Arteta has finally given the Arsenal defence a backbone

Arsenal's Cedric Soares (left) shakes hands with Manchester United's Edinson Cavani after the Premie

Arsenal's Cedric Soares (left) shakes hands with Manchester United's Edinson Cavani after the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday January 30, 2021. - Credit: PA

The Arsenal defence has been abysmal in previous years, but Mikel Arteta is finally solidifying the Gunners backline. 

The draw and clean sheet against Manchester United was further proof that there is now a backbone in defence, which has been questioned on many occasions under the latter Arsene Wenger days and the Unai Emery era.  

Southampton and Manchester United were Arsenal’s opponents last week, both sides are free flowing and confident in attack.

The Red Devils have scored 37 goals in the Premier League so far this season, just three behind Liverpool who lead the way for goals scored. 

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side are enjoying a purple patch right now and the influence of Danny Ings and co is a breath of fresh air to the league.


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The south coast side were unable to respond against Arteta after the club travelled back to London with a 3-1 victory. 

Praising Arsenal would have been questioned before the game against Everton at Goodison Park in December. 

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The aftermath of this saw a turn of events for Arsenal. They started playing good football again once they thrashed Chelsea 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium. 

Arsenal have kept seven clean sheets out of eight in all competitions since the 0-1 away win at Brighton on December 29. 

Credit must go to Arteta for making Arsenal hard to beat again. Having only conceded 20 Premier League goals so far in this campaign, it is an improvement on previous years.  

The north London side conceded 48 league goals during the 2019/20 season. The previous two seasons saw 51 goals that hit the back of the Gunners net. 

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani misses a chance on goal during the Premier League match at the Em

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani misses a chance on goal during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday January 30, 2021. - Credit: PA

The personnel must be credited in this new, impressive defence. Rob Holding is enjoying his best run in the side since his move from Bolton in 2016. 

Bernd Leno behind him has been sensational recently, he pulled off another sublime save against the boys from Old Trafford on Saturday, diving high and wide to deny Fred the opener.  

Full-back has been an area for concern for Arsenal in the past. Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin have been brilliant this season and both have characteristics to wear the armband at Emirates Stadium, despite the latter being questioned for having the honour in the past. 

The signing of Thomas Partey has made a significant impact on the Gunners' defensive solidity. He is a perfect number four; he can sit and protect the back four but his eye for a forward ball has been applaudable thus far. 

The process with Arteta is still in transition. The signs are noticeably clear on why Pep Guardiola rates his former assistant so highly. The next step is to get that balance in defence and attack. Believe in the process.  

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