Have Arsenal found their ‘defensive balance’ yet?

Arsenal are yet to keep a clean sheet under Unai Emery, but we very nearly achieved it until a stoppage-time header from Ciaran Clark gave Newcastle a consolation on Saturday. But for the third game in a row we scored more than our opponents and it would appear that Emery places much more importance on the attacking side of our game, but our defence (Mustafi!) still gives us heart attacks at the back.

Sokratis seems to be improving with every game, and considering our wing-backs seem to spend most of the time helping out our strikers, his partnership with Mustafi did not do so badly against Newcastle, although our opposing manager Rafael Benitez thinks that Emery still needs to improve the ‘defensive balance. He said after the game: “He is a good manager that likes to have his team organised. The way he is playing is very similar to what we were doing in Valencia or even in Liverpool.

“The team is organised and pressing, and when you have the ball, passing the ball and trying to play as well as you can.

“The difference is obviously you have a team that used to do that but maybe could have some balance in defence.

“He is trying to do that, he is trying to find this balance, while at the same time keeping the offensive mentality.”

Benitez recognised that even before the game and set his team up to put pressure on our defenders. We managed to keep them out for most of the game, but would we have enjoyed the same success if we were playing one of the top teams?

We would have to admit that after our awful defending in the first few games, we could only improve so do you think that we are going the right way now?

Darren N


  1. RSH says:

    lets see the balance when Torreira plays a full match, which is still yet to happen. Individually, I’m not too convinced by either Sokratis or Mustafi. On their day both look like they are due for an error. Honest truth, if Arsenal want to solve their defensive issues they will need to splash the cash. Sokratis is a temporary fix, Kos is nearing the end of his career in top flight football, and Mustafi is unreliable. Arsenal will have to pull a Liverpool and pay VVD prices for guaranteed quality like Koulibaly. Until then, we’ll struggle to shed our poor defensive habits. I still need to see much more before I feel Emery is having a real impact on this side. Right now, you could replace AW with Emery on the sideline and I’d say the games look very similar. (okay, better than final year Wenger I’ll admit, but that’s not too hard)

  2. pires says:

    Yes definitely.if we solve our défensive problems.

  3. Nayr says:

    we still don’t have any defensive balance in my opinion.still need a few additions.

    hopefully after the two next transfer windows, we can buy some players and have a balanced team that would look like this.






    1. Micheal says:

      Don’t understand why most of you want cech out for leno, d guys as been saving us so far this season

      1. Someone says:

        Micheal i agree with you . Some fans here actually seem to hate Cech so much no matter how many times he stood out to prevent an invetiable goal .

        1. Goonerboi says:

          Finally I found you guys I thought I was going crazy. In all 5 games this season, he has made vital saves. Haven’t seen Leno play but can’t say that Cech needs replacing atm. He has been solid besides the passing

          1. Micheal says:

            For now he is solid and no major error from him let stick with him Leno chance will co.e too

        2. Kenny Rolfe says:

          No one hates Cech, in the past he was an exceptionable keeper but now he’s past it. The first thing that goes when you’re a keeper is your reflexes. He’s still a decent stopper but it’s the low shots to the far post that he can’t get down quick enough and nobody can defend his distribution. If Unai want’s to play out from the back then sorry but Cech’s got to go.

  4. gotanidea says:

    Not yet. Arsenal still conceded in each game and it was apparent that the attackers did not put enough effort in helping the defenders

    The defenders struggled to cope in the first half, when Newcastle played with direct balls to their runners and target man. Only when the pressure subsides in the second half, they could take control of the midfield, but lost their focus at the last part of the match

    As long as some attackers press half-heartedly, the defense will have more pressure. This has to be fixed before meeting another top opponent

    1. RSH says:

      this exactly. Top teams pressure us and are more clinical and we can’t handle it still. Every team we’ve beaten so far have gotten great opportunities to punish our defensive lapses. They just dont have the same quality attackers that the rest of the top 6 have.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    Against Newc our wingers weren’t Ozil and Auba too often, they were Bellerin and Monreal. Ozil kept coming central same with Auba, not running into the box central (though Auba was trying that), more like picking a position to make the next pass central. If the ball was on Monreal’s side, Ozil came right over he wasn’t anywhere near the right wing. And when Bellerin was forward and we had the ball, same thing Auba looked like a CF and Monreal would be the winger looking to the back post move. We don’t have wingers in this system except the fullbacks, at times yeah they might look it but v Newc it looked to me that we only had two fullbacks on the wing.

  6. Grandad says:

    First of all, in a flat back four we deploy full backs not “wing backs” Apart from the obvious weaknesses in the individuals in our back four particularly in the case of Bellerin and Mustafi , Emery has to bring a more cautious approach to our defending.For example, when Bellerin is rampaging down the right wing ,Monreal should be more of less in line with his centre backs and vice versa. Torreria will bring discipline when he starts but until Belief in and Mustafi are replaced we will continue to leak goals.The Newcastle goal had nothing whatsoever to do with negligent midfielders, but neither Bellerin nor Mustafi had the positional sense to snuff out the danger.

  7. herb says:

    Its interesting how every goal scored against arsenal, the first thing to think about is the defence. C’mon guys; the midfield is the number 1 cause of all our defensive problems. Even if we had the likes of Alderweireld, VanDijk, Bailley, Maguire and all other sought-after defenders, with this midfield we would still be conceding unnecessarily.

    Why? Because Arsenal is the only team in the top flight with midfielders who cannot tackle, man-mark or track-back (aside from Torreira). I challenge you to name any other midfielder who tackles. Even rock-bottom teams like Cadiff, Huddersfield have fighters in the midfield.

    Ok, as an example almost 3/4 of the attacks end up at the box area. The midfield does not provide any protection whatsoever for the defence.

    There is a clear gulf of class between Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny, Guendouzi with the departed midfielders Ox, Cazorla, Coquelin and Wilshere. If we still had them with the additions we have now, we would be challenging for the trophy.

    1. RSH says:

      Ox was never that great for us. Wilshere never achieved anything notable either. Only Cazorla is a better player than every single one of our current midfielders.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?even when they were fit to play!

  8. jon fox says:

    A basic problem is simply that too many of those current players playing in Wengers teams got used to slacking. This not giving100% mentality was deeply ingrained throughout the club and this was Wengers betrayal of us fans and our hopes. He was far too weak and went out of his way to avoid all confrontations with players. Fergie always did the opposite , cos Fergie was a teak tough no nonsense from players manager, no matter who those player were. Fergie would never have stood for Walcotts 12 long years years of slacking NOR woud he tolerate Ozil half trying and living on past reputations only. THAT, my friends is WHY he won titles and WENGR DID NOT FOR HIS LAST 14 YEARS. Until most of Wengers men are gone for ever , not to return, my deep ingrained realistic streak which always guides me to the truth, continues to shout out that answer. LOUD AND CLEAR. Finally , it is impossible to find a “defensive balance” with players who just can’t defend, no matter how often they are picked. Of ALL WENGERS REGULAR DEFENCE, BOTH OUTFIELD AND KEEPERS, — NOT HIS YOUNG FRINGE PLAYERS – I would have kept ONLY Monreal.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Apart of course from SOKRATIS who, one might presume, only got his place because KOS is injured?
      That’s despite the club signing another two defensive players who, it was trumpeted, would improve the defence (Lich and Leno).
      Maybe you think that Emery has the same qualities / faults that Wenger had regarding defensive players?
      Perhaps Emery, who is with our players day in day out has seen something that he feels he can work on?
      Instead of consistently pillorying players just because they were signed when Wenger was manager, SUPPORTERS should give THEM AND EMERY ENCOURAGEMENT. Is that such a hard thing to expect from our fanbase?


      MY ingrained realistic streak SUGGESTS TO ME that Emery might just be able to see something in these players that you can’t.
      Emery offering new contracts to players like Xhaka, Iwobi and Bellerin, who you consider worthless, could / should have made you consider things a little more retrospectively I would have hoped.
      One of your old claims was some of us not being modern supporters, while you were that personification of the title.
      Well Jon, if living in the past is being a modern supporter, your continued recurring and repetitious rants do, in a roundabout way, make sense, if only for the wrong reasons.
      Of course this is only my personal opinion and I do not consider myself any wiser or dumber than any other gooner, some may differ with that as well!!!

    2. jon fox says:

      A classic case, Ken, of refusing to see the huge problems we have had in defence for a decade prior to Emery coming. As for Emery offering new contracts, what can any new manager do while Kroenke starves our club of funds? Kroenkes uninterest in anything about Arsenal , except making money from us, is notorious and Emery would have taken the job with his eyes open on that one. You have chosen to re-open all our old arguments and I thoroughly disagree with you on the defence at our club for many years past. WE, FINALLY, SACKED A MANAGER WHO HAD NO TIME WHATEVER FOR COACHING DEFENCE AND THOUGHT ALL OUR TROUBLES WOULD BE SOLVED BY OUTSCORING THE OPPOSITION. He chose to play with no decent CDM for a full decade. That says it all! Try reading all the other comments from “modern fans” on here and other sites who think our defending way below par. I do not blame Emery for this, considering the junk WENGER LEFT BEHIND FOR HIM TO TRY WORKING WITH AND A SCROOGE OF AN OWNER. You and I are in opposite camps on our defence under WENGER SINCE AROUND 2007, SO I SUGGEST WE LEAVE IT THERE . NEITHER OF US WILL CHANGE OUR MINDS.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Interesting reply Jon, I have no wish to open old wounds, but I also cannot just let you make accusations that I don’t agree with.

        How could ANY team finish in the top four of the premier league for twelve years with a technically rubbish defence and a group of players who just can’t defend?

        Of course they were by far the worst of Wenger’s defences, but you fail to recognise the results they actually achieved.
        I listed them down for you and still have to ask you how that could have happened if our defence was as you see it?

        You then say that Wenger left junk and once again fail to answer how they still finished sixth?
        Of course our defence was below par, par being compared to previous Wenger defences.

        I have said many times that our defence was the first place to reinforce, if we were to compete with the likes of the top four and four of our five signings seemed to be addressing that.
        Shouldn’t we be questioning why Emery has chosen to stay with Wenger’s defenders rather than the new signings?

        Kronkies Scrooge mentality also included the ex manager’s ability to sign players, so Emery will have to live with it as well it seems.
        That includes new contracts, the same board etc etc.

        So you see, I am NOT arguing that our defence didn’t need to be strengthened, I think that’s one subject everyone should agree on.
        What I don’t want is that anyone should believe those last twelve years were as you describe them.
        We had CL football, we had top four finishes, we had FA cup successes. All this with a dodgy defence, wouldn’t Pool or spuds love to have had that team and those results on their club’s CV?

        When Wenger resigned, he left the weakest team under his leadership, but to crucify him and the players as you do is completely wrong and as much as you attack them, I will defend them IF and I repeat IF the accusations don’t fit the facts.
        We agree on many things, most things in fact. But this is a difference that you and I will never resolve. I expect you to come back at me if I say something that you disagree with and visa versa.

        1. Kstix says:

          The Problem with your argument ken1945 is that Wenger has made you relaxed and ok with Arsenal being a mediocre club. Because you seem to think finishing in the top 4 and winning 3 fa cups in 14 years is considered success of a team that’s supposedly a top club. Tell that to Chelsea fans or clubs who are hungry for bigger titles and can’t go 3 seasons without winning the league since 2005 when the Russian decided to make them a top club. Or Barca or Madrid or Bayern or psg or juventus. Tell me any of those clubs will consider anything short of winning a major trophy (league or champs league)a successful season. Or would go on with the mediocre players we have. I don’t think you watch any other club play football outside Arsenal. If you did, you wouldn’t be okay with mediocrity under Arsenal. You’ve gotten too used to it over time that it’s laughable to think that a club that went a full season unbeaten now considers finishing in the top 4 a successful season. Kroenke and Wenger staying longer than necessary over the years have done alot of damage to this club. It would be a miracle if we ever get to the top again especially with kroenke. I’m happy Emery is in charge but he can’t perform miracles given the players at his disposal.. players that have been taught by Wenger to be comfortable with mediocrity. It would take a strong will to win silverwares. Wenger should have left a long time ago. That’s why Chelsea succeed. Conte won them the league in his first season and an fa cup and 5th position in his second season. It was considered failure for a top club. Arsenal would have been overjoyed having what Chelsea had last season and wanted Wenger to stay longer. Sarri has come and they are looking like contenders again. They have a totally different meaning of success to arsenal.

          1. jon fox says:

            An excellent post which answered Ken 1945, far more effectively than my regular posts to him-and vice versa – ever do. We are old friends and foes on here but as ken says, he and I agree on far more than we disagree upon. But saying “Oh , I agree, I agree(and repeat many times) makes for a boring debate site. I thought your post was so in tune with how most fans of top clubs everywhere expect the very best for our clubs. I believe Ken is far too easily satisfied with mediocrity, and as such, NOT TYPICAL OF MOST TOP CLUBS FANS, not merely of Gooners.

        2. jon fox says:

          Ken, Firstly, I do not make ACCUSATIONS; I GIVE MY OPINION, TO WHICH, LIKE YOU, i AM FULLY ENTITLED. I recommend you read the wonderful post by Kstix, which , I suggest to you, perfectly sums up how modern fans and also long term realists like me also think. IMO, you are very easily pleasedby mediocrity. I am not.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Jon and Kstix, firstly excellent debating posts that I read thoroughly and enjoyed.
            Of course I don’t agree with them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge the contents.

            Let’s look at the Chelsea example first.
            The telling phrase you use Kstix is the one that reads “when the russian decided to make them a top club”.
            That, as is the case with all the other clubs you mention, is where the reality of our situation kicks in.
            Just for a second forget who is manager, who is playingand/or the results.
            If the owner of the club is not interested in making his property (yes that’s what Arsenal is now) a top club, but is happy to using it as a cash cow, what can we do?
            Unti Kronkie bought 90+% of the club, we had a “board” that one supposed advised and regulated the running of the club.
            Even that is now about to disappear, so what do you see happening in the future?
            We have a CEO who cannot decide to stay or run, players who are holding the club to ransom and a transfer kitty that those clubs who are winning the premier league (and you use to compare us with) use as funds to purchase one young player.
            Yet you expect our club to compete with that kind of power and ambition?

            Well, in actual fact we did.

            Under Wenger and despite the above, he managed to keep the club in the top four, won trophies and played in the CL during the “barren” years period.
            This also was achieved, let me remind you, with a so called uncoached defence of useless defenders.

            So, gentlemen, let’s look at another club that you, Kstix, didn’t mention, Liverpool.
            They have invested heavily in the transfer market over the four years that Klopp has been manager.
            During that time, this club that is without doubt one of the biggest in the country, neigh world, has won nothing, absolutely nothing.
            Their owners are investing heavily, far more than Arsenal ever have in any one season comparision, but still no actual silverware. Not even one FA cup. Since the premier league was formed, they have also never won that trophy,
            Why have you not mentioned them in your teams that you compare to Arsenal?
            Why do you not mention the immense gulf in spending power that the teams like Barca, Madrid etc have over Arsenal? do you think that Kronkie would have sanctioned a move for Ronaldo, Pogba, Neymar, Bale or the ilk?
            This is the reality that I see, we cannot compete monetarily with the clubs you mention because of the owners philosophy.
            We have the money, as the Forbes list verifies, but no amount of blaming players, manager or supporters who “accept mediocre for our club” will change the owners stance in his philosophy for the club going forward.

            Now let’s take your point regarding Wenger and Kronkie both having stayed to long.
            First of all Kronkie…what you fail to address Kstix is the fact that he owns Arsenal Football Club now and was the biggest individual share holder ever since the old board sold out our club to him.
            How and why do you think he can be dismissed on the basis that he is not doing what you want?
            He has just paid £600 million to buy out our club lock, stock and barrel. It’s his totally, even to the extent that fans who have individual shares have to sell them to him.
            So do you now think he is going to move on? Do you think he is going to change his philosophy? Do you think he will suddenly become an owner like those at City, Chelsea or Pool?
            If that’s what you are saying, then you are completely delusional, something that you seem to accuse me of with my version of events.
            So,I don’t think that finishing in the top four, winning cups and CL participation is something that indicates mediocrity, rather I wonder how on earth any manager could possibly have achieved that for “twelve barren years” under Kronkie and co.

            Now Wenger, the man who stayed too long.
            having supported our club for many years, I can honestly say that, in my opinion, the last two seasons under Arsene were the worst Iv’e ever seen.
            Not because the team was poor, but because we had come to expect so much more from the man who took our club from mediocre to Invincibles (I am talking about performances not the club and its history of course).
            It’s funny you should have mentioned Chelsea as the beacon of light we should follow, as it was against them that Wenger proved, on the day, our club still had the ability to defeat the reigning champions.
            That’s when he should have gone.

            So, do you think that if Wenger had left, Kronkie would have supported the new manager?
            Is he supporting Emery as Klopp has been? Or Pep? Or Poch? Or Maureen? Did he support Wenger as those I mentioned above were?
            Jon, you recently commented on this and told us all how the owner and board were obstructing Emery. That it was a disgrace and the world should realise it.
            I agreed, but also asked why that was not the case with Wenger?
            Same owner and board, same scenario just a different man.

            I have been accused of wearing rose coloured specs regarding Wenger, but I see the many many mistakes he has made.
            It’s such a shame that you cannot see the hard work and dedication that he had to put in to achieve the successes that you so readily dismiss as the “barren years”.

            The latest accusation is that I only watch Arsenal, so have become lulled in my expectations.
            Well, as a season ticket holder for many yeaars, I have seen every team that has played in the premier league.
            That gives me at least the opportunity to discuss my team versus others.
            I want our team to win every single game they play and be the champions again. Is that what you want? I assume the answer is yes, so I try and look at the realistic possibility of that happening at the present time in our clubs history.
            I don’t keep going back and blame this and that, but look forward.
            The only time I do that is to defend Arsene’s history as I see it and as our history book will show it.
            Kstix, perhaps you and Jon should do the same, but meanwhile try and compare your own club and its owner on an even playing field with those you seem to wish we were.

          2. Kstix says:

            Liverpool are way better than us right now. It took just 2 years for klopp to get in the europa league final and then the champions league final which arsenal managed to do once and with better players than we have now. You can at least see liverpool knocking on the door to winning major trophies again after so many years out of the conversation. Arsenal’s net spend on players in the two years arsenal finished outside of the top 4 was far greater than pochetino spent for spurs and they finished in the top 4 at our expense. The average wages of Tottenham players are no where near that of the mediocres we have. I dont see tottenham as a top club. I merely talked about them now because u mentioned poch being backed by his owners. He spent less tham wenger did and still managed to finish above him twice. The season every top club had a bad season in the premier league and we should have won it. We slipped up and let Leicester, a relegation team whose players value wasn’t half of arsenal’s , grab it from right under our noses. Again under the watch of wenger. Would have been better if we sucked like everyone else that season. We can blame kroenke all we want and rightly so because of his lack of ambition but wenger aided and abetted him and wenger staying too long was terrible for us. Bellerin, when comparing wenger with emery said wenger had no special tactics for any team. His goal was just to play their usual game and hope they win. In the past, that worked. But in modern football where u need to study your opponent and try to disrupt their game plan, wenger refused to evolve. That’s why mourinho knew so well how to get the better of him. Other teams started figuring us out too and so we lost our bite except for rare occasions where we got lucky especially against the small teams and our game plan worked (mostly because the small teams feared us) again, small teams grew not to fear us and started taking the fight to us. Example was deeney saying we lacked cojones after watford beat us mercilessly. And The result of that was finishing 5th and 6th when we started to lose away games that we normally would win.All the times we finished in the top 4. We mostly lose to top teams. I’m all for moving forward but you can’t talk about the present or the future without delving into the past. Where we are now is as a result of decisions of the past. Where Arsenal football club is right now is as a result of consequences of the past. I’ve lost count of all the world class players wenger “almost signed” due to penny pinching or believing his mediocre players where better. Eriksen is a far better midfielder than ramsey and he earns less.. a whole lot more examples like that.

          3. ken1945 says:

            Kstix, I tried to answer your points and questions one by one.
            I expected you to do the same, so let’s try again.
            1.Do you agree that the teams you mentioned (Barca etc) have owners who are willing to spend the type of money on one player that we have had to use to sign five?
            2.Do you agree that owners like those at Chelsea, City and Pool want to win trophies, while Kronkie has stated he does not?
            3.Do you agree that, under Kronkie, any manager will have to compete under enormous restrictions regarding signing of players versus the other top teams?
            4. Do you agree that both Emery and Wenger work/worked under those conditions above?

            Ok, I will now answer your points.
            If, when Leicester won the title, all the top teams had a bad season, why do you come to the conclusion that WE should have won it? Didn’t WE have a bad season (barren years)?
            We finished second and yet the only club that failed to topple them was Arsenal? Have you compared the value of those teams that finished third, fourth, fifth and sixth under their manager’s watchfull eyes? Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare all the top teams that you want us to aspire too?
            I have no idea, simply because it never occured to me that any one team were more to blame than another because Leicester won the title.

            Liverpool under Klopp have reached two finals in four years and have still not won anything, qualifying for CL twice.
            During those four years, Arsenal have reached two finals and qualified for the CL twice.
            Liverpool do have better players at present, so how did Wenger manage to match Klopp with the enormous difference in transfer money spent by both clubs, especially having this non existant defence and rubbish defenders?
            Since the “barren years” of 2006/7 Pool have finished above us three times (once by goal diff. of 2). Delve into the history as you say and you will find 10 years of CL football versus 4 in our favour, plus those insignificiant winning finals that Pool somehow haven’t managed.

            spuds have finished above us twice during the “barren years” and you forgot to mention the money they spent after selling Bale to Madrid.
            They have won one cup since the formation of the premier league and last won the title over sixty years ago.

            Where I agree with you is that wenger did start to become predictable and stubborn in his latter years and he paid the ultimate price. I am more than ready to agree with your assesments regarding teams sussing us out and also his stubborness.
            The away form in his last two years was a disgrace and I have never tried to dispute this.
            Mind you, Deeney walked out of the Emirates with his cojones missing come the return fixture didn’t he?

            Do you know how many players were linked with Arsenal during the last window? Over 120 (source untold arsenal).
            Are you seriously saying that the club actually were involved in over 120 player transfer talks?
            Why then do you say that you lost count of how many world class players Wenger was involved without any proof, except our wonderful, truthful media?
            As it happens, one Ronaldo said that he was about to sign for Arsenal before Utd stepped in with more money, but hey! let’s not muddy the waters with actual facts.

            While we are on facts, can you tell me what Erikson and Ramsey earn and where you got this information from?
            Which one is the better player is a matter of opinion I guess.

            Delve back and you will find factors that might explain certain things: the sacking of David Dein and the introduction of Stanley Kronkie and Ivan Gazidis to our club.
            In no way does that absolve Wenger from his mistakes, but it might just lead you down another path where blame can be proportioned out in a more constructive and fair way.

          4. Kstix says:

            To answer your first question… the highest chelsea has paid for a player is 70million+.. how much did Arsenal spend on Aubameyang. How much on lacazette? Not much difference there is there? What’s the highest bayern (37mill) and juventus (prior to ronaldo) have spent in their clubs’ history. Yet bayern keeps whipping our ass in the champions league. Madrid and barca get to spend the highest fees because they are the best and biggest clubs in the world. Any smaller club selling players to them will increase transfer fees because they know the players have to be really good to attract the biggest clubs in the world. PSG just tries to imitate barca and madrid. They don’t get enough competitions as barca and madrid do to be the best… that’s why they can be beaten by a liverpool side. Xhaka amd mustafi were bought for 30mill each. How much did chelsea buy kante who is a better player from leicester? And you still suggest we have an owner who wouldn’t splash the cash.? Maybe he has been rigid in previous years(due to emirates stadium being built) but since ozil’s transfer we have been breaking our transfer records and splashing cash much more than bayern and juventus. It is not kroenke’s fault we buy substandard players for crazy fees and offer them ridiculous wages. It is not kroenke’s fault that you buy a lacazette and bench him to lose 4-0 to liverpool. As much as kroenke is to blame for lack of ambition in not putting pressure on wenger to deliver trophies because he was ok with the top 4 profits. He wasn’t in charge of the day to day. He didnt continually play bellerin and ramsey and xhaka and mustafi and other flops for full 90mins and making crazy substitutions at 70mins even if at all he does. Ramsey earns 110k per week. Erikson earns 70k per week. It’s only sentimental bias that would make you reach the conclusion that ramsey is a better player. I hate spuds too but i know how to call a spade a spade.

          5. ken1945 says:

            Yet again you quote players salaries, but fail to explain where this information comes from.
            I’m not disputing it as I don’t know, but you obviously do. So just tell me how you know these exact figures, or is pure guesswork?
            Kstix, please look back at the period we bought Lacs and Aba and then add up the fees we received from transfers out. The difference, from memory, was just over £11 million that Kronkie actually had to open his purse for to pay out.
            Individual players transfer costs? Well, if you buy ten players at £2 million each and one player at £70 million, who has spent the most?
            If you are given a budget by the owner, then you have to cut your cloth accordingly don’t you agree?
            So what’s your explanation for Emery benching Lacs, along with newly signed players meant to improve the squad?
            Why is he still choosing Xhaka and Mustafi?
            Could it be that he, Wenger and international managers might just see something you can’t?
            Xhaka, in my opinion, is worth £30 million, Mustafi is not. That’s just my opinion, yours is different.
            So Emery is now crazy playing Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka and Mustafi, just as wenger did?
            Not only that, offered new contracts at even higher ridiculous salaries!!
            So know you know when to make substitutions?
            I don’t know if they were crazy or not, but let’s just remember where his teams ended each season despite all the faults you are so ready to highlight.
            Let’s assume that all your criticisisms are true, please explain, as I’ve asked you twice already, how on earth we enjoyed CL football for ten of the twelve “barren” years, along with continues years of top four finishes and winning FA cups. PLEASE just tell me that.
            I also note that your reply left out any reasoning as to why you blame Arsenal for letting Leicester win the trophy, but to be honest there wasn’t any reasonable explanation was there?
            Keep delving back and you can then answer another fact I put to you regarding Dein, Kronkie and Gazidis.
            One day you might just realise that calllling a spade a spade is not sensible if you haven’t actually answered questions put to you.
            If you think about those questions and then answer them fully and with satisfaction, then start throwing out those pearls of wisdom.
            They mean absolutely zilch to me until you do that.

  9. Phil says:

    Can anyone explain why we allowed Chambers to go on loan to Fulham to sit on their bench when we could have had him in our squad or better still playing instead of Mustafi?Chambers was our most consistent CB in the second half of last season and was at last showing the form we all hoped he had.The lad must have felt let down to be loaned especially to a team that offers zero defensive cover.He earned his place in the side at Borough on loan and kept his form in most games he played for us last season so it must feel like a kick in the MOMMA’s BREAST’s to be on the bench at Fulham

    1. Abel says:

      Just goes to show how overated our young players are.
      He should have been sold and not loaned out. He will never be good enough to start for Arsenal. His strengths are only seen when playing alongside 2 other central defenders in a 5 man defence. Once isolated and under pressure, he almost always makes the wrong decision. His best performance for Arsenal last season was in a three man defence in which he was seldom isolated and could carry the ball upfield with his back well protected. Also played well on loan to Middlesbrough in a 5 man defence.

      1. Phil says:

        Arsenal reverted to a back FOUR the second half of last season.NOT a back 5 as you state and Chambers without doubt was our most consistent CB

  10. Grandad says:

    John Fox and Phil are spot on.

  11. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    Way too early to be certain….I don’t even know if the coach knows is first eleven…like how soon before toriera become a starter because he is needed to provide the much needed cover to a defence that constantly concede…a long way to go before any sought of balance.

  12. ozziegunner says:

    What does Lichtsteiner have to do to replace Bellerin at RB! Again Bellerin #2 (clearly seen in the video) was well away from the play when Clarke made his run unopposed to score.

  13. Durand says:

    Our unbalanced defense is on Emery to sort out, not blame Wenger for. It’s my opinion for these reasons.

    1. Emery chooses the players now.
    2. He loaned Chambers rather than give him chances for competition
    3. Lets solid defender, Lichtsteiner, sit on bench for more attack minded Bellerin
    4. Chooses 3 CM’s in midfield while solid CDM in Torreria sits on bench.

    I fear this unbalanced defense may cost us crucial points come the end of the season, only time will tell.

    Lastly, no guarantee we will ever have a balanced defense I’m afraid. Emery himself said “I’d rather win 4-3 than 1-0.” That’s his words, and perhaps he doesn’t see defense as imbalanced at all.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Durand, agree with everything that you are saying about the here and now.
      Chambers was a ludicrous decision taken by whom I have no idea.
      As Phil says. what’s the point anyway if he’s sitting on the bench?
      He could have done that at Arsenal and reinforced our Europa and cup squads when those fixtures arrived.

      1. Durand says:

        Agree completely Ken. Thought Emery said he liked Chambers quality, extended his contract didn’t he? I could be mistaken. Then loaned him again? Why loan him 2 years in a row, either sell him or let him compete.

        Wenger tried to improve defense I would say. He brought in Chec, Kola at LB, and Mustafi. People can debate the quality that’s fair enough, but he did bring in new blood and started Mustafi and Chec.

        I agree with you Ken, and your earlier comments as well. Perhaps one could nit pick that defense was good enough and not great, but it takes either lots of money or lots of time. Wenger didn’t get the money from Kronke, and wasn’t given the time; as he didn’t finish out his contract.

        One can argue against my point on time given I suppose, but most fans had already made up their minds at that point. I’ve over simplified the situation quite a lot, but I prefer not to argue semantics at this time.

  14. Franko says:

    If anything Wenger was given all the time in the world and he failed. The type of players he was signing suited his personality. He was this symphony, Opera, Orchestra type of guy, while the like of Klopp was heavy metal, rock band type of guy which was talked about some time ago during the Arsenal vs Dortmund years. It is this heavy metal, rock personality of Klopp that made him to sign the type of players that suit his personality (all action, adrenaline rush, no dulling kind of players). From the looks of it, the symphony, Opera, Orchestra style of play is long outdated and any coach who really wants to succeed these days must have a heavy metal, rock band personality and buys his players accordingly.

    1. jon fox says:


  15. Franko says:

    Jon, I did not intend to diss the genres. I was only trying to highlight why Wenger failed by sticking to his style.

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