Martin Keown claims Mikel Arteta is ADDING to Arsenal's crisis

Martin Keown claims Mikel Arteta is ADDING to Arsenal’s crisis by making ‘really unusual decisions’ as he questions allowing Emiliano Martinez to leave for Aston Villa

  • Arsenal’s crisis got worse after being defeated in the League Cup by Man City 
  • Mikel Arteta’s men sit just four points above the relegation zone in the league 
  • Arteta made changes against City and played No 2 goalkeeper Alex Runarsson 
  • But his nightmare led Martin Keown to ask why Emiliano Martinez was sold 

Martin Keown believes Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is making a number of wrong decisions as speculation mounts regarding his future at the club.

The Gunners’ crisis this season deepened on Tuesday night following a Carabao Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Manchester City in a 4-1 defeat.

Arteta – who also sees his side sit 15th in the Premier League table and just four points above the relegation zone – made a number of changes against Pep Guardiola’s men, including starts for No 2 goalkeeper Alex Runarsson and forward Gabriel Martinelli.

Martin Keown believes Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is making a number of wrong decisions

The Gunners’ crisis this season deepened following a Carabao Cup defeat by Man City

Arteta made a number of changes on the night and brought in No 2 keeper Alex Runarsson

But the Iceland international had a horror show and punched Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick into his net, while Martinelli had to be taken off just a few minutes into the second half following a first-half collision with City goalkeeper Zach Steffen.

And Sportsmail columnist Keown questioned why the club opted to sell former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for £20million in the summer to Aston Villa and sign Runarsson while also being left surprised at the decision to let 19-year-old Martinelli continue, just a few weeks after midfielder Thomas Partey was rushed back from injury to feature in the north London derby.

‘It’s turned into a crisis and the manager has joined in with really unusual decisions,’ Keown told talkSPORT.

‘He played the young kid [Runarsson] last night, no-one likes to see that [the mistakes], but I don’t believe his performance was a surprise.

But the Icelandic had a shocker leaving Keown to question why Emiliano Martinez was sold

Keown also claimed the Spaniard has made a number of wrong decisions in other areas

‘If Leno gets injured, having allowed Martinez to leave, they’ve left themselves wide open from the goalkeeping point of view.

‘Just keep it simple! Martinez was outstanding last season. It’s looking at decisions in key moments, Partey coming back after a few days’ training and now he’s out for months.

‘The support base around the manager has got to help him when it comes to every single decision.

‘I was screaming at the telly last night – Martinelli, a fantastic talent, down injured for five minutes before half-time.

Keown questioned why Gabriel Martinelli came out for the second half after getting an injury

Keown also laid the blame at Arteta’s door for rushing midfielder Thomas Partey back too soon

‘Don’t bring him back out, please don’t bring him out… he comes back out and lasts about two minutes. Make the right decisions! He’s [Arteta] under massive pressure at the moment.’

Keown added he understood why youngsters like Emile Smith-Rowe cannot be thrown into such a dire situation, but claimed the likes of Nicolas Pepe look disinterested while summer signing Willian is ‘on holiday’.

‘People are calling for Emile Smith-Rowe and all these youngsters, but you can’t just throw them into this situation,’ Keown continued.

‘Some of the guys are not getting opportunities early enough, then all of a sudden we put Runarsson into the team when he’s not ready.

The former defender admitted he understands why Emile Smith-Rowe has had few chances

‘That has to come down to the manager. You really can’t get anything wrong from now on in. With the January transfer window coming up, there can be no more mistakes.

‘They paid £25m for William Saliba and he doesn’t have a squad number, Nicolas Pepe is wandering around like he’s not interested, Willian is on holiday.

‘You have to pick senior players you can rely upon and bolt young kids onto that, with players they can pick up the right habits [from]. At the moment, the club feels like it’s in free fall.’ 

But he criticised Nicolas Pepe (centre) for being disinterested and said Willian is on holiday

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