Why It’s All About Defence for Arsenal

Gervinho, Podolski, Vermaelen, Mertesacker Celebrate

Arsenal have to make their defence absolutely impenetrable next season.

Not because it’s been poor this season, it really hasn’t, but because it’s the best possible way for them to cope with the inconsistency of their attack.

Arsenal have conceded a total of 33 goals this season, which is just two more than Manchester United, a side that are 24 points ahead of the Gunners on the Premier League table.

If Arsenal can maintain this defensive efficiency next season, then they could become a very formidable side if Arsene Wenger gets the attack of the team firing on a more consistent basis.

Arsenal need to maybe bring in one or two experienced players to enhance the defence, especially as Bacary Sagna has been tipped to leave the club and Thomas Vermaelen continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona.

They almost have to approach winning games in the same way that Manchester United did at the start of this season but using the opposite of how United outscored other teams.

If Arsenal’s defence can remain so watertight, so efficient and very reliable, it doesn’t matter if their attack is inconsistent because they’ll only have to win goals by the odd goal in order to secure points.

One of the ways to build any strong structure is to reinforce the base, to make that the strongest part and then everything develops from there.

There’s not really been any hints that the Gunners have been lucky with their defence this season because the table doesn’t lie, they have defended well in the majority of games but have just been out thought by the bigger teams.

However, there are areas of vulnerability such as at right back because as talented as Carl Jenkinson is, there are big doubts over whether he’s good enough to replace someone like Sagna over the course of a long season.

There are also core skills in the Arsenal defence which have been missing this season such as blistering pace which may have stopped goals from happening, like the goals the side conceded against Tottenham Hotspur at white Hart Lane.

It’s a simple case of fine tuning because if Wenger fiddles around too much in the summer, he risks undoing all of the good work which has been put into practice by Steve Bould.

Therefore, Wenger just needs to make a couple of squad additions to provide some extra cover and competition. If he starts signing players with the direct intention of replacing someone like Vermaelen or Laurent Koscielny, before they have actually left, then that would be pointless.

Arsenal fans, which area of the side do you think needs improving?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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