Martin Keown: Arsenal out to keep Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho quiet
Martin Keown warns that Arsenal can ill afford to suffer a heavy defeat at Chelsea this weekend
Martin Keown says Arsenal will be desperate to avoid defeat as they bid to keep Jose Mourinho quiet ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea in the Premier League.
The north London side make the short trip across the capital to take on the Blues after slumping to a 2-1 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener on Wednesday night.
Chelsea, meanwhile, sealed a 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv to get their European campaign off to a winning start at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho’s defending champions have struggled for form in the Premier League and have taken just four points from their opening five top-flight games this season.
However, former Arsenal defender Keown feels that the Gunners will need to make sure that they are at their best against the Blues and don’t inadvertently kick-start their rivals’ season by suffering a heavy defeat.
Keown told the Daily Mail: “Both teams’ confidence is brittle going into this. Chelsea will feel that they are bouncing back – suddenly this has become a different game for Arsenal.
“It’s then how they apply themselves. They got a drubbing in early kick-offs at Anfield and Chelsea, and there can’t be any hangover even though they’ll come back late from Zagreb.
“It’s easier for Wenger to decide his best XI. He needs to decide whether to play Giroud, whether to play through the compartments but, if he gets that right, his team must perform and take the game to Chelsea.
“Mourinho’s team will start like a house on fire. Victory rescues their season. Arsenal don’t want Mourinho talking afterwards about how special is again and how Arsenal have failed again.
“Wenger needs to create that urgency that their season hinges on this match. Arsenal need to face reality, not be frightened of the sight of it. They have to forget what happened in midweek. There can be no fear.”
Arsenal head into Saturday’s game in third place in the table, five points behind leaders Manchester City.