For much of the current season the Arsenal defence was looking strong and had one of the best records in the Premier League, with the pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi at centre back appearing to have strengthened what in recent years was viewed as one of the weak spots of the Arsenal team.
Recently, however, that strength has once again looked like a weakness. 10 goals shipped in two games against Bayern Munich was a horror story, although we can point to the fact that the Gunners were doing much better in both games until we lost Koscielny.
But we have conceded three goals in each of the previous two EPL matches, as well as shipping three to Chelsea and two at home to Watford on the way to damaging defeats recently, and it seems that the awful attempts top stop West Brom at set pieces in the last game has worn out the patience of our manager.
In a Sky Sports report the Frenchman laid the blame for our troubles at the feet of the Arsenal defence, or more accurately at the way the whole team is defending. He knows that more of the same against Man City tomorrow will not be conducive to Arsenal getting the win we so desperately need so you cannot blame him for picking on this aspect of his team’s performance.
Wenger said, “You do not need to concede a corner because I have not signed a five-year contract. You defend on a corner no matter if your manager is has a one month or 10-year contract. We have to look at ourselves and believe in our qualities because if you look at our offensive numbers they are very positive in the league. We need to defend better and that’s why we’ve lost some big games. When I say defend better it’s not just the defenders it’s the team as a whole.
“What’s gone wrong? We don’t defend well enough and that’s what’s gone wrong. We can still have to turn this around by the end of the season. It’s a strange season because we played 20 games unbeaten and then you slip slightly away in one game, two games and suddenly it becomes a problem.
“We have to stand up and be counted all together. I do not especially look at one or the other one. As a group, as a unit Arsenal needs to be together. We are in a difficult situation together and we have to respond together. Life is a great opportunity to fight and when you have that turn up and go for it. Show that you can fight, that for me is what is interesting in life. It’s not always a motorway because sometimes it’s a bumpy way and you still need to get to the destination.”
So will we see Arsenal defend better against Man City? If so will that get us the three points and get the top four fight back on track?