Former Gunner Martin Keown not best pleased with Aubameyang
Pundits have to make a living and the way they do that is not by being complimentary but being controversial. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown is dead set on earning his crust and the target of his criticism is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The bigger the target the more coverage it seems, well, we are covering Keown’s comments so he has obviously got his target audience.
Basically, Keown is having a dig at the lack of work ethic in the second half against Bournemouth.
He said: “It’s been a difficult week for Arsenal and I thought they pressed really well. The intensity in their play, that is what every good team is looking for.
“It’s not just playing with the ball, it’s what you do without it.
“I thought they started the game very well. Everyone was engaging, they forced Bournemouth back and they were struggling a bit.
“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is trying to fix the play and everyone else is engaged, so they play it long, and Arsenal win it back. Then they can be creative and this is what Arsenal are good at.
“They’ve got that creativity, they’re well probed. They’re all on the front foot, ready to break. But in the second half they seemed to switch off.
“Aubameyang, you are scoring the goals but you need to work harder. I know it’s tough but you can’t allow space, [Bukayo] Saka as well.
But it was not just Aubameyang that Keown was critical of
“[Dani] Ceballos is late, they don’t engage properly and the back four is far too deep.
“Maybe [Granit] Xhaka should push in a bit closer. That left space behind the full-backs, so Bournemouth were running wild into those spaces.
“It’s a problem for Arsenal when it goes into the front players, they need to be better at this.
“David Luiz scored the winner today but he must get back, help the team. Arsenal were lucky on a number of occasions.
“Ceballos, the poor guy is there on his own. The two other midfielders need to get up the field.
“These are things you definitely need to work on in training because better teams will punish you. That has to improve if they are to finish in the top four.”
To some extent Keown is dead right, the players do need to track back but that was not the big issue on Sunday. It was lack of creativity from the midfield upwards.
The defence did just fine yesterday, it was not a perfect performance but it was a clean sheet. I am not sure that having a go at players not tracking back is being fair. Arsenal had the game for the taking and did not, that is a midfield/forward problem and nothing to do with working harder. Creativity and vision is what was missing, not work ethic.
But Keown needs to earn his money so carry on, Aubameyang can take it.