Keown: Arsenal need to begin at boiling point

Arsenal's strong end to the season will be meaningless unless the Gunners carry their form into next season, says Martin Keown.

Arsene Wenger's side have won 16 of their last 18 games in all competitions, but also ended last season with a bang before stuttering to four wins in their first 12 Premier League matches this campaign.

“Arsenal seem to come flying through at the end of season. But what they need to do now is try to have a complete season and start well,” said Keown, speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo.

“Next year you think Chelsea will be under threat. But we thought that last season, with Alexis Sanchez being the icing on the cake. It didn’t happen.

They need to begin the season at boiling point, not building up to it. Wenger tends to start better when there isn’t a major summer championship and they have a free summer. It’s as much about mental strength as it is about performance.

“Whatever is done within the camp [this summer], they need to begin the season at boiling point, not building up to it. Wenger tends to start better when there isn’t a major summer championship and they have a free summer. It’s as much about mental strength as it is about performance.”

Arsenal fans' opinions of Wenger have fluctuated throughout the season, meanwhile, but Keown insists there's still no better man for the job. 

“I think we’re almost wasting our energy when we turn to that topic,” said the 48-year-old. “Wenger will be there for another two years. He deserves the chance to finish off the job he started, even if it’s a bad season next year.

“Coming towards the end of his time will concentrate the mind, and his group is more mature. They haven’t been in the hunt this year, Chelsea have been way ahead and nobody else was going to win it, but Arsenal are making it interesting. Wenger will want to finish the job off and win the league.

“The club as it is now is really Arsene Wenger’s work. He won’t be asked to leave. He decides when he leaves the club.”

Interview: Nick Moore. Words: Tom Carter. 

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.