Saturday, May 8, 2021

Martin Keown not sure about Arteta fixing the known problem at Arsenal


Arsenal’ future for Mikel Arteta remains under scrutiny after a wrong tactical decision led them to concede a late goal against Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals. However, Martin Keown doesn’t think that Arteta can solve the current problem there.

Arteta started his career with Barcelona, where he played for the C-team and B-team. As he was not able to break into the first team, he joined the French side, PSG. He later went onto play for Scottish team Rangers and La Liga side Real Sociedad before moving to the Premier League. He joined Everton where he awakened his best side. Arteta was brilliant for The Toffees year in and out. After spending 7 years there, he joined his final club.

The current Arsenal manager has been a part of the club’s history before becoming a manager. He spent the final 5 years of his playing career with The Gunners. Having made over 150 appearances, he hung his boots.

Right after his retirement, he got many opportunities for managerial jobs. He was approached by Arsenal’s Youth Academy, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City. Despite having a strong link with Arsenal, he decided to join City where he linked up with his old friend, Pep Guardiola as an assistant coach.

After 2 years, Arsene Wenger departed as the Arsenal coach, and Arteta was heavily linked. But Unai Emery took over then. However, he was sacked a year later and Mikel Arteta was appointed as the head coach of the club he played for. His arrival thrilled the fans as his statement on his arrival was inspiring and they believed he was the perfect replacement for Arsene Wenger.

Same old Arsenal under Mikel Arteta

As excited as the fans were, they were destined for the same disappointment. They finished 8th in the Premier League after a turbulent season. Although Arteta had a great start as he broke a few records. In his first year, he was able to grab silverware when he won the FA Cup. He became the first manager since 1987 to do so in the first year as the manager. He also became the first player to win that trophy as a player as well as a manager.

They also started the next season great as they defeated Liverpool to win the FA Community Shield. However, it has been a disaster since then. Their performances have been degrading and they have been very inconsistent.

They were on the verge of relegation at a point but climbed up after a few good displays. However, they are back to where they were performance-wise. They are currently 11th in the League and 9 points behind a European spot.

Talking about the European spot, they are currently in the Europa League, with an exit looking probable. Last night they faced Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals. They made a quick start to the match as Pepe opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. They were looking to finish the game with that lead but it was completely spoiled when their opponents grabbed a crucial stoppage-time goal to give them an away goal advantage.

Former Arsenal defender not sure if Mikel can solve the problem

The former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown said that Arsenal dug their own grave after they missed plenty of chances. He said that Arteta is way too optimistic of his players, but he hasn’t been getting a similar response from the other side. Martin says that Arsenal started the game wrong but made the required changes in the second half, however, the players still couldn’t deliver.

“By sitting off early in the encounter, I thought they’d chosen the wrong tactics and there was an opportunity to do that tonight, to really take the initiative and ask them the question: ‘Can you play? Can you pass that ball out from the back? We’ll see how good you are’.

But they were allowed to settle, to build, and to become more dominant. In that first half, it was quite difficult for Arsenal, they became nervous, they were not the team we saw just two or three weeks ago – for instance, the second-half performance against West Ham.” – Martin Keown told BT Sports.


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