Unai Emery preferred to focus on the positives when asked about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s performance in the North London derby even though his striker missed a last-gasp penalty that could have sealed all three points.
The Gabon international came on in place of Alex Lacazette for the final 35 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Sp*rs, winning the spot-kick which Hugo Lloris saved. It meant the Gunners had to settle for a point after Harry Kane – netting his own contentious penalty – cancelled out Aaron Ramsey’s first half strike.
In his post-game press conference, Emery was asked about his two strikers. “I spoke with him [Aubameyang],” revealed the boss. “He’s coming in for 35 minutes and his chances, his possibilities to help us to the victory. But he did this action, running back and getting the penalty.
“After, with this chance, you can score or not. But it’s one action in 90 minutes. For me, it’s not one mistake, it’s one action. The most important is to create chances, get the balls, take the penalty because we are there and after that you can score or not. But we need to create.
“The same with Lacazette. He had two chances and they were good chances in the match. Okay, he didn’t score, that’s no problem, now we need more. After Aubayemang was the same.
“This work we are doing and this mentality is about not being frustrated after we make one mistake or one action where we don’t score.
“I want to continue creating more and I think today we created so many important chances that gave us the possibility to win, but today it wasn’t for us.”
Alex Lacazette didn’t exactly look pleased with the decision to take him off, although some of his annoyance could have been with himself after a couple of missed chances. Asked about the reaction of the Frenchman, Emery made clear that all his players need to take his decisions on the chin.
“They need to accept the decision,” he said. “I am finding the best decisions for the team and they are playing other matches.
“Sometimes I am not happy with them both when their performances are not good when they’re both playing, but I am very consistent in our work to take the best decision and to give them the best performance for us, whether they’re playing together or alone.
“For example, next match it is not possible to play both because of the red card in Europe for Lacazette. I can only play Aubameyang.”