Bernd Leno Defends Arsenal Style After Watford Draw: 'We Try to Take the Risk'
Sept. 17, 2019
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has said the team will stick with its style of play despite the costly defensive errors made against Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Gunners led the match 2-0 at the break thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brace, before the Hornets capitalised on some sloppy play in the second period from Unai Emery's team to get back level.
Reflecting on the game, Leno said Arsenal will continue to play out from the back, as it helps the forward players find more space in advanced areas, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror :
"That's our style to play. We try to take the risk because if we beat the press of Watford, then there is a lot of space for our strikers.
"In the first half, we did it very well, but in the second we didn't create too many chances from playing out from the back. It is still a process we have to work on this.
"Everybody was angry and disappointed after this game. The manager is a very positive guy. He wants to be positive, and he said we will analyse this game with time. Now everybody was with emotions, very mad and crazy. But that is normal after the game. He said, 'calm down,' and then on Tuesday we analyse this game, and then on Thursday we have another game."
This is the goal that got Watford back into the game, when Tom Cleverley pounced following a mistake from Sokratis Papastathopoulos:
Per OptaJoe, since Emery took charge at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners' play has been littered with costly mistakes:
Arsenal appeared on course for a routine win at the interval; however, they were unable to capitalise on Aubameyang's finishing and were powerless to prevent Watford dominating the game in the second period. Eventually, Emery's side were fortunate to take a point from the match, with Abdoulaye Doucoure missing a clear chance for the home side late.
Overall, it was a performance to forget. Per Goal, Watford, who remain bottom of the Premier League, peppered Leno's goal with shots:
According to football journalist Tim Stillman, there doesn't appear to be a distinct theme to Emery's play:
Arsenal spent big in the summer to sign Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz, while Dani Ceballos joined on loan from Real Madrid . The acquisitions gave the Gunners' squad a balanced look, and the team should be capable of competing at the top end of the Premier League table.
However, after winning their first two games of the season, Arsenal have taken just two points from their last three.
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