Can Arsenal REALLY cope with just SIX defenders?

I am happy and relieved that Arsene Wenger accepted that Yaya Sanogo was not enough and that Arsenal needed to sign another centre forward, especially with Olivier Giroud being out of action until around the end of the year. And I’m not going to be down on the Frenchman for signing Danny Welbeck either, it is the failure to sign a defender that I am more concerned about.

Looking at the squad on the Arsenal website, the Gunners have just six first team defenders in Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal. For a team that is in the Champions League and therefore has three cup competitions and the Premier League games to cope with, surely the bare minimum is to have eight, two for each defensive position.

I know that Calum Chambers is versatile, but what if the youngster picks up an injury or a suspension> The Gunners would be left dangerously exposed and in danger of having to use a midfielder as cover. Arsenal do seem to get more than their fair share of injuries after all.

So this makes the decision by Wenger to sell Ignasi Miquel to Leicester and not sign another defender pretty risky in my eyes. Maybe the boss is putting faith in the academy players Isaac Hayden and Hector Bellerin, because there is no other cover. So can Arsenal really cope with what we have at the back?

Tags Bellerin Chambers Miquel


  1. translated to realistic levels….f*ck NO.

    we got several trophies to contend , travelling around europe, near 40 league games.

    this was a big big gap that needed fixing.

    1. It is criminal to have 6 defenders in an EPL team. It is criminal to let go of Sagna, Jenkinson, Vermaelen and Miquel and just get Debuchy and Chambers. It’s insane, no other manager would do something like that.

      1. Still rather our defence to United’s. We just have to make it until January, though Wenger doesn’t like buying in January, or buying at all to be honest..

        He’ll have no option by then, unless someone like Ajayi or Hayden become another Calum Chambers, they’re the same age as him, don’t think they’ll be too pleased that he’s come in and leapfrogged them. Hopefully it makes then perform better.

      2. Bit dramatic mate.

        Debuchy replaces sagna.
        Chambers replaces Verm
        Jenks can be recalled if we get caught short.

        And don’t use Miquel as part of your argument when you know you would have bemoaned his experience/quality had he been kept as cover.

        It’s the same numbers as last season, not ideal for me…but we managed last term.

        1. Learn how to count mate. You had Sagna, Jenkinson and Vermaelen. Now you have Debuchy and Chambers. And Jenks cant be recalled.

          Its not that difficult use your fingers.

          Also i am not a fan of Miquel but i would rather have him then nobody.

          1. Cheers Jim, struggle with any more than 2. But Jenks can be recalled so it’s 3 smartarse, Ie same number we had last year.

            With regards to Miquel, he would be no better than someone like Hayden so not sure where this ‘nobody’ features.
            Funny how some fans love a moan and use players like him to meet their agenda, whether it’s moaning we rely on him or moaning he’s no longer here. Comical.

            We all gutted Djourou isn’t here anymore too??

    2. I know most of us gunner fans are worried about our numbers in defence but sometimes we go a bit overboard n worry too much..Chelsea have only six first team defenders jus like us .every team will likely get injured players so let’s jus believe in Wenger n enjoy our season because there is nothing we can do to change d squad now!

      1. In an ideal transfer window, with a manager that was ready to plug the holes in his team we would have gotten a versatile defender like Toby Alderweild- nothing too fancy. And we would have bought Carvalho for DM.

        We would have also sold Arteta, Podolski and Coquelin. And loaned out Sanogo,Gnabry and Zelalem to get some first team experience.

        But we live in a Wenger world and he calls the shots, so we have minimum defensive cover and very weak DMs and no youngster gaining first team experience.

  2. With Wenger men management, it is just impossible.
    We will get injuries because the season is a marathon with no winter break like the other leagues (including international fixtures).
    It was just unprofessional, idiotic and not logical not to get, at least, another CB…!!

    Giroud is out until next year… Yes the injury seems awkward and the circumstances “bizarre”, but he is, according to those stats Wenger and some fans love so much, the player who played the most mins… 3200mins exactly.

    Those same stats said that nobody in world football played more mins than Olivier Giroud.

    He is injured now and believe me, he deserved the rest…

    Imagine Koscielny getting a long term injury… I can tell you the season would be over here and there.

  3. I can already hear Wenger saying in January, as usual, “we are a bit short at the back”…!!
    And again, do nothing about it.

    Regarding the DM question, Wenger did say that Diaby was an option and Coquelin is in the squad… Lol
    I rather laugh than cry because the delusion of that guy is sickening to hear and watch…!!

    On top of that if he was a great tactician and a connoisseur of the trickeries of modern football, most of us would assume that he could solutions… But the guy is useless and tactically inapt and rubbish…!!

    1. “Guy who is tactically inapt”……..These guys (Inept) win nothing and they languish at the bottom of the league. I m tired of so called fans jumping on the media bandwagon. Do you know anything about the game? People who can not manage don’t achieve what Wenger has achieved. The wind has turned again and I see that the fair waether fans have change colour again. Where were you when we were top of the league for so long and when we won the FA cup. Shame on you all. I have seen fans criticise players for lack of loyalty to the club. However you have climbed aboard the bandwagon because you are unable to see what Wenger has done. We are stronger than last year. squad has greater depth. Young players have come of age which you are all ignoring. 6 backs? what a laugh. I would happily trust Bellerin on the right. I watched him in preseason matches and he is ready for the lesser games. Great pace, can drive forward and attach on the wings but still can defend. You are all too young I suspect to remember who was a brilliant left back on route to the Champions league final. REPLY BELOW IF YOU KNOW. In Wenger I continue to Trust. I have not swayed from this when I listened to fans REDICULING me saying that we would finished in the bottom half of the league last year and that I knew nothing about the game and a Arsene Kiss Butt. I was told that man utd were to finish well a head of us. Injuries happened at the worst moment and ruined the league run last year but we only finished 7pts behind City and won the FA cup. Yes, others have spent more than us this year; how many teams?? 3!!!!!!!!!!!! We can only have a 25 man squad. Wenger has built a flexible squad. I have heard that Wenger lied because he said he was going to spend £100m. Please reply with the link below. The media said this and as usual some fans believe every word that the papers print. All the players were buying then all a sunden other teams bough them before us. can you not read between their (lies) sorry lines. They built you all up, like other windows, so that they would have a story when the easily manipulated fans ranted off. I get embarrassed when other team’s fans laugh at and criticise AFC fans for turning on their team quickly and being fickle. STOP allowing the media to manipulate you!!! STOP this stupid bandwagon than Wenger is ‘inept’. It as simple as this Inept people do not succeed in any way. They win 1 trophy or have 1 good season. They do not create the reputation that AFC now enjoys and win the trophies that AFC have in his rein. Being disappointed with not getting the players but ‘inept’??? No. Wenger has created a reputation of finding players other wont see as gems and creating successful teams. Who to say that he will not again. Experience has shown why I trust AW quicker that bar stool fans and their ability to manage a top top top top team. Lets support this team and stop the negativity. We have great players lets get behind them.

      1. The legacy you speak of is slowly dwindling, we were great and Wenger could do no wrong but you have to admit you’ve questioned the all mighty Wenger in the last few years. Yes, i think the media and greedy agents profit vastly from the aggression, high expectation and disappointment of fans. You can link absolutely any player to Arsenal, if there is an available good CDM, CB, CF they will be linked to Arsenal even before Arsenal have expressed an interest, why is this?? Because they are needed in our team, you’d be mad to think not, but its mostly due to the false stories given by agents. But Its not a question of wanting us to spend ridiculously like man u, city and offer ridiculous wages, but its about seeing greater investments in our team, and you can’t blame upset fans for feeling cheated at times. I hope we can last it through until Jan without injury, especially at the back, but already we have Gibbs, Arteta, possibly Kos out, are we going to be in a predicament similar to last year where we were rushing players back after injuries so that they can get injured again. But, i hate to complain about transfers after the window, we have a really good squad, Welbeck is a great addition, he is young and will grow, Walcott should be back soon, we are yet to see what Joel Campbell can do in an Arsenal shirt, It’s incredibly promising, just hoping that Wenger’s risk this

      2. @ pnk gooner or what eva d f**k u are, it is fools like you that makes wenger sink deeper into his foolishness.
        So this squad is Good enough for a Club like Arsenal?
        Dwelling on past achievements never lets u move foward & i’m sure that’s whats making you fail in school. Tell your shameless dad (wenger) that we appreciate what he’s done in the past but we want to move forward… So he needs to leave asap.

        1. You must be 10 or unemployed. I don’t think anybody’s thoughts or opinions here on can ‘drive’ Wenger anywhere, you don’t get elite level professionalism…Wenger screwed up this window…but he’s fluent in four languages, has a degree in business and is one of the most respected managers in the world.

          Wenger is not god, he is not beyond mistakes, but he is also not an idiot or a fool but a man with conviction that is hard to understand. And regardless of how ‘foolish’ you think he is…he’d get a job in a week if available…

      3. I get really angry when u guys say ” Welbeck is gonna be great striker for us”. It’s not welbeck that matters, it’s Wenger !. Wasn’t ozil a great signing? What happened to him now? Wenger decided to play the best CAM in the world on the left wing in his first season in the Epl & provided him with a statue called Giroud as a striker.
        The same wenger played sanogo ahead of Campbell & Podolski. What makes u think Welbeck won’t be on the wing?

        1. You don’t watch games much do you? Stay off the forums and watch a game or two. Might be more fun then trolling. Ozil played every game last season as a number 10. It was a 4-2-3-1 formation. Ozil has played two games at left wing this season. If you’re going to whine like a nancy at least be accurate.

    2. Agreed, Diaby, Arteta, Flamini and Coquelin are not top,top,top players are they.

      Diaby is an unfortunate enigma, but basically he is always hurt and cant be relied upon

      Arteta is useless as a DM, and getting old. Not a real fighter.

      Flamini is a real fighter with no skills, he is also not strong enough.

      Coquelin does not have the talent required to play in Arsenal.

      And except Diaby, they are all tiny. Not the ideal midfield destroyer body type.

      You could not sell them all in this window for 10M COMBINED.

      Sell all 4 clean the books and get Carvalho, and a CD.

  4. No. Its suicidal. I hope there is a free agent of quality somewhere! I guess we’re going to have to pray no one gets injured until january where we must get a DM and CB

  5. If kos and mert keep skiping internationals maybe..well mert will anyway..

    4 more months and than 4 more weeks of questioning hoping and praying..and cursing at the end…hope guys can last till january …

    Ps-how is vermaelen playing? Is he playing at all?

  6. Apparently we put in a late bid for carvhalo. £12.7m + joel campbell. If its true then got a feeling wenger doesnt rate campbell lol.

  7. Wenger played it safe with Welbeck whereas Falcao is a bet.
    But the bet by Wenger on the defenders withut injuries….risky

  8. I would rather use Coquelin than arteta tbh and we did need at least one more cb because koscielny could get injured.

  9. 3 defensive injuries and were out the top 7.
    Our attack is piss poor only thing thats been saving us is our defense. If that goes were screwed.

  10. The Chelsea defense for the season : Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luis, Azpilicueta, Zouma. We have enough, and in extreme cases Flamini can work at the back. Some perspective goes a long way in staying calm and winning leagues.

  11. 6 is cutting it fine. Flamini is the emergency cover. Don’t fancy our chances of no injuries to be honest but most of the top teams will struggle a bit with 2 first choice defensive injuries. Chelsea have already won the league apparently and they have 8 squad listed defenders including Andreas Christensen, Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma. Injuries to Cahill and Terry would be massive. Assume Wenger didn’t see anything he liked and is taking a risk by waiting to January. Man Utd were desperate for CBs and with the money they were splashing you would have thought they could have got pretty much who they wanted – but didn’t happen.

    1. That’s only realistic reason, I can find. Maybe we couldn’t find anyone better than what we have, who are willing to be subs to our 1st choice defenders.

  12. Isaac Hayden will have to be relied upon at some point when one of our defenders inevitably gets an injury. Were just not a lucky team. Hopefully he’ll step up and do well.

  13. bad eg but correct sentiment. we only used the 4th choice back 3 times last year. Vermaelen spent most of the season on the bench as our third choice CB and played more in left back than centre. While another CB would be nice we have a flexible squad that can easily cope till Jan. People forget that Szczesny was joint golden glove last year. Ignore Chambers age like we did when Tony Adams started for AFC he has shown that he is a great CB.

  14. Agree, the guy is in the right place to shine and that he will. I was actually excited when we got him and don’t be surprise if he keeps playing even when Giroud returns. Oh and I saw yours and the captain comments earlier, big up to di yard man dem pon di site… No one can say Arsenal doesn’t help the English National Team, Gibbs-Chambers-Wilshere-Chamberlin-Walcott-Welbeck…

    1. @SirKnight
      Looks like the English National Team will be referred to as “ArsePool” instead of “ManPool” from now on…

  15. It’s possible bit tight. Eto, drogba, cambiaso all free. Can we not source a dm or cb on the free now? Wengers the master of free!!

  16. @pnk.gooner

    I do understand your point, but…

    Would you not be pleased to win the league, or better, the CL?
    Or are you “just” content to “figure” in the top four season after season and call it “some kind of achievement”?

    After 2006, we all thought (well, most of us) that we were going to achieve better things…!!
    Yes, we had some financial constraints, but so did Bayern Munich (they also had to built a new stadium).

    Yes, he is tactically “inapt” (or inept, you can say both and they are synonyms)… This a manager who has never adapted “our plays” or “tactics” (if any) to the opponents… This is why we basically CANNOT cope with the best sides in the league (even getting trashed/battered by some)… I mean there is no pleasure watching your team being “destroyed” when we are “supposed” to be a “top club” or “challenger”!

    And again, which ambitious team (if really), goes into 4 major competitions (League, CL and 2 domestic Cups) with 6 defenders? Is it suicide or just foolish confidence?

  17. @pnk.gooner

    I do understand your point, but…

    Would you not be pleased to win the league, or better, the CL?
    Or are you “just” content to “figure” in the top four season after season and call it “some kind of achievement”?

    After 2006, we all thought (well, most of us) that we were going to achieve better things…!!
    Yes, we had some financial constraints, but so did BM (they also had to built a new stadium).

    Yes, he is tactically “inapt” (or inept, you can say both and they are synonyms)… This a manager who has never adapted “our plays” or “tactics” (if any) to the opponents… This is why we basically CANNOT cope with the best sides in the league (even getting trashed/battered by some)… I mean there is no pleasure watching your team being “destroyed” when we are “supposed” to be a “top club” or “challenger”!

    And again, which ambitious team (if really), goes into 4 major competitions (League, CL and 2 domestic Cups) with 6 defenders? Is it suicide or just foolish confidence?

    1. I hear what you’re saying. A real head scratcher, all I can say is this. The media are going to question Wenger and Wenger will feed them what he always does (shite) and some people will get really p’d off at that.

      But if I were a manager I can only imagine the things I’d want to be know publicly and about 99% which I don’t want to be known publicly. I believe all high level sports are like icebergs – in fact most industries are.

      Is Wenger beyond being critizied? Certainly not, it’s a fine line. When to back the club and when to press for questions and answers. But I’m of the opinion that if he’s outside the top three then a massive review is in order. Inside the top 3 and he gets another summer window. I’d rather support the club and judge after the results are in. The FA cup bought him some more time…at least for me.

    2. Lastly, I hate it when people say Wenger has no tactics and then ask for his replacement – Klopp and Pep…who are notorious for playing their style and inflicting their will on their opponents. Wenger does it and he’s lost the plot. Pep does it and he ‘re-invents’ football. Klopp does it and he’s a ‘warrior’….

  18. 6 established defenders, but he does also have Hector Bellerin who was impressive in preseason.

    I guess bottom line now is we have to keep fingers crossed for health at the back! Lol

    1. Bellerin is not good enough…..

      Campbell played 3 season of football and against Uruguay, Italy, England, Greece and Netherlands is only good enough for the reserves……..

  19. Could’nt agree with Rotten more on this vid
    ‘Johnny Rotten slags off new Arsenal stadium’ (youtube search)

  20. I think AW is weighing up his options till January and see whether he really do need a cover CB and an upgrade defensive midfielder. We can go on blaming him but it wont be good for the club and to our health so we just have to accept that the guy is in-charge of our beloved team for now and weather the storm or celebrate any glory that we get while he is there, sometimes this is what you sign for when you choose to support a football team so lets accept what is there and move on

  21. Campbell played 3 season of football and against Uruguay, Italy, England, Greece and Netherlands is only good enough for the reserves……..

  22. It’s obviously not an ideal situation but Nacho can play CB, Flamini can also cover any position on the backline. Bellerin I think is ready to be 2nd choice RB. Any injury to key defensive players and we are struggling but we do have versatile players to at least cover.

    To be honest all the games we were humiliated last season we played with Arteta as DM, on more than one occasion when Flamini came on we looked a different side. If we play Flamini/Ramsey together against the big teams I think there is enough in them to battle away against them. Hopefully our attack will prove to be better then last seasons and we can actually take some pressure of our defenders. I do 100% believe that our squad is considerably stronger than last years, and we will perform better once everyone is match-fit and the team has gelled.

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