Emery laments lack of balance in both halves

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Unai Emery says his side lacked a balance between attack and defence as Everton condemned Arsenal to a damaging 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.

The hosts took the lead on 10 minutes when Phil Jagielka tapped home from close range and might have extended their lead on several occasions after the break were it not for poor finishing from Richarlison, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson and brave blocks by Sokratis.

In attack, the Gunners mustered just two shots on target with the midfield unable to provide any platform for the strikers to work decent opportunities.

The result damages our chances of qualifying for the Champions League although we are still inside the top four courtesy of a better goal difference than Chelsea.

After the match, Emery admitted his side didn’t look right.

“Really, the second half we need to do one step more in the game,” he told Sky Sports.

“We changed some things to find that and we were better offensively in the second half but we were worse defensively second half. This is the balance.

“We need more like the first half but doing more offensively, but defensively we were better. The second half we need [to be] better defensively [and to] find more balance.

“The match is demanding how we can respond and our response was conditionally with the result and in the end, we cannot change that.

“We knew we needed to be defensively strong, solid and to be competitive. But after the result is negative for us at half time we need to change something offensively to find better options for this 45 minutes.

But we couldn’t find our goal – we created two or three options to score. If we score it can change the match. Also, defensively, we conceded more than we were doing.

“It’s good to respond on the pitch, in the first half and second half with different systems, it’s giving us a lot of information. Today, really, we cannot do more.”

Emery was also quizzed on Mesut Ozil’s angry reaction towards the Everton bench who confronted Unai Emery on the touchline after Shkodran Mustafi took out Dominic Calvert-Lewin to earn a booking late in the game. The German midfielder, not long subtituted, chucked his coat in their direction as tempers flared.

“We need to recognise our frustration. We are learning that. We have not had a good result today, but we are in a good way. We are fourth today. Thursday we have a big match against Napoli and then Watford, which is important again. We did with being consistent our progression and now we lost. We need to get up quickly and find the next step.”

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Eduardo
Eduardo

Who’s job is it to find the balance? When are we going to find the balance away from home?

Jai
Jai

But we have done all season, especially away from home. Every game apart from Fulham, even that was dodgy in the first half.

If Emery is getting the praise for our home form, he should also get stick for our away form. Brainless players will always be brainless but he IS the manager

Dobs
Dobs

Brainless players will always be brainless, like you say. When the bad form and inability to focus in away games has been going on longer than one managers tenure the buck has to stop with the players.

Jai
Jai

A lot of these players need to be binned

Starting with Elneny and Mustafi

JAL1982
JAL1982

Wenger in disguise

Goonereality
Goonereality

Well, the majority of the team are still Wenger’s players so I don’t think we can blame Emery too much after less than a season in charge. He was bought in to turn the proverbial supertanker around and away from the rocks that we were heading towards the end of Wenger’s era. That said, it was a bad result. In the coming, crucial, games Emery has a big part to play – but ultimately it’s the ones running around the pitch that count!

Godfrey Anyembe

Unai Emery needs to stop talking and do his job. He is having a tendency of blaming everyone else but himself. “Emerry do your JOB”

Confused
Confused

We was shite. Elneny starts and Ramsey on the bench?

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

To be fair ramsey was good for 10 minutes helping to push them back and then he looked spent. Gave the ball away from them on.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Mustafi. Elneny. Micky.
CM without Ram or Xhaka or Torreira is not good enough. We cant play Elneny and Guendouzi in midfield.

Flash
Flash

Fall’in between two stools?
I hope Emery, the team and the management have made a decision between EL and top4.

Kafkush
Kafkush

“Our response was conditionally with the result”
Jeez. Peaky Blinders is not helping him. It’s funny sometimes though. Most of the times the interviews are a word salad.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

He seems to obsessed with tactics and studying the opposition by all accounts. Reminds me of Roy Hodgeson at Liverpool. Setting up not to lose away from home against lesser teams. We have only beat Huddersfield and Blackpool away from since December I think

Goonereality
Goonereality

Possibly, but the basic faults we’re seeing now were there under Wenger, and the majority of the players available now are still his. I think the problem is one that we’ve had for years – we just don’t have quality in depth across the squad. We’ll just have to try and “wing it” this season and hope for the best, but Emery has a big job ahead. Whether he’ll be allowed the funds to do it is another matter – over to you, Stan.

Rob67
Rob67

Watford in the Cup Final, does us a favour.

But we need a big performance against Napoli and to carry that into the Watford game.

Still all to play for 👍

Jacob
Jacob

It’s easy to disparage but more constructive to identify strengths and weaknesses. When the weaknesses are addresses, the team will be even better. So what was the obvious weakness? Everton played a lot of balls in the air, especially the long clearances from Pickford. Most of the headers were won by Everton. Every Everton long ball looked like it could do some damage and many did. Arsenal has a weakness winning headers. We saw Arsenal players being muscled off the ball and even stepping away from a physical tussle. The weakness needs to be addressed. Urgently.

Wilshere's Middle Finger
Wilshere's Middle Finger

I can’t help but think that Xhaka would have given us that balance. He makes us tick in midfield. Let’s hope he’s is back soon.

Santori
Santori

We missed Ramsey’s more forward play from deep first half. Little things like this can upset the balance. I did not thunk Elneny did anything wrong, he was very disciplined but the balance was upset without the extra player to creatively push forward from deep.

Second half, we were better initially with Ramsey in but then it all went all too helter skelter thereafter as we press forward leaving the game tethering to and fro with less strcture.

A mix bag but midfield clearly a problem.

In fact, I felt we did not show enough for the backline toward the last quarter of the game which meant risky passes from the back as the midfield stayed way too high.