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Richard Keys blasts £30m Arsenal star as he claims he is not good enough

Richard Keys says £30m Arsenal star is not good enough for the team following his performance against Aston Villa

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Richard Keys - Arsenal
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal aspirations for the Premier League title have taken a significant blow following a disappointing defeat at the hands of Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. 

The 2-0 loss has left Mikel Arteta’s side trailing behind leaders Manchester City, hindering their chances of overtaking both City and Liverpool in the title race.

Expectations were high for Arsenal to secure a victory against Aston Villa, but they faltered, much to the dismay of fans and pundits alike. The defeat has prompted scrutiny of Arteta’s tactical decisions, particularly his team selection for the crucial fixture.

BeIN Sport presenter Richard Keys has been vocal in his criticism of Arteta’s choices, lambasting the manager for omitting midfielder Jorginho from the starting lineup. Instead, Arteta opted for Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, and Kai Havertz in midfield, with Havertz deployed in a more advanced role alongside Gabriel Jesus in a three-man attack.

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Of particular concern to Keys was the inclusion of Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, a decision he vehemently questioned. Keys expressed scepticism about Zinchenko’s contribution to the team, suggesting that his presence disrupted the balance and effectiveness of Arsenal’s midfield.

Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko

Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko (Image credit: Getty Images)

In a scathing assessment on his website, Keys remarked, “I also felt he played the wrong team… What is Arteta’s obsession with crow-barring Zinchenko into his team? Is he really so important?”

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Furthermore, Keys criticised Arteta’s tactical approach, suggesting that the manager’s attempt to emulate Pep Guardiola’s style with unconventional team selections may have backfired. 

“I guess the answer is that Arteta wants us to believe he’s as clever as Guardiola, whose also made baffling team-selections in the past – proving to be too clever for his own good – just as Arteta was on Sunday.”

Despite the setback against Aston Villa, there remains optimism that Arsenal can recover from their recent dip in form. Arteta remains confident in his team’s ability to bounce back, emphasising the quality of the opposition and the competitive nature of the Premier League.

Looking ahead, Arsenal face a daunting challenge against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League midweek, followed by a crucial Premier League encounter against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend. The pressure is on Arteta and his squad to deliver results and reignite their pursuit of silverware amidst mounting criticism and scrutiny.

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