Champions League: He’s sluggish – Michael Owen, Martin Keown criticize Arsenal star


Former Premier League stars, Michael Owen and Martin Keown, have singled out Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko for criticism after the defender gave a ‘sluggish’ performance in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Lens.

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season against the French side, who are currently 15th in Ligue 1, despite taking the lead on the night.

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The Gunners lost 2-1 against Lens in France following goals from Adrien Thomasson and Elye Wahi, as Gabriel Jesus’ goal was not enough for the visitors.

But Keown and Owen were particularly critical of the way in which Arsenal conceded the second goal against Lens, as a simple one-two saw Zinchenko pulled out of position and allowing Przemyslaw Frankowski to race in behind.

Speaking on TNT Sports after the game, Keown said: “I think Zinchenko just gets done, doesn’t he?

“He goes in too much. For me, I’d have just waited for [the Lens player] to come on, I would not have thrown myself in there. Little one-two behind him, attacks the space.

“And then the markings in the box. You’ve got to mark in the box!

“I know that they are in a line there trying to deal with the ball that is coming across, but you can’t pick out a player with that.”

On his part, fellow pundit Owen was also critical of Zinchenko, saying: “Zinchenko is halfway house, is not he?

“He has to either get close and affect the ball – either tackle or bring the player down or something – or he stays where he is.

“But he can’t give himself away so easily. Sluggish. As soon as he played around: sluggish.”


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