Emery defiant as leaky Arsenal fail to convince again
Arsenal’s 2-1 triumph at Huddersfield was their fifth away Premier League win of the season — having won four in the whole of the last campaign — but the manner of victory suggested much improvement is still needed.
At the heart of the problem is their defensive record — Arsenal remain the only team in the Premier League without an away clean sheet.
“Defensively they are one of the worst sides I’ve ever seen in the top six of the Premier League,” former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson said.
Against Huddersfield, the league’s bottom side who had not scored a goal in eight hours and 27 minutes before Saturday, Arsenal, even with a two-goal advantage, never looked comfortable and with better finishing the hosts would have made a game of it.
Nacho Monreal was forced to clear off the Arsenal line before Adama Diakhaby nudged the ball towards goal in stoppage time and two Arsenal defenders on the line were unable to keep it out of the net.
Emery did not hide his frustration on the touchline after the late goal, but later insisted his antics were just about passion.
“We struggled every minute of the 90,” Emery said. “It is my personality (why he was so animated), if in one moment I think it is negative, I would not do it.
“The clean sheet is important but our goal is to win. The first target is to score one more goal than the opposition then a clean sheet.”
More defensive lapses, though, and Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish could be in serious danger.
REUTERS/Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond