Every Arsenal fan knows that the biggest problem we have had this season is the fact that we concede silly goals far too easily. Our goals against column is reading 41 so far this season, whereas last year it was 44 for the whole campaign, and only 36 the season before.
Every single Arsenal fan knows that the biggest problem we have had this season is the fact that we concede silly goals far too easily. Our goals against column is reading 41 so far this season, whereas last year it was 44 for the whole campaign, and only 36 the season before. This is by far the biggest reason why Arsenal are completely out of the betting to grab a place in the Top Four before the end of the season. They are now 100/1 outsiders to overtake Tottenham and Chelsea, although they are 1/10 on to finish in the Top Six. Most of the betting sites can agree on this, thus giving different options for the final position in league table for Wengers team. They would need an absolute miracle to win it, so the best option when placing a bet is to try to guess will Arsenal be in competition for Europe next season.
The problem is that Laurent Koscielny (32 years old with ongoing achilles problems); Per Mertesacker (33 and in his last year of competitive football); Nacho Monreal (the youngster at 31) and Petr Cech (35) are all getting very close to their sell-by dates. The wing-back roles are easily covered by Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac.
We do also have Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, who definitely have scope for improvement but Wenger doesn’t seem to trust them very much and you could say they are not gaining much top-level experience sitting on the bench either. And they are hardly going to improve siting there are they? But we probably have to accept that they will be our future first choices at the back.
So we thought it was a certainty that Wenger would be buying a top class experienced centre-back in January especially as Mustafi is not looking anywhere near the quality we need, and with just him, Chambers and Holding as our first-choices in the future we are hardly going to be invincible.
Wenger admitted that he wanted to buy Jonny Evans in January, but after spending over 50 million on Aubameyang there was nothing left in the pot. We can hope that the new Greek lad, Mavropolas, is going to grow into a top class addition but again this doesn’t help us now. We had Krystian Bielik coming through from the academy, but every time I read about him he is looking for a move somewhere where he can play every week. So what can Wenger actually do in the summer to correct these defensive problems?
There are two very popular choices out there in Manolas and Koulibaly if Wenger wanted to bring in one more defender, but there is also a school of thought that it is not the quality of our defenders that is the problem, it is the lack of protection from a World-Class Defensive midfielder and the lack of solid tactics defensively, which can only affect our confidence leading to even more mistakes.
A very popular choice for DF would appear to be the Italian international Jorginho, who is playing at Napoli right now and raising eyebrows with his tough tackling displays although he is also very good at joining up with the attack when his team are on the front foot. This would seem like an ideal Wenger candidate, but Le Prof is hardly known to encourage his midfielders to defend when they could be up front scoring goals, so another popular idea right now of changing the manager for one that actually thinks about defending now and again!
How do you think Arsenal could cure our defensive problems, other than sacking Wenger?