Unai Emery says Arsenal's whole team must improve defensively
Arsenal host Aston Villa on Sunday after being pegged back by Watford
Last Updated: 20/09/19 9:42pm
Unai Emery has urged Arsenal to improve defensively and has called on the whole team to help out.
The Gunners have let in eight goals in five games so far this campaign, including two in their last Premier League outing against Watford, which they drew 2-2 after blowing a two-goal lead.
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They also conceded 31 shots in that match, which means they have now faced the most shots of any team in Europe's top five leagues this term.
Emery says he is not too concerned about that, but does appreciate that his team need to get better at the back.
"Two things. First, we need to be competitive and we need to improve defensively, but it's not all down to the defensive players, the goalkeeper, the midfield - it's for all the team," he said.
"Secondly, sometimes we are defending deep, more deep than we want to. Our block is more deep than we want usually. We don't want to defend in that situation, too deep, many times.
"A lot of shots? They are shots. It's not that important. They're not a danger for us, really.
"We need to improve. We also need, as a team, to be more compact. We need to start our pressing a little more ahead.
"We could do that work better and, on Sunday at home against Aston Villa, we are going to try to do better."
Key defenders on the mend
Arsenal have had to make do without the injured defensive trio of Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and new signing Kieran Tierney so far this season.
In an update on the trio, Emery confirmed that Holding is "ready to play" while Bellerin and Tierney still face some time on the sidelines.
He said: "[Holding] is ready to play. We are playing on Sunday against Aston Villa and on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest. These two matches I can decide whether or not to play.
"Hector Bellerin has had a long injury. He needs to go through a process, then we will see how he's feeling. When he's confident enough to play, he can start with us.
"With Kieran Tierney, his injury was shorter than Bellerin's, but the same [process].
"He'll play [Friday night], we'll see how he finishes that match and then we have two matches Sunday and Tuesday so, maybe, maybe, he'll be ready to play some minutes with us."
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