Emery: Leno is helping us a lot

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Unai Emery was quick to praise Bernd Leno’s performance in the win over Watford as Arsenal finally recorded an away day clean sheet in the Premier League.

The German made fine stops to deny Craig Cathcart and Etienne Capoue in the first half as the home side sought an equaliser despite being reduced to ten men. After the break, our keeper was similarly impressive, commanding his box as the backline underwent some tactical tinkering from his boss.

Leno’s reward for another polished display will be 90 minutes on the bench in Naples with Emery happy to have two trustworthy keepers in his squad.

“Yes, Leno is really playing with confidence and is helping us a lot,” the Spaniard told his post-game press conference.

“I think Bernd is competitive with Cech and also now we are giving them two competitions, the Premier League for Leno and the Europa League for Petr Cech. They are both giving us a lot in goal.”

Having failed to keep a clean sheet in our previous 16 Premier League away games, the boss was pleased with the defensive solidity shown at Vicarage Road. It was very much needed given how much possession we ceded to a team who probably should have been killed off with a second goal.

“The three points is, I think, the most important thing today,” he explained. “Also, I think we worked well being consistent in our structure, defending their long balls and set-pieces. Here they are a very strong team at doing that.

“After, with the ball I wanted to do better, I wanted to control better with the possession of the ball and with one player more on the pitch.

“We didn’t do that, but in some attacking moments for us, we took chances to score the second goal and didn’t score.

“We needed to defend in the last minutes, very close with everybody to their good action in the long balls, and the second action to be good in defensive moments.”

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Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Leno was outstanding yesterday, no doubt.

However, in away games, the attack really seems insipid. No opportunities created against Everton and no opportunities created against 10 men Watford.

The attack really needs to step up in away games.

Giuseppe Hovno
Giuseppe Hovno

There were plenty of opportunities yesterday we just didn’t take them

Goonereality
Goonereality

But, if we’re honest, Watford presented at least as greater threat – even with ten men for most of the game. In any case, creating chances and not taking them doesn’t say much for our strikers yesterday, does it.

Mistafi
Mistafi

I don’t know about that… They were winning a lot of half chances, especially with Torreira off in the second half but they threatened to be a threat, which at the end of the day they weren’t most of the game. But fair play to them, 10 men that performance was one of the best I have seen.

Martin
Martin

We had 19 shots and 7 on target last night. Yes we played badly but still created a few chances.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Any thoughts on Leno, Martin ?

Elly
Elly

This guy is looking more and more like a really good buy.

SB Still
SB Still

Hence I still regret Mislintat’s departure. Quality players within budget.

Goonereality
Goonereality

After a shaky start, he has improved noticeably over the season. I think that this is because he’s had to due of the (usually) pretty poor defensive unit that’s operating in front of him! Nevertheless, he looks to have been a good buy for Arsenal and someone who’ll continue to improve in the EPL next season.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

In Leno we have a potentially great Arsenal keeper for many years in my opinion.

Burn Baby Burn
Burn Baby Burn

Why is this the only article tagged with “Troy Deeney Smells”? It seems that should be on most every article.

kafkush
kafkush

After an erudite and very articulate manager, it’s maybe a kind of relief/change that I don’t even bother anymore with what Emery is saying, unless I need some comic relief or just want a minor headache for fun.
I have a feeling that he is partly deliberate in the way he speaks to the press, and probably has a better grip on English in training than he lets on in public.

Gooner222
Gooner222

Yes, I can picture it now. Emery saying “good eeebening” repeatedly into a mirror while laughing hysterically

Santori
Santori

Massive saves against Carthwright and Capoue.

Almost got caught out early in the match on the ball before Forster decide to show him how to really dawdle on the ball.

That said, it would be remiss in the extreme to attribute defensive work to one individual alone. On AFTV, they are lauding Koscielny as some sort of hero.

The entire defense did well. Mavropanos included.

He had some shaky moments which is the risk you take playing a novice at this stage of campaign.

Monreal too was more panicky then need be first half at times but he came in with at least two vital interceptions/clearances.

As did AMN thrown on to rectify the issue with Mhkitaryan and Gracia’s adjustments to take advantage of the Armenian.

BUT Mustafi ALSO did well.

Whilst not the best defender by far, it is the height of conceit to conveniently ignore his good efforts.

As far as I’m concern he put in equally as resolute and astute a defensive job as Koscielny.

Put his face in the line with a vital low clearance. Several critical clearances besides that, a record amount of headed clearances in the game you won’t see “By the Numbers” chap publish.

Just imagine the sort of tactics Watford were up to and the rough em up sized based efforts to milk some advantage against us, had those high balls not been properly dealt with by Mustafi, it would have let the ball bounce and led to more precarious opportunities for the hornets.

The issue yesterday was not defense which in general did a decent job.

The issue was in midfield, we failed to hold the ball properly and were too sterile in possession.

BUT also further up the pitch we were not sharp enough with our final ball and did not show enough to receive the ball from midfield.

Santori
Santori

Leno saved Torreira’s blushes. The Uruguayan inexplicably lauded to mythical proportion (he can do no wrong to some) made a poor square pass (not the first this season) and then committed a silly foul in front of the box. From the resulting free kick we were almost punished by Capoue if not for the German’s fine save.

Just to illustrate the bias against another German, some people feel fit to praise Koscielny when Mustafi was equally resolute in defending and acute in judgement for this match.

Stats off of Adrian Clarke/ArsenalTV :

Mustafi

11 Duels won (led the team)
7 Aerial duels won (led the team)
7 Clearances (led the team)
5 intercepts (led the team)

Yet some people conveniently choose to highlight others.

You have to question their levity.

I’m not saying Mustafi is the best defender (nor was I championing Flamini) but one should get away from the general hysteria on sites like Arsenal FanTV and generate a bit more balance to analysis.

This has been a problem with the fan base. Too gullible, hysterical and easily impressed by ‘red herrings’.

Brevity
Brevity

OK Santi, after a 3 page double missive on Player Ratings post and another 2 today, we get the point that you don’t like Torreira but do like Mustafi.

Reality check
Reality check

Some players can do nothing wrong, while some can do nothing right. Fans always have one or two players to bash, something I’ve learnt over 14 years of following foorball online. Diaby after his injury, eduardo after his injury even Rambo have benn the whipping boy after the injury. Kos is a legend today but didn’t get any respect at all for the first 3 years.

Tungor_Adams
Tungor_Adams

Why we loose so much drive & intention in our game when playing away is really really odd. Very welcomed win, but it proved very little.