Mikel Arteta is repeating Unai Emery’s mistake at Arsenal, warns Martin Keown

Arteta must nail down his preferred system and personnel, says Keown
Arteta must show consistency in his team selection, says Keown (Picture: Getty Images)

Martin Keown has warned Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta that he is repeating Unai Emery’s mistake of constantly switching systems and personnel after the Gunners were beaten 1-0 by Leicester City on Sunday night.

Emery – who was sacked after just 18 months in charge of the north London club last December – struggled to nail down his preferred starting XI or formation and was heavily criticised for leaving the club in the midst of an identity crisis.

Since Arteta took over from the former Sevilla boss, he has moved to make his side more defensively solid. However, their attacking output has suffered in the process.

Emery was constantly switching tactics at the Emirates
Emery was constantly switching tactics at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal’s creativity issues were once again showcased in their narrow loss to the Foxes at the Emirates as they struggled to make clear cut chances.

They were punished for their lack of cutting edge as second-half substitute Jamie Vardy came on to score the only goal of the game.

Arteta once again altered his starting line-up as he opted for a 3-4-3/4-3-3 hybrid, with Granit Xhaka often dropping into the back three to help build-up play.

The Spaniard has toyed with both back three and back four formations since arriving at the club, and Gunners legend Keown urged the Arsenal manager to pick one system and stick with it.

‘They keep changing from one system to another and they did this with Emery,’ Keown told Stadium Astro.

‘That’s what I would like to see now, the same pictures, the same triangles, the same movements, the same partnerships, the same relationships.

‘If you keep changing it, you don’t find a rhythm, and that’s something that I found in a very successful team. It was like putting an old pair of slippers on for a game. Everything was there. You’d fire it into midfield to Patrick Vieira, into Dennis Bergkamp, [Thierry] Henry into the channel; it was three passes.

‘These players now are getting the ball now and it’s jamming a little bit, so I think keep it simple and start building from this team. If this is the way he wants to play, keep with it, and try to put the people in it and get the messages right and work on it.

‘It was very static, the front three never really moved from positions, they didn’t make themselves available.

‘This is a brand new project for the manager. We don’t want to be over critical. I believe he’s the right man for the job 100 per cent, super bright manager and he’s going to have setbacks, it’s how he responds to this now.’

MORE: Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn explains why a formation change won’t be a magic cure for Mikel Arteta’s attacking problems

MORE: Paul Merson and Tim Sherwood slam Arsenal for snubbing ‘most talented player’ Mesut Ozil

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