Martin Keown has slammed Arsenal for their poor starts to matches after their 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague.

The Gunners have struggled to start games well in recent weeks and that has seen them drop points even against teams like Burnely.

Mikel Arteta’s team wanted to end this season inside the top four, but their poor form has seen them spend more time in mid-table.

They knew that Slavia Prague was a dangerous team considering that the Czech outfit has eliminated Leicester City and Rangers from the competition already.

Yet Arteta’s side started the game sloppily and struggled for much of the match.

When they eventually took the lead, they still let themselves down and allowed their opponents to score a late leveller.

They have an uphill task in reaching the next round now and Keown thinks their problem is how they start games because they always need a wake-up call to start playing well.

He told BT Sport via Sun Sports: “For me it was about Arsenal tonight, and about the way they played and imposed themselves on the opposition.

“And by sitting off early in the encounter, I thought they had chosen the wrong tactics, and there was an opportunity to do that tonight.

“You’re the home team, so you take the initiative, and you ask them the question, can you play? Can you pass out from the back? We’ll see how good you are.

“But they were allowed to settle, to build, to be confident and then become more dominant.

“And in that first half it was quite tricky for Arsenal, and it became nervy and they weren’t the team that we’ve seen two or three weeks ago for instance, the West Ham performance, second half.

“It seems like Arsenal… they’re not proactive in games. They need somebody to slap them in the face almost, or punch them in the face, before they wake up and start to play.

“He did it today in the second half with the substitutions, he made that happen, but they couldn’t see it through.”

This article first appeared on Just Arsenal and was syndicated with permission.

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