Praise for Arsenal's defence is a tad premature

The in-thing at the moment, aside from rightly praising Robin van Persie for being a goalscoring machine, is to praise our new-found solidity at the back. While results have been good recently, I’d say it’s more down to the form of our attack than any miracles happening in defence.
Looking at our form since the defeat at Spurs, we’ve only actually managed three clean sheets in ten games, hardly awe-inspiring, but victories have covered this up. Along the way we’ve conceded a number of ridiculous goals to Stoke, the first two at Chelsea, and one in each of our last three games; these have not been great goals by the opposition, but gifts from Arsenal, not too dissimilar to what we’ve seen in recent years.
At home to Fulham, with our attack slightly off-form, we were finally punished for our poor defending. We got away with a draw, but it’s still a poor result at home to a team 15th in the table with a terrible away record, and should serve as a bit of a wake-up call: don’t get carried away with a mild improvement in our defence, some core problems with concentration and overplaying still definitely remain.
Having said that, we are playing without a proper right-back at the moment, and are managing better as a unit than the more-fancied and more expensive backlines of Chelsea and United, who lack proper midfields, and in Chelsea’s case, play suicidal tactics that don’t suit their players at all. Even if we’re not at our best, we’re looking good enough to close the gap on those two. Despite losing key players over the summer and missing a few through injury and introducing a host of new names, we have somehow managed to look like one of the more settled sides in the top seven, which Wenger must take great credit for.
It will be interesting to see who plays tomorrow and how they will fare against Man City, but I don’t think there’s any need to put too much emphasis on this game. A win would be great, but we probably don’t have the squad to be competing in four competitions this season. While in recent seasons the need for a trophy has been great, considering how we started this campaign, we now just need to make the top four and any silverware would be a bonus. As far as I’m concerned, the priority for tomorrow is to rest key players in preparation for the weekend.

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