Friday, June 22, 2018

Keown urges van Persie to stay with Arsenal

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has said that it would be ‘wrong’ for captain Robin van Persie to leave the Emirates.

The striker recently announced he would not be extending his contract with the Gunners as he disagrees with the way the club is moving forward, and Keown finds it difficult to believe he could leave north London.

“[Robin] van Persie is adored by the Arsenal fans, surely he’s not going to leave – after getting to were he wanted to get to – the captain of the club, the adulation he receives every time he goes out on the Arsenal pitch,” he told

“I think it would be the wrong move for him to leave.”

The former England international also spoke about England’s Euro 2012 campaign, saying he felt the Three Lions got it tactically wrong in their quarter-final defeat to Italy.

“We were very rigid in our system, 4-4-2, and I think we maybe could have changed it in the match to pack our midfield,” he added.

“[Steven] Gerrard could have sat deeper to receive the ball like [Andrea] Pirlo did, it’s not so much a technical thing, it’s more a tactical thing.

“We hope that Roy Hodgson has learnt a great deal from this tournament … I think he’s intelligent enough to recognise now that the team has to adapt.”

The 45-year-old was, however, impressed by Danny Welbeck’s performance in the Italy game, and says that he believes Premier League managers have a responsibility to give young, English players a chance in the first team in order to protect the future of the national side.

“[Danny] Welbeck was a great player for us, again, I question why he was brought off with 60 minutes gone [in the Italy game],” he said.

“We need more than one though, we need a few more to start coming in and of course thats down to the FA and the England set-up, and of course the Premier League managers who have to play these young men in our top teams in England.”


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