Former Gunner, Martin Keown, believes that Arsene Wenger hasn’t won a Premier League title since 2004 because he doesn’t respect the defensive side of the game enough.
Keown reckons that Wenger has struggled to win the title for 13 years because, while he can create attacking teams that play beautiful football, he doesn’t strike the perfect balance by respecting the defensive side of the game. Unlike Jose Mourinho, the ex-defender says.
“Kenny Dalglish is an ambassador of the club and I’m sure he wants to talk up the positive, attacking football that Liverpool are playing now,” Keown wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“But, make no mistake, the late goals, sloppiness and lazy defending will be driving Jurgen Klopp mad.
“Arsene Wenger has not won a Premier League title since 2004.
“His Arsenal teams since have been committed to attacking but have not respected the defensive side of the game enough.
“I’ve said it time and again — the team which strikes the best balance will win the title.
“In their 1-0 win at Southampton, Manchester United showed they could grind out results. It may not always be attractive, but every player who has been part of a Premier League success knows they have to do it.
“In a league where Liverpool can thrash Arsenal and then be well beaten themselves by Manchester City in consecutive matches, it is as if people only seem to take notice if you win big.
“Jose Mourinho knows that the ability to win 1-0 is what will win you titles.”
It’s true. Arsenal aren’t known for their solid defensive work. In fact, this season we’ve already shipped eight and that’s despite keeping clean sheets during our last four clashes. The Gunners have conceded the most goals in the top six (eight) – more than both Manchester teams put together (four).
Arsenal’s inability to defend isn’t new. Since the likes of Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn made up our back four in the 1990s, it’s all gone down hill.
Saying that, we look far better going forward.
As Keown says, there needs to be a balance. Too defensive and you struggle to find the back of the net; too offensive and you end up canceling out the goals you’ve scored by conceding.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have let in 12. Nine of which have come after they thumped the Gunners 4-0 at Anfield on 27 August.