Wenger touching wood for defensive focus


Arsene Wenger says he has the personnel to switch between a three-man defence, flanked by wing-backs, and a traditional back four, however, he’s also underlined the importance of the players he selects actually doing their jobs properly.

The Gunners season has been pockmarked by individual errors undermining the effort of the collective – admittedly, hardly a new issue at the Emirates – but it’s one that has the boss crossing his fingers for focus ahead of big matches during the festive period.

“I have no problem with [playing a back four],” Wenger told Arsenal.com ahead of the match with Liverpool on Friday night.

“Overall I think that let’s touch wood and focus on everybody defending well, then play with four or five.

“The good thing is that we are adaptable now and we can play in those systems, we just have to make the right decision on the night.”

Arsenal have actually kept 9 clean sheets this season, second only to Manchester United, with Petr Cech needing just one more to take his Premier League tally to 200.

It’ll be quite a stretch achieving that feat against Liverpool given the Reds have been scoring for fun recently, but here’s hoping for a good end to the year.

“I believe that Liverpool is very good going forward so you need overall a good defensive performance,” said the boss,” noted the boss.

“I have to analyse that well and you have to guess a little bit who will play [for Liverpool]. It is not always the same – it depends on their personnel.

“They have plenty of offensive players and, looking at them recently, they have changed a lot their teams so it is difficult to guess. But I will try to see what I do. For me, the most important thing is we turn up with a positive performance. We have been strong at home and it is important we continue to dictate our game at home.”

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