Worrying statistic shows Tottenham legend's Arsenal warning is true

Aaron Ramsey & Kieran Gibbs

Glenn Hoddle believes Arsenal's full-backs leave the Gunners exposed

Arsenal blew a three goal lead against Anderlecht on Tuesday night, and the inquest into their collapse is in full swing.

Nacho Monreal has copped his fair share of the blame, while Arsene Wenger cites losing midfielder Mikel Arteta to injury as key to the 3-0 scoreline turning into 3-3.

Former Tottenham midfielder and manager Glenn Hoddle however argues it was down to tactical naivety, stemming from the determination of the full-backs to drive forward at every opportunity, citing it as the club's Achilles heel. 

He told SkySports: "Protect the back four and keep a clean sheet. Do you have to keep bombing full backs forward as high as they always do?

"It's in every game you see Arsenal, they are 3-0 up. Pick thm off, keep possession and you'll get the fourth goal.

"You see that time and time again from Arsenal, it been their Achilles heel for many many seasons."

Hoddle's point is not just plucked out of thin air, for statistics measured from the start of the 2011/12 Premier League season to the current date, show Arsenal as ranking in the worst five teams for conceding goals on the counter attack.

  Opponent Goals Fast Break
West Brom 16
Newcastle 14
Arsenal 12
Norwich 12
Fulham 10

That places the Gunners as the third worst over that time period, alongside the likes of Norwich City and Fulham, relegated last season, and West Brom and Newcastle who both sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table this season.

With players utilised at full-back ranging from Bacary Sagna, Mathieu Debuchy, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs, Andre Santos, Thomas Vermaelen and Calum Chambers over that period, it's unfair to blame the problem on any one player, instead it appears the issue is, as Hoddle suggests, a tactical issue under-pinning their recent problems.

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