Emery: Injuries killed our rhythm

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Unai Emery says injuries to centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis took their toll as Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United. 

Alexis Sanchez, on his return to the Emirates, and Jesse Lingard scored twice in two minutes just past the half-hour mark as the visitors established a commanding lead without breaking a sweat.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 17th goal of the season made things interesting for a while, however, as the Gunners pushed for an equaliser with an unbalanced backline, United stung us on the break; Anthony Martial killing things when he slotted home after Petr Cech parried a Paul Pogba shot into his path.

After the game, Emery accepted that the Red Devils were more efficient in the final third.

“I’m happy because I think our work is good, but the result is bad,” he told his post-game press conference.

“Today it’s the result and the injuries. They don’t help us to be in the match, maybe when the result’s 1-2. In this moment we had the possibility to grow and to win, but these injuries – especially the one to Koscielny – didn’t help us because our rhythm went down.

“Also, we needed to change different players to play at centre back. They were very clinical today and in the moments when we attacked, we got into the box but couldn’t produce the last action to score.

“We deserved more but we played against Manchester United who are in their best moment of the season, and they have a lot of players to make the difference. Rashford and Martial came on as well.”

In light of his side being caught on the break twice, Emery was quizzed on whether he is struggling to find a balance between attack and defence.

“They have very big players to do the transitions and they gave us problems with that,” he accepted.

“We worked well, the second goal was in the transition, but the first was [due to] our positioning. In the second half, we took some risks and that’s what we needed to do. They scored [a third]. We need to keep improving.

“I think the matches against West Ham United and Chelsea we played and worked well defensively. Today was more difficult to stop their transition. We need to work on attacking [too] because we wanted to win.

“Our idea was to go in with a good balance. I think we have a good balance in a lot of moments but they have big players with big qualities who can make the difference.”

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Rayk 47

Having both our starting centre backs injured is a joke of a sham… doesn’t help either that Cech concedes 3 of 4 shots on target (the only one being saved being the one he palms into martial’s path for the third)…….

Pkub
Pkub

First game with Man U – Rob Holding injured. And boy, that young lad was really putting on a shift, was in great form & important part of our defence. Now Koscielny & Sokratis… What else to say other than I fckn hate Man U…
But hey…. Atleast we have Mustafi, huh?

Devlin
Devlin

You do know that our defence was just as bad at the start of the season right? I love Rob Holding, but he is being used as an excuse for our current predicament. We were lucky, teams just didn’t put away their chances against us.

Let us not put all our hopes on Rob Holding. He is a good young defender who will become great and was performing well. Lets not over rate his influence and our defensive performances. We haven’t been good defensively this whole season, with or without Holding.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Yeah, blame it on Cech when he is not even at fault. Exactly the same treatment from fans got Szczesny and they wanted him gone (the same who now wants him back). But when we are talking about Leno there is always thousand and one excuse.

George
George

Cech was crap, no getting around it.

Caligunner
Caligunner

How about give your players some added confidence coming off our most convincing win against our big 6 rivals and using the same formation?

How about the fact that you decided to change formations today and along with that had to change the tactics?

How about stop over thinking and play your best 11? Figure out tactically how to do it instead of creating unnecessary drama. You were brought in because you were known to be a tactically modern manager.

If you are going to rotate players why not use Jenks at rb today? Find out if he can contribute anything or at least build up his value some since HB is done for the season. SL is already proven he can’t hang in the PL at this point in his career.(who’s brilliant idea was this anyways to bring in a 34yo smh) rotate your MF. ME isn’t special but he can contribute with his energy and rest LT and bring him on for 20-5 min towards the end? AMN could have been used in MF today.

I know having young players as options on the bench isn’t ideal but it’s better than having 4 fb on the roster today. Only option you had was a player you don’t even want to use. God forbid any of our attacking players getting hurt instead of our defensive players today what could you have done for subs besides Ozil?

Emery needs to go lol I know it’s too soon but this direction sucks. There have to be better up and coming managers out there that have proven themselves like emery actually did at Sevilla. He “failed” at PSG and was looking for a job this summer for a reason.

ArsenalTillIDie
ArsenalTillIDie

You have to get your head out of your arse mate. Unai out already?! Come on, give the man a break. He’s been dealt a bad hand & it’s his first season, go back to Jurgen and Pep’s first seasons and see how badly they performed. Ffs our fans are so God damn impatient!

Caligunner
Caligunner

JK first season when he took over in-season? How can you even compare without a transfer or a preseason to implement what he wants to do? Or his real first season? Where they finished in the top 4 from finishing 8th season before or GD difference of +23 from the previous season. How about +17 in points. Plus style philosophy, tactics, formation and hope. Lol

Pep increased points and GD in his first season. Plus again a certain style, philosophy, tactics and formation.

Are you being serious there first seasons with there clubs didn’t see a clear difference and impact?

UE had a whole transfer window and preseason to figure out some of this. He has better depth than AW did the season before. The defense is worse on pace to give up more goals than the previous season and score the same amount with Laca and Auba for a full season.

Why do we have to be more patient? I would agree with you if he was coming from Sevilla and not fired from PSG. His problems from PSG are following him here. Poor man management with over thinking his tactics. He’s just not a big club manager. He’s like Moyes who belongs at a smaller club

Pkub
Pkub

Alright, let’s start from here…
First of all the same formation wouldn’t work against man u, we had Ramsey man marking Jorginho, whenever Hazard got the ball, two men went at him. For me, Unai tactically put Sarri to bed there.

Okay so I’m assuming you’re at the training every day, seeing which player is capable of what, yeah? Personally I’ve nothing against ‘Lord Jenko’ , but he wouldn’t be able to cope with Martial or *cough* Snake *cough* Sanchez. AMN did just fine.
The reason ‘SL’ was brought in to have some sort of depth in the team, also…. Having him in the team did help HB improve. Personally I think he’s (Bellerin) one of the players that really improved under Unai & some of that credit could go fo SL & his experience.

To be fair, if one of our attacking players got injured it would be just as bad if not worse. Them lads will have a huge responsibility right now.

And once again, I go back to saying the same thing. Fc*k off with your ‘Emery Out’ or ‘Emery needs to go’, for God’s sake give the man a chance, can you not see that he’s brining in high intensity football, working hard with & without the ball. Stats say it all. If you’re going to judge him by his first season, compare him to other managers in the PL (In their first season).

And you know what, I don’t think HE failed at PSG, if you’re referring to Champions Leauge, I’d blame the players not him.

Get a trip & get behind the team.

Pkub
Pkub

My bad.
Get a grip & get behind the team.

Caligunner
Caligunner

I’m not saying use AR to man mark anyone at manU. I’m saying use the same formation but different tactics. 442 formation worked.

Yes UE did a good job against Sarri but so has rest of the PL lately. To man mark Jorginho to is the game plan.

Other successful first year managers do have serious improvement in their first years such as pep and Klopp.

Why would the players only get the blame. UE tactics that got it wrong in the elimination in CL. Players were just doing what was asked of them. He can’t get credit for success and players get blame for failures. If he was successful he would still be at PSG

GMR
GMR

You think Unai Emery is a failure because he didn’t win the Champions League at PSG but you hold up Pep Guardiola as a great manager, the same man that has failed to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich and Man City (so far)? If Unai was a failure for being unable to win the CL in 2 seasons then I have no idea what that makes Pep.

Caligunner
Caligunner

It’s not winning CL it’s getting into the final 4. That’s the standard for BM? PSG? RM? Barca?

Yes pep hasn’t gotten there with city but he’s won league in his second season with of course Ton of money spent but It’s PSG. They should be automatic domestic champs and it doesn’t matter if Monaco has a incredible season. It’s like at BM if they don’t win domestic something is wrong. PSG goals if not winning CL is at least final 4 with the money they spend.

Don't boo Paul Davis
Don't boo Paul Davis

Acieeeed

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Poor excuse. This is a squad of well played players, who should be ready to step in and perform, at any moment. It would be better to come out and say, his players are just not good enough.

yura910721
yura910721

How useful would it be considering we are not buying anything?

Alex
Alex

They were good enough for the 22 unbeaten run.

Possession
Possession

Sorry but I agree with a lot of what Emery says, well, apart from the shit about West Ham.

Kostas
Kostas

Bla bla bla lose…
bla bla bla sell…
bla bla bla for free…
bla bla bla…

There is a big difference between the Arsenal I know and I want and the Arsenal I see. And it’s called Stan.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

In fairness to Man U they did their bit to kill our rhythm too. Not least by scoring. Especially that fucking Sanchez!

Ash
Ash

Emery is killing the players with his trainings

Kingofzamunda
Kingofzamunda

Yup, you’ve nailed it. That’s the problem right there the training. Why don’t we let the players lounge all week no training and just show up on game day….

Hank
Hank

Yes obviously training sessions are to blame for Sokratis landning awkwardly and rolling his ankle or Koscielny getting kicked in the face.

santori
santori

How many Cbacks do we need for a season?

They fall like flies.

No Holding. Sokratis hopefully is OK. koscielny I thought may have sustainability issues instead he gets his jaw knocked off.

More and more (Even if he hasn’t set the world alight at Fulham) it’s looking like loaning Chambers out is a bad deal this season.

At this rate it will be Mustafi with Lichsteiner and Monreal in a back 3 (shudder)

Granit simply isn’t the right player for Cback.

Lichsteiner is over the hill and Monreal can play there but hardly ideal either.

Very worrying not just bc we have Tuesday to look forward to but if Koscielny and Sokratis are going to be out for a while, we may slip points again and will limp through the season with no frame of consistency at the back.

If anything, we benefited for a stretch because we had the consistency of Mustafi-Sokratis-Holding for the unbeaten run. Sure there were plenty of iffy moments but there was also some element of familiarity being built.

But since then, we have had no semblance of consistency in selection mostly due to injuries.

Very worrying times particularly with the lack of activity let alone direction in transfer window.

santori
santori

We may have been better off going to a back 3 immediately after we lost Sokratis. That would have meant Monreal came on with koscielny shifted into the middle and then Mustafi right side.

But we conceded so quickly thereafter and were then chasing a deficit of 2.

The other big issue is the midfield balance still seems off kilter. Torreira move right a number of times to try and effect more threat down that side as most of our play was from Iwobi on the left. They knew it and reinforced that side.

But that left no one in particular to watch their players in the middle, close them down to prevent them hitting the ball out wide and behind our fullbacks during the transition.

And a number of times, their midfield had way too much space as we retreated backwards.

As Emery mentioned its a question of balance.

This team has been fundamentally unbalanced for a long time now.

We had opportunity to address it last January with Mahrez for a start but the Transfer team brought in what was convenient for them not what was tactically prudent for the squad.

Goonertilidie
Goonertilidie

Kroenke out.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That doesn’t work on people who own a club as one tiny piece of their overall world-spanning business investment portfolio. If he sells Arsenal it will be because profit margins are dropping below acceptable levels. We are a business investment and are expected to make him money, not cost him money. If we don’t show a profit without investment then eventually he will sell us to a wannabe Kroenke clone. Perhaps even to that twit who owns Newcastle.

Tux It Away
Tux It Away

I disagree with Emery that there was ‘good balance’. We knew from our last game against United that they’re just going to want to counter, and we set up perfectly for them to do that. We lose our shape and discipline too often when going forward, you’ve got Kolasinac and AMN bombing forward at every opportunity, and even our central defenders did at times, leaving spaces in behind often for them to break. Do we really need to send both full backs and midfielders forward for every attack? Hardly ever did we get those kind of spaces last night, when we were on the ball, they had a flat back four and at least two midfielders would drop back, crowding us out. I also find we crowd ourselves out sometimes by pushing too players forward, Ramsey could do with dropping back a little bit, into that 10 role a bit more, rather than being on Lacazettes toes all the time, giving himself a bit more time on the ball.
We’ve undoubtedly got the talent in the team to be winning week on week, but we do need to sort our defensive organisation out. We’ve always got a goal in us, so why not work at the back to stop conceding so many stupid goals.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

Emery strikes me as a coach who are still getting use to life at a big club. He had a stint at PSG last year but I guess Henry also could win the league with that team. Early in the season, he was talking about being a protagonist. But I still cannot see up to now what is the protagonist style he was talking about. We executed less through balls and even lesser crossings (according to official EPL website data). Early this season, we have seen a lot of byline cutback to the penalty area from our wide players, but until early December we seems to lost them all. As also mentioned in ‘By The Numbers’; we were outperforming in goal scored and these stats are bound to get corrected.

His tactical setup against other big team is more of the underdog style – hardwork + intense pressing to disrupt the other team and hopefully with the quality of forwards we have; score goals. As a comparison, Wolves did very well at executing this setup whenever they were up against big teams.

Nachoman
Nachoman

Emery-‘im happy….what the fuck
When did ‘hopefully we make the top four become what we are about
I thought that’s what Mr Wenger got moved on for
Ffs I’m tired of this club
Going backwards every day

Nachoman
Nachoman

Kroenke out
Please Lord have mercy

Mpls
Mpls

Puts things in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

karl
karl

The one good thing was to see how much Socratis didn’t want to come off. With the season largely done and not many defenders left, I really hope we see Mavrapanos instead of Mustafi.

Arsepants
Arsepants

Two decent performaces a season is pish.
Bein’ more’n a bit crappy is one thing.
Bein’ more’n a bit crappy and fuckin’ unlucky with injuries is a special kind of bollocks.

Runnings
Runnings

So players, big players does makes a difference…