Arsenal now have an awesome attack – but still no defence!

Up front Arsenal are excellent, the back though needs work. by Konstantin Mitov

Well, I wrote on this site we could thrash Everton 5:0 and I was really close, because of course we managed to concede and I will touch on this matter, because it’s important, but that attack hey?

I thought Mkhitaryan was the star of the show. Three assists for him in 1 game with 5 in his entire time at Man Utd. Make of it what you want, but the guy is all Arsenal – quick feet, sharp mind, slick passing, he was excellent, but of course overshadowed by the elephant in the room.

Aubameyang looked really good. He obviously hasn’t trained up to speed lately with Dortmund suspensions and transfer and so on, but I mean the movement looked incredible and the chip was marvelous, although it was offside.

We are really good going forward and you can see the freedom we had without Alexis who? The team had freedom, we had players in the box, players making runs and up front I’m not worried at all.

Now I cannot ignore the defense. There is obvious need of work there. I was disappointed to see Cech in goal and how much he is forgiven for his mistakes and same goes to Xhaka. We allowed Everton a few chances but they were too poor to take them.

We are playing Spurs next and despite the fact it’s Wembley, we’re not scoring five goals again and we cannot allow the comedy defending we’ve done all season. If we hope to make the top 4 as small as the chances are, we need to go there and be smart.

Our work off the ball when we played them at the Emirates was the best we’ve done this season and unless we repeat this, well struggle, because for as entertaining we were going forward, we were not that interested in doing the defensive job.

And I think the lack of a defensive midfielder and the poor tactics hurt us a lot. Ramsey scored a hat-trick today and it was brilliant, but with Ozil and Mkhitaryan having somewhat of a free role in midfield, you cannot have Ramsey, Xhaka and Iwobi not helping the defense as well.

A lot of people may call me negative again and I respect them, but as I mentioned in my article before the game, it could be the Arsenal at Swansea next week against Spurs and that would be not good enough. So until we resolve the obvious problems Arsenal have thought me to be humble or I’ll just ruin my nerves.

We have the potential to be a real force, but we need to defend better as a team and we must limit the mistakes, but my sneaky feeling is we’ll not fix them until Wenger goes.

This is the first game after January and we cannot draw any major conclusion from it, but next week we’ll definitely learn something. It’s a massive game for us. After that we can better measure whether we’ll be just all out Europa League or slim hopes of top 4 would be lurking around.

But whatever happens, the real Arsenal will be seen next season, after the summer additions in defense come and the work of Raul Sanllehi kicks in and hwo know, perhaps a new manager?



  1. I think xhaka was pretty good today except for getting in the way when ozil was in the box and Cech wasn’t fault for that goal. Kola did not even bother to jump…. Cech is not WC anymore, but in my opinion he can still do the job. He needs to be replaced yes, but first get the cb,lb and DM than we can buy gk. I just wonder if we had auba, mikhi,ozil and Sanchez instead of iwobi….. However iwobi did decent job today lets see spurs game and than judge them.

    1. AFC is faster in the attack without the selfish Alexis who would have held onto the ball at the halfway line in EVERY DAMNED ATTACK so he can try and get past 2 or 3 players and make himself look cool…

      I overlooked it when he wore the AFC badge as I am a supporter and I supported a WC player at AFC and I wanted more WC players.

      Truth is though, he is selfish and doesn’t pass enough, when he does pass then it is either a difficult pass which he fails most times OR it is to a player who would pass it right back to him.

      A team can attack faster by passing the ball forward rather than having a small guy trying to run with it.

      See how our attack had not only pace but it went smoothly from the back to the front, no hold ups to stunt the attack.

      1. Spot on.

        Alexis is also slow in a terms of straight line speed. That is why he does what he does, and it does look cool, but it slow the attack.

        Attacks are best in lines, that is how Leicester won the cup the year every one was re-building.

        Ozil is also fast and needs those runs. Auba, Welbeck… all good for strong runs.

        Wilshere is like Alexis in terms of speed. Slow. Too bad Wilshere cannot signed and be sold. Liverpool is doing a number on us by trying up the price for this signature. We should do the same to their players, maybe, Emre Can will appreciate a proper Arsenal salary? (I do not know enough of this play to know if he is better than Xhaka….)

  2. Aubameyang and Mkhi look Arsenal players to a tee. Esp Auba he is the type of player Arsenal fans have always expect Arsene to sign but never did. But we sure do look very attacking all the same. Because our CM’s are attacking players too. It looks great at home but we’ll see when we are away to a tough side how it’ll look. City are very attack minded too, as are Liv, utd and tott have better balance but it is city running away with it. So not all doom in having an all out attack. But you feel we will need a DM of the highest calibre, and I think there is no reason to believe we wont get one. We have cleared out allot of the hangers on, and are targeting players with bigger reputations than how we used to target. Except CB’s, we are trying to find a young Adams Ferdinhand or Maldini. But we need to do is what we done at CF, everywhere else on the pitch.

  3. These weaknesses are evident to most fans but i,m not sure our esteemed Manager would share our view.How else can he continue to play Cech,Mustafi and Xhaka. Looking at their performances this season objectively they should not be first team picks yet Wenger contin use to ignore the facts because of course it would be an admission of his incompetence in the transfer market.I hope i,m wrong but I fear Kolasinac is no better than average.

    1. Mustafi is harsh, yes he has a mistake in him but there is no doubting his quality, we did go on a fantastic run when he 1st joined and AFC had the CM which aided him.

      Coquelin the ball winning CM.
      Cazorla who could keep hold of the ball and take it out of our own half to start an attack.

      Watch how Mustafi used to pass the ball to Cazorla and he used to carry it out of our half then compare that to how Xhaka will play the ball back again or a sideways pass or just outright lose the ball and then pressure put right back onto the CBs.

      I mean, if you want to talk about facts then you need to remove your bias belief and just read the facts. Fact is, Mustafi is a WC CB, he has helped Germany win the WC and the Confederations Cup.

      Another fact for you.
      Sead got picked for team of the season but he was playing regularly and didn’t have a kid DM get put ahead of him to knock his confidence…

      1. I agree about Mustafi and the Cazorla link helped him out and sometimes Granit does put the CBs under pressure because he can’t find a forward pass or is too scared too, but facts are facts Mustafi made 1 start at the 2014 WC & 2 sub appearances making a total of 132 minutes only in the group before he got injured, I disagree he “ helped” Germany win the WC as he simply didn’t play enough and didn’t play any knockout games so was only a squad player who played 1.5 games in total, he can play well but tends to panick and finds himself out of position ALL the time,he is a liability diving into tackles and trying to make interceptions he has no. Chance of making, he plays like a kid in the playground following the ball around instead of staying close to his man or any other attacking threat, it’s no coincidence he was nearly bombed out the club in the summer before Gabriel went and we decided to keep him. YES he started well but when I see him play now he is panicked and costs us so many chances conceded, he made a great block on Theo yesterday but if you watch it back he was partly at fault in the first place as he was on the halfway line I the RB position ?? No positional sense, rash tackles and doesn’t talk enough, sorry but we deserve better than that at The Arsenal

  4. I think the problem we have is lack of no good DM in front of our defence and this makes our defence looks porous and I think wenger should drop cech

    1. Cant drop Cech, he is the best we got. Ospina lacks the height and physicality for this league. The main issue is Xhaka , boy our midfield worries me. I thought Iwobi was excellent and should not be sold. He is a young player and will improve with better players around him. we have looked a different team since Alexis left, hogs the ball too much. We are faster with one touch movement. Rambo on current form has to start ahead of Wilshere though Jack is a top player. I hope the new management team next year will quickly get rid of Xhaka. I am starting to believe that we are moving in the right direction. Its not easy to move on quick and fast from Wenger’s era, maybe Gazidis and co are doing things the right way.

  5. Before we spend a fortune on CB, I think if we got a top WC DM then our CBs will not look as bad, we need that player who will help break things up before it gets to the def.

  6. Fabinho please. Don’t need Lemar anymore;
    Use Monaco contacts for Fabinho.

    Christmas list in summer is
    DM Fabinho
    CB Gimenez or Manolas
    LM Bailey
    GK. Lafont or Oblak

    Should have the money, need top 4 tho

  7. The defence we have should be the best in the league, it’s just that Wenger doesn’t care about defence which is odd because as a player he was a defender.

    We have Steve Bould as Assistant Manager who isn’t allowed to instil into the defence the George Graham ethos, it was the same when Keown was a coach at Arsenal. It would not matter what defender we bought, our defensive problems will remain as long as Wenger is Manager.

    For a start Wenger ALWAYS has one Centre-Half playing the role of an attack midfielder. This leaves one behind. Both Fullbacks have to overlap with the Wingers which means neither Fullback or winger is running back until the ball is already halfway to our goal. This is the pure entirety of Wengers defence ethos. Relying on the sprint power of players to catch up with the opposion when they counter attack.

    If we bought the worlds best CB when our goal is under attack he’ll be att the halfway line when trying to get back.

    Then we have the DM’s. One of these is ALWAYS played as a attacking midfielder so again, we have one DM covering one Centre-half.

    If we go a goal up and then keep both DM’s rigidly in position we would win a lot mor games.

    But we have Wenger as the manager.

  8. Do we congratulate Wenger for selecting Ramsay, dropping Wiltshire and Lacazette, getting out of Mhiki what Mouhinho failed to do and bringing Auba in (before anyone says the latter with help from people THAT OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN IN PLACE SEVERAL YEARS AGO had Gazidis not been so apathetic and/or bottled it!).

    Conte is moaning that the once formidable Chelsea are struggling and are now buying squad players from AFC. That’s because Abramovich seems to have said let’s see if we can compete without bankrolling the club to success. What a difference for Chelski fans.

    City on the other hand are trying to buy WC cover for every position. No other club can afford that luxury so City’s achievements for me are MOSTLY a reflection of the scale of investment. Utd and Mourhinho adopt the same cheque book management, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Sanchez gels with Lukaku, whether Rashford or Martial (two great players imo) stall in their progress due to Sanchez and where Mata, Lindegard etc all end up.

    Liverpool and spuds have won absolutely nothing in decades (league cup and one freak champ league aside) despite all the plaudits Klopp and Pochetino receive and the reverence the clubs get from the press.

    Wenger has faults, of that there is no doubt, but so much of our problem has been the lack of finance and the mismanagement of the club structure by the executives over the past decade. Wengers past support from David Dein should not be forgotten.

    There is more to be done. We need a top quality DM. A new keeper. We need a better CB so at least we have options beyond Koz and Mustafi. Iwobi, Holding, Chambers are all question marks. Kolasinac is facing competition from Monreal who is on fire and MN who actually looks like he could be the real deal, but perhaps somewhere in midfield. Jack is back and his hunger and drive on the pitch is great to see. We have some weak links but the team is coming back together.

    If at long last the power is shifting and Wenger focusses once more on the team, we sort the remaining major transfer issues in the summer then perhaps, just perhaps, a new era for AFC is coming. Wenger is simply not the root of all our ills.

  9. Defensive reinforcements could be the answer to every critic’s distress, but we have started to win silverware before, and during our world-class investments. I think its the attitude of ‘the arsenal’ when playing certain teams or possibly a defected on/off switch. Jose’s Manchester United are all about defensive scope and Liverpool purchase in Virgil van Dijk doesn’t mean there sorted at the back. Chelsea is by default seen as being stable from the goalkeeper up, but they’re going to lose their title this year. There is a 13 point difference between 2nd or as Jose put it; first to last, and the point tally gets longer and longer. We need to invest due to an ageing process not because we don’t know how to defend, as I said before there is a significant point difference between 1st and 2nd, it apparently is a telling sign that most storytellers and pundits miss.

  10. It is not the positioning of our defenders that causes the problem in defence, but errors such as errant passing and no concentration.I think we have good defenders, but not enough emphasis or pressure is placed on these defenders to be consistent. It does not matter the defender arsenal buys, once the group mental focus is not one we will continue having a problem in defence. One other issue that affects our defence is our mobility in midfield we are too slow in that area, a DM with good pace, tackling and passing ability should be arsenal’s priority.

    Our attack finally has the look of the golden days a good run of games and we could be in the top four pretty soon, as the title is gone UCL place is of most importance

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