Martin Keown says Arsenal’s squad is in need of an overhaul after individual errors and scorned chances saw them drop points in a 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring early on, the Gunners were the orchestrators of their own downfall when Granit Xhaka’s attempted pass to David Luiz inside the box was fired off Chris Wood and into the back of the net.
Nicolas Pepe felt aggrieved that his side weren’t awarded a penalty in the second half when the ball struck Eric Pieters’ arm in the box, however, nothing was given.
Not long later, the Gunners were awarded a spot-kick and Pieters was initially sent off for what was deemed to be a handball in the penalty area as he blocked Pepe’s goalbound shot, but upon a VAR review, the ball was rightly judged to have been stopped by the Burnley defender’s shoulder instead of his arm.
Arteta’s side had chances to grab a winner with Pepe failing to connect with Kieran Tierney’s cross and substitute Dani Ceballos crashing an effort against the post, however, the north Londoners couldn’t find the back of the net and had to settle for a draw which has kept them in 10th place in the table.
Earlier this week Arteta reeled off a list of improvements his side need to make including the quality of the squad, their decision-making and control of matches, as well as defensive errors.
And speaking to BT Sport after the Burnley draw, Keown gave his own assessment of where the club are at based on the Arsenal manager’s ‘list’.
With regards to their squad, the Gunners legend feels there are possibly only ‘four or five’ players that will form the core of the side, and the rest may need to be replaced.
‘He had a list didn’t he, he said they’re far, far away from the team he wants,’ Keown told BT Sport.
‘He said, ‘I need more quality’, so I think better players.
‘If I looked at that today, there’s maybe four or five in there that are going to be forming the core but the rest maybe need to be changed.
‘More control of the game. They didn’t really look in control at any real point in this game. First 10 minutes last 10 minutes.
‘Fewer giveaways in their own half well look at that, the goal was given away.
‘And be more creative.
‘So he knows what the problems are, he’s now got to find the solutions and find the necessary players to put Arsenal back on the map because they’re halfway down the table and it’s simply not good enough at the moment.’