When are Arsenal going to stop the comical defending? Where’s Bouldy?

Lacklustre defensive problems cost Arsenal again by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people! It’s not like I did not expect to lose at City (the sad reality that Arsenal have succumbed to), but it’s the way we did it, that was the real disappointment. We conceded in minute one! With the first attack.

All season our defense has been a problem. We don’t have a single clean sheet away from home in the league, yet we try to pass it out from the back and trick Man City players storming us with the best pressing game in the land. It feels like typical Arsenal. Worst, it felt like nothing has changed.

When you consider the amount of chances we concede, it’s questionable why didn’t we go out for a defender? Did we really need Denis Suarez more than a proper right back to replace Bellerin? Lichtsteiner vs Sterling is just asking for trouble. One of the major reasons I wanted Wenger gone is because he ignored the defensive problems for years. About 10 to be precise.

Yet, here we have Unai Emery, who at least acknowledges the fact that we need to improve, yet I don’t see it. I don’t even see players being upset about defensive problems. Funnily enough, when it comes to being a problem at the other end our defenders managed to score. Then we immediately saw Bouldy because of the old near post corners flick onto the middle, but did we see his face when we were comically defending all the time?

What is his purpose, apart from sitting Wenger-like all game with his hands in his pockets? But back to the head coach. It is time pressure starts mounting on him, because I can’t understand which team hasn’t beaten us yet, so we realise we cannot keep defending like that?

I will not buy the “This is Man City we were playing” excuse, because we conceded 3 at Southampton. We lost to West Ham, and haven’t won away in a very long time. This is not a coincidence and this strengthens the point, that we were riding our luck earlier this season. The problem is, we refused to acknowledge it and we didn’t improve, and now when the luck is gone, reality has hit us like a truck.

We haven’t really improved. It feels like all the changes we’ve made essentially were cutting the budget and the managers salary in half. This will not cut it. Our performances away are the ones of a team who doesn’t believe it can win. It thinks is should be possible, but not sure how to do it. Unfortunately it all comes from the top. Until we have people who are here to actually help us win trophies, rather than fill their pockets, nothing will happen.

We should’ve hired a manager with a different style of football. One who would come here to fix the existing problems, rather than just continue to talk about philosophies and styles of play. A more defensive coach. One that will make those players angry when they defend like children. One who would make us kick opponents hard if we have to, just to disrupt they game play. One who would not always try to outplay the opposition, but use our strengths. Someone like Simeone or Allegri.

Instead, we went cheap. And now we’re paying the price. And I mean by we, us the fans. Because the board doesn’t care. They don’t care if it’s Wenger or Emery. As long as we are in profit, that’s all good. We might be 10th and it’s still ok. This mentality is only ever gonna change when Kroenke is forced out. If it’s even possible.



  1. Sue says:

    Lichtsteiner has said if it suits both sides he’ll stay here….why on earth would we extend his contract?? ?
    As for Steve Bould what exactly does he do except promote Hubba Bubba week in week out, because there certainly isn’t any defending going on!!

    1. Sue says:

      Mavropanos has been left out of the Europa squad… bit of a bummer

    2. john hodges says:

      did any body watch the west ham game last night? they showed how to defend and not lose.i think emery should look at the game perhaps he could learn how it is done.

      1. Sue says:

        They defended well against us too

      2. gotanidea says:

        I wanted Pellegrini to be Wenger’s successor due to his Man City’s beautiful playing style. His team struggled at the beginning of this season, but manage to get back up

        But Emery is also good. He managed to keep Arsenal’s top four chance alive till now and beat several big teams

        1. ozziegunner says:

          ?at last someone who as put forward their preferred manager, who was available at the time. Many on here argued Pelligrini was too old, but I would have bern happy with him. Emery was also well credentialled with an excellent CV.

  2. ForeverGooner says:

    We have poor “defenders” overall
    Not a single defender in our squad (including Bellerin) is deserving of starting if we want to compete for the Premier League title

    We need a whole new back 4 for that purpose

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I’m amazed that I didn’t see Monreal getting slaughtered after that city game. The goals all came in a similar way except the last one shouldn’t have stood. Aguero was behind Kos, your fullback is supposed to be best positioned to be aware of that, Kos looked like he wasn’t even paying attention to it, twice. Monreal was supposed to have a birds eye view of it, then either give Kos a shout, or tell someone at least, or better yet deal with it himself. I don’t even know where Monreal was for any of them.

      Bellerin is never that lapse when it comes to his back post marking, Bellerin is actually good at picking up a player who hatches right behind the CB’s.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Building the attack from the back is good and we cannot blame only the defense if the outfield players in front of them cannot control the game

    For instance at Barcelona, Umtiti is good but he is of small build and Pique is a skillful towering CB but erratic sometimes. However they have Busquets who is a skillful DM that does the dirty jobs and technically gifted midfielders/ attackers that can dictate the tempo ala Cazorla

    I agree that Arsenal should have hired someone that can set up the team based on the players’ strength, but Simeone was not available. And we don’t know whether Allegri/ Simeone/ Jardim would do better or worse, because Arsenal have a very limited transfer budget

    1. ken1945 says:

      No, the one you should blame for Sundays debacle is UE.
      Why insist on playing out from the back if he hasn’t got the players who can do it?
      Likewise, the never ending running around up and down style that saw us create four (yes just four) shooting opportunities on Sunday.
      Meanwhile, the player he gave the captains armband to just one game ago, sat on the bench twiddling his thumbs and being persecuted for earning a reported £350,000a week for not playing.
      Then came the brilliant idea of bringing on a player who had signed two days previously, to help chase a game that saw us 3-1 down.
      That was his plan B was it?

      The comical defending is now Bouldy’s fault, but only since the introduction of UE?
      He’s been there for a lot longer than that, but this is the first time Konstantlne that you have choosen to blame him and noticed his presence?
      Strange that Konstantine, plus the fact that it’s starting to dawn on you that all the things you blamed our ex manager for, are still here.

      So what’s your considered opinion? That’s it!! bBame the new manager.
      Have you even considered the defensive injuries that have stopped UE from choosing a consistent defence that Bould might(?) be able to coach?
      I have no time for the “bleeding hearts” that come on here, especially when they asked and demanded the changes that have taken place, but know start moaning about what should have happened.
      It was the start of your new life, the day you neve believed would happen, you could breathe again and life was sweet. That’s what you said and guess what?
      You got what you wanted, you hailed the new king, the new beginning, now just ten months later you want a new manager yet again!!
      Not only that, your saying we went cheap and we shouldn’t have!!!
      This after complaining at every opportunity about the salary earnt by AW!!
      This isn’t supporting the club or being a “lovely Arsenal person”, it’s being a trophy hunting fan who can’t give a damn about a manager trying to build a team in his image in ten months?
      Query his tactics etc. but after just ten months AFC (kronkie) is to be blamed for granting your wishes and you now state you would have known better?
      I suspect your defensive manager would be Big Sam Allardyce, he normally just lasts one or two seasons, takes the club for millions in compensation and laughs at fans like you.

  4. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Konstantin I can’t disagree with everything you’ve said..and it’s a disgrace to keep reading stuffs like “We lost to man City so there’s no shame” seriously fans saying that should be shameful of that statement, who the funk cares if it’s Man City, the way we played and lost that game is total crap, we were never a threat to City right from the first second the whistle went off, even Wolves gave them something to fight for, Crystal Palace went in their backyard and gave them a beating, Newcastle gave City something to fight for, gave City a game they regret and all we Arsenal fan tell ourselves to justify the way we play is that it’s Manchester City, like you said, we lost to Southampton, West Ham, those clubs should be bigger than us then..
    This club has been turned into something else appalling

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Using examples like that makes no sense. Manu beat Leic recently but Liv couldn’t. We dismantled Tott at home yet we couldn’t beat Brighton, what does that say about Tott and Bri then. You could do this all day with every team, otherwise we’d all be laughing as we’re coming home from the bookies.

      We set up to soak up the pressure and hit them on the break. It was a tactic that many fans wanted Arsene to do more. Iwobi thew it all up in the air in less than a minute, no freaking excuse for what he done, all that work and all that talk and he went and done that. It gave city confidence as it often does for us when we get the first goal. We got back into it, it was a good effort in the first half but the complexities about the game changed. We tried to see if we could stay in the game and sneak an equalizer, but they were all over us they didn’t give us any time on the ball and when one of ours beat his man they fouled him almost every time. If they’d have been more relaxed like when they face smaller sides, things might’ve been very different. Or if the Iwobi didn’t put us straight under it, and we frustrated them instead, countering when they got more desperate, but it wasn’t to be. We were well beaten by a much superior side at their home ground.

  5. khitb77 says:

    Stating the bleeding obvious here, but Holding and Bellerin had been our two best defenders this season. Third on that list would be Sokratis.

    Moreal and Koscielny are in their mid-thirties. Koscielny has done well since coming back, but very soon playing every game is going to catch up with him.

    Kolasinac is NOT a left-back, he’s a wing-back.

    Lichtsteiner is completely out of his depth in the Premier League. When he signed he was 34, he’s now 35. When players near the end of their careers they do not move TO the Premier League from Italy, they do the opposite, with good reason.

    Don’t even get me started on Mustafi. He’s a bloody liability.

    Mavropanos is really untested, one for the future. But given our dire situation, he has now become one for the here and now.

    Then we have Carl Jenkinson. God love Jenkinson, given our limited options, he has to be a starter at right-back. He will run himself into the ground for the club, he knows he’s going to be leaving soon and without being sentimental, let him end his Arsenal career having given every ounce of energy he has.

    Maitland-Niles can offer cover at either left or right-back, so he’s probably going to continue being on the bench each week, unless things get worse!

    I am not at all surprised we’re in the situation we are at the moment. We have probably the oldest defence in the Premier League and it shows. Pace just destroys us, time and time again, but perhaps more worryingly a simple pass from midfield cuts us open, or we leave strikers unmarked in the six-yard box.

    I’m sure no one wants us to play like we did under George Graham (certainly not long-term), but there is something to be said for leaving at least three defenders at the back at all times and making sure our defenders don’t leave big gaps between one another. Our back four used to play the width of the penalty area in days gone by, we might need to get Bould to watch some of the old videos and remind him of how effective we used to be as a defensive unit.

  6. Grandad says:

    In Holding,Bellerin and Mavropanas we have three young players who are of the quality required in the Premier League.AMN has filled in at fullback but his energy and composure needs to be deployed in central midfield along with Torreria and the enormously promising Guendouzi.Before we can create an effective defence we have to unload sub standard players such as Lichsteiner and Mustafi and aging defenders including Kocielney, Monreal and Socratis who in my opinion is very average at best.Only then can we recruit 3/4 defenders of the quality required to move us forward.As for Kolasinac, he has no idea how to play full back in a back four and whether he can cut it further forward I very much doubt.

  7. McLovin says:

    We are now linked with free agents Rabiot and Brahimi.

    Both would be quality signings for free, GIVEN THAT we won’t offer them super silly wages! Rabiot shouldn’t get more than 100-120k, Brahimi same as Welbeck’s 70k.

    1. Phil says:

      @Mclovin-Rabiot on a free would be a great asset and a smart piece of business.
      I just don’t know enough about Brahimi to know what we would be getting.Anthing you can share?
      And if we do get players out for cash AND off the wage bill then surely this will generate more funds to buy.
      Never has CL Football been so important to our Club than now.The additional revenue COULD male the difference.And to think we used to take this competition for granted

    2. RSH says:

      Rabiot wont come if we dont get UCL.

  8. eugene says:

    Our defending is a disaster Lichtsteiner are clueless how many times we saw that goals came from his side of defending .We are not title contender nor are we a thread to other teams ,Kroenke must fall thats the best option for Arsenal .We losing the plot we can consider us a team of the mid table on the log .Lets give Unai another season maybe he can turn things around like Pep did with City and Kop wit Pool

  9. Martin says:

    When we realise that this set of defenders are not good enough for an Arsenal team. It’s difficult to love someone that doesn’t care about your emotions. Such is the case of our current Arsenal side, they don’t care about we the fans. The earlier we start holding our board accountable for our failures the greater our chances of getting our club back. Imagine spending the entire January transfer window bargaining a 2m loan deal for an unproven average player when our defensive problems and lack of width in the team was so glaring for anybody to see. #ThisIsNotOurArsenal

  10. Break-on-through says:

    Arsenal fans would not put up with a defensive minded coach for long, not after Wenger and now seeing City, Liv and the likes. Mourinho is available and I definitely wouldn’t want him here but I reckon a minute minority will put up with that even though football has evolved over here, those defensive teams aren’t around anymore certainly not at the top. If you honestly believe that Arsenal fans would praise a full on defensive minded coach all while sitting back and looking at City, Liv, Che, Manu, all playing better football as well as the silverware still most likely going in the direction of the odds, well then you are as deluded as they come.

    Emery is a good coach, I’ve listened to some football people and I appreciated hearing some of them saying how they believe he is the right man. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna romp home with silver falling from our pockets, he might still fail in the end. We need to try and stabilize the club at least, fans who are already saying the sack word are a very naive bunch, foolish. Emery left Seville in excellent shape, I remember watching them and I remember backing them in the bookies when they faced big sides. They were an excellent counter attack team, but could also play comfortably well when in possession. They had power, pace, stamina, and they had a sharpness about them.

  11. Mobella says:

    As much as I like what you have said about Emery’s Sevilla, that was his past. What I’m all about is his present and his present is Arsenal. Is it too much to ask him to repeat that with his present . As long as Emery is here I will give him my support that I did with Wenger until it is obvious last season the epl has past him by. The way Emery’s team plays remind me of Wenger last two seasons. I didn’t take that too well and I won’t take this as well. I’m saying it again as I had said several times play to the strength of your players.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Mobella, such a good post.
      I agree totally with your UE and AW sentiments and, to a certain extent, your comment comparing this season to the previous teo.
      Going forward, with headless chicken runs that produce no end product is something I can concur with.
      Having no creative players selected for, what seems at face value, a personal vendetta is another mystery.
      But the biggest problem is the defence and that is where UE has my backing and sympathy.
      To lose two excellent youngsters who were showing their real value to the club for a complete season (maybe more) is a hammer blow.
      On top of that, Kos has only just got back to PL fitmmess and all the other defensive issues have to be taken into account.
      All the other “excuses” are just smokescreens because, as we know, our ex manager also had to work under kronkie.
      Let’s see if he can do the one to one coaching that Mustafi (!!!!) says has improved him, actually occurs with all the other players.
      That’s what I’m desperate to see, along with the inclusion of Ozil on a regular basis in order to show if he can improve on that woefull performance by the team selected on Sunday.

  12. enagic says:

    Getting Brahimi and Rabiot will be a great piece of business and those are kind of players he used to have at Seville not world class but had quality and personality to play for Arsenal. I see some people here keep overhype Steve Bould when you come to our defense there is nothing he can do about our defense we just have the entire back line which is very fragile if you exclude Socraties rest need to go next summer.

    1. ken says:

      enagic, normally agree with your sentiments, but not on this one.
      Someone, UE or Bouldy, have improved Bellerin and Jenkinson (from his couple of appearences).
      The problem is the injuries just doesn’t allow for a settled, well drilled, coached and confident back three / four / five, take your pick.
      Kos has proved his worth since coming back and still has two seasons left, Socratis has surprised me and Holding was a revelation and don’t forget Chambers.
      Monreal is the one I have doubts about for next season, only because of the time it took to get over a fairly minor injury.

  13. kristoman says:

    we lost to Southampton, West Ham, those clubs should be bigger than us then..

    oh the irony. manc lost to Newcastle and crystal palace therefore they are bigger than mancity by your logic. look is bigger and stronger team than simple. it is foolish of you to believe otherwise

  14. Tissiam says:

    Comments like these,buying new defenders in January,slamming the defence(which at times deverses it)shoews a lack of understanding,if we had bought more defenders in the last window how many of them would we find ourselves with when the injured ones come back,also we,re not going to get the best defenders at incredible prices,then the seller club needs to want to sell,the player wants to go and if he is an international might jeopardise his selection for the national team,we know we don,t have the money ,we coudn,t bring chambers back from his loan coz no monies,the defence is decimated by injuries.and some fans talk about money wasting what a joke!!a squad is made of 25 places,what do you do with the rest apart from paying them just for training?then the summer comes we need to ship out so many players who earns a lot and don,t play they would rather stay and cash in,even if teams come for them they wouldn,t be able to match their wages,the fact some fans don,t know/understand makes me ashamed ,also when talking about a target they,ve never heard/seen play are ready to hammer him…..what kind of fans are they??if it ,s not a player that played or not in a game he is blame for everything then we have the manager who apparently doesn,t know what he’s doing,shame on those clueless fans at least give him the summer to ship out the players he doesn,t fancy god knows how hard,bring in new players even harder:)till then support the players,team,staff,club yes I said CLUB.I,m sad and ashamed to say that a lot,a lot of our fans can be si clueless but also divisived,troublemakers,so negative…we need to come together and change all that one step at the time,thank you to all gunners all around the world,COYG!!

  15. Tissiam says:

    easy question?when injured players are back fully fit,you can,t deny you didn’t know the answer,remenber the unbeaten run without injuries to defenders we would be in a better place not saying we have a great defence but it was a settled one which helped and our young central defenders were working and improving under the new coach,!!until then we have to make do with with this makeshift defence till the summer mate sorry!!

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