Emery: It’s not easy creating chances against organised Vitoria

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Unai Emery’s Arsenal gave up a lead for the fourth game in a row as we stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Vitoria in Portugal.

In the pouring rain, the Gunners outpassed their opponents but mustered just one shot on target; a header by Shkodran Mustafi that found the net with 10 minutes remaining.

A win would have seen us qualify from Europa League Group F with two games to spare but a minute into stoppage time the home side found a deserved equaliser as Bruno Duarte netted with an acrobatic effort.

There’s no point sugarcoating things. Arsenal were awful from start to finish, the players, set up with a three-man backline, looking bereft of confidence as they attempted to execute a game plan that seemed to involve avoiding the centre of the pitch where possible.

After the game, Emery, whose job is now very much on the line, admitted his players toiled in the final third.

“The players tried and we were close to winning but in the last minute, they pushed a lot and scored,” he told BT Sport.

“In the Europa League it’s about being first in the group and at the moment we are. It’s still a possibility to be [finish] first.

“We tried. They are a very competitive team and it was very important for us to be strong defensively. I think we did that and we did better offensively.

“It’s not easy to have a lot of chances. We want to win but in the table we are the first and that is our target.”

Arsenal now have the unenviable task of taking on in-form Leicester at the King Power on Saturday before the Interlull kicks in. It feels like things are coming to a head.

Vitoria 1-1 Arsenal – player ratings

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Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

He is basically the shittest manager in Arsenal’s recent history. One effing shot on target and we no longer have any semblance of the beautiful football we got used to as arsenal fans. Total fucking shambles. Get this mug out of our club ASAP

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Definitely fighting Bruce Rioch for the wooden goon.

The Spoon
The Spoon

Bruce did sign Bergkamp though…

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I think that was David Dean.

The Spoon
The Spoon

We did go down hill when he left. Bring back David Dein.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

and David Platt at the same time. A game changer in my opinion.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

He is basically the only manager in Arsenal’s recent history.

gooner
gooner

And of the one managers in our recent history, he’s playing by far the worst football.

Homz
Homz

And at the same time the best lol

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Come on Arsenal, make the change quickly for once

Dennis
Dennis

No way he will be here after the international break. After Mailing on Saturday he will have 2 go hope he does the decent thing and leave. The problem here is Arsenal want him 2 leave so they dont have 2 pay him off

Mjabberm
Mjabberm

Well he’s right. It’s not easy to have a lot of chances… Its not as though arsenal can play against thmeselves

Atom
Atom

I keep seeing stories about how the board is behind Emery and wants to give him all year etc, but I simply don’t understand how anyone who watches us thinks we’re making any progress at all. We lose leads in virtually every game as our midfield / defense are a sieve and we have reached the point on offense where virtually all of our goals let alone chances come from set pieces.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think it’s better for the board to say that in public while privately sourcing replacements and putting a succession strategy together, rather than throwing Emery under the bus now and leaving us even more rudderless than we already are.

Licor de Avellanas
Licor de Avellanas

I was genuinely shocked that we actually took the lead. It appeared that scoring a goal was waaay beyond our capabilities up to that point. And after to be fair.

Mother
Mother

Actually, I think it’s quite telling that the board are speaking out publicly at all. They’re saying all the right things to maintain some order but we all know that the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ is anything but.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

The commentator mentioned in the Wolves game that he was shouting at his players when to press and when not to.

I noticed him doing it again today. Is it just me or should that not be drilled on the training ground and not arbitrarily throughout the game?

The Spoon
The Spoon

Seems they don’t understand him in either situation

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

“Boys in the moment I will speak of the press ahh pushing my hands from my chin to the air in the direction of the moment” watch out for this action…”

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

He seemed very subdued tonight. Maybe he’s realised they don’t want hear what he has to say.

TorontoGunner
TorontoGunner

Yes I heard that during the game too.. I remember last season they were comparing his first season records to Klopp’s and Pep’s. So what has changed with better players on board and more time with the team?

A Different George
A Different George

To be clear: I think Emery is terrible and should be replaced. But this is just looking for things to criticise. When Klopp shouts out instructions from the technical area, no one says his team ought to have been prepared on the training ground. When Pep makes his maniacal hand gestures, waves his arms like windmills, no one thinks it is because his players are clueless.

Dan
Dan

How can you create chances with no game plan? No service to the strikers come on Emery I respect him as a person but he is sucking the life out of arsenal and it’s fans, please a blind man can see what’s wrong we fans are not idiots

Andy
Andy

Bingo, i win

Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice
Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice

Yeah sure it’s not easy create chances against WELL ORGANIZED vitoria….that’s why they are last in the table and theie only point coming against us

Dave M
Dave M

One thing that is easy though, is creating chances against an UNWELL, UNORGANISED Arsenal. Holy shit we’re racking up shots against. At least we’re first in something!!

A Different George
A Different George

Well, we didn’t create chances against poorly organized Man United either. (The result that, so far, still bothers me the most–a chance to batter them at Old Trafford thrown away.)

Redgibb
Redgibb

Someone needs to put this guy out of his misery. And my misery. We’re finished here thanks Unai

tanned arse
tanned arse

No Unai, it’s just not easy for YOU

David
David

There’s always an excuse, This guy has to go.

David C
David C

Couldn’t have said it any better.

It’s not even fun watching this team anymore. At least under Wenger, win or lose, we were fun to watch…

Rayafc
Rayafc

Arsenal are like the UK after Brexit, used to be one of the richest clubs in the world, now we’re shit.

tanned arse
tanned arse

Don’t feel it’s ever going to be fair to assess the quality of this team whilst he is in charge or even be critical of players. If players don’t try then it’s one thing but I feel they try to follow his instructions. He’s just a small club manager with a small club mentality. That’s what he’s good at. That’s where he’s comfortable

WellArsed
WellArsed

Is he really that delusional – or just trying to put a brave face on a very poor performance?

Lettra
Lettra

Message to Unai , surely you must now understand you are wrong for the job it was to big for you there is no shame in admitting it. Why don’t you just resign? https://youtu.be/IE1ZeXC4vtg?t=134

Dennis
Dennis

Come Saturday we will be 9 point off 4th place so we can kiss champion league goodbye unless we win the europa league. And this clowill use the same tactics he use against Chelsea and get beat. So it’s best to just let him go now.
Moyes did not last so long why wait.

Lettra
Lettra

Message to our board. https://youtu.be/N-ecZ8CPcxw?t=29

MonkeyJoe
MonkeyJoe

RIOTS

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

It’s not supposed to be easy. We are supposed to triumph through guile and creativity.

Prince Gunneralaysia
Prince Gunneralaysia

Unai oh Unai.. I can’t imagine how u can bring us back to glory days if even Vitoria is too well organised for u.. Always the other team’s fault ain’t it..

Dennis
Dennis

We will abandon the matches after Leicester if the clown remains

MonkeyJoe
MonkeyJoe

How is this useless, incompetent, toxic moron not fired is beyond our ape tribe. And to think he is on million £ or more per year makes me sick. FRAUD.
If he is not sacked after loss to Leicester then whole Arsenal hierarchy should be chased out with pitchforks.

Dennis
Dennis

You know the irony of football before Brendon beat us last game we normally beat up Leicester. So a surprise win may b on the cards wud the club give him a reprieve? Would be a very sad day for my club

GraeB
GraeB

Long time since we “beat up Leicester” – Wenger managed to lose the PL to them when we should have cruised to the title.

Never seen so many Arsenal fans wanting to get trounced on a game before.

Bertieme
Bertieme

We are stuck in the rut of “close to winning.” With each game you wonder how long this will go on. I pray we are rid of him sooner rather than later.

Fletcher
Fletcher

Did he actually said we were strong defensively and did better offensively?

Stoney
Stoney

This part of his press conference concerns me the most.

Emery said “We tried. They are a very competitive team and it was very important for us to be strong defensively. I think we did that and we did better offensively.” – We managed 1 shot on target? How is that doing better offensively?

I hate to see what we looked like when we did badly offensively. He clearly sees the game in a different way from 99.9% of us.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

I can’t bare anymore of this shit, i swear to god if arsenal were an animal we would be going to the vets to be put down,

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to not say anything at all. This is one of those times…

Des
Des

Sack the clown now please 🙏

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

You make me laugh.

The Kolkata Gooner
The Kolkata Gooner

One thing this shit show does is give a bit of perspective on the difference between a world class manager like AW and a mid-table manager like Emery. Even towards the end of his tenure, by which time (and I think we can all agree on this) AW had long become an ‘out of time’ man, and even in his last season, which was by far his worst, he still managed to get the team to play eye catching football for the most part, and definitely at home against the likes of Wolves and Bournemouth. We could have never imagined being dominated by these teams at home. We would at least have far superior possession, and create an abundance of chances. If teams nicked points, it was always a case of smash and grab.

Many people said that this facet was simply down to AW being a “non-interventionist”, i.e. he would just tell the players to go out and express themselves. Well, if it was that easy, Emery should just do the same, at least now that his job is on the line. And mind you, he has a better squad than AW did in his final season.

With a team of Auba, Laca, Pepe, and Ozil, I’m pretty sure, our GD in the league would have been a little more than a +1 under Wenger.

The Kolkata Gooner
The Kolkata Gooner

And I’m also pretty sure we would’ve scored a little more than 1 goal from open play in our last, I don’t know, 20?

Magic City Gooner
Magic City Gooner

Mighty Vitoria SC allow about 12 shots/game and 5 shots on goal in their league.
Even with the heavy rain, you have to think, having shots (plural) on goal would’ve been a given with our talent advantage.

Santori
Santori

There is a disconnection between our attack and midfield.

And we have a non functioning midfield unable to constitute any form of control in the middle of the park.

This is beyond Granit. Cebellos is certainly not the Santi player some prefer to imagine him to be anymore than young Willock can be the same people prefer to imagine him to be now or anymore that Torreira has his own shortfalls.

BUT the front men has also been poor.

Since Lacazette went off injured, we have been sporadic at best in effort and the wide players have been found lacking. Pepe poor return for the money spent by Sanlehi to wow the fans rather than more economical options like Ziyech and Fekir.

What Unai has to find very quickly is some sense of control in midfield.

This has been complicated by fans self inflicted damage to the team’s options by alienating Granit.

Unai’s options are limited but he must find some sort of working relationship. BC at times we play like strangers, other times too predictable up front waiting for the ball in static line.

Today he went for safety with the 3 man Cback since we had it to qualify for the next round. It was more a safety first option and frankly it made sense.

BUT midfield issues need to be resolved very quickly before the next match against Leicester.

GraeB
GraeB

Santi – his options are not limited! Limited is what applies to Brighton/Sheff U/Leicester/Wolves.

His operational style is the sole limiting factor.

Santori
Santori

1) The wingers haven’t been great. We may need to put Auba on one wing again (or as a pair) with Laca up top. At very least they have a good relationship with each other where our recent combinations have played like strangers to each other. Lacazette maybe key to a revival of some sharpness particularly in his movement to receive and distribute.

Pepe has flattered to deceive (but for one match) and yet to justify his high outlay. Saka is a young player. Beyond that our options are Martinelli and nelson almost as equally young. Why we put ourselves in the position to have to sell Iwobi is beyond me.

2) Midfield I believe needs either a continued combination of Cebellos and Guendouzi with Granit just behind or Torreira and Guendouzi with Ozil or Cebellos in the hole. Neither entirely perfect but probably our best bet and we need to find some form of fluency between these combinations. We need some form of familiarity to be built between the selections.

Snc
Snc

We re doomed and I’m done w Emery. On paper, we have one of the strongest squad in the PL but on the pitch, we are playing like Sunday football. With a squad tt feat players like auba, laca, ozil etc, this is definitely not acceptable and not the kind of situation we should be in. Imagine if we don’t have these players anymore and Emery is still charge, idk how low we will even get. Least I know during Arsene era when someone leaves the club, another gem will somehow step up and take over. I’m not convinced if Emery can ever do that. Change is needed.. And fast.

Dennis
Dennis

When is this CLOWN leaving and plz take Mustafi and shaka with you.
Has lost the dressing room it’s time 2 go, if we gonna lose let’s lose with a young coach. Bring in ARTETA. Wenger told us long time he was ready.

Mpls
Mpls

It’s especially not easy when you’ve got three rookies in the front line, you short yourself a midfielder, and no creative players anywhere on the pitch.

Once again it seems like he’s relying on our left back to be the driving creative force for the squad.

bob
bob

“Emery: It’s not easy creating chances against organised Vitoria”

This doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. They are 5th in the Portuguese league at the moment. They are also rock bottom of our Europa league group F with a single point (that we gifted them today).

Clearly literally every other team can create chances against them. If we had a coherent attacking plan, we would have created chances, instead we are explicitly set up to fail, with a first shot on target in the 80th minute and no passes in their box for the entire first half.

It may not be easy for Emery, but even an average manager would find it at least doable, rather than the impossible task we made it out to be today.

Redsy
Redsy

Did he wake up.thinking he was george graham and wanted 1-0 to the Arsenal he wouldnt wipe George’s backside.

GraeB
GraeB

I remember those days of
“Why are we playing 3 centre halves today”
“Because the other 2 are injured or we’d play them too!”

Lula
Lula

We went from crisis to farce to now which actually is just sad. I pity Emery at this point. End this.

A P
A P

Alright guys, I am trying to calm myself by pretending it could be Mourinho.

“I set the team up to win 5-0. That we couldn’t is the players’ fault.”

George
George

Memo to Emery: it’s not easy for us to create chances period.

Organised’s got nothing to do with it.

SheffieldGooner
SheffieldGooner

🤡

Frankie
Frankie

I wouldn’t have an issue with the manager if I could understand a thing he mumbles at press conferences… I used to love Wenger interviews, he was a clever guy and you were always interested in what he had to say…. but this guy just annoys me… and his responses are painful… and his body language pitch side during the games is shocking… he resembles a turtle ducking his head in to a shell…. and then he hides away… and this whole telling the team when to press at certain times in the game…. wtf we should try pressing the whole game as soon as the opposition have the ball with everyone behind the ball… it’s not like we don’t have pace to counter….. every team does it to us, why don’t we do the same it’s not rocket science……

Look I love arsenal with my heart but this is painful.. I watch every game, win draw lose…