Do Arsenal need to buy a whole new back four to challenge for the title?

WE have all seen how Arsenal’s defence has been getting steadily worse over the last four years, and despite the arrivals of Sokratis (30), Lichtsteiner (34) and Mavropanos (21), it has not improved at all, in fact we have conceded 30 goals in our first 20 matches this season, this compares to 51 in the whole of last season and only 44 the year before. Of course Koscielny (33) and Monreal (32) are also getting on a bit, and Mustafi (26) and Holding (23) have yet to prove they are top class players either.

Against Liverpool we had a back line of Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac and Mustafi (replaced by Koscielny at half time) and all Arsenal fans were well aware that that line-up would not be able to withstand Liverpool’s attacking force. Even the Gunners legend Ray Parlour thought we had no chance, and he thinks that Emery must consider bringing in a whole new defensive line-up. “I couldn’t see Arsenal winning, I really couldn’t,” Parlour was quoted as saying on Talksport. “I couldn’t see them getting a point. We all know the problems, defensively they’re just not good enough.

“All over the place at the back, they’ll always give you a chance.

“It was a real shock for me when they went 1-0 up. I was like ‘wow, maybe we’ve got a chance of nicking a point here’.

“But all of a sudden, bang, bang, bang – you’ve lost the game.

“I played with so many good defenders that were playing for Arsenal. They had two teams really.

“When we had the famous back four of [Nigel] Winterburn, [Lee] Dixon, [Tony] Adams, [Steve] Bould, [Martin] Keown and then you had Sol Campbell come in, Lauren, Ashley Cole.

“All four positions they’ve got to look at.

“Defensively, if you’re going to concede goals like that, you’re never going to have any chance of trying to win the league.

“And that’s where Liverpool have won it, if they do win it, is defensively.”

I would imagine that Emery is now also aware of our deficiencies, and his philosophy this season seems to be to try and score more than our opponents, but that is simply not going to work in every game, especially against the top sides. And to be honest I wouldn’t even blame our injury problems as we were just as bad with everyone fit! My only hope for the future is that Rob Holding carries on improving when he comes back next season, and perhaps Mavropanos (also injured!) could develop into a star one day….

So do you agree with Parlour that we have chance of challenging for the title unless we get a completely revamped defence?


  1. Highbury44 says:

    The best team in the Premiership is normally the one with the best defence.its now 10 years plus since we have had a decent defence.All we do is buy so called experience defenders who are simply useless .We have to accept we have no money to send so it’s time for the youngsters to be given a chance.Lets face it how many players progress from the league cup to the premiership team .Certainly no defenders.George Graham got rid of the old guard it’s time to do it again.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Bellerin did. 🙂
      Shame he then suffered in def coaching from Wenger afterwards but to be honest he did come into the team and cover for Debuchy so well that he kept the international on the bench.

      Our U23 won the title last season, I have called for Pleg and Medley to be given more time in the 1st team… Some people will only say stuff like “But they are kids, we can’t trust kids in CB pos” and anything you say goes on deaf ears.

      I’m with you though mate, time to trust in some of the U23 who has shown some potential.

      1. kev says:

        Seen many here call on for Medley but it must be said that he’s another error prone and shaky defender.What people like about him is he’s very good on the ball and shows good technique with it.Apart from that I don’t see anything that impressive about him.His partner Ballard is defensively better but Medley is probably getting more chances due to his good ball playing abilities.But I’d be willing to give him a go though.

        1. Sarmmie says:

          Will he actually perform sure than the present centre backs?

          1. Phil says:

            Kev-here you go again giving it large with your “I know everything about everything”.Tell me-how many times have you seen these two youth team players actually play a game?Have you compiled stats to back up your assessments of these players?Why do you believe anyone actually takes you seriously?
            If you were Pers Mertsaker and were saying these comments then I might actually take some notice of what is being said.But as its you I won’t.And nor does too many others.

  2. GunneRay says:

    You get what you pay for.. Liverpool signed one defender last year who has already proven his worth. On top of that they signed a world class keeper. Look at the stats for goals scored against for every team in EPL!

    What was the total value of Arsenals defensive signings during the summer?

    I think we all know how this story ends..

    1. Midkemma says:

      Mo Salah didn’t cost as much as Lukaku yet out performing him.
      Credit to Klopp.
      The fee isn’t always an indicator of quality.

  3. Bashiir says:

    Yes tototally I agree his idea if we need to challenge this league we must get four centre back because of nowadays we don’t have any great defenders so that I’ll like to bring news 4 centre back

  4. kev says:

    The problem with Arsenal is mainly mental and tactical than quality.Outside the top 6 other clubs have CB’s inferior to Mustafi,Sokratis,Koscielny,Holding,Mavropanos etc yet we don’t see such comical defending from them.The above players would walk into some of those teams and form a competent defense.Infact to me we have the worst defense in the league relative to the kind of players we have.We make more mistakes than any defense in the league.Our defenders always keep turning bad even though they might have previously well respected when we signed them.Mustafi,Sokratis,Koscielny and Holding are not too defenders but that doesn’t mean they should be making such mistakes.The biggest challenge we have with our team’s defense is that the we are lacking tactically and mentally.Would anyone be shocked if VVD came here and started making mistakes?I doubt anyone would because any defensive player we sign always becomes poor mentally and mis takes start to trickle in.Infact it would be typical Arsenal.Unai Emery’s biggest challenge is to change the mentality of the team and I’m not talking about “kings of comeback” as we have seen in Arsenal for many seasons.Im talking about making the players believe in themselves that we are Arsenal.They need to still playing like a small club when they meet top teams.We need to be more dominant in our play,have a plan and every player must keep their head in the game.

    1. Highbury44 says:

      Its nothing to do with their mental strength it’s simply they aren’t good enough

      1. kev says:

        You don’t get my point.That is also a problem but their mental strength is seriously lacking.VVD is world class but I don’t think any Arsenal fan would be shocked should he be error prone if he was in our team.I mean lets be honest.From GK to CB everyone seems to bee prone to errors.Their not good enough but the defensive tactics and mental strength are not there.Look at the other clubs outside the top 6.Each of these defenders I’ve listed can go there and be part of a competent defense.Chiellieni and Bonucci for their style of defending would look very exposed and average in this team.But we must sign defenders though.Just needed to point out this issue which has been ignored time after time.

        1. Highbury44 says:

          So your reason for Arsenal not having a decent defence since around 2005 is there lack of mental strength and tactics of all our defenders.What aload of rubbish

          1. kev says:

            You’re telling me I’m speaking rubbish.Youre just like many of them on here.You don’t respect people’s opinion.Did I say Arsenal’s problem is only mental?Such a cowardly and disrespe tfl thing to say.You stooped so low with such a naive comment.

        2. Things are changing says:

          Kev, I agree that confidence is massive and the way we have been playing defense as a team for the last 10 years has been traumatic for any defender. Bad habits are difficult to break and you don’t build a new team/style in half a season as Pep and Klopp have shown. A week ago or so we were level on points with Chelsea who have a far superior squad but they also need time to mesh with the demands of their new manager.

          We have to give Emery time. This does not take away the fact that we have massive room to improve on our defenders as well. Monreal needs to be replaced as a result of his age. Mustaffi seems too volatile, Kos was great but is also too old to build a defense around, Holding might never be the same after this horrible injury and Sokratis doesn’t seem athletic and fast enough of the PL.

          In addition, it doesn’t help that our midfield is still dysfunctional. Yes, Xhaka is better when he has Torreira next to him but Xhaka is still a very incomplete midfield player. Torreira cannot carry this team on his own. As we saw against Liverpool our midfield can still be over-run. We also lack a seriously dangerous attack as a result of not having enough creative players that can scare defenses. It’s great to have two talented strikers but if they don’t get the service because of a lack of creativity and width behind them they will lose a lot of their sting and that put more pressure on our defense.

    2. GunneRay says:

      It’s true to say Kev that Wengers mediocre “top 4 will do” approach has set the rot in good and propper! If you focus on settling for second best it becomes more difficult to rise to the occasion.

      This team is still full of the average hopefuls Wenger brought in. Unfortunately, we will have to get rid of 70% of the team now…

      Not going to happen any time soon!

      1. kev says:

        Learn to read and understand my comment please.Im not settling for second best but stating a fact that Arsenal’s defensive problems are due to lack of proper defensive tactics,instructions,poor mental strength and of course quality.I just stated our problem was more of mental because our CB’s become too error prone.Do you believe the 8-2 loss to Utd should be happened based on the players we had in defense that day?Even inferior teams didn’t lose to them 8-2 that season.There was a time Arsenal had a defense of Sagna,Kos,Vermaelen and Gibbs yet we still conceded silly goals and still defended in schoolboy fashion.Even when we had good defenders our defense was a problem.The few respected defenders we also signed suddenly also become error prone.All this goes to show our defensive problem is not only quality wise but tactical and mental.

        1. GunneRay says:

          Kev, you’re the one that needs to understand what I was saying. I was in agreeance with you. I was staying that the mentalality in the team is not at a level that will ever get them to the pinnacle. Mediocrity, as I stated, was to blame in portion. You can’t expect to win the Grand National with a donkey though! As much as you try to train it..

          1. Midkemma says:

            Kev has recognised that we do have some good players, outside the top 6 then some of our players would walk into those teams and those teams do not make the schoolboy errors that we do.

            We could get VVD and he would turn into a donkey that you will say “Of course you can’t expect to win the grand national with a donkey”.

            Wait for that to sink in…

            Lastly, you do know that Adams was known as a donkey at one point? That donkey was trained and oooooh, he went on to be a legend and one of the best defenders I have ever witnessed. A trained ‘donkey’.

          2. GunneRay says:

            Yep as expected, completely out of context about the “donkey” thing. Stick to kissing Kevs arse for now midkemma.

            The fact is, you can’t just look at the back. Fact is Xhaka is not good enough, and we never managed to build a midfield as good as we had with Vieira, Petit or Fabrigas who were able to defend as well as attack. Our midfield has not got the ingredients to attack with venom and defend with steel. Our defenders are caught out time and again because we press to high. Ant team that presses Arsenal quickly are very likely to score. Tactically we never learn. Mental, we suffer. The problems are never fixed. I just hope Torriera will turn out to be the steel we need and Guendouzi can find the key to unlock the creativity going forward.

            The aging defense still needs investment though and quality is needed!

            I am entitled to my opinions as is any one else on here. Don’t presume to know everything while others know nothing or have so.ething to say?


          3. kev says:

            Sorry for that.I now get get your point very well.
            Hahaha to winning the Grand National with a donkey as much as you try to train it.

          4. GunneRay says:

            Np Kev 🙂

            Text is always difficult to interpret from a phone! I’m the world’s worst!!

    3. Midkemma says:

      Well said Kev.
      Emery I feel is trying to get them to cut out the mistakes but I do not think it will be resolved in 1 year of fresh coaching.

      I think they have been hurt as well by trying to learn too many formations/tactics, instead of perfecting one style, Emery chops and changes so much that I do wonder if that is having a negative effect on the early results.

      1. kev says:

        Unfortunately for him I think it might just be too late for him.The mentality is just awful and non existent.One thing he can do is employ better defensive tactics so as to improve the teams overall defending because our defense itself will not bail us out but will rather let us down.Our defense set the standard so low last season that I never though it could get any worse but this is just abject,naive,irresponsible and comical defending.At this point I wouldn’t even mind if they were awarded for their shambolic defending.Its really bad and kind of shocking that they seem to find a way to better their dreadfulness.At this point I think we may well have to buy a good defense if we want to compete and win something major.Yes,our funds are lomited but even if its a young player with lots of potential I’ll be happy because the defenders arent worth it anymore. I also hope that the mentality side which is important is greatly improved as without it all pur signings are in vain.

  5. Red and white says:

    We needed a proper defense minded coach (no nonsense Simeone/Allegiri type) and rid of Bould of his coaching duties. The stupidity started when Gabriel was sold and not replaced by someone better. Mavo/Holding/Chambers/Bellerin are not good enough, Jenko is rubbish, Monreal/Lich/Kos/Socrates – game over, Mustafi/Kosh. are not Arsenal material. Can we get rid of all defense players – not possible.No wonder Alegiri preferred to stay with Juventus rather ruin his reputation with AFC.Emery knew this – yet opted for cheap fix. Least he could do is to try out the reserves rater than play junk.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Oh look, someone else who doesn’t watch Arsenal and then feels they can comment on the players.
      Mavrop hasn’t looked bad when called upon, he just isn’t fit yet, considering he done well enough against UTD when he was new to the EPL then I think he could make it if developed well enough.

      1. Boluwatife says:

        I often hear fans of other teams say that arsenal fans like over-hyping players. This is so true. A good player is essentially a consistent player. Yes players, and people generally, do have bad periods but it shouldn’t be too much. Mavro hasn’t even played that much and a lot of fans have being tipping him as the next big thing. Can anyone remember when Chambers first came in? He won arsenal player of the month in his first month. Similar thing goes for Guendouzi. Just look at Toreira. Has anyone notice how he’s being dipping game after game since his high in November? I agree with Kev, something is wrong with our coaching. I can’t think of any player that really improved after moving to the team. They perform well initially, probably cos they want to prove a point then it’s downhill from there

        1. ozziegunner says:

          The one constant is Steve Bould.

  6. Midkemma says:

    So against Liverpool we had..

    Lich, 1 year gap filler.
    Kos, aged and on his way out slowly.
    Monreal, aged and on his way out slowly.

    If we assumed that was our defence and that was it then yes, a rebuild would be needed.. but look at the average age of that backline!

    Add in players like Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos and maybe even Bielik ontop of Mustafi then no, we do not need a total rebuild, we just need to freshen it up, out with some old and in with some new.

    1. Durand says:

      Midkemma I agree with you. For me the problem is an utter lack of defensive coaching. The schoolboy mistakes repeated game after game. It seems every single game Mustafi, Sokratis, Kos, Lichtsteiner, and Kola have a gaff or two they make that hurts the team.

      Maddening to see professionals making pub league mistakes. Firmino dribbled the back line to score, and that’s unacceptable. Mustafi and Sokratis both stupified and looked amateurish, and not the first time this season.

      Lichtsteiner more worried about playing out from the back rather than just clearing the damn ball! Not sure if he brain farted again or was he following Emery’s instructions?

      Errors like those shouldn’t be repeated, yet we see it again and again, game after game. I like Holding’s progression, and hope Mavro gets a chance to play his way into starting 11; Mustafi is what he is, and Sokratis loves yellow cards and can’t restrain himself.

    2. mike says:

      I wonder why we still have the same defensive coach as under wenger? its clear to me there is a problem there since the defense has gotten worse despite change is personnel.

  7. Gunner23 says:

    Unai 11 vs Liverpool = losing
    he should have played his three senior cb’s

  8. Grandad says:

    Apart from Holding, Bellerin and young Mav our defenders are inadequate and no amount of coaching or tactical guidance will improve them.Highbury 44 is spot on.Give youngsters a chance. They simply could not be worse than the back four which started against Liverpool.There are good young defenders out there who would not cost the earth. Examples are Tierney , Wan Bissaka, Rice,Aarons, Dunk,Kosna(Brentford), Tomori, Bennett (wolves). They are all upgrades on the group who represented Arsenal at Annfield.

  9. John0711 says:

    David Ornstein states “Arsenal have little money available, so will be looking for loan deals in the transfer window”


    Kenny Ralph that’s why my money stays in my pocket
    Enjoy your season ticket ?

    1. Durand says:

      The realists have been saying how cheap Kronke is. It appears Emery was hired to do more with the same mess of players. Different sh!t but same old stink I’m afraid.

      10 years lacking quality investment, no way Kronke doing it now. I’ve been saying it for years. My friend Ken even questions where all those millions are going.

      Jon Fox has the right grip on things; Kronke is a chronic loser and addicted to mediocrity. He wants money, not titles, trophies, or glory. I’ve seen it here in States for decades, and have been ringing that warning bell for years.

      Once St. Louis fans caught on to his lies and lip service, his cash cow dried up. What did he do? Moved Rams to LA and built $6 billuon dollar stadium( not all his money, but he is quite invested in cost as shown in financials). But didn’t he tell St. Louis no money for investment? Didn’t he let that team drift aimlessly for a decade? Sounds all to familiar to me.

      He can’t move Arsenal, but he’s aware he has fans by the short and curley’s and has no intention of competing for the title or investing in a squad that can.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Durand, Kroenke has also made a fortune from property deals in the vicinity of the new LA stadium. I am waiting to see if Kroenke redevelopes Emirates for housing.

    2. jon fox says:

      And one main reason money is short is that we waste it on huge wages for non performing players, like OZIL, MKHI and a while ago now the awful likes of Walcott for a ghastly ten wasted years. IT IS NO WONDER THAT ANYONE OR ANY CLUB THAT WASTES SO MUCH MONEY, HAS LITTLE LEFT. Our player re-sale values shrink to nothing because of a disastrous contract running down shambles, in place of a thought out and properly organised policy. THIS CLUB OF OURS HAS BEEN MASSIVELY FINANCIALLY MISRUN FOR A DECADE OR MORE. SINCE DAVID DEIN WAS OUSTED , IN FACT. THAT IS THE TRUTH!

      1. ken1945 says:

        Jon, take away the Ozil part and I agree with your post 100%.
        Dein leaving and Kronkie and Gazidis entering were the three most significant events that have shaped the demise of our club.
        To think that David introduced kronkie to our club is so unpalatable.
        As it turned out, kronkie and gazidis were both from the same stable with regards to what Arsenal could do for them, not what they could do for Arsenal (mt thanks to the great JFK for that).
        Durand (Happy New Year to you and yours) has long warned us of the record of kronkie and I just hope that UE doesn’t suffer the long lingering death of under funding that he is predicting.

        1. Mwsupporter says:

          I think it’s worth noting that the issue of running down contracts is a problem that is affecting all clubs, not just ours. Scumchester have 10 players whose contract runs out in the summer with current value estimated at £130 million.

          1. Mwsupporter says:

            Actually apologies, United players who contract is up in the summer their estimated value is estimated at approx £220 million. Ours is estimated at £60 million and Liverpool’s 5 players is at £40 million.

  10. GunneRay says:

    Yeah, quite likely to be true..

    Kronke has is money on a donkey winning in the Grand National, right midkemma?

    Seriously though, it’s never a great time to buy in January. Options are limited unless you pay massive amounts! Kronke will vomit acid in your face if you ask for anything over a tenner!!

  11. Me says:

    I think if you look at our youth team you definitely see a preference for attacking players over defensive ones – moving forward I believe Arsenal will have an abundance of attacking flair
    At the U18 level our best players are Amaechi, Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Guendouzi and Nketiah who are all midfielder or front players – the only young players who could realistically make the grade are Holding, Mavrapanos, Sheaf and Osei-Tutu.
    Bellerin is worth retaining and Mustafi and Sokratis as cover may be useful but other than that we need to rebuild – two centre backs, a left back/wing back and a right back/wing back although Osei-Tutu may make the grade as a right back (his favoured position where he is a good reader of the game and excellent crosser.). Sheaf may also make the grade as a centre back (his favoured position) although he is currently playing centre of midfield (which will improve his ability to play the ball out of defence)
    We do need to bring in reinforcements without question but the youth set up is certainly delivering – it bodes well for Arsenal, certainly in an attacking sense but they must invest in their defence which is a shambles at the moment….

  12. Maks says:

    Regarding defence, I would say goodbye to Mustafi, Xhaka and Kos, and keep the rest as a good bench players (all that in alternative reality where Arsenal spend some serious money).
    And for all that Wenger boys still around – it does matter how much you spend on a top player, and sometimes you have to pay BIG if that will solve some problems… Liverpool is a great example what do we need.

  13. jon fox says:

    “Do we need a whole new back four to challenge for the TITLE?”( the article asks). You might just as well ask do we need air to be able to breathe! This is – at least I hope it is, for the Admins sanity – a rhetorical question, as ALL must surely see the defence, (not that you can accurately call those joke stumblers a defence) is an embarrassing joke and not worth a shirt between the lot of them. I do not blame Emery, even though he HAS made selection ,shape and sub mistakes, as he has had no real money to replace the dross and HAD to do what Wenger should have done a decade ago, which is to buy a PROPER DM. He bought Torreira who has been our star player this season and had virtually nothing of substance left to shop anywhere but in the bargain basement shops. Hence we got Sokratis and worse still Licht. I do NOT believe Emery actually wanted those, rather than more expensive and better players . But he had no choice. Liverpool, NOT owned by oil rich owners, CHOSE to give Klopp twice the amount to get just two top players and he got VVD and Allison , who have transformed the defence. Liverpool have owners who CARE for honours and glory. We have KROENKE. Nuff said! Kroenke is the problem, NOT Emery.

    1. Me says:

      Van Dijk and Allison were purchased with the £145 million received from the Coutinho transfer and Keita and Fabinho purchased with revenue from the champions league, TV rights and money made from merchandise and taken at the gates.
      Liverpool operate a similar model of sustainability as Arsenal with the only difference being that Liverpool at the current time are more successful than Arsenal hence why they can afford to spend more.
      As I said in a previous post Kroenke has invested in top players like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Torreira who have been requested by the manager at the time. From the point of view of building a cohesive and successful team it is pretty dumb for a club to purchase players that the manager doesn’t want – spending millions on transfer fees and wages for the player to never play and rot in the reserves is pretty brainless from a financial point of view…
      The players signed were agreed by the manager – it is not the fault of Kroenke (much as you would like to blame him for it) that Wenger/Emery has failed to get the best of the players THEY signed.
      The current dilemma rests at the feet of Emery – he is the manager who is paid to find solutions to the issues we have. I’m sure he will, whether he gets the time to is another question…

      1. jon fox says:

        Me, Yes I know and you are correct about Liverpool. But it makes a massive differene that Liverpool, do NOT let contracts of valuable players run down to nothing with no re-sale value. They did not want to sell Coutinho BUT with that huge offer, did the right thing. They are a club run by others, not just KLOPP, who CARE for glory and know how to run a proper financial business. We, on the other had, have KROENKE who runs things only for his OWN financial benefit. Kroenke is the entire problem and until we can get him out, nothing will change financially speaking. Emery (and the next manager too, and the one after and so on) when he has had enough of Kroenke and knowing he has little chance of a fair playing field, will resign when he can take Kroenkes meanness no more; within two/ three years IMO. I rate Emery a lot . But he has his hands tied. We need Kroenke GONE! You say Wenger and Emery have not got he best of the players they signed. I agree about Wenger, as he bought nothing but rubbish defebders and NO DM for years past. But I disagree with you on Emery as he has not had the chance to bring his OWN preferred defenders in . He was given a mere pittance by Kroenke and HAD to buy a proper DM-as WENGER SHOULD HAVE DONE A DECADE SINCE – and had only pennies to spare after TORREIRA, so had to shop in bargain basement rather than Harrods. I see Kroenke as the problem, along with Wenger, NOT Emery.

      2. Ryan says:

        Mr me, I will have you know that guendozi was the only player coach Emery had a hand in purchase based on his interest on this player. The others were target by the club even before we appointed a coach to replace Wenger. Emery AGREED with terms given to him where Sven and sanllehi are both in charge of transfers and the manager had no interference with transfers. The other signings were already linked with arsenal before his appointment. So I will like to see you mr ME(magically)get the best out of these present players. Don’t also forget that arteta not getting the job was based on him not agreeing to the unless term as he knew arsenal needed a total overhaul of players and funds will be needed which was not available to him. So mr ME,I advise you stop defending your hero KRONKE for his acts, stop criticizing John fox for saying the truth and accept that you are one of the few blinded by the deceit of this club hierarchy.

  14. jon fox says:

    In a spirit of reasonableness and decency I will not return your unwarranted insult but instead just ask you EXACTLY what of my above post so upset you? Where are you so sure I am wrong? I really want to know and as you have called me an idiot, I am entitled surely to a proper reply .Perhaps you think Walcott or Ozil or Mkhi or all three are hard working ? That is all I specifically mentioned so I must assume it is one or more of those. I do NOT want to start the NEW YEAR BY EXCHANGING INSULTS WITH YOU AS YOU DO NOT KNOW ME AND I DO NOT KNOW YOU, SO LET US DEBATE AS ADULT HUMANS, PLEASE.

    1. Me says:

      The problem is that you speculate on things you could not possibly know and base it as fact – anyone with a deference of opinion to you is patronised or insulted.
      You just received the same treatment from someone smarter and more cutting than you and you didn’t like it.
      Be respectful of others and you and I will get on fine.
      Happy New Year….

      1. jon fox says:

        Me, But I do NOT say that I know. That is just your interpretation. It is true that I have strong opinions and state them. It is surely unnecessary to put in “IMO” with all one writes. That it is opinion is surely taken as read, SHORT OF CLAIMING INSIDE KNOWLEDGE, which if you are a fair man , you will ADMIT that I never do and I note you do the same too, as do many others , and why not either! This IS a debate site and we need people who have real and sometime unpopular oipinions. As long as all posts have real THOUGHT behind them you will find, I treat them with respect. Those who are not especially bright and do not think but merely post quick reactionary tosh with clearly NO thought behind them, I do sometimes argue with. And the reason I do so is because much of the fantasy non thinking posts , mostly from very young and naive people, can do immense harm to our club , by fostering unrealistic hopes and expectations, which act against Arsenal. I do hope you accept this as the truth, because it is! I really do not need social behaviour lecturing from people who have never met me and do not know me. It is an impertinence and not wise, nor fair. If you were to post something with clear reasoning and thought you will find, contrary to what you say, that I treat that post with seriousness. If you have REALLY looked at my many regular posts you will also see that I often praise sensible posts and do so willingly. If you are a fair man you will accept this, because others have noticed and said so too. It is up to you. You have gained a false impression of me by judging my strong OPINION, as if it is fact. Is is not and I do not claim so. I wish you a very HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR AND HOPE THAT NEXT YEAR WE CAN HAVE MORE CIVILISED, LESS HEATED DEBATE , BETWEEN US TWO.

  15. John says:

    Arsenal fans like tearing themselves and the team apart after every loss……this is a work in progress team….. give them a break …… with all the injuries I would say this team has performed beyond my expectation.

  16. Aubamezzette says:

    As Liverpool has shown us.. we dont have to change the whole backline
    I believe kolasinac is perfect offensively n with more training can improve his fitness and defensive ability.
    Same with Bellerin who has shown signs of that already this season.
    We just need to add one very big power house vandijk-esque defender eg KOULIBALY
    pair koulibaly with sokratis till d end of the season.
    Next season use koulibaly-holding and we ll be just like liverpool defensively.
    ..also Banega joining means all our midfielders will be able to close down opponents, unlike Ozil.
    Getting Rabiot for free or swap him for ramsey will also be benefitial as xhaka n guedouzi are still quite prone to errors.

  17. Gworm says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to judge the current players on this seasons stats. Mavropanos has been injured since the first week, Kos has only just returned, Holding was not played for the first month or two, Kolasinac has missed lots of games through injury as has Bellerin. I’m no defensive coach but I know that the key is to develop an understanding between players and that just hasn’t been possible this season. I’m not sure about Mustafi, but he plays with the kind of aggression lots here have asked for, and Sokratis is also no nonsense. For the moment I like that pairing. I still see Holding as the future if he recovers from this injury, but they all need a settled run to gel as a unit. I think the players brought in this season have been an incremental upgrade and I expect that progress to continue in the next few windows. I do agree that the defensive coaching needs a radical overhaul.

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