Former Manchester United players are understandably hesitant to pay much praise to Arsenal given the acrimonious recent history between the clubs.
So when Rio Ferdinand took to his Evening Standard column to single the north London club out for particular praise, Gunners fans would be right to take notice.
Writing on Tuesday, Ferdinand opined that ‘this is the best back four I have seen at Arsenal for many a year. They are settled and look confident’.
Defensive stability has traditionally been an area of weakness for Arsenal and to be praised so warmly by a defender held in high repute will be music to the ears of the Emirates faithful.
Ferdinand went on to single out the club’s centre-halves, commenting that ‘Laurent Koscielny has been one of the most consistent defenders for the last few seasons and has found a great partner in summer signing Shkodran Mustafi’.
Mustafi was one of Arsenal’s most expensive signings of all time, setting the club back £35 million, but it’s hard to argue with the fee given his stellar performances this season. Arsenal fans would hope that his performances may convince Arsene Wenger to loosen his purse strings slightly wider in January as the club seek to mount a serious title challenge.
As is widely known, November is typically a month in which Wenger’s charges struggle. Past seasons have seen the club make encouraging starts to the league only for November to herald a period of mediocrity, which typically sees the club’s title challenges falter before ever really becoming significant.
Ferdinand, however, hints that should their current defensive solidity remain, league success could follow:
“Arsenal’s success in the early years of Wenger’s reign was built on a solid back four and if they can get that right again now, they will have a good chance of winning silverware.”
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena
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