Unai Emery has expressed his concern at the fact Arsenal have made a habit of surrendering two-goal leads. The Gunners led Crystal Palace last weekend by two goals to nil before eventually drawing the game and they were two goals ahead at Anfield twice on Wednesday before eventually crashing out of the competition.
“We are also working to improve defensively, when we are winning 2-0 it’s not normal to draw.
“We deserved to win, but OK we can also speak about the referee’s decisions last week, but that match has finished now, and we are going to focus on tomorrow, on improving.
“It’s a different team, they also have very good players, and also they are strong offensively.
“And I hope we can manage the 90 minutes imposing our gameplan. This is a new challenge for us and I am excited to play tomorrow and if you ask me where do I want to play my matches?
“At home, at home with our supporters because we feel strong with them.”
Defending, an ongoing issue
A leaky defence has been a problem at the Emirates Stadium for years and the problem stretches back to the days of Arsene Wenger but the statistics show that under Emery, the problem has worsened. Since Emery arrived in North London the club have signed five defensive players (Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Kieren Tierney, David Luiz and Sokratis) but there has been no sign of improvement, which suggests this is a tactical issue.
The manager has settled on a back four this season but in his attempts to find a quick fix, the 47-year-old coach often reverted to a system which incorporated three central defenders at various points last season. The ill-discipline of Arsenal’s midfield has been a well-documented issue and it’s difficult to ignore the impact their imbalance has had on the back-four.
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss has identified that his team are particularly weak in the transition but finding the balance is key because at the moment his obsession with staying in the right shape and rigid patterns of play is also having an impact offensively. Arsenal have already conceded 14 goals in their opening 10 Premier League games this season, that’s just one more than at this same stage last season so it may not read like a disaster, but it certainly highlights a lack of progress in this area.