Arsenal FC Grading (Part 1): Rating The Gunners’ Back-line

Arsenal FC Grading

Arsenal have had a colourful campaign so far in the Premier League. With last season’s FA Cup success and league dominance for long periods, the hopes and expectations for this season were that Arsenal would pose as a genuine title challenger in the Premier League. It has not quite been that way as Arsenal have been a contender for a Champions League spot as always but have fallen short of the league leaders so far. Here is the grading of the Arsenal team.

DEFENCE: 7/10

Koscielny
Koscielny

Arsenal have been primarily injury stricken in their defence so have used a variable back four throughout the season. Arsenal have made use of 7 defenders this season with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny being the out and out Center Backs, while Calum Chambers and nacho Monreal have also deputized in that position. Chambers, Monreal, Gibbs and Debuchy have played as full backs primarily. Goalkeepers have been Szczesny and Ospina primarily, with the Colombian being the new first choice due to Szczesny’s poor mid season performances.

While the campaign started off in an injury crisis, Arsenal bounced back during the mid season to get some stability and regularity in the back four. Arsenal have always been the team which presses higher up the pitch in order to win possession faster and have a quicker tempo of play. Mertesacker has been exposed many times this season due to his apparent lack of pace, but the overall defence has still been amongst the top four of the league with only 25 goals conceded.

Mathieu Debuchy has been injury prone this season, and fortunately Calum Chambers has been able to fill in that role to help out Arsenal. Chambers’ quality has been there for everyone to see, and we can infer from his performances that he is a raw young player who has only one way to go, and that is  towards progress and getting crucial game time under Arsene Wenger would help him a lot.

Gibbs and Monreal have been rotated at Left Back, but it has been Monreal who has proved to be more useful because he was required to fill in the role of a central defender during Koscielny’s injury crisis. While Arsenal have had problems keeping cleansheets (they have only 6 clean-sheets in comparison to Chelsea/Southampton’s 12).

We will rate Arsenal’s midfield in the next article.