Paul Merson: Why I feel sorry for Arsenal defence

The Arsenal legend admits he feels sorry for the Gunners defence given the lack of protection in midfield

Arsenal legend Paul Merson Photo: Sky Sports

Paul Merson admits he feels sorry for Arsenal’s back four given the lack of protection in Arsene Wenger’s midfield.

The Gunners lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby at Wembley last weekend after England international Harry Kane broke the deadlock.

Arsenal have conceded 36 times in 27 games in the Premier League this season to raise questions about Wenger’s back four.

The Gunners signed Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a swap deal and spent a club record fee on Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on transfer deadline day.

However, Wenger failed to sign a proven defender despite Arsenal’s well documented problems at the back throughout the 2017-18 season.

Arsenal have been urged to sign a defensive midfielder to offer the Gunners defence more protection given Granit Xhaka’s struggles in the middle of the park.

Former Gunners star Merson admits he has some sympathy for the Arsenal defence given Xhaka’s erratic performances in front of Wenger’s back four.

“I feel sorry for the defence at Arsenal,” Merson told The Debate on Sky Sports on Thursday night. “They get so isolated.

“They have people running off them and dropping into pockets all the time. They get the blame. It’s not the case.”

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last term to miss out on a place in the Champions League for the first time under Wenger.

The Gunners will take on Premier League leaders Manchester City in the League Cup final later this month.

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