Look on the bright side – The Arsenal defence were good!

It was with great relief that Arsenal fans saw Laurent Koscielny return to the starting line-up yesterday. We were amply rewarded when we came away from Leicester with a clean sheet after inexplicably conceding four in the opening game. The young Rob Holding was preferred as his defensive partner in preference to Calum Chambers, who just doesn’t seem to fill Wenger with confidence.

Wenger was full of praise for the defence after the game, and especially Holding. “I think he did remarkably well against top-class strikers today,” he told Arsenal.com. “For me he had an outstanding performance.

“He’s 20 years old, he’s English and it’s a great reason to be happy. As long as players don’t cost a huge amount of money, people don’t give them any qualities.

“We have to be stronger than that and just acknowledge how good he is. Koscielny added to our stability today and I’m very pleased with that. We still have to look around to strengthen our squad. Overall that’s what we tried to do.” Even if Holding has done okay, we all know he will be back on the bench as soon as Gabriel or Mustafi (haha!) are ready to take the field.

But Wenger still rued the finishing of our so-called strikers. “We still lack a little bit of decisiveness in the final third but overall it’s still a positive game. We have shown that we can respond under pressure which will be a very important quality this season.”

Hector Bellerin was also pleased with the defensive performance, but admitted that the strikers are not yet up to scratch. “The end product wasn’t good enough.” The Spaniard said. “We just need to keep going, keep playing with the same mentality we have been playing with and then hopefully we will see an improvement.

“I think there’s a lot of solidarity at the back and we got a lot of help from the midfield players because they defended well from the front. Sometimes it’s about starting from the back, having a strong team at the back and then being efficient up front. We weren’t efficient enough, but I’m sure that once we get into our rhythm, the goals will come.”

Hector was then asked if he thought things would get better for the Gunners. “Definitely.” he replied. “There’s a lot of players who have missed pre-season after coming back late from the Euros. Every single player we have can compete on the pitch. Santi started and then when Mesut came on he created a lot of chances too. That’s the same with Olivier. It’s nice to have them back and as soon as the whole team is back, the performances will get better.”

It is exceedingly obvious that Koscielny and Bellerin are going to play a big part in our season, and hopefully we will see lots more clean sheets, but will our strikers ever come good enough to catch up to the top of the table? Or will we just end up with more bore-draws?


  1. Leicester should have had a penalty and coquelin should have been sent off.
    Further more Leicester aren’t really on fire are they?.
    The defense wasn’t a bright side and clattenburg gave us the clean sheet

    1. Better yet… Why we sent a guy who, bare with me here, as a central forward guided Costa Rica into the Quater Finals of the World Cup. Admittedly wasn’t the best but had a performance and a record up there that showed competence as a Central forward well ahead of the likes of Walcott or Akpom and Sanogo but he gets sent on loan… How Joel Campbell can be behind Sanogo and Akpom in the pecking order as a CF is beyond me…

  2. But we conceded two penalties in a dream. Holding will be okay and great. For now just get that German international

  3. If I may ask why has akpom not been used as a striker in epl dis season….. Giroud is just a mess……….admin don’t moderate for eternity oooooo

    1. Akpom last season scored 3 goals in 1800 minutes playing for hull in the championship. That is 600 minutes per goal. The likes of giroud, kane and vardy last season, scored at a rate of about 160 minutes per non penalty goal in the PL.

      I have not seen enough of hom to form an opinion but the stats suggest that akpom is not ready to lead the line for arsenal in the PL.

    1. That reminds me, Asano has no work permit. Wenger said if he had cost fifteen mil he would get one because that’s the way it works. I’m thinking, if he is as good as they hope, and we’re running out of options and time. Would it not be better to have paid the extra ten mil just so we don’t have to wait three+ seasons.

    1. Naah Hes ready to spend 300 million right… Why haven’t I seen a bid for Messi or Bale or even Griezmann, you can’t tell me they wouldn’t improve our quality, anyone who still has faith in this man scares me, he is insane and full of it..

      1. Just picking the bits of Wengers quote to suit yourself I see, he actually said he’d spend £300 IF HE HAD IT.
        I swear this site is infected with trolls, either that or halfwits!

        1. Seeing as I’m a halfwit or troll baring in mind I’m not the one name calling here… Please enlighten me as to why he signed another midfielder despite that not being a necessity this season, why he has waited so long to sign a striker and a centre back better and blames inflation and a lack of available quality now, he had all the time at the beginning of the window to at least address the fundamental flaws of the team he hasn’t, could have generated money buy getting rid of deadwood players hasn’t done that either, and now has sent Joel Campbell a man who guided Costa Rica, I’ll say it again, Costa Rica to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup playing as a Center Forward, displaying more comptency than Walcott, Akpom or Sanogo whom he has kept … Yet I’m the halfwit… Don’t bother arguing with me you won’t win this… His logic indefensible

          1. So, avoiding the point I made then! I’m not here to answer your questions, as these have been covered ad infinitum.

            Oh, I didn’t call you a halfwit, but if the cap fits, wear it.

            1. Correct me if I’m wrong he did say “I’d spend willing to spend £100 Million only for the right player” he said after the Liverpool game, so who is the right player @stubill Griezmanns release clause is £85 million for example I guess he’s not good enough… It’s not so much the amount its the fact he hasn’t done anything.. more to the point for an Economics graduate, who doesn’t understand inflation moaning about the fact the the price of players has gone up considering annual revenues of the premier league teams have shot up too is incredibly stupid… But hey Wenger knows best; he wouldn’t be in a position not having to spend over the odds for quality players if he acted in the first place, that’s the icing on the retard cake there for me .. Care to retort?

              1. No, because you’re changing the discussion in regard to figures.

                You just quoted a piece form Wengers interview to suit your own agenda and can’t defend your position, so you’re changing the subject.

                I won’t respond again, as you’re incapable of answering the original point raised.

          2. The xhaka deal was ready to go ahead before the transfer window opened. Are you suggesting that wenger should have delayed signing xhaka until after he had signed a striker and a centre back. If so xhaka by now would be playing elsewhere and possibly against us in the PL.

            Wenger is now being criticised for doing a deal early.

            1. But did we really need another midfielder when we have clearly needed a CF, CB and RW for too long? Its all well and good saying he has done a deal early but for the completely wrong type of player

            2. I’m critical because it wasn’t the right deal… I’m not saying I don’t like Xhaka but if we had signed a Defender or a Striker which has been a place we have been crying out for reinforcements for years we would have been in a far better position now.. I like Xhaka don’t get me wrong but ask yourself truly was His position a primary concern ahead of a CB or Striker..

              1. Xhaka is a waste of money, because his not better than Elneny and if his better than Coquelin its infinitesimal which does not justify spending 34 million in transfer fee and 120,000 weekly wages on a player who will not improve Arsenal.

                Arsenal needed a striker who is going to start performing well this season. Instead Mr Wenger bought a striker Asano well below the grade required by Arsenal a player he cannot even get a work permit for a minimum of at least two years. That is also a poor buy regardless of transfer fee and wages.

                In my opinion Balotelli at 7 million would be a much better buy than Asano.

              2. Defender was not a propriety before the injury, and wenger did try to sign strikers but for 1 reason or another it all become fruitless.

                IT is a bold statement claiming Xhaka is not needed… please remember in the Lecister game it was the substitution of Ozil that made the instant impact.

  4. If we get Mustafi we will have a pretty strong defense

    But we also need GOALS
    We don’t have a CF of the same caliber as Zlatan, Aguero, Lukaku, Kane

    Also we have had a good defense for the past few years. That’s why we stayed in the Top 4 without a Top striker

    We need a Top striker to compete for the PL Title

    1. I dont get whats going on our fullbacks performances hve been awfull this last two games.dont know whats up

      1. Morale is down, toxicity in the stands is spreading to the dressing room, pay attention to Ozil and Sanchez and even Bellerins body language, the playing for a lost cause… If I’m Ozil there is no way I’m putting in a similar level of performance I did last season if the “main striker” goes missing for 14 games despite creating 141 chances and breaking the premier league record

        1. Worrying times ahead then.infact ill say all players body language luk awfull,only the ox luks ready for it(he luks hungry)but the rest something is wrong

  5. Lol!! Which game were u watching? Koss saved us so much yesterday.holding is inexperienced i can give u so many places where he was found out but koss covered him well.what is making me worry bellerin performances is shocking. Where did his attacking quality go and defensive is even worse.i fear for is this season when ur manager praises holding that if he could hve been bought for 50 million then pple wouldnt be complaining tht just shows u how delusional we are.

  6. I think Mustafi will be a gunner before the end of the window..

    Holding looks promising. I actually like him. He will learn a lot from Kos and hopefully Mustafi. .

    Bellerin has to find his mojo back. Well, he will be fine. Not a great performance in the two games but I believe he will improve.

    We look clueless at times when going forward. This team need another striker or change in tactics abit.

  7. The brightest thing to come out of the game was Jesus wenger caring for his six hundred employee ,while he himself pockets around 8 million pounds yearly.How bout he donates his salary to the staff at arsenal as he cares so much about them.That man has gone to new low in finding excuses for not buying players. He simply doesn’t want to buy a top striker because of his HUGE ego. Still thinks he is living in early 2000s.He thinks if he wins the premiership after spending huge amounts on top players people will tell him he was wrong all these years.That will be a big blow to his ego.How can he think there isn’t a striker out there who is better than giroud. He has stuck with wrong players for too long. Walcott has no footballing brain, he won’t get into anyone else’s first team he is that poor.And he has sent campbell on loan wtf man he was class above that walcott and chamberlain, how dumb can you get Wenger.It’s all about that man’s ego.He says there are no strikers available. let us think hypothetically that there was a player who was available and he ticked all his imaginary boxes but real Madrid also want him then he will say we can’t compete with madrid.He has a bag full of excuses.Its all about his EGO.He makes my blood boil for real.The real loss is of the fan’s who pay their hard earned money to support a team who they deep down know is not good enough to win the league.They should boycott the games an empty stadium would send a message.I hate Mr excuse. 🙁

    1. The guy obviously doesn’t care for 600 employees. That is just PR nonsense.

      He obviously does care. But that is only at Board level. He cares for his vision of AFC and I respect him for that but what I don’t respect is his PR nonsense where he thinks he is talking to fans or employees about how he cares.

  8. There was indeed a top display on show from a defensive standpoint. The strange thing is that the previous game made this seem like a bad result, usually a strong defensive display away at the champions bringing home a point is said to be good stuff from the boys. Fergie would have asked his boys to give him that type of performance, he’d also know how important it is to add a real finisher to it. It’s a real pity though, for if we had done what we were supposed to in the first game, and then do what we have to do in the transfer market this week, things would be very positive. I’m still glad all the same that we have a solid performance in us like that. If we get this Mustafi lad we are going right direction. Looked up his stats and they stand up well against our best defender, and aerially, he rivals our best aerial defender. His passing is the only area were he came up a little short, but like Holding, I believe he’ll improve on it with us.

  9. Asano was denied a work permit. I don’t know if Wenger intended to use him (I doubt it), but he won’t be available this year.

    Just heard Wenger on SFR: “We are struggling to find the player we need” (just quoting that “deluded” ignorant fool).

    The interviewer talked about Wilshere entrance for Granit Xhaka and how the difference in quality was so clear to witness and the English should go on loan because he so crap, he said “Wilshere will be essential for Arsenal this season” (and if quote!!).

    He also said ” Sanogo will be involve this season and is considered a full part of the squad”. The interviewer then told him that Sanogo only played 47mins in the last 6 minutes months?

    Anyway, this is Arsène football club, so all is good. He is responsible for 600 employees, rightfully, the club belongs to him?

    To finish, I also wanted to ask a question… Is Walcott for real or what? I mean this guy has been at club for about 10 years and did what?

    Also (last), what kind of manager plays Sanchez as a lone striker?????

    1. No, All footballers has difference attributes Walcott strength is his speed and movement off the ball, his ability to read and induced well disguise passes by getting in the right position at the right time, plus his finishing.

      Take for example Sanchez, his strength is his close control, dribbling skills and pace that enable him to attack fullbacks and defenders by charging them with the ball at this feet, plus finishing. Sanchez flamboyant style is more pleasing on the eye. Therefore, most of Arsenal football fans believe Sanchez is a brilliant player and Walcott is a poor player. But this is not true.

  10. Like Bellerin said, the midfielders defended, and that really is something which has been missing totally in Wengers usual tactics. So if this marks a change, then we are actually progressing. Of course it was a big improvement to have Kos in stead of the slow and clueless Chambers. He would have been outrun several times again, if he had been on the pitch.

  11. Holding is young and will grow with more experience and having Kos alone side him. It’s early yet but the signs so far are not bad, rather Holding than Chambers atm. Desperately need a striker.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs