Emery promises defensive improvement ahead of Leicester showdown

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Having stated a couple of weeks ago that he had made Arsenal better defensively, Unai Emery admits there’s still room for improvement ahead of Saturday’s crunch Premier League encounter with Leicester.

Defeat would leave the Gunners nine points behind Brendan Rodgers’s side, and would put the Spaniard under even more pressure.

Having taken just two points from the last nine available, and been out-shot 25-10 by Wolves in our last league game, it was put to Emery that there were still things to work on from a defensive point of view.

“I think at home we are faring well but not with the performance as we will do for the next matches,” he said.

“Those two results, two draws, weren’t the best results also. Last year, those two teams also gave us a lot of problems at home and we took only one point against those two teams.

“But I was speaking with the players this week about how is our next step to improve. And it’s clear, there are two ways: play better with the ball, play with more confidence with our style, and take more responsibility on the pitch.

“My responsibility is the first but also I give them because they are on the pitch to take that responsibility to play better.

“And then is for our defensive structure to be strong and get better defensively is our first challenge tomorrow.

“Last year, we were looking for that improvement during the season and we achieved it in a lot of moments – and I know now we can do better and we will do better.”

Emery was also keen to try and find the positives in what has been a disappointing run of form since the last international break.

“We are drawing the last matches, we can see those matches negatively because we didn’t win or positively because we didn’t lose,” he continued.

“We are in the balance, but we when you are a team like Arsenal we need to win more than draw or lose.”

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Trex d’ Gunner
Trex d’ Gunner

As much as I hate us loosing. This dull irritating football must end with Emery’s sacking after the Leicester game. It would be a bitter-sweet experience

myrtle
myrtle

Forget defensive improvement. I want some bloody attacking improvement. in 18 months our defence has stayed the same, yet the attack has regressed to sterile set-piece hit and hope bullshit. You’re killing the identity of this club Unai, get your priorities sorted.

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

If you have ever played the game you would understand that first you stop leaking goals. Then and only then you can look at the creative side..

Nketibag
Nketibag

Don’t kid yourself Martin

Once a gunner
Once a gunner

Do you know a team called Real Madrid their aim is to out score you not minding there back.

David C
David C

my thoughts exactly!!! What if we just played the way that Leicester did when winning the league? Pump the ball up as quick as you can to the strikers. This sideways, go no where passing is painful on my eyes.

Ong
Ong

Yes indeed. They are just too slow, and when they release the ball early it will end up with the opponent. The entire mid field just can’t service the strikers well. Those sideways and back passes are really dreadful. How nice if UE can get them to play like Palace or Wolves with very fast, accurate forward passes either into the channels or more accurate through passes down the middle for Lacazette or Auba. And mix with some pacy runs with the ball into the opposite box, like Ramsey used to do, to get opponent defenders to commit fouls. The main thing is the midfield should be faster, and creative to supply good balls for the strikers. Otherwise Arsenal need a better coach who can do that.

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Bingo! We know the defence is bad but the attack is even worse

Adam
Adam

That’s pretty much the same news/article as the one before….

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Same issues, same idiot.

bobbyp
bobbyp

Everybody knew that one of our main issues under Arsene was that we leaked too many goals and our defence needed solidifying.
I would have expected after almost 18 months in charge a new manager would have definitely had a positive impact in that area. However, we don’t seem to have improved at all and that is a real worry.

mpls
mpls

We’ve gone significantly backwards in chances conceded.

SB Still
SB Still

Pre-match, he says what everyone wants to hear, post-match he says what no one wants to hear.

Jumanne
Jumanne

Trying to understand Unai gives me a real throbbing headache! The man sees improvement where I only see deterioration! Watching the match against Vitoria was really boring!

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

blah blah blah, I talk to the players, and I tell theng we will Ingprobe I tell theng we must defence better, wig congfidengs ang spirit ang we want to win blah blah good ebening

Benjamin Obeng Agyemang
Benjamin Obeng Agyemang

😂 the twin brother of Unai Emery with his own english.

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

So we field 3 CB or 3 CDM ? Maybe both

Harish P
Harish P

9 defenders and Aubameyang, for that fluid counter-counterattack.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

only GG can make this into a winning formation

mpls
mpls

yes, inspiring.

David C
David C

I would go with:

Leno
Bellerin Sokratis Luis Tierney
Torreira Guen
Pepe Ozil Auba
Laca

Just try to outscore a team 🙂

Dave
Dave

6 3 1 probably.

Mustafi Holding Chambers Sokratis Luiz Mavropanos

Guendozi AMN (Or Ozil, I mean he gotta run and press no? so play him at DM!)
Torreira as a pseudo CAM
Auba to kill it in the counter

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something like this one of this days

Oregoon

Usually when he talks like this, the squad he puts out has no attacking bite. Where we are now, I would think that the best way to get at Leicester would be to go right at their center backs, and try to out score them. Let’s try something unheard of, like attacking for a change!

Futsboller
Futsboller

Agreed – let’s lineup in their favoured 4-1-4-1, and get the ball into the feet of our best players who can do the most damage with it. Pure revolution.

Optimistic Gonner
Optimistic Gonner

You talk the talk, now walk the walk.

George
George

Anyone got a plank?

Badaab
Badaab

“Area manager promises to play more boring football.”

Snagger
Snagger

Is it too much to ask if we can improve attack and defence? The real difference is desire, you can talk about formations and shape all day but when Sokratis talks about the other teams hunger that’s the difference. In a mirror online article the 2 pictures of corresponding managers showed Rogers getting hugs from team and Emery on the side lines screaming like a banshee. I don’t know if this was on purpose but pictures painted a thousand words.

A P
A P

Not sure I want a crowd of sweaty, smelly men hugging myself, to be honest.

Lettra
Lettra

Great I look forward to seeing 10 men behind the ball.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

“Last year, those two teams also gave us a lot of problems at home and we took only one point against those two teams“

Using last seasons wretched results to justify this seasons appalling results. Nice.

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

It s me or the complete sentence look like something positives ? Like it s an achievement To draw against those team.

Lettra
Lettra

How about playing to our strengths? We have four of the top producers of goals in Europe in our midst and can’t score goals or create chances against very average opposition. I really don’t get what we are waiting for.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Surely the players themselves should take some of the slack? Obviously Unai’s tactics are cack but it’s still 11v11.

The Spoon
The Spoon

Poor defence is half the issue. Conceding 30 shots is one thing, only creating 10 is another problem altogether. Currently we have a piss poor defence and an attack that has no threat. Considering the players we have in that area, that is pretty dire. I don’t care if we concede 3 tomorrow, if we score 4. Chances of 4 goals with Emery in charge are about as good as me getting a late England call up.

Andy
Andy

I think when we look back on the Emery era, which I hope we can do on Monday, we can thank him for two things. 1. He was the man who followed Wenger, and took the burden of that albatross away from the next guy (the David Moyes, Bruce Rioch role if you like). 2. He offloaded, or began the process of offloading, many of Wenger’s underperformers, bringing through the likes of Saka, Willock and Guendouzi. I don’t think those compensate for the utter shite we’ve been presented with on the pitch, of course, but I hope we can give the guy a bit of credit.

Filpo
Filpo

“there are two ways: play better with the ball, play with more confidence with our style”. We don’t have any style anymore…. so it’s going to be impossible for the players….Good Ebening.

Santori
Santori

Its been 7 points dropped since losing to the Blades.

Coincided with Lacazette going out injured.

somehow we lost fluency up top and midfield also lost its balance between trying to go forward and support the attack and covering obvious counters.

Emery also inexplicably has been prey to teams packing midfield with 5 across further overloading our porous midfield.

And it hasn’t been as if losing Granit has benefited us either. We are still finidng it difficult to push forward dynamically and find ourselves going side to side without registering much shots on target.

So clearly Granit was the least of our problems (much like Mustafi in defense)

Rather we have been less than dynamic up top with players tending to stand static in line waiting for the ball to be delievered to them. No one has dropped to pick the ball up and help the midfield out.

Also when we throw our weight down the flanks, we have not sufficiently gone in at angles.

Add to lack of control in midfield and inevitably our rickety central defense will come under undue duress and something will give.

Nor have the players higher up been able to hold the ball for us or protect it when we need to.

There have also been unresolved issues in defense protecting against set pieces. Here zonal marking have become dogmatic to the point we are spectacle to the absurd sight of Torreira having to mark players twice his height.

The blame is on unai for not being able to resolve this despite obvious continued short comings in this squad bc we neglected to properly resolve long outstanding shortcomings at Cback and midfield.

BUT the fans have further exacerbated it rather unnecessarily by agitating a situation with Xhaka depriving us of assets in midfield we are already in short supply of.

Leicester will play a counter attacking game. We will need to have a more discipline brief in midfield for the deep lying (two IMO) players and players higher up the pitch need to take responsibility and be more efficient with their transitions.

Again I prefer to have Laca up top with Auba in close attendance (build on their relationship). We have looked unfamiliar to each other in play otherwise all over the pitch. Pepe right side, Ozil in the hole (Pepe and Auba pinched in tighter):

……………………………………Laca……………………………………….
…………..Auba………………………………………Pepe………………….
……………………………………Ozil…………………………………………
Kolasinac……….Guendouzi……………Torreira…………………Bellerin
……………………..Luiz…………………….Sokratis……………………..
…………………………………..Leno……………………………………….

Pinch the fullbacks slightly higher to form a protective screen with midfield or allow for overlap.

Two mids deep to screen and protect the area behind the fullbacks when they step up. Keep these mids discipline and not over committed.

Ozil and laca to interchange allowing the Frenchman to drop and collect/protect if necessary.

Toss up IMO between holding and Luiz. Prefer Rob but maybe Luiz has a bit more mobility to deal with Vardy. Holding has been slow on the turn but Luiz has a mistake in him much like Mustafi…but older.

Phil
Phil

By defensive improvement, he means an even more conservative and scared approach if that’s possible. He’s lost the plot and needs to be sacked after we lose this weekend.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Ha ha ha ha ha yer right, the only way we keep a clean sheet is if we play with a back line of 10, and then probably concede via a own goal,

Redsy
Redsy

He think at home we are faring well ? wtf seriously

Mizog
Mizog

What’s the world coming to when I don’t fancy the arsenal to beat Leicester

Once a gunner
Once a gunner

That’s the world of Emery at arsenal

Emery’s Facial Expressions
Emery’s Facial Expressions

“my responsibility is the first but also I give them because they are on the pitch to take that responsibility to play better” ? Oh Yeah!!

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

He promised defensive improvement from his first interview. How long are we expected to wait while it gets worse?

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

A very likeable guy but after 17 months I’m afraid it’s just words. He’s the managerial equivalent of without the fluency in English.

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper
ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Down-voted you in error. Emery is a shit manager.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Of Gazidis, sorry….

Espen
Espen

Emery cant even put it right from the start. Why play Torreira the furthest of all midfielders? It is really frustrating.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Sure we have half a new team having sold first teamers Kos, Monreal, Iwobi, Miki and Ramsey.

But he has mismanaged several situations and it’s come back to bite him.

He needs to hold his nerve and find solutions like he did when we lost players to sudden injuries last season. And patched our way until we fell apart. Often due to individual horror errors.

Similar negatives are happening this season and we don’t want to see that. But now it has become toxic.

He can’t blame the fans when the root of it is from club decisions and then he compounds it by making strange tactical decisions. Such as switching to a back four which he didn’t trust Kola to be a part of last season.

Perhaps Edu and Raul threw him under the bus by selling Monreal for a pittance just to save up for players in the next transfer window.

But then just don’t play a back four. Or try to pass out the back.

Is he really one dimensional to believe that his only tactic to invite a press then break it with players that don’t fit that system would work and wouldn’t be found out??

Sure he showed tactical nous last season to cobble together different ways to maximise what we had. But we had more experienced and better quality players back then. Surely he needs to adapt.

Not throw his toys out the pram when it isn’t going his way. You have to deal the hand you’ve been dealt.

Wenger for all his shortcomings would never blame the fans. And never complain that the board gave him a shitty hand.

Like when we wanted a defender in Johnny Evans for 11m and the club went out and spent 50m on a striker instead. Further derailing the season.