Martin Keown explains his belief that Arsenal played Newcastle United at their own game

Martin Keown believes the key to Arsenal’s victory at Newcastle United on Sunday was playing Eddie Howe’s side at their own game.

Praising Arsenal’s game management in the 2-0 win at St James’ Park, Keown felt Arsenal frustrated Newcastle players with their time-wasting during the game, claiming ‘you can’t win every game by playing beautiful football’.

Keown had previously labelled the Magpies as the ‘best spoilers’ in the league. He noted after January’s reverse meeting at the Emirates that ended goalless that Howe’s side had been trying to delay things and said that had he been a player in the game he would have been having a word with the referee about time-wasting.

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But after victory for the Gunners at St James’ Park, the former Arsenal defender told talkSport: “I think Newcastle’s game-management has been brilliant, and I actually did an article on it and the number of minutes they have the ball in play. But yeah, Arsenal did play Newcastle at their own game.

“And it was interesting because, without naming names, a lot of those Newcastle players were getting particularly angry because sometimes it takes one to know one. So if you actually waste time, you know what someone else is doing.

“I thought Xhaka was brilliant in everything he did. The game management was so good. You can’t win every game playing beautiful football. Jorginho said himself, the players bought into what they needed to do and they played Newcastle at their own game.”


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