Losing to Southampton on Saturday has now seen Arsenal lose three straight Premier League games as Roy Keane’s concerns about Mikel Arteta’s men from earlier in the year are true
The Gunners fell to a third in a row First League defeat on Saturday as Arteta’s side suffered another setback with Jan Bednarek’s goal in the second half in their hope of finishing in the top four. The loss to the Saints follows back-to-back beatings against the Saints crystal palace and Brightonputting the north Londoners at risk of missing out on a much-anticipated return Champions League Soccer.
Arteta’s side have struggled in recent months to silence the doubters and shake the belief that they don’t have the resilience to compete at the top end of the table. However, three losses on the spin have turned out to be proof Keane’s concerns from earlier in the campaign be just right.
At the beginning of January, Arteta led his team to fourth place in the Premier League Manchester United Captain was asked for his opinion on the club’s remarkable resurgence. While Keane admitted he was impressed by Arsenal’s revival after losing the first three games of the season, he was also quick to issue a warning.
A warning that it was too early to suggest the club had started a new chapter. In recent seasons, the Gunners have been criticized for their inability to remain resolute – often flipping over when times get tough.
Many feel North Londoners lack the stamina, courage and determination to deliver results when they are needed most. Despite Arteta leading his side to fourth just after the turn of the year and many insisting the club had changed, Keane stuck to his belief that Arsenal were “soft” when he asked if they would be able would continue their successful run Form and placement in the top 4 of the league come at the end of the season.
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When discussing the race for the top four during the ITVs FA Cup In early January, Keane said: “From the start they’ve had, yes, they deserve credit for making it. They have some fantastic young players at Arsenal.”
However, he continued to speculate if the Gunners would have enough to come over the line at the end of the season in the fight for a crucial top four position and win Champions League football for the first time since the 2016–17 season. He added: “But the question now is, can they really go on and get in the top four? I’m not sure. I still think they’re a bit soft at times. Especially against the bigger teams.”
And although the Arteta side have a game on their hands against their north London counterparts, Spurs have a far better goal difference. The squad’s soft hand is once again a major concern for the Spaniard.
Arsenal’s players appeared to accept their role as underdogs in the battle for the top four, thriving on being the hunters, not the hunted. But after they last started the race as favorites, the pressure seems to have become too great.
It remains to be seen who will emerge victorious from Arsenal’s top four clash with United and Tottenham in the coming weeks. One thing is certain, though: Keane was right about the Gunners still having a worrying “soft” middle.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-arteta-keane-soft-concerns-26738693 Roy Keane's Arsenal criticism is justified as Mikel Arteta continues to pursue 'soft' concerns