Arsenal hero Martin Keown has Mikel Arteta sack warning as he slams three stars over draw

Arsenal: Arteta still confident of Europa League progress

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has fired a warning to Mikel Arteta after the Gunners’ disappointing draw with Slavia Prague in first leg of their Europa League quarter-final. It is the latest poor result in what has been a tough season for Arteta, with his side now having gone four games without a win.

That has seen the Spaniard face increasing pressure over his future as Arsenal manager, with the Gunners at risk of finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Arsenal started the week with a crushing 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates, where Jurgen Klopp’s men were utterly dominant.

Their awful week continued on Thursday night, when they threw away a 1-0 lead to be held by Czech side Slavia.

Arteta had made six changes to his side from that which lost to Liverpool, but they still struggled to score until Nicolas Pepe broke the deadlock with a composed finish four minutes from time.

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But they could not hold on, with Tomas Holes heading home from close-range in the third minute of added time to level the match and earn Slavia a precious away goal.

And Keown, who won three Premier League titles during his time at Arsenal, now fears that Arteta could be nearing a departure.

“Hugely disappointing and really it’s going to be difficult now for Arteta,” Keown told BT Sport in his post-match analysis.

“He’s made a lot of changes at the football club, a lot of people have been allowed to go, and this is his team now, essentially.

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“He’s in charge now, and he’s not quite getting the reaction out of the team. He’s encouraging people to play, then at the end when he doesn’t want them to play, it’s a mixed message, isn’t it?”

But Keown does not believe that Arteta is not solely at fault, slamming the performance of Thomas Partey, who was making his 25th appearance of the season.

“Partey, as well, tonight, was another player that really disappointed me,” he told BT Sport. “Watching it live here, he didn’t look like he had the legs to get around the pitch.

“He wasn’t really bossing that midfield, and credit to them, by the way, Slavia Prague because they’ve got lots of good players and made good substitutions.

“But that’s an area of the pitch that I would’ve thought by now, he would be bossing.”

With Kieran Tierney suffering a knee injury, Cedric Soares was handed a rare start at left-back, but Keown also blasted his display.

“I thought the left-hand side for Arsenal looked particularly weak until those changes were made,” he said.

“Willian, wasn’t really in the game. Cedric, he doesn’t give us that width without Kieran Tierney down that left-hand side.”

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