If you look at the number of goals that Arsenal have conceded this season, it hardly looks like a club in a defensive crisis. The Gunners have let in 32 goals, that’s just one more than Man United.
The figures are however slightly skewed by the Arsenal defence’s excellent start to the season. They played five games and let in just two goals and their opponents included Liverpool and Man City.
The BBC’s David Ornstein has a theory as to why this is. On Radio Five Live this evening he claimed that sources in the club had told him that the great start was in part due to Steve Bould running defensive training sessions with the team. Ornstein said that the Arsenal assistant manager worked with the players on positional play and marking and it had paid dividends for the side.
However after the early games Arsene Wenger chose to stop the Bould sessions and Arsenal went back to the more traditional training methods that Wenger has employed throughout his tenure as manager.
Ornstein’s insists that there is no rift between Bould and Wenger and that players are behind the manager.
However if this is true, and given the BBC’s high editorial standards I am sure they would not have let Ornstein say what he did were there not a lot of truth in it, it doesn’t reflect very well on the club.
Ornstein also suggested that lack of communication among its defenders and Arsenal’s failure to replace Alex Song have further compounded the side’s defensive frailties.
So what do you think? Does he have a point?