GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS,
Martin Keown blasted Mikel Arteta for hanging Granit Xhaka out to dry by exposing him at left-back against Villarreal.
The Gunners were 2-0 down inside 30 minutes in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final with both goals coming from the Arsenal left.
Pundit Keown fumed on BT Sport: “Keep it simple, you have to have a specialist left-back at this level. And that was always going to be a problem as it was against Everton.
“It’s the actions of a player that is not comfortable in that position and it’s the manager that has put him there.
“It’s about the decisions of the manager. It’s not Xhaka’s fault by the way. I do believe he’s the most improved player we have.
“He’s still had a difficult time but to play him at left-back leaves him exposed for me.”
Meanwhile, Freddie Ljungberg revealed the three ways Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe stood out in the Arsenal academy including ‘not trying to cheat’.
He told BT Sport: “I have been with them Saka and Smith Rowe since they were 15, I know most of their parents. They’re amazing players.
“I always thought they had it in them. They’re very different as individuals, but they’re clever boys, they listen and they have a good understanding of football. I always believed in them.
“When you do youth there’s so many players, but they were training very, very hard, not trying to cheat. They of course had talents that not many other players had.
“You see so many talents that don’t make it, [they need] that little extra drive.”
And finally, on the transfer front, Newcastle want to keep Arsenal loanee Joe Willock after his fine start to life on Tyneside.
Steve Bruce has questioned reports of a £20million fee but praised the player ahead of the clubs’ meeting this weekend.
He said: “We’d love to keep him, but that’s obviously a conversation we have to have and respect Arsenal too. He’s 21 years old, so he ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned.”
And Bruce added: “I don’t know where the supposed £20m price tag has come from.
“The most pressing thing is that we have to have a conversation with Arsenal, and we have to respect the fact that he’s an Arsenal player, and he’s a young player too.
“We don’t even know if he’s available yet. Until we have those conversations with Arsenal, there’s nothing really else to say. I do know that Joe’s enjoyed it here – why wouldn’t he?”