Home News martin keown believes per mertesacker should have been at arsenals fa youth cup win over spurs

Martin Keown believes Per Mertesacker should have been at Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup win over Spurs

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Arsenal’s under-18 secured a 5-2 win over their Tottenham counterparts in the mini-north London derby to reach the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night.

The Gunners Academy manager Per Mertesacker was missing from the game, choosing instead to watch the NBA match between Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks at The O2 in London.

A lot of fans have expressed surprise at the German’s absence at the game, and Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes Mertesacker shouldn’t have snubbed the game.

“He should have been at the game. I’m a big fan of Per Mertesacker but he should not have prioritised going to the basketball,” Keown wrote in his Sportsmail column.

“When I played in FA Youth Cup matches with Arsenal, you would look up to the stands and see not only youth team coaches but first-team manager Don Howe and the club’s directors.

“As a young player, these matches were your first chance to impress the senior figures at the club.”

Mertesacker called time on his playing career at the end of last season having been with Arsenal since arriving from Werder Bremen in 2011.

He immediately assumed the role of the Academy manager, and his presence at Boreham Wood yesternight would have surely boosted the confidence of Gunners’ youngsters who had to battle from 2-1 down to secure victory.

The likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin were also present at The O2, but it was more than leisure for Mertesacker as he was providing expert analysis on the basketball clash for German TV DAZN.