Arsenal case for the defence too open and not enough shut

By Avenell Dave

Whatever Celtic say about Eduardo's 'simulation' last night, the fact is Arsenal could have won that game with ten men.

It was ridiculously easy in all fairness and while this afternoon's Group Stages draw will be watched with fascination, I have greater concerns.

One of my fellow Addicts reminded me last Saturday that Arsene Wenger wants to shore up the defence, citing 34 goals against last season as too many to win the title.

And my Addict friend added that on current levels, we'll concede 38 this season.

Another Addict added last night that he would rather us win 3-0 or 4-0 than 6-1 and I have to agree.

Maybe it is something in the establish Gooner's genes that we like to see 'nil' next to our opponents' names when the scores are read out.

Certainly Thomas Vermaelen is looking to be an outstanding buy and Willie Gallas looks reborn, fresh after an extended rest over the summer and without the shadow of King Kolo beside him: the pair were clearly not fond of each other.

I'm not a grumpy Gooner. I will always appreciate what Wenger has done and cheer the side on, knowing we have no right to silverware despite our yearning for it.

But the last seconds of the Celtic game last night left a sour taste in my mouth.

Yes, the game was over, energy could be preserved ahead of Old Trafford and it's understandable that we would take it easy.

M*nure may have lost against Barcelona in the Champions League final last season, but their Premier league victory was built, in no small part, on the defence going weeks without conceding.

Knowing a defence is so impenetrable creates an aura that Arsenal once had, and one we should seek to emulate.

The 'you score two and we'll score three' mentality is the bedrock on which T*tt*nh*m and Newcassel have failed for years.

It may well be that in time, as the team gets used to its new formation, Gallas and Vermaelen get a greater understanding and Manuel Almunia remembers he plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world and not some second division Spanish team any longer, everything will fall into place.

Maybe the clean sheet bonus needs to be reviewed.

Yes, I want us to be entertaining, I want us to continue our tricks and flicks and sexy football, but I want to see other teams getting 'Nil' far more often than is happening so far.

* On a separate note, Addict correspondent Jegbie suggested last night that Vermaelen go right through Shrek R**ney in the first five minutes at Old Trafford, just to let him know he's going to be in a game.

Praise be to that!