Hopefully Unai Emery will not listen to Martin Keown over team for 2nd leg against Valencia

One thing that is almost guaranteed following an Arsenal game is one of our former players voicing their opinions and generally they are either negative or just harebrained.

On this occasion Martin Keown has expressed his view on the sort of team Unai Emery should field in the Europa League second leg against Valencia next Thursday and while his viewpoint is not negative it can be categorised as harebrained.

‘That third goal is so important,’ Keown told BT Sport.

‘Valencia, in fairness, I thought they were trying to settle for 2-1 and it’s backfired on them big time’

‘Still of course Arsenal have got some work to do in this tie. Those two front players have to play’

‘Already now he’s turning to look at the selection. The 11 that finished that game should start the next one. ‘I actually thought it was better than maybe the team that started. Take nothing away from Ozil and his performance early on. ‘But you’re going away now to a very difficult away game. That planning has to start now.’

So, Keown is saying start with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in place of Mesut Ozil, and Nacho Monreal in for Laurent Koscielny while keeping Sokratis and Mustafi in the starting line up.

Think about that.

Keown has obviously forgotten that Mkhitaryan has been a lot worse than Ozil on a regular basis this season and to consider dropping Koscielny, who was far better last night than Sokratis or Mustafi, just tells me that he really has poor judgement in these matters.

In fact, I am of the opinion that Keown is being controversial for the sake of it simply because he has nothing to criticize the team for.

In my view, Emery needs to go with the same sort of team that he sent out last night and while I am not necessarily advocating Ozil starts next week at the Mestalla I am certainly saying that given a choice I would rather Ozil over Mkhitaryan.

As for dropping Koscielny and keeping Mustafi that is just ridiculous and undermines any credibility that Keown has as a football pundit, which was not great to start with.

But that is just my opinion.

What is yours? Is Keown right?


  1. Just do not agree that Keowns opinions in general are harebrained. He is a deep thinking man and one of the most considered of all the regular TV pundits. I do NOT agree with his preferred team for second leg either but mere disagreement is fine and ALLOWED too, may I remind you. I mention the famous Voltaire quote (for those who either already know it or can be bothered to look it up) and that is my philosophy when dealing with all intelligent people with whom I may happen to disagree at times.
    TBH, what I found far more unconsidered than anything Keoewn has EVER uttered is the way you, in your article, have tried to traduce a fine and honourable man who remains a dedicated and passionate Gooner AND AN HONEST PUNDIT. If we all agreed with everyone else, this site would be effectively dead. Worth thinking about I’d say!

    1. Further to my above post, what I found particularly distasteful in your article was the frankly silly sentence “In fact, I am of the opinion that Keown is being controversial for the sake of it, simply because he has nothing to criticise the team for.” If you think our team has nothing to be criticised for then I suggest you have either lost your sight or you choose not to read the hundreds of posts from passionate GOONERS ON HERE CRITICISING, RIGHTLY IN MANY CASES, THE MYRIAD WEAKNESSES WE HAVE. Many of those comments were even posted by YOU yourself in your articles. I fully accept that hypocrisy is a natural and normal part of the normal human condition we all share, myself very much included. Your article amply demonstrates the truth of that statement.

      1. That Voltaire guy was a really clever dude, I read his top three quotes and they are simplistically accurate. Common sense is not so common, lol.

        1. jon, I agree with your sentiments on Martin Keown; too bad he is not 20 years younger, as Arsenal could sure use him. I too have quoted Voltaire on this site. As B-o-t states common sense is not that common.

    2. Are you Keowns son or something? I genuinely cannot get my head around a single point you raised in your entire comment. I’m honestly staring in total disbelief at some of things you typed.

      ” I mention the famous Voltaire quote (for those who either already know it or can be bothered to look it up) and that is my philosophy” I mean, what a hideously sanctimonious line. Both of your comments are just dripping in “look how intelligent I am!!!”

      1. Are you generally this horrible? Your post reveals far more about you than it ever does of me. I do not claim to be super intelligent and cannot be blamed for simply knowing about Voltaire. You could also if you choose to look it up. Your decision entirely if you wish to educate yourself. As foro being “Keowns son or something” I am old enough to be his father, as you might well have known were you a regular on here.

        1. “Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dites mais je me batterai pour que vous le disiez” “i disagree with your opinion but i will fight for you to express it” Voltaire

          1. Yes Pires, spot on . That was PRECISELY the quote of his I referred to. It is among the most accurate and wise quotations ever written.

  2. I agree that both forwards have to start at Mestalla, because they were good on their respective wings last night and seemed to have understood the necessity of playing wider

    Even though Mkhitaryan’s run and shot ignited Aubameyang’s goal last night, his overall passing and touches are worse than Ozil nowadays. Unfortunately Ozil is devoid of creativity in the last few games, therefore I hope Emery is willing to try Iwobi-san as a CAM/ false nine

    I also agree we should keep Mustafi, because he knows Valencia and Mestalla very well. I believe he would have a warm welcome from the Bats’ supporters and it could be a nice boost to his performance

    1. Please take this fantasy about iwobi and never utter those words again ,he’s a busted flush ,not sure why you would want a player who cannot even make a simple 5 yard pass but you would still want him as a cam .
      One of the worst performers this season for arsenal ,he’s showed absolutely nothing ,I can’t even remember him scoring that’s how bad he his .hardly any assists even though he was played regularly at the start of the season .
      If he was to be played as a cam that would be the end of us .
      But happy bday to the lad and all .

      1. He should be tried as a CAM in at least five consecutive matches, because he has good skills and physical attributes to do hold-up plays. If he doesn’t perform, we can always go back to Ozil or Mkhitaryan

        He doesn’t create many goals and assists because he is playing out of his natural central position. Besides, performance is not always measured from goal or assist tally

        Thiago, Isco, Xavi and Iniesta could not beat Ozil’s assist record in Real Madrid, yet they are more influential and more performing in big games. There is no statistic of being a threat and a nuisance to the opposition’s defenders

    1. Absolutely NO John0711 !!!

      These guys couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag let alone fight for a the team.

      Miki has never made sense to me. What does he do exactly? I actually have a dream that Miki turns up outside my house in an ice cream van..

      Iwobi (iWobbly) couldn’t get a shot on target if you took the keeper away and placed the ball on the line!

      As for Mustafi? Don’t even get me started on that guy. He should have stuck to ballet or something!

  3. I hope players do not read our posts. Today someone is called a nutmeg master, when he is off form, every one is saying he has been the worst performer. If Football was easy , I would be a top defender for Arsenal.

    1. The stats shows that Iwobi has played the highest number of minutes in the squad so it’s natural that he’s beginning to burn out these last few games, after all he’s human too. He just needs a run of games at CAM and I’m sure he’ll convince Unai

    2. I hope players DO read our posts!!

      If I was earning that sort of money I would at least try to do the job I was employed to do..

  4. If we get to the final and it’s against Chavski should Cech be in goal?

    I read a news article that he is being linked with a job back at Chelsea after retiring so would it not follow that if it came to it he would prefer them to win the final if it gets them in the CL and not Arsenal?

    Could we risk it even if there was a possibly of a bit of goalkeeping skullduggery?

    I would be happier with Leno. As much as a good keeper Cech has been sentimentality does not come into it and Leno should play if we face off in the final against Chelsea.

  5. I think it’s time for Iwobi to get his chance at CAM away at Valencia. I don’t trust Ozil away from home and Mikki hasn’t been brilliant lately. Our birthday boy comes across as physically strong and possesses great tactical awareness to excel in the role which is his natural position.

    1. He’s got a 1st touch like a trampoline.
      Thought he was off to Barca anyway 90mil wasn’t it ?
      Anyway it’s the nutmeg masters bday so I won’t be too harsh .

      1. Let’s hope for a late Birthday present, he’ll be on ‘Megnuts’ on Soccer AM tomorrow!
        As they say “Be clever, keep them together” ?

      2. Hey Xxnofx that’s my line about Iwobblies first touch but I’ll let you borrow it?. And others asking to try him as a CAM in our most important game of the season is just laughable. BTW I won’t hear a word said against Keown, if we had players with half his passion, not only when he played for us but also as a true Gooner we might have a half decent team. And, you can respect someone’s opinion without agreeing with it.

    2. Iwobi and tactical awareness? I had to read the sentence twice. Iwobi has some talent we have seen it, but his decision making and finishing are atrocious.

      Iwobi and tactical awareness I have certainly heard it all now. Not sure what you have seen from him to equate the two. Iwobi can dribble and he can run, but he has as much tactical awareness as a blind man at a Miss Universe pageant.

  6. I have massive respect for Martin Keown. He was always one of my favourites! Always will be but, I also have to disagree (to an extent). Finishing in the top four of the EPL is is a must. We need CL football. But to think all the hard work was done last night and we’re pretty much through would be a massive mistake to make! We all know what happens to Arsenal when we assume things will be okay!

    Play our strongest if fit enough and nothing less will do!!!! Winning The Europa League will get us CL next year and Chelsea (If they reach the final) would be a great game of football! And one we could win!!!

  7. With respect to MK ,to suggest leaving out Kocielney in preference to Mustafi and Socratis is evidence of a lack of appreciation of what distinguishes between good and bad.Kocielney and Laca were our best players last night and if MK does not accept that there is something wrong with his grey matter.During the past two months I have come to the conclusion that Socratis is as much of a liability as Mustafi and I have a fear he may well be sent off during the replay in The beautiful city of Valencia as their forwards will I am sure dive about when challenged .Emery must stress to Mustafi and Socratis the importance of staying on their feet and remaining intelligent in the heat of battle.

  8. I watched in post game interview where Keown said this and the Koscielny statement was due to Koscielny being injured. Keown said something to the effecto of Koscielny should play but he might not be able to.

    I think (hope) everyone on this board agrees that Koscielny should be starting if he is healthy enough. Unfortunately his health just isn’t that great.

  9. Keown hasn’t had much success as a manager is it because he misses some of the finer details? I trust Emery more than Keown I’m this one.

  10. Like what is it, do people not feel comfortable talking about good things so much that they rather talk about someone who hasn’t played or someone that wasn’t as good as the better ones. I came in here expecting a lot to be spoken about Lacazette, Auba’s goal being crucial, The second half performance by the entire team more or less (which is why Keown said what he said).

  11. Ozil should play,valencia will go all out,living space that ozil could exploite,it,s not science,anyway keown was a defender what does he know about attacking play,counter attacking??

  12. Question,where are the people who slammed the coach over auba operation?I guess they now better

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