Arsenal debate – Is attack or defence the BIG problem?

Somehow Arsenal actually managed to move up one place in the Premier League table. If West Brom beat Man United tomorrow, which we hope they will, the Baggies could overtake us but because Swansea lost we are up to the dizzy heights of 7th.

I don’t need to tell you that the Gunners have flattered to deceive so far this season, but we have rescued points from losing positions as well as throwing away leads. So what is the problem for Arsenal?

Our two new front men Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez seem to have settled into their new club as well as could be expected, Jack Wilshere is getting back to the player we knew he could be and Calum Chambers looks a great and versatile addition to the team.

Ignoring the fact that we are blighted by injuries again, there seems to be two clear problems for us – not scoring enough goals and conceding them too easily. So which is the major problem? Should we try to be more defensive on the whole or do we need to be more direct or work harder on our attacking play?

You might be surprised to know that, apart from the top three, our goals scored and goals conceded are up there with the best and our stats on show us to be the 5th best team and coincidentally having exactly the same score overall, in attack and in defence.

That suggests that neither area is more to blame, but I think it is the defensive frailties that is causing us trouble. When we go behind it exposes us to a counter attack while teams defend deep and make it harder for our forwards. Last season our success was built on clean sheets and a mean defence and we need to get back to that.

There have been quite a lot of individual errors but I think that is largely down to new players and lack of confidence and once we start winning games that will improve. But we cannot keep expecting Alexis and co to bail us out of trouble. What do you think Gooners?

Tags Wenger


  1. Shah of Arsenal says:

    Defense… Clearly.

    1. goldfish27 says:

      I read this morning on Daily Star that Carlo Ancelotti what EPL return. He said ” I love England” why not give him a chance at Arsenal we all know him that his a top couch….”Wenger Out” still go on

    2. ArnSam says:

      The real problems are wenger and referees, why
      -How ever much a very good side is assembled, we will still suffer biased officiators and trust me no one can win a game if the referee is against their win.
      – No matter how many other good players are brought in to improve the squad the manager will continue playing them out of position and/or continue failing to realize what the squad lacks there by buying more CAM and playing them out of position claiming “it worked for some olden day brazill team that won the world cup”

  2. Aussie Jack says:

    Silly question…obvious answer! Tell Wenger, he doesn`t seem to know.

  3. MDOwn says:

    Depends on whether we are trying to copy rhe Van Gaal approach to management and just ignore clear vacancies in the defence…

  4. ethangooner says:

    Last season we have a real mean defence (bar the away games against big teams), but we do not score enough to win the EPL
    This season, we do score many more but now our defence become suspected. We need to find the right balance somewhere and the manager will need to make it right. Must admit it has not been an easy job for him with so many injuries in defence this season, Mert unfit after WC, then Gibbs injured, next Debuchy and now Koscielny.
    At least he openly admit that we need to get a CB in Jan, and we are stilling actively looking for a new hgih quality DM.

    1. almostawinner says:

      its a shocking surprise that our defense is so bad.

      after all, nobody saw it coming right? all during summer, nobody suggested we bulk up.
      total surprise.
      wenger out.

  5. Big Gun says:

    We are 2-3 players shy of being title contenders. It is too late now though as it will be near impossible to catch Chelsea. If we reinforce in Jan, we can still retain top 4, and perhaps even have a good crack at the F.A.

    I worry though, because Flamini still has two years left on his contract and Arteta has resigned for another year. Will Wenger actually bring in another DM in Jan? Ideally, I would love to see us sign Lars Bender of Morgan Schneiderlin, and bring Song back as extra cover – selling Arteta and Flamini in the process, but this will never happen in the near future, if at all. Why we had to resign Flamini on a 3 year is beyond me.

  6. ethangooner says:

    As long as we do not become as boring as a you-know-what team.
    Arsenal should focus on outscore our opponent rather than keeping clean sheet. No one will ever remember the Invincible if we keep grinding 1:0 results. The Chelsea of 2004-2005 win EPL with more points than the Invincible yet no one talked about them.
    But it does not mean we should not looking at our defence issues, letting in 2 soft goals like last game is absolutely not acceptable.

  7. Hafiz Rahman says:

    we are 6 players short.

    2 striker

    2 DM

    2 CB

    we need 2 each to rotate.and provide competition

  8. Gunnerphyte says:

    I think Wenger needs to start benching Per and pair Koscielny with chambers. Mertesacker is becoming more of a liability. Due to his lack of pace, anyone can out-run him which makes him useless in defending counterattacks among others. At times you need a bit of acceleration and quick reaction time to be able to make good interceptions, which is something that he is incapable of providing.
    I thought Wenger preferred him over vermaelen because of his height and the consequent aerial ability that he brings to the team, but the BSG (Big Slow German) has been so impotent in the air that he loses aerial duels at a shocking ease. If u r as big as he is and u cant even dominate set pieces then it means u are not giving a 100% effort, thats lack of discipline!
    Now that he has lost his potency and commitment, I think we can afford to sacrifice him like Germany did and deploy someone who’s more agile and has better commitment….like Chambers. Besides, the Koscielny-Chambers pairing worked well during pre-season when the BSG ws off duty, I don’t see why it shouldn’t now

    1. atid says:

      When will people give wenger credit for selling vermaelen for the money we got. I hear people saying we should have kept him, well get this he is still bloody injured and yet to play a competitive match this season. Wenger preferred mertesacker because he is a better leader and reads the game well, he is also near enough fit to play every week.

    2. atid says:

      When will people give wenger credit for selling vermaelen for the money we got. I hear people saying we should have kept him, well get this he is still bloody injured and yet to play a competitive match this season. Wenger preferred mertesacker because he is a better leader and reads the game well, he is also near enough fit to play every week.

      That said for me we are still nowhere near strong enough to compete for the 2 major trophies. We lack quality all over the park most importantly on the coaching team.

    3. Aussie Jack says:

      Sooner BFG is replaced the better but let`s not forget he is a Wenger favourite.

  9. Champagne Charlie says:

    Thanks to our reactive transfer strategy, we have a problem with both areas although mainly it’s defensively:

    1.Mert is good backup, but is not athletic enough to be a starter.
    2.Neither Flamini/Arteta are anywhere close to what’s needed at DM
    3.Our strikers Giroud/Welbz are good, but not comparable to our “title rivals”. (Least pressing concern, but certainly a position that doesn’t measure up to City/Chelsea/United/Liverpool)

    Said it before and I’ll say it again, if we had paid 42.5mil on a striker like Benzema/Cavani and 30mil on a Gustavo/Schneiderlin – instead of Ozil/Alexis – then we would have a better squad. Would have meant 16mil that went on Welbz could have been spent on someone like Howedes.

    Who would you all rather have, Ozil/Aexis/Welbz or Benz/Gustavo/Howedes?? I love all three we bought, but for me there’s no doubt the money should have been spent on otherareas.

  10. Giddy says:

    I lost hope in wenger when i saw him trying to play Nacho at Centre back during pre-season! I also lost hope when the only available back up centre back TV5 was being sold without any replacement already. After flitting several names for a DM i realized wenger is incapable of taking Arsenal to the top. I new this represented everything that could go wrong to a big club like my dear Gunners. For now, i have stopped being interested in watching arsenal matches i will resume next season when key desirable changes are made or wenger is gone!!

  11. Sango says:

    yeah silly question. Just tell Wenger to stop using tarrot cards in team sellection. Give that team any good technical manager (or even Martnez) and u will see the results. If it wasn’t fate that substituted Jack the game was good as lost. Wenger for once should stop clowning and be serious. Whats wrong with Diaby, Podolski……we tired of his biased, unbalanced ‘Danny Davittos’ team!

  12. Gunner_Bolivia says:

    defence, or lack there of.

  13. Sango says:

    Even now as we speak, just to show how lethargic Wenger has become in planning ahead of each game. He well knows that Szczny is carrying a red card, there for he is out of the upcoming CL encounter. Instead of giving Ospina a run against Hull City so as to give him the much needed game time he opts for Szczny. Now, Ospina comes in on Wednesday and messes up we all go ‘what a sh….tie back up goalie we have, Szczny is world class!’.

    1. Tope says:

      You just typed bollock and some idiots thumbed you up. Ospina is injured.

    2. Gunnerphyte says:

      Get ur facts right before you start criticizing the manager for not selecting ospina, mate. Last time I checked, Ospina ws injured.

  14. cheeterspotter says:

    Change the manager and with a bit of tinkering with the playing staff and the medics and the board and the menus and the stewards and some homer ref decisions and incompetent in our favour ref decisions away from home we might just get in the top 2.

  15. Ted Drake says:

    It’s definitely the defence. It feels like the banter years of 2008-2013 where our attack would score plenty but our defence would let us down. Our Forwards are scoring but we need more defenders.

  16. fred cowardly says:


    Defense is bad and we lack a world class striker

  17. says:

    The boss has admitted that our defense is a little bit porous. Porous to be denying us 3 point in five games, but have been giving us one point at the 5 occasions. Fair, but not good enough. Sagna, Per, Kos and Gibbs were our regular back four last season. But the absence of Sagna in our defense line appears to have unstable our usual robust defending when not playing against the big teams. The boss should urgently reshuffled his defense line and his 2 CDM positions by drafting Ajayi and Coquelin to play as 2 new DMs and pair Chambers/Koscielny as new CBs, while playing Bellerin and Gibbs as first choice HBs. Per, Hayden, Monreal, Arteta and Flamini should for the time being serve as covers. But I doubt if the boss will agree with my armchair coaching. But something positive has to be done to arrest our weak results.

  18. Ronny331 says:

    Mostly the defence. Bsg not good enough, debuchy and kos are a big loss. A dm enforcer is clearly needed. In attack we also seem slow and not clinical and no one seems to have the guts to shoot. I think this is largely due to the lack of faith in the defence and for fear of losing possession and conceding through a counter attack. If flam and per were not in the side and we had for example kondogbia and hummels I believe our offensive players would relax more and become more creative/bold.

  19. Ronny331 says:

    Im glad people are starting to see and agree that per has to be removed from the side. As samuel says we need to go degensive for a while and allow our confidence to grow. Two dm players and hayden, bellerin, chambers etc should be used. I’d like wenger to be bold and try this after all having per in the team at the moment is not working and wenger seems more than happy to tinker and mess around with the mf and frobtu positions. Let’s see some bold decisions at the back. Even if it didn’t work I would not chastise wenger for giving it a go.

  20. Tope says:

    Do you even follow futbol at all or you just rush here to talk bullshit. Ospina is injured.what is all these trash you just typed?

  21. rkw says:

    We have a much bigger problem than either….WENGER… Once he goes we might stand a chance of becoming a serious club again

  22. Skandalouz says:

    Don’t want to act salty and all that, but:

    With all due respect for your opinion, but aren’t you worried when the likes of Bellerin, Flamini, Mertesacker, Monreal face Hernandez, Diame, Ben Arfa and Livermore? I don’t think our back 5 (defenders + DM) is that much better than Hull’s rejuvinated frontlines iah.
    October 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I would like to see muffdiver and all the people that thumbed that comment down’s reply to this now. Feel free to eat your words/thumbs guys.

  23. Skandalouz says:

    This all could’ve been prevented if Wenger actually bought an extra body for centre-back like he and the board promised throughout the summer window. Get Van Dijk or Otamendi in January and we look alot better with Kos and Debuchy there aswell.

  24. ABK says:

    Wenger is the problem

  25. Gigi2 says:

    When I saw the number oof defenders entering the season i got scared, Wenger seems to stick to a prayer for thins not to happen, but God says: help yourself and I will then help you. He didnt help himself with that thin defensive squad.
    He did great getting Alexis and Danny, exellent signings, as well as Calum and Ospina. But loaning Carl and selling Verm meant we needed at least 2 defenders there….and now its not a thing of baddefenders, but they are new to each other, and we can even “park the bus” defensevely because we dont have that many defenders to do so.

  26. NickTheYank says:

    Offense wins games, defense wins championships. We can score, even with the missing & underused players we have (Campbell, podolski, Theo, Gnabry, etc) but as long as we keep conceding stupid goals and giving away PK’s and set pieces we can’t win, we only tie.

    We must strengthen the Defense in Jan, work collectively on defensive okay during practice, and focus the offense on free kicks & corners because they are just ridiculously bad.

  27. abmalemu says:


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