Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny insists there's mitigating circumstances for their poor defensive record so far this season.

Szczesny cited Gaël Clichy's departure for Manchester City, Per Mertesacker's arrival in August and Thomas Vermaelen's long-term injury absence as factors in Arsenal's poor defensive record.

He said: "It's a new defence and some of the players have to get used to playing with each other. You can see from game to game we are getting better, but it takes time. I hope we can avoid all the mistakes that we have made at the beginning of the season and if we stick together and keep working hard I am sure we are going to have a lot of clean sheets by the end."