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Martin Keown launches scathing attack on Arsenal’s mentality and lack of responsibility Phil HaighMonday 2 Dec 2019 8:04 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link177Shares Comment Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Norwich on Sunday at Carrow Road (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal have a deep-rooted mentality problem, with no steel or determination, says former player Martin Keown.The Gunners began life under interim manager Freddie Ljungberg on Sunday with a 2-2 draw against Norwich at Carrow Road.They twice had to come from behind to rescue the point, while a string of superb saves from goalkeeper Bernd Leno also kept them in the game in the second half.The draw makes it eight games without a win for Arsenal in all competitions and leaves them eighth in the Premier League.ADVERTISEMENTUnai Emery was dismissed as manager last week, but Keown does not see that changing things as the problems at the club date back a number of years.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘There’s no magic wand and it certainly wasn’t there today,’ Keown said on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday. ‘The problems that existed before the last manager still exist. Advertisement Freddie Ljungberg and assistant Per Mertesacker are in charge, for now (Picture: Getty Images)‘It’s passive defending that I’m not really comfortable with. I think David Luiz and Mustafi were lucky to play in this game. They are too passive. They are not aggressive‘This is a mentality problem at the football club and it has not just happened overnight, it has been there for years.‘Arsenal have lost that steeliness, that determination. They don’t work together as a unit. The distances between the units are not right, they have to work on it on the training pitch.’Ljungberg has been tasked with turning the club’s fortunes around in the short-term, but a number of candidates are being looked at for the permanent role.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityKeown is not entirely convinced the Swede is the man for the job, although hopes that his commitment levels as a player can transfer into management.‘When Wenger first came, back in the good old days, there was a responsibility as a team,’ continued Keown.‘They can be drilled to do that but there is a responsibility, they must want to do it.‘That mentality has to change and it has to be done on the training pitch.‘Freddie has to be able to do it. Has he got the capability to coach it? He was a diligent player but has to become that as a coach.’Arsenal have the chance to get their first Premier League win since 6 October when they host Brighton on Thursday.MORE: Paul Scholes slams Freddie Ljungberg for not wearing a suit in his first Arsenal matchMORE: Robert Pires claims Arsenal are ‘still sick’ from Unai Emery’s reign after Norwich City draw Advertisement
The No. 7 Trojans, who beat the No. 10 UCLA Bruins in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday, failed to overcome the No. 2 Utah Utes in the second round Thursday night, falling 80-72 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. In the 8-point defeat, the Trojans were outshot inside and outside the 3-point line, outrebounded by a margin of 35-31 and were beaten in terms of ball distribution with Southern California earning just nine assists to Utah’s 22. Head coach Andy Enfield complimented the Trojans overall effort, but criticized the lack of defensive execution, especially with Utah sophomore forward Kyle Kuzma scoring a team-high 23 points and grabbing seven rebounds. ”We didn’t play great tonight, but we played hard enough, especially in the second half to come back,” Enfield said, according to the Associated Press. ”Their players, like Kuzma, stepped up and had a big game against us and that’s what happens. You try to take something away or maybe their first or second option and if the third or fourth option beats you, then you lose.”Pac-12 Player of the Year and potential Wooden Award candidate Jakob Poeltl was effective, scoring 14 points and helping with eight rebounds and two blocks. The Utes were especially keen on defense, limiting the Trojans to just 37 percent from deep and limited the previously potent freshman Bennie Boatwright and sophomore Elijah Stewart to a combined 8 points off of 3-of-16 shooting. As for the Trojans’ bright spots, sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin scored a game-high 24 points off of 9-of-16 shooting with two rebounds and a steal. Fellow junior guards Julian Jacobs and Katin Reinhardt added 16 and 13, respectively. And while the loss was hard for Jacobs, he emphasized the importance of moving on.“It’s what our coaching staff and the entire community around this team has emphasized — keep fighting,” Jacobs told the Los Angeles Times. And while the defeat may have knocked the Trojans out of Pac-12 title contention, they still are in the running for the NCAA tournament. They find out whether they will earn a spot in March Madness on Sunday.