Martin Keown offers to help fix Arsenal crisis, as Gunners legend slams Willian for ‘going on holiday’ and backs under-fire Mikel Arteta December 19, 2020 – Posted in: Soccer
Highbury legend Martin Keown has torn into Arsenal’s players, saying some of them are ‘taking a holiday’ and insists they must start taking responsibility for the club’s current rut.
Keown was alongside talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday and was on fire as he dissected the multitude of problems on and off the pitch at the Emirates.
And he even offered his services to the club to help rebuild the team’s confidence and install passion back into the players as they look to turn around their season – starting with Everton on Saturday.
Manager Mikel Arteta has come under fire from a section of supporters with Arsenal currently sat 15th in the Premier League table.
The boss told talkSPORT on Friday that ‘a lot of progress’ has been made since his arrival, but many frustrated and angry Gooners would argue their record of just four wins from 13 league games this season says otherwise.
But while some are cranking up the pressure on the Spaniard, Keown has come to his defence.
While he admits Arteta is ‘a rookie’ the former centre-back, like old teammate David Seaman, insists he is the right man for the job.
But he claims Arteta should stop focusing on tactics and instead look to inject determination, character and passion back into the side – admitting this Gunners team look flat and devoid of purpose.
And he also dug out summer signing Willian, saying the Brazilian has looked like he doesn’t really care since his arrival from Chelsea on a free transfer.
“It’s all become a bit tactical, but I want to see character,” began Keown. “I do feel there’s good direction from this manager, but when you change systems there’s a confusion.
“So let’s strip it back, let’s make it simple, but let’s also roll our sleeves up and play with determination.
“I would love to be at the club in some capacity to try and get through this period.
“It hasn’t been good enough.
“I don’t think Arteta’s job is in trouble but, if he keeps losing games, questions will be asked because he’s a rookie manager.
“He’s only had 50 matches as a manager; who wins an FA Cup within your first 50 matches? Nobody, but he’s done it. So he does have qualities, he’s just got to formulate a plan and get these players on board.
“Arteta has got to identify the characters he can trust in, believe in and pull leadership skills out of.
“I don’t think you’re born a leader, things happen around you and you step up – that’s what they need to do and it’s not happening. The players can’t hide away from it and blame the manager.
“Willian has come to Arsenal and it looks like he’s taken a holiday!
“Honestly, I think I could stand out on the wing and do what he does. If you rolled me the ball and I just passed it back, I’m not affecting the game!
“Take the player on, make something happen… get to the byline, don’t just cross it from deep. How does Aubamayang get on the end of a cross when it’s just a hopeful ball into the box? You’ve got to play with purpose!
!The confidence has gone. Arteta needs to work with their minds, he needs to find another ingredient as a manager to really lift this group.”