Rio Ferdinand and Keown Examine Arsenal's Struggles Ahead of Crystal Palace Test

"The second striker at City is the same level as the top striker at Arsenal."- Ferdinand said.

by Sead Dedovic
Rio Ferdinand and Keown Examine Arsenal's Struggles Ahead of Crystal Palace Test
© Michael Regan / Getty Images Sport

Lately, Arsenal hasn't been making their fans very happy because they're not playing as well as everyone hoped. People are worried about how the team is doing under Mikel Arteta, especially when it comes to being effective and creative in their games. Even Martin Odegaard, one of their main creative players, hasn't been doing as well recently. But it's not just him; a lot of players in the team are not playing their best, and that's something Arteta is probably concerned about.

Football experts Martin Keown and Rio Ferdinand talked about Arsenal's season on TNT Sports. Despite people saying Arsenal can't win the Premier League, Keown believes they can. He thinks the team just needs to get better at scoring goals.

Today's game against Crystal Palace is really important. Crystal Palace is known for being a tough team to play against, so this game will show how well Arsenal is doing. It's like a big test for them to see if they can do better.

“Of course I do, if you look at the table, Manchester City have only won one ore game than Arsenal, and everyone is saying Manchester City can still win it, of course Arsenal can do that. Today’s a critical day, when they have to wake up and start scoring goals. If they don’t, then they’re too far away from that race.”- Keown said, as quoted by

Keown suggests that the players should forget about the disappointments in the past and focus on gaining confidence in scoring goals. He believes it's a good idea to start fresh and have belief among the players to get positive results. Keown also mentions that Crystal Palace is a tough opponent, especially with their 3-5-2 system, and Arsenal needs to find a way to break them down. Today's game will be a big challenge for Arsenal to overcome their goal-scoring problems.

Crystal Palace has always been a team that knew how to surprise the 'big teams'. Roy Hodgson's team has a special system, and every game implies different tactics and preparation. The unpredictability of this team is exactly what frustrates most teams. However, Hodgson, as an experienced coach, will try to set up a team that will be able to prevent Arsenal from achieving their goal.

Rio Ferdinand: The second striker at City is the same level as the top striker at Arsenal

Those who know football well know how important it is to have a great striker. If you don't have someone who can realize opportunities, it is difficult to expect that your team will achieve any greater success. The London team will have to spend huge money on the striker, given that in this environment, they will have a difficult task to win the Premier League alongside Liverpool and Manchester City. Rio Ferdinand made a comparison between Manchester City and Arsenal strikers. The fact that City have Julian Alvarez as a second striker speaks volumes about the strength of this team.

“I think Manchester City are the team who have set the benchmark this season. Their top goalscorer, Erling Haaland, got 14 goals. He got injured, the next man came in, he got six, [Julian] Alvarez. The second striker at City is the same level as the top striker at Arsenal."

David Raya and Julian Alvarez
David Raya and Julian Alvarez© Alex Pantling / Getty Images Sport

In order to have a winning team that can win the Premier League, it is crucial to have quality players in all positions. If you have a great defense and midfield, but you lack a striker who can score a huge number of goals, then you will have a huge problem.

“You look at the front positions and there’s not enough goals. You’ve got to score goals. Yes, defensively, they’ve shored it up, Declan Rice has been a great addition, the two centre-backs are becoming a great partnership. You have to find a balance for the team, and up front they haven’t found the lethal weapon.”

Arsenal will have a real test in the next few matches. This is the part of the season where many teams falter and make mistakes. Only the best manage to emerge as winners. The London team will have an interesting task in the coming period. After the previous season, Arsenal fans are euphoric and hope that this team can lift the Premier League trophy. A lot has passed since the last time this team lifted the Premier League trophy. If Mikel Arteta manages to bring the Premier League trophy to the red part of London, there is no doubt that the fans will create even greater respect for him and see him as a legend of this team. 

The task will be difficult, but not impossible. Maybe Arsenal will buy this winter. One reinforcement can change a lot within the team.

Rio Ferdinand Arsenal