Is Mustafi a viable solution at right back? by Goonerboy
It is no secret that Arsenal has one of the worst defences in the league this season, and to be honest it has always been our Achilles heel. It got so bad under Wenger that I concluded in my mind that it is the structure rather than the personnel. Okay, to put it simply, I mean I always thought our defensive set up is so bad that only a few defenders will look good playing in it, rather than the players being bad. I said to myself “bring Matt Hummels and we will still be all over the place” because I thought the problem has to do with our structure and not necessarily the players.
But fast forward to now, under Emery, it seems to be getting worse.
We always looked like conceding every time we faced a decent opposition, and even though Emery has said he prefers to win 4-3 to winning 1-0, it makes me think he just wants to satisfy the fans because if you look at his previous teams, it is always built on defensive solidity and compactness creating a balance between attack and defence but why is our case different?
Understandably, there are many reasons for our terrible defence this season, starting with the absent Koscielny, unreliable Mustafi and new Sokratis, there was always going to be a problem. I want to believe that when all is fit, this should be our back four;
Bellerin…… Mustafi……Kos…….. Monreal…
For me, this is our best defence except you may want to replace Mustafi with Sokratis which will still be solid, but then we haven’t had the chance to play this four as much as we want to due to constant injuries plaguing that area which has really affected us. Secondly, the injury to Rob Holding has been a huge blow for us, as he was immense for us, his partnership with Mustafi was the only long pairing we have had the season which also coincided with our unbeaten run.
Having said that, I think we have both structural and personnel problems defensively at the moment, with our constant changing of CB pairing (caused by injuries of course) hindering us from having any sort of pairing at all. Structurally and tactically though, we still need to improve in our defensive set up regardless of who we have chosen to play, but that is a discussion for another day.
To go further in the Europa league and to continue to stay in touch with top 4, our defence is the only cause of worry for me, as I believe we are doing fine offensively. So how do we solve the personnel problem in our defence, what combination or pairing can we rely on to make us achieve our remaining objectives this season??
Firstly, continue to play the back four and ditch the back three system. Secondly, Emery should Identify and stick with a CB partnership for the rest of the season, to create an understanding between them. That said, here is my ideal back four for the rest of the season.
Mustafi………..Sokratis……… Koscielny…….. Monreal…
Litchsteiner for me should not even be on the bench while Jenkinson should play in the Europa. Mustafi at right back will solidify our defence more and still offer a little offensive threat with his passing, he may not be able to attack like Bellerin, but he is a better defender and will balance our right side.
My full team….
Mustafi……..Sokratis…. Koscielny…… Monreal….
……Mkhitaryan…. Ozil…… Iwobi…..
Bench: Cech, Jenkinson, Kolasinac, Mavropanos, Aubameyang, Suarez, Ramsey.
It is essential for us to be in the Champions League next season, and I personally want us to win a trophy, do you think we can achieve this with the team we have?