'Arteta deserves a great deal of credit' - Arsenal manager's philosophy clear to see in Community Shield final, says Keown

Mikel Arteta Arsenal
A former Gunners defender saw a "real identity" to the team during their win over Liverpool at Wembley at the weekend

Mikel Arteta's unique "philosophy" was clear to see in the Community Shield final, according to Martin Keown, who says the Arsenal boss "deserves a great deal of credit" for delivering the second trophy of his reign at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners built on their triumph in last season's FA Cup final by picking up another piece of domestic silverware on Saturday.

Arteta's men beat Premier League champions Liverpool after a dramatic contest at Wembley, which ultimately had to be decided via a penalty shoot-out.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's stunning goal opened the scoring with just 12 minutes on the clock, but the Reds eventually found an equaliser through Takumi Minamino deep into the second half.

With no extra time granted in the 2020-21 curtain-raiser, the match went straight to penalties at the end of the 90 minutes, and Liverpool's Rhian Brewster ended up being the only man to fluff his lines from 12 yards.

Aubameyang made the young forward pay for hitting the crossbar by dispatching the winning penalty to wrap up a 5-4 victory for Arsenal, who lifted the Community Shield for a record-breaking 16th time.

Keown was hugely impressed by the Gunners' performance at Wembley, and hailed Arteta for the way he set his side up to beat Liverpool for the second time in two months - with a 2-1 win recorded in the last Premer League meeting between the two sides in July.

The former Arsenal defender wrote in his latest column for the Daily Mail: "Mikel Arteta will happily take this win and he deserves a great deal of credit. In the last 50 days, Arsenal have got the better of Liverpool (twice), Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final and Chelsea in the final.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2020-21

"The players had only a handful of training sessions together in the build-up, but we saw a well-coached side cause Jurgen Klopp’s team problems.

"You could see the philosophy behind the opening goal as Arsenal went from back to front in less than 20 seconds. There was a real identity to this performance under Arteta.

"His back three was sturdy and you wonder whether that is the system he is ready to stand by.

"Mohamed Elneny came back from his loan at Besiktas looking secure in midfield alongside Granit Xhaka.

"Emiliano Martinez looks worthy of being Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Bernd Leno.

Article continues below

"Of course, we’re all wondering whether Aubameyang will stay and, judging by Saturday, it seems more likely that he will.

"This was a good day out for Arteta’s Arsenal."

Keown added on the significance of Arsenal securing back-to-back domestic trophies: "Say what you want about the Community Shield — whether you think it is a trophy or a glorified friendly — but the act of securing silverware is never a bad habit to have."