Ainsley Maitland-Niles has questioned Unai Emery’s tactics after Arsenal gave away a two-goal lead to draw at Watford in the Premier League on Sunday. Arsenal looked to be on their way to a routine three points against the division’s bottom club after a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace put them two goals up at the interval.
However, the Gunners were the architects of their own downfall after the break as two defensive errors led to Watford grabbing a share of the spoils – particularly the Hornets first goal, which was laid on a plate for Tom Cleverley after Sokratis Papastathopoulos attempted to play out from the back.
Speaking immediately after the match, midfielder Granit Xhaka suggested that none of his team-mates were willing to take responsibility during the second-half, but Maitland-Niles disagrees with that notion and has instead suggested that Emery’s insistence on playing out from the back was to blame. “Words can’t describe how I feel about it (the result), Maitland-Niles told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think so [that the team was scared], I think we tried to play the way we played, we should have changed it instead of being so persistent and trying to play out from the back. “We’ve spoken to each other as a team and the manager has also spoken to us. “We know we’ve done wrong, we can all hold our hands up and blame each other if we wanted to, but we’re a team and we take the responsibility as a team and be even better.”
Arsenal are back in action on Thursday when they travel to the Commerzbank-Arena to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in their opening match of this season’s Europa League.
The Gunners will then turn their attention back to the Premier League on Sunday when they welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium – a match they could do with winning after collecting just two points from their last three top-flight games.