Emery: We struggled a lot

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Unai Emery says he was pleased his players did enough to seal three points but admits Arsenal struggled on the way to a 2-1 win over Cardiff City.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty, awarded for a foul on Sead Kolasinac, and Alex Lacazette’s solo effort put the Gunners in a commanding position before Nathaniel Mendez-Laing pulled one back for the visitors in added time.

The win keeps Arsenal within touching distance of the top four ahead of a tough trip to Manchester City on Sunday.

Facing the BBC cameras after the game, the Spaniard reflected: “We are happy. In the first half we didn’t deserve to go in winning and in the second half we played better, controlled the match better and created more chances.

“We started well in the first 10 minutes then I was not surprised with the performance as Cardiff worked very well.

“We struggled a lot in the match but it’s very important to get the three points. We know each match is difficult and we are happy – the difference is small details.”

Arsenal will have to improve on Sunday if they’re to take anything away from a trip to Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing side lost 2-1 at Newcastle and will know they can’t afford to drop further points. It’s going to be a tall order, but at least we head there with two wins on the bounce in the league.

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Billy Bob
Billy Bob

I have a feeling we will get a result at man city, not sure why, but I don’t feel the sense of dread that I did with Liverpool away

jon

Arsenal lost the three last matches against them 3-0. With our defence, I cannot spot a viable plan. We will certainly not keep a clean sheet. Hence, we have to make 2-3 goals to win.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I feel the dame sense of dread that I did with Liverpool away.
But even in that game, we started the game right, then as usual shot ourselves in the foot and never recovered.
Against City, if we play conservatively and defend as a group and avoid unforced errors, maybe we’ll get something out of it.

Big Dave
Big Dave

Well that’s what you get for having most of your defenders injured and starting with Mesut Ozil. For gods sake, is there anyway we can keep Ramsay and get rid of Ozil?? Over the last month especially, the difference between Ramsay being on the pitch and Ozil being off it has been collassal.

Hantal
Hantal

Ozil being off the pitch has also coincided with our worst form under Emery (admittedly a small sample so far)

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Wrong, thanks for your Trump impression rewriting the narrative to fit your agenda. Our dip coincides with Mhki’s absence. SO long…

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Ozil being off the pitch also coincided with our two biggest wins of the season by far. I think it’s fair to say that whether we win or lose depends on much more than one player. But it’s also fair to say he had a decidedly average game tonight.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

A fair assessment. Frankly I’m tired of the pro and anti-Ozil agenda. Anyone with eyes and common sense can see that Emery is trying to build a team that can attack and defend together. If you fit into that mold then all is good, if not…

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Correlation does not equal causation.
That’s like pointing out our best performances (Fulham away, Spurs at home, Chelsea at home) have all happened without Ozil, ergo….

FYI I’m not saying that’s the case, but that such loose correlations don’t say much of anything.

Alex
Alex

And over the start of the season? And over the latest seasons? Btw it’s 3 tackles for Özil today, more than anyone else.
Ramsey against United was still 2-1 and for us…

Dobby
Dobby

So you think he worked harder defensively than Torreira, Guendouzi or Lacazette?

Alex
Alex

I just quote stats. Whether you like it or not.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Brainwashed tbh.I used to get the hate and demanding more from him during the past month or so but guy without any support dominated most of our stats tonight and put on a real shift.and people are still slagging him.Its fine though,majority hates him now so one or two counter opinion wont matter.I want Arsenal to do well above all else so I hope whatever the hierarchy devides to do with him,it pans out well.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Also don’t forget the #standwithozil shit.took a whole of 1 month into the season for fans to forget all the stuff during the summer and to compare their own pocket money with ozil’s wage and sob and rage.good stuff.

Homer
Homer

What is the point of this comment?
Are you butthurt that he’s not producing for your fantasy team?

Its called Arsenal Football Club. Club … that means togetherness, backing your players, and not being a numpty.

The more I think about it, the dumber you comment really is. Supporters comparing their “Pocket money” whateverthefuck that supposed to mean, to an elite footballer’s? Are you high?

Viva la Prof
Viva la Prof

Özil made his 500th goal scoring chance today, that’s quite good, I’ll never understand the hate towards the guy. The other thing I don’t understand is the Man U wank fest going on for drawing 2-2 with a billion dollar squad against Burnley, but when we draw against lower teams we are cunts?

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

We perform wankfests after youngsters bang twice against lower league opposition in mickey mouse cup and supposed prodigy’s have one average game vs relegation fodders.our bar is far lower tbh.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Ozil vs Cardiff – Most pass.key pass.cross.chance created.Not dispossessed once.and for the pashun merchants-most tackles.
Yeah.lazy as fuck guy.bin him!

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

most of these stats are incorrect.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Yes he was amazing we all saw that! including Emery that’s why he kept him on the pitch.

db10s
db10s

If there’s one player that has contributed to our drop in form it would be Holding’s injury.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Holding and Welbeck…in fact if we hadn’t had such devastating injuries all season I think we would have made top 4 comfortably. (I swear I haven’t been drinking)

Legrande
Legrande

For a long time I haven’t felt this confident when we play the big teams. Bring on City. COYG

santori
santori

First half was dire.

Started OK but soon lost invention.

I believe Emery opted for caution (and rest on some players ahead of City) so he played Elneny in the holding role but he sat so deep it was a back 3.

That effectively took out some of our invention going forward bc Granit in similar position would have been able to release us quicker to the wings where Elneny struggled to send forward balls. We ended up back peddling as usual and passes around the back did not help.

One of the reasons why I feel Emery is keen on Dennis is we lack players who can dribble out of trouble and through midfield. Instead we hold possession (or try to) by passing around which as we have all seen this season can be a very dangerous game.

When Unai took off Elneny, Torreira slotted in and we looked better. I thought the little chap who has been poor in recent games looked much better today snapping in at least 3 times to recycle the ball early.

BUT Night and Day when Iwobi came on. Our left suddenly sparked to life and Kolasinac was his menacing self going forward as we played triangles on their right edge of the box.

Iwobi’s through ball to the Bosnian clinched it.

Lacazette who was hardworking all night also less charitable with possession than Aubameyang.

Mike Dean I thought was MOTM as he first awarded us a penalty and later showed restrain when Laca was bundled over but the foul was called the other way. He seemed to have a card ready for Laca but I’m not sure if he showed it cos I remember distinctly he had given him one for chit chat going into the tunnel at half time.

It would have put a different complexion to the game as Laca went on to use his strength and carve out his own opportunity for his goal. That’s quality.

As was Mustafi’s block first half which had that ball gone in, we would be singing a very different song. Of course this won’t get a mention in the podcast. nor the tackle to prevent the cross earlier in that half when Monreal got his off side positioning wrong.

BUT even so, we still conspired to let one in.

I thought Torreira had the right idea at last and tried to keep ball in their corner and we ended up with several opportunities to bury them…instead we kindly gave them a souvenir for their troubles.

On the whole a good hard earned result with an obviously weakened backline made better with United dropping off against Burnley.

Level on points with Chelsea for now but we have a sliver of a chance against city with them losing to Newcastle. They will come at us full throttle so its all to play for.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Pressure is on City. They have to win against us to stay alive in the title chase (unless Liverpool fail to take their chance tomorrow to extend the lead!) so i think if there ever was a chance to get a result at the Etihad, next match is it! Alternately, they could handle pressure and batter us :O

Jack but
Jack but

We won, that’s all that mattered

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

I’ve just returned from having watched Valencia give Getafe a well deserved beating in the Cope Del Rey. The atmosphere at the Mestalla was just incredible. All the better for seeing both Flamini and Gabriel of course. Gabriel was really good tonight.

Forgive me but Arsenal playing tonight slipped my mind as I’m on holiday. Seeing the same old misery here though and the contrast between that and what I just returned from couldn’t be bigger.

Fucking hell, some of you lighten up!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I fear for us on Sunday. After that shock defeat Tonight City know that they absolutely must beat us. And we look as vulnerable as hell at the back.

I didn’t see our game tonight but I’ve heard that Cardiff were the better side for an hour. That’s worrying.

GraeB
GraeB

Somewhat like during that early season run of wins, opposition could/should have had 3 goals but finishing was awful. Stadium only two thirds full but reasonable atmosphere on cold sleety night.

My view was that our forwards have forgotten how to make the runs for Ozil passes although Cardiff worked very hard and offered no time on the ball for anyone all night.

food for thought
food for thought

if we watch the game we can see what ozil is about. his passes and movements are very intelligent. the passes and flicks opens up teams, increases tempo, keeps the ball moving intelligently for our build up play. playing 3 DMs behind might be excessive though. i’m thinking if we could have ozil and iwobi play behind laca and auba, and have torreira and guendouzi to do the dirty work behind them it’ll be quite balanced for the team.

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

We are ordinary. The squad needs to be flipped and this will take some time. Till then we will beat up small teams at home, win the occasional big game at home and lose to smaller teams away.
Nothing can be done about it till we change the make up of the squad. So I guess we need to be patient!

Homer
Homer

Interesting perspective.

Laca, Auba, Ozil, Leno, Monreal, Holding, Torriera … these are anything but ordinary footballers. I’d throw Mhky, Bellerin, and Ramsey in that group as well.

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

Ramsay and Ozil are going anyway. Id argue Leno is mediocre, as is Mhyky and Monreal is a legend but approaching 33. So that leaves 5 decent players and a need to flip half the team.
I dont dislike the remainder of the squad, but they arent going to allow us to challenge for the premiership. We need to improve our average quality and just feel we will get more of the same for a couple of transfer windows.
Liverpool did it when Klopp arrived, Spurs with Poch and its our turn now.

Will keep cheering us on with blind optimism regardless!

Wiggo
Wiggo

This time I spent time to watch in detail our defending or lack of. There’s a reason for letting a relegation team have 19 shots during the game.
We do basically two major errors, the defenders do not close down the opponents when they get the ball. They stand their about two -three meters away and try to block or whatever they’re thinking.( assuming that they’re thinking..). It gives to opposition ample time to either shoot or try a dribble. Aguero would have an easy hattrick yesterday. The second observation is our midfielders inability to close down players in the danger zone outside the box. They’re jogging back,looking at the action and feeling no responsibility or urge to help their defenders.
It worries that Emery and his army of coaches hasn’t ironed out those things, it’s pretty basic stuff