Only one Premier League side have conceded more goals in the opening fifteen minutes of games than Arsenal have this season.

Arsenal could well be a team who need to settle into games before they can play at their best. We’ve seen for ourselves how the team can sleep through the opening stages of a match.

The stats back this up: only Crystal Palace (6) have shipped more goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League matches than Arsenal (5) have. The game that stands out as the best example is the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.

United took a two-goal lead within the first ten minutes, as they punished two mistakes from Arsenal’s defenders.

andre marriner wenger
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal argues with referee Andre Marriner after during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on December 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

More recently, the Gunners fell behind within three minutes in the 1-1 draw with Southampton. There’s something about that period in a game where Arsenal aren’t at their best.

On the four occasions Wenger’s men have conceded within the opening 15 minutes, they’ve gone on to win twice – beating Leicester 4-3 and Everton 5-2 – drawing once and losing once.

Given enough time, Arsenal have a good chance of recovering a result. However, they have fallen into the habit of conceding the first goal too often this season.

The Gunners have gone behind in seven of their 18 Premier League matches this season, and have won just twice on such occasions. Why this is happening could be down to a porous defence. Arsenal commit a lot of individual errors.

In cases such as the 3-1 defeat to United, the lead was too great for Arsenal to get back into the game. The additional pressure may have got to the Arsenal attackers, given they squandered more than 30 chances.

It’s clear things aren’t right at either end of the pitch at the moment. Cutting out the slow starts is a must for Wenger.