The defensive deficiencies of Arsenal loom when the long search for clean cards goes on

0
13

If ever there was a more damning condemnation of the current defensive deficits of Arsenal, he arrived here, at John Smith's Stadium, in the 93rd minute of a victory that should have been much more comfortable than the result was implicit.

Deeply in injury time, confusion behind him allowed Huddersfield to send Adama Diakhaby forward on goal, with his attempt to be turned into his own net by Sead Kolasinac, denying Arsenal their first clean clear of the season.

It would have been somewhat symbolic, given that the last clean sheet of the Premier League Gunners had arrived on the same ground in the last Arsene Wenger game in charge in May, if Arsenal had managed to reach that modest target on their return to West Yorkshire.

But no. Other teams that compete for the first four may have had moments of defensive fragility at times this season – none more than Manchester United in shape – but no one looks so dysfunctional behind that as Unai Emery.

"This season, we do not have a clean sheet of distance?", Asked the goalkeeper Bernd Leno, incredulous, when he was asked of the statistics.

"I think we have conceded too easily this season, sometimes at the end of the match – Cardiff at the end, Newcastle at the end and today at the end.

"It seems like it always happens when there are two goals in front, so maybe we are losing a bit of concentration because we feel too comfortable when the games are coming to an end.

"We have to work on this because defense is the most important thing for me to allow us to get back in the top four.

"For me, the most important area is defense because we have the quality on the front line, we all want to improve and we can do it by being strong in defense".

The fact that Arsenal conceded only two more than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while scoring one more goal than United, suggests that the problem is not nearly over.

But failing to keep a good distance against a Huddersfield team among the worst in the history of the Premier League for this phase of a campaign, and with five league goals throughout the season before kick-off, he spoke to long.

"Today I thought I did a great job because it was not just the defense, but the whole team that had to defend the goal," added Leno.

Arsenal kept looking for the top four (AFP / Getty Images)

"It is easy to say that it is the goalkeeper and the defense are the reasons why we do not give many goals, but it is the whole team.

"The whole team has to defend and we've improved since December, when maybe we had some games where we were not so good, and we're still working on it."

At least Arsenal is doing enough on the other side of the field to keep them in contention for a place in the Champions League next season.

Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette scored the goals in the first half that left their team under control and for the first, whose goal brought his championship loot for the season to a modest three, there have been signs of improvements needed.

"He's Young, he's very busy," said Emery. "He has a very good physical condition.

"He needs to improve some things, even tactically, especially, he needs to be calm with the ball in the third striker to get more assists and create more chances to score, to know when to shoot and when to dribble.

"Today he scored and had another very good chance, he also had the chance to see Lacazette, but I think his game today, starting with his attitude, was very big. performance was good. "

Keep up to date with all the latest news with expert comments and analysis of our award-winning writers

.