Martin Keown says Arsenal MUST back Mikel Arteta as he tries to build a team of talented players
Martin Keown says Arsenal MUST back Mikel Arteta as he tries to build a squad of gifted players playing ‘total football’ – but Joe Cole says he CANNOT understand club signings or general management
- Martin Keown insisted Arsenal must back manager Mikel Arteta
- Gunners legend believes Spaniard is undertaking rebuilding work
- Keown said Arteta is trying to build a talented squad based on “total football”
- However, Joe Cole questioned the club’s leadership and their signings
Martin Keown has insisted that Arsenal must support Mikel Arteta as he tries to put together a squad of “gifted players” playing “total football”.
The Gunners started the season badly, scoring just 14 points in 14 games as they languished around the relegation zone. However, results improved significantly after Christmas and the club are now back in the top six.
Arteta put his trust in the youngsters while moving some older players and those in excess of requirements including Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, while he also brought in Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid in January.
Martin Keown (left) has said Arsenal need to support manager Mikel Arteta (right) as he tries to build a squad of ‘gifted players’ playing ‘total football’
Keown believes the Spaniard is undertaking rebuilding work and has insisted that the club and the fans must support their manager.
“It’s been a disastrous start to the season – 14 points in 14 games. They’ve lost 11 games already this season. We’re in a rebuilding process,” Keown told BT Sport ahead of the Gunners’ 1-1 draw at Burnley. .
“Now there is a core of young people at Arsenal that they rely on a lot. There are good players. We have to give them a chance. It is a respectable position in the league. You are an Arsenal player, you have to do a performance.
Gunners boss trusted young players like midfielder Emile Smith Rowe
He also brought in Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid during the January transfer window.
“I think if Smith-Rowe was in good shape today, Odegaard wouldn’t play. It indicates the direction the manager wants to go. He wants to play that style of total football game, with people who are really, really good. technically.
“There’s no question he can do it, Odegaard. Today is a great opportunity for him to mark his future in this football club. Real Madrid, I believe, want to take it back. Nevertheless, it is a real opportunity for him to play as he feels. But Smith-Rowe, I didn’t want his way in the first team blocked.
“They have to start winning games. There are huge games to come. It will be judged on where they end up in the league. Arsène Wenger has managed to finish 20 times in the top four. You need to start getting consistency.
“There have been a lot of changes at the football club. They have to support him (Arteta). He’s about game control and better decision making, we need to see that now.
However, Joe Cole, another BT Sport expert, said he was confused by the direction the Gunners were heading and questioned their decision to sign several older players, including Willian and David Luiz.
“You look at the Arsenal team. They are in debt, it has been three years now without Champions League football, ”he said.
Joe Cole (left) questioned the signings of older players such as Willian (right)
“It affects the dynamics of the club and who you bring through the door. You bring in Odegaard on loan, then Willian, and at the same time you try to get the youngsters through … when I look at Arsenal, and I think of the big teams that Martin has played in, I know the Arsenal fans are a little disappointed and I understand why.
“I don’t see which direction they’re going. I think Arteta is the right person, he did his apprenticeship. I think he’s a very good coach. Navigating politics to bring players to Arsenal seems difficult.
“It was so stable under Wenger. I don’t see the reasoning behind some of the signatures. David Luiz at 33, with a two-year contract. Willian, two-year contract at 32. Loan contracts, I don’t know where they’re going.