Why is the “Playing Out From the Back” still error-prone at Arsenal by H. Zigic
Hello Gunners, the internationals are unfortunately still on and there’s little to write about the Arsenal and we will have to wait till the weekend for the return of the EPL, but there is a fact that I want to highlight about the cause of our slow start to the season which has seen us lose two and win two in the four opening games.
Since the start of the season, Petr Cech has been one of (if not the most) criticized Arsenal player due to his perceived lack of composure to play out of the back, and “fans” have been quick to ask for his removal from the starting XI.
But are those criticisms justified? I’ll let you decide that, but check these stats for the season so far…. Petr Cech has had the Most Touches of all EPL GK at 189 and the Most Completed passes (100). His Passing accuracy is 71% (behind only three GKs) and he has already saved 19 shots (around 70% of the 27 he has faced already).
So contrary to major beliefs, I’ll say the main problem Arsenal has this season is the Back Four who haven’t provided the best shield for a GK who has already faced 27 shots in four games.
Not only did they fail to protect him, they also played a lot of poor back passes to him instead of moving the ball forward into the midfield, which has resulted in him being put under too much pressure than necessary.
Some have been pointing at Ederson or Allison and comparing him to Cech but the difference is the defenders (and even midfielders) in front of those two are not comparable to Arsenal’s, not only do they do well to protect the GK but they also move the ball quickly to the attackers and effectively evade the press of the opposition, a trait Arsenal’s defenders (especially Mustafi and Sokratis) do not possess and are yet to master.
Although, Cech can still improve but blaming him solely for the mistakes at the back is not justified and his removal (not that he’s at risk of being removed though) won’t solve the problem, and until ball playing defenders are brought in or rapid improvement from those at the club, the mistakes will not go away, and only time will tell how many chances and goals we’ll concede from them….