Opinion: Our defence needs help, but our midfield can also do more to protect them

Arsenal’s defence came under serious criticism for their performance against Liverpool on Monday night.

We didn’t have the best of games at the back no doubt and our defenders might have done better in terms of defending.

However, in their defence, defending against a team like Liverpool has to be a collective effort.

Everyone from the attackers to the last defender needs to be involved in stopping their opponents from launching a successful attack.

One part of our team that Mikel Arteta has fixed since he became the manager is our defence.

Losing 3-1 at Liverpool doesn’t mean that the team is now in poor shape or that we can no longer defend.

I can understand the criticism of our defenders, but we have to also apportion some blame to our midfielders.

While our defenders are the last line of defence, our midfield will have to be bypassed first before we would be attacked.

Our midfielders have to make it harder for any opponent to get in front of our defenders.

To be fair, Monday’s game was one of the toughest for all our players no matter the position they are playing, but we can learn from that game and make sure no other team has that much access to our defence in our future games.

An article from Ime

Tags defence


    1. The defence under serious criticism after losing to the premier league champions, we are not anywhere near that level yet so whoever thinks we can match them is seriously diluted

  1. The lack of a quality DM is palpable … chasing the guy from Lyon is a luxury in that respect and is a massive blind spot in arteta’s footballing philosophy … Xhaka elneny torreira AMN chambers either lack the appropriate skills .. Torreira AMN … or are just such an inferior product …elneny xhaka … that they can’t do the job… That not only exposes defenc but also holds back the attack with other midfielders hanging back to cover … If this hole isn’t filled we can rule out a challenge for top 4 and a top 6 will depend on others faltering

  2. I feel we should focus on TP if we’ll be getting just one of them. xhaka and partey can partner at CM while Ceballos can

  3. Ceballos can advance and do the merry go round. i’d love both of them but if we have to settle for just one Partey it is

  4. Not even Kante would have been able to clean up against Liverpool that consistently with the constant losing the ball from our more forward players. I dont think David or Holding did as poorly as people are making it out to be.

  5. We really can’t blame the midfielders always, some mistakes are individual errors by defenders such as poor marking, ball watching, unnecessary corners and conceding throw ins close to the box. The attackers can as well argue they dont receive required service and support from the defence and midfield, i saw Mane give a blind pass to Robertson without bothering to know if he was there or not, he just knew he had to be there. The midfielders as well can argue the attackers are not making the most of the chances they create, for example when Laca wastes easy 1 on 1. The whole point is everyone must be ready to suffer for each other. Attack together, defend collectively. Modern defence by the way revolves around having players with brilliant ball control, possession control, speed and playmaking skills. Creativity should be for everyone, its not taught, it’s pursued by passion and desire to be the best. It also comes down to the players that were signed.

  6. We must be the top ranked team in the EP in terms of retaining possession.Unfortunately, that accolade only applies to possession in our own half.Because of the current 3-4-3 system we defend from a deep starting point aimed at counter attacking at speed.Basically we are currently playing with only two dedicated midfielders,.Against a team deploying a 4-3-3 set up we are outgunned in terms of numbers in midfield and in technical skill and creativity.Elneny and Xhaka worked hard the other night but they, and the team as a whole, were over run by a dynamic midfield three and two high pressing full backs .We have little chance of improving much on last season unless we revert to a high line,4-3-3 system.We have spent around 60m on two talented young centre backs.Now is the time to use them in tandem in a flat back four.Holding and Luis in my opinion should be our back up centre backs and Tierney should be played in his proper position at left back, where he is excellent.

  7. We cannot blame the defence for the goals. There were times when Bellerin and AMN were way out of position which was drawing Luiz and Holding out of position. We haven’t got our defence set in stone yet due to fitness and injury also. For sure though, Xhaka and Elneny were chasing shadows and more often than not they were simply not winning the duels/tackles!

    Our midfield is the biggest issue (defensively and in attack). We need to strengthen this area more than any!

    Also, I believe Leno does NOT install confidence in our defenders. I noticed a massive improvement in our defending when Emi was in goal. I’m not alone on this and don’t bash me for it because I strongly believe we sold the wrong keeper!

  8. Arteta is to rigid in his tactics most times. Why not change things a little by putting players in position they could hurt Liverpool in the second half? Remove Bellerin and Xhaka for ceballos and Gabriel. Concentrate Lacazette, Willian, ceballos and Elneny in the middle and revert Pepe and Aubamayang with Pepe playing from the left and Aubamayang from the right in a SCORPION or CR formation. in a 3-4-2-2 formation






    Luiz and Gabriel are like the Scorpoin tail sending long drop balls occasionally to Aubamayang or Pepe who are like the scorpion two front claws to beat the Liverpool high line while the midfield of Ceballos, El neny, Willian and Lacazette get stock in midfield with Willian and Lacazette initiating counter attacks from midfield. The way Arteta use the players is too stereotype for my liking.

  9. Sorry, I meant.

    4-2-2-2 SCORPION formation.






  10. No matter how good defenders you have if your team can not hold on to the ball and keep giving ball away for cheap eventually you will concede. This was the downfall of UE and if MA keeps picking Xhaka and Elneny in same team I am afraid it will his down fall as well. You need to have players in middle who can create, dictate the pace of game and can take in responsibility of play making instead of leaving it all the time with defenders to play balls from back and play the role of creator. The problem against West ham and against Liverpool was same the ball kept landing in the feet of players who are not comfortaby with possession and can not keep the ball moving. When majority of your possession is with players like Holding and Elneny then what do you expect. We need to learn how to utilise our strengths n always try to feed the ball to players who are comfortable with it. Look how much difference Ceballos made and he is an avg midfielder (goes missing in some matches). That’s why we need the French dude more then Partey or any DM.

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