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Alan Smith explains tweet, compares two different Arsenal backlines

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Alan Smith says his tweet after Arsenal's defeat to Watford in the FA Cup was a way of highlighting a time of when the Gunners regularly kept clean sheets.

 

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has said on Sky Sports News, broadcast on March 14 at 10.15am, that seeing a photo of the Gunners' famous backline from the eighties and nineties brought back fond memories of a stable defence at the club.

 

On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal continued their disappointing sequence of results as they were defeated 2-1 by Watford in the FA Cup sixth round at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the club with only an outside chance of winning any silverware at the end of the season.

 

Soon after the setback in North London, Smith posted a photo on social media, which included each member of Arsenal's famous backline which is remembered for the amount of shutouts that it kept, especially at Highbury.

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On Monday morning, Smith explained why he tweeted the image, and compared Arsenal's defence from his playing days to the one that is currently being selected by Arsene Wenger.

Smith said: "I saw that picture and it reminds you of times when Arsenal had a fantastic defence. Back-fours like that don't come around too often and it will go down as one of the best defences of all time in Football League history.

"Unfortunately, it's not quite as water-tight these days and they don't get protected half as much. It brought back memories of when you could let them get on with it and keep clean sheets. They knew each other's games inside out. That seems like something that Arsene Wenger doesn't work on as much as George Graham did during my time."

The 1990-91 and 1993-94 campaigns stand out when looking back at Arsenal's defensive record, with just 18 and 28 goals being conceded in each of those two years.

During 1998-99, Arsenal conceded just the 17 goals, but over the past seven seasons, their best effort is the 36 goals that they conceded in the Premier League last year.

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