Arsenal fail to resolve key fragility over the summer; unwanted record continues

Emirates Stadium 3

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by West Ham United in their Premier League opener.

Arsenal’s 2015/16 Premier League campaign couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start as they were downed 2-0 at home by fellow Londoners West Ham.

Despite a promising opening period that was largely controlled by the Gunners, the Hammers struck first as Cheikhou Kouyate beat Petr Cech to the ball to head home Dimitri Payet’s free-kick.

Questions will be asked of the Czech's decision to come for the ball - yet the marking was poor regardless and the Hammers’ midfielder had a free header.

It was an all-too familiar tale for Arsene Wenger’s men, with the north Londoners renowned for being frail at defending set-pieces and suffering the worst ratio of headed goals conceded in the top flight.

As per Opta Stats, the Gunners conceded a truly alarming 36% of their goals last season courtesy of headers either from set-piece situations or crosses from out wide.

Cech was brought in largely due to his aerial dominance, anticipation of crosses and organisation skills - three key attributes which define him as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

However, he was clutching at air at the Emirates for the Hammers’ opener and it wasn’t entirely his fault. Where was the running - or the aggression to meet the ball with zonal marking deployed?

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have every right to have faith in their new custodian but he was left exposed on Sunday and it’s evidently a weakness which need rectifying on the Arsenal training ground.

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