‘His foot didn’t come off!’ - Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior responds to accusations of ‘embarrassing’ defending during Gunners’ 3-0 defeat to Brighton

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Jakub Kiwior Arsenal mistake vs Brighton Julio Enciso celebrate
Jakub Kiwior has responded to the “embarrassing” criticism aimed in his direction following Arsenal’s costly 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton.
  • Polish defender had foot stamped on
  • Stayed down during Seagulls attack
  • Criticised for not doing his job

WHAT HAPPENED? The Poland international, who joined the Gunners for £21 million ($26m) during the January transfer window, was taking in just his sixth appearance for Mikel Arteta’s side when lining up against the Seagulls at Emirates Stadium. He endured an afternoon to forget, with Julio Enciso opening the scoring as Arsenal’s 23-year-old centre-half lay on the floor clutching his boot following a supposed stamp by Nathan Ferguson. Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who was on punditry duty for Sky Sports, was less than impressed with Kiwior’s antics, saying: “You talk about putting your body on the line, last-ditch defending and stuff, you don’t stay down like that. His boot came off, his foot didn’t come off!”

WHAT THEY SAID: Kiwior tried to explain his actions to Viaplay afterwards, saying of why he went to ground when Brighton were threatening to force a breakthrough: “I felt contact and lost my boot and didn't even see the goal. I hoped VAR would intervene and chalk off the goal, but unfortunately, the ref saw it differently. After we conceded the second our heads dropped and we couldn't come back.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is another to have questioned why Kiwior was not prepared to put his body in the line for the good of the collective Arsenal cause. He posted on Twitter: ”It was embarrassing Kiwior stayed down whether it was a foul or not (it wasn't) there was very little wrong with him. Get up and defend like your life depends on it.”

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Jakub Kiwior Arsenal 2022-23

Jakub Kiwior Arsenal Brighton 2022-23

Jakub Kiwior Arsenal Brighton 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Defeat for Arsenal against Brighton has all but ended their Premier League title bid for 2022-23, with Manchester City now four points clear at the summit while still boasting a game in hand on the Gunners – who have only two fixtures left to take in.