Pundit claims Arsenal’s defence is the ‘real strength behind their success’

Garth Crooks has claimed that Arsenal’s back line is what has made the difference in guiding us to sit top of the Premier League table at present.

The Gunners hold a five-point lead over Manchester City going into the World Cup break, with the division not returning to action until Boxing Day, and while many of our players have come in for praise in helping our amazing run of results, Crooks has claimed that it is our defence who deserves much of the credit.

While the pundit claimed that French defender William Saliba was not at his best this weekend, he moved to praise his defensive partner whilst singling our our defence as a whole for impressive run of results.

“Last week it was William Saliba who received the plaudits for an excellent performance against Chelsea,” Crooks claimed in his regular column for the BBC. “However, against Wolves, the Frenchman looked a little vulnerable and needed Gabriel to get him out of one or two rather tricky situations.

“It’s always a good sign that, when one player is having a difficult time, his partner can raise his game and fill the void. Quite apart from Gabriel’s performance, Arsenal’s defensive line-up is the real strength behind their success.”

Saliba has reaped his fair share of praise since the campaign begun, but players all over the pitch are worthy of being singled out for various reasons. Confidence in your backline and goalkeeper does allow more freedom for more attacking players however, and I could understand why you need a strong defence to build a team around.

Do you agree with Garth that our defence has been the building block for our form?


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  1. Not sure Gabriel always dug him out – that back pass straight to a Wolves player who should’ve scored didn’t involve Gabriel at all and could have seen us 1-0 down to a team who would’ve continued to park the bus.

    The result may well have been different. Not Saliba’s finest hour, but everyone makes mistakes, he’s been great this season.

    1. You have to remember most of the Arsenal team was suffering from the bout of food poisoning and to come away with a 2-0 win was great. Tierney kept disappearing down the tunnel, Xhaka we know about, Ben White was suffering but we overcame it and our captain stepped up when it was needed great day

    2. Watch it again. Gabby goes sliding in and the ball, which was on target, deflects off his shin and behind. That’s why it was a corner, not a goal kick. Rambo was beaten.

      So yes, Gabby did bail him out. Seems that ex-Sperz forward was paying more attention to the Arsenal game than you were.

      He’s right about the way this partnership is growing – and that when the LB tucks in, we have 3 at the back with White. And they’re holding the line together really well. With Rambo and Zinchenko, this is the best back 5 since we were winning titles.

  2. Totally agree . City strengths is their attack and outs is defence .
    We have the joint best defensive record this season and I believed we will have the best defence come May .
    We are are more leathal in attach and Jesus gets into goal scoring we are on course of a very good season

  3. I think this was Arteta’s plan all along when he took over. He has spent well in excess of 100 million on the back line to build a solid defense.
    White 50 million
    Tomi 18 million
    Gabriel 27 million
    Teves 7 million
    Ramsdale 30 million

    Having a solid dependable defense allows everything to work in front. Give Arteta credit for him and Edu understanding the importance of a strong backline and reliable CB investment.

  4. I think the emergence of Saliba as shored up the back line add zinchenko (who I was sceptical about )and white playing his same position when he was at Brighton and it’s a solid foundation to go forward.
    So far so good this season

  5. It’s not just the defenders who’ve given us this defensive record – the system is set up to make win the ball quickly and to prevent counter attacks. We keep pressure on teams and make it very difficult for them to get at our defence too often. Saliba has been excellent, as has Gabriel (especially recently), and they suit the system very well (it wouldn’t work with ordinary CBs imo) but they’re part of a unit that starts at the front with GJ.

  6. Regarding White, we have got more for less CB + RB. For £50 million we have got a decent CB and a decent RB, must be a bargain 🤩

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