Watching the game against Southampton last night, I thought that the Saints were the team on top for most of the first half, and in fact they had 60% of the possession at the Emirates, and fully deserved their 1-0 lead at the break, thanks to Theo Walcott’s chip over Leno.
But Mikel Arteta is under the impression that we could have been far ahead with “four or five situations” that should have led to a goal if the team had the confidence to finish them off. Arteta’s remarks came after he was asked by Arsenal.com how he could boost the confidence of his team. “Just to play with freedom and enjoy the profession as well, and to be accountable when you go on that pitch, that you do your best.” he said.
“Then there are a lot of things we cannot control. I try to protect them as much as possible and give them comfort. You see there were four or five situations in the first half where we were around the box, inside the six-yard box and we should’ve finished the action with a goal. It is lacking. In the second half Auba scored and hopefully this unlocks a little bit because that individual is a player who needs that moment. Hopefully things will change now.
“Hopefully it’s going to change everything dramatically and he’s going to score every game because this is what we need at the moment. We need the points and in order to do that, we need to score many more goals and be more efficient when we have the chances. I think it’s going to make him really good.”
We can all hope that Aubameyang’s goal will now open the floodgates, but one goal in open play after 12 hours of football is not yet proof of a return to confidence. As they say, one swallow does not make a spring, but it is certainly a start and a small step in the right direction.
You have to admire Arteta’s confidence though, even if the team doesn’t share it at the moment.