‘Sprint back please, you’ve got a job to defensively,’ pundit slams Arsenal’s defence

Graeme Souness has slammed Arsenal for their defending in their 2-1 loss to Everton.

The Gunners went into the game after losing seven of their opening 13 league games and they needed a win to boost their confidence.

They managed to draw 1-1 against Southampton before the Everton match, a result that seems to suggest that they are getting back to form.

However, this loss is another setback, but the way Arsenal went about trying to prevent another defeat didn’t impress Souness.

He slammed Willian for not doing enough to prevent Everton from crossing the ball that led to their first goal.

He also said that Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nicolas Pepe were passive as the Toffees attempted to score and that is not how the top teams defend.

‘Sprint back please, you’ve got a job to defensively,’ said Souness via Mail Sport, and then said that instead of closing down the cross, Willian simply thought ‘I’ll just jog towards him.’

‘Then at the back post [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles and Pepe are not doing their job. You ask your players to defend with their lives, and this tells you that Arsenal are in trouble defensively and will continue to be.

‘It’s so avoidable, top teams don’t concede goals like that.’

Wilian has particularly looked like a poor signing and it is baffling that Mikel Arteta still starts the former Chelsea man.

Tags Graeme Souness


  1. Souness is not one my favourites, but I have to agree.
    One of our main problems seem to be, we are simply not playing with enough energy and desire.
    We are too slow to press and not willing to give those extra %, that others do. Liverpool of course being the no. 1 example, but alomost any team we play seem to do it with more intent. This hurts our defending tremendously, but it also means we don’t win enough balls in the opponents half and we don’t catch them off balance. So it is actually hurting us double.

  2. One thing really impressed me the other day, when I caught odds and ends of the Liverpool Tottenham game.

    With minutes to go and Liverpool in the lead by a single goal, Robinson (L/pool full back) got out wide and blocked a cross going into the box, ending with the ball going out for a throw on.

    Robinson literally BUST A GUT to get out there and put the block in.

    Robinson celebrated like he had just scored.

    Not in too many of our players make up I’m afraid.

    “Jogging” around the park ………… not for me.

  3. Liverpool plays 4 defenders..to incredibly attack minded full backs..and two cental defenders.they are top of the table and they play three players upfront..two of which are wingers and a false 9 in firmino..one defensive midfielder and two attacking midfielder..why one silly manager would think that you would get better results playing 5 defenders plus 2 defensive midfielders,no attacking midfielders and two strikers baffles me a lot.Arteta is not what we need

  4. He’s right, it’s the main reason we are so bad, no passion, no chasing back and Willian and Pepé strolling around.
    Luckily we haven’t just dropped to 16th as Brighton only drew.

    1. You’re right Declan.

      However, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the cult of AMN I would include him in your list, look at Everton’s 1st (and I have seen this many times over the years).

      If the ball carried beyond Holding, it would have got straight to Richarlason (don’t care about spelling) who would have virtually tapped it home following in at the far stick.

      Ainsley was a best “jogging” back to pick up his man, at least 5 yards off him …… embarrassing !

      Don’t confuse “super cool” with real class (who tries to appears “cool” in an EPL game – that’s for kids surely ?) with being one paced.

      To be fair, Ainsley had a reasonable game yesterday, but lapses that will cost you are always in this players locker.

      It seems whether Bellerin or AMN, and I fear Cedric, we will always be exploited down our right – and forget any help in front by Pepe or Willian.


  5. Starting Willian & Nketiah and expecting anything is naive. Rather stick with Laca or see Martinelli than woeful Nketiah.

    How a former midfielder like Arteta is clueless regarding our midfield is shocking. Constantly being overrun, lacking creativity & organization, and woeful game management.

    Nketiah is another Sanogo, a Welbeck who can’t find the end product. How is Willian still in? At least Ozil cares & wants to be here and play, Willian is just stealing money at this point.

    Arteta has been figured out and managers are getting points off us too easily. We get countered, overrun in central midfield, and teams give us possession then capitalize when we make a mistake.

    Rinse and repeat every week. Same culprits, same tactics, same lack of ideas or cutting edge.

    Unfortunately I’ve seen nothing from Arteta worthy or deserving of transfer funds. He wants Auoar, but he will be tasked with same endless crosses.

    1. “At least Ozil cares & wants to be here and play”

      Sure… You have repeated that so much you have started believing it..

  6. Every player has to catch his breath at some time during the match, but the really intelligent rarely get caught out of position in the first place.A prime example today in the Spurs defeat( it just slipped in) was the way the aging Johnny Evans was invariably in the right place at the right time.He and most of the Leicester side were excellent.If we are thinking of buying a real quality RB , we should go for young James Justin who seems to improve with every game.Leicester have no fewer than three top quality RBs in Castagne, Perreria and Justin but they do not have a good natural left back, so they will probably unload one to rectify the current imbalance.

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