Keown excited at this one Arsenal thing that he has not seen since Wenger era

Arsenal secured an impressive morale-boosting 4-2 win over Leeds United yesterday.

The Gunners had picked up a goalless draw against the Yorkshire side with ten men in the reverse fixture and it was the third time they faced Marcelo Bielsa’s team since Mikel Arteta became manager.

That win helped the Gunners to move above the Whites on the league table and also get within six points of the top four.

Arteta employed an exciting line up with Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Dani Ceballos all playing.

Leeds have been famed for their relentless pressing and attacking game, but the Gunners out-pressed and outworked them in the win.

Martin Keown was excited to see the set up that Arteta made and praised his selection as one of the most technically-packed Arsenal sides since the days of Arsene Wenger.

He writes in his Mail Sports column: “Sunday’s selection by Mikel Arteta was a return to that philosophy. I haven’t seen an Arsenal side packed with so many technical players since the Wenger era. 

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will grab the headlines for his hat-trick but he was getting plenty of chances created for him.

“Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Dani Ceballos – they can all create and there was a good message to press high collectively. Arsenal made Leeds look quite ordinary for most of this match because of that.
“Arteta flooded his team with quality and they overpowered their opponent. They were clever, too. It looked like Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier made a mistake for the penalty but Arsenal engineered that opportunity. 

“Arteta’s attackers cut off any avenues in which Meslier could play the ball. As a result, he lost it and Arsenal had a spot-kick to make it 2-0. 

“Marcelo Bielsa’s full backs are very important to the way they attack. 

“But they were so pre-occupied with Smith Rowe on the left wing and Saka on the right that they could not get out and fly forward. It was once Smith Rowe was substituted in the 62nd minute that Arsenal started to sit deep. 

“They didn’t have the same energy in their pressing and that’s when Leeds started to claw their way back. What Arsenal did for the first hour of this match is what Arteta will be looking to build upon. ”

It is impressive to see how Arteta paired Odegaard and Smith Rowe and that shows that he can get the best out of both players.

Tags Martin Keown


  1. It’s funny how the fact that many on here were questioning MA on here, when he insisted on not having one single player who could create – it was obvious that was the missing link and our performance against Leeds proved it.

      1. I wonder who you could be thinking about who did NOT fit that desciption! Of course I lie, since I DO NOT WONDER AT ALL. I KNOW PRECISELY.

    1. Leeds started scoring when Willian was introduced,. In fact for about 10 minutes he didn’t touch the ball only doing his normal useless runs. Plz advice Arteta to stop using this guy??? Anytime he in the team it’s just like playing 10 against 11

  2. Having odegard in Arsenal is a great asset. With Saka, Ode, Emile its 1 of the best rebuild future generation attack trio. Audi and perhaps 1 new striker gona have a great help n good scoring times again.

    Cant imagine with Partey back how awesome will it be.
    We just need 2 more new key players and few rotational hardworking players. Arsenal will be challenging for Top 4 n perhaps even Top 2.

    Promote at least 1 of 2 talented youths from each department to senior squad to back up 1st team players.
    Spend only when necessary.

  3. When I commented on Ode’s potential acquisition I was concerned, with Arteta’s propensity to opt for defense-first tactics, that it might hurt ESR’s continued development…that said, I was hopeful that MA might grow a pair and play them at the same time so we could give our best players a chance to eat…even so, it wasn’t exactly what I envisioned, as he didn’t change formations, so he did have to play ESR out wide with both Xhaka and Ceballos sitting deeper…hopefully if Partey can stay healthy we might even be able to have them both play more centrally with Auba up top and Saka and Marts out wide, so we can functionally have 6 guys going hunting in the final third

    1. TRVL, if Arsenal can prise Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid at the end of the season, it will be a major coup.

    2. Having two of them central would be detrimental. What makes a player a specialist in any position is their thought process. Despite Ceballos being a flair player, he can play with an attacking mid because he’s a natural number 8 . He will naturally drop deeper than a 10 and his arrival in the final third will usually be late so he’ll never clash with the 10 two 10s would cause us to loose the ball more as they’d
      1. Make similar runs looking for space thus either running into each other or reducing attacking space for themselves and their wingers.
      2. Provide offensive overloads for opponents. Example. With Leeds 4-1-4-1, your two attacking mids would be either side of the one defensive mid they have. That means only one of their central mids has to drop at a time to account for the ball direction. If we lost the ball, leeds instantly have a passing option in the second CM, which would draw out our single DM. A quick release to the CF would draw out one of our CBs. If an opponent can draw out your CB this early in transition, you’re in trouble because then at this point they have their wingers and fullbacks bombing forward and you’re outnumbered about 6-3

      1. Very good analysis i have to say Joe about similar runs bumping into each other blocking paths..but the longer they’ll play together and working on it in training it will get better they’ll get used to it knowing each other better and I’m also looking forward to more overloads more players in and around the box something Odegaard brings and also more interchanging.

  4. That was one of the best attacking performances I’ve seen for a long time fantastic it will take a while before we start to be consistent but you can see what Arteta is trying to achieve.. I no we will get a few downs before we start really showing our potential That was the real ARSENAL….

  5. Removing every other factor from the game. We pressed high and pressed properly for the first time in months.

    I’m not sure why we haven’t been doing this is most games.

  6. We Arsenal fans can be funny sometimes, One good game like this make us feel we’re on top of the World, never forget we’ve lose to much already, this coming matches would give us clue bout where Arteta is heading to, me especially, cause I’m not confuse with his ill tactics, in addition if he can’t manage to us to Europa league next season, he shouldn’t start next season with us.

  7. Am worried about mancity how we gona win that game? Yes arsenal was good against leeds but most of those goals we scored it becz of the mistake we didn’t build from the back n score so against mancity thy don’t lose ball in the middle of the pitch so the question is can we build from the back?? N score

  8. It would be a fantastic game, as far as we don’t go back in our shells but take the game to them… Metal pressing all game… The young lads gat the energy…because if we allow city loads of time on the ball we concede badly…

    Leeds is one example of allowing the opponent have too much of the ball…..we conceded two..
    Man city ain’t invincible… We can do it gunners…
    One more thing, I pray no mistakes and unnecessary red cards and Pks

  9. Wise combination by MA.,.but Auba is still lacking strength [power force]; he is slow. Arsenal should find a back up..a prolific finisher with determination; though he had netted trice.

  10. I have to admit it i was both surprised and impressed by the line up very offensive technical and gave credit to MA but once again as in several games before when we’re leading we always revert to negative tactics dropping back inviting constant pressure and substitutions(is it all coming from MA or possibly also unconsciously from the players?) sometimes the best defense is attack i know we have the midweek game but had we stuck with our positive possession game we would have either kept Leeds players on their toes or be punished them on the break thus ensuring an easier and less nervy end to the game for us fans!Hector brought a valid point about our game management but the substitutions didn’t allow it i believe.

  11. That’s one of the best line up arteta has produced so far, not that he didn’t know that creativity was his problem but he only wanted to form tactical pattern that may have ended his carrier as an Arsenal coach.
    Saka right wing, odegaard middle, Smith Rowe left and aubameyang up front so the Leeds United defenders where so confused on who to Mark and leave others so it wasn’t easy for them until when Smith Rowe came out and willian went in that’s when they got relieved and started pressing that resulted to that two goals.

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