It really doesn’t matter who our GK is.Defending is our problem.

People pointing the finger at our keepers and rightly so. I agree that both Almunia & Fabianski are not good enough to be our number one.

But it doesn’t matter who our GK is, the problem is defending and until we work on this in training and get our defenders working as a unit we are going to conceded simple goals.

Look how many times we have conceded goals from crosses or set plays? Why is our keeper coming and flapping for balls? Well its because our CBs cant deal with them and head them away so the keeper has to do something. This weekend Clichy cleared off the line from a head and Almunia came and flapped x2 with balls into the box. Same old problems!

You cant blame all this on the GK! Our problems are much more deep then that.

If you look at our famous back 4 they were a unit, they knew each other and trusted each other. How many times over the years do you see Arsenal win 1-0 hang onto the lead under fire in the final 10mins with players like Adams putting his body in the way to save the team. Our offside trap was perfect and world famous and behind the back 4 we had a solid keeper with was the insurance if they did make a mistake.

The problem with us now is that we have a weak defence and weak keepers. And when put under pressure they don’t have that strength to hang on and win. Highlighted last season vs Wigan, Blackburn and Birmingham.

We don’t have that monster CB at the club anymore, the likes of Keown or Adams. Other teams do.

Terry,Vidic, Skrtel, Gary Cahill etc…. Yes they might not be the best ball playing CBs but they would do what Adams and co use to and put there heads in were it hurts and take one for the team.

I really don’t know what Pat Rice is teaching our CBs in training? No doubt its 2hrs of 5 aside and keep ball rather then working at attacking the ball and working as a unit. This is why I had hoped that Wenger would have brought in a new number 2 into the club this summer. I have no doubt that if Martin Kewon was at the club in a coaching job he would have our back 4 working much more better.

But then again how can you get the defence working as a unit when you only have 3 CBs at the club and are still waiting for a new GK?

So you see the GK issue is a problem but its not the answer to us going back to the days of having a strong defence. We need real defenders and they need to work as a unit in training.

Even if we had Gigi Buffon as the Arsenal Keeper we would still let in simple goals, its time to get back the old school way of defending.


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  1. dwayne

    August 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Great stuff. Agree 100% Gaffer

  2. jay

    August 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

    latest news, nasri out for a month with minor injuy, This team is a bloody joke, every bloody year we end up being the only team that have our best players out for long periods of time. Wenger bloody needs to spend the cash, its getting a joke now, SPEND THE BLOODY MONEY WENGER for new players because if not, our season will end the same way it has done for the last 5 years, NO TROPHIES AGAIN!!!!!

  3. sam

    August 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

    we could have a bobby moore franco berasi adams and ferinand at there peaks and we would still concede goals. Its quite simple really, we play to far up the pitch and always get cought out with one ball over the top. We never learn and we never spend so whichever way the problem you think lies, we will always be also rans when challenging for the title.

    Wenger out!!!

  4. Captain Stubbing

    August 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    unfortunately, the problem is much greater than that. defence isn’t the responsibility of just the back 4, it starts the split second we lose the ball and basically our midfielders/forwards are hopeless in this regard….very little pressure is put the opposition man on the ball. usually we don’t recover the ball until it get deeps into our own half….and then our build up is too slow becuase we are deep. watch man u, chelsea and barcelona especially….the get the ball back in the oppositions half by pressing straight away high up the park. we don’t do this at all, unfortunately we aren’t very drilled when we don’t have the ball…..thats half the game!

  5. DanAust

    August 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    My Brother in law (a Crystal Palace fan) made the comment to me the other day that he thinks Wenger scouts defenders for their ability to score goals first and defend second. While he was joking, I sometimes think there is a little truth to this. We need quality and depth and we dont have it at the back,at the moment, yes Vermaelen is great and Koscielny looks decent enough, its not enough.

  6. Malo

    August 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I believe our problems are not only in the CB position. Arsenal are one of the poorest crossers in the EPL. Sagna and Clichy have not lived up to the great promise of their early performances.

    If we were getting crosses in from our wide midfielders this would not be an issue, except that they too, with the exception of Eboue (not a regular starter) are also poor to mediocre crossers.

    What is the impact of all this? It takes away a direct attacking dimension from the team. It reduces our threat from wide positions – hence the over reliance on ‘tippy tappy’ football.

    I’ts hard for me to say this, but that is one of the mahjor difference between us and the teams above us. And there is no evidence that this problem has or is going to be addressed.

  7. Rupe

    August 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    There’s some truth to what you say, obviously there are big weaknesses in how we defend.

    But to say that it doesn’t matter who the keeper is is absurd. An experienced keeper could make a huge difference in terms of helping the young players get organised and maintain focus. That’s why I’d prefer Given/Schwarzer to Hart.

    I don’t think anyone’s saying it’d be like a magic bullet: suddenly we can defend properly for no reason other than we’ve bought a new goalie. But it would help.

  8. Steven

    August 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Great post. But I’ll like to add a point or two to your excellent analysis. Not everyone is born to do things that are helpful even for them–like cleaning our rooms–not exactly a talent we are born with but one we MUST learn for our own good. So we have parents who stand on our necks until we get it right–when we don’t they apply sanctions. What Arsenal has is like a family full of kids with no strong character as a parent. AW thinks that he can succeed with this current crop the way he did with the Henry, Vieira, Pires, Ljunberg,etc generation…those were accomplished ‘men’ who knew what to do and had strong character among them to ‘enforce’ compliance, which they rarely needed as they were matured and knew what to do most times. Not teaching them to defend affected them then but due to their level of maturity, it didn’t really reflect;most were grown when they came.Those who weren’t blended with the seniors on ground. On the other hand, the Fabregas generation are ‘kids’ when they came in and there were no ‘seniors’ to help. Beyond that, AW has refused to train them and insist that they go through the drills of how to defend;he’s so laid back about the issue you wonder if he watches the games like the rest of us. One good example: what does it take to be a good DM? High work rate, good tackling ability, positional sense and awareness, agility, etc. Imagine if Wenger had placed Diaby/Denilson on a special training with targets in last 2 seasons due to their roles.No, he doesn’t train defence. For his height and agility, I’ll have made Diaby play as a defender for a long period of time he adjusts to defending.
    Its even deeper than just players not knowing how to; it AW not planning for it;not caring enough;being too rigid to adapt his team to the rigours of the EPL.

    Secondly, it takes us time to get used to new things.But what if he says, ‘Diaby, you stay back and cover for the attacking players so that Song is not left alone as DM when we are under attack from a counterattack. And stop holding the ball up;one two touches, pass it on’. Diaby may not be catching on quickly enough.Why not stand on the line lie other managers and keep reminding him? Why would AW prefer to wring his hands, yell at the ref or other manager but never call his players to the sideline to remind or reprimand him for not staying focused or playing to instructions? And most times, after the match, he regains his composure and never mentions the sloppy play from these players;this is why, I believe, the same errors cost us time and again.He needs to know that this not the invicibles; this team needs on and off the pitch instructions to do well especially in big matches. They need a defensive formation and the manager to make them stay true to the match plan when they begin to stray from it; a thousand post-match analysis wont replace it. SAF does it in big macthes; Mourinho does it every other match; until they prove they can do without it, this is how best to curb the sloppiness we see in every match by Arsenal players; either he does it r his No.2 does it; somenone has to or we’ll keep losing the matches that matter and still end up as ALSORANS.

  9. king gooner

    August 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    good & valid points steven,which could be solved fairly easily by putting a defense minded “NO” man sitting beside sir wenger to disagree with him occcasionally!instead of pat rice (god bless him) who seems to just nod in ageement…under MARTIN keown WE HOLD THE BEST DEFENSIVE RECORD EVER IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-he wants to come back to arsenal& i’m sure he’d sort out our defensive frailties in no time at all-where is he ffs-what happened to him?ARSENE SORT IT OUT PAL & QUICK!!

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