It does not take a rocket scientist or even a football expert to see that Arsenal’s leaky defence was a major reason for the club’s struggles in the season so far. Very few clean sheets, defensive errors, letting Anderlecht come back from three goals down and then the loss to Manchester United when the visitors had hardly any chances just highlighted the issue.
And although the injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny were very damaging for our defence, it was actually our first choice centre back Per Mertesacker that was struggling as much or more than Calum Chambers of Nacho Monreal.
Initially it was thought that the German was suffering a World Cup hangover, but that excuse could only last so long. In the Premier League defeats by Swansea City and Man United, Mertesacker’s performance stats on Squawka.com were the worst of all our defenders, significantly worse than the stand in centre back Monreal’s.
But I think that the German was suffering as all the responsibility was on him and he was trying to organise, cover for and second guess his team mates. It remains to be seen if I am right, but I think that now he has Laurent Koscielny back alongside him in the pairing that did so well for us last year, our BFG will become his old reliable self again.
His stats for the game at West Brom were much better and he ended up with the same performance score as the Frenchman. They do seem to have a great understanding and their abilities counter the other’s weak points. Do you think we are about to see the Arsenal defence racking up the clean sheets again from now on?