‘It’s gotten a bit embarrassing’: Martin Keown laments ‘sad day’ for Arsenal after beating

‘I feel numb…it’s gotten a bit embarrassing’: Martin Keown complains about ‘naive’ Arsenal after falling for third consecutive defeat with a beating from Manchester City

  • Arsenal went 3-0 behind at halftime and with 10 men on the field at Man City
  • Granit Xhaka was sent off for a wild challenge on fullback Joao Cancelo
  • Mikel Arteta’s days seem numbered, with Arsenal not even scoring this season
  • Martin Keown said he felt ‘numb’ after beating them again

Arsenal great Martin Keown had to complain about ‘a very sad day’ for his former club and accused pressured boss Mikel Arteta of being tactically naive.

Keown, who commented for BT Sport when the Gunners lost 5-0 to Manchester City to finish bottom of the Premier League, described the loss as “shameful”.

“I feel numb,” Keown said after seeing Arsenal lose their first three league games in a season for the first time since 1954-55. “I don’t think it was really a game today.”

Martin Keown felt ‘numb’ after another embarrassing Arsenal performance

Arsenal were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City on Saturday as their crisis worsened

Arsenal were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City on Saturday as their crisis worsened

Former centre-back Keown won three league titles and three FA Cups at the heart of a storied Arsenal defence, and he described the current team’s defense as ‘comic’.

“It’s starting to get a little embarrassing,” the 55-year-old said. ‘Tactically, the way we have set up is very naive.

‘What are the tactics? I sometimes scratch my head. It should be simplistic, if it’s hard for me to understand, how are the players going to react to all the changes that are happening?

Xhaka went in with two feet and left Arsenal on Saturday afternoon with a huge uphill task

Xhaka went in with two feet and left Arsenal on Saturday afternoon with a huge uphill task

Martin Keown said it's like Mikel Arteta 'doing experiments' during their matches

Martin Keown said it’s like Mikel Arteta ‘doing experiments’ during their matches

“He seems to be flip-flopping between a four and a five. At this point, Arteta isn’t sure and neither are the players.

“It feels like we have a manager doing an experiment within games. It’s too complicated. The goals were comical. This is a really sad day for Arsenal Football Club.”

Keown was particularly critical of the centre-backs – Calum Chambers and Rob Holding – who were brawny and jumped out by Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres for two of City’s goals.

Gunners fans can't believe where they fell from the heights under Arsene Wenger

Gunners fans can’t believe where they fell from the heights under Arsene Wenger

“Their postures are all wrong,” Keown moaned. “You have to keep in touch with your man, open your body so that you can anticipate the crotch, but stay alive for the man you mark. It’s so easy.’

Keown’s fellow pundit Joe Cole was equally scathing about Arsenal. “The club is in disarray,” he said. ‘Shambolic representation’.

“This is something that has been on the map for Arsenal for centuries. Arteta has one hell of a job.’

Chris Foy on Arsenal’s two big decisions

Granit Xhaka cannot complain about his red card. The Arsenal man enters on two legs, he is in the air, completely out of control and has put the opponent in danger. That’s seriously foul play and a red card.

As for Manchester City’s second goal, I think VAR is right. There is clear contact between Aymeric Laporte and Calum Chambers, and Chambers is over. Contact is part of football and should not necessarily be punished.

I am happy with Martin Atkinson’s decision and I think the goal would have held last season.

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