Martin Keown rips into Arsenal after they crash out of Europa League
‘The rebuild of this club needs to start now… we’d get mauled by the top teams’: Furious Martin Keown rips into Arsenal after his former side crashed out of Europa League to Olympiacos
- The Gunners were beaten on away goals as Youssef El-Arabi scored a late winner
- Keown praised Greek side’s performance but slammed Arsenal’s commitment
- He said: ‘There is a lot of work to be done, the rebuild of the club needs to start’
Martin Keown has furiously ripped into Arsenal after his former side crashed out of the Europa League to Olympiacos on Thursday night.
The Gunners were beaten on away goals as Youssef El-Arabi scored a dramatic late winner in extra-time to send the visitors through.
Keown, 53, praised the Greek league leaders for their performance but slammed the north Londoners for a lack of commitment.
Martin Keown furiously ripped into Arsenal after his former side crashed out of Europa League
They were beaten on away goals as a late strike cancelled out Aubameyang’s stunning finish
He told BT Sport: ‘It’s devastating. All credit to Olympiakos, they took their chances. I’m not sure what Leno was doing at the end of the game taking liberties.
‘There is a lot of work to be done at Arsenal, the rebuild of this club needs to start now. The commitment wasn’t there from the off.
‘It was there for the taking, they were complacent. It was so disappointing. It was the first time tonight that I felt the players weren’t responding to the manager and the manager didn’t have an answer.’
The former centre back questioned why Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta did not bring on Gabriel Martinelli earlier and blasted Pepe for his efforts.
He said there were ‘so many disappointments in that Arsenal team, it was an unprofessional performance’.
He went on to wonder where the club will go from here, saying it will be an uphill battle to get back into the Champions League.
Keown, 53, slammed Mikel Arteta’s north London side for a lack of commitment in the match
Keown said: ‘Arteta has talked about the psychological fallout from that result being hugely impactful, and he needs his senior players to step up.
‘The youngsters will play well regardless of the situation but he’s a rookie manager himself, he’s been a good coach, how good a manager is he?
‘He’s going to ask himself a lot of questions. There’ll be a lot of looking in the mirror for the whole group and trying to bounce back for the FA Cup on Monday.’
The pundit admitted he did not think Arsenal will make the Champions League this year, favouring Sheffield United, Wolves, Chelsea and Manchester United ahead of them.
He continued: ‘If Arsenal are even thinking about going into the Champions League, we’d get mauled by the top teams.
It is the latest blow in a disappointing season for Arsenal, who sit in ninth in the Premier League
‘Arsenal are just not good enough now to be at that level. The likes of Real Madrid and Man City, Arsenal are an awful long way off them.
‘We’ve got to get the basics right first. We can’t defend from set-pieces, everyone’s going to know now.
‘Portsmouth in the FA Cup, they’ll know if you put corners in against Arsenal you might score.
‘You can’t have that sort of handicap, there’s weaknesses there that have to be fixed with personnel changes, players will have to be bought.’
It is the latest blow in a disappointing season for Arsenal, who sit in ninth in the Premier League and are seven points off a Champions League spot.
But Arteta has steadied the ship after a woeful run of form under Unai Emery which saw him sacked in November.
They have won the last two league matches, including a 4-0 thumping of Newcastle at the Emirates.
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