By Joe Brewin
Arsène Wenger insists that Arsenal are doing everything they can to improve their defensive displays.
The Gunners have been criticised this season after conceding 12 times in two away fixtures but they did register clean sheets against Newcastle, Udinese and Swansea along the way.
Wenger says that his squad is working hard to address its weaknesses and he believes that every player must take responsibility when Arsenal do not have the ball.
“We work on it every day and practice,” the boss told Arsenal Player. “I believe that we have been solid quite recently - in Dortmund but not at Blackburn. There is a lot to improve in our defensive consistencies.
“The modern game is a team sport more than ever because everybody has to defend completely. All the big teams do it. You do not get away with just seven or eight and the rest watching.
“If you don't do it as a team it doesn't work. On the day [at Blackburn] I believe we were a little unlucky and certainly a bit naive as well - we have to concede that. We have played five games, but we started our season basically two weeks ago.”
With four competitions to compete in this season, Wenger knows there is a gruelling year ahead and he pointed to the struggles of both Barcelona and Real Madrid in Wednesday night’s La Liga matches.
“There is a physical factor, you could see that as well. When I watched the Spanish games last night the teams who played in the Champions League did not look completely on full cylinders.
“[We can gain confidence] by focusing on the way we want to play football and the team spirit and attitude. That makes you feel stronger and overall I think there is no way I am going to put down the mental qualities of the squad. That will come out.”
The full interview with Wenger is now available on Arsenal Player. The boss discusses: the Carling Cup win, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the visit of Bolton, rebuilding confidence and improving in defence.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Sep 2011