Arsenal legend Martin Keown has controversially claimed that the Gunners could be better off without the services of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Arsene Wenger’s men were able to bag a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday afternoon without Ozil, who was missing from the squad, and Sanchez who came on for Alexandre Lacazette just after the hour mark.
The point leaves Arsenal sitting in 12th place in the Premier League table with seven points from their first five games.
There has been much talk of whether Sanchez and Ozil will be at the club beyond the summer transfer window. As it is, both have decided to remain but are yet to agree new deals.
And while many of the Arsenal faithful have and continue to worry about the possible departures of both Gunners (especially Sanchez), Keown believes that Wenger’s side could cope without them and look a better defensive unit in whole:
‘There has been so much fear at Arsenal of losing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. This excellent performance at Chelsea without them made you wonder what all the fuss was about.
‘Without these two, Arsenal were much better defensively. They were disciplined, worked together and pressed as a unit to close down Chelsea.
‘This was the first time that Chelsea have failed to score at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte. When Chelsea were in possession, Arsenal put them under such pressure they made Gary Cahill look like he could not pass.’
The former Arsenal centre-back turned pundit went onto say:
‘How many times do you see Sanchez flying forward to press and no one coming to join him? Arsene Wenger has not been brave enough to leave out Ozil but how much does he offer the team?
‘With midfielders working around him, Aaron Ramsey was able to get on the ball more. He ran the show in midfield and it was his best display for years.
‘For this Arsenal team, it was a chance to step up and prove that they did not need Sanchez and Ozil to perform.
‘I am not saying that these two should be frozen out. Sanchez did well when he came on and both men still have a part to play.
‘But from now on, every player must adopt this level of organisation in tricky away games. This showed the strength of their XI is better than any individual.’