Martin Keown calls on Arsenal to rediscover club's former reputation for being difficult to beat


Martin Keown believes Arsenal must become more resilient if they are to turn their season around.

The Gunners slipped to 10th in the Premier League table following Thursday's 2-1 loss at home to Brighton.

The north Londoners are now 10 points adrift of the top four and are still awaiting their first win under interim manager Freddie Ljungberg.

And Keown, who played alongside Ljungberg at Highbury, thinks his former side need to focus on being harder to beat.

“We worked for years to build this reputation of Arsenal being difficult to beat, now that’s gone," the ex-Gunners defender told talkSPORT. "It’s ebbed away from the club and it’s got to return very quickly.

“For me, at the moment, this is relegation form. Now, I don’t believe they will be relegated, but they are just five points from the bottom three!

“We’ve got West Ham away at the weekend, and then it’s Manchester City, Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea and Manchester United. These are very, very difficult games and they’ve got to go to work.

"Over a 22-year period we moved away from the ‘difficult Arsenal, hard to beat, 1-0 to the Arsenal’ and turned into a very creative team – we’ve got neither now.

“We haven’t got the original difficult to beat or the expressive, creative, artistic Arsenal. We’ve got to get one or the other back.

“Freddie has tried to be creative, but we’re not staying in games long enough to be able to play that way.

“Gilberto Silva [a former team-mate of Keown's at Arsenal] met me the other day and he said, ‘I still go to bed at night hearing your voice ringing in my ears, because you kept saying, sit here! Sit here!’"

“I had to organise that not just for myself but for the team - you have to protect the team. There is no defensive compass whatsoever in this side and their defence is getting no protection whatsoever from the midfield.

“They’re either all the way back sitting in close to the defence or they’re all the way up and the opposition is in behind you.

“I never see an argument with the midfielders and defenders saying, ‘where are you’, ‘push up behind me’, or vice versa.”

Arsenal will be looking to get their season back on track when they face West Ham on Monday.


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