‘Almost a passenger’- Martin Keown hits out at Elneny’s display in Arsenal's stalemate

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BEN STANSALL
The former England international blasted the 25-year-old for his performance in the Gunners’ Europa League stalemate in the Emirates Stadium

Martin Keown has hit out at Mohamed Elneny’s defensive display in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Red Star Belgrade in Thursday’s Uefa Europa League game.

The Egypt international who plays in a customary defensive midfielder role was drafted in to the heart of the defence alongside Mathieu Debuchy and Rob Holding for the entire duration of the encounter.

Despite the Gunners progress to the knockout stages of the tournament, the Arsenal legend faulted the former Basel midfielder for his action that nearly resulted in a goal.

“There’s very young players in this Arsenal team and you don’t want to be too critical,” Keown told BTSport.

“But at times they were leaving big spaces for them to run into.

“This is where you have to drop off. The blueprint of defending is to drop off when you’re in that situation.

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“There’s no real pressure on the ball, Elneny’s just watching, almost a passenger.

“It’s really very fortunate that the player is not quite good enough there to put that into the back of the net.

“They should have been punished there. The manager can’t believe it.”

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