Tony Adams has criticised the role of Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno in Manchester City‘s goal, whilst urging him to give up on the back three.
The Gunners suffered a 1-0 defeat at the Etihad yesterday, in a game that could very much have gone either way had it been for better composure in front of goal.
We left Manchester without any points, an event we have become too accustomed to unfortunately, but the team we came up against were very much there for the taking.
Bukayo Saka’s ingenious runs failed to pay off due some imperfect finishing and impressive goalkeeping on Ederson’s part, while City’s only goal came from a deflection.
Former club captain Tony Adams believes that this performance only moved to consolidate his belief that the formation needs to go, in favour of a return to a back four.
‘I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season,’ Adams told Premier League Productions (via the Metro).
‘It wins you cup games, it doesn’t win you league titles. If he wants to build for the future.
‘I think he’s got problems with Hector, I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all, but I’d like him to go to a back four. They’ve got Gabriel now, get him a partnership.
‘They’ve been unlucky at the start with Holding going down but get them into a back four.
‘They look like they’ve a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.’
Adams moved onto praise the move by City to push up on Arsenal for the goal, but names Bellerin and Leno at fault for the goal.
‘Arsenal have pressed them and they’ve played around the press very well,’ said the former centre-back.
‘Hector Bellerin again, and the goalkeeper, I always look at it defensively.
‘Man City were too good, they passed it around, he [Phil Foden] steps inside Hector too easy. The goalkeeper is pushing it into the danger zone, you’ve got to push it away out of the danger zone, and he’s [Sterling] had a tap-in, which is disappointing.’
The result was a disappointing one, but I can’t help but think that a change in formation could well be the way forwards assuming Thomas Partey is able to settle quickly, as he will provide much needed energy in the middle of the park, and defensive guile which has been lacking.
Would fans prefer a back-four moving forwards? Should Bellerin’s position in the first-team be at risk?