Former Arsenal star calls for aggressive approach against Southampton
PUBLISHED: 09:07 02 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:07 02 February 2016
Kenny Sansom has urged Arsenal to be aggressive “from first whistle to last” when they take on Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Gunners want to get their title challenge back on track after slipping to third place - and they will also have revenge on their minds after their 4-0 battering against the Saints over the Christmas period.
Sansom watched from the stands as his former side were comfortably beaten by Chelsea in their last Premier League outing – and he has called for Arsenal to be on the front foot from the off against Ronald Koeman’s side.
“I want to see aggression and I want to see lots of it,” said Sansom.
“It needs to be sustained. We need to be aggressive from the very start and keep that going for the whole 90 minutes. Emirates Stadium needs to be a fortress again, but it wasn’t against Chelsea.
“Yes, we had 10 men for most of the game but that was not a difficult three points for Chelsea to pick up in the end. They looked far too comfortable for my liking.
“Even though we lost a player early on to a red card, I still feel we should have shown more aggression because we needed to get behind them.
“We did have some chances, even if the best ones unfortunately fell to Mathieu Flamini. I do believe if Olivier Giroud had not been sacrificed he would have put away one of those opportunities.
“But we sat back too much – if we had shown more aggression I believe it would have been a more positive scoreline for us.”
Sansom – who played nearly 400 games for the club between 1980 and 1988 – remains convinced this can be Arsenal’s season.
“We are in a very good position, with a lot of good players to come back,” added Sansom, who was also capped 86 times by England. “Southampton were excellent against us last time while we had an off day. This is a great opportunity to get one over on them and remind people how tough it is to play at Emirates Stadium.”
On a personal level, Sansom is on the road to recovery after a well-publicised alcohol addiction.
Prompted by an intervention from friends and family members on The Jeremy Kyle Show – which aired last week – the 57-year-old is currently being treated at a Bedfordshire-based charity and this week celebrated 100 days sober.
“I feel good at the moment. It is a long road and it will be tough but I have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people – even Spurs fans,” he joked.
“Seriously, people have been so kind and I have been given great support. I am positive about the future and want to repay people for their love and belief in me.
“I have let people down along the way – because that is what alcoholics do – but I am working hard to get to where I want to be.”