Last season following the opening 2 games Arsenal went on that unbeaten incredible. Yet it always seems as if we were there for the taking as our defense was all over the place, but thankfully Auba and Lacazette were in good nick and truly spared our blushes. This was also the time where Özil and Ramsey were being “used sparingly”.
In the middle part of the season, following a few poor results Özil and Ramsey got drafted back in. We immediately got our season back on track, beating both Valencia and Napoli handsomely in Europa. For a time there we went 7 or 8 games conceding just one goal. Then after we lost Ramsey old habits crept back in with our defense once again having to carry more of the workload.
Now I know it’s fancy to say our defense are poor and that Mustafi is the cause of all that. If you point out his high defensive numbers, they say it’s because he’s “a busy player”.
Now when Özil and Ramsey was together in midfield our defense weren’t that busy. Which brings me to this.
Didn’t the high turnover of possession in midfield contribute to to us constantly playing on the back foot… and there’s only so much our defense can do. I mean, do we really expect Mustafi to put in 10 successful tackles per game, 10 interceptions per game or 10 blocks per game when the likes of VVD, Laporte or English treasure Harry Maguire averages around 6 or 7?
So for me, if we fix the problems in midfield and make possession a priority, jealously protecting the ball to not needlessly giving it away, it will take a lot of the burden off our defense and maybe then we could see what an attack boasting Auba, Lacazette and Pépé can do if we keep them on the front foot.
I know our defense are not the best in the world but I also don’t agree that they are rubbish. Last season they were over burdened and that needs to end.