Is Wenger right to blame Arsenal problems on defending?

A quick look at the recent run of Arsenal results suggests that Arsene Wenger has every right to point to the way his team have defended as a major reason why Arsenal are in the sticky situation we currently find ourselves in. The Gunners have conceded at least three goals in five of our last eight games.

The three other games all saw us keep a clean sheet but they were against EPL strugglers Hull City at home and the two non-league sides Sutton and Lincoln in the FA cup, so when giving an interview to Sky Sports this week you can sort of understand why our manager blamed this aspect of Arsenal’s game for our problems, when asked whether the uncertainty over his future could be affecting his players.

He said, “I don’t know. I don’t believe so but we can have a difference of opinions. You do not need to concede a corner because I have not signed a five-year contract. You defend on a corner no matter if your manager has a one month or 10-year contract. We have to look at ourselves and believe in our qualities because if you look at our offensive numbers they are very positive in the league. We need to defend better and that’s why we’ve lost some big games. When I say defend better it’s not just the defenders it’s the team as a whole.

“What’s gone wrong? We don’t defend well enough and that’s what’s gone wrong. We can still have to turn this around by the end of the season. It’s a strange season because we played 20 games unbeaten and then you slip slightly away in one game, two games and suddenly it becomes a problem.”

However, Wenger was challenged by the interviewer who rightly pointed out that the other parts of our game have not been great of late either. Those same eight games have seen us score 14 goals but if you take away the five we put past Lincoln it is just nine in seven.

Wenger said, “It’s linked with confidence as well. We had 70 per cent of the ball at West Brom and didn’t create a lot. That is obviously a concern so we have to come back to being more creative, playing with more flow and more freedom as well because when the results go against you play with the handbrake on.”

In a way I agree with him and the fact that Arsenal have not failed to score in the last 21 games, with some strong opposition in there like Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Man City suggests that although we are not at our clinical best we are still doing that side of the game well.

So is the Arsenal defence to blame? And what does the boss do to solve it?



  1. tweety says:

    well maybe he is right, but its all of his fault. have we got a good left back? what about our midfield? why did he did not buy someone to replace cazorla? has the board given him money after all? gooner = for ever

  2. RSH says:

    well he bought all those players and trains them. So what does that say about him?

    1. Handyandy says:

      Absolutely he’s right to say we have a crap defence. Why doesn’t he ever do something about it then? It’s been weak and shaky for years and yet nothing is ever done. I don’t know who trains the defence but he should be fired immediately if not sooner. Wenger has no clue on defensive issues.

  3. davidnz says:

    If Arsenal beat City
    top 4 is very possible.
    Lose to City and Arsenal
    will probably not make the top 4

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Pressure alert! ..(shhh! the players might here)

  4. luvdaguns says:

    yes of course, the results of arsenal are square on his shoulders, thats why he recieves a paycheck. that said, if city win, we are 10 pts behind 4th place! imagine arsenal in the europas and spurs in UCL? if he survives that, we are screwed, imo Stan has too many other business interests, the Los Angeles American football deal w the massive new stadium must preoccupy him, he may not care about winning

    1. gmv8 says:

      People say it’s just AWs fault – if we had any other board in PL football, they would be putting pressure on AW telling him if things don’t change he won’t be renewed. It is the boards fault as well, for having nobody on it who can criticise Wenger and push the team forward, being so weak and leaving decisions on AWs future to himself. Any good leader should be able to appoint good deputies if he can’t do the job, and Kroenke hasn’t.

      1. Guneal says:

        Your kinda wrong pal. It’s the head coach that makes a club to be ambitious. Take chelshit for example, Mr. Conte threatened not to sign contract extension if he loses Harzard and the club won’t sell him because they need conte. You see mate. Did we hear the same from Mr. Wenger when Arsenal was about to lose Henry, van peruse, nasri, fab, Cole etc. Instead he tried to cajole them to receive peanut for wages while he pocket a whooping 8million pound. Greedy, stubborn man… OUT!

        1. gmv8 says:

          I’m not saying it’s not Wenger’s fault, I certainly think we would benefit from a new manager – Nasri said that Kroenke forced Wenger to sell him, and Wenger is now saying he sold all the others you mention, because of the new stadium.

          A lot of hires need to be made to replace Wenger as he controls ever aspect of Arsenal football club, and that will take a lot of time and planning. There are not even any rumours as to any enquiries being made for someone to fill any of these positions, so you know that the board are hoping for Wenger to carry on, because it’s the easiest option. It is mad and crazy for a club as big as Arsenal to have so much reliance on one person, and a smooth transition of power should’ve been in place at least a couple of years ago. For that I blame the board. For the pathetic performances in the EPL and UCL, I blame Wenger – for having favourites in the team, for benching some of our best players, for continually playing some of our worst, for being as open to adapting his tactics to different teams as North Korean foreign policy, for allowing players contracts to run to the last year before renewing, for not preparing the team in terms of staff and tactics before the start of the season – believe me, I’m no Wenger fan!

      2. luvdaguns says:

        the board hires wenger, wenger reports to the board, the board sets the minimal expectations of performance, apparently he met those for 20 yrs, this year the results are different, out of top 4 has huge consequences in terms of money, retaining and attracting talent. this year we test the boards resolve to learn what is acceptable. we do not set the standards, they do. but it is wenger that must deliver on the pitch. that is why he is paid.

        1. gmv8 says:

          He hasn’t delivered on the pitch for the last ten years, there may have been budgetary concerns for part of that time, but not for the last three years. The board have already written a two year contract for Wenger ready to sign. It is up to Wenger whether he wants to sign it or not … so much for the resolve of the board.

          1. gmv8 says:

            And there has been a change in the board in the last ten years … when the rot started to set in.

      3. khangunners says:

        I agree with you but us fans can’t affect the ownership of the club. Its a very tough task and i dont know if we can anyhow affect who is the majority shareholder at arsenal. Thats why all fans are dealing with wenger as it will expose our boards ambition. Since the new manager will need a transfer kitty and also we will observe and see if the target for the new manager is still top four.

  5. AndersS says:

    Finally, the penny has dropped, maybe!
    I can’t remember when was the last time, I actually heard Wenger addressing our real problem; that we can’t defend as a team. It has been an obvious problem for years, and God knows, why e hasn’t done something about it.
    You need a strong defence to win titles and in modern football a strong defence includes min. 10 players working disciplined and systematically. Not really something we have ever seen Wenger require.
    Is he going to change?? – I have my doubts.

    1. khangunners says:

      This is not the first time wenger saying that. The main problem is he will not adress the issue at all.

  6. Break-on-through says:

    I think 9 goals in 8 games is good if you are Leicester or Chelsea, so Arsene has a point, our defending has been atrocious. Ospina the calamity, Koscielny has been poor and Mustafi dropped off completely, but I think it’s further up where it stems from. Our midfield is really poor all round.

    1. Guneal says:

      Why can’t I give him a thumb’s down twice. The problem is not the players. The problem is arsene’s. Stick that into your head.

  7. khangunners says:

    This is crap. We had 75% of the ball but what did we do with it?? I blame the forward players. Most importantly i blame the coach who lets his team hve 75% possession and they are clueless as to what to do. This is professional football if you loss the ball at risky areas and our team always does then you will be punished bad no matter how strong ur defence is. So wenger what did we do with 75% possession?
    Just looked at the table guys its looking scary for us. A man city win tomorrow and our top four race is over

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Klopp wins another big game after just beating Everton. He’s unbeaten against the other top six this season, and to think we could have got him, or Pep, or Conte, etc…

  9. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Even when I agree with Wenger he makes me mad

    Yes, the defending is poor. But Wenger could have done more than just get Mustafi
    But he should have got a Top DM, another competent cb
    For example, he could have tried to get Kante and Van Dijk
    Now we need a Top LB because we can’t keep both Monreal and Gibbs
    and both were average this season. Like Ricardo Rodriguez

    1. khangunners says:

      So true. But i think we are blaming our defence alot. When you loss the ball when attacking then the opponents can very easily hurt you as you try to transition immediately from attack to defence and when we loss the ball it happens to be in a risky spot and our fullbacks are forward. I think the issues is what do we do with the ball? Our players pass pass till they pass it to the opponent . then boom we collect the ball from the net.

  10. vish says:

    Look at our fixtures-
    Mancity, Westham, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Leicester, Spuds, Manu, Stoke, Everton, Southampton.

    LOL realistically looking at the team now i feel we can only scrape through with wins at Westham, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Will either lose or draw all the other matches.

    What a joke we have become.

  11. vish says:

    Look at our fixtures-
    Mancity, Westham, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Leicester, Spurs, Manu, Stoke, Everton, Southampton.

    LOL realistically looking at the team now i feel we can only scrape through with wins at Westham, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Will either lose or draw all the other matches.

    What a joke we have become.

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