Arsenal Defence - Discussion


Someone who is weirdly never given any blame for his defensive lapses is Ozil.

So many times have i seen him not attempt tackles or duck down the header. If We are to defend as a team, We can’t have one of most central player take no onus onto himself.


As much as Mustafi will prove to be a good signing for us, I think Xhaka will equally, if not, take us up a level in performance.

We had to deal with a midfield of Ramsey + Flam/Le Coq/Elneny for half a season and it was so unbalanced. Ramsey’s knack for attacking left us with a route one through the middle, whilst both our full backs are pushed so far up the field. Teams like Leicester or anyone with a set of pacey wingers would cut us up with ease.

I already like that Xhaka’s key thought is to sit back and dictate from therein. It doesn’t restrict us either as he has an awesome left foot, with a mind to launch balls any way you want it to. It shores the midfield up a lot better and offers so many more variables than we previously had.


I think you’re not wrong. Our offensive game has been very uninspiring and stale. Some games we just don’t seem to be able to buy goals.

But we really struggle against teams who put a high pressure on our backline and because the team is not well structured, imo, we always give space away between our defense and midfield and (good) teams pick us apart in transition.


This. It’s one pass jailbreak against us at times. The other ridiculous thing is giving up scoring chances from our own corners. It’s just pure laziness. I stand by my feeling that we should go short corners Whenever possible.


Oh ok so it’s fine to beaten by three nil about 6 times as long as you don’t concede five once excellent logic I must admit; btw only 2014/15 is the only time we’ve been beaten by 4 goals more than once in the premier league


A cookie for @Electrifying

Our attack minded game is always going to consequence with frailties at the back. You can’t have the best of both. Even Barcelona at their best can still look shaky in defence, it’s the nature of the system we attempt to demonstrate.

The most dominant teams over the years in Europe have managed to blend a perfect concoction of both defence and attack. For this to happen all 11 players must be switched on 90mins and know their role - all determined to perform given duties. I feel that’s the area we lack most, the concentration and to play as a real unit throughout the duration of the game.


So as long as we don’t make a habit of being beaten by eight or six that’s ok then.

What about my other point go being the only top team to throw away so many winning positions?


Well this time I’m not worried about the actual personnel. My concerns are simply because of our endless defensive failings under Arsene Wenger and because we have one the most unrelenting injury records in the history of this sport :grimacing:.

In every defensive position from GK to DM we have a good player and also at least one player behind them that can do a solid job.

Cech and Ospina,
Bellerin and Debuchy,
Mustafi and Mertesacker,
Koscielny and Gabriel,
Monreal and Gibbs,
Xhaka and Coquelin,

And we still have the likes of Holding and Elneny to support those positions if needed.

It’s certainly a visible upgrade to last season. We have quality in depth now. Injuries would still sting and they will happen, but for me, injuries in defence are likely to be less damaging this season.


One thing for me that would improve the defence is man fucking marking. Fuck the zonal shit off and each player pick up a man and mark him

Its ridiculous to keep on thinking that our defenders will beat a player in the air when he has a run on them. Its just not going to happen!


We have conceded lesser/similar amount of goals from our man marking days or compared to teams who employ man marking.
I don’t see any obvious advantage in either approach and anyway, we tend to use some sort of hybrid method where few defenders do man mark.


I think our defence is quite decent, we’re able to keep clean sheets more regularly, winning 2 golden gloves in the last 3 seasons, however there’s still some work to do regarding a couple of points, the first is set pieces, a high percentage of goals conceded comes from set pieces, mainly headers, which accentuates our vulnerability in the air and our poor marking, the second is our inability to handle a high line/pressing, our defence panics quite easiyl, leading to some silly mistakes: poor clearances, giving the ball away easily, which makes things more complicated for midfielders when counter attacking and keeps pressure on the back line.


I’d like to think we’re better in the air this year. Holding is pretty tall, Xhaka isn’t small as far as I can tell, Kos is pretty good in the air, Giroud is tall.

I’m not a Mustafi expert so I don’t know how tall he is or if he has a good leap to make up for a perceived lack of height.

The inability to deal with pressing should be alleviated by having a settled midfield of Cazorla and Xhaka. I believe both have the ability to receive the ball and step away from pressure in a way that Coq just can’t. I still think there are times the midfield two look way too far away from the front four (Özil, Alexis and some combo of Theo, Ox, Giroud, Ramsey, Iwobi, etc.). I’m not really sure how to fix that though. Maybe pushing Hector more forward?


It’s mostly just players switching off that has us concede goals from set pieces. Marking the obvious threats and have the rest of them do zonal marking is really the way to go and we’ve been quite decent doing so. It’s when attackers are asked to do the defensive work that we see problems.


Man or zone doesn’t matter…it’s will to win the ball.


Couldn’t agree more.


Agreed,I think Mustafi and Xhaka plus a little more discipline would help solve these issues, or at least minimize damage in some cases, Mustafi’s apparently quite good in aerial duels, and Xhaka prefers to stay deep unlike the other holding midfielders and pull the strings.


That’s completely subjective mate; it happens to every team including the top three teams in Europe; your comment is hyperbole.


I can’t think of any other top club that has thrown away games from leading positions than we have.
We certainly don’t close down games like Mourinho or Ferguson do.
Several times when we have been winning comfortably, we have gone on to draw or lose, and I don’t see other top clubs doing that as regularly as we do.


Still subjective; but yeah I would agree some times we get a bit shaky in the last 5-10 minutes of a game. How do we do that regularly please enlighten me?


In recent seasons I can remember throwing away a four goal lead against Newcastle, a two goal lead against spurs, which we went on to lose, another two goal lead against them when we let two goals in injury time, a three goal lead against Anderlecht, and there was Wigan Swansea and West Brom, and plenty of others, where we had good winning positions and dropped points.