With Aston Villa picking up another Premier League point on Monday evening as we entertained West Ham United at Villa Park, plenty of fans will feel that with the chances that we had that the game was a lost opportunity for all three points and another win.
Although Manuel Pellegrini’s side edged possession and had three more shots at goal, they were restricted to only one effort that tested goalkeeper Tom Heaton and we had five efforts of our own that we should’ve done better with. Sadly for us, the visitors going down to ten men didn’t really work in our favour as they sat a little bit deeper and we ended up blocked at the edge of the box more often than not.
We can certainly work on better movement though in the future as we were in the right position, but not enough players gambled – and then when we had Keinan Davis partnering Wesley – we failed to put in the appropriate crosses to cause a problem.
Head coach Dean Smith was pretty philosophical as he spoke to the media following the full-time whistle, and the Independent as he knew we were still a work in progress, but he was taking the positive that chances were now more regularly being created.
“Against Crystal Palace we didn’t even create chances in the final third until the last minute, so there was an improvement on that. We didn’t take the chances we had. Is it a concern? No. I’d be more concerned had we not created the chances.”
“I’ve got a lot of new players, some of them have only played three or four games at this level. The running stats are through the roof. I can’t question my players’ attitude or effort, they’re certainly giving that. They’ve ran further and faster than West Ham but haven’t taken their chances. We needed to use our brains a bit better when we had a man advantage, instead of players trying to do it all themselves.”
Arsenal won’t exactly be a picnic next weekend as we make the trip to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but if we compete how we have done so far, and show further improvement once again, it’s not a game we shouldn’t expect to get something from.