Arsenal legend, Martin Keown has given his opinion on the Gunners after his former club dropped crucial points in the Premier League title race over the last two games.
Arsenal played West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday where they drew yet another game despite holding a two goal advantage early on in the match. That game came after Mikel Arteta’s side also let a two goal lead slip at Anfield the week before.
Former Arsenal legend, Martin Keown on Arsenal’s recent form:
“This is such a young Arsenal group that hiccups had to be expected. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko aside, they are attempting to win a Premier League for the first time, whereas rivals Manchester city are a group rich in experience after winning the title in four of the last five seasons.
“To compare this Arsenal to the one in 1997-98, we drew 0-0 with West Ham but then won 10 games in a row to be crowned champions. In 2001-02, we drew 1-1 with Southampton but then won 12 in a row to take the title. That momentum carried us through to the finish line.”
Mikel Arteta’s team know it will take something close to perfection between now and the end of the season for them to see this out. The fans are a very important part of the culture that Mikel Arteta has created around the club and they must keep believing and supporting the players despite the situation.
Martin Keown went on to speak about the title deciding game that awaits Arsenal at the Etihad in eight days time…
“Arsenal’s title hopes includes navigating their way through a title-deciding trip to Manchester City on April 26, a game which has all the makings of a Premier League final. But the opportunity is still there in front of this young, talented, hungry group. First and foremost, Arsenal have to make sure there is no hangover from these two matches in which they lost 2-0 leads.
They had their opponents on the floor and by the throat on Sunday but allowed West Ham to get back up and into the game with that cheap goal before half-time, Thomas Partey losing the ball to Declan Rice and Gabriel fouling Lucas Paqueta. That penalty totally changed the atmosphere at the London Stadium and Arsenal paid the price for making expensive mistakes. They’ll have been hurting yesterday morning. But nothing is won and lost yet.”
Manchester City will be Arsenal’s biggest challenge to come however they will have to beat several other strong sides if they want to lift the trophy come May. With 7 games remaining, Martin Keown says Arsenal must stay focused and keep doing what they’ve done to get them this close.
“By the time Arsenal go to City later this month, they can be seven points clear at the top of the table. They have to embrace that fact, stay focused, be ruthless and play with authority, starting with the visit of Southampton this Friday. It won’t be easy, but then winning the Premier League never is.”
Having gone through these bumps, it will taste even sweeter if they can finally celebrate being champions. Like we did in ’98 with our 10th straight victory over Everton on a glorious day at Highbury, or in ’02 with our 12th consecutive win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. These Arsenal players have been on an incredible journey and the dream is still alive.”
Hope is a huge part of this title run, not only for the fans but for the club as well. The very fact that Arsenal are setting a benchmark for a team like Manchester City to beat really means something.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have proved that they can bounce back several times before, but with the pressure mounting, they need to prove it once again, starting Friday against Southampton.