Despite Arsenal having kept another clean sheet as we put six past the Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad, there was some criticism of the team’s defensive performance in the Champions League this week. Both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi had a couple of hairy moments and if it was not for some last ditch tackles and some great work in goal from David Ospina, things could have been different.
As reported by the Arsenal website the manager did address this issue after the game, with Arsene Wengher admitting that the Gunners were more focused on going forwards and creating chances for the forwards to finish than we were on stopping the opposition. He also suggested that this is the general way that Arsenal operate, so it is not really fair to blame the centre backs as they are being put into positions that perhaps they would not be in a less adventurous team.
The Frenchman said, “They have been very interesting and very efficient. They have a good understanding and overall we are good defensively, but sometimes it’s not because our defenders struggle. It’s because we are an offensive team and the structure of our team is very offensive, so when we do not really focus on defending we become vulnerable. Our structure focuses more on attacking than defending.”
Fair enough I suppose and we all like to see exciting play and goals, but are we taking too much of a risk by focusing so much on the attacking side of the game?