Unai Emery, to nobody’s surprise whatsoever, believes Arsenal didn’t deserve to lose against Sheffield United despite the fact this result has been coming all season.
Unai Emery is a coward.
What else do you call a man who sends his team to defend a one-nil lead at home against Bournemouth? We’ve seen all too often from the Arsenal head coach that he is very much a pragmatist, setting his teams up to counter whatever the opposition is planning.
This is not how you pay a side like Sheffield United if you are Arsenal, it’s how you are supposed to play Arsenal if you’re a side like Sheffield United.
Still, as Arsenal went 1-0 down I commented on Twitter how I couldn’t wait to hear Emery talk about our resolve to get a draw. We couldn’t even manage, that yet here we are with him thinking we played well.
“Good evening,” he said. “Yes, we’re very disappointed with that result. There is the result, and secondly is how we managed the 90 minutes in the match.
“Really I think we created more chances than them, the better chances, but tonight we didn’t achieve the efficiency to win that match. We conceded more corners to them than we wanted, and from one they scored. Also, when they are pushing and they are taking a lot of corners, they can do that.
“We created more corners, 12 [compared to] seven or eight for them, and also we had the chances and had a very clear penalty to Sokratis. I think the VAR is for this reason, for actions like that. The first chances for us were very clear, for Pepe was the key I think because they are the team in the Premier League who has conceded the least I think, with Liverpool – seven only – and if they score the first goal, then defensively they are very strong and they defended very well.
“In the second half it was not easy to get chances, I think we controlled the ball more with possession because they conceded metres on the pitch and we had chances to score, but we didn’t achieve that goal to draw and the try to win. I think we deserved more, I don’t think we deserved to lose that match but also I appreciate their work and they are here with their supporters and with that result, they felt strong to achieve that result. But we worked, but I can say for our players their attitude was good, they tried and I think we deserved more.”
Yes, we should have had a penalty and Pepe should have scored but in a game against Sheffield United we should not be relying on the ref to save your ass (we’ll get into a discussion about VAR and Mike Dean another time).
On average, the Blades have got away around nine shots per game. We allowed them eight. We had nine. We also played seven key passes to their six. Go us!
In reality, it’s hardly anything to get excited about. This wasn’t a game against Liverpool or City. It was Sheffield United and if you’re using the fact we had more corners than them to prove why we should have won then you need to get out of this job and go manage a side like Sheffield United – if they’d even have you.