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William Gallas Exclusive: Arsenal Must Learn From Mistakes

Former Arsenal defender William Gallas insists that the Gunners need an experienced defender to help them learn from their mistakes when facing top opposition. Arsenal had enjoyed a scintillating start to the season, winning each of their first five Premier League games, but saw that streak snapped as they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford. As the Gunners chased the game, they employed a high line and were caught out twice by passes in behind for Marcus Rashford, who scored a brace. Gallas has suggested that an older centre-back would bring organisation and leadership to a young Arsenal defence, and would help to prevent errors in big games.


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Defensive Errors

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I am very confident that Arsenal will have a great season after seeing the way they have started. 

“They have played six games, five wins, one defeat and are top of the league. They are playing nice football; good movement, very similar to Manchester City. I am sure they will have a great season, but they must learn from their mistakes.

“Against Manchester United, at Old Trafford, you can’t concede those types of goals, especially the second and the third one. That was a big mistake [by William] Saliba and Ben White - they didn’t communicate properly and they conceded because of it. Their positioning was poor.

“On the third goal, you’ll have to explain to me how the defensive line was so high. That was a basic mistake to make at this level. Saliba looked like he was in the position of the left back and White was isolated in the middle on his own. 

“I don’t understand why Arsenal played with a line that high when there was time for them to come back into the game - it was unnecessary to play so high. Teams should only concede this type of goal when they are chasing a game in stoppage time, not when there are 15 minutes left to play!

“That is why I keep saying that Arsenal need an experienced player at the back. You can’t be in the situation that Arsenal were in yesterday, making costly mistakes against a big team.

“When you play against the best teams, your defensive line needs to be compact if you want to take anything from the game.

“Arsenal will have to be careful. I hope that they can take what happened in this game and learn from the experience.”

William Gallas Exclusive: Tottenham To Finish Above Arsenal

William Gallas Exclusive: Tottenham To Finish Above Arsenal

Missed Opportunity

Gallas feels that Arsenal’s performance early on in the match showed promise, and thinks it was a missed opportunity for the Gunners.

“When I watched the game, at the beginning I thought to myself that Arsenal were looking very strong and looked like they were going to get a result,” he said. 

“They were playing very good football and defended very compactly before United scored. I thought today Arsenal looked like they were ready to take all of the points, but sadly, I saw the same small mistakes that we’ve seen from Arsenal before and you can’t make these types of errors against the best teams because you will get punished.

“I’m a little bit disappointed for them because they went to Old Trafford with a great spirit - top of the league and confident - and played really well to begin with. 

“But the story is the same; they conceded three goals and lost 3-1. It looks like, against the biggest teams, away from home, Arsenal are still going to have difficulties.

“It’s quite simple really. When you go to play against any of the big teams in the Premier League, you need players with personality and character to get anything from those games.

“I naturally look at the defenders. The performance showed me that Arsenal are still missing an experienced defender at the back. 

“When Arsenal were suffering for a few moments, you need your players to show leadership - talk to each other - you need players that can take on the responsibility and dig in for a period. Arsenal didn’t do that.

“For such a big game like this, you need a lot of communication. I know that Saliba is playing with France, Ben White has been in a few England squads, as has Gabriel with Brazil - but they would really benefit from one experienced, older player in there. 

“I also think that with [Thomas] Partey missing, they lacked experience in the middle of the park too. 

“What I find frustrating for Arsenal, is that when they come up against the big teams, they always make the same mistakes. I’m not sure they have enough experienced players.

“Sure, they played very well, and if they play like that against any of the smaller teams in the league, they will win the majority of the time. 

“When you play against the very best teams away from home, you must have the character to win otherwise it will be very difficult to leave any of these stadiums with anything. 

“The dropped points yesterday could make a huge difference at the end of the season, so Arsenal need to learn from this mistake and respond in a positive way the next time they play one of the biggest teams away from home. 

“If they can learn, then it could be a very valuable lesson for them, but sadly these are the same problems that Arsenal seem to always face when they play away at a top six club.

“I was not happy because it felt like a missed opportunity for Arsenal and they played well.”

 

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