Arsenal ‘switched off’ for both goals conceded against Wolves with ex-star noting ‘defensive transition’ worries

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Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, former Arsenal midfielder Michael Thomas has admitted that the Gunners were punished for ‘switching off’ in the two goals they conceded in the defeat to Wolves.

Thomas, who spent nine years with Arsenal, was disappointed with the side’s poor ‘defensive transition’, an area where Mikel Arteta had seemingly improved the side until their recent collapse.

Thomas admits that Arsenal’s defending in the box should have been ‘better’ for Pedro Neto’s opener, whilst the lack of ‘closing down’ was costly when Daniel Podence ultimately scored the second.

Replays of the goals aren’t flattering at all for the Gunners. For the first, Dani Ceballos completely fails to track Leander Dendoncker’s run, which led to a free header and Neto’s rebound.

The second showed shades of the lacklustre defensive approach that saw Ross Barkley embarrass a few Gunners before Aston Villa’s first goal in that 3-0 defeat, as there was simply no closing down.

For that goal, Neto was allowed to drive forward and have a shot on goal despite being closely surrounded by David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes and Hector Bellerin.

Bellerin’s decision to neither fully commit to Neto or mark Podence, left the former Sporting Lisbon ace with the space to produce a magical flick and score off the rebound.

Here’s what Thomas had to say on Neto and Podence’s strikes:

“For me both the goals came from switching off and the defensive transition not happening, which is very odd to say as Mikel has so far been good with setting his team out to be better in transition going backwards.”

“The first goal I thought was just great wing play from Traore but the defending in the box should have been much better.”

“The second goal however was a number of errors that led to the goal, dropping off and not closing the ball down until the very end, not switched on for the keepers spill.”

Both goals can be seen below via Sky Sports:

Pictures from Sky Sports.

When questioned on what Arsenal and Arteta need to do to get out of this rut, Thomas responded with this – it sounds simply but it pinpoints where the Gunners are failing:

“The players all need to be working as hard if not harder than the opposing team. That is where the top 2 get it right. Work harder than your opponents and earn the right to play your game.”

Arteta’s men have now lost four of their last six Premier League games, winning on just one occasion, this has left the 14th in the Premier League table.

The team’s disastrous run as of late has effectively cancelled out the otherwise significant impact that the win over rivals Manchester United could’ve had.

More Stories Adama Traore Dani Ceballos daniel podence David Luiz Gabriel Magalhaes Hector Bellerin Michael Thomas Mikel Arteta Pedro Neto