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Keown backs up Ljungberg’s assessment of Arsenal’s ‘problems’

Martin Keown has agreed with Freddie Ljungberg’s assessment regarding Arsenal’s problems, following the club’s draw at Norwich on Sunday.

Arsenal twice fell behind at Carrow Road to goals from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell, only for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double to rescue a point in Ljungberg’s first fixture as interim manager, extending their winless run to eight games in all competitions.

Following the clash, Ljungberg offered his assessment of his side’s failings, believing the club have problems ‘in transitions’, familiar defensive flaws once again being exposed by Daniel Farke’s energetic side.

“We have problems in transitions, and that’s what I will try to fix,” Ljungberg said.

“I will just try to do small building blocks and try to change things in a slow tempo, so hopefully we can understand it and practice it. But right now we have players who need to recover and we probably only get one and a half [training sessions] again before the next game.

“That’s football, for me, I just try to make it as simple as possible for the players and hopefully we can get better.”

Former Arsenal defender Keown has echoed the assessment of his former teammate, saying that there needs to be a ‘shift in mentality’ from the club’s players as they bid to bring solidity to the side.

“There is going to have to be a shift in mentality from the Arsenal players,” Keown wrote for the BBC.

“By that – and I am obviously speaking as an ex-defender here – I mean a realisation by the players of what is required when they are not in possession, and also a willingness to actually go and do it too.

“I am talking about the timeframe between the moment you lose the ball, when you try to win it back, and what you do in the meantime.

“If you cannot win it back immediately by competing with the person who took it off you, then you get back into position, and the team drops back into its shape.

“These are the basics, really, but doing neither leaves you exposed, which is what has been happening too often to Arsenal for a long time now.”

The result leaves Arsenal eighth in the Premier League ahead of Thursday night’s clash with Brighton at the Emirates.

Report – Ljungberg considered a ‘genuine candidate’ to become permanent Arsenal manager

See also – Tactical Analysis – What went wrong for Unai Emery at Arsenal?