‘I’m not angry with the players, but with myself’ | Total Football News
It was another disappointing road trip for us on Wednesday as we were beaten 3-1 by Wolves in a blow to our top-four hopes. Afterwards, Unai Emery faced the media and discussed the defeat, the reasons for our performance and Bernd Leno’s display. Read...

‘I’m not angry with the players, but with myself’

It was another disappointing road trip for us on Wednesday as we were beaten 3-1 by Wolves in a blow to our top-four hopes.

Afterwards, Unai Emery faced the media and discussed the defeat, the reasons for our performance and Bernd Leno’s display.

Read on for a full transcript:

on what went wrong...
Good evening. First is the performance of the opposition. We started the game playing with control with the ball, with control with our positioning. Also, they let us play like that in the first minutes but when we needed to get into the box with the possibility to create chances, they defended very strongly in the box. They played with the calmness to take their opportunities and the first transitions. They had a strong plan and it was perfect because they scored in one set-piece after the first important transition against us. The match was important with how teams can start winning and after I think we lost a little in the 20 minutes after the first goal. We lost our possibility to take passions in these minutes, to recover our possibilities and our chances in our game plan. The second goal was a set-piece and another transition killed us in this moment (for the third goal) but in the dressing room we were speaking that in the second half we need to first recover our game plan and be strong in our mind. To score a goal was our first idea and after if we can take minutes of the 90 minutes we can continue our plan. The second half was different but it wasn’t enough to take some points. Generally we are now disappointed, but we need to also look at all the season and we are not in our own hands now because we lost this possibility today, but we need to prepare the best as possible for Sunday’s match against Leicester. If we win, okay it’s going to be very difficult again, but another option that we can take on Sunday.

on players losing their calmness…
But it’s not losing your calm, okay, when they scored we needed to recover quickly our positioning and the possibility in this game. But they continued feeling strong, defensively, in the set-pieces and in transitions. Maybe we need also to not, in this 20 or 25 minutes, want to recover quickly the match with the result, because we can concede options for them in their game plan. It’s transitions and the set-pieces. But I think their second half is good to recover for our game plan. But it’s not enough because the three goals were a lot for us to recover something important here in this game. But above all, we must recover our possibility, thinking of Sunday and we lost in our hands the possibility to be in the third now is more difficult and in the fourth today. It’s difficult but we can recover this possibility.

on not having a shot on target in the first half…
But they are a good team, with good structure. Defensively they are very strong and they are doing a very good season because they have good players also. We didn’t do, in the last third attacking, some difference for score in the first half. We tried but didn’t take chances to score. I think one reason is because they worked very well defensively. We needed to be more calm and we know here it’s going to be very difficult, but we need to respect them with their moments and to be calm in the 90 minutes, impose our ideas and result against them. Really, they were better than us and they worked and played more strongly in their game plan and they beat us.

on Bernd Leno…
I don’t want to speak individually about the players. I think we need to continue together and not look at one player or the defence or attacking players like a group. We need to think to recover our confidence and to recover our good moments for when we were in the worst moments. We can recover and take possibilities like we have now. Really, the last two matches we lost good options but the last three matches we are going to play in the Premier League we can and we are going to play our possibilities.

on players going straight down the tunnel at full-time…

Our supporters were amazing. They were with us, they helped us and also today they are going to be disappointed. We need to say to them, first that they are here with us, and we appreciate that a lot. After, we are going to do all to think of Sunday in Leicester, to take the three points. We need to be together - the players, the club and the supporters. We started at the beginning [with two defeats] in the first two matches in the Premier League, and little by little we came back. Progressively we are taking chances to be in the top four. It’s our target, a difficult target. We have the possibility - it’s not in our hands, but we’ll continue with the possibilities. It’s the moment to think, all these players work to have this opportunity now. We lost today, we lost on Sunday, and we are very disappointed for that. But we need to continue. We have two competitions, one is the Premier League, the second is the Europa League. That’s two ways to get into the Champions League, our objective. [We need to] continue being strong in our mentality, strong with our confidence, strong in our capacity. We are going to analyse how we can be competitive, how we can be better as a team in the [next] matches.

on if he was angry at half-time…

I usually am very disciplined with myself. I am angry with myself. We didn’t do the game plan like I wanted. I am not angry with the players, I am angry with myself. My idea and my style is to look in front and find a solution. Not to find who the player is who is playing worse or why they are not doing all we spoke about before. First I find the solution. The solution for me [now] is to think about Sunday and take the possibility on Sunday to come back with our best performance and our best competitive team for the possibility to take the three points.

on if he blames himself…

When we win, we win together, and when we lose, we lose together. In general, I think we are with the possibility to be in the top four and today we lost having it in our hands. [We need to] continue and I want to tell the players and the supporters to continue and take the opportunity on Sunday.

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
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