Arsenal are clearly not a club that values defending anymore, as their Women, men and youth teams conceded 16 goals across all the weekend’s matches.
I know this might come as a surprise to many of you, but the Gunners aren’t very good at keeping goals out.
Arsenal Women lost 3-2. The men’s team lost 4-2 to Nottingham Forest at the weekend. The men’s u18s drew 3-3, and the u16s doubled that result – 6-6. In all, that means every single team conceded three times.
As you can see, all those goals conceded meant no wins across the weekend. Perhaps it would be fine if Arsenal were like Liverpool – self-destructive at the back, but every game you know they’ll score almost as many as they concede.
However, the Gunners clearly aren’t managing the same feat. The fact that the issue is so widespread across all teams suggests it’s more than individual mistakes or coaching. It implies there’s something in the values of the club that makes players think defending isn’t that important.
On the one hand, I’m not exactly complaining that the club prefer to focus on attacking. At least watching Arsenal is always interesting. On the other hand, it seems so wasteful that all the nice play in possession leads to goals flying in at the wrong end minutes later.
Either way, I doubt it’s something that will change anytime soon.