Opinion: Keown is wrong to write-off Arsenal top-four hopes

Martin Keown has claimed that Arsenal will fail to make the top-four this season because of our dismal away form, but I think that is naive reasoning considering the circumstances.

The Premier League is set to return to action next week, where we will travel to take on Manchester City next Wednesday.

We will of course kick off our return away from home, but thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, away matches will almost feel like a neutral encounter, with not a single away fan being allowed in stadiums.

Despite such new regulations being in place, Martin Keown still has doubts about our ability to play well away from home, and claims that our travels will stop us from climbing up the table.

Keown told DailyMail:‘Arsenal’s problem, for the last two and a half seasons, has been their away form. It’s their achilles heel.

‘In 2019-20, they’ve won twice on the road in 13 attempts, and their next three games are all away from home — against Manchester City, Brighton and Southampton.

‘Then later in the campaign, they face Wolves and Tottenham away, too, before travelling to Aston Villa.

‘If you’re a Manchester United player looking at those Arsenal fixtures, you’d be saying: “Good luck with that.” United have a slight head start and a more favourable run-in.

‘Something affects this Arsenal group when they’re competing away from home, and I doubt they’ll make it into the Champions League because of that.’

I personally think it would be naive to discount Arsenal’s ability to win on the road given that stadium’s will not have opposing fans in them, whilst it is also worth noting that we have won three and drawn two of our last five matches on the road in all competitions, including a draw at Stamford Bridge.

Is Keown being naive to claim our away form will hamper us in the remainder of the season?

Patrick

Tags Martin Keown

9 Comments

  1. Mogunna says:

    He is right in term of statistics as you are on not having fans can potentially a game changing factor. But it is same for any team at home as for us.

    Beyond fans, we are in 9th spot, looking at fixtures & teams ahead of us; it is common sense that we won’t make it to CL, but stand a chance for EL.

    Now, no fans mean that it is all about players on pitch and coach choices for each team. That can make a difference for every team.

    To think we stand to win or lose upon fans does not apply here, we all at same level.

    To me, it will be about how Arteta picks team, he knows how to prepare players for a game, that was his main task as an assistant for Pep…Main MA’s issue been in picking team, reflects on our football and results.

  2. Reggie says:

    Keown is most definitely not wrong to write off our top 4 chances. There are very good reasons we are where we are, we have a rotten core and that rot will not disappear just like that. We have obvious weaknesses and obvious failings, they dont just go away. We are an outsider of 9 to get top 4, that is blindingly obvious.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Reggie, you and Martin Keown are right for the reasons you state; the players lack both the ability and the character to compete hard enough to overcome the current point disparity. The table does not lie.
      I appreciate Patrick’s faith, even though misplaced.

  3. SueP says:

    I have very little confidence that a top 4 or 5 place is achievable. Europa league but that’s it

  4. Shakir says:

    I am actually positive about how we will end the season.
    We are unbeaten domestically in 2020
    3 wins in a row and possibly counting

    But that charlton match highlights showed some serious defensive issues thats the area with some serious concerns

  5. Bonnylad says:

    Considering the teams ahead of us in the table, we got slim chances of clinching a top four slot even after the Citizens would be ruled out due to the FFP case they still challenging in court.
    But if the squad manages to play their hearts out for the club, anything is possible

  6. Jah son says:

    I think it’s only sensible to hold all bets until after that City game

  7. Drayton says:

    The important thing is we all ignore the media and just get behind the new manager. No one here is tricked into thinking Arteta turns things around w this squad in short order. But, I do know we looked hungrier than I’ve seen in 10 years, every player fighting for the badge, under Arteta. So that’s my optimism, Keown (aka any of these so-called journalists) can go jump into a well for all I care.

  8. Sarmmie says:

    Why should a reasonable analyst judge Arteta’s future results with Emery’s past performances?

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