What happened to Arsenal being the best defence in the League?

Even the defence is letting us down!

As we fell to a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa, the whole team was to blame, but it is clear to see that it hasn’t taken long for even our defensive solidity to disappear, as well as our lack of goals scored.

So really, does it seem that we are back to where we were when Arteta first came in? It certainly looks like that to me.

Although we are only eight games in and there is a long way to go in a league that all teams have lost at least one game already, I think Arteta needs to do a hell of a lot more with the squad he has, otherwise we will have an even worse season then what did last season, if that is even possible.

I do not doubt that Arteta has done very well to come in and give us two trophies in nine months, making us more defensive along the way and to also get Aubameyang to sign an extension, alongside bringing in some key sought after players. But all of that pretty much comes to nothing when you have a team that is trying to get back to where they belong, yet have lost four games out of eight so far and have failed to score more than one goal in the league since they beat Sheffield United 2-1.

A team that now boasts the likes of Pepe, Willian, Aubameyang and Lacazette and a team that were known for scoring goals for fun at times, has now turned into a team that (barring the Villa game), has become more defensive and is now even failing to score many goals.

So, it seems yet again that we will have to try and get the Europa League trophy, as that at the moment seems like the only way we have a chance of getting into the Champions League if our form continues the way it has.

We now go into an international break and whether we recuperate and come back firing or whether we pick up where we abysmally left off will remain to be seen but something clearly needs to change if Arteta is to remain at the helm for longer than one season! Gooners?

Shenel Osman

Tags Arteta Aston Villa


  1. What happpened to the “best defence” is that in fact we were never anywhere near the best defence. I realise that some on here think me an irritating pedant and I AM, but for a deliberate reason.

    Being keen to use words in their CORRECT meaning – as in, prior to Villa , we had the least goals conceded but NOT the best defence – is of vital importance IF you wish, as I DO, to get at the whole truth, instead of a half truth or a falsehood.
    Related to this principle is my constantly telling certain fans that the silly use of stats over far too short a period and with no proper context, is always a false picture.

    To be of any real use , stats need to compare like with like and it is not possible to accurately compare twenty Prem teams fairly, when all have played different fixtures. And even more so with so very FEW games played!

    That to my mind, is SO OBVIOUS, that it should not need saying. But sadly, it does need saying and even then it will never penetrate the brains of SOME fans. SIGH!

    Please fellow Gooners use stats sensibly; they have a certain role to play, in the longer term though but only when sensible used.
    Of course if your real intentioinis NOT the whole truth but simply to pounce on ANY angle to write an article, then you need to expect to be criticised by those fans who choose to think first, before writing ! Who agrees?

  2. Disastrous tactics…
    No game plan…
    Villa’s löss proved that we won against Man Utd because we were not good but Man Utd were shit…
    There is reluctance to change for Arteta..
    Even before game everyone knows his tactics…
    Everyone knows how his teams will play….
    Before Covid He used to play Ozil.. There we had really fluent attacking football…
    After lockdown no Ozil and suddenly we are not at all creative..
    You have Partey in your team…
    You have Elnenny in your team who can work tirelessly from 1st min to last minute…
    Play Ozil in front of Partey and Elnenny…
    Ask Partey and Elnenny to protect Back 4 and Ozil..
    And give Ozil the license to move forward.. Pick passes…
    From beginning of the season we can see Lacazzet missed so many glorious opportunities…. Everyone knows Aubameyang is being Well Marshalled by opponents player on left wing…
    Walker did it, Aston Villa’s Cash did it..
    Then why to waste such classy finisher on left…
    And if he doesn’t want to play Ozil then play Ceballos as AM Saka on left, a natural left winger…
    When Wenger or Emery was incharge we used to have hope that this team will create good opportunities and ultimately score goals….
    That time also Lacazzet was there and he used miss chances but still we didn’t ruin those chances because we knew we will create chances after chances…
    But now we hardly create 1 chance in entire match and when that chance get missed, we start battering Lacazzet but the fact is Lacazzet hasn’t changed but our potency to create chances…
    Use ESR and Willock at least as a sub…
    We say Willian is rubbish but do we analyse or find out reason why he is underperforming??
    6 months before he was very deadly and important for Chelsea and suddenly after moving to us he is rubbish??
    Problem lies in Willian or players and manager around him??
    Willian had much better quality players around him… So drop of his form is only down to him or mediocre players or manager or or coaching staff or mediocre manager tactics around him is also another reason…
    So frustrating..

  3. This defeat has clearly sparked a strong reaction from the fans. Some say players fault, others say Manager.

    I personally think that it’s a mix of both and Villa deserve credits for outsmarting arteta. Their manager impose careful positioning and strong focus to attack on our left side which basically left us collapsed. Just saw the analysis and it makes sense.

    Then there is the performance. Perhaps the players are fatigue after europa? Who knows….

    The damage has been done. It will be interesting to see how we respond in the coming weeks. Whatever happens, these are crucial times for arteta.

  4. I suppose It’s all too easy for a lot of us (me included) to get carried away with our emotional feelings after such a defeat to Aston Villa. We should all to take a moment to understand the task that the club has on its hands. Including The owners, manager, players, staff and fans. MA needs time to find a balance in the squad and make the difficult decisions he feels are required (like the Ozil situation for example). When you look at the situation Manure are in still, you realize that perspective is required. When Fergie left, Manure were the best club around. Now, the are even worse than us. Arsenal as a club are still rebuilding it’s personnel. MA needs time. Just like Klopp needed time. Now is not the time for “Wenger this and that” or “MA is tactically inept!”. I said I would give MA until the end of the season to show me he is able to deliver. I still think he is the man to do it. I just with we as fans will be able to stop with the judgment already and support the club in every aspect! These people are only human and mistakes can happen. Let’s look to the next game with the hope that a lesson has been learnt from the Villa game! We are still in a good position. For some reason, if my memory serves me well. We always seem to have a dip around November and then plough on in December! 🙂

        1. GunneRay Not sure it is possible to have too MUCH perspective. It is certainly possible and too silly, to have too little though! I much liked your long post as it DOES have proper perspective.

    1. You’re not wrong, GunneRay!! November was always our worst month, at least the break has taken 2 weeks out of it 😂😂 Now only Leeds, Molde and Wolves to go!!

      1. Sue that’s all in the mind if you want to win a game you go out and fight for it Nov ember is all a load of bo**ocks January or April what’s a bloody month got to do with it

      2. Damn right, Sue. If that two week break takes out four bad games or so from November, then so be it!! ☺️☺️☺️

    2. GunneRay That’s the problem he keeps changing the side WHY? change a winning team I said all along give the kids a chance they will run their heart out for you

    3. For me this will be a decent season if we are able to get 60+ points.

      38 – 17 – 9 – 12 – 60 (Position 5 – 8)

    4. Boss with your words you are not supposed to be an arsenal fan they have to play with their hearts for us if things are not working out we will understand that they give everything they got

  5. I don’t think many fans would criticise Arteta for fielding an unchanged side against Villa after the good win in Manchester.The problem for Arteta is to recognise the tactics required to bring about a victory against sides which are attacking minded, like Man Utd. ,and those who sit in and hit on the break, Leicester being an example of the latter.Having set up on a 3-4-3 basis at home against Leicester and Villa and failed miserably will Arteta reflect and switch to a less complicated and more attacking 4-3-3 system which is in line with top sides like Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea.As Wolves are now finding out, there is only so much you can achieve with a defensive back three in the EPL and I am afraid we are calling into the same trap.Time for MA to change tactics and certain personelle.

  6. I have the answers.
    All goals scored by villa came from the right side which left bellerin blunt.
    Grealish made bellerin mediocre overnight.
    Let’s question bellerins defensive approach and see if he well good going forward…
    Tierney never put a wrong foot in.
    ADMIN plz create an article on bellerin defensive contribution

  7. All three goals were conceived down the Villa left flank and in my opinion both Bellerin and Holding were culpable for two of them .Positionally, Bellerin has always been suspect and now that he has lost his searing pace he is unable to recover.As to Holding, basically he switched off twice and was punished.He had the audacity to blame Gabriel for Watkins second goal ,but he messed up.Two seasons ago I mentioned Watkins and Konsa are players who could do well at Arsenal and unfortunately both of them have.

  8. A simple answer for me – Grealish:

    Let’s forget Bellerin for a moment, do we think Kyle Walker would have done any better? Trent Alexander-Arnold, at the very least, would have had to abandon his attacking prowess wouldn’t he? What about Doherty at the spuds? or Pereira/Castagne from Leicester? Even Azpilicueta at chelsea wouldn’t stand a chance wouldn’t you say?

    I’m not saying that Bellerin wasn’t “skinned” on Sunday, but this guy Grealish is something special and, thank goodness, we won’t come up against his ilk to often this season.

    As for being the best defence in the league, having conceded the fewest number of goals before Sunday, we WERE the best defence:
    No need to talk about individuals or stats, just look down the “goals conceded” column and select the team that has let in the least number of goals – it really is that simple…just as the best team sits atop the PL and the worst team occupies the bottom place at THAT moment in time.
    If looking at the teams we faced, then liverpool, man city, leicester, (all above us in the league of course) and manure, I suggest, wasn’t a bad barometer to claim we were the best defensive unit at that time in the season.

    My personal opinion, of course, on both subjects.

  9. ‘I do not doubt that Arteta has done very well to come in and give us two trophies in nine months’. Two? Two? TWO?!

    Please stop this nonsense that the Community Shield is a ‘trophy’ in footballing terms. It is a gloried friendly, and as far as I can remember (and trust me, I can remember back to the early 70s, especially in relation to Arsenal.), it has never been considered a trophy in a competitive sporting context.

    Yes, it’s a shiny piece of silver presented to the winning team of a football match, but if that is the only criterion, then by that logic, the Emirate Cup should also count as a trophy. So the charge of all those ‘trophyless years’ is a lie! The only reason why some would consider the Community shield to be a ‘trophy’ is that we are unlikely to win anything less at present, but still, let’s have have standards! If even during the barren and dire times of Neil/Howe era we can discount this glorified friendly as a trophy, we can surely do the same now.

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