Leno: We can score against everybody but…

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Bernd Leno says he takes great confidence from the attacking quality Arsenal have at their disposal but he admits the Gunners need to balance their forward play with responsible defending.

Having taken a respectable seven points from four games, we head into the first Interlull of the season in fifth place in the table although questions continue to linger about our vulnerability at the back.

Goals from Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dug us out of a hole in the North London derby as we bounced back from two goals down to grab a valuable point. With record-signing Nicolas Pepe also looking bright, although yet to open his account for the season, Leno is positive that the trio will cause opponents plenty of headaches.

“Yes, I think so,” replied the German when asked by the Mirror if his teammates could outscore their rivals.

“The three players up top, with Pepe also there now, we have unbelievable quality they can score the big chances but also score from nothing and so the other teams always know and have to be aware that we have a lot of dangerous players and that gives us big confidence.

“You can see the game against Liverpool we had one or two chances to score when it was 0-0 so we can score with our quality in that top three.

“We can score against everybody but I think the key is always the balance with the defence because in the end that is the most important thing. We know about our character but also about the quality.”

Leno’s attention will now turn to international duty. The keeper was picked by Germany for their upcoming games with Northern Ireland and Holland. As always, he has stiff competition, going head-to-head-to-head with Barcelona’s Ter Stegen and Bayern’s Manuel Neuer.

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Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam

That save! Would be nice if the guys in front of him helped out a little than they do …

C.B.
C.B.

Crazy that Nacho was allowed to go but hope Tierney, Bellerin and Holding all come back v soon and step up. Plus Guendouzi and the Terrier play a lot to help out the defence.

If so I think we can do well.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

I could only watch first half. Did Torreira change his boots at half time as he slipped 4 times in the first half.

Jai
Jai

Shaky game at the start for Leno. Did better later on but the entire system (or lack of a system) in Emery teams means that the keeper will always be left exposed, as shown by the number of shots we concede in every match (15+ usually) whether it be Burnley or Brighton at home, to Manchester City away.

God, what I would do to have a manager who appreciates good defending.. After Wenger’s latter years of woeful defending that was the first thing we should have prioritised. Instead, we brought in a man that after more than one year, still has not managed to build any sort of a system, and has not delivered one match where Arsenal look convincing defensively. Make no mistake, Emery is bailed out by the abnormally clinical attack he inherited.

Dave M
Dave M

Do you really think the defensive problem this season is systemic based? I do not. Look at the goals against Liverpool.
(1) Corner – they happen – not great defending on the set-piece but not a systemic issue
(2) Luiz fuk-up for the penalty reaching out needlessly for Salah’s shirt
(3) Luiz howler where he just lets Salah past by stupidly closing down way up the pitch
Against Sp*rs:
(1) Poor header from Sokratis that he didn’t need to go chasing (Error1), Luiz closing down needlessly up the pitch again (Error2; god I hope this is not a trend – coaches need to get on him for that) and then Leno’s poor handling (error3), Sokratis not being aware of player coming in behind (error4) – yes a goal that took 4 player errors
(2) Xhaka being a moron.

What this tells me is we have some personnel issues that need resolving. I’ve actually been impressed with out midfield structure this season. Previous years, yes I’ve very much said we need a better wall from the midfield and more support for the defense, but this year I think we are seeing it generally speaking. Just too many errors that. Doesn’t mean Emery get’s off scot-free because he picked Xhaka. Xhaka is looking more and more out of place and behind the pace of the game – Emery must see how this is hurting the defensive structure of the team due to his constant errors and fouling. As for Luiz and Sokratis – he’s less to blame for their selection, but they need to improve and quickly otherwise Chambers and Holding should be given more of a chance. Both Luiz and Sokratis need to stop over-committing way up the pitch – this is school boy stuff from two season vets. It creates holes in the defensive line and opens teams to counter attacking and open spaces in our half – wet dreams of forwards!

YpsiGooner
YpsiGooner

absolutely true, that 1st goal yesterday wasn’t a system issue, it was centerbacks make super dumb decisions in quick succession issue

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Dave I couldn’t agree more and personally we should ease Xhaka out of the team, think Chambers should have kept his spot in the first team too as Luiz needs more time to settle and in games that are less important!!!

Rich
Rich

Continuity helps, but only if the quality is high enough.

Liverpool were having the same problems just 20 months ago, it’s a personnel problem+quality issue.

We’re on the right path, but purging our squad of overpaid and underperforming players will take a bit longer.

Grumbleduke
Grumbleduke

With a future core of Bellerín, holding and tierney to start playing together at some point soon we can only get better defensively. Sort the defensive midfield position out and this season will progress well I think.

Magneto
Magneto

Yes, we probably can score against everybody.

But it’s crystal clear – and has been for many years now – that we can also concede against everybody too.

If and when we cut out the silly defensive mistakes, and substantially improve the overall quality of our defending, we’ll be a formidable team.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Yeah and Leno can start by cutting out his own errors…his fault for their first goal yesterday…no way should he have palmed such a soft shot into the path of Erickson.

goonero
goonero

I think Emery likes to play 3 holding mids, but the lack of dynamism from midfield (which is only exacerbated when one of those three is Xhaka) can lead to us over-committing fullbacks as we get desperate to create chances. It ends up being more of a risk then than just having a Ceballos type who can dictate the tempo of the game and help us control the ball a bit better giving us some presence in midfield. That’s as much a means of defense as anything else if done right.

I also think Luiz and Sokratis are no better than Chambers, they’re dropping a clanger each per game at the moment and I genuinely think Holding Chambers would be better than the Greek and the bush.

—————–Leno—————-

Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney

———Torreira-Guendouzi———

————-Ceballos—————–

—-Pepe-Lacazette(C)-Aubameyang—-

Rotation: Nelson (RW LW), Willock(All midfield roles bar deepest), AMN (All midfield roles and RB), Saka (RW LW), Kolasinac (LB), Sokratis (CB), Luiz (CB), Xhaka (😑😑😑), Ozil (CAM), Martinez (GK)

That’d be an ideal lineup but it seems unless Xhaka and Luiz and Sokratis are caught pants around their ankles balls deep in every one of Mrs. Emery’s orifices, they won’t ever be dropped from the starting XI.

Dave M
Dave M

Bang on team! And bang on with the defensive assessment. Both Sokratis and Luiz and committing fundamental errors each game. Clean them up quick or Chambers (then holding when he’s up to speed) should be given a chance. No one should be an auto-selection in this team even our superstar attackers (only because there are three of them and they are basically each others’ rotation so they simply cannot play all the time).

Prakhar
Prakhar

First goal was not Leno’s fault. He already did his goalkeeping by getting there at full stretch and prevent it going in. THEN IT’S defence’s job to get it cleared. It was Sokratis blunder from start to finish. The man has serious decision-making issues, perhaps younger cooler heads in Holding and Chambers can continue to grow and learn. Holding specially is in mould of Mertesacker whose presence we still miss in the defence.

Glen Helders left foot
Glen Helders left foot

It was definitely his fault, either push it wide around the post or catch it simple! also did anyone else think he was unbelievable slow getting up from the save? Looked like he was wearing concrete pants

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Leno doesn’t make many mistakes.

The odd one is acceptable It’s when you have players who do it too often you have problems.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Nah he was definitely culpable there. Not the only one but those were some serious chocolate wrists for the first goal, must be stronger for that.

Dave M
Dave M

He was definitely culpable, but he was one of 4 errors on that goal (see my post earlier). That was not a hard shot (at all – in fact it was pretty weak) and he didn’t get a finger-tip to it – He got two hands. If he can’t hold that then it’s an error – no question. Nothing about tipping it wider – it is too weak a shot to tip wider. Absolutely an error by Leno, along with Sokratis (x2) and Luiz – 4 errors for one goal – only Arsenal could manage that level of calamity.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

He was def at fault. He should have either palmed it away further out to the side or, if catching it, brought it into his body. What he effectively did was kill the ball directly in front of him leaving an easy tap in.
Interestingly, the save he made from Son soon after when he tipped it round the post with a closed fist was to get the ball further away than a palm. Perhaps resulting from the 1st goal.

Dave M
Dave M

Key difference is one was a hard shot (easy to tip to safety) the other was weak (you can’t tip it away to safety because there isn’t enough pace and you must hold onto the pill!).

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Either bring it in to your body or generate your own pace through a strong palm or punch. I still think he could have done better with the first shot.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Absolutely his fault first goal and he looked shaky in other moments as well. I’m not on board with this guy yet. Too many errors carrying over from last season too…

George
George

A big difference between being at fault and doing better.

Man Manny
Man Manny

But we can also concede against anybody.
That has to change.
With our strike force, top 4 is ours to lose.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

The main issue is ANYBODY can score AGAINST us mate

George
George

True, but a big part of a good defence is continuity which we will hopefully have as this season unfolds. Also, I’d like to see more of Torreira, Guendouzi, and Ceballos with Xhaka on the bench.

Santori
Santori

He needed to have a stronger grip on that shot.

BUT he came up with two superb saves against Son and Erickson later.

I like the fact he came out to collect crosses more this game bc we have been weaker aerially without Mustafi.

Also we did not attempt to play out from the back as much and with a front 3 (pepe’s speed) Leno attempted to get the ball out quickly more.

George
George

“…bc we have been weaker aerially without Mustafi.” If it’s even remotely possible that anyone needed anymore proof that you’re utterly clueless, here it is.

Ricky
Ricky

Just like in the last thread he claimed Mustafi had the same ball spraying range as Luiz. Just so blinded and clueless.

Ron
Ron

No the problem is not defence the problem is midfield. All teams play easy box to box against arsenal because its empty in the middle. Then defence is overwhelmed. Solution is in effective attacking midfielders by plying Özil and Ceballos together then the ball will be mostly in the other half and they will supply the front 3 with passes score many goals and it will be football more sweeter than even Arsen Wenger’s