Martin Keown believes Arsenal have a major problem with their productivity heading into the second half of the campaign.
Arsenal have been one of the biggest teams in focus this year. After a disastrous winter transfer window that saw them sanction the exit of a multitude of first-team players while failing to attract a single major star, the Gunners are now heading into the second half of the campaign with a daunting task of fending off competition from West Ham, Tottenham and Manchester United in the race for a top-four finish.
The Gunners have started the month well, with a gritty 1-0 win over Wolves in midweek. It has propelled them to sixth place in the Premier League, and the team have a major advantage due to their games in hand over Manchester United and West Ham.
However, Arsenal legend and English commentator Martin Keown believes the club still have a major issue. He has particularly pinpointed the club’s lack of productivity upfront, especially following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“It does worry me that with Aubameyang when he lost the captaincy I was fearful that we would lose the player as well,” Keown said on the Seaman Says Podcast, as quoted by Football.London.
“If you look at the last few games, we didn’t score against Burnley, we didn’t score against Forest, the two games in the League Cup against Liverpool, we didn’t score in those either.”, added Keown, who had featured in over 400 competitive matches for Arsenal, winning four FA Cups and three league titles.
The 55-year-old went on to stress the importance of identifying the weak spot and addressing it in the future, stating: “There’s an issue right now in trying to score goals. I assume that he’s spending the time on the training ground trying to solve that.”
Arsenal are indeed the lowest-scoring team in the top six right now. While a tally of 34 goals might not seem particularly disappointing, Aubameyang’s exit to Barcelona, coupled with the recent run of performances don’t serve as a good indicator for Mikel Arteta and his men.
However, with no added pressure of handling European football or any other cup competitions, Arteta will have ample time to work on the issue and prepare his team ahead of the crucial match-up against Brentford next weekend.