By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger expects Arsenal’s defensive improvement to be clear by the end of the season.

The Frenchman saw his side concede 37 goals in 38 Premier League games last year – a tally that cost Arsenal a serious chance of the title.

Wenger has looked to reverse that pattern this season by signing Thomas Vermaelen and protecting his back four with a defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation. Vermaelen has been an unqualified success and Arsenal’s tactics have been praised but they have still shipped 11 goals in eight top-flight games this term.

The point was made to Wenger at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday but the Arsenal manager is unperturbed and believes his back four are on the right track.

“I believe we will have to see at the end of the season,” said Wenger.

“But we conceded too many goals last year and we decided to rectify our defence and the system we play.

“I believe that by the end of this season we will have conceded less goals but somewhere as well we encourage the team to go for an offensive game and sometimes we pay the price for that a little bit.”

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22 Oct 2009