Keown: Arsenal lack skill and strength balance

Date published: Friday 13th November 2015 10:19

Mesut Ozil and Francis Coquelin: Equally important to Arsenal, says Martin Keown

Mesut Ozil and Francis Coquelin: Equally important to Arsenal, says Martin Keown

Arsenal still need to improve on both the technical and physical sides of the game, according to former Gunners defender Martin Keown.

Arsenal are being kept off the top of the Premier League by goal difference alone after 12 games, but Arsene Wenger’s side face a battle to make the last 16 of the Champions League after being humbled 5-1 by Bayern Munich in their last outing.

That defeat was followed by a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Emirates Stadium last weekend, results which raised questions for Keown regarding his former club’s ability to last the pace in the title race.

“The way Arsenal attack and play football is key to all their success – that’s their brand, attacking football,” Keown said in a Q&A with the Daily Mail.

“(Mesut) Ozil getting all these assists is very key to that, but just as important is the number of tackles Francis Coquelin might make, or the number of clearances and blocks Laurent Koscielny might make.

“You have to demonstrate both sides of the game and I feel Arsenal are at a crossroads.

“From a physical point of view, they should have been able to outscrap Tottenham last weekend. And from a footballing aspect, they should have been able to cope better with Bayern Munich.

‘We’ve seen them outbattled and outplayed in the space of a week, and this tells me there needs to be a better balance in both areas.

“The team that finds that balance will win the Premier League.”

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    Mark Holmes

    Arsenal still need to improve on both the technical and physical sides of the game, according to former Gunners defender Martin Keown.

    [See the full post at: Keown: Arsenal lack skill and strength balance]


    Al The Gooner

    I said the same as Sir Martin after the Bayern game – it wasn’t the loss, but the manor of it. In fact, anything but a loss in Munich would have been a great result. It was the way they completely and utterly dominated us. Injuries cannot be an excuse. We might have a lot of players out, but we still had Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla and Coquelin, players who could walk into any midfield. It was the same against the Tiny Tots. Even with Caz feeling under the weather, no team should see that much of the ball against us, especially when we’re playing at home.



    We need players back. Then we have a chance, regardless of what Keown says.



    This is true but does beg some questions, why we still suffer so many long term injuries, why the squad was not made better in the summer to cope etc


    Al The Gooner

    Steveo, there’s definitely something wrong. Yes, we should have bought in the summer, because you can always improve on what you have and you can’t tell me that there wasn’t a single player available who wouldn’t have given us more strength in depth, but I look at the players who were out there in the last two games and they really should be able to put on a better show between them.

    We may well have a lot of injuries, but most are either in that one right-sided midfield position, or players who would be on the fringe anyway. If we had ten injuries in ten different positions, different story.

    I also read the other day that the fact that so few are impact injuries suggests there is something going seriously wrong in training.

    End of the day, it’s the same old story. It’s injuries that Wenger STILL hasn’t got to the bottom of, after nearly two decades. I think it was you who mentioned that a lot of these players are historically injury-prone and that could well be the issue, but if that’s the case, it’s time for Wenger to make some hard decisions and get rid of the players we can’t rely on.

    But going back to my earlier point, it’s only really been the right midfield position that’s suffered. Didn’t help losing Bellerin as well and Debuchy really doesn’t look bothered about winning his place back, but we should still have enough quality amongst the fit players to be able to carry the team for a few games.

    All that said, it has only been two games. We have played some great football this season and had some great results, so hopefully, this is just a blip.



    Hey Al, read my latest post on “wilsehere” in general forum, i posted something in relation to wellbeck and his injuries since joining us compared to his time at united, it may be unlucky but look at the numbers mate! i was truly shocked and i had originally done to prove the Man U poster wrong! lol



    Injuries are part and parcel of the game. While we have had some injury prone players over the Wenger years from the outside looking in it has been a lot of muscle type injuries. Our brand of football coupled by the weather have been cited as possible reasons. I dont know if I believe it myself and there seems to be differing views amongst disciplines about how that would impact on a player but I guess it could be an explanation of some sort. Rosicky and Diaby probably different as they seem to be what I would term injury prone. Wilshere is fast heading that way as well. With all the muscle type injuries one however cannot help but wonder if there is an issue with our pre-match warm-up routines or maybe Wengers lack of rotation policy has something to do with it.

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