5 things Emery needs to hope go his way (long read)

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It’s a mad world we’re living in fam. You have the AKBs talking about how important it is that the club wins trophies RIGHT NOW. Then you have the #WengerOut crowd preaching for calm and time.

Oh how times have changed…

I think there is a level of insincerity if people are genuinely expecting Unai Emery to drop a wonder season at his first attempt. This isn’t a man taking over a winning machine, no, he’s taking over a pampered creche of spoilt rich boys.

You have to be realistic about the targets for year one, firstly, because we’re trying to topple a well oiled and monied Pep machine, secondly, because even if Emery were Pep it’d take at least a year for his ideas to settle into the club.

Demanding a title challenge at the first attempt is fantasy living. It could happen, but it’d be a lucky fluke. This isn’t 2014, and we didn’t hire in Ranieri’s magical fairy dust. This is 2018. The money in the league has landed, there are some seriously great coaches deeply entrenched in their projects, and we don’t have much money to pull ourselves out of the mess we’re in.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see progress.

A lot will hinge on how quickly Emery and his coaching staff adapt to the language. Explaining complex systems through a translator isn’t ideal, you can pretend it’s fine, but if you’re British, and you’ve tried talking to a BT call centre in Newcastle about how to turn on your set-top box, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Emery needs to get to grips with the club, and his grasp of English pronto.

The second most important thing is that the players gel with his ideas. He’s dropping 12-hour video analysis sessions and it’s likely going to be testing for a group of players who currently rock about 3 hours of training per day (half on their phone according to the BFG). The players will be finishing their days later, they’ll likely be dropping double sessions to make up for the time they’ll have lost to the World Cup, so we’d best hope they’re down for giving Emery the grace period he needs.

The third thing we need to pray for is an easy opening set of fixtures (just like United land every year, and don’t tell me it’s a luck thing). We’ll be seeing the World Cup players returning late, they’ll have fatigue and maybe injuries. We need to hope that Darren Burgess has a plan the new crowd agree with, and we need to have a little bit of luck. It’s not just physical issues you have to deal with, occasionally, you end up with football depression, which can fuck a season. Remember when Bergkamp lost the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup? He came back a broken man…

If Emery has a shocking start, we’re in big trouble. The players will lose faith in the manager, the ideas, and there will likely be big issues on the training ground to deal with. However, if he kicks things off to a flyer, his ideas will be embraced, the players will see themselves improving, the fans will be behind the new approach and everyone is a winner. The start really is absolutely key to a great season and a successful tenure for Emery.

We need to aim low as fans though. Think about the things we really want.

A winning culture:

I want to see players fighting the full 90minutes until they look like they’re going to collapse. For the last two seasons, the squad has downed tools in February. Imagine going all out for the whole season? That’s why the club is hiring in older heads. They need to set a new tone for a dressing room in which our most important leader took over the academy. Sokratis and Lichtsteiner are all about leadership and instilling accountability in the youth (and seniors tbh). Remember, Wenger’s first years at Arsenal were built off the back of pure winners. After 2004, Wenger dismantled the know-how and never recovered it.

Having experience and know how is hugely valuable. I shouldn’t have to say that, but it’s lost on a lot of people.

A playing identity:

Did you see that video of Peru playing out the back in their warm up World Cup match? Have you seen the intricate passing of Napoli? Have you seen how Hoffenheim press? What is going to be our magic sauce? What videos are people going to be sharing about our style of play?

I can’t wait to see what Emery does to the football.


Sevilla in Klopp’s first euro cup final knew Liverpool would press the fuck out of them for the first 60minutes, then they’d fade. Emery setup his side to absorb the obvious, then pick off the scousers when they dipped. He had a plan. He executed that strategy to perfection. When was the last time Arsenal tried anything interesting? It’s been such a rare occurrence. We now have a football nerd hungry to prove he’s a better thinker than more prestigious names. That’s exciting. No one knows the line-up, no one knows the setup, no one knows the subs.

We’re about to witness a different type of philosophy.


When you have the above three, you create excitement. How are you feeling about coming to this blog? Pretty good no doubt. Le Grove is now an acceptable read. How are you feeling about the club? 100% better than you were in January. Imagine how that’ll translate in the stadium? For the first time in years, fans are looking forward to going!

It’ll be amazing!


Now, you can be an arse and demand a top 2 finish next season. Or you can look for progress on all the above items. Realistically, we need to make up 12 points. That shouldn’t be too tough. We had the 3rd best home record last season, and we only picked up 3 points away from home in 2018. That’s a fucked up points tally and not par the course.

Next season, we’ll be planning, we’ll have a young energetic manager, we’ll have people on staff genuinely trying to fix the problems and we’ll have the right blend of youth and experience in the sqaud… it’s hard to see how we don’t make up those points.

Factor in that City won’t drop 100 points again, Chelsea are in BIG trouble across the board, Spurs will have to deal with a new stadium (and Harry Kane crying about memes all the time) and United will certainly blow up under a Mourinho who is destroying morale and pissing off mega names.

This season is about top 4 and a good show in Europe, anything more is a bonus. Ignore any exAKB telling you this year is about winning the Premier League. Bitch please, you only just put your tear-drenched ‘In Arsene We Trust’ banner into storage, don’t start pretending you have the right to

Right, see you in the comments.

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Vintage Gun

Whether we get a winger or can afford a quality one is another story


Actually, Verratti does in fact sometimes play something like the holding role, so strike him as an example above. In the end, one of the problems here is the rigidity of the terms being used versus the fluidity of the game itself and the fluidity of the midfield position.


As for Gelson, appears to be exactly what we need from wing play, very quick, direct, unpredictable. Will draw the foul, will get defenders to commit. £26mm would be a very good price in todays market = It aint happening !

Buckhurst Gun

Afternoon everyone

last night I had a dream that our opening prem fixture was Man U away and we were losing 6-1 by half time

Let’s hope I haven’t developed psychic abilities


Flogging a dead horse there I’m afraid aubergine..
Gambon even thought I was being a racist for implying that Dembele was a holding midfielder which I found slightly weird.

At least that’s the impression I got.. I think maybe he had a bit of a meltdown as he was struggling in the debate so he thought he would produce the race card.
I actually think Dembele is a top quality holding midfielder, would love to have him at the Arsenal.


Think it was an attempt at humour Pierre. You know humour its that thing your grandchildren annoy you with


Just because a midfielder plays from deep doesn’t make him a holding midfielder, it’s pretty much in the name, a holding midfielder like Dier/Wanyama holds their position in front of the defence whereas someone like Dembele moves forward with the team when transitioning and supports the attack. Just because whoscored has Dembele down as having most of his games played as a defensive midfielder it doesn’t make him a holding midfielder.


ES: “On a secondary matter we keep on discussing the need for wingers. Frankly I don’t see where such a player if recruited will play.” Exactly my problem with recruiting Mikki. Not only we didn’t have a proper winger during Alexis’ stay in the club, although we at least had Alexis who was a real quality for us, now we are stuck with Mikki who is anything but a winger. In fact he is as much of a winger as Ozil and Wenger was using them two on the opposite flanks of our attack. Hopefully Emery has another interpretation of… Read more »

Danny S

A lot of people still call Vieira a holding or defensive midfielder. Not a lot of people understand what the role actually is.


Tried to explain the same thing but for some people apparently it’s okay for a holding midfielder to have 78 passes in Juventus’ half of the pitch. None of Juventus’ players had more than 10. Typical job of a holding midfielder. Holding his position in front of the back 4. In the half of Juventus. Okay.



Except that he’s not a holding mid, and now you’re just trolling.


Doublethink ” whereas someone like Dembele moves forward with the team when transitioning and supports the attack.” Spurs attack with kane, Alli, eriksen and son or lamella… Are you saying that dembele supports them similar to Ramsey supporting arsenal attack. The only way dembele will support the attack is to stay outside the box to be in a position to stop a counter attack or to keep the momentum of the attack… At no time will you see either of the spurs 2 holding midfielders, in open play, make runs into the box in support of the attack… Their job… Read more »


So Gelson Martins wanted. Bid rejected. Player may down tools at Sporting to get his move. He’s in the Gervinho mould of signing and that’s not to say he will bomb like Gervinho. Poster before says he is unpredictable. Polite way of saying rough around the edges. Sometimes too quick for his own good, Runs before putting his brain in gear. Again Gervinho symptoms. But he is very quick and direct and Arsenal lack pace in the side. But would not seen him as regular first team starter. A bit erratic to be seen as permanent first team starter. Would… Read more »


Talksport survey according to stats.

Top ten defensive midfielders in Europe… Dembele came 2nd

Top ten box to box midfielders in Europe, dembele came nowhere…. I wonder why


China My deepest condolences for your loss. If I offended you in any way, I apologise. I also have first hand experience of the affects of depression. Not disputing anything you say. Depression is a sickness that needs to be addressed, however, in a day and age where freedom to express one’s opinions, on specific subjects, is frowned upon, I still feel Danny Rose and his advisors, have not done this right. The timing of his revelations, days before the WC, in hand with his ill judged opinions last year on Tottenham’s lack of transfer activity, proves that these footballers… Read more »


Gelson Martins decent signing to give options for Arsenal attack but as mostly bench player coming on. An impact sub player.


“On a secondary matter we keep on discussing the need for wingers. Frankly I
don’t see where such a player if recruited will play.At the moment we have got on the books 6 experienced offensive players plus
Nkietah, Nelson and Aldi. They will all expect playing time next season.The club indicated some time ago that they were not looking for offensive players.”

Made a bid of 30m euros for Gelson Martins. All over the press. Portuguese press freely reporting across the board.


Spurs attack with kane, Alli, eriksen and son or lamella… Are you saying that dembele supports them similar to Ramsey supporting arsenal attack.

No because Dembele isn’t an idiot like Ramsey he rarely gets ahead of the ball and he never forgets his defensive duties. Still not a holding midfielder though. Far too many touches in the opponents half to suggest this


This holding midfielder/defensive midfielder thread has to be one of the most pointless boring debates on here… imo.

As far as Arsenal is concerned we really don’t have one and we need one… especially since Emery likes his teams to play 3-4-3 in possession and then transforms to 4-3-3 when they are without the ball.

It’s more important for the DM to be mobile, positionally aware and ideally a ballwinner so he can easily transform from defensive to attack. He’s the hinge upon this transistion operates imo.




Ishola Gelson much like Bailey and Malcom are more erratic and rough around the edges mostly due to their age but it shouldn’t take anything away from their potential and their ability to become great players. These would be good signings best not to wait until they’ve ironed out the rough parts of their game because by that time they’ll be playing for Madrid or Barcelona. Every chance we’re moving for Gelson because Malcom is off to Inter


“Spurs attack with kane, Alli, eriksen and son or lamella… Are you saying that dembele supports them similar to Ramsey supporting arsenal attack.” He supports them similar to Modric supporting Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale even though their team has way better players as in Toni Kroos (Xhaka could watch videos of him every night before he goes to sleep) – who likes to dictate game from deep, Casemiro – who is your typical defensive midfielder and Modric – who can do it all much like Dembele, as much as his smaller body size allows him to. He supports them similar to… Read more »


Whether we need a wide player or additional attacking players and whether this is on Emery’s list of priorities this summer are two entirely different questions. We definitely need better wide or attacking options, but I agree with Emirates that this is probably not on Emery’s priority list. However, in his effort to pour water on expectations here re summer signings, Emirates went a bit too far, IMO, citing the fact that Yacine Adli and Eddie Nketiah will expect to get playing time. No offense, Emirates, but I don’t give a fuck what this or that promising 19-year-old expects to… Read more »


tbf Malcom has more about him than Gelson Martins.

I think Bailey is over-rated.

Malcom is better all round technically and technical doesn’t just mean dribbling and doing step overs.


Your Comment HereThe only way dembele will support the attack is to stay outside the box to be in a position to stop a counter attack or to keep the momentum of the attack…
Unless the attack started in the opposition box then you agree that Dembele moves forward with the team in transition and supports because how else would he be on the edge of the box?
A defensive midfielder and a holding midfielder aren’t necessarily the same thing.


Need a dribbler with brains. Sane has it. Sterling has it. So we need something similar. Gervinho was hard to watch. I really think he shortened my life with some of his plays in a regular basis.


Ishola both aren’t the finished articles by any means. Gelson had double figures goals and assists last season that’s not bad


Malcom to Inter?

If that’s the case Inter get the best out of that trio of Malcom, Bailey and Martins.


I’d say Guedes is better than them all


“I’m yet to witness the supposed “world class” chief scout we’ve employed make a spectacular find.”
” It’s still,early days, I guess.”

–You’ve just answered your own question

Where was the question in my comment? You just decided to pull something out of ya arse as usual.


I have a question for you
Do you think Bundesliga experience for a central defender necessarily translates to the premier league?


Ha ha ha

Pierre is using Talksport to back up his points. Oh dear lord.

Next up – The Sunday Sport editorial on why Ramsey isn’t a good defensive midfielder.


I would say we most definitely need a wide player. Mainly because we dont have any. Its only Wenger that doesnt care about balance, merely looking to shoehorn all his favourites into a mess of a team. Last year Ozil, Iwobi and Welbeck played most of their football out wide, none of them are wide players. We also struggled to break teams down significantly…especially away from home. We tried to buy Malcom in January, have been linked with Martial, Forsberg, Gelson and some younger wide players. I would say a wide player that can score goals is as much a… Read more »


“I’d say Guedes is better than them all”

Yeah wouldn’t argue with that. His play is like a traditional winger but he can do damage inside as well. And he has better natural pace over Malcom. And over distance.


I noticed you have pulled bloggers up several times
about them never having played football at any level.?
I would be interested.
Have you.


Pierre thinks Dembele is a holding midfielder because he likes to HOLD off opposition players to shield the ball.
The due has mastered the art of shielding the ball with his body and long hands – has to be fouled to lose the ball. That must have come from Poch.


Ozil is apparently still dealing with back issues, so much so that his World Cup may now in fact be in doubt.

At least this is the talk on Twitter.

I’m not on my laptop, but someone might track down an article about this.


“I have a question for you
Do you think Bundesliga experience for a central defender necessarily translates to the premier league?”

Ah you are on about Sokratis.

No no league necessarily translates to another. It’s about the individual player not league he has come from.

Sokratis has been spoken about and he is not one that can be entirely dismissed because in his perceived weaknesses he has some positive attributes as well.

We will just have to see if his more positive and better characteristics come more to the fore than the negative ones.


This holding midfield debate. Spurs don’t play with pure holding midfielder. They play double pivot, both defensive players. Dier/Wanayama are more defensive of two. But, they don’t cover entire width of pitch tackling like Kante does or supposed lone holding player does, during defensive transition. Dier/ Wanayama fill in right side for RB to bomb forward. Dembele fills in left side for LB to bomb forward. They both don’t move ahead of ball. But since Dembele is better at ball circulating he gets on the ball more often. And since, Spurs CB’s play on the half way line most of… Read more »


Guedes would be out of Arsenal price range at this time.


The big money this window needs to be spent on a proper DM. One that is defensive minded first and foremost. If Emery uses the same tactics he employed at PSG, then the DM becomes an integral position that rolls back with the CBs at times. Xhaka simply can’t play this role.


Emery wanted to implement 4-2-3-1 at PSG like he did with his previous clubs, even played Verrati as ’10’ for few games. Players power over there means he had to play 4-3-3. I agree, we need Defensive minded midfielder, be it DM to replace Xhaka or defensive CM who is monster in interception and tackling( Torrera/Vidal etc) to play along side Xhaka.


Ishola 70 Who said that we made a bid for Martins? Arsenal FC have certainly not acknowledged it. If I believe every story about players we are supposed to be interested in or have made an offer for we would be buying 100 players this summer. You know that Arsenal have got a limited budget and I doubt that it extends to winger if we need to accommodate Aubameyang, Ozil, Mkhiraryan and Lacazette in first team with Welbeck and Iwobi sitting on bench. Then we will have to provide some game time to Aldi, Nelson and Nkietah as well. When… Read more »


” if we need to accommodate Aubameyang, Ozil, Mkhiraryan and Lacazette in first team with Welbeck and Iwobi sitting on bench.”

Just a quick note…

Aubameyang isnt a winger

Ozil isnt a winger

Mykhitaryan isnt a winger

Lacazette isnt a winger

Welbeck isnt a winger

Iwobi isnt a winger

Adli isnt a winger

NKetiah isnt a winger

Reiss Nelson prefers to play in the centre, but can play as a winger.



“I have a question for you
Do you think Bundesliga experience for a central defender necessarily translates to the premier league?”

Just to discredit Socratis…What a dumb question!


Well lots of Portuguese press are reporting.


Would be a bit strange if all of them are fabricating.

But maybe they are. Who knows.

What you think of Gelson Martins ES? And this is even if he is not signed. Gervinho MK II? lol

I’d prefer to get in a good DM than sign Martins tbh. If it was a choice of one or the other.


Arsenal are most definitely not lacking pace in their squad. For a start we have Bellerin at right wing back.

Also I think that Aubameyang is quite quick as well and you could argue that
Welbeck is also not short of pace.

The main argument for bringing in a winger has been the criticism of some that our players who play out wide apart from perhaps Ozil and Mkhitaryan
do not cross a ball particularly well.


Just imagine Arsenal counter attack with Guedes.

Arsenal do need that injection of pace for counters.

But Martins looks bench material at this time rather than in the team every week.


Welbeck has a year left on his contract. He also never gets a game in his natural position,

I doubt he will be here next year.


No good having pace though ES if most times you don’t have end product in assists and such or don’t counter at the right time and this is the case with Bellerin too many times.

Welbeck doesn’t strike as lightening quick.

This Sporting chap is very quick. Significantly quicker than Welbeck.

Guedes is quick. Stretches defenders to the limit on counters.

Never really seen Welbeck stretch defenders to the limit because of his pace.


Ishola 70

I have no opinion about Martins. I think that he is an average winger and there
are other options a lot better who can be bought for similar money.

For a start I think that Forsberg would be an excellent acquisition and as you know we have had excellent experience when recruiting Swedish players such as Limpar and Ljungberg.

Danny S


I wasn’t saying it was my opinion. I was merely stating that some people think that. In fact a lot of people do and they are very misinformed.
I’m fully aware the DM position was filled by petit and then Gilberto at arsenal.


Ishola I asked the question, obviously regarding Sokratis. If our goal was to plug the defense with an infusion of experience, don’t you think experience in the same league is important. I’ve been thinking about this. How many times have you seen 29 year old defenders come in to the league and do well. The only ones I can think of are Marcel Desailly [aged 30] to Chelsea and Laurent Blanc [mid-30s]. These experienced players walked into teams that had good experienced defenders already. Do you have any other recollections of situations where a 30 year old defender with no… Read more »


Remind me when you say something distinctive authentic.
You’re cut from the same cloth as victorious.
All you do here is snap on other people’s comments to make personal insults.
Why don’t you share something that actually drives conversation of has a semblance of meaningfulness.

KAY Boss

do we need a DM? yes! who do we sign. someone who fits into the system(s) the coach may use not one we wish w had. Simplified!!!!


Actually, it sounds more like Ozil will be left out of tomorrow’s friendly because of a bruise to his knee that he got in training, not any issue with his back. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, and it doesn’t sound like his World Cup is in question at all.

“It’s nothing dramatic, we just don’t want to take any risk … I assume he will be okay for the World Cup,” said Germany’s team director Oliver Bierhoff.


Receding Hairline

@ Dissenter If you will just relax over the 17m price tag you will begin to see some of the merits of the Sokratis signing. He suffered early last season due to Bosz suicidal idea of the way football should be played. You advocate Evans but that dude is a nervous wreck, don’t let the Man City links fool you, the only way for Evans is down. And with regards to your question, i don’t believe premier league experience matters for anything, this is a pretty average league quality wise if we are being honest. If Emery indeed has a… Read more »


“Remind me when you say something distinctive authentic.”

Hold on, distinctive authentic? WTF is that?! LoL



I’m not on my laptop…

Don’t you teach? Are you always just standing up in front of the class looking at a cellphone and posting comments about arsenal? It baffles me that you can be so active on here every single day while apparently teaching.


Being linked to Klostermann of Leipzig. 22 yo.

Can play all across the defensive line RB, CB, LB.

His profile suggests a player that can actually defend in the full back positions.

Good pace. Has a pretty good overall profile.



One, it’s summertime, so I’m on holiday. Two, when school is in session, I usually comment early in the AM prior to school or later in the evening after work. I don’t even look at my phone during the school day.

Thanks for your interest in my affairs, though. 😉


You’re a professor then? Most schools in the US go til right about now or another week, and you’ve been posting voraciously for weeks. Also, you’re in America, you can say “on vacation” not “on holiday.”

Receding Hairline

“One, it’s summertime, so I’m on holiday. Two, when school is in session, I usually comment early in the AM prior to school or later in the evening after work. I don’t even look at my phone during the school day”

Bamford you are simply encouraging this behavior

You cannot on the one hand bemoan posters bringing up what you do and on the other hand go to such lengths to explain what you do

Just ask them to mind their own personal lives and stick to football



Klostermann looks like he would be a smart signing. We could have youth and pace at both RB and LB, with more senior fullbacks there to mentor these two and play when necessary. Monreal is great, but at 32 he may be tiring.

If we are after Klostermann, though, we should sell Kolasinac, IMO.


Apparently Arsenal would see Klostermann in the long term as CB.

He’s not really been tried and tested as CB so far. Mainly RB and some LB appearances. Looks quite comfortable in the LB position.


Zfree No, I teach secondary school, and the school year has different beginning and ending dates in the US depending on where you live. Hot-weather, southern states often have school years that begin earlier and end earlier than more northern states. High schools in Florida, for example, get out in the 3rd or 4th week of May, whereas schools in Massachusetts don’t get out until mid-June. It just depends on the state. As for my word choices, should I say “soccer” here as well? After all, that’s what we call it here in the States. No, of course I shouldn’t.… Read more »



Maybe you’re right, but why is this guy even asking me these questions? Not a big deal, though. I’ll leave it.


New post.


sokrates > Evans.. please tell me even the sokrates sceptics can see this…