Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wenger tells Arsenal to tighten defence

24 October 2014, 20:25

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said only a vastly improved defensive effort will propel the Gunners back towards the summit of English football.

The Gunners have lost just once in the Premier League so far this season, to leaders Chelsea.

However, several draws have proved costly and Wenger's side will kick off 11 points behind London rivals Chelsea when they face Sunderland on Saturday.

They will, though, head to the north-east on the back of a win after two goals in the final two minutes in Belgium saw them to an unlikely 2-1 victory over Anderlecht in the Champions League on Wednesday.

That result, however, could not mask the kind of defensive problems on show in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Hull.

Also read: Victor Valdes to train with Man Utd

Wenger stressed Friday that the issue of Arsenal's defending extended beyond criticism of a back four who have been hampered by injuries, with centre-half Laurent Koscielny set to be sidelined for at least a month with an Achilles problem.

"Until now we have been relatively consistent in our attitude and in our performances, but not efficient enough, neither defensively nor offensively," said Wenger.

"If you look since the start of the season we have only lost two games, to Dortmund and Chelsea, but we didn't make enough points with our performances," the veteran French manager added.

"It is improving by getting everybody to put a bit more effort in to the defensive work, and that starts not only at the back, but up front and in midfield by increasing the level of defensive activity through the team.

"We had to reshuffle the defence and (the players) getting used to playing together helps as well.

"Last year we had 17 clean sheets and at the moment we have only had one after eight (Premier League) games, so that is something which we are not on the same level defensively.

"We train very hard and the spirit is right, the attitude is here. I believe more it is linked with confidence at the moment, but I cannot fault the attitude.

"It (the win at Anderlecht) will help to improve confidence and I am sure that if we focus on our performance, the rest will come naturally."

Sunderland were thrashed 8-0 by Southampton last time out and Wenger expects a backlash from the Black Cats, especially in front of their own north-east home crowd.

"When you go to Sunderland, you know to always expect commitment and fight for 90 minutes and we have to prepare ourselves for that," he said.

"The result from last week will certainly have dropped their confidence and increased their resolve to defend well, and then you can get very few openings, so it is up to us to just focus on our own performance."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...