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The Spanish shot-stopper hopes Arsenal can find the right balance between awesome attacks and rigid rearguards...

The criticism levelled at Arsenal at the beginning of the season seems to have dissipated as their defensive woes - playing too high a line; poor defensive positioning - seem to have been remedied, yet these woes now seem to have been pushed up the park to litter their front line.

The recent Champions League win over Roma though showed the side's versatility when it came to alternate formations as Arsene Wenger successfully tinkered with a 4-2-3-1 (ironically perfected by Roma sides in the past).

Manuel Almunia - who has accumulated five clean sheets on the spin - believes the Gunners must find a good balance between creative intuition and attacking impetus, while also remaining rigid and stubborn along the backline.

"It’s the only good thing that we can see from these kind of games [Sunderland] when we are dropping points, we are still getting clean sheets," he explained in the Official Arsenal Programme. "I think the team in general defensively are doing very well. We now need to find that nice balance where we are tight at the back but get the goals."

Almunia then paid tribute to league leaders Manchester United, and opined that Arsenal could well learn a lesson from the manner in which their competitive rivals conduct themselves with a football at their feet, adding, "Manchester United have been so successful this season as they have always been getting the clean sheet and then just managing to get the goal. They have the confidence to get that minimum one goal. We have to get that confidence back."

He continued, "before we probably used to create a few more chances and also we would finish those chances quicker. Now we are spending a bit more time to get a final shot. The players realise that the fans deserve more from us and maybe some of the players are feeling more pressure at the moment at home because we are not winning games.

"I know the fans deserve more from the team than 0-0 scores," he concluded.

Arsenal host London rivals Fulham this weekend in the Premier League.

Alan Dawson, Goal.com


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