What do Arsenal need to do defensively?

Arsene Wenger has had a good look at his defensive options during Arsenal’s tour of Asia, and has admitted that the Gunners need to improve in that area.

“I think defensively we looked fragile…We hjave a lot of work to do as a unit to do much better.”

It’s not all bad, but Wenger has seen that many of the young players are not ready to play regularly in the Premier league for Arsenal. Wenger pointed out that it was important to give the likes of Ignasi Miquel and Craig Eastmond the chance to impress and also the chance to see what will be asked of them in the Premier league.

The Frenchman also reminded us that his three of Arsenal’s best defenders, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker were left in London for various reasons, and will surely give us a stronger back line. This does not hide the fact that Arsenal need more cover and strength in the defense.

Many Arsenal fans think that a quality defensive midfielder could give the back line the protection that would help the whole team. Yann M’Vila or even Victor Wanyama from Celtic have been linked with Arsenal, but Wenger is lgiving nothing away about any signings.

Sagna will not be fit for the start of the season, so who will be the right back until he returns? Laurent Koscielny started his career as a right back but is, arguably, our best central defender. I am sure he could do the job, but we would miss him in the middle. He could be used in times of need, with Djourou and Mertesacker filling in his normal position.

Two players fighting for the position are Francis Coquelin and Carl Jenkinson. Jenkinson looks good going forward but is guilty of occasionally showing his lack of defensive discipline. Coquelin is the better defender but does not give us the same attacking options. Maybe Wenger will alternate between these two depending on the opponents.

What do you think?

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76 thoughts on “What do Arsenal need to do defensively?

  1. Gunnerineverylife

    I’ve been impressed by Yennaris at right back,maybe we should give him a shot until sagna comes back.But I prefer buying a versatile fullback who can play at both sides.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 93 Thumb down 5

  2. Ddog

    defense definatly needs more depth, ok sagna, kos, verm, gibbs is a decent back line. but as soon as one of them is missing it is considerable weakended. and we already now sagna wont be back for teh start, what happens if kos or the verminator pick up an injury. something defenatly needs to be done in that department, whether it means signing a proper cdm or a defender, i will leave to wenegr. but i hope he does invest in this area

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  3. Pat Rice

    The first thing we need to do is sell squid(he sucks) and most definitely sell Djourou, people go on about how 1)loyal he is and 2)happy to be 4th choice.

    I say 1)he’s loyal coz he knows he aint gona get paid the wages he gets here at any other club and 2)we shouldn’t be having players who are happy to sit at the bench n not challenge for places n then expect our defence to improve.

    We should get a LB, and a CB is possible and most importantly a CDM(diaby aint the answer he’s too slow n disrupts our fluidity)

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 17

  4. syharvey

    Need a defensive signing but we do have alot of tallent coming on. hope SB can install the confidence into our squad and defensive players to keep more clean sheets this season…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. ahmad

    Van dar wiel will be perfect 2nd option for sagna.. And he is waitn 4 a champ-league team. Ajax right back

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  6. john 3:16

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 43

  7. john 3:16

    And also buy M’Vila for the defensive midfield position!

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 13

  8. NZ Gunner

    John 3:16 should be Blocked from this site! What a clown!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 71 Thumb down 7

  9. Vukasin

    I was impressed with Kyle Bartle in back line on this Asia tour..Maybe if Wenger decides he is worthy enough of playing for the first team,he could play center back beside vermaelen and koscielny could go on right back until Sagna comes back…

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  10. Joturnpyk

    “Arsene Wenger … … has admitted that the Gunners need to improve in that area.”
    – DON’T WORRY; WONT’T BE LONG BEFORE HE SAYS THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH…

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

  11. KidKnockout

    The high line Arsenal play can be suicidal at times. There has to be better organisation.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

  12. AFC_Gooner

    We bought Mertesacker and Santos last term and they both got injured. Neither are of the Adams or Keown ilk.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  13. Arsenal19

    WE NEED DEPTH MORE THAN ANYTHING RB/KEEPER IS A LITTLE SHORT ON QUALITY

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  14. Chris M

    Coquelin would be my choice as back up right back, i think he has done the best job when he has been asked to play there.
    None of are left back are great defensively Gibbs and Santos are caught out of position way to much, i think this is a big reason why we never look great at the back because it means the center backs are pulled out of position to cover them.

    Lets hope Steve Bould can help Wenger fix some of the problems we have had at the back over the last few seasons because i dont think we will see any new defensive signings.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  15. Mathew

    John 3:16 you need to see a doctor, you mean to sell Santos,man Santos is quite ok at d back, we just need to buy #2 and #4. Please Wenger buy M’Vila and Cazorla.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  16. JB

    Hard to say what to do at right back, but I think they probably have to go with Jenkinson. He needs to improve his positioning, but (!) Kos is too important in the center, (2) Djourou isn’t comfortable as a RB, and (3) Coquelin needs to be groomed as a DCM.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. Jano

    Arsenal should buy a young back up right back for Sagna, and with good future. Danilo from porto, or davide santon from newcastle would be great options.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  18. Goon status

    @NZ Gunner

    Soo true mat some people need to get realistic!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  19. AYJ

    Start the season with Sagna, Kos, Verm and Santos/Gibbs fully fit.. I actually have faith in our defence.. It is our fwd line and midfield am a little concerned about given the looming departures and injuries.. Hopefully Arsene can weave his magic, and sort the situation out in the transfer market!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  20. leo

    just sign sakho,m’vila & sell squid,djorou & we have some good news wenger has said that bendtner,park & squallaci will leave arsenal same for arshavin so expect more signings

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  21. lokin

    Defensive signings must be done. Play in young players week in week out until Sagna becomes fit again. I have no faith in Djorou at all. Sorry to say but most BPL team are signing fast paced forwards…strength alone won’t help.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  22. OhToBeAGooner

    John 3:16 you would be a terrible manager . Please stfu

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  23. Gson

    What Mr Wenger is suppose to do is to sign a strong full back who my play both cb and rb so that we can reduce a number of goals we loose last year. We scored a lot of goals and we had beaten a lot of goals. Just check on pre-season we get 4 goals for 5 goals.This shows our defense is not good.Please sell Djourou and get a good defender.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. Jose Mourinho Ruined Arsenal

    Im sorry but gibbs is useless for me ! Terrible defender still cant believe how easily YAYA TOURE beat him for the first CITY goal! Anyone not agreeing with me needs to see the highlights from that game

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  25. RealGooner

    Carl Jenkinson looks good? are u fucking kidding me? maybe u didnt seen match against kitchee,,, he was pathetic… i see only few whos progressing,m eastmond and coquleni. yesturday miguel did lots of mistake, but Carl Jenkinson was worst player of the day, same like 8- defeated by MU… i think poster author was a bit hangover lol.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  26. Koolio

    Our first team defense is fine, what we need is solidity in the midfield. The left side of defense needs some work, but other than that, balls by pass our midfield far too easily. We need the double pivot system to work for rigidly, we have enough men up front to do serious damage.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  27. Paul

    We need a big versatile CB (nothing like metersacker) people might slate me for this but I still don’t think kosh is good enough you can’t have 2 smaller CB it just doesn’t work!!! We need a big hard hitter like vidic,Terry,kompany all the top teams have them but us.. Also back up for Gibbs as I honestly think he has what it takes to be as good as ashley cole and by back up I mean a propa defender not santos who thinks he is a striker..

    I’m really worried about us this season I personally think we will struggle and not make champions leauge.. It’s a shame that b4 the season has even started I’m worried about not qualifying for the champs leauge than actually thinkin we can win the prem… Just goes to show how much we have slipped over tge years

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

  28. Gunnerineverylife

    @Paul I dont think its Kosh who is the problem,its Vermaelaen,he needs to improve,Kosc bailed him out numerous times in last chance.He also has a tendency to slip at wrong time,against QPR,against city when the post was empty etc.I agree that we need a Vidic type defender.I think Wenger bought Mertesacker for that job but I dont think Mertesacker is good enough because he is too slow.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  29. Bruce TongaBull

    Guys dont wory, we play like Barca… No nid fo taf raf big defender, all we wil do is to out muscle,outwit,outrun and outplay our opponents or better out score them all. But to do ths we nid M’villa and Carzola in th midfield PERIOD!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  30. Paul

    @gunnerineverylife… I see your point mate but I do believe that tv5 is better than kosh.. But I do see your point and he always seems to score own goals lol!!! But we defo need a big strong fast CB… I like shawcross from Stoke he’s a beast or maybe skertle from lvpool

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  31. Adizza

    @paul. Please any update on carzola and m’vila and other possible signings? Great to have u around.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  32. Gunnerineverylife

    Shawcross has a history with Ramsey so Wenger wont buy him and I dont think Liverpool will sell Skertle to us.@Bruce We no longer possess technically good players to play like Barca so I think Wenger will change our style in this season.We have won nothing since we started playing like Barca. I think we need to be more direct,utilize Walcott’s pace,Podolski’s power and Giroud’s aerial ability.Song will play a massive role with his long balls if we play more direct.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. SD

    I also think Kos is the better defender. Vermaelen is a great player, perhaps a better player looking at their games overall. But because he wanders so far out of position, pushes higher up the pitch, and takes so many chances miles outside the box, I just don’t think he is as good at the CB position as Kos is. Kos really did mop up a lot of messes last year caused by the rest of the defense, including Verms.

    Cahill, that we somehow managed not to sign last year, and Sakho are two perfect examples of young guys that are in the kind of mould you are talking about. They are big and athletic, can deal with physical play and also keep in front of most quick players they play against. I would love to see Kos and Sakho running the middle of the back line. It isn’t going to happen, but I would love to see it.

    Vermaelen poses a realy problem for me. He is a great player and a great leader on the team. Because of that I can’t really ask to bench him. But I still say that looking at the CB position alone, Koscielny is the better defender. For me, Kos is the first name on the sheet on defense.

    Also, given good health, the players we have are not the problem on defense. It is the system we play. We have neither the ball control that Barca has nor their tireless work ethic to sprint back as soon as the ball is lost. The latter point being why I believe we have so many issues on defense. We play the offensive style of Barcelona, but the midfielders are either not being asked to or otherwise just don’t go back quickly when the ball is lost.

    And for right back, my choices behind Sagna from what I have seen of them, in order, is Yennaris, Coquelin, and then Jenkinson. Jenkinson may be the best crosser on the team already, but it doesn’t excuse how poor he is on defense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  34. Bradster

    I see the problem being our style. The wingers don’t track or tackle, the style needs the full backs to push but cover 2 players on the flanks. That pulls our CB’s across to that flank to help out. When Arteta plays he covers the middle because Song is often caught out of position and either can’t get back in time or fouls in a desperate lunging tackle.
    I don’t see how we can expect the defence to do well with the forward players not doing any type of defensive work. I must admit though, Rosicky has at the latter part of last season gotten stuck in to tackles.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  35. dan

    Since we started playing a high line with space behind the defence has looked vulnerable how wenger and rice didnt see that is beyond me the early signs are nothing has changed but have to give bould a chance as he has only been with the team for a short time so see what happens before we judge him on his coaching ability!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  36. budgie

    Santos is a clown, and Mertsacker is the worst german defender I have ever seen! We need to find 2 players like Vidic and Kompany, score as many goals as you like but its clean sheets that win matches!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  37. jack

    same old same old under wenger goals will be let in all the time,this year will be no different.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  38. Bruce TongaBull

    Hie is a solution fo our defensive woes.. Play a 3 5 2 as we wait fo Sagna! Gk- Schezyn Defenders- Martes,Kos6,Tv5 2DmM- M’villa,Song Rw- Ox Lw- Gervinho CAM- Carzola 2Strikers- Prince Podolsk and OG. Exciting isnt it

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  39. James Munga

    we lack the qualities of a good defensive mid-f. Players of such calibre as our invisible wall of the likes of Gilberto, Flamini.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Briano

    We have good defenders we just need to play as a unit,surely Bould has to be given his say there.And since our so called DM Song keeps on going forward and leaving the back four wide open to counter attacks why not get him to stay back or just sign M’Villa!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Why O why?

    Szcesny

    Laurent TV5

    sagna Gibbs
    arteta

    walcot song gervinho

    RVP carz/Giroud

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  42. DanielC1989

    Coquelin isn’t ‘fighting for his place’ lol, he is a far better right back than Jenkinson and that’s not even his natural position. Jenkinson needs to go out on loan to Southampton or Swansea. they play good football and he needs to play a whole season so we can actually see how ‘good’ he really is

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  43. craig2500

    Nail a big see through plastic sheet over over the goal to stop the ball going over the line

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  44. Why O why?

    —————-Szcesny—

    ———-Laurent——-TV5—
    —-sagna———————-Gibbs
    —————–arteta———–
    —— walcot—-song—–gervin–

    ————RVP——carz/Giroud–

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  45. Bob

    We need to sign known talent…… Somebody with experience at a top level and spmbody that can make a difference to the team…..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. AK-47

    we only need m’vila,cazorla and shaw (maybe it’s better if he stays on loan at southampton)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. AK-47

    QUESTION : RVP ASKED THE TEAM TO BUY QUALITY PLAYERS AND STAY COMPETITIVE … WE BOUGHT GIROUD,POLDI…CAZORLA IS COMING AND SO DOES M’VILA!!! FINALLY SHAW IS A PLAYER WHO HAS BRIGHT FUTURE!!! WHAT ELSE HE WANTS???

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. AK-47

    also i think we don’t need a cb!!! m’vila can play at this position just like javi martinez!!! that can make our defence more creative!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  49. AK-47

    sczezny
    yennaris/kos – m’vila – tv5 – gibbs/santos

    song
    arteta cazorla/ox

    walcott giroud gerv/poldi

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  50. Mike Dellar

    Am I alone in being concerned about a lack of depth in our squad, especially in defense?…is this not the one area beside midfield where we picked up a lot of injuries last season…is not true that sides with great depth in their squads succeed where others fail?…get quality depth into the squad and we wont have to be concerned with injuries at the business end of the competion…next year we will lose one or two, maybe more players to the African Cup of Nations(this time hosted by South Africa)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. Malik

    positioning wise we’re horrible!!!!!!, set pieces MUCH better than previous seasons, positioning and counterattacks are where arsenal concedes almost all their goals, once we lose possession the other team score it’s a FACT!!! POSITIONING, POSITIONING, POSITIONING!!!

    the onoly players who are good positioning wise are mertesacker and arteta plus maybe sagna and……………….that’s it jenkinson, gibbs, santos, verm, kos(he has good pace to catch the strikers though)REALLY desperately need to be drilled into defending personally i wanna see

    kos mert verm gibbs line up

    at the start of the season n let sagna come back slowly with jenkinson coming in slowly but if we learn positioning ALL our defenders would be 5-star they are already the best attacking defence in the league they just need to be a better DEFENCE

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. Mungo

    The problem we’ve had is we push too many forward and dont have the numbers back when we lose possesion, we were ok doing this when we were winning trophies because we had guys like petit, vieira, gilberto, or even ray parlour who used to sit when others went forward and either helped slow counter attacks down, or stop them altogether, it also helped with another problem we’ve had in recent times is we give opposition midfielders or forwards a clear run with pace at our back four due to the space they have to accelerate into, because they just drop deep, the back line needs to keep its shape and no one in our midfield is there to cover, so the defenders job becomes a lot harder because they need to be a lot more careful in how they challenge to not give away free kicks, or penalties and do this while having to sprint, so although I do think we could do with more FB depth, i think firstly we need a DM, and then get the midfield to play with more tactical discipline, if we do this as well as get someone like cazorla to help supply the bullets going forward, I think we could have a very good season. COGY

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  53. Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!

    Watch a shiteload of sol Campbell, tony Adams, pat rice and lee dixon clips and IMMITATE

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  54. puckmanu

    jenkinson is a horrible defender and whats worse, he comes across as very arrogant and cocky. watching him in the last game of the season against west brom was agonising to say the least. oh wait I was wrong, whats worse is that hes probably still better at defending than santos.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. Jim A

    Playing a high line is the way to play. It is attacking football and win or lose its
    the reason our team is so beloved. It creates mis matches where we have 3 to attack against 2. The thing we need is a person placed in the middle who has size and speed to break up any counter. Do we have that player? Maybe next week, fingers crossed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. scott

    Some News guys…check Arsenal.com, Metasacker, Podolski and Sagna are in Nigeria. They got in yesterday morning.

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  57. ThrustDancer

    I personally think that Kos is the better Centre back and we need another Centre back to accompany him. Cahill would have been perfect but if we can find a good enough equivalent then we would be laughing. I think our answer to our LB problem is to play Vermalen there instead. He will get what he wants with being able to bomb forward and is still a good defensive player and maybe wouldnt cost us as much as he would not be leaving a hole in the centre of our defence.

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  58. Noble

    why re we all stumbling over d issue of a RSB and a LSB. The fact is that we ve it all but they lack experience nd inteligency.

    They need more coaching nd training but we cant use dem to compromise our games.

    So i tink we need to sign a quality Dog-fight CB who can play both leg feint(RSB and LSB). That wil go a lng way to help if any of our first choice CB gets injured. Vortenghe or Samba re gud.

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  59. Martine Osinde

    Guys I just don´t get it.How do we conquer Europe and epl with a backline that lacks head to head replacements? Wenger might argue the way he wants, but one fact is clear that is some arsenal players are not good enough for our team.Jenkinson has potential, but can he be better than Debuchy who is now available for peanuts? Djourou is a center half who has stayed at Arsenal for such a long time without ever showing a glimpse of resoluteness. Squillaci is the farthest idea of an able epl defender. Gibbs is good but still has a lot to learn on his positional awareness. our defence is a loose canon and will keep being tested until Arsene sees the real holes to be plugged. Also le prof needs to teach our players how to defend cohesively after loosing the ball and thats where the likes of Ramsey, RVP, Rosicky et al score a D. How many times have we witnessed Rooney and Drogba picking out opponents every time they lose the ball?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. Douglas

    we’re fine at centre back – we have vermaelen, koscielny, mertesacker and the promising kyle bartely
    left back – possibly as gibbs is injury prone and santos has his critics. maybe we should get Milo or Luke Shaw
    right back – maybe as i feel jenkinson isn’t ready yet although coquelin and yennaris have looked good while their there they are defensive midfielder by trade. i’d be tempted to get Vasilis Torosidis. he might not be the youngest but he’d be a great back-up. i would say debuchy but he seems to rather move to newcastle. van der wiel would probably want guarenteed 1st team football.

    the signings i’d make; santi cazorla, sahin/m’vila, shaw/milo and torosidis

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  61. stephen187

    I think its the system more then the players…example barca play mashcerno at CB he not even a natural defender. And singled out pique can be beaten. But they press the ball so well and without the ball they are much harder working. Plus sometimes u wonder when we get countered that one of the cb sound be dealing with the lumped ball to the big man.

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  62. mania

    Arsenal will start the season without the service of RVP who has been rumored is linked with Man-u and Juventus as the possible destination. With 36 goals in all matches to his collar, with his nearest rival at 12 goals, Arsenal will never afford this expensive commodity to slip off. However I wish him the best and also appreciate his services at emirates stadium. To maintain this kind of players at Emirates in future, the likes of Gazidis, Hill Wood and Kroenke should be ‘shot’ in the head – not with a bullet though! , But with an enzyme to activate their reasoning capacity. Who’s next?

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  63. tim

    RIAhard Dunne big strong good in the air and in tackles alot faster than bfg very brave too plays for Aston villa we could get him on cheap and has bags of experience

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  64. james

    sagna/debuchy/jenkinson/bellerin
    mertasaker/sakho/bartly/boeteng
    vermaelen/koscielny/boly/miguel
    cissokho/gibbs/milo/belmoutin

    4 new defenders 2 out but would be set for 10 years.
    pair a big ass defender with smaller quicker guy mert+vermaelen koscielny+sakho

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  65. Dom

    Personnally I think there are to many indervidual mistakes specifically from djourou, he makes clumsy challenges, positional errors, his footwork when tracking back takes me back to when mertesaker fell over his own feet and got injured for a few months. I think if we can get rid of djourou and squillaci and bring in sakho who is a similar player to djourou in terms of strength Adil prowess and tackling ability (when djourou is on form, which was 2 seasons ago) take away the mistakes from djourou add in consistancy, leadership and sliding tackles of which’s sheer force will shake the opposition on the ground of which they stand and you have got sakho. We have also got Bartley, miquel?, boateng coming through with maybe the addition of Llascelles we will be strong in defence.

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  66. gunner yank

    @Gunnerineverylife, 6:48 AM:

    Best post I’ve read on here. You hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned. Here’s hoping that Wenger is not so inflexible that he cannot change things up when it’s called for.

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