Martin Keown has accused Mikel Arteta of abandoning Arsenal’s attack-based football that they played under Arsene Wenger for a more pragmatic approach to the game.
The Gunners have struggled for goals for some time now in the Premier League and their attacking style has been questioned.
Before Arteta became the club’s manager, Arsenal’s biggest problem was in their defence.
The Spaniard helped them to fix their leaky defence, but it is not just the defenders who are tasked with keeping the opposition at bay under his system.
The team presses from the front and they have become a little more cautious in attacking as well.
Keown says that the Gunners have abandoned the free-flowing attacking football that they were known for under Wenger for a safer approach that sees them pass the ball backwards too often.
“I think the brand of Arsenal’s football is changing,” the former Gunners defender told BT Sport as quoted by Goal.com.
“When you think of 22 years under Arsene Wenger, so much creativity, expression, belief from the manager that anything was possible.
“Here we are with a brand new manager, one who I think is going to be outstanding. But maybe there is too much instruction.
“Players going backwards, under Arsene Wenger, no, no, that ball has to go forward. Arteta played very well under Wenger, so he will know.
“I think he wants them to express themselves and play, but I think that comes with trust and you stop with the information, and rely on the individual to go and create the play.
“Maybe it’s just a little bit of balance. He’s still a young manager, but very successful already – it’s still early days – but at the moment, he doesn’t have quite the right balance between attacking and defending.”
Arsenal has won the FA Cup and Community Shield in the short time that Arteta has been their manager and most fans will not care about the football if the trophies keep coming.