December 8, 2023

The first half appeared to be excellent, but the second half appeared to be subpar.


No, I do not believe so. It seems to me that this is just another instance of us controlling a football game without making our superiority more noticeable or preventing the opposition from winning. We were really lacking in both areas tonight, in my opinion—both in our finishing and the goals we gave up were awful.


We had some incredible opportunities. As I mentioned last week, we still have a ways to go in terms of our attacking play. For us, this is just another game, similar to the one against Villa and other games this year. We still have a long way to go, as tonight’s events served as further proof.


Is it annoying after the first half was so excellent?


If we are good, we should be up 3-0. This is about us winning football games, not about us playing good football. I have stated that from the beginning. I set teams up to win games, so our 1-0 halftime result was not good. As it happened against Villa, a strong performance would have resulted in a 3-0 or 4-0 lead. And you’ll receive what you deserve if you don’t give up on goals you shouldn’t like today.


Why does the group continue to give away leads? Is it exhaustion from having every player out?


Just like I mentioned, it takes conviction to put teams out of contention in front of goal. Just like that. Things like that could come into play if we weren’t making opportunities or if we weren’t moving. But that’s not what I see. Because fatigue has nothing to do with any of our opportunities, particularly in the first half. It has to do with not having enough conviction; right now, we’re just going through a phase where we’re supposed to be playing excellent football, but I don’t see that.


All I see is a lack of genuine conviction on our part in what we’re doing. It almost seems as though we assume the ball will enter the net on its own, but it won’t. To accomplish that and to prevent the ball from entering your net on the other end, you must possess the necessary resolve.


Is Son okay? When he came off, he appeared to be limping.


I’m not sure. I’m not certain.


What was going on with the players’ apparent annoyance towards the referee at the end?


I’m not sure. We didn’t win today, and I don’t think it was the ref’s fault.


How can you break out of this short spell?


There isn’t a substitute. That’s the role that we play. We should not waste time feeling sorry for ourselves and searching everywhere for a hug. The only way we can turn things around is to come here on Sunday and give it our all—not just by playing excellent football, but also by going out there and displaying some team spirit.


We can sometimes hide our true intentions by playing some nice music, but as I’ve stated from the beginning, that’s not who I am. The message is clear: I came to this football club because I want to win. We’re only at the beginning of what we need to create, and days like today only serve to reinforce my belief that there is still much work ahead of us. I’ve said as much from the beginning.


Did you sense that the second half would end with a goal?


No, I didn’t sense it approaching. In many ways, I was dissatisfied with how we accepted our fate. “Well, we’re winning 1-0, but we’re still playing well and dominating,” you think, but it doesn’t work out that way. When playing teams as good as West Ham, you have to put them away once you have them down; otherwise, they will continue to fight. We’re experiencing this.

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