Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown fears that the atmosphere at the Emirates could turn “toxic” as results worsen
Keown, a former Gunners defender, revealed his thoughts on Arsenal’s record slump during the current season. The 54-year-old believes that Willian appears “like he is on holiday” and that players such as Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe could also be considered problems for manager Mikel Arteta.
The London club have made their worst start to a season since 1974-75 with just 13 points from 12 games; they sit in 15th place, five points above the relegation zone.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored more goals against Arsenal than he has for Arsenal at the Emirates this season pic.twitter.com/08MC7BDHtT
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 13, 2020
Following their recent home loss against Burnley, pressure has started to pile on Arteta to right the sinking ship just a year into his tenure at the club.
Arsenal have been consistently let down by a number of their senior stars as well as several key signings failing to hit top form.
Keown admitted that change was urgently required at the club with the Gunners in danger of having their season slip beyond their grasp.
“I admired Willian at Chelsea but it is like he is on holiday at Arsenal. The first thing I would do is play him on the left where he was a success at Chelsea. And play Bukayo Saka on the right where he looks more effective,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Against Burnley, Arsenal were trying to play out from the back but the players looked so uncomfortable. It looked hazardous and Burnley sensed they would get a chance from an error.
“Arsenal play Southampton on Wednesday and their high-press, high-energy forwards will be relishing the thought of the Gunners playing out from the back.
“This is a tough time for a rookie manager but Arteta has to be strong and shows real leadership, show some fire and spark.”
Pep Guardiola: "Arsenal don't have a better manager that can lead this club. He's one of the best managers I've ever worked with." pic.twitter.com/BvK6NJtqwM
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) December 15, 2020