Martin Keown believes Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will use the club’s FA Cup success as a catalyst to challenge for Premier League titles. In 2019-20, after struggling to rebound from a terrible start to campaign under Unai Emery, the Gunners witnessed their worst top-flight result in 25 years.
When Arteta was called in to succeed Emery in the spot light of the Emirates Stadium, their conditions started to improve, but they nevertheless ended up dropping shy of European points.
Arsenal finished 8th on the table, 10 points behind Chelsea whom the beat 2-1 in the FA Cup Final. Arteta’s men qualified for Europa League only after winning the tie, as they finished 3 points behind the last spot for the Europa League qualifications – Tottenham this was the only way around to make an entry to the European competition.
Keown on Arsenal challenging for the title race next season told Football London:
“We’ve heard Jurgen Klopp say about the history of that club, when they walk into that club and they see the trophies they’ve won and the players they’ve had.
“Arsenal is no different. With the FA Cup, we’ve almost moved competitions. Consistency wins you Premier League trophies, that’s the difference. You’ve only got to win six matches to win an FA Cup but nonetheless you’ve still got to beat the best teams. The last five winners have all done that.
“There has always been a big history and a big expectation at Arsenal. The minute I walked through the front door the photographs said it all. You’re here to win trophies. It was a bit of a barren spell in terms of championships but the club was emerging again, through the FA Cup.
“Maybe now he will use it again to win Premier Leagues. By winning trophies you demonstrate that when things go well it clicks. You’re good enough to beat the teams that win the leagues.
“What you want to do is win the Premier League, get into that top four. Arteta will be ambitious to do that. It’s a great start and great for his confidence by the way, he’s a rookie manager but not anymore after winning a trophy.
“It keeps everybody on board. People listen more when you win things. You can roll out all the best ideas but you have to be able to execute the plan. They did that brilliantly since lockdown. I think it’s about the group realising that they’re good enough to win things. Then the name of the cup just changes. To win a Premier League you have to be far more consistent than we’re currently being.
“That’s the next step for Arteta but it’s good for the players to see that they’re capable of winning things, beating a very good Chelsea team in the process, but it’s still a rebuilding project for Arteta and Arsenal Football Club.”