Gunners legend calls for defensive changes

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Arsenal legend Stewart Robson thinks Arsene Wenger needs a new defensive strategy rather than new players if he is to mount a title challenge next year.

Robson has backed Wenger's new assistant coach, Steve Bould, to instil discipline into a backline which shipped 49 goals in 38 Premier League matches - the Gunners worst defensive record since 1984.

Wenger kicked off his summer recruitment drive early with the signing of Cologne attacker Lukas Podolski, and the Gunners boss has been linked with moves for Frenchman Yann M'Vila and Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen.

But Robson believes sorting out the defensive weaknesses at the heart of the Arsenal team should be the priority over new signings.

"It's not about buying new players," Robson told London24. "It's always nice to get new faces in but this is more about working with the players we have got and making some big changes to how we play."

The Arsenal TV pundit and former-Gunners player wants to see changes to how Arsenal defend and has backed Bould - himself part of a mean Highbury defence in the 1980s and 90s - to improve performance if given the chance.

"Steve Bould was a great defender and can bring much to the role on the defensive side," said Robson. "The fact remains that even if Arsenal went out right now and bought the four best defenders in the world, if they keep their current style they will not make any real difference."

Robson thinks Arsenal are too open in their attacking play, and wants to see a new strategy for when the team don't have the ball.

"We need to defend more from the front, we need to be disciplined and to make sure the defence always has cover in front of it. These are the fundamentals that title-winning sides have. We have the players to do it."

Arsenal finished third in the Premier League, securing Champions League qualification for next season, after their worst start to a league campaign for 58 years, which included an 8-2 defeat to Manchester United.

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