Martin Keown slams two Arsenal players in disappointing draw with Slavia Prague
The Gunners took the lead in the 86th minute but were pegged back at the death in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final at the Emirates.
The Czech side now have a crucial away goal in the tie and will fancy their chances of progressing on their home turf in the second leg.
Keown picked out two particularly frustrating displays from an Arsenal point of view, with midfielder Thomas Partey one of those to receive criticism for not stamping his authority on the centre of the pitch.
‘Partey was a player that really disappointed me,’ Keown told BT Sport. ‘Watching it live here, he didn’t look like he had the legs to get round the pitch, he wasn’t bossing that midfield.
‘But that was an area of the pitch that, by now, I thought he’d be bossing.’
The criticism from the former Arsenal and England defender was even harsher for Willian, who he feels is ruining the pace of play.
‘I feel at times when he gets the ball he slows Arsenal down, walking with the ball,’ said Keown.
‘What I want to see is that acceleration. It’s okay to slow down sometimes but it needs to be quick-slow-quick-quick-slow, there’s no change of pace.
‘I’m not seeing enough from the player. There was an opportunity for him today, it’s frustrating because we know it’s under the bonnet but we’re not seeing it on the pitch.’
Keown feels Bukayo Saka should take Willian’s spot on the left flank, with the England winger on the right on Thursday night and leaving the other side of the pitch weaker.
‘Maybe he can play Saka on the left hand side. I thought the left hand side for Arsenal looked particularly weak until those changes,’ he said.
‘Willian wasn’t really in the game, Cedric doesn’t give us the width without [the injured, Kieran] Tierney.
‘If you can’t keep a clean sheet you’ve got to do more going the other way. Arsenal could have scored two or three goals tonight.’
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