Defensive improvement needed, admits Arsenal boss
Defensive improvement needed, admits Arsenal boss

Defensive improvement needed, admits Arsenal boss

Unai Emery says Arsenal need to make defensive improvements as the north London side prepares to host Aston Villa at the Emirates on Sunday. 

Arsenal have been poor defensively since last season with stats showing the club have made a combined 14 errors leading to an opposition goal in the Premier League, at least two more than any other club. The Gunners have only kept one clean sheet this season following a 1-0 win over Newcastle in the league opener. More worrying stat emerged over the weekend following the club’s disappointing draw against Watford. And ahead of weekend's clash, Emery has admitted his side needs to improve defensive wise. 

"Two things. One, first, we need to be competitive and we need to improve defensively, but it’s not all down to the defensive players, the goalkeeper, the midfield - it’s for all the team," he said.

"Secondly, sometimes we are defending deep, more deeply than we want to. We don’t want to defend in that situation, too deep, many times. We need to improve. We also need, as a team, to be more compact. We need to start our pressing a little more ahead.”

The Gunners have been boosted by the return of Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney who featured for Arsenal U23 playing for 63 and 62 minutes respectively on Friday night. 

On Rob Holding

"The process is to start training with us, start playing with the U23’s and, after he’s done that, he can start playing with us. He’s ready to play. We are playing on Sunday against Aston Villa and on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest. These two matches can decide whether he’s ready to play."

“Hector Bellerin has had a long injury. The process is the same [as Holding]. After, we will see how he’s feeling. When he’s confident enough to play, he can start with us. With Kieran, his injury was shorter than Bellerin’s, but the same [process].”

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