I hope that the former Arsenal captain and defensive rock is wrong but I fear that Tony Adams could be right in his assessment of what Arsene Wenger has been getting wrong recently and why our quest for the Premier League title this season could falter once again.
Adams was reported by The Sun talking about the imbalance in the Arsenal team between the attacking and creative side and the defensive side. And he clearly feels that the manager has neglected the side of things that were so strong when Adams was at the club with the likes of Martin Keown and Sol Campbell.
We all know that the Frenchman likes the game to be played a certain way and even though the last year or two has seen the Gunners get better at the less attractive parts of the game, perhaps helped by the appointment of another former defensive stalwart Steve Bould as Wenger’s assistant, Adams feels that the current Arsenal team are still too weak at the back.
Even worse is Adams’ claim that the league is likely to be won by the club with the best defence and at the minute that is our north London rivals Tottenham.
He said, “I’ve felt quite upset about this. I’m not going to go into too much detail because they have a fantastic coach and they’re a fantastic club in a magnificent stadium.
“He has got a great offensive unit, but I think he is neglecting the defensive side and I think that’s where the problem lies.
“If they strengthen that area I think they could go and win the league, but I think that’s the error of the team.
“He sticks to his principles and he wants his team to be offensive.
“When Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole left they were the last of the old guard who understood how to defend and prioritise that department.
“I think that when they left there was no one else that understood that and the club hasn’t been the same defensively since.
“I think if he put the balance right with regard to their defence/offence he would win the league. It certainly seemed in recent years that whoever won the league had been very good defensively.
“Chelsea had the best defence last year, before that there was Vincent Kompany at Manchester City and before that Manchester United won with [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand.
“I think it’s an important part of the game which is sometimes neglected – well, I know it’s neglected.”
But how does he know for sure? Has Adams been talking to his old pal Bould and does this mean that Wenger is not taking the advice of his assistant?
He has a good arguing point!
He has a good point? I’m not so sure. Sure what is his point, he didn’t say whether it is the first team that need better defender/defenders or if it is our depth. Some might think well if you strengthen the first team you also strengthen the depth but it doesn’t always work that way. Some might not want to play second fiddle and others down the pecking order might give up altogether after falling further back. Adams is not being specific and we know he holds some sort of grudge ..maybe because if it wasn’t for Wenger he would have gotten a shot at leading us by now. Anyhow, maybe the attacking nature of our fullbacks he is not happy with or even our entire team as a defensive unit. Or this could be his true feelings I don’t know but I do know how Arsenal have improved greatly in this department and are one of the highest for conceding fewest goals.
Also, some on here pointed out a few weeks back that it is not our defending this time around letting us down as it is our goal-scoring. I seem to remember most people agreeing at that time so think back a few weeks ago before you start slaughtering Arsene Wenger over something that Adams may or may not believe.
Or Adams could be playing mind games with tott nudging the media to hand them the pressure that goes with being the peoples favorite. Not to mention tott send as many players forward as we do Adams could be influencing them into being less free. Of course for this part to be true Adams would have to care allot about AFC and despise the thought of tott winning it and would have to have some know how in getting into peoples heads ..possible/unlikely ..you decide.
It is a miracle how you managed to write this lot and at the end, made no sense.
He has a good point but it is not making sense right now. This surely was true a few years back but currently Arsenal has the second best defense in PL. Apart from Bayern and Southampton we have not lost any game where we can say the defense was bad.
Lets be honest, Cech, Kos, Monreal, Bellerin are all very good players. Cech world-class and Kos almost there. Only Mertesacker is a weak link and that too this season was shown very rarely. I don’t remember 1 moment apart from red-card against Costa where Mertesacker looked like losing any battle.
THFC may presently have the best defensive stats on paper but I don’t put that down to the innate quality of their back 5 decent though they are. Hard to be objective when it comes to comparing the Spuds with us – but I would really struggle to convince myself that I would happily swap our back 5 for theirs. Alderweireld for Mertesacker maybe. I think we have our best back 5 for about 10 years – not impregnable but very decent most of the time. Their defensive strength is as a collective – Dembele, Alli, Dier, Carroll in front of their back 5 put in massive shifts and are mobile, strong and physical. And whilst Alli has his moments these guys are not tremendously exciting to watch. They have traded flair for graft and organisation and fair play to them – it is working well for them at the moment.
Always respect Adams as a player – a monster defender and leader and his statue outside the Emirates is fully deserved. Not so much as a pundit though. And Portsmouth, Wycombe or Gabala have no plans to erect a statue outside their grounds for his management prowess so I always take his occasional mutterings with a fistful of salt.
maybe he’s thinking of the CDM layer: coq is the only one there. w/o coquelin we’re screwed. wenger hasnt paid enough attention to that.
wenger got lucky w bellerin and coq: they’d be around for a whlie and then just blossomed. wenger was about to toss coq out. nobody could say wenger was aggressive about supplanting his defensive options.
There is hardly a Spurs player, that I would rather have than the one in our team in the same position (although I would swap Giroud for Kane). On paper we should be the better team. But Spurs are simply better organized so not only will they let in fewer goals, they also are able to win the ball back quicker and further up the pitch giving them more “easy” goals. So this is not a matter of either defense or attack. It is connected to the same thing, and Arsenal/Wenger has missed it for years.
What. I don’t like is when people keep mentioning very old players to prove their point..
Ashley Cole and Sol are long gone, why mention them again?
He has not been watching Arsenal lately obviously..cos if he has been watching he will know that right now,our offence is the problem not defence..
And we have been a little weak in midfield recently.
But honestly,right now Spurs have the perfect balance between attack and defence
Everyone and their uncle are now tipping spurs.
All trying to jump on the what a clever pundit I am bandwagon.
Carry on you Arsenal and ram it down their throats by winning the league AND the FA cup as well.
I actually rate our defence higher than our attack – no offense 🙂
There’s a great comment about American Football that I heard some time ago from one of the NFL analysts: “Offense wins you games, but Defense wins you championships”. While I somewhat agree with that statement, I don’t think it can be applied to footie, and specifically to Arsenal. Teams like Barca destroy others simply by outscoring them. Real Madrid, Bayern, PSG, and even Manchester City (to a certain extent) are pretty much the same way, and all are very successful teams, winning their leagues and competing at various levels in different competitions. Let’s look at Arsenal, and this season in particular. Several games come to mind: 2-1 loss to West Brom (they had one shot on goal); 1-1 game against Norwich; 0-0 draws with Stoke, and Southampton. Did we lose or draw these games because of our defense? No way in hell. Our defense was rock solid, and it was a case of bad luck; and not scoring enough. So if anything, I’d say we are lacking in our offensive department, and our striking force could be a little more prolific. I can’t help but think WHAT IF we offered Pool 45mil a couple of years ago instead of the infamous 40+1 bid, and ended up with Suarez leading our attack. I think between him and Ozil they’d have 30 goals/assists by now, and we’d be comfortably in 1st place. Oh well… coulda woulda shoulda…
Perhaps Adams needs glasses. Koscielny and Monreal are too really good defenders.Saying cole and campbell are the last of the breed is ridiculous.Modern football needs your defenders to play the ball rather than hoof it every time.Why doesn’t adams try to manage a team and rebuild a collapsed defensive unit?I admit on the right side of arsenal there is still defensive improvement achievable. Mertesacker has some good games and some bad games.He only steps up against big teams and that too only beside koscielny.As for Bellerin,I hope he can improve his positional game .He tends to to overstretch in the attack.Besides,we have cech and coquelin who are consistent performers who also form the defensive part of our unit.