Former Arsenal captain Graham Rix claims he was extremely impressed with our 2-0 win over Manchester City in January, but will remain concerned about our defence until we can recreate that performance on a regular basis, as reported by north London newspaper Ham & High.
The 57-year-old was discussing our chances in the Champions League this season, and believes we will have far too much firepower for AS Monaco when we meet this Wednesday.
The ex-Gunner claims we should easily brush the Ligue 1 team aside, and heaped praise on the Arsenal team that Arsene Wenger has put together.
“My view is quite simple; Monaco will not be able to live with Arsenal when they are in full flight,” he said.
“I would expect us to be in a very good position by the time we head to the Principality.
“When we have everyone fit and Arsene Wenger can put out his best 11 we are quite simply a match for any team in the land – and Monaco will know that.”
It wasn’t all positive from the FA Cup winner however, who insisted there are still worries over the state of our defence.
He was thrilled with our performance against Manchester City in the Premier League, and like many had hoped that our display against the champions was the dawn of a new era at the club.
One game is not enough to convince him however, and he claims we need to start producing those kinds of performances on a regular basis if we are to be taken seriously.
“When we have the ball I love it. We play with such attacking verve and with great speed and technique. But it is when we do not have the ball that I am concerned,” Rix continued.
“We still need to show discipline and shape when we are not in possession – we saw that we can do it when we won 2-0 at Manchester City. That really was a magnificent performance.
“But until we do that consistently I will continue to have concerns. We need to be organised because, at this level, you make mistakes and you will be punished because the better the opposition, the better you have to be.”
Our Champions League opponents are not known for their goalscoring prowess, so defence should not be a huge problem in our last 16 tie.
It’s certainly an issue we have to address however, as in order for the arrival of silverware to become commonplace at the Emirates, we need our defence to match our attack.