Roy Keane believes Chelsea could have put seven past Arsenal as Sol Campbell and Graeme Souness lay into Mikel Arteta’s men after their 2-0 defeat on Sunday.
Romelu Lukaku marked his second Blues debut with a goal inside 15 minutes before Reece James added a second in what was a fantastic performance by Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Lukaku came close to doubling his tally after seeing his header bounce off the bar and onto the line – but it wasn’t to matter with Chelsea walking away with all three points and leaving the home fans to boo their side at half-time and full-time.
Arsenal were comfortably beaten at home by a superb Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday
Roy Keane (left) insists Chelsea could’ve scored seven while Sol Campbell (right) was left deflated by the Gunners’ performance at home
And the performance was roundly criticised by the three Sky Sports pundits, who went on to point out the clear gulf in class between the two London teams.
‘Very comfortable, scored two, could have been seven if they really went for it the second half,’ Keane said.
‘We saw the quality in the players, confidence, they have a swagger Chelsea, and you can see the shortcomings of Arsenal.
‘There’s no hiding place, Arsenal are well short and it’s going to be a long old season for Arsenal.’
Campbell added: ‘The gulf between experience and quality is massive, everyone can see that. But we did allow Lukaku far too much time, space to receive the ball in the air or ground.
Romelu Lukaku (centre) marked his second Chelsea debut with a goal inside 15 minutes
‘The two midfielders, especially Jorginho, had too much time on the ball to dictate the play. Second half we were in their faces and made it a little more difficult but still Chelsea have got another couple of gears to go.’
The result means Arsenal are without a goal or a point after their two opening games, leaving Arteta under pressure even at this early stage.
Campbell insists Arsenal need to become more solid and then build on that foundation from there.
‘Two games, two losses, you have to somehow get the team working properly,’ Campbell added. ‘When you don’t have the quality you need to be solid. Be solid first then start building. It’s difficult to win games in this league.
‘You can’t let good teams to have the space and turn. There are players to come back in, but it seems when even players come back in it’s the same situation. I’m not saying it had the bite gone out of Arsenal, I hope not I hope there’s a little more steel in there. I want to see that character.’
Mikel Arteta consoles his Arsenal players at the full-time whistle after another crushing defeat
While Arsenal looked well beaten on the day, Keane tried to take a positive approach towards what lies in wait for the north London club, claiming they have signed plenty of potential but are a project waiting to blossom in the next few years.
‘Lot of uncertainty, they lacked the quality of Chelsea,’ Keane said. ‘He’s [Arteta] trying these things, they’re big spenders but they’re buying potential. You need to give them longer, give the manager longer.
‘You’ve seen Ole in two and three years before he showed progress. Klopp obviously more established manager. It takes a little bit of time. Arsenal have very good young potential players. But that’s what it is potential.
‘It won’t happen overnight and the fans want to see progress. Last thing some of these fans want to hear is that it’s a project and it will be good in two years. But that’s what the club have decided to do and that’s why they need these senior players to help them along.
Reece James finished off a well-worked Chelsea move to double the visitors’ lead
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel congratulates his new £97.5m signing after a brilliant debut
‘But I don’t think Arsenal have top quality senior players who have good habits who will help the young lads. If you’re a young lad coming into the club in the last month or two, you’re coming to a club that’s on the downer or has any momentum behind them.’
Souness said: ‘I look at this Arsenal team, it might be a team for the next manager. As a manager time is not your friend. I doubt it will be this year (new players help them to top six) it might not be next year.
‘The young ones coming in are the ones he’s got here. I see a difficult couple of years for Arsenal and it depends how these guys progress. If they stick with Arteta or bring someone in it’s going to be a painful trip.’
Keane responded: ‘You’ve seen Manchester United get [Raphael] Varane and Liverpool get [Virgil] Van Dijk when they were building and Arsenal need to buy an established player.
‘Which top players are really going to want to come to Arsenal? That’s why they’re buying these young potential players. If Lukaku had the choice to play at Arsenal or Chelsea, he will pick Chelsea every day of the week.’
Graeme Souness also took aim at Arsenal and say the club are facing a ‘difficult future’
Souness was quick to point out how far Arsenal have fallen and that it they are in a similar positive to arch rivals Tottenham, who have won both of their opening games of the new campaign.
Souness said: ‘It’s Arsenal we’re talking about. We put Spurs in the same bracket these are big football clubs. But both of these clubs face a difficult future.
‘They’re buying people who ain’t going to be the real deal for a couple of years if ever they are. It will be a difficult pill if you’re paying for a box here and see your team getting turned over.’