Opinion – Perhaps Arsenal’s problems lie in attack as well as defence?



We have actually blamed the defence for our bad results recently. Reading Hector Bellerin’s statement after the match against Brighton, I think there is a blame in the dressing room against the attackers.

He said in the Mail: ‘The team gave its best, we created chances, we defended good, but it seems like we need so many chances to score and teams score every chance against us. I am lost for words a little bit’.

In modern football both defence and attack are products of collective team efforts. The defenders aid the attackers in transition from defensive play to attacking play. The attackers as well assist the defenders by being the first defenders when the team loses possession. There seem to be a gap in this team between the defence and attack.

Opposing teams tend to have freedom to run at our defence without much help from our attackers causing panic defending. It is easy to see the defenders contributions towards our attacking play but you don’t see much from the attackers when we are defending. You see the likes of Luiz, the fullbacks, Guendouzi, Torreira, Xhaka taking risks in turns to help in attacks.

When we have good attacking plays like the early parts of the first half at Norwich, opponents find it difficult to attack us.

Let’s talk about conversion of chances. I see lack of hunger in our finishing. We hardly have enough bodies in proper positions in the opposition 18 yards box when we are attacking. And the team’s attacking set up seem to be planned for only Auba and Laca to score alone. You hardly see cutbacks to other players.

I need to mention the waste of Martinelli here. That lad needs to play directly through the middle as a main striker not playing from the wing or behind the main striker. We have seen his monstrous displays in the cup games. He should be replacing either Auba or Laca directly at the middle.

I think there is a lack of team spirit in the attacking side of the team. Could there be a dressing room problem? Factions?



  1. Yes, the whole team are under performing. It’s the same thing we all talk about though – the lack of movement (off the ball), no creativity and a lack of hunger from certain individuals. When you factor in the basic elements are missing too (passing, crossing and closing down), there really isn’t that much going on in the way of “good attacking football” and ultimately we give the ball away too often and have to defend more. We all know what happens next, we concede another goal!

    Let’s face it, it’s been getting worse and it’s plain to see the “Arsenal DNA” has long gone. The steel defending from front to back is non-existent. The quality of player is there in the most part with the exception of four or five. It’s the attitude that has changed more than anything I feel. It looks to me as though some of them are just turning up because they have a contract o fulfil? It’s about time they had showed some belief and passion for the club, fans for themselves! After all, it’s not much of a legacy they are leaving for themselves. I for one will not remember many of this team for anything close to greatness in the Arsenal history books. No, quite the opposite!

  2. If the forwards would track back and help out defense, we wouldn’t concede so much.

    Defend as a team, attack as a team.

    1. The reason is that if the shirt seller is absolved of defending, then why should the forwards track back?Why should the defenders try and score goals?That is not their duty! Apply the shirt sellers logic to every other player and now one can realize why we are 11th and heading even lower.Rid that sick-note from the team payroll and then the team spirit will improve.Arsenal at present is a collection of individual players with inflated egos and not a unit of hardworking lads with team-spirit.

      1. There’s the shirt seller and then there’s DeBruyne. He does all things Ozil is supposed to, a 100 times better and he runs his ass off to track back.

  3. I may be wrong, but is it a coincidence that Arsenal players left the spirit for the game since the shirt seller was rewarded with 350K and Sanchez dumped?Ever since then, the shirt seller strolls or limps on the pitch and collects 350K every week maybe demoralizing the entire squad? Our workhorse Sanchez was sent to Utd. when he could have been retained and wages hiked because all through that season he carried the team single handed.During Wengers years, the mid field were scoring goals for fun with Giroud adding around 15 goals.Today our midfield is non existent and we solely rely on the forwards. The mess started when we got an aging Petr Cech and no out field players, then transferring Gabriel Paulista and signing Mustafi, passing on Kante and signing Xhaka, all wrong players and priorities. Reap what you sow, we sowed mediocrity, we are reaping lower mid table. Last season at least we had Iwobi and Ramsey coming off the bench and trying to do something, this year we cannot even look to the bench for help.The arm chair pundits were rating Nelson as the heir to Iwobi and Smith Rowe to Ramsey sadly never happened and we are dire straits now. We might win tonight, but future fixtures – City, Chelsea, look bleak.Freddie admitted being scared of Brighton, better we give opportunities to the reserves for these matches, either case we are sure to loose, but losing with reserves would not be humiliating than losing with first team squad. Until we rid ourselves of Raul and the over-hyped overpaid non performing assets, I would be content with a top 17 finish this year.

    1. We have to reduce our dependency to no 10 gradually

      We only have two central midfielders in 4-2-3-1 formation and the no 10’s unwillingness to press up high doesn’t help our midfielders at all

  4. If we win tomorrow we go 1 point behind Spurs who are in 7th.
    So why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth?
    Sheiky United Liverpool Chelski spend way more money than we do.
    Tottenham had a brilliant manager. Leicester has no European football.
    Our chances in the League would be a lot better if we missed out on European football.
    Let Freddie have a dozen games to see what he can do.

    1. The game is today not tomorrow.
      Why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth? Because we haven’t won in I believe 9 games and it will be surprising even if we get a point tonight.
      All optimism in our team has disappeared.

  5. Good observation, but Aubameyang and Lacazette would be upset if Martinelli plays as a CF in EPL instead of them. Whereas in Chelsea, Lampard doesn’t care about Giroud’s seniority and has been benefiting from Abraham’s prowess in the front

    Our attackers also don’t seem to fully believe in high pressing concept, especially Ozil and Pepe. Arsenal have to prioritize attackers who like to implement counter-pressing, to give good examples to the rest of them

    If Aubameyang-Ozil-Lacazette could work well, it would ease the burden of the defenders

  6. In Wenger’s era we had a combination of top level midfielders who were capable to supplying those long passes hence it has been a case of history these days. Willock, Saka or gwendozi are not capable of such roles which was why we brought in the number 8 from real.

    These boys can better their performance if a winner is brought in. Let’s imagine Brendan Rodgers handling Auba, Laca and Pepe..

    Our midfield is the problem and defence needs a total revamp excluding chambers/Tierney. A top coach is very essential to us at this minute to bring out the best in our players otherwise it’s same old arsenal. We need low budget quality defenders and a player like soyuncu I wondered how we let that get away? Arsenal will bounce back but that will take time and most especially it requires the board to make the right calls..

    E no need magic for person to know say we no get level now. Me tire..

  7. At last people are seeing what i have been seeing all season, the penny has dropped. Auba and Laca do not give enough to the team. Fact !! The team are now in a state because of them fact !! The team rely on Auba and Laca to score our goals !! Fact .. This happened in the last 2 yrs of Henry he was always expected to score our goals players looked for him with every ball but the difference between Henry and Auba and laca Henry would help out aswell as score !! he would go back and get the ball and bring in forward !! when do you ever see Auba or Laca doing that !! Never is the answer !! All they do is close down the defender in possession then give up chasing after that !! I said to many people Arsenal are a better team without Laca and Auba ! and i can prove it !! just look at the early games this season in the Europa cup. No Laca or Auba and we won convincingly and scored with many players not just them !! Since they have come back into the Europa games we have struggled !! i rest my case !! Football is a team game and k !!11 players play for one another problem here is Laca and Auba play for themselves !! not for the team !! I challenge freddie to dropped Auba and Laca and see what happens !! The team will play for each other again !! Sometimes when one or 2 players score all your goals it tells you something about the team as a whole !! and that is what is happening now their is no team effort to score ! People might call me mad crazy etc but i have managed and played at a high level for years now and i have seen this happen so many time i lost count !! Its better to win as a team and in that i mean many players scoring then just one or 2 !! then it becomes a team effort all over the park !! but to just have auba and laca score its easy for teams to shut us out and them !! as they know we are going to always look for them !! The invincibles didnt just look for Henry to score Lungberg bergkamp pires campbell gilderto parlour etc etc all score their fair share of goals !! because it was a team effort !! if you know the team is going to look for Auba and laca all the time then you close them 2 out but if you mix it up then its impossible to mark everyone !! and that is what is happening at Arsenal at the moment. Just look at our wide players and midfielders they stay wide they never make the runs needed to cause havoc ! The runs that bergkamp and pires and Lungberg made or even parlour and gilberto made !! Arsenal are a easy team to play against simply mark out laca and auba then you kill our scoring threats !! fact !!

    1. Maybe if the club’s highest earner can’t be bothered to put in a shift, why would they do it?

  8. Forwards must help in defending and defenders must help in attack. There is complete lack of cohesion and link up play. Had it not been for Lenno, we would have been in relegation zone. God save Arsenal!

  9. Yes,he’s absolutely right about the attacking problems where arsenal are concerned. Example! We went one nill down on thursday night and was awarded a penalty to get back in the game which Abu took without any conviction as it was so balze and missed. The whole reason why thee arsenal are doing so bad is because of their attitude on and off the pitch,period.

  10. My money is on the club not being able to find a suitable replacement for Ramsey. That’s why, IMO, Torreira has been played out of position. And that’s the definite reason why we’ve been so toothless in attack. We ain’t got a single solid box-to-box midfielder in our ranks. Also, playing both Laca and Auba, IMO, isn’t bringing out the best out of the two. That’s why selling Auba in January and buying a fantastic CB and possibly a promising box-to-box midfielder would save our season. I’d much rather see a front three of Martinelli, Laca, Pepe, than what we’re seeing right now.

  11. Martinelli should start,Ozil should also start, something has to be changed we keep playing the same players week in week out in the hope that they will get us a win and they just churn out the same dire performances every game Xhaka is not going to win us games and torierra wants to leave as does Auba,try something different for god’s sake.

  12. We lack any complete senior striker in the team.Auba is an excellent scorer, but he isnt your typical premier league striker. He has almost zero presence, poor link up play, no hold up play to talk about. As for Laca, he has been nowhere near his best this season. For me Martinelli can development into an effective epl striker than his two seniors.

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