Arsenal are always the subject of some discussion in the media, no matter if we have played recently or not. There is a perennial focus on our club as our fanbase is amongst the most vociferous there is.
Recently though, thanks to our defensive woes, we have had certain memes directed at us, that liken our backline to a joke, especially when compared to our awesome attack.
Crudely done or not, the memes have a point. If it weren’t for our generous nature at the back, we would surely be contending for honours.
So, discussion is now centred on possible solutions to remedy what ails us. Gary Cahill on loan - given our budget restraints this winter window - calling back Calum Chambers from his loan at Fulham, plus possible other solutions. All have been suggested, and all are plausible.
The problem isn’t in personnel though.
At the time of writing, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin aside, we have our first choice defence available. Captain Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Nacho Monreal are all fit and playing, but when it comes to clean sheets and shutting the opposition out, we have just one clean slate.
This is far from good enough, but it isn’t the class of player that is available to Emery to pick that is hindering us.
Shkodran Mustafi always has an error in him, but he has enough class to be much better than he shows.
Koscielny has been amongst the best defenders in the last 6-7 seasons and while his latest injury may have cost him a yard, his pedigree is unquestionable.
Sokratis has been invaluable for us so far, and his unflinching style is perfectly suited to the PL.
We are struggling because these players are adapting to a new system. Playing out from the back, defending as one unit and utilising the offside trap with a higher frequency, the players are struggling, and it is allowing the opposition far more chances than necessary.
Once our men come to terms with the new system, we will have at the very least, a decent, operating backline that can give us a solid foundation to compete. At this moment in time we are floundering, trying to find our feet.
It is true that defensive recruitment is mandatory, and time is of the essence. Nacho Monreal and Koscielny have had their best years, as well as Lichtsteiner. We need new blood at the back, and some leadership wouldn’t go amiss.
But this season we could merely be helped if our players could master the new ways of our Manager. If we can manage that, then that will be a great start.
Patience is a virtue.