Could Arsenal have scored ‘four or five’ goals in the first half against the Saints?

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 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.

Darren N

Tags Arteta Aubameyang confidence


  1. Goal was created by 2 youngster
    Saka dancing through the challenges and provided ball to Niketiah and the hé just guided the same to Aubameyang…
    Hope MA Will learn from this and include some youngsters in starting line up along with some senior members..

    1. We have a team of young stars already, aside Leno and AUBA every arsenal player who started yesterday match were 25 or under. what youngster are you referring to? U-20?
      I bet you would be the first to put the young guys to sword if they flop.
      leave youngsters for now, this team have enough isides already

      1. Start with Willock, ESR, Balogun
        Put some trust on Saliba…
        Play Nelson on one and Pépe on other when Auba through Center..
        So you have experience and young both in same forward line..
        Play ESR as number 10 and Partey and Elneny deep line midfielder..

  2. The man is clutching at straws he knows full well that with games against Everton and Chelsea coming up he could well be on the dole by start of 2021 … Watching teams above us from Leeds on up any objective assessment of his tenure says the man isn’t up to the job yet … Oscar Wilde said some people bring happiness when they enter others when they leave … Both are true for arteta … And now it’s time to say good bye and bring in a winning manager with a footballing philosophy … A decade of tinkering has left us in a death spiral …

    1. Wildes precise quote wwas “Some bring happiness wherever they go, some whenever they go”. As a theatre man I know a great deal about sayings used in theatre and Wildes quote was, as many of his are, witty and SOMETIMES of relevance but this one is meaningless when applied to Arteta and to rely on witty sayings and proverbs as being truth is lazy thinking.

      “Sticks and stones” etc is possibly the most plain wrong proberb ever spoken, if you think how catastrophic an unkind spoken word CAN be, compared to a broken bone which usually heals in weeks. Look before you leap – he who hesitates is lost. Both cannot be true. QED!
      MA is not to blame for the last decade , I’d point out! He has not quite been hear a year as yet andalready won two pieces of silverware!

      1. Arteta needs help and can’t succeed with this monumental task alone. He needs an assistant manager who can help with the coaching and development, but has the creditability to confront Arteta when his tactics are wrong in a match.

        Arteta has been charged with too much too soon

        1. Changing the culture / mentality of the club
        2. Get back into the CL and challenge for top 4
        3. Transfer decisions / buying selling players
        4. Developing youngsters into first team players
        5. Imprinting his style of attack and defending on the team
        6. Apparently defeat cliques and player power that has presumably run off other managers.

        Honestly he is struggling in all those aspects, when he should only focus on 1, 4, & 5 as a young and inexperienced coach. Top 4 was a reach for any coach, especially such an inexperienced one.

        IMHO Edu should have addressed the cliques and player power at the club, and he’s done mostly well in transfers. Martinelli, Gabriel, Partey, & Luiz is better than our other CB’s. Willian is a huge bust, but I guess he’s entitled to that one.

      2. YAWN … I think Wilde also classified people in to charming and tedious … He wouldn’t have any difficulty locating you … Whatever the exact words … I can’t be bothered trawling the Internet to dig them out like some people … the meaning is obvious when some people arrive at a place they bring happiness others when they leave a place … Arteta brought happiness when he came to Emirates a year ago as he seemed to have the attributes for the job at hand … I certainly was happy with that decision … But I was wrong as he is palpably not up to the job as performances and position demonstrate … Willing to admit that and call for him to leave … Which would also bring happiness as watching AFC under him has become painful and endlessly disappointing … So QED
        And for a theatre lover you appear surprising illiterate … No one is blaming arteta for the lost decade just that his managerial style continues in key respects the same failing qualities his predecessors brought to the job … So even if time heals all wounds .. It doesn’t of course ….. arteta’s is up and for the future of the club we need to move on and bring in someone who knows what they are doing ..

  3. Not possible due to the our defenders’ nervous breakdown. The long clearances they made will make us lose at Goodison Park

    Arteta, the coaches and the Gunners need to increase their confidence first, before playing again. I’m sure Arteta would be successful elsewhere, but he has an almost impossible task to avoid another brain fart from the Gunners

    1. GAI, we have all seen how majority complained about our ‘play from behind tactics’
      what’s with your complaint about long ball?

      1. Adajim we don’t have any player who can do hold up play like Giroud so the best way I think we should keep playing is from the back.

      2. None of our attackers can receive our defenders’/ GK’s long clearances and sometimes they also have difficulties in receiving the ground passes from our midfielders. The Gunners must be confident in building the attack from the back and only clear with long ball if it’s impossible to play with ground passes

        As what @Lenohappy said, we can use the traditional long goal kick if we have a towering target man who can receive the ball and hold off the opposition’s CBs

  4. aside from our goal the real chance wasted was Cebalos horrible show, that was unacceptable, the others were half chances such as Pepe blocked effort and Nketia saved shot.
    Thank God he is seeing that part of our games, we need to be clinical in front of goal, we have been wasteful all season

    1. Also actually Ceballos Played it to Pepe in box and Pepe took it 1st time but it was straight at GK
      Anything on right or left then it would have been different result of that shot

  5. If there’s any fan that thinks arsenal didn’t improved yesterday then such person is just being biased, have always said it that after 4 home losses, it will take some time for us to get back our confidence it just doesn’t happen overnight so you can either decide to support the players and the coach or keep being negative. I really wanted arteta gone before the burnley match but after that match and yesterday match I see the players are still playing for him and they want to win for him, I just hope Arteta will continue with this same players against everton, I have this positive feeling that we are not going to lose against everton.

    1. It is a lack of confidence for sure and echoed by Auba himself
      I’m sure getting that goal and the team not throwing in the towel was the first big step

    2. @Lenohappy
      A draw vs Everton and we will have Brighton breathing down our necks. Am 90% sure they will beat Sheffield.

    3. But Lenohappy, you said to me you had a feeling we would beat the Saints 😂
      Don’t forget we face the (joint) top scorer – can’t believe I’m saying this – Calvert-Lewin!!! And that dirty cheating sod, who spends more time on the floor than on his feet – Richarlison!
      3 points and 3 points only 😉

  6. What we’ve ignored is the goal came when we tried penetrating with the ball on the ground, quick interchange of passes and positions not some fecking bloody crosses… Ceballos claim for a penalty as well is a similar scenerio… That goal reminded me of our beautiful football, Saka’s bravery to take on three 3 players, good positioning from Auba and Nketiah, nimble footage, one touch pass and bang in front of goal.

    1. Just what i was about to say..let us reduce those crosses and focus on the middle play and thats why we need an CAM like ozil so as to be unpredictable

      1. I fully support chuxxzy1 too many crosses reduces our scoring chances as 95% of them gets wasted,,, arsenal needs a creative attacking midfielder ,,ozil can fit the spot

  7. I have seen a lot of fans blaming Gabriel for the yellow cards yesterday that lead to his sending off. Imo opinion I think he did what needed to be done to prevent Soton any sort of chances that could lead to them scoring another goal. Aside that he got the cards away from the cb positions. Where were Mo and Cebellos, they are supposed to be the shield. if those foul didn’t happen however irrational they were it could have lead to goal especially the second because he was already beaten.Arteta hasn’t learnt from his mistakes. Allow cbs to play in cm position is recipes for disaster. We have conceded many goals like in should a situation where the cm are nowhere to be found, I mean not in position. In fact their first goal was as a result of that Mo was out of position and in his attempt to get back there and prevent the pass reaching the Soton player he bumped into Gabriel. Arteta need to station a player in front of the defense whose job is to protect the cbs and win a ball back and then pass to a player that will pass it forward. It is all about instructions. Leno said all the players in front of him do was to running around and thereby get out of position and that is what I have seen in all matches. No designated responsible for each player. In addition these players need to be taught how to win the ball back, mark and tackle. The way opponent beat us to every ball is funny and it gets even funnier when 3 to 1 we couldn’t still get the ball back.

  8. In the match I saw, we looked like a team that had thrown the towel in for most of the first half, and I am fairly sure I was awake for the whole half.
    We were second best in the first half.

  9. I could have won the lotto if I had picked the right numbers.

    I must have watched the wrong game. It was the one where Walcott scored right?

    I think that Arteta is trying to build confidence in some weird way but he says some of the most ridiculous things after games…

  10. Arteta has a good team but doesn’t just know how to coordinate those players,,,his formation of 4-2-3-1 can work best with players such as ozil(attacking mid) in the game mertineli should be included William and auba as forwards in defensive area gabi with Luiz then he should reduce crosses,,,. with that I think the result would be great

  11. Arteta has a good team but doesn’t just know
    how to coordinate those players,,,his formation
    of 4-2-3-1 can work best with players such as
    ozil(attacking mid) in the game mertineli
    should be included William and auba as
    forwards in defensive area gabi with Luiz then
    he should reduce crosses,,,. with that I think
    the result would be great

  12. What are you guys on about? If Arsenal have been missing those rare chances, other teams have been missing twice as many against us, with the exception of the Spuds who took two from two half chances and converted them.

  13. Arteta thought he has enough squad to be in top two after winning community shield. That was why he was quick to dismiss Ozil and Saliba chances in the team, now it seems those guys are hunting him.

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