Martin Keown has said that Arsenal didn’t look like champions during their 1-0 defeat to Stoke yesterday.
Being just two games into the new season, deciding who can challenge for the title and who can’t would be textbook jumping to conclusions.
However, that’s the conclusion that Martin Keown reached after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke yesterday.
Arsenal went down to a goal from Jese Rodriguez and were unable to get back into the game thanks to some poor finishing and even poorer officiating. Reacting afterwards, Keown said Arsenal did not look like champions.
“We spoke at half time how loose Arsenal were in the midfield particularly,” Keown said during BT Sports’ coverage.
“They’ve just gone through the Arsenal defence so easily.
“They really didn’t create enough, not enough opportunities.
“They were unlucky with the goal that was not given for the offside, I thought maybe he would have been onside marginal.
“It’s a disappointing afternoon for Arsenal so early in the season.
“They have aspirations to win the league, they didn’t look like champions to me today.”
Identifying a champion team is impossible given the definition changes all the time. Had Arsenal gotten the penalty they should have, and had Lacazette’s goal been given as it should have, we’d be talking about how Arsenal got a big win without playing well. That’s something that’s long been described as the “stuff of champions”.
That’s not to say that Keown is wrong in his assessment. Arsenal were too easily cut open and didn’t defend the goal well. They really should be beating Stoke, even when the luck is against them.
Yet while the pessimism sets in, there are 36 games to go and plenty of time to get better.