Arsenal are running out of time to sort out the defensive cloud hanging over us

The defence will once again determine our faith by Konstantin Mitov

Good morning, afternoon or evening wherever you lovely Arsenal people are. We lost to Lyon 1:2 in the Emirates cup and it was a really familiar story. Although some people say you shouldn’t make too much out of friendlies, we made similar defending mistakes which ultimately cost us the game.

We couldn’t deal with a cross from the wings (full-backs’ issue), then we couldn’t deal with the cross in the box (CB issue), than we had Mustafi (surprise) play Dembele onside for their second goal. How many times have we seen this before?

I really want to be excited and positive about the upcoming season and going forward we were excellent. In all honesty we should’ve scored more and killed the game, and the youngsters do look really impressive. Nelson and Willock and NKetiah look really sharp and dangerous, but there’s always that defensive cloud that casts a shadow over what otherwise has all the prospects to be a season which sees us return to the champions league.

We start the season away at Newcastle and we only amounted 6 away wins last season. It also took us a ridiculously high amount of games until we reached half-time having the lead. I think we only managed 1 away clean sheet and that was to 10 man Watford. If I’m Unai Emery, I’d be looking at all those things and thinking that they need to improve for us to reach fourth.

We shipped 51 goals. Incredibly high as only West Ham and United were worse in the top 10. Our attack on the other hand was third best in the league only behind Liverpool and City. Yet, we’ve so far added only 1 defender who was sent back on loan immediately. The strong rumours that we’ll sign Kieran Tierney and Pepe are great, but the season starts on August 11 for us and it looks like the same team that finished last season will start.

Only Martinelli was on our US tour, and two to three weeks don’t seem enough for me to have new players integrated into the team, especially the defence. Up front we have better players, but at the back the understanding between the players needs to be solid, but right now for Newcastle our back 4 will likely be Monreal, Mustafi/Chambers, Sokratis, AMN. Doesn’t seem that solid to me.

There are new reports that Monaco have enquired about Mustafi. I’d be more than happy to see us ship Mustafi and Koscielny out, but where are their replacements in the squad? Monreal is also somebody who should be no more than back up in dire need for next year. It’s just sad that we have so many sporting people, who fail to identify the main issue. It’s still pre-season so this one will slip by, but we should take notice.

That said, I’d love us to sign a good old British no nonsense center back. I’d like a Lewis Dunk, or a Harry Maguire-like player. Someone who’d clear the ball when he has to, and will deal with headers. Is it too much I ask for? We have 2 more preseason games and I hope to see shiny new signings at least for a few minutes on the pitch. They will need to hit the ground running. We face Spurs and Liverpool in the first 4 games and we can’t afford another slow start!

That’s all for now folks. See you in the comments.

Konstantin

43 Comments

  1. kev says:

    Juventus reject Arsenal approach for Rugani.

    Arsenal’s centre back options: Izzo, Upamecano, Reuben Diaz, Rugani, Umtiti, Dunk, Konate and Cahill

    1. kev says:

      Sami Khedira links have nothing in them.Agent generated links.Good friend of Ozil too.

      Pepe passes medical.Papers will be signed this afternoon Announcement likely to be tomorrow

      1. gotanidea says:

        Thanks for the info

        Apart from Rugani, which one of those CBs are Arsenal bidding for?

        1. kev says:

          Rugani will not hapoen now.No info on any bids for a CB at this moment

      2. OZGooner says:

        Kev, don’t tell me you have received this info from ornstein, sky sports or the sun. Who have all reported the same thing some 5 hours ago. I am concerned your narrative is somewhat lessoned of late.

        1. kev says:

          Nas.Thing is I am sometimes late to report here news that came in earlier from the ITK’s.Not copying from master Ornstein or tabloids

    2. Amitosh says:

      Reuben Diaz and Umtiti out of reach, clubs wont do Pepe-like structured deal. I would rather have Sokratis, Holding, Chambers/Mavropanos and Upamecano/Konate/Izzo with Nacho to back them up for a year

  2. Eddie says:

    David Ornstein ✔ @bbcsport_david· 1h
    Arsenal are on course to confirm the €80m club-record signing of Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe from Lille later this week. The 24-year-old winger/forward has arrived in London & will undergo a medical today before signing a five-year contract at the Emirates #AFC #LOSC
    David Ornstein ✔ @bbcsport_david
    Arsenal in talks with number of clubs over Shkodran Mustafi exit. 27yo (contract until 2021) wants to stay + prove himself. But #AFC want permanent or loan departure. Also hope to bolster central defence pre-deadline & retain interest in Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney #CelticFC
    7,60510:20 AM – Jul 30

    This was an hour ago.
    I hope it happens, I dont get the crap about questioning why fans boo Mustafi, he’s not gon be the first player, he won’t be the last.
    I’m not in support of any personal attack or abuse, but the fans have had years and years of him disappointing em constantly, Eboue was booed to the point he cried, Even Arsene Wenger was booed by our fans seasons ago at Stoke City.
    Why should Mustafi be immune to it?
    If he wants to get better, let him leave

    1. gotanidea says:

      If there is no new CB, Arsenal would have to use Sokratis and Mustafi again as the starting CBs

      Sokratis just joined last year, therefore he couldn’t form a good understanding with Mustafi. I expect their partnership to be better in this season

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Sokratis and Mustafi. Disaster. You must be joking!

      2. Eddie says:

        Seems you’re looking forward to another season of both defenders.
        Well I’m not looking forward to it, both aren’t good enough to start for us but one is new and a wrestler and the other we’ve been very used to.
        New defenders please

      3. jon fox says:

        You expect better? BASED ON WHAT EXACTLY? When I give opinions they are evidence based, not mere hope that something will miraculously improve with two awful players having more time still to let the team down. ONCE AGAIN!!

  3. kev says:

    Pepe must have been chosen because he was younger.I see nothing on the ball which he does better than Zaha other than maybe finishing.
    If you think Zaha is not good then you’re mistaken.He terrorises all the top teams and will probably terrorise them this season too

  4. Innit says:

    Mustafi wants to stay to “prove himself”. He gets a good salary too. So expect him to decline any offers

  5. Palmer17 says:

    Lewis Dunk over mustafi any day

    1. Adajim says:

      I hope we look at EPL for a new CB, aside Koulibally i cant think of any quality CB around Europe

      1. ACE says:

        Just 2 name a few, any of which
        would walk into the Arsenal
        starting 11.

        M. DeLight
        D. Upamecano
        W. Orban
        J. Tah
        I. Kontae
        R. Varane
        S. Ramos
        G. Chiellini
        M. Skriniar
        S. De Vrij
        A. Romagnoli
        K. Manolas
        D. Godin
        J. Gimenez
        C. Lenglet
        E  Miliato
        S. Umiti
        S. Savic
        N. Sule
        L. Hernandez
        M. Akanji
        B. Pavard
        N. Elvedi
        O. Kabak
        Marquinhos
        A. Diallo
        P. Kimpebe
        T. Kehrer
        M. Sarr
        B. Kamara
        J. Anderson

    2. lol says:

      Quite tempted to give Lewis Dunk a shot.

      It’s been a long time since we had a no frills English CB like that. For all we know, it may work

    3. RSH says:

      apparently Brighton want at least 40mill for him. I doubt we have that much money left over.

      1. lol says:

        £40M is an experiment we probably can’t afford

        1. RSH says:

          Im sure Leicester has inspired them with their Maguire demands.

    4. ozziegunner says:

      I would be excited if Lewis Dunk joined Arsenal; however since the interest from Leicester City, Brighton have put a price tag of £40-45 million on their player.

  6. Sean Williams says:

    Lewis Dunk is a tall, very experienced physical CB but would be expensive. Daniela Rugani is a footballing CB who would fit stylistically into our team. If we get one of those guys I would be happy. We desperately need a quality CB.
    Also it’s time to stop playing Xhaka. He’s just not good enough. He’s too slow physically and mentally.

    1. Targaryen says:

      Hear Lewis Donk’s already on his way to Leicester city at £45m

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Kev has stated above that Juventus have rejected Arsenal’s approach for Danje Rugani.
      So much for people saying that Rugani is a Juventus “reject”. He is behind in the pecking order behind Cbiellini and Bonucci, two of the best CB’s in Europe (although aging) and now De Ligt, but Juventus are not keen to let him go.
      I hope Arsenal go in with a better deal.

  7. Robert says:

    I think arsenal has too many midfielders and since we have limited resources why don’t we offload the midfield and look for atleast three defenders .For how long will we face the same thing of poor defense

    1. lol says:

      Should really offload Elneny if we can. Don’t think he’s going to get any game time this season

  8. Oyama says:

    Time is really running out, the last thing we need is a panic buy of cb.

  9. pires says:

    Holding ” is like a new signing” for me.He is a no nonsens english defender and he can form a good partenership with Sokratis.

    1. lol says:

      Holding played most of the time as part of a back three last season and he’s done quite well, but I haven’t seen enough of him in a back four to know if he’s up for it. Hope he’s available soon

    2. RSH says:

      He’s played 30 EPL matches stretched over 3 seasons. Why do people act like he’s a proven quality? He’s never played a solid full season in EPL yet so many fans are relying on him to be our answer this season.

  10. lol says:

    Dear Mustafi, it’s not you, it’s us. You deserve some club better like Monaco. Au revoir!

    As for KT, Celtic’s hardball should have gotten softer after Ancelotti’s “Honestly, I’m not interested”. It seems £25M upfront for a SPL LB with Andrew Robertson’s POTENTIAL is such an attractive price that there are no suitors but us. In your face Celtic!

  11. Uthgunner says:

    Ruben Dias all day long. Has a 54mill release clause in his contract.

    Lacazette
    Aubameyang Ozil Pepe
    Ceballos Torreira
    Tierney Sokratis Dias Bellerin
    Leno

    1. Protiq says:

      good team.

  12. Mustafi is an enigma! His stats are good but his blunders are devastating! I think he has the potential to be a great defender but not at Arsenal. The Mustafi bloodlust is too much and such pressure will no doubt break him. It would be best if he found a new challenge elsewhere like Giroud did at Chelsea and went on to achieve great things. No to booing Mustafi!!!

  13. Grandad says:

    If the interest in Mustafi by Monaco is genuine, and I shall be surprised if it is, our money men need to be entirely realistic in their asking price for a CB who has failed to deliver since he arrived at Arsenal.The same applies to Socratis who is equally mediocre and Kocielney who is way past his best.To me we should aim to obtain £35m for this trio (2×15 + 1×5) and to utilise the proceeds to buy Tierney.We would then be left with 4young CBs namely Holding,Chambers,Mavroponas and last, but not least Bielik who looks the part to me.If Holding is not fit enough to start the season as should offer Gary Cahill a one year deal until Saliba’s is available.Problems solved.

  14. pires says:

    Se have to see ,lovely arsenal people, the bigger picture.If we dont spend money de are going nowhere.Why are not un for Macguire?!knowing that we are un dire need of a defender…The signing of Pepe is surely a great coup but i would rather go for a world class defender instead….

    1. jon fox says:

      Never regarded myself as “lovely” personally! I prefer the truth; miserable old git who is however a realist, would be my self description. Nice to be appreciated though, even if only in over the top rhetoric!

      1. pires says:

        I really appreciate you dear Jon, believe it or not.Speaking to “authentic” arsenal fans(from britain) is always a pleasure

        1. jon fox says:

          pires,may I say that you are far too kind but bless you for your sweet nature. I have no delusions though at all about me being a hard to please, fully fledged, old git. I even got given by the missus,some wine for Christmas and honestly, it was called “old git”. Really and truly! I thought it not much good either when we drank it, which rather proves my point I think! I need to be truthful, whether for good or ill. MANY HAVE FELT THE ROUGH END OF MY TONGUE, WHICH MAY GIVE THE WRONG IMPRESSION THAT THE FLIP SIDE IS SMOOTH. No such luck!

          1. pires says:

            When you see the state of the club you have every right to become a serial killer and we forgive you!!!!Joking aside,take care of your health and back the team

  15. pires says:

    We have to see ,lovely arsenal people, the bigger picture.If we dont spend money we are going nowhere.Why are we not in for Macguire?!knowing that we are in dire need of a defender…The signing of Pepe is surely a great coup but i would rather go for a world class defender instead….

  16. gunnertz says:

    izzo has extended his contract i don’t see his club selling him unless for more than £27m reported ealier,cahil past his prime, juve have stated it clear rugani is not for sale(i’m glad since he is error prove), umtiti is injury prone n his asking prce is radiculous, my priority is upamecano and reuben diaz since they are good at playing from the back,its ok with dunk and konate

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