Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown was unimpressed with Sead Kolasinac’s performance against Qarabag on Thursday night.
The Gunners strolled to victory in Azerbaijan thanks to goals from Sokratis, Emile Smith-Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi, which saw them extend their winning run in all competitions to an impressive eight games.
However, the scoreline flattered Unai Emery’s men somewhat, as the hosts squandered several clear openings in the game which could have changed the final result.
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Bernd Leno had to be at his best to keep a clean sheet after his defence let him down, most notably Kolasinac, who was caught out of position consistently after bombing forward.
According to the Express, club legend Keown – who was covering the game for BT Sport – picked up on the full-back’s defensive naivety, as he said: “Kolasinac was a problem.
“We’re just looking here at the defensive responsibilities and he gets done there with one ball because his body shape is wrong.
“He’s not in line with the rest of his team and he looked very vulnerable.
“Kolasinac is a player that wants to go forward but he doesn’t want to defend.
“He really was a weakness for Arsenal.
“But he’s not been in with the group, he’s not played in the back four.”
The Bosnian left-back was making his first start of the season after missing the first two months of action through injury, but he looked rusty on the European stage and still some way short of full fitness.
He will have to keep working hard in training to get back into the starting line up permanently, while Arsenal will now be looking ahead to a Premier League clash with Fulham on Sunday.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 4, 2018
The Gunners winning run has lifted the mood at the Emirates after a difficult start to the campaign, but Emery still needs to address some issues at the back before they can be considered as genuine contenders for silverware in the coming months.