Frank McLintock fears that Arsenal’s inability to defend could cost them yet another Premier League title. I’m sure he’s not the only one who thinks this following the result against Wigan.
The Gunners failed to take advantage of Manchester United’s mishaps earlier on in the week by succumbing to a disappointing 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium last night, and once again their defensive frailties were to blame.
McLintock, who captained the double-winning side in 1971, believes Arsene Wenger has still not sorted out the Gunners backline, which continues to concern the Scotsman and a number of Arsenal fans as well.
Speaking to talkSPORT on Thursday morning, McLintock voiced his frustration on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show:
‘What gets me is Wenger has been so good for the last ten or 12 years but we’re still so near and yet so far away. Arsenal are the worst in the league at defending dead-ball situations. He’s had four or five years to put it right but still hasn’t put his finger on it.’
He goes on to say:
‘I’m not sure whether he believes in the art of defending or whether he puts enough importance on it because it doesn’t change season after season. And everyone except Arsene seems to realise that. The performance against Chelsea was the best I’ve seen for a couple of months, but then they let it slip again against Wigan.’
I myself am still trying to come to terms with what happened last night. Having watched the game, it was clear to see that Wenger took a huge gamble by rotating so many players as he did, and in my opinion, underestimated the Latics immensely.
I totally agree with Frank McLintock’s recent statement on his former club. Arsenal will need to be tighter at the back if they are to go on and challenge for the Premier League title. Wenger likes to adopt an attacking style, which is great to see, but to neglect defensive responsibilities as much as he does is not acceptable. Although the Frenchman bolstered the defence with the arrivals of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci in the summer, Arsenal still do not look solid at the back.
The Gunners must learn to stop conceding silly goals, especially from dead-ball situations which has already cost them dearly this season. It’s about time Wenger addressed these defensive flaws. The Frenchman should either put his team through more hours on the training ground and work on their defensive duties or strengthen the area in January.