"He could be a significant signing" - Martin Keown expects success for Jorginho at Arsenal and backs Dyche to revitalise Everton

Martin Keown looks ahead to Arsenal's Premier League clash with Everton, exclusively live on BT Sport.

By Callum Rice-Coates Published: 1 February 2023 - 2.57pm
Martin Keown

It’s all change at Everton, where Frank Lampard’s difficult tenure has come to an end and Sean Dyche has arrived as his replacement.

The new Toffees boss will take charge of his first game this Saturday lunchtime as Arsenal visit Goodison Park, live on BT Sport 1.

And BT Sport’s Martin Keown expects the Gunners to face a tough test following Dyche’s appointment.

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“It’s an interesting one,” he tells BTSport.com. “I’ve watched Everton in the last few weeks and there wasn’t the intensity out of possession, they were allowing the opposition too much time and space.

“Sean Dyche has got them on the training pitch doing running sessions, so it’ll all be about applying themselves better, working harder for the club and for each other. Dyche will bring that freshness to the group.”

Everton fans have vocally expressed their discontent in recent weeks and many were unhappy about the lack of activity on transfer deadline day.

“It was only going to be at best one player coming in. There’s been hundreds of millions spent on players in recent years that haven’t really helped the club,” Keown says.

“It’s about what the manager does with the ones he’s got, how he can galvanise them, how he can improve them.

Sean Dyche

“Since Carlo Ancelotti was at the club Everton have lost some big players and at one point they were fourth in the table at the start of that season. 

“Most of the core group is there from that season. The squad is not that bad but there’s nobody putting the ball in the back of the net. They need Calvert-Lewin closer to the six-yard box, like he was under Ancelotti. At the moment he’s just an isolated figure at the top of the team.

“Dyche will understand the feelings of the supporters and he’ll share in their disappointment that no one came in. But they’ve got to unify to get Everton out of trouble.

“He did an incredible job at Burnley but he wouldn’t have been pleased with the final year and where they ended up. He’s a manager who wants to roll up his sleeves and he’ll want to prove his ability again.

“I don’t think there could be a better opponent to turn up than Arsenal for your first game as manager. You want to get that unity and create the energy on the pitch. What have they got to lose against Arsenal?”

The mood at Arsenal is far more positive at present and the Gunners’ title challenge has been boosted by the arrival of Jorginho from Chelsea on deadline day.

Jorginho, Mikel Arteta

“Jorginho is a really interesting signing,” Keown says. “He’s achieved everything in the game and he’ll pull the strings in the Arsenal midfield, so he arrives with good experience. He could be a significant signing.

“Arsenal needed somebody in there who has the experience and can play at that level. Jorginho will hopefully help them to be successful.”

On one of Arsenal’s other January additions, Keown adds: “Trossard had as good a debut as I’ve seen for Arsenal. We know his talent and his quality and the confidence he played with in his first match was impressive. 

“He gives Arsenal some fantastic options in the wide areas - he’s more than just a utility player and he’ll put Saka and Martinelli under pressure for a first-team place.”

With Arsenal now five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and setting a relentless pace, fans are beginning to believe. But Keown refuses to get carried away.

“It’s about taking it game to game,” he says. “Arsenal are still developing and it’s Man City’s title, they’re the holders. We know the calibre of their group - they could go on a huge run and win every game until the end of the season.

Arsenal 2023 AMA Sports Photo Agency

“Arsenal just have to keep winning and if it takes them to the title fantastic. But it has to be from game to game, opponent to opponent and tackle to tackle. You can’t look too far beyond that.

“Pep Guardiola was saying that Arsenal have got fire in their bellies and he wants that back with his group. Arsenal’s players are in the zone right now. 

“They’re enjoying going into training, they’ve got team spirit and togetherness, but ultimately you’ve got to go on and turn that into a trophy.

“Arsenal are enhancing their reputation, which before was maybe that if things go against them they weren’t tough and they weren’t fighters. That’s evident now, it’s there. The toughness and personality is there in abundance, but they’ve got to show it again this weekend at a tricky Goodison Park.”