The Gunners defeated Burnley 3-1 at the Emirates yesterday with Premier League top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice. However, the defense still seems different, with players under Emery playing out of position.
Monreal played as CB before catching up an injury and getting substituted, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles played RB, who lost the ball on a couple of occasions in the match.
Hector Bellerin has played effectively this season, much like the Spaniard we know from the 14/15 season. But alas, he came limping off against Southampton last week with an unspecified knock.
Unai Emery reveals Hector Bellerin injury blow after Arsenal’s defeat to Southampton https://t.co/FRNHWBOwyS
— Football Tips ⚽️ BookieBoost (@BookieBoostApp) December 16, 2018
Here’s what Unai Emery had to say about Monreal and other defenders’ injuries:
“It’s starting to be a muscular problem and we decided to change and not take more risks with him (Monreal). But I hope it’s not big and I hope he can be with us next week. I don’t know if he can play in Brighton, but we can play, I think, Koscielny. Mustafi is close also for coming with us. We can take more injuries but we can also recover more players”.
Monreal’s injury doesn’t seem too severe, so that’s a positive sign for us Gooners. He seems to be the only natural defensive minded LB we have. Laurent Koscielny hasn’t had the best of times on the pitch in the last couple of games, so even if he is fit I don’t think Emery will play him.
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In his interview last week Emery mentioned that Bellerin is to be sidelined for 2-3 weeks. Mustafi is a positive sign; he has been great this season. When asked about Konstantinos Mavropanos, Emery said,
“Mavropanos is starting to do training on the pitch and running. Maybe in one month he can help us, but also in this transfer window if we have one good opportunity to help us and sign [someone], we are working for that.”
Mavropanos is back in training. pic.twitter.com/OBOcCEO3Og
— AFCPressWatch (@AFCPressWatch2) December 21, 2018
Seeing the Greek duo of Mavropanos and Sokratis Papastathopoulos play together as CB is still a wish that hasn’t been fulfilled, and it may happen as early as January.
With all the defensive problems and injuries we have had, it is certain that we have to make a winter signing in the defense. We move to face Brighton at the Falmer on Wednesday looking to secure those 3 points. It would be interesting to see who Emery deploys in the defense that day.