able to understand and be more wary of where he is and what he needs to do and where he needs to be dropping in,’ said Wright on ITV afterwards.
‘You’ve got to kind of sense that danger and that’s why he needs the minutes in games of this quality, because that’s where you learn.’
Keane, though, was not in the mood to excuse Lokonga’s lacklustre display, interjecting: ‘But you hope at this stage and at this level they’ve already learned that part of the game. It’s a big concern.’
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