Martin Keown rips into Arsenal after losing the Europa League semi-final to Villarreal, claiming that ex-Gunners boss Unai Emery was ‘shameful’ successor Mikel Arteta and Dani Ceballos was ‘out of his depth’ before he left.
Martin Keown was outraged by Arsenal’s performance in their 2-1 defeat to Villarreal, claiming that Unai Emery was the ‘shameful’ successor Mikel Arteta for much of the first leg of the Europa League semi-final.
The Gunners managed to keep their hopes of reaching the final next month alive, as a penalty from Nicolas Pepe gave the 10-man visitors an away goal in a defeat at LaLiga.
The draw seemed to come away from the Gunners, as Manuel Trigueros and Raul Albiol’s goals in the first half preceded a red card by Dani Ceballos just before the hour.
Martin Keown was furious with Arsenal’s performance in their 2-1 defeat to Villarreal
Keown claimed Unai Emery (R) was ‘shameful’ successor Mikel Arteta (L) to a large extent
Gun legend Keown said Unai Emery ’embarrassed’ successor Mikel Arteta
But Pepe would convert from the spot to send Arsenal home 2-1, with Villarreal also reduced to 10 men too late after the firing of former Tottenham man Etienne Capoue.
But Keown, who played for Arsenal almost 400 times, was not impressed by their performance in Spain and was especially critical of midfielder Ceballos.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Keown said: ‘It was an absolutely crazy game. I thought the writing was on the wall for the manager (Arteta).
The risk he took not to play with a striker looked desperate. Arsenal got away with it tonight. Bernd Leno makes a few saves when they (Villarreal) should be out of sight.
Dani Ceballos has made an error catalog in the Europa League. He looked out of his depth tonight. There was a huge gap in midfield that Emery was exploiting.
It seemed the former manager was embarrassing the current boss, which must have embarrassed the Arsenal owners.
‘There has been no consistency. They (Arsenal) have to show up for the home game, otherwise bad things will happen. ‘
Keown also claimed that midfielder Dani Ceballos – who saw red – was ‘out of his depth’ in the game.
Yet despite the Gunners having to reverse the gap to reach next month’s final in Gdansk, Keown believes Arteta’s men have the capacity to come back and make progress.
He added: ‘Arsenal are still in the tie but could have been out. It’s been like that all season, really turbulent as a fan of Gunners.
‘Is he the right manager? He’s got a foot in the door [to the final] and has the players to make a difference next week.
Keown believes Arteta’s men have the capacity to progress after Nicolas Pepe’s away goal
‘It was a huge risk not to play with a striker. If you listen to him (Arteta), it ties in with philosophy. Tactics are going to be so important next week, maybe they’ll do something during recess next week.
‘If the Arsenal that appeared in the return match against Sparta Prague shows up, then I have confidence.
‘If anyone can do it, Arsenal can. But Arteta has to play the correct XI. You have to learn quickly, otherwise you will not survive. ‘