Arsenal can’t defend and need to spend
The Gunners are running out of time to fix their problems at the back. The English window closes on Thursday, and they are yet to sign a single defender.
It is common knowledge among football fans everywhere that Arsenal have major problems at the back. This was highlighted last season where the team conceded 51 league goals – more than Newcastle, who spent the first half of the season in a relegation battle. The majority of goals were conceded on the road, with Arsenal struggling away from the Emirates – finishing 8th in the Away table behind Crystal Palace and Leicester.
The problems at the back have been worsened by the fact their skipper and best defender Laurent Koscielny has gone on strike and is angling for a route out of the club and a return back to his home country.
Here is a list of their current defensive problems:
Arsenal fans have run out of Patience with the German they purchased from Valencia for £35 million. The former world cup winner has become consistently error prone at the back, this mixed with the negativity aimed towards him from a section of the fans it’s hard to see him improving and Arsenal should look to cash in as soon as they can.
Sead Kolasinac has been impressive going forward but leaves too much space in behind, he is just not good enough defensively. Nacho Monreal is now 33 years old, has lost a yard of pace and seems to be playing Centre Back more often than his preferred position. Kieran Tierney has been subject of two bids from the gunners, he is better defensively than Kolasinac and has a better balance in the position.
Lack of Leadership
Arsenal’s captain doesn’t want to be there, it is yet to be seen if there is a replacement in the squad to be the organiser at the back. He was Arsenal’s most experienced defender and will be a big loss for the Gunners. There was a clear lack of communication at key moments with the defence folding under pressure, this was on full show in the Europa League final defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
A quick fix to this problem could be signing Gary Cahill who is available on a free, he is the same age as Koscielny, he has won everything at club level and is a proven leader.
Lack of Pace
There was a clear lack of pace last season high-lighted more by the absence of Bellerin. Sokratis was arguably Arsenal’s best defender last season but he lacks pace and it showed at times when the ball was played in behind, picking up numerous booking in the process whilst trying to regain his position.
Right Back Cover
Bellerin was out injured for the majority of last season and was badly missed by the Gunners. Maitland Niles turned deputy for the injured Spaniard. It is not his natural position and this showed on occasions last season. He gave away possession in bad positions and at times was far too relaxed leading to big errors. This showed recently in the friendly with his own goal against Barcelona.
Raul Sanllehi has been the subject of a lot of praise recently, especially for the latest record signing of Pepe from Lille for a rumoured £72million. However if the obvious defensive issues aren’t addressed in this window then Arsenal will find themselves falling further behind the other five teams in the big six.
If Tierney signs plus an improved Centre Back, and with the return of Bellerin and Holding, Arsenal could have a real chance of returning back to the top four. With four days left of the window we will have to wait and see and trust that the new recruitment team at the Emirates sees what everyone else seems to know.