Leno: The problem? We didn’t take our chances

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Bernd Leno lamented Arsenal’s failure to convert their few chances as the Gunners crashed out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage following a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Villarreal.

Needing a goal at the Emirates to put the pressure back on the Spaniards, the best Mikel Arteta’s side could muster was a couple of attempts against the post by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Tonight’s failure pretty much ensures Arsenal won’t play European football next season; the first time that will have happened since 1995/96.

Here’s what the German had to say he faced the BT Sport cameras…

On the feeling in the dressing room…

It’s very quiet. A big disappointment because the target was to reach the final and win the Europa League. Now that’s not possible anymore.

On what was the difference tonight…

The problem was that we didn’t take our chances. Overall, we were the better side. Only the first half in Villarreal we played not on our level and that was enough to beat us.

On some players not being at their best…

Maybe. Like I said, in the first half of the first leg, we weren’t at our best. In the second half in Villarreal and today, we put everything in but it was not enough and not good enough.

On young players being too inexperienced…

Maybe, in the semi-final experience is very important. in some situations you could see that, but this is no excuse. In Villarreal and today, we had more than enough chances to go through. We need just one goal and if it’s just from a set piece or something else, it doesn’t matter. I think it’s too easy just to say it’s experience.

On a message to the fans…

It’s very hard for all of us. For the fans…we are just sad. Hopefully we can make next season better than this season. The season is not finished just yet, we have four games and we have to show, especially for our fans, that we fight for this club, that we all love this club. This is all we can do.

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DB10

Yup – that was the ONLY problem mate

Takeshita

How about Arteta, is he not the problem? nobody seem to ask that question to Leno. Arteta has managed a. To turn Partey into Emanuel Frimpong in less than a season. b. To spiral down from 5th to 11th c. To drive a young promising defender like Saliba to the verge of exit. d. Our academy lads most of them will leave due to lack of playing time. e. To mis-manage our young Brazilian starlet Martinelli in favor of his favorite – Willian. Can we continue with a coach who on the positive side has won as an FA Cup,… Read more »

Francesc

We can give him one more season. Feels like Auba, Luiz, Partey, Bellerin, Willian don’t really buy into what Arteta wants to do.. Laca seems to do but unfortunately he wasn’t there

Rohin Garg

You are fucking delusional – nobody, not even Arteta seems to have a clue what he wants to do. Just because someone looks suave and says the ‘right things’ in press conferences does not mean they are tactically adept. On most metrics we are worse than we were under Emery, yet you lot seem to be content with that.

Gunnerbear

Give him nothing. He should be gone by Monday.

Takeshita

Mate, we are a mid table team who fought relegation threat for a significant number of weeks this year. How low you want us to fall before you realize that we have a deluded manager, deluded Technical Director & of course those silent wankpots Kroenke & Sons? Keep in mind 1 thing in terms of skillset this squad is head & shoulders above what AW had to manage for 15 years. It is just that it is haphazardly managed from top to bottom. If AW was shown the door for being poor(& quite rightly so) MA is piss poor(Or find… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

Why should they?

He seems to want the team to play stilted, safe football,where the team creates two chances all game.

I don’t know why anybody should buy into that.

goonerrah

Always remember Willian said : When I talked with the manager he told me why he needed me for three years. It was that he first wanted to qualify for the Champions League and win it by the time I left. That was what I wanted to hear.

Johnny 2 Bad

Shows how deluded the guy really is

SB Still

I remember someone saying something about exploding. Was it about the fans anguish?

SB Still

Villarreal and Emery deserved it.

Our effort, tactics, excuses didn’t deserve to go through to the finals.

LEFT08

And Kroenke got what he deserved. Next year it could be relegation, which is exactly what his running of the club should lead to. He will soon find out football is not just any business.

Hank Scorpio

The funny thing is, Emery and his team didn’t need to do much at all to secure passage to the final.

Frank

You need chances there to take. I saw Chelsea miss a host of chances last night, all far better than those we made this evening, but they made so many good chances that they went and scored a couple

Danger Mouse

They made so many chances that even Werner managed to score.

Ben

probably because they spent about 250 million pounds on attacking talent, let alone £140 mil on two goalkeepers in the last couple of years..

Frank

Yeah but they were playing Real Madrid in the champions league, we were playing Villareal

Donkeson

All these talk about experience is becoming something else. That is why we are in this position cos for a full season we’ve relied on experience players who kept on disappointing and that’s why we discarded our good players all in the name of experience. I’m sure we’d be better with Saliba in defence instead all those Luiz and co. I’m sure if Martinelli was given a chance he’s been deserving including today through the middle, we’d be better or at least give them the experience everyone is talking about. This season been all about Luiz, William, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Xhaka,… Read more »

DB10

Yup and at least been exciting

Ealing

And improve the market value of the youngsters

Goonerink

letting in a goal between your legs from next to the goal doesnt help either bernd

El Mintero

Sell this prick and let him find his next “adventure” or whatever the fk he said last month.

Santori

We barely made that many chances. when you generate so little chances, you run the risk of not converting the few that you have. And we play a ridiculously rigid over methodical system. Half the time we are playing in our own box passing around our 6 yard box. You don’t score playing there if anything you’d concede. When we transition forward, Leno has no one to send it to. Players are too slow moving up field or presenting themselves. We take 4 or 5 touches to get the ball to where it has to b rather than 1 or… Read more »

Santori

Hope Good Ebening goes on to win it over United.

The ex-manager who was not good enough then has bettered the current so called genius.

Ancelotti who took over at Everton around same time with issues at that club now punching above us (Never mind far more frugal outfits like Leicester, West ham and Villa)…yet some still bleating on about this “not being Arteta’s team’.

Down and down we go.

Mentalista

Once again this “enough chances” bullshit. The worrying part is it seems the players have been brainwashed by Mr. Eloquent. Even Leno who you’d think was one capable of throwing a controversial comment or two. Senior players are weak. No one dares coming out and saying we weren’t good enough and Villareal looked in control at all times. Maybe that’s why Guendouzi was frozen out…

Dave

Pretty sure it was because of an altercation with Sokratis and generally behaving like a child but just make up your own narrative; why not?

On the right path?

Deluded to think we lost because we didn’t take our chances… we lost because we created poor chances and too few of them.

El Mintero

Guendouzi?!! Oh yeah soccer deluxe boy currently lighting it up in the bundesliga…not…hertha can’t get rid of him quick enough…petulant overrated dressing room destroyer who will never wear the Arsenal shirt again and rightly so.

Dave

What chances?

Shedzy

The two which got the post?

Naked Cygan

Arteta will be sacked tomorrow.

Gunner08

Then we’ll probably make another stupid decision like hiring mourinho, this isn’t just arteta’s fault

Gunnerbear

Who knows JM might just be the chaos the team needs. It’s way too cosy in the dressing room.

Merlin’s Panini

Mourinho’s off to Roma. Thank fuck. I hate to say it cos he’s a creepy weirdo but I’d take Rodgers right now. He wouldn’t want to come to us now though, would he. If he doesn’t want to go to Sp*rs he definitely won’t want to come to Arsenal. Looks like Henry and Vieira have ruled themselves out by associating with Daniel Ek (not that they’re good managers either). I hate to say it but Benitez is probably the best we can do now.

El Mintero

No he won’t and he doesn’t deserve to be. Fkn man up and deal with the years of decay the Kroenkes have saddled us with.

SarcasmB0t

He won’t.

The Kroenkes don’t care and Edu doesn’t have the balls to recommend it to them.

Gunner08

The problem? We don’t care. And we don’t play like we care. This team needs to find an identity. Our failings are collective and this season is one dumpster fire after another. We don’t have one problem we have a whole lot of them. Don’t blame kroenke, don’t blame mikel(actually blame him a bit), don’t blame willian. This is the entire organizations failure.

meletios

I(think) am posting for the first time this season and just wanted to make few observations of our season so far. If we dont score and win the game, then clearly we did not create enough chances(as the term ‘enough chances’ seem to crop up in almost every game we play and it does my head in) Arteta should not be given a free hand, when it comes to buying players, he clearly needs help when it comes to new signings. Arteta is also becoming very “moany” off late, stop producing excuses and then saying its not an excuse, you… Read more »

Armchair

I’d say the club needs to stick with Arteta for another year–though if team effort is a problem, then usually the coach is problem.

Mentalista

Quality post but I’m not sure what mistake we made with Unai (#9). Was he sacked to early or too late? Or do you mean not signing the players he wanted? (Zaha, Banega). People have been calling for Arteta to be sacked since November, when it became clear that our defensive strength came at the price of not scoring enough. The response was always that he deserved a full season. He got one and failed. Not only that but he’s doing progressively worse as months go by. The trend is downwards. The process is broken. If a restaurant serves bad… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Agree with much of what you say but Arteta needs to go. My biggest reasoning is that he seems stubborn / arrogant or maybe deluded or all of these and he just does not seem to learn his lessons. It would be a wasted season in my view.

assistantref

No, the problem was the team was set up not to make chances in the first place, because the manager had clearly told them not to go for it until the 80th minute.

Ealing

The manager was unable to see that with a one man midfield you cannot play from the back, and up the tempo. He needed to replace Xhaka with Elneny or Chambers.

Badaab

Leno taking more responsibility than the manager.

BobTheGunner

What a Sh*t season.

Marco

Yes all very disappointing and summed up our very sterile performances at home this season.No guile to break teams down and let’s face it even if we had nicked a goal one of our players and generally you can take your pick would have fucked up at the end to break our hearts .

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Stop Fans Abuse!

Cicero

He’s not wrong, but I don’t actually think we were the better side overall. Pretty much a wash and could have gone either way.

Obviously we need to be better than a side like that, but worryingly we are not.

Eazy Deezy

Is it me, or did the players not look as upset as they should be at the final whistle? Our season just crumbled into dust, and the future of the project looks more uncertain

I think it’s probably unfair and oversimplifying things to say they don’t care. But I do think we lack a winning mentality, where we view losing as just utterly unacceptable.

Francesc

Partey is not doing enough. He needs to take initiative and be a midfield leader coz we horribly lack leaders right now..

Hank Scorpio

He doesn’t have a partner in midfield. Xhaka and Partey seemed to work and then Xhaka started playing LB. At seasons end we’ll have Partey, Xhaka, Elneny, AMN, Willock and perhaps Azeez for the four central midfield roles. Beyond the first 2 what do we have in the centre of midfield? Willock & AMN can provide some drive but a) are they good enough? b) would they get a run under Arteta? Putting game time into Ceballos and even Elneny has been a waste.

Ealing

Getting loan players in has been a waste, Ceballos has cost us a lot of points, MO will he ever become Modric, if so not for us.
some loaning out has been purposeful. Willock for example (keep or sell) it’s been a good loan for him. AMN experience has been good as well, but we could have used plenty of him, guendouzi (possibly injured) and saliba out to foreign league did not make sense.

Francesc

We need more bite from the senior players – Auba, Willian, Partey, Bellerin, Xhaka. Luiz and Laca seem to be the only ones showing some bite and leadership qualities. Rest dont seem to be bothered that much.

Jarghs

Wrong of the interviewer to dig out young players for their inexperience. Partey put in a woeful display and he’s won this competition.

Qwaliteee

The problem, Bernd my old son, is your manager and the club’s owner.

Cobwebs

Very very clever tactics and pattern and structure are great, but don’t forget to move the ball forward as quick as possible. That’s nearly always what precedes us scoring.

SarcasmB0t

He’s right, you know.

If we’d taken all our chances, we would have won 1:0.

Joseph

Good ebening, Wankers

Merlin’s Panini

If you love the club you don’t play like shit directly after every half decent performance. It’s not just this one game. The whole season has been a confusing mess. Won 14 Lost 13 in the league. The epitome of inconsistency.

Eddy F

The main problem was a lack of midfield to control the game. Villareal controlled it and our best chances came from counter attacks and winning the ball high up. With the ball, ESR and Odegaard stayed too high up too often that they couldn’t link with Partey and progress the ball through midfield. Thus all our play went down the flanks where Villareal could easily reduce the space we had against the touchline. With no Xhaka or Luiz no one at the back could play a pass in behind their midfield and so everything went out wide. Without the ball,… Read more »

Ealing

A lot to agree with apart from Ceballos

Bergkamp2Wright

Outplayed by an Emery team. How embarrassing.

Only thing left for this season is for the fans to unite to try and get the scum ‘running’ this club gone. Massive protests every game lads.

Ever since they took over we’ve been a fucking joke of a club, nothing will change until they are gone.

Sancheezy

Bringing on Willian from the bench, who hasn’t scored a single goal in all competitions, kind of sums up our season.

Gabigol

It’s not his fault he has an unbalanced squad. But next season there are no excuses.

That’s the problem with the Kroenkes they don’t mind having a chance of any incompetence because it covers their failings

Geo

I wanted it to work with Arteta. Truly I did. I defended him. But I can’t defend him any longer. No strategy or tactics, No identity, No consistent formation or player selections. No chemistry or rarely being seen. His substitutions and timing of them are shockingly bad bordering on utter incompetence.

He is a smart dresser with a great head of hair but he is no manager. He is an actor playing one.

Santori

Leno’s been decent.

We need a back up keeper. Ryan has been tidy but for me, he is a bit short in frame.

Personally, I’d like us to look at some local lads to add to homegrown quota with Brexit but also bc there are good options IMO.

Two Gks we should consider :

1) Aaron Ramsdale
2) Sam Johnstone

Both in relegated clubs so PLENTY of practise, both reasonably young with good upside and both with good frame/height.

Santori

People like to fixate with squad deficiencies but frankly as I have mentioned through the season, we haave teams above us with far more meagre resources getting far more humble assets to perform. Arteta has not been good enough at man management. I said it before its one thing to come up with fancy tactics behind the skirt of Pep at city, yet another to get your players to execute on demand. Aside from that he has also brought in an over rigid and dour bland brand of football. In some ways I can understand it bc we were too… Read more »