Leno: We were lucky to draw

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Bernd Leno says Arsenal struggled to implement their game plan in the second half against Norwich City and were lucky to come away with a point.

The German goalkeeper had to make a series of important stops with the scores level at 2-2, including one spectacular fingertip to deny Kenny McLean.

While the Gunners started well at Carrow Road, two goals conceded on the counter-attack left us trailing at the break.

Having scored a retaken penalty to cancel out Teemu Pukki’s opener, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed his second goal of the game to level the scores on 57 minutes. It was a matter of frustration for the German that his teammates couldn’t then kick on to end their winless streak.

“It was confusing because in the first half we played exactly how we wanted but conceded two goals in transition,” Leno told Arsenal.com.

“In the second half we lost control of the game and we were lucky to draw.

“I think in the first half we conceded a deflected goal and then again before half time.

“The second goal was unlucky because Norwich didn’t have too many chances in the first half and in the second half it was important that we didn’t concede another goal and Norwich defended very deep and very good.

“The game was still open but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Attempting to pinpoint where we have room for improvement, he said, “It’s not only about the defence, midfield or the strikers, I think in the second half the distances were too big and we didn’t press like we did in the first half.

“Against a team like Norwich they can play very well and on the counter-attack and this was the main problem because it was a personal mistake or losing the ball and I think this was the difference.”

Unsurprisingly, after an emotional week at the club, Leno admitted the players were frustrated not to get a win.

“We’re disappointed because Freddie said in the dressing room that in the first half this was the gameplan that we wanted, and the two goals by transition were not good, but in the second half we lost the control.

“I think when we analyse the game the first half was good because we controlled the game but only the two goals were not good. In the second half we have to work in transition.”

Arsenal face Brighton on Thursday and then travel to West Ham United the following Monday.

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La Défense
La Défense

Fingers crossed🤞

It’s a brave new world now.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Single-handedly kept us in the game

Eddie Hoyte
Eddie Hoyte

One of the most underrated goalkeeper in the league. I keep wondering how high he’ll be if was playing in the goalpost for Liverpool.
With their defense, I can bet this guy would be turning heads around on the planet and would give Ter Stegen a run for his money.
Bring Neuer or Ter Stegen to this football club and they’ll leak crazy goals because of our defense, they’ll probably save a lot too but my point is any Goalkeeper playing with this team will look like an average goalkeeper

Atom
Atom

That’s why there are rumors Bayern wants him at year end to replace Neur. We’re going to really struggle to hang onto players this year if we don’t make the champions league

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

If our performance doesn’t improve, not only we’ll loose Leno, but Auba and Laca as well.

But rest assured, Özil will stay with us to see out his contract 🙂

Gunnerman
Gunnerman

Ter stegen? please keep quiet..

SouthWalesGooner
SouthWalesGooner

Poor bloke has the misfortune of playing behind Mustafi and Luiz and then has pundits and casual viewers thinking he must be crap because he concedes so many goals, when the reality is that without him we’d be 15th. Top class keeper and I can’t believe he only cost £25 million, we properly robbed Leverkusen.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

An excellent analysis, and it’s something he’s mentioned earlier in the season. We’re not compact enough in any phase of play which makes it easy for teams to go through us in transition when we lose the ball. That’s partly down to tactics and also probably down to a lack of physicality throughout the spine of the team. Hopefully it’s something Freddie can work on but it won’t be solved overnight.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Freddie – you’re a good guy but you don’t have the chops for this mess.

Kroenke – pick up the phone and get Rafa Benitez in there now to sort that fkn defense out.

And while you’re at it, punt your 3 wise men, Raul, Vinnie, and Edu…how this “brain trust” can allow Arsenal to play with that defense is beyond us all…

Martin
Martin

I agree we need a new coach very quickly but Benitez is a long way from what we need

Mintoes
Mintoes

@martin – He’s a proven “fixer” and would sort that shite back 4 out in 2 weeks. Get him in till the end of the season and give us some stability to plan for what’s next.

Martin
Martin

We don’t need a fixer who would maybe improve us but not take us to the level of where we are challenging for honours.

Dave M
Dave M

No we need a perfect manager that will win every game, get the players into line and playing with some passion and determination, sort out our torrid defense, and have a system that connects the back to the mids to the defense without going wide as the only option…unfortunately they don’t grow on trees. So yes we do need someone to fix things…and bloody quickly!

If Benitez could come in and get some discipline and organisation back and at least have us being a Champions League team again even if that is all and we get another manager a few years later than I’m all for that…Heck it might even be Freddie after some years of experience as a manager – but come on…Freddie is NOT the answer right now. He’s a stop gap filler until we find a proper manager with at least some experience.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Sounds similar to what people said about Rodgers! Benitez till the end of the season isn’t a bad shout if we can’t get someone better suited now.

Lithuanian gooner
Lithuanian gooner

Defense problems lays not on a coach, but in personel. Centerbacks misscomunicating, lack of class and skill..

Dave M
Dave M

Not just the defense. yes they are a part, but so is the midfield. Xhaka again giving the ball away cheaply almost cost us the game and we were in general torn to shreds in midfield again. Another 16 shots conceded. 100% we cannot play Xhaka and Ozil together. That couldn’t be more obvious. Ozil does nothing to help defend (at least in his prime he position would get in front of guys, but now he doesn’t even try chasing back), and Xhaka has to be the leakiest DM in the league against the counter. We were so lucky to get a draw and have Leno and Auba to thank for it.

Get Holding into defense with Luiz (or Sokratis…but 2 of Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi is a fuking disaster) ASAP. Even if he makes a few mistakes it isn’t any worse than what is already there and he IS the future build around him. He was proving it before his injury, let him do it again.

Same for Torreira and Pepe. They are our future – not Ozil and Xhaka, why persist with these guys (well past his prime and the other one a mediocre player) ahead of two guys with international experience that could create a possible future for the team. Same as willock, Same as Tierny – they need to be playing. Sure he might make some mistakes, but rather it be him than Xhaka making them. Ozil is useful at home and with the right players around him to protect his weaknesses (and strengths – why has he not played with PEPE?!). What do we have to lose playing these guys rather than the same guys that got us into this position?

My first XI going forward:
Leno
Bellerin-Holding-Luiz-Tierny
Torreira
Douzi
Willock [Ozil]
Pepe-Laca-Auba

Ozil could play at times in home games when we really want to go after it, but we also have to accept it means asking our Front three to run back a lot and help and putting the reigns on Douzi a bit too. Ozil is a luxury item – he brings something different (useful as a sub and in rotation), but he unbalances the team, just like Xhaka.

Venga Bus

Absolutely sensational today

Woolwich Shepherd
Woolwich Shepherd

Its exciting to see Freddie take on this role, but the Mustafi/Luiz selection was a poor one. Lesson learned. Move on.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

In all honesty, there are only 3 players who’ve been up to standard this season. Leno, Aubameyang, Lacazette. Nobody else on this team can look themselves in the mirror and say his been close to what’s required for a club like arsenal

pierre lacapeppe
pierre lacapeppe

martinelli

215Arse
215Arse

I don’t care who’s coaching this lot because they’re a bang average squad. The middle of the park is a joke. Luiz is finished. Xhaka is always just going to be average. Guendozi is the new Elneny, aside from a few stand out performances. Willock isn’t ready. The back line is so flawed. Chambers looks like my sister could out run him, and Kola can’t defend. Moustafi is always capable of mistakes. Ozil can’t function in the PL unless he’s given oodles of space. The whole squad is a heap of over valued talent apart from a few names. Speaking of which, Auba and Laca will be gone next year, and then we’re really fucked. And unlike Liverpool, our owners won’t spend the necessary funds to right the ship.

A P
A P

My, aren’t you an optimistic POS.

215Arse
215Arse

That’s easy. Explain to me what you’re seeing if your opinion differs.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

We’d be bottom 3 without Leno. I was happy to see us on the front door though. We can’t expect miracles after 1 game.

Hopefully though, he drops Luiz and Mustafi. Mustafi doesn’t play badly in the Europa or the cups, but simply can’t handle the Premier League. Luiz doesn’t get tight due to his lack of pace. Great with the ball but just can’t defend. Perhaps this (if everyone is fit -not easy to choose the CBs all options are not good)?

Leno
Bellerin Holding Sokratis Tierney
Chambers Torriera
Willock or Guendouzi (or Ozil for home games against ‘smaller’ opposition?)
Pepe Auba Martinelli

I think we’ve got to choose between Laca and Auba for balance. Martinelli must get starts now. He shines every time I see him. He was on for two minutes yesterday and almost set up a goal with his closing down and tenacious attitude out on the left, followed by a good run and ball into the box. He must play or we could lose him. Pepe because if we want a £72m singing to come good he has to play. And he provides balance in the above line up. Chambers and Torriera to shield the poor defence and let the from 3 do their thing. Willock/Guendouzi/Ozil (whoever plays the more advanced MF position) and the full backs (one at a time) can also join the attack when we go forward.

Balance is the key. We’re just trying to fit the big names into the side ‘because big names’.

It won’t work. Again..balance is key.

But good luck Freddie, we’re all behind you.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Modern football is played with such intensity in the premier league that individuals are often targeted or patterns of play identified whereby forced mistakes can be produced.

The data driven recruitment since 2017 which gives us exceptional players in some respects but with some real (often obvious) issues in other respects is an American Billy beane baseball style of recruitment tacked onto football. With some very similar fundamental flaws in thinking very much reminiscent of the fundamental flaws in our ability to resist an opposition press or pattern of play.

Just to be devil’s advocate to the popular opinion at the moment, perhaps Emery isn’t as bad as we all thought and Wenger was as in decline as we thought, but the fundamental leadership from the top which allows the club to be run with such fundamental flaws. With no ownership of them or attempt to make a real change having admitted their own mistakes.

Isn’t this what people are most afraid of from owners such as the Glazers or the Ashleys.

It isn’t unrecoverable, smart owners like those at Liverpool (who firstly promote smart governance instead of short cuts from the fashionable playbook of moneyball) see value in taking over from belligerant, disconnected owners like the Hicks to turn them around with smart talent aquisition with a unified focus.

Ozenal
Ozenal

The point is that rather than hope the next manager can bring a string of results to give us some hope. Perhaps we can just improve the governance of the club so we can have a good foundation to give whichever manager who comes in a platform to showcase their talents.

That’s the way we can attract a Nagelsmann or Ten Haag. Or keep a Mislintat or bring in a Monchi.

Ozenal
Ozenal

A good start would be for Josh to have some decent authority without having to send an executive team to USA everytime we need to make urgent critical decisions.

Perhaps having someone permanently based in London, and if Josh can’t do that then he should appoint someone who is clearly best in class to oversee executive decisions

We look at Leicester and feel Rodgers is great, but they have a track record of performance going back to before their title winning season. They HAVE a foundation, owners who genuinely care and are at the club, know everyone’s names, engage with all the staff and promote good PROPER governance of the club.

TO THEM IT ISNT A PART TIME OVERSEAS JOB.

Flavoured Rice

One thing that stuck out like a sore thumb for me was just how bad our midfield is. It’s one of the worst midfields I’ve ever seen. It’s all sideways sideways sideways. There’s no bite to it, no cutting edge and certainly no drive.

I feel sorry for any manager that inherits this midfield mess. Having said that, Freddie made some bizzare decisions substitute wise that left me very disappointed. Pepe just needs to be left to run at people. It’s not rocket science.

Relying on a kid to make a difference just seems naive. I hope the board are proactively searching for a replacement. Because Freddie, for as much as I love him, probably isn’t that guy to take us forward.

Hesselini
Hesselini

You do realiser this is not fifa right? Based on what do you believe that the players he chose were wrong? And more importantly, who would you play? Seeing that the result would probably be the same.

Flavoured Rice

I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. What is realiser? You speak about as good English as Emery did

DaDude

Based on my 28 years of experience as an expert for ancient Sumerian language, I believe he wanted to say the following.
“You do realise this is not fifa right? Based on what do you believe that the players he chose were wrong? And more importantly, who would you play? Seeing that the result would probably be the same.”

Hesselini
Hesselini

Im just saying man, who would you play In this case? Most likely you’ll come to the same conclusion. The players who are feeble minded are still there man. No changing it. P.S. Im not English im Dutch 😛

Dave M
Dave M

Yeah, that is why I cannot understand why we don’t just run with:
Torreira (DM) – Douzi (Box-to-box) – Willock (AM) for a while. Sure they’re gonna make mistakes, but at least they can learn together. They are our future. And that is exactly what the midifields of teams like Norwich, Bournemouth, Leicester, Wolves, Sheff Utd have done – some promising young players given a run to develop together and it has shown. They are strong teams with promise because their young guys have been given chances and belief. What is the alternative?! The same tried and tested mediocrity that got us to where we are?

Hesselini
Hesselini

Some people actually believe that just because Emery is gone, that there are a new set of players as well. Come on you guys, who will be to blame now? The same weakminded players are still playing. Nthing is going to change that! They do not act as a unit and that is the problem.

Martyn
Martyn

Thank goodness for Leno and Auba! Without these two players the situation would be worse. What I can’t understand is why a club like Arsenal have not addressed the right back position. Whilst Bellerin has been out it seems that players are just put into that position just to make up the numbers. Chambers is not a right back. Maitland Niles is not a right back. Also, surely it hasn’t gone unnoticed that our midfield players don’t score goals anymore. The balance of the team is so poor but, as much as I like Freddie, a new experienced manager, who can address the glaringly obvious shortfalls in this team, is absolutely essential if we are to avoid mid-table obscurity and make real progress. Let’s end putting square pegs in round holes!

PTAFC

Shame he’s got a crap defence and midfield in front of him