New Arsenal centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos has revealed that Unai Emery is paying particular attention to the Gunners much maligned defence during pre-season training.
Arsenal conceded more goals in the Premier League than Burnley and Newcastle last season, and went on a run of 12 games without keeping a clean sheet in all competitions.
Predecessor Arsene Wenger was often criticised for failing to solve Arsenals deficiencies at the back, but Sokratis has revealed that Emery is working extremely hard on making the side more solid.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the Greek centre-back was asked if Emery has been focusing on the defence and replied: Of course. On the first day, the coach worked on this.
All the players work on tactics with him. We look a lot of times at videos, what was wrong, what we have to do better.
With the new coach we work also on the situations when we dont have the ball and this is very important. I think and hope that this year things at the back will be much better.
With Laurent Koscielny sidelined until next year and Per Mertesacker having retired, Sokratis will marshal the back-line and he is excited about playing in a more defence-first Arsenal side.
In football, the defender is there to defend, he continued. Of course, you have to know how to play with the ball, but in the last five or six years football has changed a lot.
A lot of coaches and a lot of teams now look only how to play, not how to defend. I am here to show that I am, first of all, a defender.
More: Arsenal FC