Martin Keown has warned that Arsenal must not let complacency creep in ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Reading.
One of Keown’s three FA Cup winners' medals came in the Gunners' 1997/98 Double-winning campaign, but only before Arsene Wenger's men were forced to negotiate a tricky semi-final meeting with Wolves first.
Arsenal take on Keown's one-time former club Reading aiming to reach their second FA Cup final in as many seasons, but the 48-year-old says his own experiences suggest they should not get carried away.
“I remember beating Wolves, a Championship team, back in 1998, and we had an outstanding Arsenal team,” says Keown, speaking to FourFourTwo.
We just about scraped over the line that day against Wolves at Villa Park. Christopher Wreh scored; I think it came off his heel, he mishit it
“We just about scraped over the line that day at Villa Park. Christopher Wreh scored; I think it came off his heel, he mishit it.
“The fact it's at Wembley perhaps makes it easier for Arsenal, though, because there are fewer Reading players who will have experienced the Wembley feel.
“But when you get to a semi-final there is that equal pressure, and it is always very difficult.”
The former England international believes the clash will allow Reading to forget their disappointing league form this season, which has seen them win just one of their last 10 Championship games.
The Royals sit 18th in the table after Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat to leaders Bournemouth. Nevertheless, Keown believes his old side have shown potential under manager Steve Clarke.
“Since he's gone there they are playing with real confidence, they look more secure and are bossing possession. They could pull off a surprise.”
Interview: Nick Moore. Words: Dale Rawlings.
Martin Keown was speaking at the launch of the McDonald’s Accredited Club Kit scheme, in association with the four home nation football associations. Throughout 2015, more than 70,000 kits will be given away. To find out how your club can claim a free kit, visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kitscheme.comments