Arsenal defensive lapses call for concern


Arsenal crisis at defensive part of the team was once exposed yesterday. The gunners lost 3-1 to lowly placed Swansea City at the Liberty stadium.

This was the 7th league defeat and the 6th away from home and 34 goals conceded so far. Arsene Wenger has not solved the lingering defensive crisis at the Emirates. The likes of Mustafi have not lived up to expectation same as Bellerin and Koscielny. The club has not found a way to manage these players in such a way to allow them commit less blunders.

This season, Arsenal have used different defensive set up in the premier league. The season started with three centre backs and the wing backs in a 3-5-2 formation. This formation brought little to Arsenal in terms of defensive solidility. The North London side conceded goals like a relegation threatened side. Their away form is even more worrying.

The first defeat came against Stoke at the Britannia stadium when Jese scored the only goal in the match. After bouncing back in the next game, Arsenal lost again to Watford after scoring first. This became a pattern that the club struggled against every side away from home.

Wenger finally decided to change his tactics after two costly errors from Mustafi against Manchester United, reverting to a back four. During this period, Mitland Miles came into the squad while Mustafi was dropped and Monreal and Koscielny were paired. This brought little changes to the results. The team conceded three against Liverpool in December and never kept a clean sheet the whole month and till now.

This clearly showed that no matter the back line Wenger tries with our current squad, no significant improvement have been seen so far. There were rumours that new defensive cover were going to join Arsenal this winter but that had not happened.

When the likes of Gabriel Pualista decided to move to Valencia, Wenger didn’t seek for cover but trusted Holding and Chambers to provide cover for Koscielny and Mustafi but that has not really happened. This is why getting a new signing as soon as possible is the solution at the Emirates. Players like David Luis and Johnny Evans would not be bad additions to the current squad and either or both bring premier league experience and could fully adapt to the team immediately.

Petr Cech 14 years in top flight football seems to be coming to an end. The continuous horrendous mistakes he makes has not helped matters. David Ospina have not been a great back up and the club should be looking at young and vibrant goalkeepers around the world to join next summer. In all of these, one thing remain to be sorted out.

There seem the time Wenger need to call it a quite to his 22 years at the club. His respect will forever be there but staying longer and tarnishing the great name he has built at the club is agonizing to watch. The board needs to ease him out of the club this summer as part of the revamp going on at the club.