Leno admits having a brilliant forward line is not enough

Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno has been speaking about the quality and attributes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe but accepts that a balance must be found with the defence.

The German stopper was glowing in his praise for the front three and made it clear that they give confidence to the whole team.

“We know about our character but also about the quality,” said Leno. “The three players up top, with [Nicholas] Pepe also there now, we have unbelievable quality.

“They can score the big chances but also score from nothing and so the other teams always know and have to be aware that we have a lot of dangerous players and that gives us big confidence.

“You can see the game against Liverpool, we had one or two chances to score when it was 0-0 so we can score with our quality in that top three.

“We can score against everybody but I think the key is always the balance with the defence because in the end that is the most important thing.”

What I took from those comments more than anything else was the part about the key is finding a balance with the defence, that tells me that the other players in the team know it is the backline that is the biggest issue right now and that is not necessarily a good thing.

It is obviously positive that the players are aware of the shortcomings in defence but you have to think that at some point it will create frustration in the dressing room and when that happens it becomes difficult to retain harmony.

There is only so much that the forwards will put up with when their good work is constantly being undermined and that is exactly what is happening right now.

The midfield is not helping either, that is undeniable, but it is the mistakes game after game that is the problem and while it was a midfielder this time around that cost Arsenal the points, it is generally the defence that are the culprits.

I did think it was positive of Leno to point out the quality of the front three and he is 100% spot on in his assessment but I do worry how long the dressing room will stay united while the defenders keep on throwing points away.


  1. It’s a simple game. get people who can think and act in the heat of battle to do the right thing nearer 99% of the time rather than 0.1% of the time.

    A.K.A reliable and affective

  2. I always rate this guy why not give him the armband. He sees things as they are and I also never knew he can speak English this why,

    1. Yeah leno is a good solid keeper give him a strong defence like liverpool and you will see the difference he will be more confident with a strong backline comprising of bellerin tierney upamecano and holding/saliba(next season)

  3. He is truly spot on.We have to get this defenders into the basics of defending classes.How on earth would Sokratis still go ahead and contest with Kane when Xhaka was already there to do that? He obviously opened up the backline when Kane won the header.

  4. In january we need to sell mustafi and buy upamecano and sell xhaka as well to buy docoure or another powerhouse top CM or box to box CM that has strong presence in midfield then we will be good to go i think at the moment we are lacking a good strong, high stamina CM who can partner torreira and guendouzi or ceballos in midfield trio like liverpool and also we are lacking a top class CB who can actually lead a back line upamecano is a powerhouse, physically built very strong good in air and in tackles and interceptions he will be a very good signing in january like van dijk when they signed him in january and look how much impact he gave them and got settled in those 4 5 months of that season and then next season he was immense similarly signing upamecano in january will give our backline a strong CB that gives a calmness and solidity with tierney and bellerin coming back from injuries and with upamecano in january we will have a settled backline and it will give upamecano some time to settle in so next season he will make strong impact by partnering with saliba at the back and bellerin and tierney as fullbacks i am seeing our backline similar to the one liverpool built in these few years. A backline of bellerin upamecano saliba tierney is nothing but a strong and solid one to push for the title and give comeptition to liverpool and man city plus a top midfielder to replace xhaka will help us more and our forward line is already lethal so hopefully in january we see a defender and CM comes in to make an immediate impact to our team..

    1. I have pointed it out but people tend not to see it, we have a soft midfield without xhaka that’s why he has been playing deep we need a physical DM that is strong sorry torriera is good but will always be bullied.

      1. Yeah we need to replace xhaka with a strong powerhouse midfielder docoure is very good. There are very good physically strong CMs in the league in other teams we can sign like ndidi and in bundesliga or french ligue where we can sign from them. You are we need a dominant, strong, high work rate CM to replace xhaka

  5. This problem has stayed far too long and arsenal management is not helping issues by not prioritizing quick fixes this short term fixes got us Socratic and Luiz so let’s be patient it has been coming what were they thinking when we didn’t get a defender to help this current defence, starting the season with nearly the same defenders is madness after the goals we conceded last season
    No rb backup for bellerin and trusting Niles.
    Let’s hope the future comes soon enough bellerin,Tierney,saliba,holding

    1. Nonny my friend i think we missed a huge opportunity by not signing dijbri sidibe on season long loan from monaco instead everton signed him. He would have been a very decent cover at RB or may be at LB, he is better than both niles and kolasinac

  6. Leno
    Bellerin Upamecano Holding Tierney
    Torreira Guendouzi Docoure
    Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang
    I want to see this above team in january andnext season i want a team like this:
    Bellerin Upamecano Saliba Tierney
    Torreira Guendouzi Docoure
    Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

    1. Nice team but you are forgetting Saliba,
      This will be my not team





      1. Yeah i mentioned saliba in my lineup for next season. In january we need to sign upamecano at all costs because we cannot trust both sokratis and luiz

          1. I think we are progressing slowly but in next few monthd when we are able to see tierney bellerin holding back and with pepe settling in well we can be a different team we will improve as a team but it will take time like liverpool we are on a right track just two or three more signings in CB CM and may be a back up winger like fraser campbel or zaha if he is available at cheap then we are good to go we are following liverpool’s route emery is following liverpool’s model as we are also selling surplus requirements slowly this season we sold alot of players which were not good enough and now may be two or three players are remaining xhaka mustafi may be kolasinac that are deemed not good enough for emery’s system and playing style which he wants to implement. Liverpool’s base is strong and imposing CB with leadership skills, very skillfull fullbacks that are good in crossings and bombing forward plus high workrate, they have a midfield trio of henderson fabinho wijnaldum or keita who by no means are world class all of them are very good and hardworking players who fit klopp’s system of high pressing and ball recovery so we need to get a CM that ticks all these traits and replace him with xhaka other CMs we have are quite capable guendouzi torreira ceballosa and willock. Liverpool’s other strong base is a forward line a forward trio of salah mane and firmino thats a very strong world class forward lineup and their chemistry and understanding is top class one of the best in the world. This season we have done that by signing pepe and with lacazette and aubameyang we have completed that forward trio which liverpool have just may a backup winger like fraser campbell on cheap like liverpool have in shakiri they signed him om very cheap. So we just need to sign a CM like liverpool’s fabinho a strong powerhouse one may be docoure or any one else from ligue 1 like fabinho signed from monaco and one top class imposing CB who can actually lead the backline i see upamecano as a perfect candidate for this job sign him in january at all costs like van dijk signed for liverpool in january and now see the difference he made to the liverpool side they were average in defence and had top class forward trio but signing van dijk made them world class and best side in europe as evident by last season. I am very optimistic we are going on a right path just need to sell two or three players xhaka and mustafi and replace them with better ones that fit emery’s system and can take on best players so upamecano and docoure have my votes

      1. Wrong example my friend.. You know about emery’s system? He wants is full backs to play up the field bombing forward and he plays with strong midfielders with high work-rate physically imposing and pacy forwards.

  7. Arsenal missed a trick with idrissa gueye of Everton who went to psg. He is a better player to doucore. Why we didn’t go for him I don’t know.he is everything you want in a modern day midfield player, he is as tough as it gets,has that defining attitude and he has that eye for an outside the box shot.
    I think Emery is banking on the injured players to come back otherwise I don’t see sense in selling monreal because kolasinac will never cut it for me. AMN as an alternative lb.or sometimes he play a back 3. I will still say this again torreira can’t just walk into this team like that he needs to earn his place and so far he hasn’t. We all know once everyone is fit our back five should look like this
    Bellerin Holding Luiz/Chambers Tierny
    And xhaka yes the excuse for him being in this team was because of his long range passing and that’s it but now I don’t see it as useful because Luiz can hit it more than he does so I say take him out of the team.
    Beginning of the season and yes we have played Liverpool and Spurs and 2 away games also. I say 7point is not a bad point Atall considering where Chelsea and man u are and the teams they dropped points. We can only get better let’s be calm atleast one thing is getting sorted out the players who are surplus to requirements are moving out. I don’t want to say Deadwood because they are human beings.it won’t be fair on humanity. So let’s cheer the boys up atleast it is evident that these bunch of lad really cares for the fans.you can see the passion within them.

    1. With you on torriera, he has been playing many games that his performances are below average yet people wants him to be the 1st name on the team sheet he have to work on his self and earn a place in the xi do far I have not seen him done more than willock , guendouzi or cebellos to start ahead of any of them

    2. I agree on a few things there. I want to see CC with Holding. I also don’t think we are set with Torriera, I can see reasons for going with him now but I don’t see him as that player who owns his position for years to come, you know when you get that player and I don’t think it’s Torriera as of yet. I’d like to see Guendouzi taking starting spot and Luiz stepping into Xhaka’s spot, both players have a presence and they can take turns venturing forward. Kolasinac too, I don’t think he’s at all reliable, I keep expecting him to get all nasty and aggressive but I don’t know what happened, he looks a fish out of water for ages now. I can’t believe Monreal refused to play the derby on his last outing, mr reliable, the trier, AFC in his DNA, it would’ve been a great send off and you never know, it might’ve made a difference possibly with him on scoresheet to boot.

  8. unai emery is at fault for the defence challenge….. He brought in sentiment with david luiz. We started the season with a clean sheet. Chambers and sokratis didnt also concede in pre season except for the own goal niles scored against barca all other goals conceded in pre season was when mustafi played so why did he change it?

  9. chambers is not a kid he is 25yrs old. The season is long and so many games. Luiz should have been told to wait for his time. Why change a winning team and a cleansheet backline. Chambers gives us the usual blood and thunder spirited defending that comes with most english defenders.

  10. Leno oughta own up to his weak palm away
    which gave Spurs their foothold in the game.
    Emery can not be blamed for that.
    GK is in fact the most important player in the team.
    Alison 70m, Ederson 70m, Arrizabalaga 70m.
    Lloris # 30m Utd #De Gea. 66m
    # Est value today.
    Leno transfer fee. 19m.
    Arsenals parsimonious model will never win a title.
    Feel sorry for Emery who does brilliant with what he has.

    1. How can a have error prone players like Luis,Socratis,Niles,xhaka all in one team you never will know who is going to come to the party just like Luis then socratis then xhaka in two games this 3 have contributed in giving away 4 goals

  11. Methinks Leno is fairly quiet…he doesn’t yell out instructions to his defenders like others do. He is a fairly decent goalkeeper though, but must cut out the errors which is 7 as of now from the time he joined

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