Alarming defensive statistic which is doing Arsenal few favours

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be concerned at how frequently his side allow Premier League opponents to score with their first shot on target.

Defensive frailties at Arsenal have been exposed on an alarmingly regular basis this season, with Arsene Wenger still searching for a back four formula that works.

This is an area he has sought to address on a regular basis, with Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy added to the Emirates Stadium ranks over the summer.

The Frenchman is still scratching his head, though, with the Gunners continuing to pose themselves problems.

Clean sheets are a priceless Premier League commodity, as there is no way you can come unstuck if you keep opponents out.

Wenger will therefore be concerned to learn that his side have struggled to repel efforts on target, with little resistance being offered in the final third.

The Daily Mail is among those to report how the Gunners have conceded on seven occasions this season from the first shot to trouble their goalkeeper.

Queens Park Rangers have endured similar troubles, with Harry Redknapp seeing his side languish towards the foot of the table as a result.

At the opposite end of the scale, the toughest defensive units in the top-flight boast the best records when it comes to making opponents wait for a breakthrough.

Southampton and Chelsea have conceded just 12 and 13 times respectively, and only three of those goals have come from a first shot on target.

What then do Arsenal need to do to ensure that they rid themselves of this alarming habit?

The talent is there and you have to believe that this comes down to a concentration issue, with the Gunners either caught cold early on or caught napping once into their stride.

Wenger has leaned heavily on Steve Bould in an effort to right the defensive wrongs in north London and it may be time for the pair to have another chat ahead of the January transfer window, with it possible that fresh faces may be required to help plug the problematic leaks.

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