Arsenal have a history of defensive frailties, with our side lacking that power and grit at the back practically since the dissolution of the Invincibles. Defensive deficiencies have become synonymous with Arsenal where pundits and the media are concerned, but stats show this really isn’t the case anymore.
We actually have the best defensive record in the Premier League in 2015, but does that stop the jabs being taken at our back line? Of course not.
Not only have we conceded the fewest goals in 2015, but we’re leading the race by quite some way. With Arsenal conceding just 20 goals in the Premier League since the start of the year, Manchester United and Everton are some way ahead of us with 26, while Manchester City follow them closely on 27.
Fewest Premier League goals conceded in 2015: Arsenal (20) Manchester United (26) Everton (26) Manchester City (27) pic.twitter.com/wURBgDR2jr
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 8, 2015
Pundits seem to get an idea in their head, and then just run with it. They hear another pundit’s opinion, and then echo the sentiment senselessly.
To be fair, when we do make defensive slip-ups, they are often bad ones. The errors we make tend to be easily avoidable mistakes or lapses in concentration leading to set-piece debacles. That doesn’t change the fact that we have the best defensive record in the league over the last ten months however, so we need to start getting more credit for it.
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We have two of the best full-backs in the league in Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, and three excellent centre-backs capable of interchanging. But arguably the most important factor in our recent defensive stability is the emergence of Francis Coquelin, who has been nothing short of outstanding since breaking into the first team on a regular basis.
We have all the blueprints needed for a successful title challenge this season, so hopefully we aren’t left disappointed come the end of the campaign.