Arsenal legend Keown slams two-footed tackle merchants

Former England and Arsenal defender Martin Keown has branded players who make two-footed tackles "cowardly".

There been a recent proliferation of red cards for the offence - Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho and Reading's Brynjar Gunnarsson were the latest miscreants on Boxing Day - and concerns are growing someone will be seriously injured unless it is clamped down upon.

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The tough-tackling Keown believes modern-day players are more concerned with self-preservation and have little concern for the welfare of opponents.

"It is creeping in more and more. I saw a couple yesterday and the players made them look pre-meditated," he said.

"They really need to stamp it out, outlaw it in the game. Yesterday everyone was punished in the right way and it was good to see Carvalho come out and apologise.

"I wonder if players are thinking 'I don't want to break my foot'? But to go in with two feet you know you are going to cause some damage.

"I think it is cowardly when you go into a challenge when you know you are not going to get hurt."

"I think the authorities are trying to deal with it in the right way but it comes down to the players taking it on board.

"I think it will disappear. I think when players see it on television they will regret it.

"But you do get a reputation - I think it happened to Michael Essien a couple of times - and it is not what you want to get a reputation for."

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