Could Arsenal’s defence be our undoing this season? (Opinion)

Arsenal currently sit pretty at the top of the table, but I fear that our defence could be our undoing.

While we are top, it is easy to feel happy and confident in team, but I can’t help but feeling like we are under threat of coming unstuck.

I really like all of Ben White, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, but no combination of the two fills me with confidence in a clean sheet.

I know winning is the most important thing, but it always feels easier to feel confidence in a team that is built from the back to the front, and all of our CBs have question marks over them.

Gabriel is the leader of the three, but there was a worrying ‘errors leading to goals’ stat last season which continues to linger in my mind.

Saliba and White are both strong technically, and are both positive defenders, but they also have errors in them also.

I can’t help but feel like we could do with a more assured and experienced option to work with them in what could be an important season in our progression.

Am I alone in having worries about our back line currently?



  1. That’s probably the area that worries me least!

    If MA were worried he can simply play 3 at the back, which he’s done successfully in the past (and often does anyway, fluidly switching mid-game).

  2. Historically, most successful sides have been based on a settled back four with a solid spine including GK and DM.Due to injuries to Tomi and Partey in particular, Arteta has been unable to field a settled defence ,and without our two best full backs, I was not particularly surprised at the defeat at Old Trafford.Now that all our defensive players are fit and available, it will be interesting to see the make up of our back four against Brentford who have a lot of big units in their side, but for sure we need to play Tomi and Tierney at full back.

  3. They’ve made mistakes, but I still believe in their potentials. Magalhaes’ passes through the left wing are essential, Saliba is unbeatable in aerial duels and White has been playing well as an inverted RB

    I’m more concerned about our midfield deficiency to turn in tight spaces when Partey isn’t playing and our right wingers aren’t as dangerous as Martinelli. We also don’t have someone like Giroud on the bench, to score if we can’t break the opposition’s defense

  4. Exactly why we wanted Saliba back last season, to gain experience from the bench while getting the odd start.

    If you look at the full picture and not just the defence which is the logical thing to do you’d see it’s the lack of a proper, consistent, dominating DM that’s the missing part of the puzzle. Very very difficult to be a CB without that quality infront of you.

    Partey is good but we could get better. We are so desperate for a DM we drool over everything Partey does. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a quality player but nowhere near the quality of a prime Fernandinho for example. He’s also a B2B more, he said it himself.

  5. Individually our defence is ok, what lets them down is the lack of togetherness, combinations and not sensing danger before it happens. We need Tierney at left back and Tomi at right. We need Gabriel and Saliba to work as a pair and not as Individuals. They need organising. I personally think we are better set up as a back three not four but thats not really for debate.

    1. Saliba and Gabriel have.played only 6 PL games together

      One is 21/22 and the other 25/26?..

      Defenders mature late 20’s…

      We are a team maturing together

      Lets relax and stop over thinking

      1. Every defense has an error in them, defense is a responsibility for the whole team …our defense line right now is up there with the best on their day , prefer gab’s and sali’s partnership at cb tho

  6. the issue for me has always been the midfield sat in front of the defence and the lack of structure when not on the ball. this has been an issue going back to wenger years. this has left the defence exposed and no matter who you are, you would get caught out more times than not.
    it is getting better, and look more tactically trained defensively, however still need more.
    i dont feel you need a specialist DM, just two central midfielders that are mobile and cover the ground.

    1. I very much agree.
      We have had a problem with not having the whole team defend, which puts too much pressure on the defence. Wenger never addressed this problem.
      If Arteta can get the pressing working the extra 5-10% we are lacking, then we will be very good.

  7. People tend to forget that Arsenal has the youngest squad in the EPL. 3 first eleven players are new this season. Let them play together for a while and judge them then.

  8. I don’t think we have problem in defence, intact alot of clubs are jealous of our defence….. A strong left foot center back( Gabriel) and a technically fit 6.2 inches young right foot center back( can also play RB), let assume we want to buy these two players from another clubs, how much do you think they will cost, please let’s appreciate our own… There is no defenders that dont concede or make error or mistake, it’s part of football, Liverpool with their all mighty Vangil kirl and the rest conceded 4 against Napoli, Bayern with their mighty defence conceded 2 against our own rejected Mavropolous club( Stuttgart), city with their multi millioner defenders conceded 3 against Newcastle etc, So let’s support and defend this team and the defenders just to encourage them that they can do better( Saliva and Gabriel partner is new and both are young).
    The only area that I think we should improve is the CDM and wing side…..
    Let’s move on and gets the 3pts against a stubborn and strong Brentford, so that others we see us as a strong opponents and fear us….

  9. The perception that a left footed CB is a pre-requisite for success is a complete myth.Apart from one notable exception, all the great CB partnerships of the past twenty years have consisted of two right footed players.

  10. Let’s try this again.

    There is nothing wrong with our defenders.

    The problem is that our midfield are not strong enough, especially without Partey!!!!!

    So the defence often gets overrun against the better teams.

    When we play those teams their midfield break through on counter attacks (often because they are quicker or more robust than us).

    I read that Zinc wants to play in midfield. He is certainly NOT the answer.

    There are games that are coming up in October where we will need a SOLID midfield, but will we have one by then?.

    Again, I fear the midfield will be our Achilles heel this season, just like at the end of last season.

    This has been Arteta’s biggest issue since he came to the club (Wenger suffered from the same problem once George Graham’s defenders left).

    In October we have to play 4 Europa League games and 5 Premier League games,

    including Spurs and Liverpool at home and Leeds away.

    That is almost a game every three days,

    Even without injuries, I am not sure we have the squad depth for all those games.

  11. Realistically, whenever a side with superior playwrs to its opponent mmatches the oppponents endeavour , then a win is almost certain . Whenever a supperior side loses a game i t is almost ALWAYS because they have been outworked.
    Conclusion? Match or exceed Brentfords work rate and a win is almost certain. I DO NOT SEE US BEING OUTWORKED AND WE HAVE NOT BEEN SO AT ALL THIS SEASON EITHER. We are clearly a better side than Brentford.
    So I predict an almost certain win for us. Realism and no other reason.

  12. Yes.
    I honestly think you must be the only Arsenal fan worried about our defense.
    Gabriel is the enforcer though he’s got issues with concentration and is erratic. I don’t trust him but he’ll do. Saliba is calm and assured, no worries there. Same with Ben who probably has the best anticipation level of any defender I can remember. Rob is somewhat reliable as long as he doesn’t play in a back four.
    Our defense line is solid enough. It’s the defensive middle we should be worried about.

  13. It’s Important to note that these mistakes will help them to grow and we are seeing that already. I feel the defense is stable and strong and building more confidence as they play together. The arsenal teams in the past would have conceded in today’s game but they didn’t and that shows they’re learning from their individual errors and are working constantly to remove it.

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