Roy Keane backs Mikel Arteta, blames Arsenal for awarding ‘silly contracts’

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Roy Keane believes Mikel Arteta deserves to be given more time at Arsenal, and has instead called out the club’s senior players and other squad members on “silly contracts” who are not performing.

Arteta has been backed with well over £100million of spending in the summer transfer window, but back-to-back losses in their opening Premier League games against Brentford and Chelsea have soured the mood in the red half of north London.

Arsenal fell to a dispiriting 2-0 home loss to Chelsea in front of a packed Emirates on Sunday, with a buoyant home crowd turning sullen as boos greeted the players at both half-time and the final whistle.

The Gunners were once again badly affected by an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the camp, with Ben White, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette absent while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was only fit enough to feature off the bench.

Arteta branded the situation "unprecedented", and though there has been criticism of his transfer business and recent results, former Manchester United captain Keane has called for Arsenal to be patient, citing Liverpool and his former club United as recent examples of trust in managers paying off.

"I would give him longer, you have to give the manager longer," Keane said while working as a pundit for Sky Sports. "We have seen it in Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), he needed two or three years before he started to make progress.

“Jurgen Klopp was an established manager but it does take time. Arsenal have a lot of very good, young potential players but it is just potential.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"This is where you need your senior players to help the young kids along and I don't think Arsenal have the real, top senior quality players who have good habits that will help the young lads.

"There are players at Arsenal on massive wages and you can't shift them. They won't want to leave Arsenal because they are settled in London, they have a cushy life and you talk about clubs when we played, players were hungry and had a desire to win football matches week in, week out.

"But you have players here who probably the manager doesn't want nothing to do with, but the club can't shift them because they give out silly contracts."

Additional reporting by PA.

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