Arsenal haven’t changed defensively from last year, says Glenn Hoddle

Arsenal

The former Premier League boss believes Arsene Wenger's side will have to work collectively to overcome their defensive frailties.

Writing on Kicca, Glenn Hoddle says he is confused by people suggesting Arsenal are title contenders as they haven’t improved defensively from last season.

The Gunners didn’t enjoy the best of starts to their potential Premier League title challenge in 2015/16 as West Ham United comfortably beat them 2-0 in their opening game on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger’s side have been touted as potential title winners after signing Petr Cech from Chelsea to strengthen one of their weakest areas, but Hoddle says that confuses him, as they haven’t bolstered their options in front of the new keeper.

“Why is everyone saying Arsenal are now title contenders because of their defensive side of the game?” he wrote on Kicca.

“They haven’t bought in any defenders, nothing’s changed from last year. They’ve bought a goalkeeper, but have they bought two centre-halves? Have they bought full-backs? No, they haven’t, and the same defensive frailties were evident against West Ham.”

"They’ve got to put it right, collectively as a team"

Many have suggested that if Arsenal are to truly challenge for the title, then they need to bring in a top level striker to complete their squad.

There have been rumours of a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, as reported by the Daily Mirror, and he would certainly fit the bill.

And while Hoddle agrees that Wenger does need a new striker in his squad,he believes they should collectively focus on putting right their frailties from last season and Sunday.

“They’re talking about bringing in a striker, which I actually agree with,” he added.

“[But] they had the same frailties on Sunday that they had last season. They’ve got to put it right, collectively as a team. I’m scratching my head why everyone thinks they’ve become a good defensive unit when they’ve basically got the same personnel.”

Another defensive midfielder is needed for the Gunners 

A more pressing concern for Arsenal than central defence will be their lack of back up for Francis Coquelin.

The French midfielder has quickly become a key cog in the Arsenal midfield, with his defensive nous allowing the Gunners’ more attacking talents to flourish.

However, should he get injured, there is little cover for him in his chosen position, with Mikel Arteta an entirely different player and Mathieu Flamini not of the same standard.

Perhaps, then, a move for another defensive midfielder should be top of Arsene Wenger’s wish list for the remainder of this transfer window, as an injury to Coquelin would add even greater pressure on an already suffering defence.

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