Richard Keys believes Mikel Arteta is ‘most to blame’ for riling supporters after a Tottenham fan kicked Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in the north London derby on Sunday.
Arsenal sealed a deserved 2-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to move eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
But moments after the final whistle, Ramsdale was kicked in the back by a Tottenham supporter as he went to collect his gloves behind the goal.
Ramsdale admitted after the incident that he had been involved in several exchanges with Tottenham supporters behind his goal in the second half but maintained it was ‘well greeted’.
However, beIN Sports presenter Keys feels Arteta’s ‘inflammatory behaviour’ on the touchline is setting a bad example to his Arsenal players.
‘Ramsdale has got form for winding supporters up and apparently has been having an exchange in the second half with those Tottenham fans, Ben White as well who was over there,’ Keys said, moments after the incident was aired on beIN Sports.
‘My fear is, and I’ve said it for a long time now, that the guy in the middle there [Arteta] is the one who’s most to blame for the inflammatory behaviour on the touchline that winds people up.
‘If he’s not behaving himself then it’s likely that others in his team are not going to either.
‘Who ultimately, then, becomes the master of the discipline? There isn’t anyone.’
When asked about the attack from the Spurs supporter after the game, Ramsdale said: ‘The Spurs fans were giving me some stick in the second half so I was giving them some back.
‘The few people that I did do it to, it was probably well greeted, sportsmanship-like.
‘Then a fan tried to jump over and give me a little punch in the back. That’s what happened and it’s a shame because it is just a game of football at the end of the day.
‘I think both sets of players tried to bring me away.
‘Thankfully nothing happened too drastically but it is a sour taste but I am sure we will enjoy it when we go back in the dressing room.’
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