Arsenal’s attackers need to defend, and the defence need to help in attack

Do not always point the finger at the players at the back!

Over many years of watching football, it seems that one thing never changes- the criticism of the defence and the goalkeeper when a goal is conceded!

It is always a factor that when a goal is conceded, the criticism is always towards the defence and the goalkeeper. When we have conceded in games and lost, we say it’s because of the lack of defending, the lack of goalkeeping and the inability to save the shots.

I will hold my hands up to this and say I am guilty of doing this at times too.

However, yes sometimes the defence can be at fault and yes sometimes it is the goalkeeper that can also be at fault but if you take a closer look, doesn’t the attacking from the opposing team start in and around the midfield area?

For teams to score against you the build-up starts from their keeper, then the defence, then it goes through the midfielders and ends up at the strikers’ feet. They then must go through the opposing team’s front line and midfield before they get to the final third where they face the defence and the keeper.

So, really my point here is that, shouldn’t focus and criticism be more towards the forward line and then the midfield before it goes onto the defence and goalkeeper? Shouldn’t the strikers and midfielders of any team do better to stop the opposing teams attacking players getting past them before they hit the defence and then the goalkeeper?

This is why I believe it is key that as there are 11 players in the team, each and every single player should be versatile, should know how to score a goal, be able to score a goal, be able to defend, be able to go in for a tackle, legally of course, and if you really wanted to take it any further than that, each player should be able to have experience in goalkeeping because you never know when you will need to be a keeper for the night.

In football if your goalkeeper gets sent off and you’ve already made three substitutions, you don’t want to use a substitute for whatever reason, or you just don’t have any back-up keeper then normally in that case outfield players have to step into that position.

I believe, moving forward, for football to be able to evolve even further in the best way possible, that every single player on the pitch should be versatile.

Previously I said that when it works for Arsenal, it’s been nice to see the likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and even some of our midfielders tracking back and defending even if it’s not their preferred position or role.

So as soon as players step out on the pitch, they should be able to attack and defend for their lives, regardless of what their role or position is. Because then and only then will every team and set of fans get the best out of their team, where it will be exciting to see players fighting for every ball. And only then might we see the beautiful game really be the best! Gooners?


Shenel Osman


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