Former Gunner rips into Arsenal players and defends Arteta

Martin Keown has launched an attack on underperforming Arsenal players as he defends Mikel Arteta as the man for the job.

The Gunners have been struggling to score goals or win games this season and Arteta has been under pressure to get positive results.

As the club languishes in the 15th position on the league table, there have been talks that they Spaniard might not survive the chop, but Keown doesn’t think that firing Arteta is the solution.

He says that while there are tactical sides to Arsenal’s problems as Arteta keeps changing tactics, there is also the role of character in it, and he has urged Arsenal’s players to show some character and get down to work on bringing the good results home.

He admitted that while Arteta’s job isn’t on the line now, things must change or he will have problems keeping his job. He also slammed Willian for going on holiday at Arsenal.

“It’s all become a bit tactical, but I want to see character,” Keown told TalkSPORT

“I do feel there’s good direction from this manager, but when you change systems there’s a confusion.

“So let’s strip it back, let’s make it simple, but let’s also roll our sleeves up and play with determination.

“I would love to be at the club in some capacity to try and get through this period.

“It hasn’t been good enough.

“I don’t think Arteta’s job is in trouble but, if he keeps losing games, questions will be asked because he’s a rookie manager.

“He’s only had 50 matches as a manager; who wins an FA Cup within your first 50 matches? Nobody, but he’s done it. So he does have qualities, he’s just got to formulate a plan and get these players on board.

“Arteta has got to identify the characters he can trust in, believe in and pull leadership skills out of.

“I don’t think you’re born a leader, things happen around you and you step up – that’s what they need to do and it’s not happening. The players can’t hide away from it and blame the manager.

“Willian has come to Arsenal and it looks like he’s taken a holiday!”

Tags Martin Keown


  1. I listened to everything he said yesterday and if only we had his motivational skills in the dressing room we would not be in half as much trouble as we are now.

  2. I think MK is spot on when he highlights the need to keep the tactics simple to avoid confusion.That is an area where MA needs to look at himself and change to a set up, where every player is clear as to their role in the team.Villa and Leeds for example play a 4-3-3 system which has been successful due to the high energy of the players, rather than individual brilliance, with the notable exception of Grealish.Our player pool, while weak in certain areas, is at least on a par with those at Villa and Leeds, the difference being the way the players are deployed.It is time for MA to stick with one system to get us out of the relegation zone.

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