Sunday 21 October 2018

'The players deserve what they got' - Roy Keane's scathing verdict on Arsenal after Europa League exit

Roy Keane suggested the Arsenal players let manager Arsene Wenger down in their defeat against Atletico Madrid
Roy Keane suggested the Arsenal players let manager Arsene Wenger down in their defeat against Atletico Madrid
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane served up a brutal assessment of Arsenal's Europa League flops, as he suggested outgoing manager Arsene Wenger 'deserved better' after a Europa League semi-final defeat against Atletico Madrid.

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa returned to haunt Arsenal as he snatched the decisive goal in a 2-1 aggregate win for Atletico after another disappointing display from Wenger's side that ensures he will leave the club later this month without a final trophy to celebrate.

Keane has been highly critical of Arsenal in recent years and he didn't hold back as he offered up this withering assessment of their latest display.

"Arsene Wenger deserves better, but I think the players deserve what they got and that is nothing," Keane told ITV Sport.

"The Arsenal players lacked belief. I have been critical of Arsenal over the last few years for a lack of leaders and characters, but tonight it hit home that they have a real lack of quality.

"Arsenal get into good positions and they have some good players, but their players think they are going to get four or five touches in the box.

"The good positions they got themselves in and they have one shot on target all night?"

Keane suggested the plaudits that will flow for the Frenchman in his final home game as Gunners boss this Sunday will be justified, but he admits his replacement will face a huge challenge.

"He should be proud of his achievements, obviously, but there is no quick fix at Arsenal," he confirmed. "They need to get the right manager in, they need funds, new players and new characters.

"They are so far behind Man City it's untrue. Way behind United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. Some tough days ahead at Arsenal.

"For all the problems we have mentioned, I still think it is a great opportunity for a top manager to come in and fix things, but it won't happen quickly."

Keane suggested Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone should be a leading contender to succeed Wenger, as he suggested the Argentine's excited antics in the stands as he watched his team qualify for the final were as entertaining as the action on the field.

"The manager is great to watch. He shows passion, desire and he has done a great job there," added Keane of Simeone. "Imagine if he was manager of Arsenal. They wouldn't be giving goals away like they were tonight, but Atletico Madrid are clear favourites for this competition now."

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