This is how you defend boys
This is how you defend boys

Arsenal legends Lee Dixon and Martin Keown have their say on Gunners defending.

Former Arsenal legends Lee Dixon and Martin Keown have both been speaking about the steps they believe Arsenal need to take to improve defensively.

As members of the famous George Graham back four, Dixon and Keown are both well placed to comment on the art of defending.

Dixon and Keown have both made the transition from playing to TV punditry.

‘I was brought up in the George Graham era of defending from the front, and the least amount of work your back four does, then the better you are playing defensively – and that means from the front,’ said Lee Dixon

‘I don’t think it is about the back four, it is about the team.

‘We have a mentality in the Arsenal team at the moment which is not geared around defending, and it has taken a couple of years for us to realise that it is not all about when we have got the ball, it is about when we have not got the ball, and we are not the best without the ball.

On new signing Gabriel Paulista, Dixon believes he can make a positive impact.

‘There is no doubt an experienced player who has been at Villarreal will be an asset in that department,’ Dixon added.

‘The bits I have seen of him, he certainly has all of the attributes to adapt to the Premier League – he is very aggressive, is brave and relatively quick, so I think he will be a big asset.’

Martin Keown meanwhile has compared Arsenal to a boxer with great attacking skills, but unfortunately with a glass jaw.

That observation could be made of most British heavyweights over the years!

‘Sometimes Arsenal can be like a boxer. Yes they throw punches but it might not be long before they’re dropped to the canvas.

‘That’s what had happened with Arsenal in recent times – losing the big games early on.

“But against City they were much more controlled and protected their defence far better with their midfield players before breaking with purpose and energy.

“It was such a controlled, professional performance. You can’t always win games by strangling the opposition through possession.

‘But that message will have 100 per cent come from Arsene Wenger, not the players.”