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Pundits surprised with Mikel Arteta’s decision on Kai Havertz against Chelsea

Michail Antonio and Tom Cairney were very surprised by Mikel Arteta’s decision regarding Kai Havertz during the Arsenal v Chelsea game

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Arsenal star Kai Havertz
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Arsenal resounding 5-0 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday left Michail Antonio and Tom Cairney expressing disbelief over one of Mikel Arteta’s decisions regarding Kai Havertz.

In a bid to maintain pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City, Arsenal delivered a commanding performance following a hard-fought win over Wolves, asserting their dominance over Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Despite a modest 1-0 lead at halftime, the Gunners shifted gears in the second half, with both Ben White and Kai Havertz netting braces.

Havertz’s goals held particular significance as they came against his former club Chelsea, marking the first occasion the German forward scored twice in a single game for Arsenal. However, eyebrows were raised when Arteta opted to substitute Havertz just seven minutes after his second goal, bringing on Gabriel Jesus in his place.

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For Antonio and Cairney, guests on The Footballer’s Football Podcast, Arteta’s decision seemed puzzling, with both expressing incredulity at the timing of Havertz’s substitution. Cairney questioned the rationale behind removing a player after scoring two goals against his former team, to which Antonio vehemently agreed.

“Are you raging if he takes you off on two goals against your former team?”

“One hundred, million percent,” Antonio replied. 

“I was like I cannot believe he’s just taken him off. There’s like 15 minutes left as well,” Cairney said.

“It’s actually quite mad. I don’t care who it is, if I’ve got two goals, don’t take me off,” Antonio added.


Despite the potential disappointment for Havertz, the ultimate priority remains securing victories and maintaining pressure on Manchester City. As the season reaches its climax, individual achievements must sometimes take a backseat to collective success, a sentiment echoed by Arsenal’s performance-driven ethos throughout the campaign.

As Arsenal braces for upcoming challenges, the squad’s unity and collective effort will continue to be pivotal in their pursuit of success in the remaining fixtures of the season.

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