‘They are real talents’ keown praises two Arsenal stars after slaughtering Slavia Prague

Martin Keown was full of praise for the Arsenal players in the first half of their 4-0 win over Slavia Prague in the Europa League today, but he singled out Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe for special mention.

Mikel Arteta’s side needed to be at their very best after allowing the visitors to earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

They started this return leg solidly and got rewarded with quick-fire goals in the first half which rattled their opponents.

They hardly gave their host the chance to attack and they were rewarded for their relentless pressing with 3 goals in the first 45 mins.

Two players stood out among the stars, with Saka and Smith Rowe delivering performances beyond their ages.

Keown watched as his former side attacked from the beginning of the game and earned a deserved lead at halftime and he said they were impressive in all areas of the pitch.

‘Really impressive and it’s all areas of the pitch,’ Keown told BT Sport at half-time via the Metro

‘From the back to the midfield… and up front, you look at Saka and Smith Rowe, they are real talents.

‘Absolutely outstanding. Saka, he can play almost anywhere. We were listening to his PE teacher tell us what a good player he was in any position, he proved that tonight. 

‘This fella [Smith Rowe], two nutmegs and the composure there. How’s he getting through there [when assisting Pepe’s goal]? He’s got composure determination, he doesn’t panic and this is really clever, little nutmeg and a second one with the pass. 

‘Pepe, because he delays that shot with an extra touch, brilliant the way he lifted over the keeper.

‘We asked a lot of questions of them before the game and they’ve come up with the answers. They’ve done their talking on the pitch. ‘I’m really pleased actually, it’s the young players coming from the academy that are leading the way. It’s about bolting players on to that, they’re the present and the future and they’re showing that tonight.

Tags Bukayo Saka Emile Smith Rowe Martin Keown


  1. With ESR, Saka, Pepe and Martinelli backing up our strikers, there is not an excuse as to why we are where we are. Add to those Partey, Tierney, Odegaard, Ceballos, Chambers and Gabriel, with the wrinklies fitted in as well, our position is terrible. The only way anything can be salvaged from our car crash season is winning the EL, with the added spice of beating the person that Arteta replaced. Its a Duel that Arteta has to win, especially with the talent we have.

    1. We have the personnel to be in the top four at least….If Arteta van cet them going we can hurt almost evrebody….

    2. I have to agree with the players we have we shouldn’t be where we are in the PL but this season being an unusual one i will cut the manager and the players some slack but next season will be a different story.

  2. I think the Hall End academy is doing a good job…..Saka ESR Eddie Ballougun…Thé futur looks bright….

    1. Wholeheartedly agree, as there’s a few more there at Hale End and on loan too, Pires. All they need are opportunities for progression and development.
      Lacazette deserves praise for his leadership and the ability to inspire, bring confidence and work with these young players, including Pepe. As well as that he is scoring goals.
      You can always tell that Martin Keown cares deeply.

  3. Pepe scored and looked sharp around goal, but there were many occasions when he gave the ball away with a sloppy pass. He was not the only one guilty of this, Partey also gave the ball away at times, usually in our half. Chambers slipped a nice pass for Saka to score, but his crossing was abysmal. He too was guilty of giving the ball away in the second half. I believe we won this game with the early goals, we got more and more slapdash as the game went on. Still we are in with a chance of winning the UEL, but we might have to sacrifice some league games to achieve it. Will the fans be happy finishing in 10 place if we lose in the EUL final?

    1. JW, surely not the time to be critical, when Arsenal beat a side 4-0, which hasn’t lost at home for 28 matches?

  4. The coach arteta now knows the right players to use when his job was at hand. Why didn’t he force big players with no input on the field. He knows those big names play for money while the young want to create their names.
    We’ve won bigger games without auba with young , vibrant , ever tiring youngsters.
    He’ll always want to force auba. William into the team where there are young blood.
    We won’t have won with that margin If the coach forcefully field auba and Williams.
    Pepe played from auba’s preferred position and make exploit. Let’s auba fit to play, he’ll still have no shot or pass in a whole 90 min.what a captain after lifting the F.A cup.

    To keep Him job.

    1. J w ,I don’t know what game you were watching maybe a re run of the liverpool game because that was the worst assessment of a 4 -0 victory I have ever heard

  5. Everyone should stop comparing Auba to Willian, as they’re completely different players, with completely different history’s at the club…it’s clear Auba’s hasn’t had a banner year, but no one would have put up big offensive numbers considering the stiflingly negative tactics being deployed for the vast majority of this season…Willian has no history whatsoever except for us watching him play way better for far less at a crosstown rival…how quickly people forget the contributions of our prolific striker…instead of buying into a ridiculous narrative that was largely enabled by the irresponsible actions of an inexperienced manager, who was facing considerable criticism at the time of his “public” admonishment ploy, think about what we could actual achieve with him, Marts, Saka, ESR, Pepe and Partey on the pitch if the kind of tactics we witnessed in Prague were employed on a more regular basis

    1. vieralyn, Aubameyang being afflicted by malaria explains a lot, as it is a physically draining disease, which once in the blood stream can recur.

      1. Shameful indeed!imagine the effort it would have taken him just to train/play no wonder he wasn’t smiling!

    2. Agree. But when it comes down to it, neither deserve to start. I wouldn’t say they got to that position through similar means tho.

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