Mikel Arteta’s attacking team selection against Leeds was a ‘return to Arsene Wenger’s philosophy’, says Martin Keown

Arteta played under the iconic Arsenal manager
Arteta played under the iconic Arsenal manager (Picture: Getty Images)

Martin Keown says Mikel Arteta’s decision to field an attacking side filled with technical players in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds was a ‘return to Arsene Wenger’s philosophy’.

Arteta chose to play Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Dani Ceballos behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the Gunners put on a high-intensity display which saw them motor to a 4-0 lead inside 47 minutes.

Captain Aubameyang netted his first ever Premier League hat-trick and right-back Hector Bellerin also got himself on the scoresheet before Leeds threatened to stage a dramatic comeback by netting twice in the second half.

And Keown admitted Arteta’s line-up flooded with technical ability reminded him of the type of team that Arsenal’s iconic former manager Wenger became famed for over his 22-year spell at the north London club.

Arsene Wenger built a brand of attacking football that was admired throughout the world,’ Keown told the Daily Mail.

‘Sunday’s selection by Mikel Arteta was a return to that philosophy. I haven’t seen an Arsenal side packed with so many technical players since the Wenger era. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will grab the headlines for his hat-trick but he was getting plenty of chances created for him.

‘Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Dani Ceballos – they can all create and there was a good message to press high collectively. Arsenal made Leeds look quite ordinary for most of this match because of that. 

‘Arteta flooded his team with quality and they overpowered their opponent. 

‘What Arsenal did for the first hour of this match is what Arteta will be looking to build upon.’

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