Arsenal have to be brutal and offload at least four defenders

Defenders Arsenal has to change to help Mikel Arteta and why.

Arsenal has had a tough start to their season, three managers on and they are still 12th on the league table.

The poorest part of their team this season has been their defence. Despite signing David Luiz over the summer, their defensive performances have been worse this season than the last.

Many people blamed Unai Emery’s tactics for Arsenal’s performance at the back but it hasn’t gotten any better since he left.

It is time for the players to stand up and take the blame for Arsenal’s woes at the back and I believe Arsenal have to sell some players for positive change to happen.

Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have all come of age and are expected to be the leader of this Arsenal defence, however, they have failed to lead and I believe they all have to leave for Mikel Arteta to succeed.

Mustafi has been at the Emirates since 2016, but he is easily Arsenal’s worse defender of the decade. He has been given opportunities under four different managers, but he can’t seem to take his chances. He will never be good enough.

David Luiz was once the most expensive defender in the world, but the Brazilian is at the twilight of his career and should be playing in China.

Sead Kolasinac has been guilty at making one error after the other since he became an Arsenal defender. There have been flashes of brilliance from him, but he doesn’t seem to have what it takes at this level.

Sokratis struggles with the pace of the Premier League. He seems to have had his best days at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal would do good to replace him.

The final reason Arsenal have to change these defenders is that they are not built to play the style of game that Mikel Arteta hopes to implement, Arsenal needs younger, faster and improving defenders.


  1. we can’t get rid of them all so there will have to be some prioritizing as to who goes…if there are bad attitudes send them first. Second, there may not be markets for all of them. Finally, we don’t have the replacements on hand and can’t buy enough of them right now.

    And, the people we are counting on seem to be made of glass – which suggests we need a large supply.

    We need signings at the back for sure, but I wouldn’t clean the house til summer or until some replacements are at hand.

    Of course that leads to our other problem – money. We may not be able to buy unless we sell, depending on what the owners are willing to spend.

    And that leads us back to the other interesting story about “thinking the unthinkable”. I don’t think we go down as I am optimistic that we are turning (but I know it is not out of question). Also, I don’t think that the season rests on three points at MU – but it sure would help…

  2. I agree that they all need upgrading, although I would keep Sokratis around as backup for another season. When he’s asked to defend and that’s it, he’s usually pretty good. He gets exposed to often when he’s asked to play it out, because he’s not a ball playing CB. He’s more an old fashioned, rough and tumble type, that boots it into row Z. Which is actually what we need the majority of time. Think how many times we’ve played ourselves into trouble over the last 13 years or so, playing tiki-taka on the each of our box.

    I would definitely add Bellerin to that list, and possible even Tierney if his injury problems continue. To be honest, the entire defence needs changing bar Leno.

  3. Martin – excellent evaluation. In fact I would sell Mustafi, Papa and Kolasenic in Jan. To cover these sales bring in Jan window Tarkowski and Dunk as CB’s, then offer PSG money for Muenier and Kurzawa who can both leave for free after 31 Jan!
    In summer Saliba comes back and so Luiz can go as too old and erratic and also Chambers can go as he is too slow for this league and would not work for us!

    That then leaves us:

    This reminds me of GG defence that Wenger inherited and added to it in early 2000’s.
    Come on guys, this is so easily achievable as we are not bringing in superstars, these are hard working players who will get the job done and bring better mentality to the squad!

    1. Jim you fixed it!!

      Agreed but we need a holding midfielder to slot in alongside Lucas when Xhaka leaves. On loan with view to permanent deal with Hertha Berlin seems to be on the table this window. Add Mustafi to go and be replaced by Dunk isnt a bad idea!!

      Is Saliba going to be called back from his loan? If we do these few things we might make sure relegation isnt on the cards.

      1. Sean i am just trying to be normal lol!
        Saliba wont be back till summer.
        Dunk and Tarkowski would be a great combination. Both English, both late 20’s and in their prime and both have been called up to the England team so they cant be all that bad!
        Fear not my son about the midfield, we can get Can, Rabiot and/or Doucoure. I would go for all 3, hit the market hard and make players want to leave their teams for us! Shit stir just like how Man City did to the Arsenal players about 10 years ago. Why can’t we play the same tactics?

        1. Sean, there is no option for Saliba to be brought back from loan to St Ettienne, because it was a condition in the contract of sale.

      2. don’t think that Saliba can be called back unfortunately. That would have been a big help though.

        When we get through Jan the likelihood of relegation will be clearly spelled out. No business or more stupid buying of magic beans means that we will really be pushing our luck. Smart business and we will be fine. And smart means being realistic on who we can buy and the type of player we need – the grinders!

        1. @Stewart Tosh – do you think we can persuade Burnley to sell Tarkowski, Brighton to sell Dunk and PSG to take some money for Muenier and Kurzawa or they risk losing them for free (they have approx 5 full backs already in their squad)?
          Please answer with yes and no for each potential player mentioned and maybe give a short reason for the answer.

          1. 1.Muenier-Yes.Bellerin can go model, he is better at that.
            2.Kurzawa-Yes.K.T seems to be a perennial injury.We bought him injured anyway,though I wish he recovers soon.
            3.Dunk&Tarkowski-Yes.We must fix Our C.b situation soon and this two being English & with EPL experience they can be an instant fix.
            Overall these will be an improvement and a step in the right direction.

          2. Great that you are a visionary Cliff, like me lol
            What about persuading Juve/Sarri to sell or loan out Can and Rabiot? Both hardly play and Can did not even make the Champions League squad! Can had 4 years experience at EPL so would fit in so well!
            Maybe we can persuade Juve to take Ozil as part ex as he and Ronaldo had a great understanding at Madrid and surely they can front 3/4 (£250k) of his wages?
            What about adding Doucoure, the height, physical presence and tough mentality coming from Watford?
            Do guys seriously think these are impossible transfers to make happen?

          3. yes would be awesome as they would be great gets. Even some of them, if one of the “B”‘s would sell that would be a win. I think Meunier is possible as well. Not sure if they would let two go though. I think others have answered already though 🙂

    2. I like your thinking Jim.
      I wonder if the management see’s what we fans see.
      With this move we are 40% out of the woods.

      1. Cliff we can sort out sh*t out so easy but i think we have fans and people at the club who like drama and just wont want it sorted. I ask you like i just asked Tosh, with a yes Or no if its possible to get the 4 defensive players mentioned above?

        1. I have given it a thumbs up on why we need them,but about getting them it all depends on how serious we can be as a club.I know those players will jump at this opportunity.
          For Dunk &Tarkowski we can throw in player exchange. For the PSG guys its all about convincing them coz PSG will be willing to get anything they can due to their contracts.
          My only worry is our management. They have been so bad at negations & the type of recruits they go for are wanting.

          1. I reckon we can sell at least 5 and bring in 6 replacements but the board and management need to be on their ‘A’ game for it to happen! Are they prepared to do it? If not they can only expect a relegation threatened club who will lose value from £1.5 billion to probably less than half that amount!
            How do we as fans get the board to re think their strategy? Keep making loads of noise at them and push for investment or we stop attending games and buying merchandise. I think this Jan window will pan out the decade for us, we either get back to top 4 next season or we will forever chase our tails and mix with relegation threatened teams going forward. I let you guys decide the fate…

  4. Some of you think this is Fifa manager or something. Its not, yes we need to move players on and bring players in BUT we have no money. Every £1 we now spend on players puts us further into financial hardship. Emery wanted players in the summer, they were all chased but the money up front wanted for them was too much for us. We are getting players in on terms that allow us to pay over a specified period, which their donor teams were happy to do. Nothing wrong with that a lot of teams buy players that way butnit is only sustainable if your revenues go up year on year. No CL which this club has put all its eggs into that basket means lower revenues, no Europa means lower revenues still. It is not sustainable unless we get into CL. We will have to sell star players and replace with players half of their value in the summer, we will not have money for major investment, unless this club gambles again, which i doubt. We will not be getting any star defenders in in January or the summer, unless we get them on the never never and hope we get a miracle and that is not good business.

    1. @Reggie i see you are being sly by calling me a dreamer!
      Ok let me disect this and explain it in layman terms!
      We (Arsenal) sell Mustafi for £15m, Papa for £15m and Kolas for say £30m. This is cheap for all 3 in todays market where clubs are charging £15m just for one year loan deals. These 3 defenders will generate £60m. So we then invest the proceeds in Tarkowski and Dunk for about £60-65m combined.
      We (Arsenal) then add Muenier and Kurzawa using our own funds of about £25-30m (owners need to invest or they cant stay, and believe me the same sh*t happend at Liverpool and the owners ran off when the fans caught them trying to milk the club).
      We then sell Xhaka for £30m, Elneny £10m and Mikhi for £20m. This raises us a further £60m, so we them use the proceeds to say loan both Can and Rabiot together from Juve for £20m combined fee. We then add Doucoure for £30m, leaving us £10m to return the £25-30m the owners invested for the full backs mentioned above. Their net investment would be a paltry £15m in these deals but most importantly new players with less wages!
      Is this football managers game plan, no, this is a chartered accountant working for the big 4 telling you how to do business deals with his 20 years corporate background experience. I know i am probably way ahead of you on this but i believe you can follow this Reggie baby x

      1. Like i said its not Fifa manager. First, most of the players you talk about we have been trying to offload for a while with no success, teams dont want to pay the players the wages we pay, players dont want to take a pay cut. Your figures are your figures and not reality, players coming from other teams dont always want to come to Arsenal and Arteta may not want the players you mention, if they are Available. We are in dire straits and we need to get rid of players because we have overspent and underachieved. We are not in a position to spend more or even the same as what we can get in in any transfer fees, we need to have a black transfer window in the summer, not a red one. So no its not Fifa manager.

        1. And I wasn’t initially pointing the fingure at you and i am still not, just stating we are not in the position people seem to think we are as far as financial. The last 7 years are now starting to take their toll.

          1. Reggie – our owner is sucking the club dry, thats why we have no money and you are accepting it is ok to run the club down!
            Well news for you, in 2020 we will protest and we will make it hard, mark my words, a new movement will be born, fans that are not on board won’t last at this club!
            Happy new year and bring on 2020 and a new decade of prosperity for all!

    2. Reggie, I am a dreamer and an optimist, freely admitted, though not a FIFA manager user, although I get the point!

      While I have no basis for this (and maybe the evidence points against), I am hopeful that management, meaning the Kronkes, will see that there is real risk to their investment right now and that may open purse-strings somewhat.

      You are absolutely right about money risks without EL, but a combo of a bit of cash and some good sales during the next couple of windows would be huge – and secures EPL and creates the needed foundation to go back to Europe in some form.

      I don’t think our net spend last year was that great, even with Pepe’s 70+M.

      1. We can all dream Stewart, i will still be hoping we have a fantastic window in January and the summer. But i fear, it will be that, a dream.

    3. This is common sense and not Fifa Reggie.All we need is to be shrewd on the market to get quality players not necessarily superstars.
      Would you rather we go down or salvage what has been left of the Arsenal?Football has evolved and we can’t be stuck forever. Even if Kroenke has to sell his shares to bring other people on board then so be it.I believe its time Kroenke forced out of the club to allow it resurrect, he is literally killing it every new day.

      1. Who mentioned going down, the truth is Arteta has been brought in to basically improve what he has. He will know Arsenals situation, he will want players moved on and he will want players to come in but the bottom line is, he also will know his hands will be tied. I want players moved on and i want players brought in but we are starting to chase rainbows at this club and their isn’t a pot of gold.

        1. . Cliff has a point,losing to united tomorrow is looking at relegation and trust me nobody is too big to fail so we need to move all those three defenders on and get English based defenders in who knows the premiership and adapted to it

  5. So how bad is the Arsenal defense?
    Arsenal finished 2 points off 3rd in the league last season.
    Of the defensive players still here these are their last season PL appearance records.
    GK Leno 31
    RB Bellerin (till injured) 18 AMN 11(5)
    LB Kolasinac 22
    CB Mustafi 31 Socritis 25 Holding 9
    DM Xhaka 31 Torreira 24(10)
    These same defenders and Luiz had Arsenal a point off second after 8 games.
    We were cruising toward the CL and some people were saying
    2nd place is ours for the taking.
    So how did it go so wrong between our home win over Bornemouth
    on Oct the 7th and Emery’s dismissal on Nov 29th?
    This was the team which played Bournemouth on Oct 10th.
    Chambers Socritis Luiz Kolasinac
    Guendouzie Xhaka
    Pepe Ceballos Saka
    Torrera #
    Who is not in this squad?
    No Ozil no Lacazette. Ceballos was injured.
    Since Ozil in particular and Lacazette’s reintroduction Arsenal’s form has been pants.
    So perhaps it is not the defense after all but Ozil’s return which caused the crash?
    And why was Emery forced to play Ozil?
    Ask the fans.

  6. Calling Mustafi the worst is a bit over the top hes made mistakes but can be good on his day but theres been a lot worse and i dont need to name them.

  7. Strange how Mustafi went from being the most trusted CB in the league
    last season to being a cups player this term.
    Was he carrying an injury?
    Did Luiz demand a starting role as part of his move?
    Did Arsenal try to sell Mustafi to fund the Saliba purchase
    but any move was dependent on Mustafi taking a pay cut which he refused to do??
    Same with Ozil was he offered a move but refused to take a pay cut.
    The Koscielny transfer saga and Elneny refusing to move only compounded things further.
    So then they flicked Bielic to Derby to raise funds.
    Then the club went and spent 70m on another attacker in Pepe.
    Saving pennies with one hand and splurging with the other hand.
    Good transfers can make a bad coach look good.
    Bad transfers can make a good coach look bad.
    The transfer personal are probably the most important people in the club.

    1. Hey Agu, you never reply back to my comments? I would like to get to know your way of thinking and hopefully help you for 2020!

  8. Leno has the reflexes of a cat but he’s made more errors leading to goals than any other keeper in the league. Mustafi’s stats are impressive most of the time until he makes the usual catastrophic error. There’s much that needs doing for out defense to get better, including having midfield help them more effectively, but we’re not going to change the entire team on the whim of random fans. God help us if we do, the fans have already been a destructive force enough already as it is.

    The problem with the club is that fans have too much of a voice and each fan believes their own opinion to be better than the managers’ or players’. Fans have let their heads get too big, the solidarity is practically gone at the club as is any notion of what it means to be part of a team. Now we just have a million lazy whiners who just think “me, me me!”

    Mustafi and Luiz are on their way out. Fans should be worrying more about supporting Arteta than about their ever shifting opinions about who they want to buy and sell. Your opinion doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t. You are not professionals. If you love the club stop pretending that you are better than the people working there, you are not. Fans are a part of the team. Instead of being divisive, negative and attacking your own players, act like you are part of the team, support the lads and make the Emirates into a cauldron opposing teams fear coming to.

    It’s pathetic that opposition fans can now come to our club and have a laugh at our expense as we do their job for them and attack our own players. It’s pathetic that other team managers can now use as a tactic pitting the Arsenal fans against their own players. Negative and toxic Arsenal fans are an embarrassment. They’re literally killing the club. Were it up to me I would ban those pitiful mindless trash from the stadium.

    The club doesn’t need a million lousy whiners pulling in every direction, it needs fans to be one with the team. If you can’t do that piss off and stay home. The losers, whiners, crybabies, and fair weather fans have had far too much of a voice. You weak minded fools are pathetic. Your “power” to upset the players and influence results so much we’re within a couple losses of the relegation places has been proven. Now shut the eff up before you get us actually relegated.

    1. @Stephen yes negativity on the players isn’t good for the team and fans should not take it out on the players or managers! but fans have every right to question the board and their intentions as its fans that create the most income for the club. The club cannot have its cake and eat it all either! For me, Liverpool fans are testament of getting their team better by pushing the owners to continually invest and keep raising the bar every season!

  9. It’s proof……with these kind of players only WENGER can keep us in the top half of the table….we never thought of relegation……

  10. Booing the fans break their spirit…they loose confidence and make mistakes….shouting for your team gives the players confidence….sorry Stephen.. have to spell it out….lots of stupid people around…..

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