Oh damn, there’s me just minding my own business on the net of inter, I click newsnow, jump in on a story about Emery using Lacazette and Auba together…
“If the ball is in play, you press. If play stops, you reposition yourself.”
“For me, the 4-1-4-1 is the system which facilitates that type of pressing. The 4-4-2 is designed more and more for zonal positioning. It’s less aggressive, but is more difficult to get past. That’s the case with Marcelino’s teams, Quique Sanchez Flores’ teams, Saint-Étienne when we last played them…
“I am not ruling out the possibility of a 4-4-2. That’s not the idea that I privilege, but if it allows me to be more competitive, then I’ll go towards it without hesitating. We sometimes used it in Sevilla. I would put Banega in a playmaker position, and have him move to the second striker position without the ball.
“With two strong, physical players behind him, it provided me with the necessary cohesion to press.
“In my case, the idea was not to win the ball back and counter as quickly as possible, but rather to equip ourselves once we had the ball. What Guardiola’s Barcelona did magnificently.
“We win the ball off of them, but those bastards always won it back. And Pep is doing it with City now. High pressure and win the ball back to start again once in position.”
Please. We’ve been in solitary confinement for 10 years trying to make something out of stickmen illustrations. Emery has just dropped in with full-on Pixar like clarity.
I wrote at some point in the last 10 years that one of my challenges with Wenger was that he was never able to explain what went wrong, you’d get more clarity from him on Japanese philosophical musings about plant life than you would about why we couldn’t keep it tight in the second half against Newcastle away with a 4 goal cushion.
I always mused, if he can’t articulate what went wrong, how the fuck is he going to solve the issue?
Therein lay the problem. The manager didn’t know what the problem was, that’s why he always tried to fix it doing batshit crazy things.
The great things about Emery is he’s going to survey the wreckage of our squad and he’ll piece together a system that works for it. I’m very interested to see how quickly he can do that.
One of the things I’ve always been told about Arsenal is that the treatment of the players is next level, they are mollycoddled to the point of rolling out the cotton wall for a post-match wrap-up. I think there’s going to be a huge shock to the collective system in preseason.
Familiar faces gone, replaced with characters who know they don’t have 10 years and the protection of Wenger. The likelihood is that every single one of the staff entering in July will be gone within 5 years because that’s just the nature of the beast these days. If Emery fails, he’ll be shipped out sharpishly, if he bosses his tenure like a hero, he’ll jump back on the merry-go-round of European football.
That short-term view means there’s no time for feelings. Hard decisions will be made rapidly, new approaches will be implemented instantly, and we’ll see pretty quickly how the squad reacts to the new regime. The first year is a free pass, Emery will likely do a lot of experimenting. He’ll have to learn the pace of the league, he’ll gain first-hand experience what it’s like to play through the Christmas fixture list, and he’ll deal with playing in a league that has more than 4 good teams.
There might have to be some harsh decisions happen early without all the data needed. The transfer window shuts on August 9th this year, so there’s very little time to get to know the squad before he makes big decisions about who to move on.
My gut feeling is he’s going to sell at least one big name player, and I have a feeling that’ll be Aaron Ramsey. I’m not sure where we’re going to spend big, but I’d like to think it’s on a keeper. Or a holding midfielder. Or a centre back,
The club is already trying to give the mentality of the setup a lick of winnertivity. Apparently we’re close to signing Swiss veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner. The 34-year-old would be coming in at reserve right back. Sure, he’s old, but he’s not here to play 50 games next season. Hector Bellerin is almost never injured, but having a legend of the game sitting behind him to coach, mentor and step in for a few games is a smart move in my opinion. Also, having a reserve right back who is a right back would be nice. ALSO ALSO, he’s come from a regime that deals in complex ideas and strict dicipline. This move might be dull, but it’s shrewd.
Jack Wilshere is talking about new chapters on his Instagram feed, his agents are hawking him around Europe and the Premier League. As much as the love story with Jack is one I wanted to continue, the cold hard facts don’t paint him in the best light. He contributed very little this season, he’s often broken, you can’t build anything around him because he’s always a moment away from a year on the sidelines. Like Santi, it’s hard to not see that there’s better value to be had with other players. Jack will be wanting £110k a week. He clocked 2000 odd minutes this season, landed 6 assists and 2 goals. That’s a pretty poor return. So good luck to him, hopefully he finds his spark again.
We’ll also be needing some experience at centre back, because Koscielny is not going to be in good shape, Per Mertesacker has retired, Mustafi isn’t good enough, and we have a whole group of very inexperienced hopefuls behind him.
Lots to do, but back to my original point, finally someone who knows what they’re doing there to take care of it all.
Also, before I go, remember this: Emery sold Soldado to spurs for £30m. #NeverForget