Posted on August 26, 2017 by ADMIN

Is Merson right about Arsenal BIG Premier League problem?

The former Arsenal and England international star Paul Merson did not hold back this week when talking on Sky Sports about his former club. To be honest the TV pundit usually has some fault to find with the Gunners, even when we are doing well so it is hardly surprising to hear him being negative about us after a shaky start to the new season.

Merson made it perfectly clear where he thinks our biggest problem lies, with the Arsenal defence and more particularly with the Spanish left back Nacho Monreal who has recently gone from full back to the left sided one in a back three and even more recently as the central defender in that back line.

Merson said, “It’s been like that for the last 10 years, you know that, I know that, so how does [Wenger] not know that?

“How are you every going to win the Premier League with Nacho Monreal playing in a back three? Please tell me?

“Look at the goal against Stoke, I could see what was going to happen. This is Arsenal Football Club, you can’t be playing Bellerin, a right back playing left back, and Monreal playing in a three. What is it? It has to stop! It can’t keep going on like this.

“Arsenal have got players going forward in abundance, but you’ve got to be strong at the back!”

He’s not happy, but is he right? After Arsenal conceded four goals in our first two games against opposition that are not exactly world beaters in Leicester and Stoke City you can certainly see his point and Wenger himself was scathing about our defending last weekend.

Some will say, however, that the Frenchman was forced into this with Mertesacker’s injury, and Koscielny’s suspension, while Mustafi had not played for over six weeks. From now on the boss should have all his defensive options open so will that make Arsenal strong enough at the back or is Merson right to say that we are simply not good enough in that area and have not been for many years?


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23 thoughts on “Is Merson right about Arsenal BIG Premier League problem?

  1. Tas

    I agree that our main problem is defence and for the life of me can’t understand wdf is going on at the back with people out of position, sort out the back and our office will be more deadly specialy against bigger teams

    1. Mudassir

      I Am not a pundit but that’s exactly my complain, more especially in that 2nd game it was intentional since mustafi was on the same pitch. plus using kolanut at the LWB will give our defense more cover than using him at the cb with purely attacking player ahead of him.

  2. Robin Vanpayslip

    It’s fairly bad all over. An attack that is inefficient and can’t take its chances when the team dominated and a defence that is liable to errors. In between is a midfield that could one minute make a pass that is breathtaking and the next minute can’t even pass straight to a person right next to you.

    At the top is a manager who has lost the plot and above him is a Board who now don’t care about fans because gate money is no big deal anymore due to increased TV and sponsorship.

    Welcome to Arsenal 2017

      1. Anko

        I have been very angry with him for slamming Arsenal for a long time but seeing the way things are and all the problems we have just at season is starting I think he is right. Everyone can the the problem except Arsene Wenger. Am questioning his ability to put things right. I think he has stayed so long in the job and now has a narrow view of our problems and the solutions. And the contracts issues are just killing me!

  3. Simon

    Monreal played well on left of central defence-

    With our 2 best defenders back – think we will be much better.

    Central midfield is our biggest weakness, we have lots good options but perhaps not a guy that can do everything-
    Long passes

    I’d love to see Sead played there – he could defend as well as Coq, whilst also pass and dribble as well if not better than our other options

    1. Leon

      Oh don’t worry.
      That idiot will sooner or later play Sead in central midfield along with Cech and Ospina.
      And perhaps the catering team in defence.
      And to think he only gets paid £10.5 million a year for this…

      1. Break-on-through

        To be honest Leon, you are right about Monreal he has played well in there at times. But he seems to start seasons off poorly, he was a huge handicap for us last season causing us all sorts of problems. But in that final run he put n some solid games at left CB. But putting him in the centre, away at Stoke, and right at the beginning alongside a fullback who is brand new to the club. This is madness Merson is right, this ridiculousness has to stop. Also Ive heard a few people say Kolasinac would be ideal for CDM, I can see why they’d say that. He is a tank at times the way he just runs people over. It doesn’t always work that way though because playing from the byline is much different than in the centre where you need eyes in the back of your head at times. But I see why people say it, purely from a defensive standpoint.

    2. Hass

      Ok fine, when we have our 2 best defenders back we will be more stable… agreed… but why play a formation with 3 cbs with only 1 fit? Are we to believe the players would be soooooo confused if we just went to a back 4 for 1 game?
      Just play a 4-2-3-1 for 1 game till we have our injuries/options back?

      1. xxnofx

        Agreed ,dont even know why we are playing 3 at the back anyway .arsenal were always the team that evrybody loved to watch play ,and over the last 10 years thats gone and now weve gone to this 3 at the back its even worse ,slow build up play sideways passing ,its just boring to watch .its not the arsenal way .but the problem being all comes down to the fact that he wont buy the players we need to play how we used to play .so hes gone for the cautious approach.If he doesnt sign 2- 3 top players in this last week the seasons over before its even started and next year is going to be even worse .hes got 2 years left ,why doesnt he go out with a bang and treat the fans to what we deserve ,weve waited and been patient long enough .

  4. T2T

    We’re also missing Alexis as he is our #1 defender when pressing up front and harassing the opposition. Kolasinac should not play as a CB but as a LWB. I’d prefer these players tomorrow:
    Mustafi, Mertesacker, Koscielny
    Ox, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac
    Özil, Lacazette, Sanchez
    Subs: Ospina, Monreal, Bellerin, Coquelin, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck

    I’m uncertain if we should include Wilshere instead of Coq. Cazorla is, in my opinion, the only player we currently lack from our starting XI. After being without him for almost a year, we can have no excuse being unable to cope without him. I included Mertesacker because of his experience to organize the defence.

    1. Atid

      I’m in complete agreement with your 18. The only changes I would consider are like you when cazorla returns. He needs a more defensive partner and coqsanti was a good partnership.

      I think that back 3 is the best we currently have.

      However, if the ox wants to leave I would be dropping him for bellerin and he would not be on my bench either. The same goes for any player that turns down the best deal the club have to offer, with only 9 months remaining.

    2. Mudassir

      I think Xhaka-Elneny will be more solid than Xhaka-Ramsey , more especially in a game where everyone has to be displine enough and help in both ends in order to secure 3 massive points.
      the rest are spot on. buff IWOBI out of the squad? that’s 2hard.

    3. Nikkogunners

      We need to bite the bullet. If we can’t defend we should be scoring freely and not look blunt upfront too.

      Here is a radical team selection 3.4.3

      –Alexis – Giroud – Lacazette–
      –Holding, Konsienly, Bellerin–

      Your Right Ozil operating next to Xhaka…But from deep he has three targets. Xhaka too has killer passes. We wll score very many…but even the defense here is ok. Now wenger needs to find two CBs as Konsienly is aging and We are loosing players in that department. Gabriel went and now Mustafi is going. Monreal too is aging…Carzola may be back for a month and off to to the emergency room…We can consider getting rid of Ozil al together and look for a beast like Seri if Ozil does not fit in there. Walcott and Welbeck can assist to keep the formation going with a terrifying front three ever present..

  5. citrenoogeht

    Whilst the main point of criticism made by Merson here is not rocket science and one that most will agree with I have become disappointed with Merson’s continued sniping at my club even though he is an ex-Gooner. It has come to a point for me that he is yet another voice, in the media, that is out there to destabilise our club. So why wouldn’t you be endeared to him if you support a rival club? On the Soccer Saturday panel, he comes across to me as the “village idiot” character who can’t get his words straight and needs to say something sensational to get a “rise” from others on the panel. Charlie Nicholas, on the other hand is also an ex-Arsenal player but gives a more considered point of view.

  6. John Ibrahim

    Terry and Carragher should never have played CB

    They were midfielders and should stick to their role

  7. ThirdManJW

    Of course our defence is the biggest problem right now, and hardly surprising when Wenger is barely using any CB’s!! But for me, the biggest problem is not having a DM in the side. I think a quality DM is very important for any team, but especially teams that play very attacking football, and are then susceptible on the counter-attack. Coquelin is our only DM, he’s not top quality, and we won’t be a regular even when fit, so we have huge problems!

    People keep talking about signing VVD, but it doesn’t really change anything. Yes he’s quality, and better than what we’ve currently got, but he, like the rest of our CB’s, will get zero protection from central midfield until Wenger signs a quality DM.

  8. Simon

    Fed up with the argument that we should t play players out of position-

    If we did that- we wouldn’t have Bellerin in defence (midfielder), Ox at Wingback, Sanchez sometime upfront, Henry as a striker – the list goes on

    Manager has to be Brave at times, and take calculated risks for the greater good.

    For example I’d play Ramsey in Ozil role for next game, and drop Ozil to bench

    Put 2 defensive midfielders on the pitch instead of 1 behind him.

    It’s more conservative, less attacking, but I believe a better balance and team shape against a capable Liv team

  9. xxnofx

    Well seeing all our defenders seem to be leaving i would not be surprised to see 1 coming in .reports suggesting that mustafi wants to leave .Just in gibbs off to watford ,personal terms yet to be agreed.

  10. deleny

    its almost official. Gibbs is off to watford after we sold Gabriel to valencia. I just hope we re selling the right players at this point in time..

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