Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has claimed that the Gunners have demonstrated that they are far too open in defence under new manager Unai Emery.
Emery's start to life in the Premier League has been far from plain sailing, suffering two defeats in Arsenal's first two games against Manchester City and Chelsea. A win against West Ham last weekend finally got the north London outfit rolling, but some of the defensive frailties that were present during the previous defeats were still on show.
Arsenal certainly seem to be lacking in the defensive department and Merson believes that the current crop of defenders at the Emirates are avoiding their duties.
"I watch Arsenal play and I seriously think it’s a charity match,” Merson said on Sky Sports. “It’s so open, end to end, there’s no tackling and it’s like watching ex-professionals playing. I’ve not seen anything like it, the West Ham game was just unreal.”
It was clear that Emery placed a lot of emphasis on improving the back line that was left behind by his predecessor Arsene Wenger during the summer. Sokratis Papastathopolous and Stephan Lichtsteiner were both brought in to provide some extra steel and experience, but neither has had much of an effect so far this season as the Gunners have conceded six goals thus far.
Arsenal travel to Cardiff on Sunday and securing a clean sheet will surely be imperative for Emery. The Bluebirds are yet to score a single goal in the league this season and have caused very few problems for opposition defences.
A clean sheet and a win will do a lot for confidence and may inspire an upturn in defensive performances going forward.