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'There are problems all over the pitch' - Arsenal slammed by Keown as pressure grows on Emery

22:24 GMT+3 06/11/2019
Rob Holding Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal 2019-20
Another unconvincing result and performance will do little to quell the voices of those questioning the Gunners manager's long-term future

Martin Keown says Arsenal have “problems all over the pitch” after yet another below-par performance in their Europa League draw with Vitoria Guimaraes led to further criticism of manager Unai Emery.

The Gunners looked set to maintain their 100 per cent record in this season’s competition when Shkodran Mustafi headed them into lead with 10 minutes remaining but Bruno Duarte’s stoppage-time equaliser denied them victory in Portugal.

Though the draw still edges them closer towards qualification for the knockout stages, the unconvincing display means Emery’s position is likely to remain under scrutiny.

They have won just one of their last six games in all competitions and supporters have grown increasingly exasperated at the former Sevilla manager’s tactics and team selection.

Those thoughts are echoed by former Arsenal defender Keown, who didn’t hold back in his criticism of the team’s performance.

"There are problems all over the pitch,” he told BT Sport. “It can quickly be turned around. If I was involved in the weekend I'd go on the attack because we can't defend.

"We are in danger of losing some of the identity of the team built under Arsene Wenger. We cannot defend and have lost that attacking flavour.

"I think it's a personal thing of how you mark up in set-pieces. There are huge gaps. All they did was put a ball in and run through the hole. They could put a double-decker bus through that! It's too simple. It's basic decision-making and they need to change."

Aside from results on the pitch, there has also been criticism over Emery’s selection of Granit Xhaka as captain.

The Switzerland midfielder was appointed skipper in September but was stripped of the armband earlier this week following his angry response to being jeered by his own supporters in a recent Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

Xhaka cupped his ear, removed his shirt and appeared to swear at a section of spectators as he was substituted in the second half of the 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been named new captain, with Xhaka expected to be sold when the transfer window re-opens in January.