Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph can act as a springboard for the Gunners to compete at the top of the Premier League once more, according to their former centre-back Martin Keown.
Mikel Arteta’s side lifted a record 14th FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley on August 1, securing European football for next season and ensuring that a challenging campaign ended on the highest of notes with a first piece of silverware for the Arsenal head coach.
However the domestic cup is nowhere near enough to sate Arteta’s ambition with the Gunners boss, who had no managerial experience before joining the club in December, stating before the final that winning the FA Cup and finishing eighth in the Premier League was far from good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature.
Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bridge what he has consistently described as a sizeable gap to the Premier League’s top two clubs, Manchester City and Liverpool. The Spaniard will doubtless be aware that when Jurgen Klopp joined the latter club they were similarly marooned in mid-table, struggling to fulfil their rich history.
Within five years Liverpool have established themselves as one of the greatest forces in European football, winning a sixth European Cup in 2019 and their first Premier League title for 30 years this season.
Keown knows from experience that Arsenal can bridge these gaps having returned to the club in 1993 as they were establishing a reputation for being a cup team in the latter years of George Graham’s reign.
It took Arsenal time, and the arrival of Arsene Wenger three years later, but the core of the defence from the early 1990s would be on hand to shepherd the Gunners to the 1998 Premier League title.
“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. Arsenal is no different,” Keown told football.london. “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.”
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