Nigel Winterburn: Arsenal must improve in attack to create ‘perfect performance’

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has told

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has told that, following a strong defensive performance against Manchester City at the Etihad, Arsenal will need to improve in attacking areas in order to put together the “perfect performance”.

Read more on what he had to say below.

City are the best team in the Premier League, but Arsenal are capable of keeping them at bay

Arsenal proved against Manchester City just how incredible their defence is. City are the best team in the Premier League and have been for the past five or six seasons, but Arsenal managed to stop them scoring at home for the first time since 2021.

Man City have won five of the last six titles. That shows you the level you have to reach to get ahead of them. When you’re playing at the Etihad you have to be so good defensively to keep a clean sheet.

It is hard in a match like that for the forward players when they have less of the ball than normal. Arsenal got pushed back a lot by City so the wide players sit deeper. You have to be exceptional at keeping the ball to try and break out and you have to take more risks against that. It was so difficult for the wide players who were under severe pressure.

Arsenal had three or four opportunities where they broke out and the final ball just let them down. The one that stood out for me was Leandro Trossard’s chance right at the end. If he had taken a better touch forward then he could’ve played Gabriel Martinelli in. It is still only a potential chance because it still has to get to Trossard and he has to finish it, but those are the areas where they didn’t make the best choices. Those are the areas where they’ll be looking to improve in the run-in.

Arteta will want to see more solid defensive displays like this one they put in against City. Combine that with the attacking displays they’ve shown in recent weeks and that would be the perfect performance.

People expected a classic with loads of goals, but Arsenal’s defensive display was absolutely incredible. To go on and win the title they’re going to have to continue to be that strong defensively, but they also need to create opportunities and score a lot of goals – they need to get the balance right.

City and Liverpool are favourites, but title race won’t go ‘according to plan’

Winterburn also suggested that whilst Arsenal are the underdogs in comparison to Manchester City and Liverpool, not everything will go according to plan this season.

As far as the title race is concerned, I want Arsenal to win the league and I couldn’t care less about who comes second and third. Looking at the run-ins and trying to pick out where teams will pick up or drop points is always the worst thing to do – it very rarely all goes according to plan. Surprises will happen and with three teams involved it will change around a lot. I’m delighted that Arsenal are there again after last season. I’m just hoping they can win it this season.

They’re up against Manchester City, who are the best team in the league and have won five of the last six titles, as well as Liverpool who are the only other champions in that period; that makes them the underdogs. One thing that’s for sure is it’ll all change between now and the end of the season.

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