Arsenal v Spurs – It was not the defence that cost us it was poor finishing

Last night’s North London Derby was a great display of football by both sides, but yet again Arsenal failed to take our chances. We were once again playing with Xhaka at full-back alongside Sokratis, with Monreal and Maitland-Niles on the flanks, but according to the boss Unai Emery it was not our makeshift defence that lost us the game it was the forwards’ failure to take their chances.

Emery told after the game: “Good evening. I think we worked like we wanted to, like we’d prepared for this match. We created chances in the first half to score, but today the efficiency was not good for us. We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they have good players with quality who scored. We worked for 90 minutes and in our moments we didn’t take our chances. They scored theirs. Only the first half, I think we were good on the pitch but then sometimes we needed a bit more of the ball to keep possession longer. But that’s not easy against them because they press really well. Our planned game, we worked on that. It was poor finishing.”

Then he was asked if our poor finishing or tiredness cost us? “The first one.” he relied. “We had Micki with the one on one [chance early on] and they scored with their first one-on-one. but this is football. Today I am happy with our performance, but not happy with our result. But also I think we are doing our process. They are ahead of us in this process. We need to continue creating our identity, our strong ideas to be more consistent in the games. But this is our way. Now we’ve finished in this competition and are thinking about Saturday because we have another three very important competitions, the first is the Premier League, then the Europa League and also the FA Cup. Today we finished this competition.”

So one trophy down and three to go. Considering that Tottenham and Chelsea now have to play a two-legged semi-final in January on top of all their other commitments. It may be good to have a chance to go to Wembley, but it will hopefully tire them out for their League games….


  1. Break-on-through says:

    I thought before Son’s goal, our defensive shape was actually good, they were all working. The goal was very tight, he was on but it was very marginal. Then we changed shape eventually and got bit more desperate, then we looked at sea at times. On chances it was an even enough game, we should’ve scored through Mkhit and Laca, Ramsey was really unlucky to not score as it bounced against the post. On general play, Spu wanted it more than we did, they were on top of us very quick. They paid particular attention to Guendouzi. A fair few of our players frustrated me. Iwobi, he tries to run straight through opponents, or else tries to pass the ball straight through opponents, he may as well be closing his eyes and taking a swing. Koscielny should not be at the club, he hasn’t got much at all to give. Niles often found himself in space, esp when Xhaka was hitting those marvelous balls, but he just crumbled too often. Mkhit, he actually was one of the workers early on, helping out our shape and Niles, but he needed to score that chance and after he missed, he should’ve made up for it somehow. No real composure up front for this game, the ones you wanted chances falling to, were not really getting them. Probably down to Tott’s game-plan. Anyways, we have two competitions that need our attention, move on from this as it didn’t look like we wanted it badly in any way, other than it being Tott we’d usually move on very quickly.

    1. “Spurs wanted it more than we did”. Regurgitating media rubbish I see. Emery was found out with his line up and we paid the price. Ultimately that team and possibly this entire team is not good enough to win anything, 5th or 6th is where we will rightfully finish. Nothing has changed. Was crap at defending, still are. Maybe Emery will get the funds to change but if he doesn’t then Europa is absolutely where we belong with this rubbish squad.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        You’re talking like everyone was saying that this season will be a breeze, that we’ll finish top four easy. No-one said anything of the sort, we said it will be great if he can get it. We know it will be tough. And FYI I switched off from everything football related soon as that whistle blew, I don’t know what the media were saying, I’m only coming back now. I know what my eyes saw, they wanted it more, how could you not see that. Wanting it more is saying they had a little more fight, a little more composure, and it got the job done. We have a bad week, missing a fair few players, and your blowing your load like a schoolboy. We are still after the prize we started out for, hopefully we’ll get signings yes, but nothing much has changed because we know it’s gonna be tough. What happened to the give him x amount of transfer windows, I honestly don’t know where you are coming from mate.

  2. shark says:

    I’m pretty sure that if we would have their two chances to score, we would have missed at least one of them by Mikh or Iwobi. I can’t believe that Emery had no response to Poch tactic. We need a new CB, we can’t play Xhaka there and weaken the midfield. AMN should find his best position or leave. It’s not good for him nor the club to waste him every game in other position at 21 years old.

  3. Th14 says:

    What if Mikki had scored? The complexion of the match would definately been different. You don’t blame Emery for missed chances.
    Playing Xhaka as a defender is all tactical but most fans don’t get it. His distribution from CB was superb yesterday and against Southampton. In Chelshit they have Luiz with the ability to ping a 50yrds pass from defense, in city, Laporte does it with ease, Liverpool also has Van dijk with that ability. Emery is using Xhaka to fill that void in our backline until mustaphi is fit again not just because he loves playing Xhaka out of position.

  4. gotanidea says:

    I think the players wanted to save their energy and to avoid injuries, because it is just a League Cup match

    If they don’t play with extra efforts in the next EPL games, then we can question their motivations

    The next EPL game is supposed to be an easier home game, hence it should show us which player is really good and which one is less talented

  5. GunneRay says:

    The point that a lot of fans are missing is that Emery did not have a massive budget to spend when he came in. He was also inheriting a lot of Wenger’s work. When I say work, I mean failings..

    For one, and it proved last night, Mikki is not a great player. He may be good?
    Secondly, Xhaka is a liability. He means well but put him back in midfield and we go sideways and backwards. He actually was better in defense!
    Thirdly, Iwoby is seen to be favoured over Ozil who, seems to feel he has to do as little as possible to win a game. I’m sorry, but I have put years of faith in him hoping he would return to his best. He hasn’t. Iwoby for me is hard working but again, hes not what we need to progress.

    The only players you can get in January are either problematic players or players who are out of contract! The reasons for that are obvious so you can count out any hope of getting any more great buys in the new year!!

    If we get 4th it will be a miracle. If we get 5th we will have done well. But, I see Manure going on a good run now and that’s not good for us!! 6th it will be I feel.. Hope I’m wrong. COYG!!

    1. ken1945 says:

      GunneRay, what people ARE forgetting is that Wengers “failings” actually saw us through to this competitions cup final and not knocked out in the quarter finals by the spuds!
      That was achieved without the five new signings from the summer, all lauded as players who would improve the squad.
      Also, the massive budget you refer to was not available to our previous manager either, so not sure what that means.
      Let’s start talking about the players Unai bought and how they have affected the play, plus those he chooses to ignore for whatever reason.
      AW was pilloried for playing players out of position, yet UE has yet to give Ozil the chance of a run as a playmaker to prove his worth.
      I believe UE is the right choice, but we just can’t keep using AW as an excuse for his failings.
      It’s time for him to stand on his own two feet isn’t it?

      1. Thorougly agree! One of the rare occasions that I actually agree with you Ken1945.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Quantic Dream, that’s what true debating and the exchanging of views can sometime throw up…OR…opposites do sometimes attract.
          I can’t help feeling, though, that you are disappointed that it’s actually happened but anyway thanks for the support fellow gooner!!!!

  6. sol says:

    I think the idea of WE LOST NOT COZ OF DEFENSE is senseless. we used xhaka coz of shortage of defenders which in turn affected the central park…which in turn affected our attack.Not only these but coz of lack of depth the mentality,courage and confidence of the manager and players also be affected.Hence, from the goalkeeper up to the attacker all work as a unit.A change in one part will bring about change in the other.
    A miss in the reasoning of what happen will be an obstacle to give remedies or the solutions will create other problems.
    During Wenger’s time,Ferguson was surprised by Arsenal investment on attacking players(he meant unbalanced).That is one cause and the other is bringing ineffective players.

    1. ken1945 says:

      sol, having read fergie’s views on AW in his biography, I can’t remember him saying he was surprised by Arsenal investment on attacking players but meant unbalanced players.
      Where did you get this gem of information from?

      On your second point about ineffective players, has there ever been any manager who hasn’t done just that, including fergie?

      A lack of depth? We currently have four defenders, one midfielder and one forward injured, plus two players who were sent out on loan.
      How many more players do you think we should have to cover that kind of statistical fact and do you think Kronkie would agree to it?

      1. Sol says:

        Ken 1945 I think the way you dialogue is highly professional. The evidence of A.Ferguson critics om Wenger is which was updated in 2009. When a player is brought during urgency for results I think a manager is expected to use him immiediatly.About the defenders issue I think what matters most is the quality.currently we r using two when one is injured or suspended we r short of choice.So bringing a defender during January is a prime concern. I think….

  7. sol says:

    Ken 1945 I really appreciate your professional attitude in making dialogues. the evidence of Ferg. criticising wenger is from daily mail on line which was updated in 2009.

    1. ken1945 says:

      sol, thanks for the information on Ferguson.
      If it was updated in 2009, could the original quote have been fergie having a dig at AW when they were continually having a dig at each other?
      Have to admire your memory though, and it is refreshing when someone can back up their views with facts!

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