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    Poor Defending Has Cost Arsenal The Title - Martin Keown

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    Poor Defending Has Cost Arsenal The Title - Martin Keown

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:12 pm

    Arsenal’s title challenge is now over.
    That’s the damning verdict of Gunners legend Martin Keown, who compares
    his old side to a heavyweight boxer that has been knocked out twice
    following their defeats against Chelsea and Manchester United.

    Speaking exclusively to Goal.com UK,
    the former England international blamed the north Londoners' inability
    to defend as a team and gung-ho attacking approach for their current
    malaise.

    Clearly hurt by the recent run of poor results, Keown
    was full of criticism for the Arsenal back-line, blaming the
    centre-backs for their inability to win the battle with Didier Drogba and the full-backs for their relentless bombing forward.

    Nevertheless, he insisted that for as long as Arsene Wenger is manager, Arsenal will never alter their attacking style of play to suit the opposition.

    “It’s
    like watching two heavyweight boxers,” he explained, referring to the
    Gunners' recent matches. “If someone connects first, the guy gets
    knocked out cold and Arsenal have been knocked out cold twice now – now
    their Premier League season is over.”

    Known
    as ‘The Rash’ during his playing days because of his abrasive but
    effective man-marking methods, Keown believes he has the key to
    stopping Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. “Somebody had to upset his
    rhythm,” he says. “The problem with playing against Drogba is that you
    don’t deal with him when the ball goes to him, you deal with him well
    before he receives the ball. Way before that you need to make sure you
    take his space, you’re strong, you’re dominant, you win that battle.”

    If
    Arsenal still had their famous back five in defence then perhaps they’d
    still be in the title race, but sadly, according to the veteran, the
    current lot simply don’t compare.

    “OK, they still play the
    offside trap,” he says, “but they don’t press the ball like we did.
    Then again it’s what you get from the players in front of you - you
    need to make sure you defend as a team.

    “As a defender, if the
    player in front of you doesn’t put pressure on the ball, then you have
    to drop off and that creates lots of space. That’s how the opponent
    gets time to hurt you – he can pick his passes or put the ball in the
    back of the net.”

    The Gunners' French defenders Gael Clichy and
    Bacary Sagna are then hit by Keown’s line of fire. “If you’re a
    full-back and you keep going forward all the time and they keep
    punishing us in that hole, then you have to start picking and choosing
    how many times you get forward,” he says. “You have to ask yourself the
    question, ‘are you creating a problem for the opposition or for the
    team?’.”

    The Arsenal midfield doesn’t escape the gnarled
    ex-stopper’s ire either. “We can’t all go forward,” he says in
    exasperation. “Somebody has to sit in midfield and occupy space and
    slow the opposition down.”

    Following this disastrous week that
    has seen them go from title contenders to defeated lightweights, many
    have pinpointed the Gunners' relentlessly attacking style of play as
    the cause of their demise. Nevertheless, Keown doesn’t expect Wenger to
    temper his approach any time soon.

    “The philosophy of the
    manager is that he creates this belief in the players that they will
    conquer all with their own play,” he says. “Arsenal are losing games by
    trying to win them but when you’re playing against the heavyweights
    you’re going to get hurt sometimes.”


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    Re: Poor Defending Has Cost Arsenal The Title - Martin Keown

    Post by ArmageddonAsh on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:57 am

    Its more then a poor defense, no confidence and no real quality other then the first team
    they have no depth and are kind of weak the players are too inexperienced when it comes to the big games theres a lot that needs looking at

      Current date/time is Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:49 am