Sansom exclusive: Arsenal’s players must talk to each other more

Date: Monday 4th December 2017 at 5:06 pm
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Kenny Sansom's back on the Arsenal stadium artwork

Arsenal hero Kenny Sansom feels the Gunners still need to speak more on the pitch, after defensive failings cost them dearly against Manchester United.

The overall game was fantastic, but we were 2-0 down after ten minutes. I don’t think I’ve seen so many balls going into the box. I’ve always said that Arsenal don’t put the ball into the box enough, but it was real old school! It was like the old days. End to end stuff, both teams trying to score.

Arsenal had more possession and corners in the second half. I don’t believe in statistics too much, but Arsenal did have a lot of the ball. It was like 70s football! There was a lot of commitment from both teams and you don’t see that in every game. It could have been 3-3!

We missed good chances, but that’s football. Arsenal made defensive mistakes and you can only get away with that against the weaker teams.

De Gea is a fantastic goalkeeper. He has good skill when the ball is played back to him. I played with some great goalkeepers – Pat Jennings, Shilts, Ray Clemence – but De Gea is excellent. But I’d always put Jennings first!

The defensive mistakes for the first two goals were silly mistakes. And they cost Arsenal the match. I don’t think Mourinho had noticed flaws in other matches, I just think Utd’s players reacted fast on the pitch. The more games you do that, giving the ball away, the more games you will lose.

Arsenal maybe got the rough end of the stick with the penalty decisions – on Lacazette and Welbeck – but referees do make mistakes. I’d have brought Giroud on earlier. But I think the game gives you heart.

If I was Arsene Wenger or Steve Bould, I’d be working on the defence and the mistakes. In training, Stevie Bould should put sessions on, to get the players talking to each other and get to know each other. Talking is so important. The manager should tell the players to get talking. Information is so important.

Tony Adams knew exactly where I was. I knew when to step up and play offside. It was so simple. Non-stop chat. “I’m here Tone, I’m here Tone”.

Me and Rixie, we knew where each other was. I’d just say “yes”. He knew how many sugars I had in my tea. Once, I threw the ball onto Rixie’s back. But the ref didn’t get it. He booked me, for bringing the game into disrepute!

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