Emery: We started very well but the red card changed everything

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Unai Emery says he was happy with how Arsenal were implementing his game plan before the red card which saw Ainsley Maitland-Niles dismissed and reduced the Gunners to 10 men.

The Spaniard explained that the idea was to control the match with good defensive positioning, but by the time the right back was sent off, Leicester had had 8 attempts on goal while Arsenal had completed just 57 passes.

The timid approach unquestionably played a part in our 3-0 defeat, but rather oddly Emery appeared quite content that a club like Arsenal should go to a mid-table team and play like a newly promoted side facing the Champions – and even suggested we began the game well.

Speaking afterwards, the boss said, “Our game plan was to be strong today in our defensive moments and in our attacking moments to take our chances. Attacking their back four.

“We started very well. We started controlling the match, good positioning, defensively not a lot of problems.

“They were with the possession, but the idea at home above all us to control with the possession, but we were today good on the pitch.

“We wanted to grow up in the 90 minutes, to take our opportunity to win today. being competitive in 90 minutes and also being strong in our mentality.

“But the second yellow card is giving us a lot of problems to continue our game plan.

“Continuing our idea with one player less was going to be difficult. It changed a lot, this red card.

“The players worked very well and I’m proud of them. The first goal has conditioned the result.

“When we were better on the pitch with one player less, they had a counter-attack and scored the second one and finished the match.”

Check out Leicester 3-0 Arsenal player ratings

Leicester 3-0 Arsenal – player ratings

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Hantal
Hantal

Bollocks, we didn’t look like scoring or keeping a clean sheet before or after the red card

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

He is completely deluded. So far out of his depth. Reminds me of Roy Hodgeson when he was at Liverpool, setting up not to get beat by mid table teams.

Hantal
Hantal

I’d like to think diverting attention to the ref is his plan but beginning to think he just doesn’t know why we’re playing like crap every game

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Many keep blaming Ozil for away performance, Messi would be poor playing away under Dick Emery

locksley444
locksley444

Defensive and midfield reinforcements are what we need. The whole team performs poorly away. You know the comment from some sky analyst about us being a team of son-in-laws? Not much has changed in that aspect. To fix it we need money. I’d be okay if the club can move on mesut and invest his wages to sign a couple of players that have the mentality to improve us in away games. Mesut can play with a better defense and a tougher midfield behind him, but I don’t think the club has the money to pay him and also invest enough to make such improvements.

High gooner
High gooner

How old are our fans on this site? Nah that was stupid of me to imply that stupid comments like “dick emery” after a loss is down to age. Its down to maturity.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

😂 google dick emery, educate yourself. You are right about age though 😩

Jack4343
Jack4343

Ozil is One of many problems we have and the sooner we get rid the better.

Futsboller
Futsboller

I thought we were terrible in the games leading up to this one, but the wrongly given red card did changed everything — and quite unfairly. I know I am the only one with this outlook, which must make me insane, but I thought Arsenal were playing well in a very tough away fixture by limiting the quality of the oppositions chances while slowly getting comfortable with our different, counter-attacking formation.

Blogs points out that Leicester had 8 attempts on goal prior to the red card, but only 2 of those were dangerous — the rest missed the net or were easily gathered by Leno. We had, by that time, fashioned a good chance on target through Iwobi and Laca should have done better with his opportunity. They were getting through, but so were we. The red card changed everything, and tilted the playing field in favour of the Foxes permanently.

Oliver simply got the calls wrong — AMN’s first was not a yellow (and if it was, then Leicester players like Maguire and Evans and a host of others, including Vardy for that face of his, should have had plenty of their own), and the second resulted in no contact between AMN and Maddison. Yet no one seems to care. I just don’t understand why everyone accepts this part of the game — the standards simply couldn’t be lower.

From one match to the next, the rules are interpreted differently by each referee. No consistency, no accountability, no justification for it. And though we put ourselves in a terrible position by losing the last bunch, we didn’t deserve to lose the game this way — it could cost the club a fortune in competition funds. Best league in the world, indeed.

Mekus
Mekus

I understand your point. I guess it’s part of the reason why no English referee was found worthy to officiate at the last world cup in Russia. They are full of crabs who seems to have favoured/preferred teams. I wonder with this current mentality from them if VAR will make much difference next season. They are overprotective of them, I mean they are not above criticism and serious punishment when found wanting… But we really didn’t do ourselves any favours, did we?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We actually had two chances before the red card Iwobi and Lacca but….

Nick
Nick

What stops the team to just give it all in the first 15 mins and totally blindside them and get a goal? Especially since we knew this was a must win game.

Adam
Adam

What stops them? I recon its being shite in football.

Devlin
Devlin

Its the manager’s instructions. I am surprised that when Emery plays attacking players or subs them on, that we will be attacking. A team will not attack, if the manager tells them to sit back. A team will not keep possession if the manager doesn’t show them what kind of possession he wants.

We have the players, we just don’t have the tactics to be protagonists. It seems Blogs is starting to see what many have been complaining about this whole season. Its not a personal attack on the coach, the players or the backroom staff. Its just that having a plan doesn’t matter if the plan does not make the team good enough or offer an advantage to the side in anyway.

And to those clamouring for Emery to get money for new players are just making excuses for him. Emery had a detailed plan to improve the current players, but his plan to improve us has not worked, tough luck. Getting him new players and an overhaul isn’t going to happen, because he hasn’t earned it by fulfilling his initial promise.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Though I still think today’s game is all about the red card and absurd officiating, I do agree with your assessment of Emery’s first season and our prospects going forward. We ran more than anyone else this season, but it doesn’t lead to results, and that suggests a tactical problem. Moreover, all that running empties the tank by this time of the season (see Sp*rs), and it’s hurting us. I don’t know what the statistics are, but it appears to me like our passing stats have declined this season, and we’re chasing a lot more than dictating the game. The is a worrying trend, as we can forego some style when the substance is there, but when it is missing, too, we’ve really got nothing.

Ealing
Ealing

It’s the running more than others that has kept am average team in contention . Now that we’ve tired, we are being exposed for what we are. But Emery has done well. We need to keep running !!!

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Have you noticed how little we attack on the break with any success compared to other teams. One reason I think is he has forwards so obsessed with defending that instead of being on the shoulder of centre half they so far away when we win back possession. That’s why teams defences look so so comfortable.

ArsenalTillIDie
ArsenalTillIDie

Do you honestly think that his initial promise was to get Arsenal to the top 4? that was never his initial promise. Considering our squad on paper incomparison to the current top 4, it is isn’t good enough. His promise was to improve year after year and imo I’ve been seeing improvements. Listen mate, at the start of the season I would have been happy to get 5th and a quarterfinal of the Europa league. Give the man time.

Ealing
Ealing

1000 times this. We are not getting the.money to buy our way out of this mess, but Emery csn improve the team he’s got. He can’t improve lazy players who are not willing or too old to run.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Red cards changes everything. It doesn’t matter if we were shit before that. It was a big mistake from Oliver which will probably cost us of top 4. And not just that but quite a few challenges went for Leicester and of course that made players even more nervous. You can’t play good after that.

Burleydave
Burleydave

No. The players cost us. Not the referee. To attempt to shift the onus on to something you cannot control means you will never get better.

Alex
Alex

I think that we can’t under rate the fact the players can feel tired of these biased decisions. I’m sorry, but we are and why wouldn’t they be?

CarlosLA
CarlosLA

This is complete bollocks. Arsenal were dominated PRIOR to the red card. Can’t defend, had completed 57% of passes to that point, couldn’t attack. Dreadfu, and Emery is what he was before we hired him: dross.

Dusko
Dusko

And how did Watford play with 10 men against us? Every time we have a player sent off we get trashed.

Canador
Canador

Honestly, I do not even think we deserve 4 place. Very weak team.

Santori
Santori

Nobody should be any more tired than anyone-else.

Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea are also playing in europe.

Its but 4 matches to go.

Poor excuse

Hantal
Hantal

At the start of the season the squad was raving about all the extra fitness work they were doing, I’m seeing no evidence of that now

Ealing
Ealing

It’s the first year they’ve been put through the paces. The stamina is not there. The previous training wasn’t hard enough !!!

Jai
Jai

Poor. Exact same thing Wenger did where he says something that the rest of us knows is utter BS in every post match interview. Stop taking us for fools.

Francesc
Francesc

Why do we even wish to make it to the Champions League?

Hantal
Hantal

For the money

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Money, dear boy!

Francesc
Francesc

Why does everyone want to earn money for kroenke so badly?

Hantal
Hantal

There’s a chance a bigger chunk will be invested

SB Still
SB Still

Given our away form, it’s no surprise that Emery wanted to first stay in the game.

The red card was rather soft. However it’s not the refs, but our players blew the multiple chances at top 4 over the season, particularly away from home. The manager also hasn’t covered himself in glory with some of the line-ups and subs.

Plenty of work to be done. Miraculously we still have a chance via the EL route to CL. Hopefully, the club stops mucking about and give the EL a real go.

Gordy
Gordy

His comment was rubbish and we were rubbish. How many times has Iwobi gone through on goal like that and actually scored. Very few players are good enough. Having said that losing Holding, Bellerin and Welbeck before the transfer window and not replacing shows the club has no ambition.

Charlie George’s thronker
Charlie George’s thronker

It’s getting increasingly hard to give a shit

goonero
goonero

What do you expect him to say?

“Look Arsene left me with a bunch of jobbers who aren’t nearly as good as I’d like them to be and I’m at my wits end trying to inflate their egos so they can at least believe they are good but I’m not a magician so I can’t suddenly make them play like they are not mindnumbingly average, sorry I hate the way they play just as much as you guys do but I have to work with them until I can replace them, and the better we finish the more of them I can replace faster so please just keep massaging their delicate egos and encourage them to do everything they can to get back into the CL so I can get them out of the club”

Hantal
Hantal

Maybe the players realise there’s more chance of them being replaced if we qualify for the CL

Ealing
Ealing

There’s a lot of truth in that. But they need to go. I’d rather start project youth 2.0 and get seventh place for a couple of years than put up with this lot. May also force the board to quit.

Me2
Me2

Arsenal are in serious trouble if the manager says he was happy and proud of his players after a shit performance like that.
Emery is clearly out of his depth at Arsenal.
This is not PSG or Seville.
Trying to play wingers when we have no natural wingers.
Emery is a buffoon…

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

We are the ArseNulled for now

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

The manager has to take some stick, and rightfully so. But let’s not forget that, for the most part, these are the same players that failed under Wenger, and have been brought in due to funds being limited by the same owner. Our issues run way deeper than just the manager

Beautiful_Football
Beautiful_Football

Let’s face it. The truth is, it was not Wenger at fault. It was a wrong move getting rid of him. The majority of the players and the Owner are responsible for the way the team has been performing the last couple of years.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Well I wouldn’t go that far, for example we had a more than good enough squad to win it in 2015/16 but didn’t, that’s on Wenger. As is the subsequent dismantling of that side and spending big money on Xhaka and Mustafi.

Ealing
Ealing

And not selling Sanchez and Ozil when we had the chance

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

See,it’s all the ref’s fault.Good old Unai had his Takhtiks right all along! 🙂

Jack4343
Jack4343

I was nervous from the opening whistle. I thought the end result was inevitable from that moment. Not sure why he thought we did anything well today.

Rich
Rich

Maddison, Ndidi, Maguire, Chilwell, Tielemans would unquestionably get into our starting 11, and there’d be a good argument for a few others as well.
This was Leicester’s 4th game in April, this was our 8th.

Our squad really isn’t that great, and taking the sting out of an away game in the early stages isn’t the worst of ideas.

Some fans just wont let go of the idea that we can still bully and rollover smaller teams, particularly away from home, and they need to wake up to the fact that we’re poor.

Despite our wage bill, we have an extremely average set of players, we don’t have any wide players, and our two star players behind our strikers are weak as piss, and there’s not really any viable alternatives throughout the squad.

Our defenders aren’t good enough, Sokratis is a “solid” £16million signing.
Mustafi is just a poor defender.
Mavropanos needs a loan
Koscielny is 33, Bellerin is one of our better players and injured, Holding was starting to show promise, but it’s not hard to make yourself look like a positive solution to Mustafi

It’s a case of educating Niles at right back? a position he’s not been educated in? Or start Jenkinson, Lichtstiner or Mustafi there?

Monreal has been brilliant for us, but looks spent, Emery doesn’t fancy Kolasinac in a back4, and for good reason.

Xhaka tries…..but is inconsistent

Elneny bang average

Rambo on the way out, but how many times has he played himself into good form… only to tweak something and miss huge chucks of our season, with the money it’d cost to keep him, we’ve likely made the right choice, as much as I really like him.

Torreira 23, Guendouzi 20 both show huge promise, but understandably show their inexperience at times.

Ozil has long lost interest, Mkhitaryan has one decent game every 10, hopefully he’ll produce a masterclass Thursday…..

Anyone who thinks the mess we’re in can be fixed by some type of magic coaching, is just away in noddy noddy land….

We’ve been regressing for a very long time, both on and off the pitch… The Kroenke’s have been a disaster for us.

Our transfer strategy and contract renewals have been woeful, and we’re left with a squad of few sellable assets, and a bunch of overpaid and overrated players we won’t be able to shift.

And to top it all off…… we don’t seem to have anyone in charge of recruitment, with the inadequate funds that we do have….

Nosferatu
Nosferatu

I agree with a lot of the sentiments here, but I don’t think you’re giving enough credit to the job that Holding was doing before his injury. I just hope he can rediscover that form next season after returning–that’s going to be hugely important since it’s not like the defense will be rebuilt (outside of probably one addition) with Kroenke’s cash alone.

Jack4343
Jack4343

You really summed it up nicely.

Andy
Andy

100% agree!!

Canador
Canador

I don’t think that I can ever remember when Arsenal are a man down and win or draw the game. Emery will be judged from next week. There is no improvement from Wenger’s time. We have created the notion weakness and can easy be beaten by other teams. The scare factor has gone. It is a shame.

Canador
Canador

I mean next year

Ealing
Ealing

Thought it was a bit harsh !

Badger
Badger

I’m not even sure Emery would get far on Champ manager. As soon as we lost a player he should have withdrawn a forward and played one up front. His team selections have been a joke and yes he inherited this squad but he then picks the line ups and sets up how they play. I’d play ANYONE of the academy or reserved before Mustafi.

Santori
Santori

Mustafi made a mistake with the ball for the second goal.

Route one from their keeper beats the much vaunted pair of Koscielny and Sokratis. What’s their excuse or do they escape criticism.

Was Mustafi around last match when we got beat 3 nil by Wolves who were made to look like Barcelona?

Sokratis similar poor mistake to play Wolves on side for one of the goals.

I’d watch the game carefully without bias before coming to ready made conclusion.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Emery didn’t mess this game up (he did get the last few wrong, mind you); he did the best he could, and I was pleased to see him getting in the fourth official’s face and other antics to express his displeasure with the sad state of officiating. We had to win today to have a chance at the top four, hence why he left his forwards out there until the second half — in the hopes. And that’s the end of that, unfortunately.

Nosferatu
Nosferatu

My question would be why persist with the two strikers? In fact, I had that question at the start–so often when we have just two central or defensive midfielders, and the two strikers up top, we can’t control the ball, can’t get anything going from defense to attack. The only time this has worked with any consistency was with Ramsey in there, and even that was for a limited time.

I get the desire to play with both strikers, but I think that only can work when you have midfielders who can help control possession and create something offensively. Of course today, with no Ozil (who isn’t really a “fix” to this problem most of the time anyway) and no Ramsey, I don’t know what Emery was to do.

But it does illustrate for me why a replacement for Ramsey–even if not as skilled, but someone who brings the same kind of energy and attacking intensity from midfield–might be the most important task for us this summer, right up there with the need for a CB.

Futsboller
Futsboller

I think you answer your own question pretty well — Emery didn’t have much choice today, and the two strikers were there to hit them on the counter. I think the hope was that Iwobi and Mhki would provide outlets from the midfield and through balls to the forwards, but our guys never pick up the strikers’ runs in time (Laca was guilty of this with Auba on the last defender’s shoulder, clear in had the ball been played).

I think Santori has the idea that Iwobi can play as a ball-carrying central midfielder who can dribble, and he might be right about that, but I would prefer to see someone more “natural” in the position. I still side with Wenger on this one and think AMN should be moved into the middle for precisely that purpose.

kleinmeister

I like Emery but he’s absolutely talking out his arse here. We had literally 20 touches in the first 15 minutes and Leicester had 75% possession. Now possession isn’t any conclusive evidence of dominance but to say we played well is an abberation. We were godawful all night

Dean
Dean

Emery lacks the pedegree of a top side coach he’s a mid table coach not a top club like arsenal.

Santori
Santori

Without doubt the Red card complicated things considerably but we were already looking tenuous most half before it.

Again people prefer to blame Mustafi for last weekend (Conveniently say ignoring Torreira’s mistakes over 4 or 5 matches in Dec Jan)….but the real issues are :

1) Back 4. Not convincing even with much vaunted pairing of Koscielny and Sokratis. We switched to it second half against Palace, Mustafi had the melt down but the next match against Wolves, similar issues plus today.

2) Off side trap. At least we didn’t have Torreira in the wall today but the offside trap is now an issue for us. May have worked prior but against teams with pace to burn like Wolves and Leicester and who are adept at efficient counter attack (unlike say us), we are simply asking to be taken apart.

3) Frontline does not show for the ball enough (Forget service). Some players do not go to the ball or make runs to be found let alone cannot seem to hold the ball up for us.

We have two matches left which is moot considering teams around us have been trying to do us the favour but we have conspired to be our own worst enemies.

There’s also a bit of a mental block now with the team that Emery has to tackle. They seem to have convinced themselves that they can’t win on the road and that things will inevitably go against them. Body language was poor today many players simply gave up the ghost. Even with 10 minutes left trailing with ten men, I’d expect more desperation and hunger to get the ball forward, make an impact.

Chamakh my pitch up
Chamakh my pitch up

Nice to have something to play for in May let’s judge the season then. Fuck 4th let’s beat Valencia and Chelsea and lift a trophy, today’s result will soon then be forgotten.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Define “well” please Unai?

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Sounds like someone has kidnapped Emery and replaced him with Wenger. Same ridiculous, patently untrue statements hoping to fool the credulous into believing that something other than what they saw actually happened and that there is an underlying plan. It didn’t and there isn’t.

Harryshambles
Harryshambles

Can’t be arsed to look at the stats but surely this is the worst arsenal away team in recent times. Piss poor. Starting to doubt Emery’s ability. You can point to the 22 game unbeaten run, debatable referring, individual performances, this not being his team etc, but he’s just not been able to get us to play away from home with any sort of belief, apart from the odd occasion (v spurs for example). We can’t have as good home form as we’ve had and be this easy to beat away without the manager taking responsibility. Just not good enough currently.

Ealing
Ealing

Last seasons away performances were much worse !

ATG
ATG

We didn’t have a good start at all? Was Unai watching the same game?

If not for Leno we would behind in an instant!

Doghouse

what the Fuck is he talking about we got out played from 1st minute to last, Fuck him Fuck that shower of shite pretending to be Arsenal players, Fuck champion’s league coz our whole club top to bottom are fucking useless, another fucking painful season, we arnt gonna win another game this fucking season, Fuck you emri and your unintelligible fucking words, bit left field but get fucking Mourinho in.

George
George

We were pretty much no better or worse with ten men. That’s worrying.

Mutungi Deus
Mutungi Deus

Red card caused us to suffer more and more but we were lazy