ALBERT LOKONGA felt like a fool as he sat on the bench while Man City thrashed his new Arsenal team-mates at the start of the season.
The midfielder watched on in embarrassment as the Gunners were smashed 5-0 by the reigning champions back in August.
And Lokonga, 21, admits he felt humiliated after being left out following his move to the Emirates from Anderlecht in the summer.
He told Sport Foot magazine: “I don’t know, I didn’t talk to the coach about it. You would have to ask him
“In any case, on the bench, I felt humiliated. Exactly as if I was in the field. Many have talked about the statistic of 81 per cent second-half possession for City.
“We often forget to say that we were also reduced to ten men since the 35th minute and the red card of Granit Xhaka at that time.”
Boss Mikel Arteta set about rebuilding his squad over the summer with Lokonga joined by other new arrivals such as Martin Odegaard, Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale.
A shocking start to the season has made way to positive results – notably the 3-1 derby victory over bitter rivals Tottenham.
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And while Belgium’s Lokonga can’t wait for the good time to roll, he says the squad must learn from mistakes to get ‘meaner’.
He added: “You are going to tell me that it is a cliche answer, but I believe that it is when we are in the hard times that we strengthen the links in a team, in a staff.”
“Here, now, we are all looking in the same direction. We all want to move the ship forward.
“We know we have to make further progress. In particular, we must learn to become meaner.”
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