“I think the brand of Arsenal’s football is changing,” Keown comments on Arsenal’s style under Arteta

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.

Tags Martin Keown mikel arteta

14 Comments

  1. Sid says:

    I don’t think there was anything accusatory in Mr. Keown’s tone. Just a factual observation.

    1. RFrancis says:

      Very good observation Sid. We need to very careful with press reports – to avoid further inflaming the fanbase. Unfortunately we’re still in the Trump age.

      1. jon fox says:

        Astute analysis both Sid and RF!

        This article was written as if Keown was dissing what Arteta is trying to do in making us more defensively secure(after all those bleak defensive “colander” years) and to my mind that is clearly a falsehood. He is trying to build from the back, both sensibly and historically wise when building any long term successful team.

        When Martin chose to use the phrase” Keown accused MA…. etc, the articles slanted agenda was depressingly obvious. This site, like so many downmarket tabloids, expoits sensationalism in place of attempting balanced truth and thus we attract the many uinthinking hotheads on here who do not think before they post.

        ACCURATE use of words matters immensely, as I constantly have to renind this site, esp its headline writer. You might well think this site and those down market tabloids might have learned better by noticing the damage Trumpism has done to truth. No suck luck though. Sigh!

        Well said, both of you!

  2. Mohsan says:

    If most fans don’t care about what type of football we are playing and just care about trophies then they are gold digger n plastic fans. Ppl watch football for fun n entertainment not to sleep through matches only to wake up to see your team holdin the trophy. I am not saying winning is bad it’s obviously why you ever participate in a competition but the way you go about it is equally as important.

    1. Daulat Neupane says:

      You nailed it. “Fans” who ONLY care about their clubs winning trophies, are people who just take a vicarious sense of achievement and glory in their lives by watching “their” team win. It’s a sad affair really, that shows an alarmingly low level of self-esteem in one’s life.

      Of course, I feel good when Arsenal wins trophies, but not for myself. I feel good for the players, the manager who gave it all to achieve that. And it’s a warming feeling. More importantly, it’s more of a brand of football that Arsenal played in the past that made me admire the club. It’s ultimately, just football.

    2. ThirdManJW says:

      @Mohsan

      Whilst I 100% agree with everything you have said, style/entertainment should be the least of our worries right now.

      We have been so poor for so long, that just making us competitive again was the priority, at any cost! Obviously one can be competitive, and play attractive football, but Arteta has taking the route he has, and I fully support him.

      Before anything else, Arteta rightly put all his focus on defending, competing, and sorting out our weak mentality. He had to build that base first. Now that is in place, he’s working on playing more entertaining football, and improving the attack.

      Wenger spoilt us rotten with entertaining football for so long, and although we want more of that, I am happy wait a few years for it to return if the trade off is us being competitive, and successful again.

      1. SueP says:

        You put that very well ThirdMan

        We all want the return of exciting football but first and foremost I’d want to guarantee Premier League football and stability

  3. Goona says:

    We do care about the football,in fact that us the reason why i started supporting The Arsenal during the Wenger era(im 33 years old).
    This style that Arteta is bringing will take some getting used to.I t is so unArsenal most of the time im screaming at the tv because of the direction of the passes

    1. Goonster says:

      How is it so UnArsenal?
      You know that we were known as “1-0 to the Arsenal”. That was before 1996 when wenger took over.
      And did you know that Arsenal Football Club is more than 100 years old ( 134 years old to be more precise). Wenger was only here for 20 years out of the 134 years.

      So people that keep going on about the Arsenal way confuse me a bit. The Arsenal class blah blah. Never read about the “HENRY NORRIS” etc?

      I understand and agree that most of us are not loving or enjoying the Arteta boring football at the moment, but let’s not try to sensationalise “The Arsenal Way / Arsenal Class etc..

  4. Goonster says:

    My exact take on the Arteta. I keep saying the same thing.
    He is too over cautious and pragmatic when he should now let the players go out there and express themselves a bit more.

    I was okay with a quick defensive fix when he came in for the seconf half of last season. I thought it was warranted and the right thing to do back then.

    This season I was expecting a more improved all round style of football with a few of his own players after a full preseason.

    I am absolutely not happy with the boring too cautious / clueless football so far.

    Sort it out Arteta.

  5. Stephan says:

    I mean Arteta was king of the sideways pass. We’re playing his brand of football.

    I think he wants his players playing with awareness and fearlessness, but he talks so much they are distracted and scared instead.

    Give him some time. It’s better we go through a rough patch/adjustment period early, other teams will have it later when we are getting more settled and solid

  6. dO2 says:

    While I support Arteta and the team, Keown’s absolutely right – a witty unbiased observation like he’s always had IMHO.

    I think Arteta is only taking his time to improve the awful defending we’ve had recently, which I think he’s done decently nice enough and it’s about time we started attacking.
    TBH (I know most persons will disagree), our displays against Leicester City and the first half against Aston Villa were arguably the best I’ve seen us play this season, despite both resulting in losses and disappointments – Leicester scored with their first shot on target of about just 2 attempts and Villa took control once Partey left and our tempo dropped in the 2nd half.

    Mikel to me is being over cautious but being a former MF and having played under Arsene and have worked with Pep, I’m optimistic the good attacking times will come!

  7. Sam says:

    I believe arsenal is lacking midfield creativity which In return lacks attacking power. Keep involving the young players like Nelson and willock and martinelli and there will be good change

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