Martin Keown has expressed his ridicule over Arsenal’s capitulation against Watford this past weekend.
The North London side was leading by two goals at half-time but some utterly shambolic defending saw them surrendering that advantage and eventually end up with a single point at the final whistle.
In an interview with Daily Mail, Keown remarked: “What a horrific second 45 minutes this was for Unai Emery, probably his most painful since he came to the club. His side gifted Watford a goal and a route back into the game at Vicarage Road.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored a brace in the first forty-five minutes to ensure that Unai Emery’s team was in a position of power when they came out to play in the second essay.
However, errors from Sokratis Papastathopoulos and the club’s new signing, David Luiz helped Quique Sánchez Flores’ men to stage a comeback. Watford has endured a difficult start to the season, as poor results meant that Javi Gracia was sacked from the club during the international break.
Defensive woes are not a newfound cause of concern for Arsenal. They have suffered due to the same from the past few years and even then surprisingly the club has failed to notch effective recruitments who could help them solve those issues.
Luiz was let go by Chelsea even when Frank Lampard’s side was under a transfer ban. Here, he has already conceded two spot-kicks so far and that speaks volumes over his tendency to commit massive defensive errors during the course of the game.
Keown emphasized on the same, as he said: “Sokratis was the culprit who gave the ball away in between. “Pass it out” may be the message from management but as a player, there are times on the pitch when you simply have to trust your gut. You have to use that instinct and realise that, sometimes, it is not worth the risk.
“Nicolas Otamendi learned that the hard way for Manchester City at Norwich and Sokratis learned it yesterday, too.
‘Arsenal capitulated after conceding that goal. Their passing game disintegrated. They didn’t know whether to lump it long or continue to try to play it short.”
He didn’t deter from criticizing Luiz either. The Brazilian arrived at the Emirates amid much fanfare and expectations that he could help the team find a way through a major loophole in the playing system.
Regarding the 32-year-old, Keown said: “[Luiz’s] list of mistakes is growing longer by the week,’ Keown said. In the end, Arsenal were fortunate to escape with a point against Watford. There was a time when this club led the way defensively. I don’t know how many more years we will have to wait to say that again.
“Not for the first time, Arsenal were architects of their own downfall.”
Arsenal play their next encounter against Eintracht in the Europa League whilst they are currently
positioned at the seventh spot in the points table with eight points from five matches.