Arsenal guilty of schoolboy defending, says former Gunners striker

John Hartson is critical of Arsenal's performance at Stoke City

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

John Hartson has criticised Arsenal’s schoolboy defending at Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Stoke opened the scoring inside 20 seconds as Peter Crouch netted before Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters put the home side in command.

Santi Cazorla bagged a second-half penalty before Aaron Ramsey made it 3-2 with a brilliant volley, but the Gunners failed to conjure a leveller as Calum Chambers was sent off.

And former Arsenal striker Hartson underlined the need for the north London side to improve defensively.

“Some of the goals that Arsenal conceded you wouldn’t see on a Sunday League pitch. But let’s take nothing away from Stoke,” Hartson told BBC Sport.

“They flew out of the traps and Mark Hughes won’t be bothered about Arsenal’s defending. Arsenal have got to stop conceding goals. Some of the goals they conceded yesterday was schoolboy stuff.

“They are not defensively strong enough. When you go away to a team like Stoke you have to say to yourselves ‘They are going to come at us in the first 20 minutes. We know what’s going to happen and we’ve got to be strong enough to withstand it’.

“Arsenal have to start from the back and stop conceding goals.”

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