Arsenal have had a rough week after being thrashed at home by Aston Villa. As poor as the Gunners were going forward, shipping three goals to Dean Smith’s men has left Mikel Arteta hurting. Arsenal legend Tony Adams has provided the Spaniard with an answer, copying his system against Manchester United.
Arsenal legend Tony Adams has told Mikel Arteta how he can fix his defensive issues – by playing how they did against Manchester United.
The Gunners have found themselves in a mess after being thrashed by Aston Villa at the Emirates, undoing their fine win over the Red Devils the week before.
Dean Smith’s men rocked up to north London and smashed Arsenal 3-0, with goals from Ollie Watkins and one from Bukayo Saka in the wrong net.
It has seen them drop down to 11th in the Premier League after losing four of their eight games already this season.
And Adams wants to see Arteta revert to the tactics used against United in their 1-0 win over the Red Devils – their first victory at Old Trafford in 14 years.
Arsenal deployed a back-four and restricted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who looked toothless in attack as a result.
He said on Sky Sports: “I questioned the defence on more than one occasion. I’ve been crying out for a back four for the last five years, I think.
“The thing about defending is that you need consistency, you need to play with a group of players.
“I wanted him to put his best goalkeeper in and a good back four and build from there, build the foundations.
“And all I’ve seen in recent years is chop and changing. Arteta’s done well, he won the FA Cup playing that way.
“I wanted him at the start of the season to play a back four, we have got [Thomas] Partey now – who is so exciting.
“We have got someone with a bit of protection in the middle there but I would like to see a back four in there.
“And he did it against United, maybe because [Paul] Pogba was tucked in as a diamond.
“I thought it was an outstanding performance and I believe there were reasons for it.
“I think [Hector] Bellerin is having a tough time in the right-back spot and I think, going back to the Villa game, it was such a poor performance.
“Arteta was trying to be too clever and go back to a back-three with Bellerin popping in to make it a four in midfield.
“What it is, they have been defending in numbers but not as individuals – they need to get some togetherness.”
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