Unai Emery says his team need to learn how to play with 10 men better than they did tonight in the 3-1 defeat to Rennes in the Europa League.

The Gunners went ahead through Alex Iwobi, but after Sokratis picked up his second yellow card in the 40th minute, it was one way traffic. Fifteen of the home side’s attempts on goal came after the sending off and the Spaniard spoke afterwards about the need to be able to cope with situations like this.

“A red card can come,” he said. “Two yellow cards and it’s the referee’s decision.

“After, I think we must learn to play – when it’s coming like today – with one less player on the pitch.

“Not a good experience today, because we couldn’t do our work in difficult moments, in difficult minutes, with one less player, like we wanted.”

The fact that Emery didn’t make a half-time defensive change raised eyebrows. He could have brought on Sead Kolasinac and moved Nacho Monreal to centre-half, instead he used Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a right-back, and despite the Armenian’s best efforts, it’s far from his natural position.

Quizzed about that, and in particular why he didn’t use Ainsley Maitland-Niles in that position, Emery said, “We only had three changes and we needed to decide what were these changes.

“Micki, I think, is playing well. If he was not playing well then maybe we could think to do this change.

“After this red card, first I wanted to keep the positioning with the players because in the second half we needed fresh players to help more in offensive moments, to take chances, to take options.

“We really didn’t create a lot of chances to score the second goal, but I think Micki worked very well and with a good performance.

“I think there is no problem with Micki, and for example, his 40 or 50 minutes playing like a right-back, he played well.”

So, there you go, a lot to do next week and the manager has to get his team lifted before Sunday’s crunch showdown with Man Utd at the Emirates.

Check out the Rennes 3-1 Arsenal player ratings

Rennes 3-1 Arsenal – player ratings

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Holds water, Emery, but… What Arsenal must learn is how to restart, how to refresh, how to change within the game. Holding to a strategy and tactic for a game is ok, but what happens when that doesn’t implement well, when the other team breaks it fast and blocks it and, finally, yes, what happens when we stay with 10 men (and not only for today, but in general). Do we hold defensive line and boost with two or three fast players who can counter? Today we did nothing, we were headless chickens when down to 10 men. Although I… Read more »

James McLeish

Might be better if they learnt how to keep all 11 players on the pitch.


Mikhi played well, that is why he should stay on the right midfield, to help the attack, create chances, his real expertise. And get a real defender to be a right back.


Forget creating chances, he should have been right midfield to help defend against a team who have quick wingers who they like to use as their main attack. Bring Kola on at LB for Ozil, keep Mus at RB, Nacho to CB. Ramsey on for Iwobi when he tires, Gwen for Auba when he tires. Keep it tight and play with limited breaks confined to long balls for Auba to chase with Iwobi/Ramsey. Tell defenders not to cross halfway line. Seems like UE recognised Ozil playing well but not recognising that he couldn’t do that if we were a man… Read more »


I’d be interested to know how you do that when faced with a referee who thinks that anyone falling over warrants a yellow to the closest opposing player.

Mesut O'Neill

Half time sub should have been Ozil for AMN. Mkhitaryan could have given Ainsley a lot of cover down that flank.

Mesut O'Neill

Also wasn’t VAR supposed to be in use?

The Lino put his flag up instantly on everything in comparison to the Man Utd game where they let obvious offsides go until much later. The one where Aubamyeng was put through looked onside (from the one time they actually showed the replay)


He didn’t get there however


I was actually fuming because he looked well onside to me and would have been 1 v 1 with the keeper. Was baffling to me!
However, it was also baffling how bad his touch was when Özil and Iwobi put it on a plate for him.
Really poor game from Auba…


We also need to learn how to play with 11 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Baby steps


atletico played like 70 minutes against us with 10 men. and equalized.


Difference is Simeone and Emery

One values a good defence, and the other.. Well, his defensive record speaks for itself


More like, he inhierted a side with an abysmal defense. Big difference.

The red on Sok was a joke. Arsenal get fucked in europe again.


Spot on!
That’s the essence of one of our problems!!!


Arsenal played against Liverpool at Highbury in 3rd round FA cup with only 8 outfield players and still kept their lead to the end. I think the sending off was in the first and second half. Liverpool had 9 outfield players.
Something is very wrong with the mentality of this team.


I seem to remember going to Anfield, going down to 10 early and still coming away with a win.


Absolutely right. Work in progress. Mustafi didn’t cost us the game today. Players will concede penalties, score own goals and get sent off. We did not control the game enough when going a man down. We still had an away goal advantage at that point and a little over half the game to see out. Sure Sokratis was a bull in a China shop, it isn’t the first time.he’d engaged in Greco-Roman Roman wrestling in our box to the applause of the same people who criticise Mustafi. But we could still manage the game thereafter. Would have liked to see… Read more »


This team have to much to learn already.

Jack gunner

Agree with JM of the need to keep 11 against 11.The problem is we have a no
of risky players eg Mutaphi and the Swiss guy.
These guys need to control their tackling instincts far better or they risk a rd.
Lacazette was baited and fell in to the trap.
I feel the punishment for perpetrators need to be toughened up.
Our Frenchman became the fall guy


What a manager. A legend in the making. I’ll never forget how he destroyed Spurs last week with his taktiks. Spurs were beaten even before kickoff! We should call him El General! El General Santo Totteringham! He was like: hola Pochettino, mirame, I’ll exclude our 3 best players from the starting line up, ill play Mustafi at RB, I wash my Bee Gees hair in prime goose fat, and you still won’t be able to win. And it broke them, to thinking, if we can’t take the lead now, what chances do we have when he brings Özil and O’bangabang… Read more »


For your information wenger has never lose against a french opposition in their home soil…He ambushed the likes of PSG..I think no matter the situation Rennes would have been a cup of tea…I was sure we would win this game but unfortunately things were not on our side..


Good ebening


EMERY has to learn how to play with 10 men.

He got his substitutions and tactics badly wrong last night. He should have shored up the midfield and protected the left back position. Instead we were open and conceded two goals.

He can’t blame the players for his tactical incompetence.


I feel like most of you numpties don’t even watch the game. Emery subbed Ozil off for Ramsey and Iwobi for Guendouzi, i.e. shoring up the midfield. It’s then up to the players to perform.


Great comment.
Though Mkthy should have come off as well. He’s not defender.


Wasn’t as bad as many are saying. Shoulda held on. Keep 1-1 and that’s a good result to bring home. 3-1 is another Arsenal embarrassment.



Oh Rennnnn……
I’ve been cleaning your shoes with my tongue
while you were sleeping.


It’s OKAY!!!

I wasn’t really sleeeping.

Naked cygan

Is mustafi part of the 11? Or we always play with 10 when he plays? We have learn to play without mustafi…

A Different George

From the sending-off to the final whistle, our three best players were Cech, Koscielny, and Mustafi. When you can say that after conceding three goals, it says something about our defensive organization with 10 men.

yea mon

Mickey as a right back, what’s this guy smoking?


It is totally down to Emery’s lack of reading of the game. They clearly targeted our right wing, first it was Mustafi and later it was Mikhi. Made life so easy for Rennes. I still wonder why Jenko/AMN did not start at RB considering they would not start on Sunday as well. Emery should have shored up defense rather than offense after going down to 10 men and it feels like the guy sometimes thinks too much.

A Different George

I thought an awful lot of their play came down our left. Monreal had a terrible match; I thought he might be playing against Mbappe.


I see our players always “touching” opposition players. There is no need to put hands up to touch players, a touch, player falls, and ref blows. Sadly, these players look to be not able to perform consistently, but this may well have different causes. It is my firm conclusion that there is a lot of “high stakes private betting going on” behind the scenes, and we know that when much money is involved, then that brings the wish to protect that money and increase it(win) by any means. Some people think that football is free from manipulation. Wake up. TV… Read more »


PL best in world is BS? 3rd place team inflict first home defeat on German leaders, 4th place team come back from 2 down to beat French leaders, also first home defeat (albeit French suicide), that just leaves Spain.

The depth in PL is the main factor making it attractive but also preventing top teams from resting players too often.

The main issue we have is the decades of not investing time/money in defensive coaching. We may need some boring football years to rectify that.


Ramsey should have come on for Xhaka not Ozil.

And moving forward, what we really need to do to make the next level is get rid of our braindead players. At the top of that list are Mustafi, Iwobi, and Xhaka. Those with the potential to make the list include Guendouzi and Sokratis, but I truly hope not.

I really thought/hoped that Xhaka could become our deep-lying midfield general, but I was wrong. We need much, much better.


Subbing Xhaka instead of ozil should be correct but I think it was revealed that emery doesn’t trust ramsey in the midfield 2 position as he feels Ramsey moves forward a bit too much.

Tim Miller

I don’t think one can use the “we have to learn to play with 10” explanation at this level. Also, it doesn’t really make sense. Now, if the manager decides not to re-construct his back 4 after the sending off, that’s another history. If individual players behave as if they were playing a friendly, that’s another issue. There is simply no excuse for conceding more than one goal yesterday after the sending off. 1-1 and see you in London. Once again, a lack of understanding of the game by the manager, and a series of mind-boggling mistakes by the players… Read more »


The legend Ramsey came on and… well he is only good when in Wembley.

Fart Overjars

“ok we’re down to ten men, lets settle things down and look after our lead by bringing on notable pragmatist and all round unflappable stalwart Matteo Guendouzi

Also get that number 10 out wide! no not on the wing at right back!

What’s the centre forward doing still on? Hit the showers hotshot! we need to win this game.”


Emery definitely got it wrong when we were down to 10 men as did the players, we looked like the Arsenal of the previous few years under Wenger when we thought we had to bomb forward with just a few minutes left to get the tying goal instead of keeping good defensive shape and keeping the scoreline manageable for the home tie.

Herman Mwachala

Arsenal you are becoming a disgrace to your supporters. We’re tired of continuous redicule. Can you put your house in order Emery?