‘We are in a rebuilding process’ Keown says Arsenal needs to keep supporting Arteta

Martin Keown has urged Arsenal to keep supporting Mikel Arteta as the Spaniard rebuilds the team.

They made Arteta the club’s manager last season after trying to achieve quick success with Unai Emery.

The Arsenal team that the former midfielder inherited needed revamping after years of stagnancy under Arsene Wenger and the ill-fated reign of Emery.

Arteta won the FA Cup and the Community Shield within a year at the helm and Arsenal backed him in the last two transfer window to keep his team in the race for the European places.

However, the Gunners have been plagued by an inconsistency that has seen them struggle to get results.

But Martin Keown can see what he is trying to achieve and he has urged the Gunners to be patient with him and says the club is going through a rebuild and there is evidence that the Spaniard knows what he is doing.

‘It was a disastrous start to the season – 14 points from 14 games. They’ve lost 11 games already this season. We are in a rebuilding process,’ Keown told BT Sport via Mail Sport

‘Now there is a nucleus of youngsters at Arsenal that they’re relying heavily on. There are some good players. We need to give them a chance. It’s about a respectable league position. You’re an Arsenal player, you’ve got to put a performance in. 

‘I feel if Smith-Rowe was fit today, Odegaard would not be playing. It does point to the direction that the manager wants to go. He wants to play this total football style of play, with people who are really technically very gifted. 

‘There’s no doubt he can do that, Odegaard. Today’s a really big opportunity for him to stamp his future on this football club. Real Madrid, I believe, want to take him back. Nonetheless, it’s a real opportunity for him to play the way that he feels he can. But Smith-Rowe, I didn’t want his route into the first team blocked.

‘They’ve got to start winning games. There’s some huge games coming up. He’ll be judged on where they finish in the league. Arsene Wenger managed to finish on 20 occasions in the top four. You need to start getting consistency. 

‘There have been lots of changes at the football club. They need to support him (Arteta). He’s talking about controlling games and better decision making, we need to see that now.’

Tags Martin Keown mikel arteta


  1. Yes we are in a rebuilding process, but schoolboy errors are a strange way of rebuilding.

  2. Let’s see if MK will be brave enough to tell the same message to fans when they return to the Emirates shortly.

  3. This whole “rebuilding” narrative has been a recent incarnation, based on PR motivated damage control, once it became abundantly clear that we were going to struggle to compete for anything, minus Europa…if Arteta, last summer, had made a definitive statement of intent regarding the overriding “rebuilding” plan for this season, then I think more people would give him the benefit of the doubt, but instead he didn’t deal with the deadwood right away, he signed an older player to high wages and offered significant promises involving minutes, he constantly started players who most feel aren’t part of our logical future plans, he completely mismanaged most of our future prospects, (minus Saka) who needed the experience that can logical only come during a “transitional” period and spoke glowingly, early on, about our ability to contend for things, as a way to justify his delusional expectations following our FA Cup victory, instead of putting on his big boy pants and going to work on what they’re too conveniently now calling our “rebuild”…classic cake and eat it too scenario

    1. Captain has to be replaced.

      Some players need to be sold to make way.

      This season no matter what I still predicted within 7 to 10 position. Never a Top 4 unless we manage to get 2 new great players in.
      And Willian is inconsistent.

  4. Not at all. I’m saying that there are some great movements all over the field, but some inexcusable errors at this level, particularly around either 18 yard box. Such errors should be easy to iron out, but they are not being ironed out, and they have probably cost us say, 6 to 10 points this season. Too much passing around near their own goal, too much back passing, even from the opposition half of the pitch allowing teams to get positioned and reorganised. Not incisive enough when approaching the opposition box. Unless you’ve got a Stanley Matthews or maybe a George Best in the box, you just can’t be like that.
    The goalie does come too far off his line when not necessary, and very often does not dispatch the ball quick enough or far enough. Easy to rectify. What’s left would be a very good goalkeeper. I think we have a potentially great team in the making and a great manager. All we need now is a bit more polish and common sense when it really matters, and the confidence which comes with that polish. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reply. Sorry to be so long winded.

  5. After reading this article for a second time, I’m still confused. I think Martin Keown is confused and our manager, Arteta is also confused. Are we trying to rebuild or are we trying to compete for European places? And can we do both at the same time? Probably not.
    My mentor used to tell me, if you don’t know where you are going, any bus will take you to your destination. This, I believe, is the root cause of our problem.

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think Arsenal can find the bus stop. They certainly have trouble “bulging the onion bag”.

  6. To rebuild you have to have a foundation and i dont see a stable one. Im not enjoying the football we are playing, i dont think ive been so underwhelmed watching us as i am now. I watch us and think we play every game with the handbrake on, we have exciting players who aren’t exciting me like i think they can and should. I think the whole situation is just flat and unexciting but i think that is in the mould of Arteta. The club i feel from top to bottom has no soul or passion, from the owner to the team. Its probably the worst situation this club has ever been in at the moment.

    1. so true…if we can’t even employ a more aggressive offensive tactical approach when we’re playing Burnley and we have Chambers playing a relatively conservative role at RB, then when will we actually have the balls to do so…at the end of the day what will we have truly learned if we don’t experiment a little during this “transitional” phase…the real challenge for any great manager isn’t if they can teach players to sit deep and kill the clock with mind-numbing unproductive sideways football, as that’s the mindset for the vast majority of recently promoted sides hoping to avoid relegation, the real testament to their managerial skills is if they can figure out how to unlock the offensive prowess of their side without leaving themselves too vulnerable on the counter…like we’ve seen with most dominant teams in the modern era(Real, Munich, Barca, City etc…) the best defense is a great offence…on a side note, I wonder when Marts will be healthy enough to play again(sarcasm of course)

      1. TRVL- I agree with everything you have said in regards our style of play, performance levels etc but would only say I thought Chambers did a pretty decent job for his first game back. We needed a bit more from him going forward I agree, but he did his job well defensively for 90 minutes which is what was required from him. I still believe we have a decent player there who can give us cover at the back when we need it.

        1. Phil…I agree with your sentiments regarding Chambers and I certainly wasn’t suggesting otherwise…my point was if we had Chambers being a little less aggressive going forwards why couldn’t we be more aggressive tactically knowing that Chambers was providing defensive coverage we might not get were Bellerin or Cedric playing

          1. TRVL- yeah wasnt being critical at all. Chambers is normally pretty good going forward, but obviously was aware of fitness levels. Otherwise a more attacking full back would have caused them far more problems

  7. all this leisurely strolling around in midfield ,and minutes spent pirouetting and back passing to other players that are in a similar position is driving us fans crazy.it means the players in midfield are two scared to dribble past an opponent and make an effective opening going forward.one player who was not afraid to take on the opponents was Matteo Guendouzzi.
    Bury the hatchet and bring him back

  8. Ridiculous. If we are rebuilding, we have to question what we are building towards. Arsenal are taking for granted about some of our better players like Saka staying the whole time we “rebuild”. A player like that should be in UCL. But oh, Arteta is the next Pep if we are just patient enough 🙄

  9. I am a big fan of Arsenal as well as big supporter and l like the way how our manager is rebuilding the team

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