Arsenal 1-1 Southampton: At least we didn’t lose,
Match report – Participant scores – Video
Effectively, at least we didn’t lose!
That the bar has been set so low is clearly a serious problem, one thing we should cope with and are available to phrases with, however within the context of our present state of affairs and one other sport through which we had been lowered to 10 males, some extent is welcome.
Mikel Arteta made modifications, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dani Ceballos, Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe all coming again in. Willian dropped to the bench for the primary time since his arrival in the summertime, and our set-up firstly confirmed us lined up in a 5-2-3 formation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again on the left.
From the beginning Gabriel, who has been one in every of our greatest performers this season, appeared a bit of off. He clattered Che Adams with an outstretched arm early on, I frightened as a result of VAR could make issues like that look worse than they really are. He was then concerned as Southampton took the lead by way of Theo Walcott (in fact), getting tight in midfield however failing to win it, and go put Theo by way of to attain with the form of end we’ve seen from him on the Emirates down the years.
All too straightforward for Southampton, and for a group as low on confidence as we are, conceding that objective had an apparent impression. The guests dominated possession, we couldn’t get close to the ball at occasions, and when we did have it we didn’t do sufficient with it. We’re far too static in possession, thus leaving the person with the ball few choices past the secure go. It’s arduous to be progressive when there’s no one to progress the ball to, and we have an unimaginable capability for making ourselves look the opposition have at least one further man on the pitch.
In the direction of the top of the half Ceballos made run into the field, turned, and dived to attempt to win a penalty when if he’d stayed on his ft he might have discovered Maitland-Niles coming in unmarked on the again submit for a tap-in. It was fascinating to listen to Aubameyang say afterwards that ‘At the second we are a bit nervous as a result of we want factors and generally we do dangerous issues’, and this was dangerous.
The Spaniard then picked up a yellow card for dissent simply earlier than the break, unnecessary and annoying as a result of we’re a group that should kind itself out from a disciplinary viewpoint. Bukayo Saka, kicked from pillar to submit week after week, confirmed Ceballos the good thing about staying upright as he drove in the direction of the Southampton field early within the second half. He saved going regardless of their makes an attempt to barge him and clatter him, performed it inside, Eddie nicked it across the nook to Aubameyang whose end was medical. His first objective from open play within the Premier League for the reason that opening day, and one Arteta hopes would be the first of many now that he’s ended that drought.
Gabriel then picked up a yellow card for a foul on Che Adams, and whereas I can’t make certain he wasn’t going to be booked anyway, kicking the ball away made positive the referee put his title within the guide. I used to be frightened, this from the live weblog:
And so it turned out. Simply a few minutes later he dedicated an apparent foul on Walcott within the centre-circle, and off he went. I do know we like him, and as I stated he’s been one of many vibrant spots this season, but when one other defender did what he did, choosing up two yellows in fast succession, I don’t assume there’d be a lot sympathy. What I might say is that I’ve to query how our set-up is such that one go from the goalkeeper to the midway line can depart this group so uncovered that our centre-half feels he has to make that form of a foul on an opposition ahead. Ceballos and Elneny had gone urgent excessive up the pitch, and there was no one to supply any safety. If Walcott had turned and received away from Gabriel, they’d have had a 3 on 2 state of affairs and that’s actually poor – particularly because it simply got here from a straight ball from the keeper, not significantly artful soccer or something.
Ceballos needed to come off as Arteta couldn’t danger one other participant choosing up a second yellow, and having been booked so stupidly, the supervisor in all probability couldn’t belief him to not do one thing daft once more. Joe Willock changed him, and we sat deep to attempt to earn some extent. It wasn’t fairly, and I do know we received a little bit of luck when Nathan Redmond hit the bar, however all issues thought-about there wasn’t a lot else we might do however attempt to keep organised and see it out for some extent.
Once you’re a group completely bereft of perception and confidence, utterly and completely out of shape, and on the verge of setting an unprecedented and unwelcome report by shedding a fifth consecutive sport at residence for the primary time within the membership’s lengthy historical past, you may’t do something however dig in and take a look at maintain on for some extent. Is it fairly? No. Is it the form of soccer we wish to see? No. Is it to this point faraway from the form of video games we used to play with ten males up to now? Sure, by a ways.
However that is now. We aren’t that form of group, we’re a great distance from being that form of group, and I can’t even start to assume how a lot harm one other defeat would have executed. It’s too early to say we’ve stopped the rot, this specific rot runs deep, however the ultimate half-hour had been about ensuring we didn’t lose and in that context it was mission achieved. Remarkably, it would even have been higher when Rob Holding’s looping, injury-time header got here again off the bar, however given the luck we received on the different finish, we can’t complain an excessive amount of.
Afterwards, Arteta stated:
Contemplating the truth that we performed 35 minutes with 10 males, we should take the purpose as a result of we confirmed some resilience and character to hold in there for therefore lengthy towards a extremely harmful group. However on the similar time we’re disenchanted as a result of we got here again after conceding the objective, we confirmed how a lot we needed it, created some conditions and at half-time we corrected a number of issues. We got here again actually robust within the sport, scored a objective after which when we had the perfect moments, we shot ourselves within the foot. It clearly made it actually arduous.
When we spoke about Arsenal not taking sufficient photographs, we didn’t imply in our personal ft. That ought to cease, it has to cease. It’s three crimson playing cards in our final 5 league video games, and also you simply can’t anticipate to win at this stage whenever you’re having gamers despatched off with that form of frequency. Gabriel now misses the journey to Everton on Saturday.
A lot has been stated about this group of late, not a lot of it good for apparent causes, and I don’t assume we discovered an awesome deal that was new final night time. So, if we’re trying to find some positives it’s good that Aubameyang scored once more; it was good to see Nicolas Pepe drift into some harmful central positions within the first half and take a shot; Bukayo Saka stays the massive silver lining to our present darkish cloud, enjoying with the form of bravery and accountability that makes you are concerned concerning the burden a 19 12 months previous is carrying; and whereas it may be minuscule, the draw provides us one thing to take into the sport at Goodison Park on the weekend.
Let’s see what occurs. Again tomorrow with an everyday Arsecast, information all through the dat Arseblog Information. Till then.