Three defeats in a row is perhaps not the way Arsenal were hoping to prepare for a Europa League semi-final. However, three defeats were made worse by conceding three goals in each of the games. It was truly shambolic defending from Arsenal and it signalled the need for a change in defence.
Arsenal in Need of a Change
Time and time again in each game, the opposition found themselves in behind the Arsenal defence. It was easy to do. Leicester’s first goal in Arsenal’s most recent game was a simple ball over the top. Wilfried Zaha’s goal for Crystal Palace was simple route one football. As a result, it signified a clear weakness in the Arsenal defence. Gone are the days of Tony Adams and a tough Arsenal defence, they showed weakness.
A common theme among all three games was how easy the opposition attacked. That is of no disrespect to them, but they all outclassed Arsenal. As a result, the games showed that Arsenal are no longer feared opponents, which is worrying for the fans.
Furthermore, almost every defender seems to have a mistake in them. Most noticeably, Shkrodan Mustafi, who is often on the end of scathing criticism. Crystal Palace’s second goal was as a result of a mistake from the German. It is also not his first mistake this season. How long can mistakes continue to go unrecognised before changes occur?
What is perhaps the most concerning for Arsenal fans is that the same defence has not started more than four times in a row together in the league. Title-winning sides are built with solid foundations in defence. Even Liverpool this season have had a fantastic and consistent defence. If Arsenal want to compete again, they are going to have to change their defence.
Who Will They Need to Sign?
It would be easy to say that they need multiple signings across the back four, but Arsenal really do need it. They are desperate for a change. An apparent sign with the current defence is that they are ageing. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner are all into their thirties.
Replacements at centre-back will be a necessity. One may not be enough either; especially with Champions League ambitions. If Unai Emery wants to build a defence that will stick together, they may also need to be young.
At 33 years old, Nacho Monreal’s days at The Emirates may also be coming to an end, Therefore, they will need to find a suitable replacement for the Spaniard. Sead Kolasinac has looked unconvincing at times this season, so signing someone to compete with him will be a priority.
The summer transfer window could be a defining period for Arsenal under Unai Emery. They will have to spend money to try and compete once again at the very top of the table. If they don’t, they are not going to change much more under Unai Emery.
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