Do Arsenal place TOO much emphasis on attack?

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?


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  1. Dennis says:

    I think with Coquelin and Kustafi we have a solid defense but my only concern lately is our mentality. Why not go for 5 or 6 instead of showboating after 2 or 3? He needs to address that immediately. If we’re on a tear then keep tearing them until you realize your opposition has surrendered completely but if they haven’t then do not take the foot off the pedal

  2. Budd says:

    Answer is no. Proof? Chelsea at home. We blitz them on counter. PSG in Paris, albeit we got lucky there.

  3. butters says:

    I cant think of a defender that has settled so fast and able to perform to a high level every week,that is Mustafi. I think we fans are taking things for granted, even Chelsea, Man city, Man utd cant find a good CB that settles so fast.

    Our game is very balanced, doesnt matter if you are Sanchez or Mustafi, everyone has to attack or defend. The chances we are creating are also very mixed, we have crosses from deep, flanks, pass in the box, i think our game became more unpredictable to the opposition. This is only possible when we have such diverse group of players.

  4. Alexis the Great says:

    I would much rather watch exciting attacking football any day, and hope that the defenders we do use (including keeper) do enough to deter any breakaways.
    It is a very very old saying – The best form of defense is to attack!

  5. SD says:

    I think it is still growing pains with Mustafi. And I think even when he has fully settled there will be occasional times when we look really bad on defense. Both Mustafi and Kos are aggressive, and both like to press high. Occasionally they aren’t paying attention to where the other is and both are caught high upfield. This game isn’t the first time we have seen it, and it will continue to happen. That’s the type of players they are. Monreal helps because he reads the game so well. Cech helps because he is vocal and lets them know what is going on well. Sometimes Coquelin or Xhaka or Cazorla help because they react to one of the CB’s chasing someone forward. Sometimes Bellerin’s speed gets him back.

    The defense is good right now. There are mistakes, and with this style we will be caught on the counter sometimes, but the back 4 is quick and communicating well. The midfielders are tracking back well. The wingers are covering the fullbacks well. These guys haven’t played team defense this well in a decade. If it continues, and we keep scoring well, we are going to continue to win. Simple as that.

  6. Gunner says:

    NO definitely not..The part of our game that making us do well now..Is the defensive effort put in by every player. We seem to be pressing with more effort when we dont have the ball and also defending more as a unit. The Attacking part has always been Arsenal’s best form of Defense.

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