Arsenal needs a whole new back four - says Ray Parlour | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 January, Saturday


Arsenal needs a whole new back four - says Ray Parlour

Unai Emery’s defence was torn apart by Liverpool in the 5-1 defeat at Anfield on Saturday

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Ray Parlour has slammed Arsenal’s defence and suggests a complete overhaul after the crushing 5-1 defeat by Liverpool.

The Gunners suffered their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday as their defensive shortcomings were brutally exposed by Jurgen Klopp’s ruthless Reds.

Unai Emery’s men have conceded more goals after 20 games (30) than any Arsenal team of the Premier League era, and Parlour is growing tired of the same old problems for his former club.

“We all know the problem,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “Defensively, they’re just not good enough. They’re all over the place at the back. They’ll always give you a chance.

“I couldn’t see Arsenal winning. I couldn’t see them getting a point.

“I’ve played with so many good defenders at Arsenal. We had the famous back four: [Nigel] Winterburn, [Lee] Dixon, [Tony] Adams, [Steve] Bould, [Martin] Keown. Then you had Sol Campbell coming in, as well as Lauren and Ashley Cole.

“They’ve got to look at all four positions at the back. If you’re going to concede goals like that, you’re never going to have any chance of trying to win the league.”

The Gunners end the year five points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea and Saturday’s defeat only emphasised the gap that remains between Arsenal and the elite.

They have not been helped by injuries – with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal all missing at Anfield – but such basic errors have become commonplace regardless of the personnel.

This was highlighted by the sight of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos sprawled on the turf as Roberto Firmino bagged his second.

Liverpool, on the other hand, boast the Premier League’s tightest defence by some margin.

The Reds have conceded just eight goals in 20 league games – half the number of closest rivals Manchester City – and Parlour believes that could be where the title is decided.

He added: “That’s where Liverpool have won it, if they do win it – defensively.”

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