Arteta defends his Arsenal philosophy after Keown’s “embarrassing” blast

Under-pressure Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has moved to defend his footballing philosophy after his management was slammed by club legend Martin Keown.

The Gunners have suffered their worst season in 25 years and have been left clinging onto a position in the top half of the Premier League.

Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery was sacked in 2019 with the Gunners eight points off the top four, but with just three games to go of this campaign they are 12 points adrift of the Champions League.

It is a situation that has infuriated fans and pundits, with Arteta coming under increasing pressure to be sacked.

Mikel Arteta has come under increasing pressure at Arsenal

The latest low point of their season came with the Europa League exit to Emery’s current side Villarreal, with Keown blasting Arteta in the aftermath of the defeat.

“You start to look at the wisdom of a young manager coming here to take a huge job, a massive job at this football club.,” Keown told BT Sport.

“His inexperience, maybe, has cost him. He’s still here as manager, we’ll have to wait and see what happens on that.

“The team didn’t turn up, whether it was the motivation, the tactics – he was outsmarted by the previous manager which is also a bit of an embarrassment.

Martin Keown blasted Arsenal's performance against Villarreal
Martin Keown blasted Arsenal’s performance against Villarreal

“We haven’t really laid a glove on them, we haven’t gone down fighting. If this stadium was full, they wouldn’t be allowed to get away with that.”

But Arteta has now fired back at Keown and insisted that his team’s performances are now far better than when he first took over.

“We haven’t done what we want in the Premier League in terms of results,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

“What we have done in terms of performances compared to last year, the way the team is, the identity of the team, [the difference] is night and day.

“But results wise it has not been [what we wanted] over 38 games. We have managed to things we haven’t for five years, winning against the top teams. But we are not where we want to be.

“In Europe we were very close, an inch, a post, dictates failure or success. That’s what we have done.”

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