City sit just five points clear of the relegation zone ahead of meetings with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and the Gunners in their final five fixtures of the campaign, and Keown believes that the Canaries' hierarchy panicked over the club's run-in.
"I was shocked to see Chris Hughton sacked last weekend but only because of the timing. In terms of results, it's been coming," Keown wrote in The Daily Mail.
"That [run-in] has created a panic and desperation in their play. That desperation has gripped everyone at the club and culminated in Hughton getting sacked.
"With the following four games a write-off, the board have gambled and tried to make one last change to secure their survival. If it works, it could be an inspired decision but I can't help feeling it would have been better to keep Hughton on."
Norwich travel to Craven Cottage this afternoon for a six-pointer with Fulham.