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FA Cup glory can make Arsenal a title threat, says Keown

Arsenal, FA Cup
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Mikel Arteta can use Arsenal’s FA Cup success to launch a challenge for Premier League titles, says Martin Keown.

It’s been a mixed campaign for Arsenal overall. They ended a three-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup, but slumped to a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

Arteta’s arrival did spur a change in fortunes following a disastrous start under Unai Emery, though. The Basque coach impressed in London and will hope to continue this positive trend going into next season.

Although while the FA Cup triumph ensures European football for Arsenal once again, Arteta will have his work cut out reducing a 43-point deficit to Premier League champions Liverpool.

But Keown, who starred in the Gunners defense across two separate spells between 1984 and 2004, believes Arteta is on the right track.

“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,” he told Football London.

“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.”

Keown won 10 trophies during his Arsenal career, including three Premier League titles and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

“By winning trophies you demonstrate that when things go well it clicks,” continued the former defender. “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 realizing 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.”