Richard Keys makes X-rated Aston Villa remark as he slams Arsenal's 'busy fool'

Richard Keys
Richard Keys -Credit:Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Richard Keys has delivered his verdict on Aston Villa’s victory against Arsenal.

The beIN SPORTS presenter admits he was surprised to see Unai Emery’s side beat the Gunners 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday, thanks to late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins. And he insists the victory would have tasted even sweeter for Emery, who was sacked as Arsenal manager before Mikel Arteta took charge.

Writing in his blog, Keys said: “Villa are a good side, but I didn’t fancy them because they’d previously ****** up too many of their big games - Man Utd twice, Spurs and Newcastle for example.

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“How sweet must the win have tasted to Unai Emery? Of course he was there primarily to win it with Villa, but a piece of him will have enjoyed it just a little bit more than anybody else at the club.

“I’ve always said his time at Arsenal was too heavily criticised. His record on the pitch really wasn’t bad and let’s not forget he took them to a euro final.”

“As if he had to - because of his record in Spain - but Emery is now proving to an English audience he is a very good operator,” he added.

While Keys was full of praise for Emery, he was critical of Arteta, as he continued: “Arteta claimed afterwards they should’ve been three or four up by half-time, which was nonsense, but they certainly missed some great openings.

“I also felt he played the wrong team. I notice Piers Morgan made the point Arsenal still don’t have a centre-forward, but that wasn’t the problem for me.

“They’ve been playing with one. Ok, Havertz isn’t a natural 9, but he’d been in good form operating as a centre-forward with five in eight league games.

“Also in really good form - Declan Rice, who I’ve previously said I wanted to see a lot more from. Arteta made a subtle change recently - playing Jorginho - which allowed Rice to start bossing games in the way he used to at West Ham.

“So why change it Sunday? Rice was back to being Declan Nice, tippy-tappying about allowing Zinchenko to try and run the midfield. What is Arteta’s obsession with crow-barring Zinchenko into his team? Is he really so important? If I was Rice I’d be furious. I’d be asking ‘why pay £100m for me - only to ask me to play second fiddle to that busy fool’? Zinchenko doesn’t affect games in the same way Rice does.

“Zinchenko’s inclusion also means a different role for Havertz of course. The whole balance of the team has to be different.

“I guess the answer is that Arteta wants us to believe he’s as clever as Guardiola, who’s also made baffling team-selections in the past - proving to be too clever for his own good - just as Arteta was on Sunday.”

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