Arsenal under-18s head coach Jack Wilshere reflected on the narrow 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at Cobham and emphasised the need for better game management.
At halftime, we found ourselves trailing by two goals, but the team showed great character by staging a quick comeback with goals from Michal Rosiak and Josh Nichols, bringing us level. However, Chelsea managed to snatch all three points with a late goal.
Jack said: “I'm content with the team's overall performance, but we must address a recurring issue where we often dominate the game but end up on the wrong side of the scoresheet. We need to analyze why this keeps happening.
“We shouldn't have been in a 2-0 deficit in the first place. We had our chances, but we need to be more clinical in front of goal and improve our defensive organization.
However, Jack was deeply impressed by the unwavering character displayed by his team, who refused to let their spirits drop even when faced with a daunting two-goal deficit.
“I often emphasize to the team what Arsene Wenger told us: when you play for Arsenal, you never give up, even if you're 2-0 or 3-0 down.
“However, it's equally important to manage the game effectively once you've made a comeback. We should take a moment to recognize our position, be more astute defensively, and not allow ourselves to be caught off guard.
“Chelsea is a formidable team with talented players, and they capitalized on our mistakes, as they did today.”
On a more positive note, Jack was impressed with the team's style of play and the commitment to pressing high up the pitch.
“We've been working on various strategies, and the players are doing well to execute them. The next challenge is to capitalize on these high-pressure situations, especially when we regain possession, and be more clinical in the final third to secure games.
“Our upcoming fixture against Leicester at home presents an opportunity to rectify the issues we faced in this match. While I'm pleased with our playing style, we also need to add grit, dominate our opponents, and become more clinical at both ends of the pitch.”
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