Saturday, September 23, 2023

Leno: We can forget about trophies if we play like that

Bernd Leno has revealed the Arsenal dressing room was very quiet after last night’s 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos and has warned his teammates that they can forget about winning the Europa League if they play as badly again.

Having established a two-goal advantage in the away leg in Athens, the Gunners still progressed to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate but it was the performance rather than the result that irked the German and his manager Mikel Arteta.

“I think we suffered today and it was not necessary,” Leno told 

“In the first 15 or 20 minutes we controlled the game but then we’ve made too many easy mistakes and in the second half we conceded the goal and then everybody was nervous.

“We made it hard for ourselves and, like I said, it was not necessary.

“In the dressing room, it was quiet because everybody knows that it was not a good performance from us. We cannot change it anymore but the positive thing is that it was a warning.

“We need to be 100 per cent every game. If we play like today then we won’t reach anything this season.”

Today’s Europa League draw will plot out a potential route to the final in Gdansk, Poland on 26 May. Manchester United are the bookies’ favourites, while Ajax and Roma represent the most glamorous continental opponents. We also have to be wary of Spanish sides Villarreal, managed by Unai Emery, and Granada, while Slavia Prague and Dinamo Zagreb have dumped out Leicester and Sp*rs respectively.

Looking ahead, Leno said: “I think there are only very good teams in the quarter-finals and we need two perfect games to go to the semi-finals and two more games to go to the final.

“The Europa League is very important for us,” added Leno. “This is probably the closest way to go to the Champions League and also to win a big European trophy so we need to step up.

“We need to have the motivation to win every game, cut out the easy mistakes and go through to the final and hopefully have a big final at the end of the season.”

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Quarter Final

Granada vs Arsenal
Slavia Prague vs Dinamo Zagreb

Roma vs Man Utd
Ajax vs Villarreal

Semi Final

Roma/Man Utd vs Ajax/Villarreal

Granada/Arsenal vs Slavia Prague/Dinamo Zagreb

This is what I’d like, but United will probably get the kinder draw, and it’s written in the stars that we get Villarreal


No Man U or Ajax and we’ll be fine


why not—- if you want to win the trophies you have to beat the better teams– frankly this arsenal side is the worst in nearing 30 years in my opinion—however this man utd is crap aswell
so i dont know why people wish to avoid the more difficult teams- if we not good enough wel lose-its quite simple

arteta needs to be removed–hes a novice
and Arsenal fc are a giant of a club fast looking to become an everton if things dont change sharpish


If arteta is removed our situation will be worse the players obviously love arteta


I’d be wary of Zagreb as well. I suspect that Sp*rs thought they’d be fine (particularly leading 2:0 from the first leg).


Arsenal v Slavia Praga


We desperately need to cut out blatant mistakes that are leading to clear cut chances. Problem is we are riddled with guys with a track record of those mistakes. We need some luck to pull this off.

Nice to see some mins for Gabriel. He breathed a life into the team again with his running! Hope to see more of him.


I did a dive into Auba’s EPL data (Europ & cups too hard to find). They do point to a slip. Mostly noteably in the number of shots per goal, mins per goal and mins per assist, and even getting less shots per mins. These are telling numbers and do reflect what we are seeing; less contributions aside from goals and requiring more chances to score and not getting into as good areas (more mins per shots). Concerning numbers: __________2017/18___2018/19___2019/20___2020/21 mins______1059______2731_____3139______1853 goals______13________22_______22_________9 assist______4_________5________3__________1 min/goal____106_______124______143________206 min/assist___265_______546______1046______1853 shots_______31________94_______93_________49 SOT*_______19________40_______42_________21 Shot Acc%___61________43_______45_________43 Min/shot_____34________29_______34_________38 Shot/goal____2.4_______4.3_______4.2________5.4 BCM**_______6________23________10_________6 Min/BCM____177_______119______314________309 *SOT – shots on target **BCM –… Read more »


If we can find a buyer then Auba should go


31 year old striker on 250k a week with a less than flattering score sheet behind him this season. I don’t see many takers. Auba is with us for the remainder of his contract.

Let’s hope he finds his shooting boots again becasue before this season he was great for us.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

250K, 350K, 400K for Auba’s last contract. What to believe from the fans?


Yes, that’s the reality. Strikers do go through “fallow” spells, let’s hope he come out of his. Just about now would be great timing, wouldn’t it.


Yeh just because he has a discipline problem he should go NO he’s our best player (besides saka)

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

All the big players who remain in top top form for a long time show a perfect discipline. They come to training before everybody. For example, as soon as Hazard neglected his weight, he was finished. Unfortunately, Auba seems satisfied with his last contract. He feels like he has nothing to fight for.


I made this point last season and last summer, but as per usual people were caught up in the moment, so logic went out of the window, and all I got was a load of thumbs down and people telling me how wrong I was Past performances are no guarantee of future results Aubameyang isn’t really a No9, he’s not a player who’s involved in games, he’s an elite goal scorer who doesn’t offer anything else He’s 31, and was always going to dip physically at some point I still think he’ll bag us some goals, but last summer was… Read more »


31 though. It’s not like he’s 34 or 35. 31!! He should not be dropping off physically yet. He just needs to get his head in and starting converting chances.


I still think he’ll bag us a few goals, it’s just a lot of money to invest in a player coming into an age where athleticism usually drops off

I’d rather play with 3 highly skilled technicians behind the striker, rather than a one trick pony


Let’s not forget, we were dogshite a few months ago, flirting with a genuine possibility of relegation.
Blaming it all on Auba, especially with zero creativity in the side until Smith Rowe and Saka clicked and Auba’s personal issues this year, I would throw caution and not jump to conclusions.
After all he’s a human being and we were elated when he extended after the FA Cup win. So some perspective would be great. It could be a drop in form and we as fans should understand.

Timorous Me

Yeah, it’s very hard to know the truth of the situation, especially when you’re talking about a striker who for a long stretch in the first half of the season got barely any service. I’m very much a stats guy, but they aren’t infallible and I’d say these for Auba deserve an asterisk because any striker is dependent on getting service. Now, he’s still had his ups and downs in the second half, but the ups have been real, so I’m still unsure of exactly where he stands right now.


Well say Auba should go CHOP-CHOP


Your lucky Mustafi isn’t still at Arsenal. Last Saturday Schalke got spanked 5-0 by Wolfsburg. Mustafi scored the first with a perfect headed own goal to the top corner leaving his own keeper stranded. He then made another error leading to a goal. A walking disaster.



Scored at the Clock End

He’s not wrong.


Well say Leno, such as THE MEDIOCRE AUBA and THE GREEDY PEPE,

we want the best; SAKA & LACAZETTE

Old but Gold

I like Lacazette but he is not a prolific scorer of goals. Auba regularly gets 20+ and even now is our top scorer


Let’s sign Messi


Auba’s ball retention has always been poor and build up play but we already knew this before buying him so we shouldn’t castigate him for it. He’s body language is what I want him sold for. Just the effort is good enough. Ceballos seems to be in poor form perhaps poor run of games and high profile mistakes. Arteta needs to rotate much better. Martinelli must be so pissed. He deserves to start or be put on a sub for the last half hour to give breathers, morale and sharpness. Sometimes Arteta just seems to stumble on success. If Auba… Read more »


Olympiacos played well. Have to give them credit.

Runcorn Gooner

They were average, we were poor.

Old but Gold

I sort of agree. I thought some like Partey looked knackered. ESR wasn’t his normal self and Auba is fighting for confidence…

Runcorn Gooner

There isn’t a team left we couldn’t beat if we play well over 2 legs or a one off final.


manchester united at final would be very nervy though. While we have a good recent track record against them, but i would like to play 2 legs with them instead of final if we reach it.


Possibly, but I’m always a little wary when I read that phrase “… if we play well… . The problem is that our performance over all competitions this season has been “variable” to say the least, look at the second half yesterday. We’ll just have to wait and see which Arsenal turn up for the quarter finals.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

The previous two rounds have shown me that Arsenal can’t win it this season, and they’re not ready for the Champions League, either.
Beating poor Benfica and Oympiakos by the odd goal doesn’t give any confidence. No matter how much they seem comfortable and dominant, they will gift easy chances. There’s better teams left that will punish them.


Yes, I agree that we wouldn’t get too far in the CL. We do stand a chance in the EL but (and it’s a big one) we must sharpen up and cut out (or down at least) these silly errors that we keep making. As you say, against a “decent” team in the coming QF we’ll be up against it unless we do something about this.


You don’t have to make it so binary. They CAN win, but it’s still long odds and we absolutely need to be better.


Nice to hear some stern words. He’s right. Get f@#$%g serious lads.


Yes he is, but we have to have action to rectify these constant errors now, not words. If some players aren’t serious at this stage then perhaps we need different players.


Well said Leno more like we become “sp*rsy” if we keeping playing like that.

Jim Readings

Heard this so many times, this lot are pretty useless.


He’s right – there surely can’t be any argument about that, can there? We have to remember that we’re only into the quarter finals so there’s a way to go yet in the EL and there are some good teams left in it. If we don’t tighten up our defensive play and cut down the mistakes we’ll be out.

Adamu Muhammad Bappah

Good advice Leno

Old but Gold

At a time when the team is in transition and slowly being rebuilt, I don’t understand why people are surprised that we are inconsistent. I fear that’s how it’s going to be until the season ends.


Yes, but there’s inconsistency due to transition – new/different players, tactics etc., as you rightly say, and inconsistency due to basic, silly, mistakes that are more common than should be the case with highly paid, professional, players. There’s some of the former which is to be expected of course, but (still) too much of the latter which isn’t acceptable and which won’t necessarily change (simply through more games being played) unless action is taken as Leno suggests.


How long do we accept the excuse that we are a team in transition though? We’ve been hearing this sentiment for more or less 15 years.


Yep. Arteta had already alluded to a busy summer.


Yes, it will be interesting to see what business is done in the summer. Someone posted a long list of players we should sell, complete with the fees we should get! If only it was that easy. I doubt we’ll be able to buy to any degree without selling so it will need some clever dealing by Arteta and co. to get maximum value.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

MA is into excuses.


Not sure whether to laugh at our performance or LMFAO seing Spurs falling down like a Spud. #QuiteConfused


Let’s win this lads!!! Maybe our luck is beginning to turn around. Last night’s profligacy in front of goal could have been costly! Let’s learn from this and become more ruthless!


I reckon last night was the forwards’ revenge on our defence, who are the ones who usually let us down.

I’m also worried about Partey. His head seems to be elsewhere at present and he’s making silly fouls in dangerous areas and losing posseession too easily in deep midfield. And his shooting……!


He’s clearly not at his peak, but once again last night as soon as he and odergaard came on we controlled the game better. He’s a heck of a player, and gives Xhaka a tonne more space. He made a few mistakes, but he still drove through the middle and gave us an advantage. Even at 80% he’s a difference maker.


More happy about Spurs losing than us going through


The sour look on Jose’s face was a real treat, wasn’t it. Unless they win the League Cup, I think he’ll be on his way.


The amount of times this season someone has said “This was a warning” and “We need to stop giving away chances/shooting ourselves in the foot” in these interviews is maddening.

Perhaps if the lads spent the time they use pointing out the obvious on actually working out these frankly embarassing mistakes, we might get somewhere.

Yes I’m happy we’re through. And I’m delighted that lot aren’t. But this problem of putting ourselves under pressure is something NO other team does so frequently. What the actual F is going on!!


Yes, you’re right. As my old mum would have said, less talk, more do!


Last night was a below par performance for sure. But it was also a professional performance, where we had a cushion, and we did enough without ever being in trouble. We were never going to concede 3 goals, and could have scored at least a couple from decent chances. We were able to rest Saka and Partey, and also give Martinelli some minutes at last. It would have been nice to win, but we done enough.

Martin Harper

in the article above Leno is the worst culprit I have seen for causing problems at the back with trying to pass the ball in the area .also we need to keep clean sheets and since arteta has dropped rob holding fans mari as the 2 central defenders we have conceded goals . salvia Prague should cause us a few problems but over 2 legs I think we could just Nick it .also draw been good could be all English final pity it will be in Poland


Leno is great. No bullshit.


These players go into panic when they’re under pressure, they need tactics to calm down, breathing exercises to get grounded, whatever it takes, there are techniques to combat that. I think that some of them have a sort of ptsd after the last Wenger years, the Emery disaster and the way a lot of “fans” got on their backs. It’s getting better and they’ll find their confidence in the end, we’ve just got to keep the faith.

Billy bob

12 to 15 games left!! Let’s hope it is 15 and we play Ajax or Roma in the final – hate manure and can’t believe they are favourites!!! Just wish AC Milan had dumped them out, it would have made yesterday evening perfect!!! Btw why are manure fans so scummy?


Seems unsurprising they couldnt get up to the top level of performance after the intensity of Sunday and with a healthy lead. Good choice of game to dip a bit.


Nothing to add.

Lack of out put or clinical finish up top does not help the backline, never did.

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