Arsenal must now beat Manchester United says Martin Keown

Martin Keown believes Arsenal need to defeat Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday to silence restless fans.

The Gunners bowed out of the Champions League last night with a 3-1 reverse in Barcelona meaning a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

And the club's former defender, who also won 43 England caps, acknowledges the pressure is on Arsene Wenger's side to put the defeat behind them quickly.

Keown told BBC Radio Five Live: "They're hurting but they've got to look ahead now, it's a very important game against Manchester United...what team will he (Wenger) pick?

"I feel he has to pick his strongest possible team because the fans may start to turn on the team a little bit.

"He has a five-year plan and this is the last year of it. They are now showing what they are capable of but if they don't win anything now he'll be buying players to add to the group."

On last night's match at the Nou Camp, Keown continued: "Barca were superb and you have to say they were on a different level.

"Tactically they are so hard to play against - but it was remarkable to see Arsenal dictated to in that fashion.

"They didn't give a good account of themselves - there was only one team in it from start to finish."

On the dismissal of Robin van Persie, for two yellow cards, Keown added: "His first booking was needless and you can't give the ref any opportunity.

"He was giving them every decision so it (the second yellow card, for time-wasting) fell into his hands really. It's hard enough trying to beat the best team in world with 11 men.

"But there doesn't seem to be any common-sense in the referees' rulebook these days - it killed it from an Arsenal point of view."

Keown acknowledged Cesc Fabregas "gifted" Barca their opening goal when he conceded possession cheaply on the edge of the Gunners' box, adding: "You don't expect him to be so loose in that position."

However, the 44-year-old said: "There were plusses for them. Jack Wilshere was superb, Samir Nasri was good and Abou Diaby improved as the game went on.

"Robin van Persie didn't look particularly fit and nor did Fabregas - but at least they came through the game.

"I can't think he (Wenger) will be using them so quickly at the weekend."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project