Signing defender won’t solve Arsenal defensive woes

“We need a new central defender” I often read or hear.

Whilst new personnel will not go a miss at Arsenal, Laurent Koscielny is deteriorating by the week and those below him are not up to much, simply signing a new centre back does not solve Arsenal’s defensive problems.

After Liverpool spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk, Jamie Carragher had his say:

“This thing about Van Dijk is going to come in and fix this problem, it is absolute nonsense. That one player comes in and fixes the whole problem, he’s not that good.”

Earlier in the season, when Liverpool were heavily linked with van Dijk in August, Carragher had a heated debate with Jamie Redknapp over the signing of the Dutch centre back.

“On set pieces it’s not about the defenders. The way Liverpool are set up – set piece wise – they will always concede goals. No matter which defenders they buy or how much they cost – it won’t make a difference.”

A teams defensive problems are much more than just the personnel.

Signing a new defender would not solve the problem of the midfield not giving the defence enough protection.

The first goal yesterday came from Mesut Ozil giving the ball away and Granit Xhaka not following a runner – compare Xhaka’s attitude to that of Aaron Ramsey earlier in the first half.

A new centre back will not solve Arsenal’s goalkeeping issue – just like van Dijk does not solve Liverpool’s. Petr Cech is past it. Not just based on last nights error for the goal, but his form over the last 12 months.

And a new centre back will not solve the way we defend. The way we set up.

When it comes to defending, the team as a whole (not just the back 4) needs to be on the same hymn sheet. They are not. And this comes down to them being poorly coached, poorly instructed and poorly motivated.

A good defence is usually about the sum of its pieces. Under George Graham, Arsenal did not necessarily have the best individuals – look at how few caps Dixon, Winterburn and Bould won – but they had the best drilled unit. They knew their roles. They were organised. It was this that made them the best defence in the country – not the individuals.

Now I am not saying we do not need to be players. We do.

But Arsenal’s defensive problems go deeper than the individuals on the pitch. The problems start with Arsene Wenger.

As Jamie Carragher says about Liverpool, one player does not make a difference if the set up is wrong.


8 thoughts on “Signing defender won’t solve Arsenal defensive woes

  1. Font

    What a load of old tosh arsenal are set up with wing backs to a system of we will score more than you. when we set up to park the bus we can (Chelsea away carbao cup)
    Our problem is we can not score lowest of the top 6 by a way, solve that problem and it will all come into Focus.


  2. chris

    I agree the article. Poorly coached, poorly instructed and poorly motivated. And NOT by Steve Bould who is treated as a mere Yes Man. For nearly every match Wenger has an unchanging training routine and same as, same as, same as game plan (if you can call it that). We do not ‘park the bus’ very often. Nor do we press. Every team knows how to play us. And Wenger just sits there looking furious – waiting for the 65th minute to make his pre ordained substitutions. He cannot believe that his entire approach has been wrong through years of stagnation and decline.


    1. Atid

      Why does kroenke always get away with it. After all it is silent Stan who allows the incompetent fool to keep signing new contracts. We have not truly challenged for either of the big two since Stan took over and quite frankly we never will while he continues with his current business model and allows wenger to implement it. It’s truly should destroying. We should all be getting excited today about one of the top ten strikers in the world signing for us, instead we are just demoralised after another poor showing from the likes of Cech Bellerin mustafi elneny xhaka iwobi ozil and lacazette. We are also bemoaning the loss of two strikers who have scored over 200 goals for the club yet, in all honesty have been maliced over the years. In addition we have lost our best player and replaced him with another who is similar to all the other midfielders we currently have. Now I read Alex Song is training with the club in the hope of a new deal!!


  3. Font

    The one point I agree with you on is motivation. the weight on defenders with the system we play Is always going to be contentious but to suggest AW does not know tactics is bordering on insane Please explain how we got past Man City / Chelsea In the FA cup
    The quality of our team is not at the standard City /Utd / Chelsea so any victory over these teams is done by Tactics.


  4. Font

    Mr Wenger I suspect will leave at the end of next season, in my opinion he will be a major loss unless we can unearth a gem that all the bigger clubs have overlooked PEP at Arsenal
    Without the money may not be the simple answer everybody seems to think would be the second coming. All the usual suspects will fight out the Madrid/Barca /Bayern and we will be left to pick the bones from those who missed out, to be our new manager.
    He will have to work With limited funds in comparison to the big boys so be careful what you wish for. We are still enjoying cup finals long may it continue.



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