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Name Martin Keown
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc Martin Keown was a true warrior. He did not know what it meant to surrender. However, he was also an outstanding man-marker. Had he not been so loyal to Arsenal, his intelligent defensive game would doubtless have thrived on the continent


Club as Player Arsenal FC


Coach Arsene Wenger
Teammate Nigel Winterburn
  Lee Dixon
  Tony Adams

2007 11 13 Retrieve

[Martin Keown while co-commentating on Birmingham v Villa] De Ridder trying a couple of legovers there, just like Ronaldo

2015 02 01 Retrieve

[Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa] There were many calls for Arsenal to sign a new defensive midfielder before this transfer window opened but, in the last few weeks, they have found a new way to win without needing new players to do it

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Martin Keown on Thierry Henry] I do remember saying to him when he scored his first goal, ‘I’ll be able to tell my kids I played with you’, and I meant every word of it

2015 08 21 Retrieve

[Martin Keown on Thierry Henry] Thierry Henry was like an international sprinter – he just had boots instead of spikes on. When he was confident, he such rhythm and a style of movement. It was very graceful but he did things with a swagger. That’s what was so good to watch

2015 08 22 Retrieve

[Martin Keown on Thierry Henry] There is no doubt in my mind that he is one of the best players (that) have ever played football

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] You look at Denis Bergkamp and you look at Thierry Henry and people say they are great players and rightly so. There are statues of these guys outside the Emirates Stadium, but without Patrick winning the ball and giving it to them they would almost be redundant. But sometimes during the week it was as if his non-football playing brother turned up for training instead, we used to call him Mr. Floppy, but on a match day he was a different animal

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[on Tony Adams] I think Tony’s technique was excellent and he was actually quicker than a lot of people realised, especially over longer distances. That made him excellent in one-on-one situations. Tony [. . .] always wanted to win and drag everybody over the line with him

2016 09 17 Retrieve

[Keown compares Aleksandar Kolarov to Bobby Moore] He looks magnificent. He wants to roam out with the ball. I’m sure the manager is watching him and thinking ‘is he my perfect central defender?’. Because the way he comes out is almost Bobby Moore like… he’s a great talent, Kolarov

2019 08 17 Retrieve

[Keown says of the impression Ceballos has made on the Arsenal support] He looks a good prospect, certainly at home. If he can produce that away from home, then Arsenal really will have all their prayers answered this season. I think it’s a good while since we saw a debut that good from an Arsenal player. I think he’s excellent, a really good addition to the group. Hopefully he’s going to have a big future at Arsenal, he’s been miles ahead of anyone else in this game.

2019 10 25 Retrieve

[Arsenal star told he is wasting his talent as Martin Keown tears into second-string] Well [Hector] Bellerin’s playing in his preferred position, [Calum] Chambers has taken his first-team berth in the Premier League. It looked like he was feeling sorry for himself and there’s no time for that as a professional footballer. Really poor touch and they’re away for the second goal. It’s a wonderful finish but Maitland-Niles is all at sea. He should receive that ball on his back foot, he turns into trouble, and that’s laziness, sloppiness. The player has got great ability but he’s wasting his talent at the moment

[Plenty of fringe players were given an opportunity to impress, but few are considered to have taken that chance] You need to be right mentally. You’re the second-string XI, you’re watching the first-team play, when you play you can make your mark. I didn’t see the hunger. [For the first goal] I thought [Rob] Holding could have gone across, [Kieran] Tierney’s the wrong side, no one getting back in midfield. Far too easy and that will worry the manager. It’s not complacency, it’s a lack of hunger. You’re there to make your mark at a football club, you want to make it difficult for the manager when he comes to select the team for the weekend and nobody at the moment is doing enough

2019 11 20 Retrieve

[Martin Keown insists that there’s no need for Arsenal to go out and fire Emery immediately, but they have to consider making a change before too long] There’s no need to panic at Arsenal, we are getting close to panic by the way, because we’re not having the best of seasons, but the powers that be at the top of the club should be seriously considering Mauricio Pochettino. I have a lot of admiration for what he did at Tottenham, the way he nurtured those young players and he didn’t spend a great deal of money. I don’t think Tottenham spent enough

I would have stayed with Pochettino; I think he deserved that. I think it’s a hugely significant sacking. You’re going to have managers now looking over their shoulders. I know the poor record he has recently, I know it all but I still would have given him another chance. I don’t like the way Tottenham have done it. There will be a lot of chairmen looking at him now. Manchester United wanted him this time last year. I think Arsenal would have to be interested if they want to take a step forward

2019 11 21 Retrieve

[Martin Keown criticises Unai Emery for continuing to overlook Lucas Torreira as a regular starter] Torreira has not been playing full stop. I’d like to see him in the Arsenal midfield. Whether you play him as a deep-lying midfielder or you play him wide or with someone else sitting deeper or two either side…it doesn’t matter as long as he is in the team. He hasn’t played enough for me

I would have thought it would have been very obvious that he has to play. He’s tenacious. The Chelsea game at home, the Liverpool game at home last season, he was playing in that team and Arsenal looked better for it

This is why I think the fans went against Emery because Granit Xhaka played no matter what when Torreira had to sit on the bench. Ceballos plays one game for Arsenal [against Burnley] and was absolutely brilliant but he’s back on the bench. Maybe it’s Xhaka he needs to take out

2019 11 21b Retrieve

[Former Arsenal star Martin Keown believes there will be ‘concern’ within the Tottenham squad after the club’s decision to appoint Jose Mourinho] The last we saw of Mourinho he had fallen out of love with football. Publicly scathing of his players, having to be dragged away from press conferences, talking about his successes. He needed a rest, he needed to re-energise

We need to see now what Mourinho is going to turn up because if it’s the same one that left Manchester United then this isn’t going to last. I mean even a successful Mourinho does three years maximum so it’s one of those where in the media it’s an enjoyable ride, so lets see what happens but if you are a player then I would be concerned at Spurs as to what sort of manager he’s going to be

I would be tempted to pull the manager and say ‘Look if you’re going to start that b**s – how are you going to be with us?” If I was a senior player I would be talking to the manager about how he’s going to treat us. What am I expected to see publicly? Be honest with me. I look from afar at Manchester United and I don’t enjoy what he did to those players

It’s an issue for him. He’s an amazing champion, a trophy winner but in his quest to win things I think he can be suffocating and I think he has to realise that he has to jettison that side of his personality otherwise he’l; bring the whole thing down like he was at Manchester United

2019 11 21c Retrieve

[Keown believes the impact of Spurs’ move to a new stadium cannot be underestimated and that a lack of investment in recent years undermined the work Pochettino wanted to do] He’d been there five years. In those five years, four of those he’s made it to the Champions League – including one final

I feel like we were heading towards another Arsenal really. I know Arsenal built a new stadium but you could argue that Arsenal’s success dried up when the reality of paying for the stadium [became clear]

There’s not been enough investment in the Tottenham team in the last two years. Harry Redknapp [a fellow guest at the event] said they have Harry Kane up top but you need other players to come in. Then you could have sorted out some of the other issues like contracts

Players sign contracts when they see others coming in, people sign contracts when win trophies because they don’t want to miss out on the success of the club. But when you’re not winning things it’s too easy to say ‘we’re not going to win anything here, we’ll have to find this utopia somewhere else’ and that’s probably why those three key players [Eriksen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld] have since decided that we’re not going to win anything here because they’ve been so close so often

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[The former Gunners defender believes Unai Emery may have made a mistake in allowing an inconsistent and temperamental figure such as Granit Xhaka to take the armband] This is a massive call and I think perhaps he [Emery] has got it wrong. This is really going to divide the fans. There are times when Xhaka goes missing in midfield, he’s given penalties away … he must be an incredible character off the pitch! It’s surprising, particularly how he was booed off the pitch less than a week ago. It’s a brave decision by the manager, he’s picked him every time he’s available so he clearly believes in the player, but I’m surprised, I must say.

You need to be sure the captain is going to be in the team and he’s on borrowed time. There are others in that group, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, who are starting to progress, so if Xhaka is still going to be a permanent fixture than I’m surprised by that. I would have gone for Aubameyang, he would have been a pretty good fit. It might have given him a little more extra responsibility. He’s doing fantastically well at the moment and he’s secure in the team, he’s a regular.

It’s a bold move from Emery and he better get it right. I was just reading the statistics about the number of shots the opposition have had at Arsenal’s goal this season, the number of unforced errors – Arsenal are the top of all these lists, and it’s because Emery is not getting the balance right with his team. He’s been in the job a year now and things are going to have to improve away from home. It’s a massive test on Monday [against Manchester United]. If you get results, everybody stands by the decisions, but this is a massive call and I think perhaps he’s got it wrong.

Within that dressing room, clearly, obviously, he’s a leader because that’s why they voted for him,” said Keown. The players want him, but it’s interesting the manager couldn’t see that for himself and he needed to throw it to the players. We have to respect that, but really it’s about the performance on the pitch and I want more from him in midfield. I don’t want silly, crazy tackles, I want him to sit in front of the defence, I want to be picking out those diagonal passes, I want to see him talking to players, cajoling players and in their ears. I want to see those leadership skills on the pitch, not just in the dressing room. I haven’t seen that so far. The vote on confidence, the actual armband, can do big things for you, so I hope it does that for his game.

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Martin Keown didn’t enjoy it after Everton and Arsenal share points in dull] Very poor. It seemed like the game was too much for some of the players. Really disappointing, devoid of any real quality, passes going astray

2020 02 20 Retrieve

[Former Gunners defender Martin Keown believes Saka’s emergence sends out a message to other young players at the club] He was third choice left-back at the beginning of this season, now look at him, he has nine assists and no one can live with him. We shouldn’t forget that this young man is 18 years of age, he’s coming through the academy. I don’t want to pick on [Nicolas] Pepe but if you look at the performances, who is creating the assists? It is coming from the academy player. It’s fortunate that he is even in the team but he has really taken that [opportunity]. [Sead] Kolasinac is on the bench having to watch and suck it up. You take your chance and make your mark when you get the opportunity. That has to be the message to the young Arsenal players because [Mikel] Arteta will play you. If you’re good enough you stay in the team

2020 02 23 Retrieve

[Bukayo Saka first appearance of the season came in September when he was handed a start in the Europa League by Unai Emery and he immediately set the tone for what was to come by scoring one and setting up two in the 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt] No one can live with him. Kolasinac is on the bench having to watch and suck it up. You take your chance and make your mark when you get the opportunity. He was third choice left-back at the beginning of this season, now look at him.

2020 03 05 Retrieve

[Martin Keown believes that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has to dip his hand into his own pocket this summer to give Mikel Arteta money to work with in the transfer market] Arteta has got to be allowed to build the team. He’s got to be given money to develop. Do the owners need to be put some of their own money in? Obviously there are limits to the losses the club can run at, we know that with Manchester City in recent weeks and what they’ve gone through, but expenditure needs to be made in the team. Key decisions need to be made [with Aubameyang and Lacazette]. A

re they going to stay or not? Do Arsenal have to face up to the prospect of perhaps losing Aubameyang? I wouldn’t want to see him go, but they don’t want to be held to ransom either. You could argue with Ozil that’s what happened because at the time [Alexis] Sanchez and Ozil were two big players and they didn’t want to lose both so they invested heavily in Ozil. They need to strengthen the spine of the team. The midfield will need to be improved and so does the defence, the results tell you that. It’s about what sort of resources Arteta will be given and where he feels he needs to prioritise.

I feel he needs to build from the back. All the successful Arsenal teams have had a really strong defence and although you can improve things on the training pitch, I think he has to start with personnel. You want dominant figures, people who want to organise and win that ball when it comes into the box. So that has to be an area where he wants to strengthen or change who he wants to start with. I imagine now they are spending a lot of time watching players across the world trying to denitrify individuals that they can bring in for really good value. But Arsenal won’t be able to shop in the most expensive shops I’m afraid. They will have to look for players who are slightly down from that, which has an element of risk. It’s about a judgement call on your players. Very good players have been bought in the past that nobody really knew anything about. They are going to have to be imaginative in the transfer market. There is a hell of a competition amongst all the top teams to try to find these individuals and it’s a judgement call and in the end I think Arteta will be judged obviously by results, but also in the transfer market

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[David Luiz is very lucky to have given another year at Arsenal, says Martin Keown, with the decision to extend the Brazilian’s deal considered to have put Mikel Arteta under unnecessary pressure] What I’m concerned about now is the stock of the manager. I think there’s enough favour there for Arteta as a young manager to maybe get away with this one. Nonetheless, I think he should be making the right decisions for the football club and I don’t believe David Luiz is the right man to be in that dressing room. Frank Lampard took a different view when he took over at Chelsea; he wanted David Luiz out of his dressing room, for whatever reason, whether that was performance or character, I’m not sure, but he made that clear decision

Now, I think David Luiz is very lucky to be there back at Arsenal for another year. But then I worry about the manager, because you only get so long in this job and you’ve got to make the right decisions, and the early decisions have to be right. That is a huge problem, that position; David Luiz has given the most penalties away this season, four, he’s not mobile enough, he goes to ground too early […] As former players we don’t enjoy ridiculing and hammering players, and he’s had a fine career, but he’s only ever done it in a back-three

So unless it is that Arteta is going to change to a back-three and he’s going to play in the middle, as he did at Chelsea when he won the Premier League, Arsenal are in real trouble. Because he’s going to be exposed, he’s going to make rash challenges, and actually in possession he’s been really disappointing. He’s often going back to the goalkeeper and inviting pressure from the opposition. So this is massive for Arteta now. He’s got to go looking for central defenders, there’s injuries in that position, David Luiz isn’t the answer and he’s getting another year’s contract!