The back 4 +1 = our biggest improvement so far?

AfcVIP⁴⁹ #KroenkeOut on Twitter: "Aaron Ramsdale 23 Takehiru Tomiyasu 22  Ben White 23 Gabriel Magalhaes 23 Kieran Tierney 24 First clean sheet  together of many for this defense!…"

Arteta has opted to play in a 4231 set up again this season.

Since he has arrived, he has acquired with Edu a lot of defensive-minded players:

  • Ramsdale, Runaarsson
  • Tomy, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Mari, Nuno

So that is 2 GKs and 3 Full-backs and 3 CBs…

This year he is fielding all his latest recruits plus our most reliable defender in the last 2 years when fit (Tierney) in the starting defensive unit:

Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabriel, Tierney –

Since the start of the season, this unit has conceded one goal in 4 games and also kept 3 clean sheets…

Arteta, and many managers, believe that to have a solid team, the defensive unit has to be strong. Of course, the team defends as a unit but still, the back 4 and the goalkeeper have a big role to play in protecting our goal so do you believe that we finally have our much sought after solid/robust/no-non sense defensive? Are we finally going to relax when opponents attack knowing that we will not have a defensive lapse or sill mistake is that defensive unit going to emulate its glorious predecessors such as:

Lehmann – Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole – OR

– Seaman – Dixon, Adams, Bould, Winterburn –

So what is your take? Do they have what it takes to be a “Famous Back 4”.

And does Ramsdale have what it takes to be our new Seaman/Lehmann?


21 Responses to The back 4 +1 = our biggest improvement so far?

  1. RC78 says:

    Hey guys – I just got a notification that this post was my 100th on the blog 🙂 Am part of the furniture now and the Century club 😛

  2. Pete the Thirst says:

    A centurion RC. Well done.

    You & Rocky are holding this ship together. The admin seem to have gone AWOL

  3. RC78 says:

    Thanks Pete. The admin is still alive and kicking but very busy so they kindly left the blogging to Rocky and I and anybody else that d like to contribute.

    How do you feel about our Back 4?

  4. AlexP says:

    I feel like they are at the back and there are four of them,

    Main ‘?’ goes to Tierney. Love the guy but he’s made of china , needs to be really well managed and looked after in training so he can soak up the rough and tumble of PL. Ramsdale looks the best keeper we have had in years, young, hungry and most importantly he has set such a high standards for himself and other in that defensive unit. You can tell that he absolutely hates conceding. Best show of that was during the Spuds game, his reaction to Son scoring was exactly what I want to see from my keeper.

  5. Arsenal2win says:

    When I look at Tomi White Gabriel Tierney, I don’t see a Lauren Toure Campbell Cole comparison. It will take years of 2getherness b4 they will get close 2 that feat. But there’s a chance if they all remain in the club, playing 2gether.

  6. Didrik Plehn says:

    Yes, Arteta is building from behind just like George Graham did, and it’s already working. We have probably the youngest squad in the league with a bright future.

  7. RockyLives says:

    Thanks RC and congrats on your century.

    Our current first choice back 4+1 look very promising, particularly in comparison with what we’ve had to put up with in recent years (since Kozzer left).

    As Arsenal2Win says, it will take more than one season for them to really gel, but we have definitely seen an upgrade.

    Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac, Cedric and others have just not been good enough.

    Holding and Mari are decent back-ups, but hopefully in a season without European footy we won’t need to play them too often.

  8. RC78 says:

    We also have Chambers as a back up and AMN could eventually deputize…

    This season: Rams – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney –
    Last season: Leno – Chambers, Holding, Luiz or Mari, Tierney –
    Last 2 Last: Leno – Bellerin, Sok, Luiz, Kolasinac –

    It ll take time to gel but if all goes well, we should have a good back 4 for the next few years. My concern is more with Ramsdale that has an error in him…

  9. LBG says:

    A good idea for a post RC! Where did you get the idea from?

  10. RC78 says:

    No clue…

  11. RC78 says:

    Does anyone rate Ward-Prowse? I think he can be really good but he can also be bullied and rash at times…I think that K. Philips, Ndidi or Tchouameni would be a better complement to Partey but if not available, then why not Ward-Prowse?

  12. RA says:

    Good Post, RC

    I was about to give my view, to a similar question posed by LBG, but your Post trumped what I was going to say — so I did not bother. 😜

    Many of you are comparative ‘newbies’ so I can repeat something I said many years ago without too many yawns from those who have heard it all before.

    I, like many others, wallowed in the early years of Arsene Wenger when our defence was composed of big or swift running players who fitted in with the brilliant midfield and forward line.

    If a team wanted to take us on by relying on their skill-set, we were happy to turn on our skill afterburners, and trounced them.
    If a team wanted to try and rough us up, we responded and kicked their asses.

    Those were great times, and we all loved the Arsenal success.

    Then — in possibly an attempt to ape Barça’s skilful team, we started to recruit minuscule midfield and attacking players who were very skilful, but it was the beginning of a slow decline decline in our chances of winning anything other than a welcome FA Cup.

    The consequence of the above was that teams who recognised we were still too skilful to take on, reverted to all out rough stuff and began to consistently beat our diddy-men and quickly the phrase “they don’t like it up ’em” became synonymous with Arsenal.

    Not grasping the disparity in the greater size of the opposition, AW did not revert back to bigger more dour players able to give and take with other teams, but agonisingly started to buy older, smaller defender who were not, in general, as skilful as their predecessors.

    Those teams with ‘mini-mes’ were not great, and we did not have much in the way of success — and frankly we can only hope that now we are starting on the way back with evident skill from our youngsters — but perhaps we are still not tough enough – except for our CB, Gabriel.

    Feel free to disagree. 🤪

  13. RC78 says:

    Now I get LBG’s comments about the inspiration for my post…sorry I did not read the last posts on the previous write-up…lol

  14. RockyLives says:


    Excellent comment.

    In a sense the second stage of the Arsene project (when we relied on small, skilful players instead of athletic powerhouses like Vieira, Edu and Petit) was merely him being in tune with the footballing zeitgeist.

    Barcelona and the Spanish national team were sweeping all before them with the style that came to be known as tiki-taka.

    Unfortunately it never worked in the Premier League, not for Arsene’s Arsenal and not for anyone else either. We came close in the season that was derailed when Eduardo had his leg snapped in half (2007/8).

    A tiki-taka midfield including the likes of Rosicky, Fabregas, Hleb, Denilson, Abou Diaby and Song played some wonderful football. We might well have won the league that year had it not been for the Eduardo incident.

    But on balance the EPL is just too physical, with too much bad weather for large parts of the season, for a team to really prosper in the Barcelona style.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying I agree with Redders: we perhaps should have reverted to powerful, skilful athletes long ago.

  15. RockyLives says:


    Many thanks – we’ll run it tomorrow.

  16. RockyLives says:

    Great Post Pete, by the way.

  17. RC78 says:

    I wonder how Chambers, Holding and Mari are feeling at the moment…They were key features in our back 4 and are not benchwarmers…must be tough

  18. RC78 says:

    an are NOW benchwarmers…sorry for the typo

  19. LBG says:

    Thanks at least for YOUR acknowledgement of my comment on previous post!!😉 Still RC has got his 100 up badge!
    As I briefly commented then, hope Mavrapanos and even Saliba dont turn out to be more Gnabrys. Ballard is also a potential upgrade on Holding and Chambers from what I have seen, but of course we cant play them all.
    Perhaps more worrying still is how must Martinelli be feeling at present, and even Balogun? It looks like Laca is on his way and I am one who feels Aubang has had his day. I approve of a big, good in the air, able to hold up like Laca, and convert like the old Aubang, centre forward. Is Calvert- Lewin that player?

  20. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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