Emery admits Southampton was little different to Arsenal’s other games – except the result

All Arsenal fans are well aware that we have had a brilliant unbeaten record until today, but we also know that we really haven’t played so well. And defensively we have only had one clean sheet in ten games, so it is perhaps quite lucky that we have gone so far unbeaten.

But Unai Emery is well aware that this game was not much different to our previous matches, but he knows it was likely to happen. He said after the game: “We could lose and we lost. In the 90 minutes we had different issues in the first and the second half. In the second half we were better with control in the game and creating more chances than them, controlling the transitions. But with a very small action they scored the goal. Also they deserve it. They played with very big motivation, with the supporters pushing. Our game today was very similar to how we have played before, but the result is different.”

Admittedly we were short of defenders, but we have hardly been impressive previously with our best back line, but Emery tried to put a positive spin on today’s defensive line up. “But I think they worked very well. It was very good news for Koscielny, a very good performance over 90 minutes. Physically, he could play the 90 minutes. Other players, like Xhaka played very well, and Lichtsteiner also. We conceded not many chances for them, but their efficiency was good. We also had chances to score more than the two goals but we didn’t score. Maybe the difference is this. The control in the game over 90 minutes is more for us than them. We need to continue improving details, because three times we conceded chances.”

WE all knew that this was coming though from our previous lucky wins when we have given untold chances to the opposition but have ended up winning. We all know the defence is a shambles and it hasn’t been helped by our continuing injuries at the back,but there has been something fundamentally wrong with our back line for a few years. I just hope Emery is aware and will do something about it very soon. It is hardly going to be fixed in just six months is it?



  1. Lucia says:

    Am sorry to say this but I have been saying this since last season. Koscielny is not the player he was for the last 2 years. Last season he was actually the worst defender between he and mustafi. I rather have mustafi than koscielny any day any time. What was that? How can a defender not know how to defend. Blame leno all you want but koscielny for me was the big culprit. Am so angry at him, thank God thus nonsense won’t repeat itself atleast sokratis and mustafi is available for spurs. Say all you want about kolasinac defending but clearly we missed his cutting edge today. Why he didn’t play a back four of koscielny monreal leichestner and bellerin was beyond me. Xhaka at centre back was criminal. I don’t know who scouted guendozi that boy was head and shoulders above every player, always positive with his play. For all to see clearly aubameyang is overrated imho he doesn’t do anything aside tap ins. He can’t bring others to play nor his passing is abysmal or his dribble, lacazzette for me is above that guy.if aubameyang doesn’t miss sitters am sure he would be above every player on goal atleast with 8 goals ahead.how many sitters has he missed? Obviously iwobi doesn’t have a future at arsenal, that guy exactly what is he supposed to be good at? Useless at best. And for ozil on a 350k a week, Wenger must be mad. I was shouting for Ramsey to come on only for ozil to enter but then we have spurs and coming back from his injury I bet emery rather risk ozil than Ramsey because am sure ozil will not be starting in that game. AMN has regressed this season maybe a loan move will do him lot of good imo because he was crap when he replaced lietchsteiner.its no coincidence that koscielny came back and we lost that is to show you what type of mentality he has. All in all am still optimism about this season, we have so much to look forward to. Emery will recognise the errors in this game and prepare better for the next game atleast. Coyg

    1. amo says:

      we have been lucky for such along time. analys out past matches. ie Everton match….etc the team is not good enough. Unai is a good manager.he needs tme.we are going to have bad matches as usual. don’t bring blind to issues in the team.for me acentral defender and amidfilder ..one who could Cary the ball forward are key otherwise forgot the top four.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Even when he was still in his prime, he was bad with offside traps

      With the aging defenders, Emery had no other options. Wait until Emery gets new players

  2. Adajim says:

    luck is part of the elements needed to survive in the game but putting our unbeaten runs down to luck total ignorance.
    The fact that the boss was satisfied with our defense shows, he didn’t expect much from them, my understanding of his remarks – the game was made to be won by attacks rather than defence, which I expected also because of our limited options at the back, but while we fed 3 cb formation with our current situation was a total oversight and a blunt error, this is why I put 50% of d blame on U. Emery today, for the past 1 month most fans have been complaining about his match day squad but because results have been forthcoming no one dare flog d issue beyond, thankfully this defeat is a wake up call, hopefully it will help us readjust.
    Having said this, player should be held responsible as well, especially our attack, we control the first 20min and the game could have been put to rest had we capitalised on Soton weak mentality, instead our attack kept on messing around, this gave opposition courage to peg us back and put pressure on our frail defense. For heaven’s sake, lacazet is wasted on the bench dude can do a 100% better than Iwobi on the left. I reckon he is more efficient than even AUBA on the wings, our coach should try 4-3-3 with lacazet -Auba-Ozil. Xhaka play better than koscielny and mustaffi would have done better than both, if you think d guy is a waste of money, cast ur mind back to his first 6matchrs in arsenal shirt. Our defense coaching needs to be reevaluated, it’s not a matter of personal, as we have seen, all 7cb we have have struggled at some point.

    1. Goonster says:

      Sorry but I have had enough of this never ending Ozil project and shoehorning. The man is a flawed fraud. With the hype his fan girls shower him you would think he is some special player in his early to mid 20’s that has taken the Epl and Arsenal by storm. The man is 30 years old and is done. If he was so horrible in his prime (mid 20’s) then how does one expect a 30 year old lazy and full of excuses Ozil to improve now?
      I have always said the guy is all talk and hype. Never rated him even if I have tried so much to be objective and look at him like his fan-base does look at him.
      He and Mkhi are absolutely nicking a living at Arsenal.

      Give Emery enough funds in the coming tranfer windows and let him introduce / buy his own prefered type of players.

      1. jon fox says:

        Never read a truer word. Ozil is like the fable of the Kings new clothes , which did not exist but only a small boy , in the fable, could see the truth which was that the King(Ozil) was stark naked(bereft of effectiveness and work rate). There are people I much respect on here who DESPITE ALL THE REGULAR EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, still simple refuse to see the naked, stare you in the face truth. Ozil is weak in character and body with the guts of an aged gnat and about as much use, despite his sublime talent(which he only shows once in a blue moon) as my cat playing in his place. At least puss runs around! Also true about Mkhi, another who hates working!

  3. ozziegunner says:

    Can Arsenal please donate that insipid turquoise away strip to a charity shop and revert to the tradition yellow and royal blue.
    If Arsenal is going to play with one up front it should be Lacazette. Aubameyang misses too many opportunities, which have cost Arsenal points this season.
    With the current injuries/suspensions to defenders, I would rather see Emery give oportunities to U23 specialist CB’s than play players out of position. Arsenal weakened the midfield by playing Xhaka out of position at CB.

  4. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Was it a back 3 defence formation that Emery had Arsenal started the match? i.e. Lichtsteiner, Koscielny & Xhaka as the back three? And Bellerin and Monreal as the 2 wing backs, but to track back to cover for the back three defence? Then Guendouzi and Torreira are the 2 DMs in front of the back three protecting it? Behind Auba’ that is leading the line are the midfield trio of Mkhi’ on the right side but who is in the center as no. 10 (none) no Ozil or Ramsey in there as Iwobi is on the left side? So, to me, it wasn’t any playing style formation starts other than the 4-3-3 that Emery deployed for the match.
    Bellerin Lichtsteiner Koscielny Monreal;
    Guendouzi Torreira Xhaka;
    Mkhitaryan Aubameyang Iwobi.
    Are these not the 11 that Emery started the match with them? If he says he started the match wit a 3 back three, then the formation must be in the order of: 3-2-4-1 but who are the 4 behind Auba’ who led the line? If it was the 3-2-3-1 formation that he claimed to have used? Still, who are the trio behind Auba’? At the present Gunners, the 3-2-4-1 and 3-2-4-1 playing formations can only be possible with either Ozil or Ramsey in the 4 behind the striker. Okay, did Emery start the match with a kind of usual playing formation style starts of 3-2-2-2-1? i.e.
    Lichtsteiner Koscielny Xhaka;
    Bellerin Monreal;
    Guendouzi Torreira;
    Mkhitaryan Iwobi;

    Well, it didn’t work against Southampton.

  5. Gunnerphilic says:

    Well said guys. It is hardly news to us that our defence is the way it is. Why was our attack held back from being the best? Why was our midfield crippled with the wrong combination of players. What was Xhaka doing in defence?

    Our usual midfield of Torreira and Xhaka supporting our biggest guns in attack would have blown them away quickly. If we start well that is.

    One of the guys in U23 could have played centre back with Koschielny. A loss of quality, no doubt, but who knows what could have resulted from giving another youngster a go at first team action?

    Auba should have put away one of those early chances, like the one Guendouzi gave him early in the game. One on one with the keeper and he still didn’t score. Harry Kane doesn’t miss many such chances.

    Our attack and the midfield setup lost that match yesterday. Other factors like weakened and depleted defence, lack of passion and wrong team set up only contributed.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  6. benex says:

    Though the selection was bad, but the players don’t show zeal, I think Emery should have deploy the 4-3-3 or 3-4-1-2 formation with Auba and Laca leading the line.
    Starting from the back, I think is time we for go koscielny producing the world class abilities we know him of, the guy is jess of the show, we really miss the partnership of Torriera and Xhaka at the middle, Though Guendouzi show class, but the lad still lack some flaws, he still have a long way to go though. Mikhi and Iwobi are just robbing Arsenal of wages, Mikhi always forget he’s on the pitch when ever he plays, can’t track back, that overrated Iwobi should be sold ASAP, the guy don’t have Future at the club. I won’t blame Auba a lot Cuz we knew he is a tap in master, but where is the ball?, our so call attackers are not helping his ministry, until we get a daredevil winger.
    Looking forward to winter transfer window, am sure the boards will make one or two correction.

  7. Well, all things considered let’s just put this defeat down to defensive depletion, our statistics at the saints, luck and generally playing away from home. I hope Wednesday we will bounce back and destroy Spurs like we did a few days ago. We will have all our real defenders and maybe only RB will be a problem. I would also like for this AMN experiment as a fullback to be stopped immediately. He needs to go back to his natural position in midfield as it cannot be good for him to be misused for an entire year as a fullback and now Emery seems to be continuing to use him out of position like the last incompetent manager was trying to do. Now he isn’t playing as impressively as he was in the beginning and soon he will be declared a deadwood or not ready for the team. Finally, Koscielny is past it, has been for a long time. I was of the opinion he would only warm the bench for France if he was called up to the world cup and I still think so. I have never trusted him ever since his 2 comical blunders versus Birmingham city and Atletico Madrid costed us trophies and subsequently a place in the champions league this year. Now we have had to suffer through painfully boring Europa league games because of him and then he comes back and 3/3 goals scored it’s his fault. Can’t even look at Koscielny’s face anymore!

  8. Nick says:

    What do you expect it is the boards fought they have to back emery in the trancefer market he needs a lot more money otherwise we will be a cup team .two or three trancefers if the stingy board bac him .. we will see

  9. Vish says:

    Ozil needs to be sold, he might still fetch some value. Slows the play down like hell.
    Torreira, Matteo and Xhaka are going to get even better under Emery. Let’s not forget that the former 2 are pretty young. Also Xhaka is NOT a back 4 player.
    Iwobi shows spark but sometimes he is like a headless chicken that Gervinho was. But no matter what he is better under Emery than Wenger.
    We will miss Ramsey’s engine and his knack of being in the right spot at the right time.
    Lacazette needs to start. He is being brought on as an impact sub almost in all the games. He is much more versatile than Auba.
    Auba needs to finish these chances/sitters because that’s the only job he has. He can be out of the game for 70 mins and suddenly have 2 tap-ins. He needs to be more clinical.
    Aisley Maitland Niles should start getting more chances now.
    Kolasinac is our most dangerous wing back because his crosses are atleast of value unlike Bellerin who just speeds away and then gives an awful cross. Plus Kolasinac is physical.
    Koscielny is done. I would anyday prefer Mustafi and Sokratis over him. Sad about Holding. He showed great promise before his injury.
    Monreal is okayish but it getting old. Lichtsteiner too, but he has that energy.
    Mkhi is too casual when it comes to tracking back/defending. As an attacking midfielder also he isn’t that good. I so wish Arsenal had bought Shakiri when they had a chance. What a steal he has turned out to be at Liverpool.
    Leno is good. Please lets support this chap. He has made some amazing saves.
    Emile smith rowe needs to be given a little more chances now. Its time now.

  10. Sue says:

    What a difference a couple of weeks make… from the euphoria after thrashing the spuds to this….?
    Although I’ve calmed down, I’m still gutted…. now I’ve got to go to work & listen to the Liverpool fans going on about how great they are & how they’re going to win everything (except the carabao cup) ? not like they’ve got Stevie G to slip up this time is it!! Urgh ?

  11. Grandad says:

    The need for quality defenders has never been more apparent than it was yesterday when Emery strangely decided to employ a three centre back system when our 3 recognised centre backs were not available for one reason or another.I would have thought the late injury to Kolasinac would have encouraged him to play a flat back four with Monreal at left back.To play Xhaka out of position was asking for trouble and Redman soon exploited the space around him.I feel sorry for Koscielney for having to make his comeback without proper defensive support.Lichtensteiner is dire and Xhaka will never be a defender.In practical terms Koscielney was culpable for the three goals with Leno assisting big time for the third.Until we make upgrades throughout the back four we will continue to hover outside the top four.The poor quality of our defenders is the reason we lost the match.All the vitriol directed at Iwobi in particular is deplorable and without foundation.

  12. Tissiam says:

    here we go one loss and the bashing starts,a run of 22 games unbeaten must have hurt a lot of you!!people have a short memory forgetting that we have a new manager whi,s been here only for few months,apart the few players he bought he inherited WENGER,s squad,and also for yesterday game we had a depleted team in case you haven,t realized we are over achieving look at manure 3 or 4 seasons since Ferguson left,3 different managers,over 360 ,millions spent and look where they are and more importantly the way they play and the bad atmosphere inside snd all around the club!so please stop all this negativity and give the manager time to implant his methods and buy new players and get rid of those he doesn,t want and this time around I know a good few will go,in the meantime support him and the team no matter what until the better days.COYG!!

    1. jon fox says:

      Bravo and well said. Some fools on here can not see that Emery has so far, worked wonders, especially with all the defensive outfield dross left behind by the appallingly complacent, complicit and non defence coaching/ organising WENGER.Even now I still awake each morning thrilled that the old dinosaur is at long last gone, even though many years too late. To keep this way underpar squad in a proper race for fourth place is little short of a miracle. Had WENGER BEEN IN CHARGE WE WOULD BE WAY DOWN THE TABLE, unmotivated, uncoached, disorganised, shambolic and in decline,and still without a DM(WHAT A TOTAL DISGRACE) as we had been for many , many years under the old dinosaur.

      1. Lance says:

        JF, there you go again abusing people for holding a different opinion from you. And Admin appears to acquiesce and does nothing to caution you.

  13. RSH says:

    emery will need to ditch back 3 ASAP. I really hope he puts Lacazette up front, and he should play Ramsey over Ozil whenever he gets the chance. One of those players has 6 assists this season and it’s not who you think.

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