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Unai Emery Says Arsenal Need to Build Their Own ‘Identity’ After EFL Cup Loss to Tottenham

Unai Emery Says Arsenal Need to Build Their Own ‘Identity’ After EFL Cup Loss to Tottenham

Arsenal manager Unai Emery was left frustrated by his side’s lack of cutting edge in their 2-0 EFL Cup defeat to bitter rivals Tottenham on Wednesday night.

Goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli saw Arsenal succumb to their second defeat in a week after previously going on a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

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Speaking to Sky Sports (via football365) after the game, Emery explained: “I think we worked like we want, like we prepared. We created chances in the first half to score but our efficiency wasn’t good for us.

“We didn’t concede a lot for them, but they have quality and they scored. The first one on one for us, Mkhi [Henrikh Mkhitaryan] had his saved. The first for them, they scored. I am happy with the performance, but not the result.

“We are doing our process, they are ahead of us in their process. We need to create our identity.”

Emery was also full of praise for holding midfielder Granit Xhaka, who was deployed in an unfamiliar centre-back role with Laurent Koscielny on the bench.

“They are helping us with their commitment, playing in a different position because the team needs them. He is helping and I am happy with him and his performance. His commitment to help us is very important.”

Prior to Wednesday’s clash, Emery’s decision to leave playmaker Mesut Ozil out of his squad left plenty of Arsenal fans questioning the German’s future at the club. After the game, Emery explained his reasoning for the 30-year-old’s omission.

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“It was tactical. I thought the players today with us were the best for this match.

“I am thinking of the match, I am not thinking about another situation. Every player is important. One I decided didn’t play, it was a tactical decision.”

Article written by 90Min #SportsIllustrated

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