Emery makes it clear Arsenal are not buying a new centre-back

At a time when Arsenal are conceding more goals than ever in the last 20 years, and with our best defender (and captain) Laurent Koscielny making it clear he doesn’t want to be with us next season, it has never been more obvious that we are dire need of defensive reinforcements.

But, going by Emery’s latest comments on how he expects his defence to be set up next season, it looks like he intends to move Monreal to the centre along with Sokratis and Mustafi when he wants a back three, and use Kolasinac as a more conventional left-back in the back four formation, although we know that he is rarely trusted in that position. And to cap it all, it looks like Jenkinson is going to be used as backup to Maitland-Niles until Bellerin gets back from injury.

This is what Emery told Arsenal.com: “Last year we used different systems during the season. Each moment, each match was thinking about how we were better in our positioning for defence or attack. We are starting last year working in general with a back four and trying to use two players like Ainsley and Sead, working a lot in this back four and also with Jenkinson, maybe Nacho, his natural habit was to play back four and sometimes like a left centre back in a back three.

“But we want to use two systems and we are working with two systems, but our first objective is to play with a back four. We are continuing working on that and, above all, feel that we defensively get stronger with a back four with Sead, with Ainsley, with Sead, with Jenkinson and with Hector when he comes back. But we can take the performance with two systems and I think it’s rich for us tactically to use two systems and have two options.”

So, right now I think we can take it as read that Saliba is going to be our only defensive signing, unless we can pull Tierney out of the hat somehow. Emery obviously thinks that we have more than enough options as it is! But what happens if we get early defensive injuries and suspensions like last season?

Oh we can only hope that Rob Holding can regain full fitness as quick as possible!

Darren N

55 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Another 51 goals shipped then….

    1. GunneRay says:

      Sigh again Sue..

      If we ship the same amount next season or anywhere close, the guy proves he’s an idiot and I lose all respect for UE!

      1. Sue says:

        Surely there’ll be uproar if it does happen, GunneRay!
        Haha you never know, they might surprise us… although when you keep seeing the same blunders from the same players, doesn’t fill you with much hope ? just have to hope we get Zaha, then we’ll just have to out score the opposition & win 4-3, just like Unai wants!

      2. Welbeck says:

        People were saying UE was a genius after we went on that unbeaten run. We DEFINITELY improved tactically during that time but fell away towards the end. Our defensive problems coincided with the loss of Holding (who was beginning to establish himself alongside Mustafi and Koscielny).

        Most of Arsenal’s problems seem to be at board level as we can clearly see how the team can improve. The manager, just like his great predecessor, is hamstrung by a board run by people with little or no interest in football.

        Imagine a club ranked within the top ten richest in the world can only afford to stump up a paltry forty-five million!!!?!?

        Think about that and then take aim at the real culprits.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          ?

      3. Manny says:

        Unbelievable that UE has not looked at buying a CB given the appalling defence last season. He is on course for the sack by Xmas.

      4. fireworks says:

        And what magic trick exactly do you expect Emery to perform with the same defense as last season? You do realise that he can only work with the players available to him right?

    2. Cornball Wallace says:

      Oh dear just when I thought we would improve in the back UE comes with the most asinine comments about our defensive situation. Nacho is not the answer, Dead is as much a liability as Mustafi and the walking red card Sokratis.Talk about setting yourself up for failure. Xhaka should’ve been shipped out to make room for a competent CM. There , and with that said don’t get your hopes up for the coming season if Salina isn’t onboard and Holding isn’t fully recovered.

    3. Atid says:

      I don’t actually see where he has said he is not getting a centre back? He seems more like he is saying he is not buying a new full back as he has 3 right backs and 2 left backs, 3 if you include Thompson.
      As for the centre backs Holding is set for a run out at the Emirates Cup, Mavropanos could also return. Then he has Sokratis Chambers, Medley and Mustafi as well as Monreal if he chooses to play 3 at the back.
      However, i honestly think if he sells Koscielny and Bielik, then he might yet draft another CB in.

      1. Arjit Jere says:

        lets not even consider mustafi in cb discussion man is useless

  2. Liam Gallagher says:

    Not signing a cb for this season isn’t as bad as it seems. If we go to four at the back get tierney in then when Bellerin returns we have competent fullbacks for the first time in over a year. Give Chambers Bielek Holding first team as Soc and Mustafi are liabilities and see what happens. Go to a midfield 3 of ceballos xhaka torriera and we have the ability to dictate the ball better and xhaka is less likely to be caught out. Add a winger with pace hopefully zaha to pin back the opposition and hopefully we won’t concede as many because we control the game with quality players in an effective not 5 at back system.

    1. Targaryen says:

      Need to drop xhaka, too much of a liability.

      1. Michael Aziude says:

        Unfortunately the lad @ Xhaka is bn considered for captaincy role… Not gonna be dropped in a vry long while ????

    2. Chris (Cornwall gooner) says:

      I like this proposal a lot ! It’s about time we started talking about the younger guys we’ve got in defence as well as the talent that constantly praise in the middle and up front. Come on Calum, Rob and Krystian – step up to the plate, please !!!!

      Cornwall gooner

      Cornish gooner

      1. Le Coq Monster says:

        A fellow Cornwall Gooner ! 🙂

        1. Andrew Elder says:

          So far we have acquired 2 players, one we are sending back to St. Etienne for a year and the other on loan for a year. While our perennial problem (rubbish defenders) is put on the back-burner.

          I really hope I’m wrong but it doesn’t look good as, like Brexit, the clock is ticking!!

    3. Dan the cannon says:

      Ah Liam we have looked all round the world for players but sometimes you just have to roll with it. Let’s hope the team are free to be whatever and we don’t cry our eyes out at the end of the season. Maybe the writing is in the wonder wall

  3. MadHatter says:

    To be fair with so much deadwood left this is no surprise…… For CB we not only currently have Sokratis, Mustafi, Koscielny, and seemingly Monreal now,all of whom really need replacing, but we also have Chambers, Holding, Bielik, Mavro and Medley who are all wanting to stake a claim, add in Saliba next season and that’s a lot of bodies competing for two spots.

    Unless someone suddenly takes an interest in our deadwood there is no room for anyone new.

  4. Joe Jackson says:

    I believe Holding has what it takes to be a top cb. The only problem is we don’t know how he will come back after his long-term injury. In two seasons, Holding and Saliba can form a formidable partnership that can serve us for many years. I think we really need a left-since Kola cannot be trusted with the role and Monreal is finished at the top level. I wish Emery would be a little more serious with the defensive part

    1. MadHatter says:

      I firmly believe that a back line of Bellerin, Holding, Saliba and KT could mature into the finest in the league…. and even better is if it does we are set for years as they are all only young.

      1. Trudeau says:

        Completely agree but given that none of those named are likely to be on the game sheet for the first game, we all need to be heroically patient.

  5. Mrcool says:

    I wont beleive any thing until the end of the transfer window.

  6. ArseOverTit says:

    Car crash waiting to happen!

    So it sounds like he his content with our lot..and Tierney is not on the radar unless it’s kidology..

    Somehow though in the true ‘get it wrong’ style of AFC since recent memory, I believe him.

    Our defense will be like a Sieve with an ageing Montreal, an incompetent mustafi and the bull in a China shop that is sokratis.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Aot, hopefully this is just Emery providing a smoke screen, otherwise he won’t be at the Emirates when Saliba arrives.

  7. Sean Williams says:

    How lucky we are. Mustafi one of the world’s finest footballers and he is ours. Emery knows what he is doing. Mustafi is better than Messi.

    1. Alee says:

      He is better as a defender to be fair to him.

      1. Ddog says:

        Haha, I dunno, I think I’d rather Messi even at centre back, a true playing out from the back defender

        1. Mike Goetsch says:

          Bring back the passion. Thierry Henry for Head Coach and Tony Adams as defence coach. Happy that Freddy is in as assistant. Best player ever to don the shirt

  8. Sniper says:

    It is beyond reason that the management of a team that conceded 50+ goals a season doesn’t prioritize defense this summer. Given that Sokratis, Monreal and an AWOL captain are well in their 30s, and considering that Mustafi will be Mustafi, it doesn’t take common sense to figure out that we will chip in just around the same number of goals this season. This defense is beyond redemption, I wonder how everyone else can see this but the management. I wonder

    They told us to be excited with just 15 days to go in the transfer window. As for me,I am waiting but fearing for the worst with same old excuse from them.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Exactly mate ,not sure how some fans fall for this shit every transfer window ,they will have a lot of explaining to do if they don’t do what they promised ,I would prefer they were just honest with us .

      1. Sniper says:

        Yes mate. Attack win you games but a solid defence win you trophies- Liverpool is a strong example with their acquisition of VVD. Even with a decent defence we could have gotten a least an additional
        2pts to secure a top four finish.

  9. Where'sMyTop4TrophyGone? says:

    So I guess Emery’s happy with a top ten finish then. That’s fine with me, I’m already in the top 10 mindset with the way the club’s been run. Good luck teaching Kolasinac to play in the back four and good luck with the CB and RB choices should Holding and Bellerin get injured again. I’m really eager for some vintage away results, in the mold of 5-1, 6-0, 8-2. That’s what gets me going, Unai Emery, that’s why I support Arsenal.

  10. gotanidea says:

    This could mean they would keep Chambers and Elneny as backup CBs for the three-CB formations

    Both were not good as CBs, hence I can only hope Mustafi and Sokratis wouldn’t get brain farts too often

    Emery’s statement could also mean we would get an expensive winger. It could be Zaha or Soares, or a new name that might appear in the last day of the transfer window

  11. Waghbo Emmanuel says:

    Signing a CB “MOST BE PRIORITISED” we need a strong back 4 going forward, backed with an efficient and trusted deputies…I don’t trust a Mustafi,Kolasinac in the mix, last season remains an experience we should avoid.

  12. Le Coq Monster says:

    George Washington wrote in 1799: “…make them believe, that offensive operations, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence”…………………..never has a saying been more relevant when you look at Arsenal`s defence……or lack of it !
    We need Emery to be an innovator and chuck the rule book out and play a team which other than the goalie doesn`t contain a single defensive player !…………we are half way there when you consider that most full backs are failed wingers and are now considered wing backs instead of traditional full backs, so my revolutionary tactics would be simple f##k the centre backs and player wingers there too !……thet will be called central wing backs !………it is a progression of the Dutch Total Football where players were expected to be comfortable in any position.
    Please do not start worshippinig me for such a genius idea and causing riots to have immediately instated as Emery`s successor as I have a some deliveries of cakes to do tomorrow !

    1. ozziegunner says:

      One of your better posts! ?

  13. Durand says:

    Not surprising considering we have too many bodies for 2 CB positions. Kos, Mustafi, Holding, Sokratis, Monreal (he’s been done as LB), Mavro, Chambers, Medley, and Beliek.

    Watching Jenkinson and Kola get torched on the wings, Monreal struggle again at CB did not surprise me.

    UE has to coach up the defense, question is, can he? Honeymoon over for Emery. If he fails at top 4 he should be moved on like Wenger was.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Don’t worry Durand, there is only this coming season left until the end of Emery’s contract. As Head Coach he will be the “sacrificial lamb”, because the Kroenkes and their management team have assessed that it is less costly to churn through head coaches, rather than address the real issues with Arsenal squad quality and depth.

  14. Gooner Manyex says:

    I feel its time we start giving our young defenders the responsibilities, Mavropanos and Holding even Chambers. We must very much focus on getting goasls. Pliz bring in a left-footed winger(Bale, Pepe or Ziyech) plus Zaha and Everton. and we score at will and be less predictable.

  15. Dan the cannon says:

    I love how people think Saliba is the next best thing but I for one have no idea if he is any good save a you tube video. I’ve also watched a you tube video that made bentner look like messi so that also takes care of Everton. Us fans really have limited knowledge and have to trust what the club decides then see. What I can’t understand is a proven player like Zaha is seen as a waste and not fit to wear an arsenal shirt, we have all seen him and in this league. Just can’t get my head round the attitudes

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Except that Everton Soares was a star in the Brazilian team which won the Copa America.

  16. Dan the cannon says:

    I also never realised how many good looking Asian ladies are out their waiting for my messages, given the adverts, before I started visiting this site

  17. Innit says:

    Well then our leaky defense will continue

    Football is about maximising goalscoring into your opponents net and minimizing goals let into your own net. For me a solid CB pairing is vital to the latter

    Awful decision. First time I have a major problem with Emery and I defended him all season

    This makes getting wingers and central midfielder even more important now.

    We need to score more goals to offset the goals we let in!
    And this won’t happen with Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka

    Very depressing news

  18. Bakri says:

    That is a typical statement of a hopeless football manager

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Emery is head coach, not “manager”.

  19. Dave Therave says:

    I understand number wise no one wants to buy Mustafi, monreal or Kos for decent money. They will find clubs if they are moved to reserves. If we pay the money for Tierney we will have years of quality out of him. Get Dani Alves on a free for a season and have Maitlan-niles backing them up until Bellarin comes back. Holding and Mavropanos will be quality in a few years and Saliba will partner them but for the money should buy Cisse as the extra height and calmness coupled with his athleticism is worth investing in. Please dont keep playing Mustafi. Have to accept financial loss on him. He might go elsewhere and come good but had his chances and then some at Arsenal.

  20. GB says:

    #EmeryOut.
    There, I said it!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Who would come to replace him? Thankfully Freddie Ljungberg might stay.

    2. Dave Therave says:

      Wow too soon for all that. No matter what when the window closes we should get behind and SUPPORT whoever we play. Even if it is Mustafi. Otherwise we only make things worse.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Thanks, Dave?

  21. gooner4life says:

    Maybe he will surprise us all by using Kristian Beillik hope he does along with Holding

  22. Nigel says:

    Tbh defence starts with the forwards and ends with the keeper. If others in the team perform their defensive recovery better then there wont be as much pressure on the defence so player such as ozil buck their ideas up we will give away fewer opportunities thus conceding fewer goals. It really is not all about the defenders but their relationships with players around them also

    1. Sibweni says:

      We are ok in defence. A team needs to balance and last season this was non existant. Magda and Holding can do the job even Mustafi did well in some games. Let’s encourage them.

  23. ozziegunner says:

    Rumour is Arsenal may be interested again in Rugari, the tall 24yo CB from Juventus. His playing time may be limited at Juventus with the incoming competition and has a mooted transfer fee of €30 million. He is young for a CB, experienced and has room for improvement.
    I am remaining patient until the end of the transfer window! ??

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