Arsenal need more than defenders – they need new backroom staff

Looking through my daily Arsenal reads I came across a headline in the Metro and even though I suspected it would be clickbait, I clicked nonetheless.

It was not clickbait but a fair article on why Arsenal are targeting pacey front men instead of defenders.

Well, because the poor away form and end of season collapse was down to the attackers and not the defenders.

OK, stop laughing, I am serious, that is what the Arsenal backroom staff that do the analysis concluded.

The Metro did attribute this claim to Mark Mann-Bryans of PA Sport

The Metro themselves then used the contributions of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as an example of why Unai Emery went all defensive on the road.

Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan contributed just 10 goals and nine assists between them last season prompting Emery to switch to a five-man defence and placing the creative emphasis on his wing-backs, primarily Saed Kolasinac.

All I can say is wow.

This is what happens when you look at stats and not the actual games. It is clear to anyone that actually watched Arsenal that it was the poor defence that cost Arsenal in many games not because they lacked pacey wingers that can score goals.

The idea that you can just attack your way to victory is for the birds, you simply have to have a solid defence, especially when there are so many good teams fighting for so few spots at the top.

If this is how Arsenal approach next season then their closest rivals will relish playing them.

I mean, really think about it, Arsenal conceded 51 goals because they did not have two pacey wingers, that is what the Arsenal analysis team has come up with.

32 Comments

  1. Jordan Gooner says:

    I saw the same analysis, it is beyond rediculous! Emery better get the centre backs and Tierney urgently.

    1. Enda says:

      There is a point to this I agree we need a cb but we have all seen that a team with dangerous wingers the other team are less likely to bomb forward. Pires, Freddy and henry we examples of this. If we bought a top class Cb alone this in my opinion wouldn’t sort or problems. Wingers are so important defensively.

      1. Diogenes says:

        Exactly. City are not perfect defensively, but their attacking play makes the opposition too scared to attack in great numbers.

        When our opposition sees Xhaka will take forever to turn and then pass to Iwobi, they’re not afraid of attacking us in numbers.

        And secondly, our coaching seems to be problematic – how else to explain that both Mustafi and Kolasinac have so regressed defensively after joining us. Notice, on the other hand how Chambers improved after joining Fulham while he was a mess a mere few months earlier with us.

    2. Sean Williams says:

      Exactly. Who cost us 4th place in the run in last season? The defence and a Granit Xhaka givaway needless penalty. It would be crazy if all of us supporters knew it was the defense and the manager and backroom staff thought it was because we need wingers. Just bizarre. A CB please Arsenal and Tierney too as well. Not a lot to ask.

      1. NMC says:

        It’s all balance, Eddie is right there is a point to the argument because we didnt have the threat going forwards teams were able to attack more freely, I certainly is a factor.

        We all know the defence can be improved but so can the wide attackers output. 10 goals and 9 assists is not good enough as equally 51 conceded is not good enough.

        You can’t completely dismiss and say oh no it was just down to the defence. Auba missed a couple of chances that could have got a few more points on the board but maybe it wouldnt of been an issue of the wide attack era contributed more.

        Once again I call for a balanced and rational view.

      2. Ayo says:

        We need better CB, Yes! But there is some truth to what that guy is saying. Especially in games against those bus parking teams, we looked to our fullbacks or erratic wingbacks now to create opportunities leaving spaces for opposition with fast players to explore.

        The defence get the blame mostly for goals conceded without looking at the imbalance in the team. Buying Winger(s) is as important as getting defenders.

  2. Innit says:

    I respectfully disagree with all those who believe we can cope with Tierney, Holding, Chambers, Mavrapanos, Jenkinson for the following reasons
    1. The other top 6 teams have better defenders. A Quality Defensive line can mean the difference between 4th and 5th place
    2. We can’t rely on our attack to bail us out or kick last minute goals
    3. Lack of experience in premier league or in general.
    4. We need a Solid, experienced, if possible leader type Centre Back
    5. We shouldn’t rely on full backs ie Tierney, Kolsanic, Monreal, Jenkinson etc to play centre back
    6. Koscielny is most likely leaving and he was arguably still our best Centre Back last season

    So I would highly recommend that Emery gets a CB. Even loan for one season would work.

    With Pepe, Tierney, Ceballos, Martinelli and a CB We would have a decent chance of getting in the Top 4 and/or win a trophy

  3. Durand says:

    Emery always said he prefers 5-4 than 1-0. It’s reckless behaviour for a top club, and the manager is only doing half his job by not emphasizing defense as well as offense.

    Well he has his attack, Ceballos in midfield like he wanted, so the results are on him now.

    Get Tierney done already.

  4. ken1945 says:

    Admin Martin, my advise to you is simple:

    Stop being suckered into these unproven quotes/claims from so called experts.

    Your analysis makes more sense than all the garbage they are claiming our backroom staff “allegedly” said.

    WHY? Because you know the club, you watch the club, you breath the club, unlike these guys who make a living out of clickbait articles.

    Over the years, I have grown to know that The Arsenal have always been the prime target for this kind of BS, the most interesting articles on here are from the supporters, not the media and their ulterior motives.

    Keep up the good work and don’t lose any sleep over metro articles…a paper that is free and relies on advertisers for it’s existence…hence clickbait articles!!

    1. Admin Martin says:

      Ken, the Metro was not the source, they just ran an article based on the PA Sports tweet, that is what I based the article on and PA, same as Reuters as not known for clickbait and lies. That said, I did bold some Metro text and responded to that, however, I did find this particular article by them to be fair.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Admin Martin, my apologies for the misunderstaning on my part…I didn’t do what I tell everyone elso to do, read, digest, think, comment!!!!

        My basic point, however, I still stick too.
        As supporters, we know and see what is needed at the club and I have never read a single comment on here that says we don’t need to strengthen our defence.

        Therefore it should (!?) follow that our management team see and know that also…especially as they are deemed to be professionals.

        Again, I take more from the views and comments of our supporters over any official statement that doesn’t actually name individual(s), but uses sweeping “the club’s analysis team” quote to make it seem official.

        Do any of us know who our “analysis team” is or who it comprises of?
        I’ve take tne bother of consulting our OFFICIAL HANDBOOK 2018/19 and can’t find any reference to this “team” anywhere.

        NOW – if it was an official quote from UE, for example, then we would begin to sit up and take notice.

        Just as the “official” confirmation from the club that pepe is our player, never believe anything until it is announced by the club.

    2. gerry burke says:

      woooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooo.

    3. Joe says:

      Does expert are right you should try and analysis most of games, our attack lack bite and penetration. We lack players who pick the ball and beat two to three players

  5. Francis says:

    Will Arsenal reach their limit for foreign players if they sign Pepe?

  6. Lee says:

    i dont think the argument was that the defense was good enough but more that the balance of the side was wrong and the lack of attacking threat outside of Aba/lacca was pittiful leading to Emery having to push the full backs into being wing backs and 3 centre halfs which invariably get exposed.

    3 at the back can work if you have a disciplined midfield and very good CBs (neither of which we had/have).

    so we needed pacier wide forwards to allow a better unit at the back…the personel still needs to be upgraded though.

    I think Bellerin, Holding, KT(if he happens) are arguably of the right level. Sok always looks like a red card waiting to happen. Monreal is to old, The Tank cant defend, not sure what to make of chambers (seems to be a good middle of the table player). So i do agree with the above we need KT plus a CB and then we need to work on more depth if we want to get back to competing right at the top. But we were never going to do it all in one window. and hopefully even next season the balance will be improved.

  7. Agu Emen says:

    If you score 3 goals every game you are unlikely to lose any more than 3-4 games a season.

    1. Alee says:

      So attack is the best form of defence.

  8. Joe says:

    If you think about it, the analysts were right, how many games did we simply not create enough chances? In the game against Brighton, which would have all but guaranteed a top 4 finish
    ,a game where we had 70% possession, we only put 8 shots on target and allowed 5. This makes me feel like their defense didn’t even have to work hard to stop us. If we can attack fluidly away as much as at home, we can be unstoppable

  9. phychem says:

    Lille president said in an interview today “there are administrative details” stopping arsenal from announcing pepe. That’s why it wasn’t done yesterday.

  10. jon fox says:

    Admin Martin, this “so called” club theory that all we need are better attackers and then the defence will be fine ,is clearly untrue. It assumes that those who run the team are stupid and they are clearly not. Surely the real truth is that UE and his team would LOVE to bring in proper CB’s of REAL quality to replace BOTH Coco and the WRESTLER. If I, respectfully, mention the name KROENKE, would THAT not be the far more likely reason we STILL have the clowns onboard!

  11. Tom says:

    I would add that our attacking line needs to be better at closing down and cutting off spaces and zones and then we will also see a better less exposed defence.

    I think this is a fair point!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      I havw to agree Tom and they also have to be more efficient in front of goal; clear chances created but not finished.

  12. MadHatter says:

    I have to say that I kinda agree with the analysts.

    Even buying VVD as a CB would not have done enough to shore up the defence. I agree that we do need new CBs but far more important for the squad to have the right balance to ease the pressure on the defence than just have new players under the same pressure.

    Iwobi, Mhiki, Ozil etc weren’t causing defenders any problems so they were free to pile the pressure on us…. This season we will have more genuine threats going forward forcing teams to play accordingly easing the pressure on our defence.
    Don’t forget the players we have added are seemingly better suited to playing a high press too and you would hope that without being under constant pressure that even the likes of Mustafi will have better games with less mistakes and IF we do manage to still upgrade our CBs then that’s even better.
    This is the same way Klopp rebuilt Liverpool and there’s no denying it worked for them ?‍♂️

    1. AndersS says:

      Didn’t really work until they got Van Dijk, though 🙂

      1. Francis says:

        They got into the top 4 even before buying VVD with a leaky defence in 2016- 2017 season

  13. S.J says:

    Aubameyang.. Lacazette.. Pepe…

    Ceballos.. Torreira.. Guendouzi…

    Kolasinac.. Sokratis.. Holding.. Bellerin..

    Leno

    This team will press any team that comes its way.

  14. Kat de Luna says:

    i dont agree with most fans that say we need a quality cb. The only quality cb(s) in world football are VVD, Koualibaly and de Ligt so any other cb is only as good as Shodran mustafi. so unless we can get any of the above 3 mentioned we should get 1 more winger (everton or zaha) + KT then we can focus on the new season. For new cb let wait saliba to come back stronger & hope that Holdin mature into a beastly cb.

  15. mayert says:

    Since arsenal fans and writers don’t give proper analyses, they often jump to conclusions that our defense is very very bad (as per the media b**ls**t). Rather the reasons are below.

    1. Manager tactics:he always chooses short defenders; koscielny, mustafi, sokratis are all under 1.90m and they are all not comfortable on the ball; and then pple expect them to be winning aerial duels. Compare their heights to other defenders then you’ll see.
    Verdict: Mavropanos is the best in this area.

    2. The weakest defensive midfield without ball posessors: Aside from Torreira we have no one else period. You can’t even try to compare our midfield with other top six opponents.

    3. Mkitaryan issue: This is entirely on the manager who thinks he can use him in No. 7 (as the lousy Man U was using him) yet he’s best suited for No. 8.

    Solve those and arsenal will be in business…

  16. RSH says:

    Listen, I get why Arsenal were so adamant to get a wide forward like Pepe. You need somebody who can spark attacks and not make you so predictable and can force play more. This is all done to negate pressure on the defense. But if the defense cannot handle any sort of pressure, isn’t that a main concern? Have these coaches realized Arsenal have not had a good defense since Invincibles? I am so happy for Pepe, but in the back of all our minds we know if we don’t make top 4 again, it will be down to not addressing our horrendous defense. Sokratis is the best we’ve got and he only qualifies as passable.

  17. Abu adil says:

    Well I think the creativity of our midfield and it’s compactness is the core source of our defensive problems
    The transition of the ball from deep midfield to our frontman isn’t what used to be when we had carzola
    A midfielder lacking movements with the ball doesn’t help the attack in any way and hence the ball is being shipped back to our defence line so quickly
    We don’t need a midfielder like xhaka who only passes the ball and often commits silly mistakes or lapses in concentration lets give willock the chance
    Willock can defend Well,movements on and off the ball are superb,covers more space than xhaka
    It is imperative also to have a good cb even cahill will do for a season until we get saliba back

  18. Tissiam says:

    The reason we missed the top is only partly to blame to the defence where we lost it is when auba and lacca didn’t score no one else score,with Pepe at Lille he scored 22 goals/20assists I know you’ll say it’s only la ligue 1, remember hazard,Drogba…and Co,that”why English clubs buy more french and other nationalities playing in France,if they were that bad I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t, compare the successes and flops no wonder they keep coming back! also British players are overpriced and over skilled,no wonder your national team wins nothing,they play inexperienced young players who don’t even play for their clubs,in France before playing in the national team you have to have cemented your place in your club,Juventus, Real, athletico, Bayern, Chelsea,nam utd,city…..I mean celebrating reaching the semis really??and then these same players are worshipped like god’s what you are doing is teaching that mediocrity is good!!

  19. nikos says:

    We need patience 2 or 3 transfer windows remember what happened to Klopp and Liverpool everyone was on his back but he new exactly what he was doing rome was not built in a DAY also Liverpool (Klopp had a bit more money to play with if then After two or three Transfer windows then it’s goodbye Emery Hallo viera simple …. NEXT ONE PLEASE ?

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