Keown – Arsenal are a couple of changes from toppling Chelsea

The Arsenal legend Martin Keown thinks that the Gunners have finally assembled a squad capable of winning the Premier League, and will mount a real challenge to Chelsea next season. “Chelsea will win it now but if you ask them next season they won’t fear anyone – but they will be aware of Arsenal,” Keown said.

“They will want to challenge next season and they will want to start well next year.

“They need to strengthen in one or two positions but I’m not talking about wholesale changes which some others may have to make if they want to compete.”

Arsenal won their first FA Cup for nine years last season and finished Fourth (as usual!) ut Kepwn sees things progressing nicely his time around. “It has to represent progress if you’re finishing two positions higher and still in the FA Cup,”

“They look more convincing as a team than they did last year. The players look together.

“The squad is better equipped now, Gabriel is putting (Per) Mertesacker under huge pressure and (Francis) Coquelin is in midfield instead of (Mikel) Arteta and (Mathieu) Flamini who are maybe coming to the end of their careers.

“They have a whole array of players who can play off the front and (Olivier) Giroud and (Danny) Welbeck are vying for the centre forward position. The competition for places creates intensity.”

So Keown reckons Wenger is nearly there, but don’t we hear the “one or two changes” mantra every season? I think they only thing hat stopped us winning the title this season is that we had so many injuries in the first six months. If we had all our players fit, why would we need to buy anybody else?

Tags Chelsea Coquelin Keown


  1. Darlingbudsofarse says:

    The injuries over the years make it a yes and the more reason to bother with as you phrased it, “buy anybody else?”!!!

  2. Hafiz Rahman says:

    If our players are fit we still need to sign quality players to strengthen the squad…some players in the squad are just not good enough, ageing or inexperience

  3. Hafiz Rahman says:

    the mighty Man Utd team is fav for the title next season….and if we dont spend big and sign quality players to strengthen the team….

    we will still end up paying 8m a year to a manager and win nothing…..

    1. Mick The Gooner says:

      United will spend big this summer, but they’ll also lose their best player. De Gea is Madrid-bound. Can Gaal loves to rave about Smalling, Evans and Jones, but don’t be fooled. De Gea has been the saviour of United’s defence this season. Without him they’d be 5th/6th. It’s unbelievable how many world-class saves he’s made this season, how many seemingly certain goals he’s stopped. Such a good goalkeeper, up there with Neuer in my opinion. He’ll be tough for United to replace.

      RVP is ageing, Falcao will leave and Rooney is not a 25-goals-a-season striker, no matter what pundits may say. He scores good goals, but it’s about quantity not quality as a striker. I really don’t rate many other United players. Mata is great, Di Maria is great, but under performing and looks like he may leave, other than that, not really any top players there. They’ll spend big, no doubt, but I can’t see them getting many top players, and even if they do, it’ll take time for them to settle.

      They’ll be a force next season, but I can’t see them winning it. Between Chelsea and Arsenal for me, they’re the only teams that seem to have a settled, top quality squad. City have a major rebuilding of their squad needed too. Though having said that, if Arsenal don’t buy properly this summer, I don’t think we’ll challenge properly either, but we only have a couple of signings needed, so I hope we get them.

      1. Goonsquad8 says:

        De gea has been world class for United you are absolutely right he’s saved them countless times and they would be languishing in 6th if not lower without him.

        Against city de gea almost saved aguero’s second goal and I was in shock 9/10 keepers would’nt have been close but the guy almost saved it!

  4. Mick The Gooner says:

    On current form, I think we have Chelsea beat. With both teams on top form, who wins? I think Chelsea still just edge it.

    Defensively we just don’t stand up to them. Only Koscielny would get into their back 5 in my opinion, and that’s a maybe. I may be guilty of understating our players, but that’s just my opinion. They beat us defensively, but not by too much, and a lot of it is to do with their style of play, they’re a more defensive team.

    Is Coquelin better than Matic? Actually, I think he is. Surprising, I know, but Coquelin has been on another level to every other DM around since he came back.

    Is Cazorla better than Fabregas? Though it pains me to say it, I don’t think so. Cazorla is much more exciting to watch and more technically gifted, but you can’t argue with Fabregas’ return this season. 17 league assists. Just 3 short of Henry’s record. Not much between them though.

    Willian or Theo/Ox? William offers a lot more defensively, but in the way of attacking I think Walcott is best, though lately he hasn’t played so it’s a tough argument to make.

    Özil or Oscar? Özil. No debate.

    Hazard or Alexis? Too close to call. Alexis has a better record with goals and assists, in fewer games too, and is better defensively. Hazard looks a better dribbler though and is better at beating players.

    Costa or Giroud? Giroud has done really well and pretty much equalled Costa’s goalscoring records per game, and is more of a team player too, but I’d have to go with Costa. More of an established goalscorer, he’s more consistent too.

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:

      Carzola and Fab are two different type of players….

      a fair comparison is to play them at the same position with the same quality players….

      Fab is surrounded by world class striker Costa and Drogba and world class midfielders to assist him

    2. jonestown1 says:

      Interesting comparison Mick. Regarding their defensive unit I agree – you have to say they are better but I would say several things.

      1) We are definitely closing the gap. Pre-Xmas in the PL we were conceding at 1.2 goals/game. Post-Xmas we are at 0.7 g/g – quite a significant improvement.

      2) I genuinely think that much of the difference is down to Chelsea simply being cleverer and more cynical. Everyone of their players is drilled to the nth degree as when to foul, what types of fouls in what areas of the pitch, taking gamesmanship to the very brink of what is acceptable. Every player has the sly ankle tap, shirt tug, “accidental” obstruction, “ooops lost my balance suddenly” tumbling acts down to a fine art. Every team is guilty to some extent of the above – but their expertise in these dark arts are head and shoulders above the rest imo. Not sure how much I want us to learn from them but sadly that is sometimes the difference between winning and losing.

      3) We have conceded 3 goals once this season in domestic competition (during our worst 45 minutes of the season at Stoke). Chelsea’s off days have seen 4 and 5 goals conceded.

      4) Curiously, Opta who compile the official PL stats rate our defence 1st in the PL. I think they just chuck every defensive event/stat in to a database and press a button to get a score.

      5) I think our “2nd string” back 4 (Bellerin (or is it Debuchy?!)/Gabriel/Chambers/Gibbs) is, for the first time, comparable to anyone elses’ in the PL in terms of dependability/quality. A good sign for the season a head.

      1. Goonsquad8 says:

        Honestly ivanovic and Cahill are not that good I’ve heard countless times that there fans are upset Cause of the countless defensive lapses and errors those two make. If ivanovic wasn’t so good on the attacking side I doubt he would start.

        And I’d take cazorla over cesc any day. Please please please focus on cesc next time you see Chelsea play he is such a bystander the game honestly passes him by. on the defensive end he contributes nothing and he doesn’t control or dictate games like he did before.

        1. truegunner12 says:

          Again we really can’t be as myopic as we’ve been. For as much as Fabregas’ issues have been recently he has 16 assists and 4 goals. That in and of itself is a solid return no matter where you go but he has it on a team that 2 other players are almost in double digits.

          The big issue for us is performing over an entire season.

  5. Greg says:

    Well said martin! We just have to be positive, and have mental toughness going into this match! I believe yes! We can do it! We are arsenal! Coyg!

  6. ArseneIsYourDaddy says:

    Arsenal fans are dreamers. Four seasons ago we had 80% of the firepower of Chelsea and the Mancs. We have grown slowly up the ramp since we added Santi, Giroud,Per, Nacho, Ozil, Sanchez, Wellbeck and the coming out of Le Coq and Bellerin and now Gabriel.

    I estimate we are at 95% of the big boys. Two additions in summer and we are there.
    Only the big voodoo of injuries can keep us from the Title.

    We need another CB the class of Gabriel so that when we sub the quality of the defense does not drop. And clone Le Coq. We need two of that French asskicker.

    We are getting there Gunners, we are almost there. I can smell it from a continent away.

  7. rkw says:

    Hazard costa willan vs Sanchez giroud Walcott ….. We are clearly short there so a quality attacker is a must

    Ozil cazorla coquellin Ramsey/wilshire vs fabregas matic Ramirez Oscar
    Close though Chelsea better defensively here partly because of their organization and work rate … A powerful DM would give us options

    Defensively we need another class CB as mert is hopeless and getting more vulnerable … I don’t think Gibbs is progressing but can go another season before a definitive decision

  8. invisible says:

    i’m back, been a mere observer for the past few months bcoz of all the keyboard battles raging here, nice to see some sanity back. well, the “house of hafiz rehman” is quite something, just let him be.

  9. Simon_MrMac says:

    Injuries robbed us of a serious league winning challenge- If Chelsea had the same amount of injuries I think we would be neck-and-neck

    I predicted at the start of the year it would be decided by goal difference, it may not be true this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its that close next year

    God I love Arsenal when they are playing well. COYG!

  10. fred cowardly says:

    We need a another top dm and another top striker

    A top box2box mf and top winger would be nice too but not necessary

  11. truegunner12 says:

    Actually I think this squad is currently capable of winnkng a league but again it isn’t Chelsea we have to be concerned about, it’s Arsenal. Fact of the matter is barring a collapse of epic proportions Chelsea will win the league by a sizable margin.

    However in order for us to win the league there are 2 things that really need to be dealt with. Dropped points at places we shouldn’t and big games.

    Some results are acceptable, a loss away to Chelsea is acceptable, a draw at Anfield is acceptable. But we lost to Stoke away, Swansea away, drew with Leicester away, drew with Spurs at home, lost to Southampton away, drew with Hull at home, drew Everton away. Injuries or not we should have at the very least taken a point from those games. Those are the fixtures that derailed our title bid.

    Secondly we need to start taking more points from big games. Given City’s recent woes we shouldn’t read too much into the win at the Etihad but we gave those points back with a draw at the Emirates, a loss to United, we dropped 4 points to Spurs, 3 to Southampton and a loss away to Chelsea. Again a loss away to Chelsea is acceptable but 4 points to Spurs? 3 to Southampton?

    One of the reasons Mourinho is so successful is due to the way his calculating stance. He happily drew a game vs City as it meant no net gain for either team but it meant 1 less game played. City needed the points not Chelsea. He put his team in a position where he can afford draws against bigger opponents as a title is purely about mathematics. You can best believe he’ll show up at the Emirates and play for a draw. Because a draw means no net gain and 1 less game.

    Do I want us to be as calculating as Chelsea? No, but we need to realize a title is won by being consistently better than 19 other teams for a whole season, not being better for the second half.

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