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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has advised manager Mikel Arteta to retire Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard after their poor performances in the starting lineup that was defeated by Manchester City on Sunday.
The Gunners lost 1-0 to Man City thanks to an early goal from Raheem Sterling, and they rarely did much to threaten a comeback in an overall disappointing performance.
Arsenal fans may be questioning some of Arteta’s pick decisions on the day, with Emile Smith Rowe being severely ejected from the starting eleven despite a recent hot streak of form.
Keown was unimpressed with Arteta, including Pepe and Odegaard, who did not deliver enough in terms of pressure and pace of work against City.
The former Arsenal defender now believes it is important that Smith Rowe is back ahead of those two, while also naming Alexandre Lacazette as someone who has more of a role to play.
Writing in his column for him Daily mailKeown said: “I was surprised that Arsenal did not pressure Manchester City as they had pressured Leeds in their last home game.
“If I could go back in time, it would change 90% of my life.” Which former Man Utd star said this? Click here to find out.
“It was courtesy of their high pressure against Leeds that Arsenal earned a penalty to make it 2-0. Emile Smith Rowe then took possession at the edge of the opponent’s area before helping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to make it 4-0. Yesterday was different, Arsenal showed too much respect to the visitors and City were allowed to dominate.
“For Mikel Arteta, the four forwards who finished this game are his best combination and they need to be opening games. I’d like to see Aubameyang on the left, Alexandre Lacazette in the center, Bukayo Saka on the right and Smith Rowe behind. “