Arsenal capitulation at Watford on Super Sunday was like seeing a’semi-pro’ staff, states Graeme Souness.
Arsenal withdrew away the points via two defensive errors, after being 2-0 up at half-time through a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dual. Before David Luiz gave away To begin with, Sokratis Papastathopoulos tried to play out for Tom Cleverley, only of the trunk to capitalise and halve the deficit.
Arsenal have conceded seven goals in their past 3 games and Souness did not return in his evaluation of the Gunners from the Sky Sports studio.
“They capitulated in the second half, Arsenal. They did not win a challenge. You should be scratching your mind, if you’re an Arsenal supporter seeing that. It’s two teams. It’s like here’s the first team at the first half, and a second one later half-time. Proper teams do not play like that.
“Arsenal in the second half were like a semi-professional team playing soccer. That I mean they weren’t learning from the errors they were doing time and time again.”
Souness questioned Unai Emery caused Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson when leading 2-1 in the second half.
“They bring about a few kids, that was a match at which 2-1 it was time to dig in and regroup, be sure they did not lose the game, and they should’ve dropped it. When the children came on they were all over the area, it was just like a game of basketball and when you’re still an Arsenal fan, that would deeply, profoundly fear you.”
The primary goal came from Papastathopoulos’ pass from defence from a Bernd Leno aim kick, and something seen more at the Premier League this year after rules altered allowing the ball in the box to accumulate.
But Souness said Arsenal should have gone long after a sign in the first halfof the
“There are mature players in this type of defence. As a manager, you expect your players that are bigger, it does not have to be the ones, operate it out that they’re likely to concede.
“Why did the huge players never say’let’s just go long with it for 10 minutes and see where it’s us’, since persisting with it was likely to charge them, and they’re lucky it only cost one.”
Among Arsenal players Granit Xhaka, around the afternoon admitted Arsenal were’scared’ in the second half, but stated playing from the back was one of many issues, not the issue.
“That which was wrong [in the second half], we didn’t play our game, we were fearful , we know they’d push us in the second half but we have to show more personality and play, rather than be scared. You can’t offer a performance.
“We train for short target cries, naturally mistakes are here but it is not a justification. The next time we have to do much better, we must analyse and then we’ll see what happens. It wasn’t only this scenario that was an issue – it was the entire second half”
Back at the studio, Souness responded to the meeting of Xhaka by asking:’How can Arsenal be scared?’
“They’re saying that they were scared – I’ve never been scared in a game of soccer in my life. I don’t know it. In the game plan Watford dropped .
“It’s simple to play when nobody’s coming after you, in mind. I could’ve played that Arsenal group of the But the thing changes when Watford are allowed off the guide, you’re confronted with somebody who’s going through you, plus they did not stand up to it.
“Sometimes you’ve got to have one hat for a single type of game, and yet another hat for some other. Arsenal proved now they could only play one way – they can not go to war”
Speaking after the match to Sky Sports, Arsenal director Emery admits his side must learn from their mistakes, and reported the ball from goal kicks would have caused his side to lose the physical battle at midfield.
“Attempting the long ballthey are stronger than us, and they were winning that ball. We wanted to split the very first line and connect with Mesut [Ozil], like we did with the next aim.
“It had been two unique halves. At the first we controlled the game how we desired, for our errors they pushed in the minute, and we did more than we ever wanted to perform. We will need to think about how we could enhance, how we can perform.
“We can develop the mistakes and understand for the future matches. We said that 2-0 isn’t enough, and at the next half we needed to do the same work, but knowing they would do more. They did this, and we couldn’t split the lines.
“I continue with our method of functioning. We will need to enhance, take some advice from this game. We could be let down, but we learn about this.”
Arsenal visit Eintracht Frankfurt in their first Europa League group stage clash on Thursday at 5.55pm, prior to hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday at 4.30pm.
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