Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara caused a stir on Monday after mocking Arsenal’s decision to hand Eddie Nketiah the club’s No. 14 shirt ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Nketiah, the 23-year-old former England Under-21 international, scored 10 goals in 27 appearances for the Gunners last term.
And Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expressed his delight after the forward recently agreed a new long-term contract with the club.
“I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us,” Arteta said. “He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club.
“We are very happy that he has extended his contract and now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have in him.”
As well as an improved deal, Nketiah also has the honor of wearing the No. 14 shirt – previously worn by arguably the club’s greatest ever player, Thierry Henry.
– Eddie Nketiah 📞 (@ EddieNketiah9) June 18, 2022
What did Jamie O’Hara say about Eddie Nketiah?
But this decision baffled O’Hara, who expressed his disbelief live on talkSPORT on Monday.
“I can not believe he’s getting number 14. I mean it just sums up really where Arsenal are right now. Spurs are buying all these great players, we’re flying high, we’ve got Champions League football, ”the former Tottenham player said.
“And they’re giving a player who didn’t even want to be at the football club, all the fans said he wasn’t good enough, he had decent end to the season, and they’re giving him Thierry Henry’s shirt. It’s unbelievable. It’s magic for us right now.
“Spurs fans are sitting there, I’ve got text messages from me mates. Thierry Henry’s shirt, Eddie Nketiah. Fair play to him, it shows the belief he’s got but come on, come on. You can not give him Thierry Henry’s shirt. What are you doing ?! ”
🔥 “I can’t believe Nketiah is getting # 14! It sums up where #AFC are right now. ”
😂 “They’ve given him Theirry Henry’s shirt! This is just magic for #THFC fans. ”
– talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 20, 2022
Many Arsenal fans leapt to Nketiah’s defense and blasted O’Hara for his ‘toxic’ comments.
Laura Woods responds to Jamie O’Hara’s Nketiah comments
talkSPORT presenter and Arsenal supporter Laura Woods, meanwhile, tweeted: “What a day to not be in the office.”
However, Woods issued her response live on air on Tuesday morning, reminding people like O’Hara that Henry’s No. 14 shirt was up for grabs.
She added: “With Eddie, there’s a lot of uproar before we’ve even seen what kind of player he’s going to develop into. They obviously wanted to keep him at the club. I’m glad that he’s staying.
“I’m an Arsenal fan through and through and I will always be. I just do not have an issue with it. “
Watch Woods’ response in full here:
❌ “When Thierry Henry left #AFC, we did not retire his shirt. That did not happen! ”
👕 “Other players took the shirt. Walcott took the shirt and had it for 10 years! ”
– talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 21, 2022
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