Is the Arsenal defence still a very big worry despite Unai’s changes?

To be fair, Arsenal have not just got a new manager but we also have new defenders as well to try and minimize our awful errors that were a massive problem last season. We conceded a record amount of goals (for Arsenal) and we have already let in 5 this season, albeit against very good teams. Arsenal’s legendary keeper David Seaman thinks that we still have a lot to learn if we are going to reduce our goals-against column.

Seaman said on Talksport: “Arsenal worry me at the back.

“Petr Cech is having to make a lot of saves and there’s some defensive stuff going on there that’s… it’s not schoolboy, but…

“They want to hold a high line, and yet they’re still holding a high line when there’s no pressure on the ball.

“You do not do that, and they found that out against Chelsea where they were just knocking balls over the top for fun.

“Going forward it looks strong, but they’ve got to take chances. There was some really good chances against Chelsea and it was frustrating, especially because you know Chelsea have got quality up front and they will punish you.”

“At the moment they are not fully confident of playing out from the back, everyone can see that. It’s about getting the balance right.

“If teams are pushing in on you and doing it really well, you have to knock it long some times. Then, by doing that, it spreads out the field and you can start from there.

“Just mix it up. We were really trying to force it all the time and it becomes really easy to defend that.”

I know it’s hard to judge after just two such difficult games, and of course the defence is also trying to come to terms with the new system, but should we be still worried about the defence? Or perhaps we should wait to see how we get on in the next few games against slightly easier opposition?





    1. gotanidea says:

      Let’s see how Torreira performs in the upcoming matches

      If he is no good, we still have Maitland-Niles or Arsenal could call Chambers back

      1. JJPawn says:

        The reality is that the tactics are poor as Seaman noted.

        I have said before that Emery needs to change his tactics for exactly the same reasons Seamans points to.

        Unai Emery 0 – 2 Other Coaches

        That is a reality. In two major game Emery has bee outfoxed by his opposite number. Meanwhile many poor Arsenal fans have no clue!

    2. Gunner23 says:

      Why do you think Torreira is a Gunner?? he is a quality Defensive Midfielder. 11 vs West Ham

      1. JJPawn says:

        I would start Auba and Laca on top, as Laca is a sniper and not good enough on the ball. Leno, I do not know. Czech knows the EPL and has a commanding idea of the game, like Seaman. Ramsay needs to settle down in the middle given his work rate.

        Ozil will have multiple target for assists.


        Having watched Sokratis, I must say he is too slow and not good on the ball for the system Emery plays. Mistake.

        Chambo is better. Faster, and better on the ball.

        Torreria not sure yet. Guendozi is good, but not defensive aware enough.

        Emery needs to work faster to get Welbeck on the field. The lad will work hard.

  2. Grandad says:

    Bellerrin and Mustafi are bang average defenders who have no positional sense whatsoever.They will never improve in my opinion and until they are replaced by good quality players Arsenal will continue. To leak goals.The jury is still out on Socratis but initial impressions are not favourable.I hope Emery plays Lich. and Mav against West Ham.

    1. jon fox says:

      Bellerin and Mustafi average? I dread to think then what below average players must be like! To be average, strictly, you need to be somewhere in the middle ; about better than half and worse than half. I pity ANY defender in the Prem who is worse than either of these two rubbish players. They are bad players, not “average”ones.

  3. Innit says:

    Bellerin, Mustafi and Sokratis are not good enough

  4. gotanidea says:

    As far as I remember, Bellerin, Mustafi and Sokratis did not make any fatal error in the last two matches. But they had heavy pressure as always, because some of the attackers and midfielders did not press the opponents hard enough

    For instance, Mkhitaryan did not mark Alonso that led to Pedro’s goal, Ozil did not harass Jorginho, Xhaka lacked the mobility and Aubameyang did not really chase the opponent’s defenders

    I saw some improvements in Mustafi (in defending) and in Bellerin (in attacking). But they would not be able to protect Cech without the help of the players in front of them

    1. Phil says:

      I feel the same as you-I’m not a great fan of Bellerin except when he’s going forward (but that’s not his main job) and Mustafi was pretty awful under Wenger.However both have shown up in the two games this season and although not blameless for our defeats I believe it’s the system letting our defence down.Bellerin was out of position for the first goal Saturday but nobody ( Mykitarian ) tracked Alonso.Seaman is correct about the high line exposing us for the second goal.Ahainst Citeh we were continually roasted out wide when they came forward.
      Mustafi has said he is now being coached on individual points.Im sure that is the same for the whole team.Emery needs time to get this to function and we will see improvement game by game I’m sure.

    2. Thomo says:

      Good analysis

  5. Sue says:

    We’ve already conceded 5…that speaks volumes!

    1. Admin says:

      But Sue…. I’ve said it before! We ain’t playing City and Chelsea every week….

      1. Sue says:

        I know Pat ? so hopefully we’ll have a clean sheet on Saturday & I can stop with all the doom & gloom!!

  6. qoni says:

    we cannot judge emery after two difficult games. let us be honest with ourselves. from the city game the team improved, but unfortunately aubu missed two sitters, so did miki and iwobi who on other occasions would have scored. at the back i prefer lich to bellerin even in age lich is much older but he has experience and leadership. in goal i would play the german. cech is 36 years old. but the most important is that on saturday we beat whu or else we are in big trouble. – gooner = for ever

    1. Sue says:

      Yes the City game was always going to be difficult. Chelsea away isn’t the easiest, but we should have come away with something. To be the best, you have to beat the best… I really do hope we win on Saturday…. I’m not enjoying this season so far!!

  7. Adajim says:

    anyone thinking Emery is a defensive coach? hell no! he said “I’ll rather win 4-3 than 1-0” our points will be won by attacks this season, so all attackers must bring their A-game. We were let down by them against Chelsea. We can’t afford that by weekend

  8. qoni says:

    true gunners surely are not enjoying after our first two games, but i think we show a big improvement against whu. – gooner = forever

  9. Innit says:

    To be fair our first two matches were against CITY and Chelsea with good attacks, so let’s see how we fair against West Ham.

    I’m sure we will look better
    But I still don’t think Mustafi/Sokratis will be our starting CB pairing for years to come. They are too slow

  10. joe14 says:

    Konstantinos Mavropanos is back.
    The defence is sorted.

    1. Sue says:

      Would love to see him play

  11. Deju says:

    Arsenal defence is not supported by a medifiler. For me the club main problem is lack of quality medifiler specialy defencive medifilder.

  12. Andrew E says:

    Our back four lack pace apart from Bellerin who can’t defend or cross a ball and usually takes the wrong option. We had all summer to sort it out and came up with two veterans Sokratis and Lichtsteiner who are both well past their best. Seriously our back four is no better than last season.

  13. big g says:

    If Unai Emery and the coaching staff do their jobs properly then we should see our defence improve. Those who can’t follow will be shipped out with new arrivals coming in. I’m not expecting to much in the way of success this season and will be pleasantly surprised if we are but next season i will expect us to be challenging.

    1. JJPawn says:

      How can defense improve if they are playing the ball in our own goal area? We are now the laughing stock of silly defending.

      Our famous back line did not hang on the ball. The ball was cleared, and quickly.

      Emery has to change… or we won’t make it to top 10.

  14. ozziegunner says:

    The defense will improve once Lichtsteiner and Torreira start and play the full game. I cannot understand why Emery has held them back?
    Torreira is the specialist DM which Arsenal has been short of since Gilberto Silva left. He will povide the hard tackling ball winner in front of the back four
    Lichtsteiner is a winner and experienced leader who won’t hold back on barking instructions to his fellow defenders on positioning. When to play high and when to drop back not only requires tactical nous and discipline, but leadership which Lichtsteiner can provide. He is not a player to be messed with, either by opponents or team mates. Arsenal need him to show a “Tony Adams type” influence.

    1. Sue says:

      If only Emery shared your views Ozzie!

  15. Grandad says:

    Spot on Andrew.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Grandad, don’t agree on Lichtsteiner; age is not relevant, on field performance is.

  16. Grandad says:

    Ozzie, if he was not”past his best” why did Juventus let him go for free??

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