Leno: Freddie has made us feel free to play

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Bernd Leno has been one of Arsenal’s best players this season – in part because our defensive issues mean he’s far more involved than we might like.

Clean sheets are a rarity, and up until last night so were wins in the Premier League. However, the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners over West Ham at the London Stadium, and the German keeper spoke afterwards about the impact Freddie Ljungberg is having.

He admitted things went badly under Unai Emery, but not for the want of trying – and it seems there’s a more upbeat mood in the camp under the former Invincible.

“From the first day he said he wanted to see laughing faces, to see a good atmosphere,” he said.

“We had a bad time, we are all human and it is not easy. It was not like we did not try, but it just did not work.

“Freddie is doing a very good job. The team know about his quality and the way they want to play.

“We want to play with possession, keep the ball and also press very high, and also with transitions.”

West Ham 1-3 Arsenal – player ratings

The 27 year old expanded a bit on what had gone wrong under the previous coach and how Ljungberg has helped.

“It was not like everyone was not trying, but you could feel that we did not play in a free way and he made us more free to play,” he continued.

“You could see this more in the second half. After the second and the third goal you could see how we can play with more confidence.

“This is the real Arsenal.”

Check out the brand new Arsecast Extra on this goodly morning

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Russ
Russ

Sadly, I think we got it completely wrong hiring Emery.

SB Still
SB Still

Letting go of Emery was the easiest decision the club had to make. It was so obvious that it wasn’t working for whatever reasons. Plus, the passive possession, the regular self destruction were alien!

Ofcourse its happened with Wenger too but far less frequently. For most parts we played easy on the eye, 1 touch football.

Given time, maybe atleast till end of the season, Freddie can bring back the style of football he played in Arsenal, with more solidity at the back – wonder if the board will help him even a little in the winter transfer window.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Hiring Emery felt good at first, if only because it ended a period of negativity associated with Wenger. But it became clear by midseason to a lot of people that his talk of protagonist football was just talk. Following the Europa loss, he should have been let go, and a new manager brought in and the summer transfer business geared toward that fresh approach. But alas, we’re late bloomers at Arsenal, and the damage is likely too severe to manage the top four this year. We can only hope that Arsenal’s next permanent coach is dedicated to the attacking philosophy and eager to promote a stylish footballing project that will attract top quality players despite our situation, and that will convince Auba to sign a new deal.

Magic City Gooner
Magic City Gooner

Removing the fear and shackles from this side will go a long way towards making our way back up the table. Overthinking and playing with fear cost us so much the last few months. Hopefully Leno is right and we’ll start seeing what the real Arsenal can do going forward.

gooner
gooner

You could say we were stuck in the moment.

Reality Cech
Reality Cech

Maybe playing a little bit with the handbrake on

C.B.
C.B.

Leno, our best buy recently, he’s saved us many times.

And, on a positive note, we are now over half the way to 40 points and avoiding relegation.

AfroGooner
AfroGooner

I desperately hope that this is the start of the Gunners regaining their form and rescuing the season. We need them happy and playing their best.

Tim
Tim

“This is the real Arsenal.”

What a powerful statement, I hope we build on it.

jon

Having experienced success under Wenger, it would be no surprise if Ljungberg takes a wengerish approach: Let the players form their own roles on the pitch. Of course, this requires both the right mix of players and time to let them adapt to each other.

Wenger failed in his later years. The slowness in build-up was too easy to defend against. Why should it succeed under Ljungberg? More suited players, maybe, and a little higher risk going forward.

Francesc
Francesc

Not long before Bayern come in with their bag of dirty tricks to take him

Takeshita
Takeshita

Not today lad with this negativity. I am gonna bask in the 3-1 sunshine with a smile. My missus asked me today morning, “how long do you think this is gonna last”. I said, “As long as it can!!! “.

Amusa
Amusa

Sokratis’s face as he hugged Freddie nearly made me cry, so much emotion on his face.
The players must be hurting as well, no one wants to suck at their jobs (The accusation that to them it’s just a job).
I hope they can channel the anger and disappointment and beat City, destroy Chelsea and annihilate the spuds and United.

Gbenga
Gbenga

I too hope they can beat city but we have to be frank with ourselves, city is also a wounded Lion looking for who to pour their anger on and it is just the wrong time to face their wrath. I don’t see us surviving it.

I will be more than happy to eat my verdict if something good comes out of it.

As for Chelsea and Man u, I strongly believe we have a chance due to their own recent form but way way better than ours. For Chelsea last 4 matches L(Westham), W(Villa), L(Everton), W(Lille) while Man u is sooo in-consistence in their play

Gbenga
Gbenga

I too hope they can beat city but we have to be frank with ourselves, city is also a wounded Lion looking for who to pour their anger on and it is just the wrong time to face their wrath. I don’t see us surviving it.

I will be more than happy to eat my verdict if something good comes out of it.

As for Chelsea and Man u, I strongly believe we have a chance due to their own recent form but way way better than ours. For Chelsea last 4 matches L(Westham), W(Villa), L(Everton), W(Lille) while Man u is sooo in-consistence in their play

onenil
onenil

Can you imagine what it was like, running out at the Emirates. The stadium full, millions of people watching you round the world. Emery has just explained to you in great detail what he wants you to do…

…and you have no idea what he was talking about.

Amusa
Amusa

But they knew it was a Good Ebening 🙂

Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner

How about we stop taking the piss out of a guy doing his best to speak a foreign language, now eh?

Amusa
Amusa

Yeah you’re right. English for me is also a second language. Shouldn’t make fun of anyone trying their best.

The Peter Simpsons
The Peter Simpsons

Without a doubt one of our most impressive performers this season and I think we have ourselves a proper goalkeeper.

Rich
Rich

Arteta

Saadman
Saadman

Merson

backsakacrack
backsakacrack

Cabbage

Rich
Rich

Leno is class, and I love him just a little bit more, because I know how much Martin hates him….

Santori
Santori

I don’t know about that Leno.

I don’t see any freedom to our play bar 9 minutes which isn’t anywhere near an entire game.

We were ponderous, took way too many touches, lack urgency and dynamism, sharpness and even off ball effort (by Pepe, Granit and AMN) left much to be desired.

Had this been a better team with their tails up, we would have been punished…again.

We were lucky.

A swallow does not a summer make.

And we have A LOT of work to do.

Positives is in that 9 minute spell which they dropped and we managed to play simpler more dynamic forward passes rather than being tentative and playing the safe pass right back to Leno.

Part of the deal is the forwards have to make better runs and sometimes come for the ball (like Martinelli for first goal)

BUT they also have to be prepared to track back and attempt to win back the ball instead of flailing their arms at the Ref when their over complicated take ons come to nought too often like Pepe, then run back instead of amble.

I thought when Guendouzi came on, we were also improved with better dynamic carries currently lacking with a Granit-Torreira partnership.

We lack those players that can carry the ball forward like Guendouzi LLungberg preferring the greener Willock inexplicably.

I’m not sure why Guendouzi was not playing against BHA frankly.

Also felt Kolasinac was more positive going forward right side because he knew Marinelli would cover should he be caught out of place in attack.

That’s the sort of thing that has to be drummed into the forward line bc there is an inherent corelation with the midfield and the backline should they not be more responsible with the ball or work hard enough to win the ball back like Laca.

As much as the 9 minute spell was welcome, we are not anywhere near convincing.

Its a small start but we need consistency in effort and critically plenty more off ball work.

This team is still getting away with it.

Freddy of course knows we have a very pacy wing in Martinelli/Auba/KOlasinac (or Tierney) left side (not to mention young Saka) and Pepe/Bellerin and Nelson (maybe AMN if he continues to focus) rights side.

BUT he should also know when he was playing that both Pires and him were also strong in tracking back and wining the ball deep in their half and then using that as opportunity to quickly transition as the opponents scramble to get back in shape.

We need to be a coiled spring defensively ready to explode forward taking each set piece to defend as an opportunity to exploit space the opponents have opened up in their backline.

Lots of work to be done. Not anywhere near convincing.

Santori
Santori

At the moment I’d keep as stable a selection at Cback as possible. If Chambers is seemingly doing well, I’d keep him paired with Sokratis until one of them cocks up.

We need an understanding at the back.

Fullbacks, hopefully Bellerin is recovered. AMN was OK but he really needs to focus, still that slackness his major undoing. He has a lifeline at the moment but if he blanks out again, he would have worked his way out of squad. Still needs to work harder.

On other flank, unlucky on Tierney. BUT I don’t see the ‘masterclass’ some people prefer to imagine. He’s been good but also had his struggles defensively. OTOH, Kolasinac has been better than many prefer to mention him. Great assist (and run) very few would give him credit for.

In midfield, we don’t have great choices. Granit was really shite 15 minnute spell after the break. Would have preferred Guendouzi on then.

not sure why Freddy prefers the far greener Willock but frankly GUendouzi should have started against BHA.

Thought he came on yesterday and we were instantly more dynamic bc he carries the ball for us more.

I think its a bit of a toss up between Granit and Guendouzi or Torreira and Guendouzi at the moment as a deep lying two. Torreira and Granit seems too negative but the Uruguayan himself has issues to his play although much better yesterday to when against BHA.

Ozil I feel has been OK but my expectations on his defensive side is low.

But out wide despite good assist and goal, felt Pepe was generally again poor. Did not win many of his take ons but when he loses them, he prefers to flail his arm at the Ref, take his time to get up and ambles back. We need MUCH more work from him and not to let the goal and assist get to his head. Consistency is an issue.

Good to see Nelson on, Martinelli was good (my MOTM). BUT also a bit of a highlight where we are slightly silly to have sold Iwobi too early. Not too many options beyond Pepe (who is less than perfect still) on right beyond Nelson who is building back up on confidence himself. One potential of course Auba or Martinelli on the right the other on the left.

Up top, Auba needs to be still more competitive and make more rums to show for the ball better. No popint complaining about lack of service from midfield if you keep losing the ball when they give it to you bc you get pushed off too easily or your touch is slack. In that sense I prefer Laca up top.

So a VERY mixed bag still.

All those who suddenly think we are better with Unai gone really need to get their heads examined. Some very bog fixtures up next in City, Chelsea and United.

If we play like yesterday, we will be taken apart.

myrtle
myrtle

Granit and Guendouzi has never worked.

Dave M
Dave M

Granit xhaka has never worked

db10s

Yup. They don’t work. One has very bad defensive awareness and the other is too slow to get back if we lose the ball.

Overall I feel like it’s a coaching issue between the backline and midfield. It doesn’t help that the players we have in the midfield are have very specific strong points and a lot of liabilities that makes it hard to find the right balance.

I feel like the gap between the backline and the midfield is always too huge. With the ball, the back line sits back and midfield goes forward so we always have trouble playing out from the back because there’s too much of a gap to hit quick accurate 1-2 touch passes. Then when the ball is lost there’s always 2-3 opposition players between the lines and all it takes is one simple pass to bypass all the out of position midfielders.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

So much copy paste good God, Santori

Deno Garbby
Deno Garbby

Yeah I believe this is the kinda manager The Gooneers can thrive under one who promotes a free atmosphere and understands his resources well let’s look at how to bring down City so that we look at a champions league slot and I believe in Freddie we can get the invincible team at Emirates again

Deno Garbby
Deno Garbby

If there be a plan to hire a manager then Ancelotis record would be outstanding winning Epl for Chelsea ,champions league league series A copaderey etc it’s a better CV but can he performed that again ??? Foot ball has evolved of late