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Why Arsenal’s defensive frailties must be addressed this summer

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Arsenal is coming off the back of yet another disappointing season following their failure to reach the top four and flopping in the Europa League final. For a club the size of the Gunners, this performance is really not acceptable, and most of the fans will agree that some big changes are needed. The problem is that the club has backed itself into a corner with regards to wages, transfer funds and players leaving on a free.

The fact that a player of Aaron Ramsey’s gravitas has been allowed to walk away without a fee is unacceptable in itself, and there is still an argument about whether he should be permitted to leave at all. The contract that Mesut Ozil signed in January 2018 has the German earning a reported £350,000 per week, and yet his performances rarely merit that kind of money. This is just one deal that has stung the Gunners in recent years, but they also need a lot more from the current squad if they are to improve next season.

Defensive unit needs to be re-evaluated

The Arsenal defence has become a bit of a joke over the last couple of seasons. Despite adding the experienced Stephan Lichtsteiner and Greek centre back Sokratis, Emery’s side still shipped 51 goals in the Premier League last season. To put this into context: that is more than Leicester, Wolves and Newcastle – all of whom finished below the Gunners in the table.

This season has to see improvements in this area if no other. The worst defensive record of the sides finishing in the top-four were Tottenham and Chelsea (both 39 conceded), which is a big jump ahead of Arsenal – but at least there is some consolation that Manchester United was even worse at the back, shipping 54 times.

Whether Arsenal can sign players on a tight budget is the tough question that has to be answered by Unai Emery and his scouting team. The Gunners do not want to drift further away from the top-four sides in England, or their odds of finishing in the Champions League places, currently, 11/10 in the Premier League betting markets, will only get longer.

That attacking xG tells us a lot

Going forward, there is a perception that Arsenal is in pretty good shape. That can certainly be argued, but the xG data provided by InStat Football tells a slightly different story.

The outstanding Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was bang on his xG, which stands at 22, by netting exactly that number in the top flight. Yet, the next best xG of any Gunner was the 12 registered by Alexandre Lacazette, who did slightly better, netting 13. In the meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit a derisory six goals from an equally disappointing xG of 5.3.

What does this tell us? Simply put, Arsenal is too reliant on Aubameyang and, even though they hit 73 goals last season, they will need to improve across the board in order to make up for the inefficiencies at the back. It is a huge summer for Unai Emery and one that he must get right starting with the defence.


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Video – Aubameyang and Lacazette celebrations so cool even Liverpool players copying it

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Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette goal celebration has become so iconic that even Liverpool players are now imitating it.

I was on Twitter and saw this video posted up by Liverpool and was intrigued, I mean, we are playing them on Saturday and much to my surprise I saw Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk celebrate a goal in training with the Auba and Laca handshake celebration.

Check it out


They say flattery is the biggest compliment but come on guys, get your own celebration, you score enough goals to be able to think of something.

Being cool is not something you can train for, it comes naturally and so I suppose it is understandable that the Liverpool boys felt they had no choice but to rip off the Arsenal hit man.


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Should David Luiz be named as an Arsenal captain?

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I have a routine that I undertake each day when it comes to Arsenal, I check the news sites, visit some of my own personal Gooner websites, Untold Arsenal as an example and check out the latest videos on Youtube, normally from AFTV.

Today, I checked the news, mainly rubbish and clickbait, as usual, read a few articles and then jumped onto Youtube and saw that Claude and Ty have done a video for AFTV titled David Luiz for Arsenal Captain?

Now, I have yet to watch the video and so have no idea what they have said and this article is in no way a reflection of their comments.

But it got me to thinking, should David Luiz be the Arsenal captain?

Well, anyone that has read my previous posts on the Brazilian will know I simply do not rate him as highly as some do, I do not think he is good for Arsenal long term and believe he is a liability these days and therefore it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am vehemently opposed to Luiz being named the Arsenal captain.


For starters, I simply do not see him a true Arsenal player, to me, he is a Chelsea outcast that we have picked up.

I know some will say that is being silly but I felt the same about Petr Cech as well and cannot change my belief system.

As for his leadership qualities, I ask what leadership qualities? Are we talking how he lead Brazil to their greatest ever humiliation losing 7-1 to Germany on their own ground in the world cup?

No, I do not feel he has the leadership qualities Arsenal are looking for, I do not feel that he understands the Arsenal culture, I do not feel he has the quality to be even guaranteed a first-team spot on a regular basis.

He is an Arsenal player now and so I will support him every time he pulls on the shirt but it does not mean that I have to delude myself and claim that he is some sort of fantastic player with outstanding leadership qualities.


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Arsenal star's agent admits he neared surprise Gunners exit – 'There was the possibility'

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The Uruguay international proved a real hit at last year’s World Cup in Russia, earning a move to the Emirates Stadium from Sampdoria.

He got off on the right note too, scoring against Tottenham in the north London derby to instantly prove a hit with supporters.

But as the season went on, his form dipped amid claims he was missing Italy and struggling to adapt to life in England off the field.

Now the player’s agent Pablo Bentancur has admitted that the pair discussed a return to Serie A in months gone by.

“There was the possibility. Giampaolo is in the heart of Lucas,” Bentancur told TMW.

“But Arsenal said he had no intention of selling the boy.

“Lucas is fine, the club are happy with him. This will be the year of consecration. With the Arsenal shirt.

“Milan is Milan, it will always be an important team, even if today it has some economic problems.”

AC Milan were the club most serious about signing Torreira if he became available.

That’s after his former boss at Sampdoria, Marco Giampaolo moved to the San Siro.

Speculation was ignited after the midfielder spoke to press at the Copa America while on international duty.

“I think it was better in Italy. England is a totally different world, a very large country,” he said.

“The language [barrier] has cost me, to be able to relate with my peers and with the people. It is very difficult when you can’t have dialogue.

“And so is the climate. You go out in the morning and it is cloudy, you arrive late to your home and it is cloudy.

“It is strange a little bit, the sun, the more of us that we are here and we are accustomed to having always or almost always the sun. But as the years pass, I’m going to be adapting.”

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