Survival of the fittest

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Firstly, a happy Tuesday to you all and welcome to a brand new season. I hope you’ve all been behaving yourselves this summer. It’s felt like a long break without the Arsenal – plus ca change – even with the welcome appetiser of a World Cup to enjoy, along with a trip to see Pete in NYC – I can confirm he is still a complete tart.

Nonetheless, I can rarely recall anticipating the start of a new season with such fervour as this one, as a full stop was placed at the end of the Wenger dynasty and a new era begins (I’m reluctant to denote it as the ‘Emery era’, as I’d be flabbergasted if he – or any future manager – sustains a reign to match Arsene’s).

A perfect amuse-bouche for the season curtain raiser was a tour of the Player Performance Centre at London Colney last week, followed by a presentation and Q&A. An assembled group of London-based football journalists and Arsenal bloggers were invited to the training ground as part of the club’s push to enhance club and press relations. Whether this was lip service or otherwise, the whole experience was exceptionally revealing and whilst there will be ongoing concerns around player personnel and tactics, any perceived worries over the players’ physical preparation should be fully alleviated. This is a genuinely world-class operation, and one that is geared up to succeed.

My over-riding takeaway from the event was there is a tacit (and fair) acknowledgment from Arsenal that they are not going to be able to compete financially with the petro-clubs; however, we can try and steal a march with marginal gains around player physiology, psychology and analysis.

The tour was led by the impressive Darren Burgess (Director of High Performance), along with Gary O’Driscoll (Medical Director) and Chris Morgan (First Team Senior Physiotherapist – recently poached from Liverpool); along with Sean O’Connor (Training Centre Facilities Manager). Sean has worked at the club for the best part of two decades and his passion and love for Arsenal was infectious.

Rather than provide lengthy paragraphs and prose, I’ve summarised the key points from the afternoon, which hopefully makes it slightly more digestible than my usual stodge (plus there’s a fair few facts and stats):

The facilities

• Investment in the training centre in the last two years totals £17 million

• The club now employ 250 staff on the performance side. The greatest attributor to this has undoubtedly been in analysis

• The club boasts the largest crypto-chamber in the UK at a cost of £160k

• The players are stat-obsessed – they take it incredibly seriously. In the gym there are boards that are updated after every match with ‘top-3’s’ for a number of metrics, such as most sprints, maximum acceleration, distance covered and total sprinting distance

• The general facilities are – as you would expect – outstanding and cutting edge. Be it the indoors 40 metre running track, or the 3D body analysis room for post injury analysis, it really is an amazing environment

• The small details make all the difference too – the changing areas and whole building are flooded with natural light whilst corridors are lined with iconic images of Arsenal legends and iconic moments

Darren Burgess

Further to the tour, a 30-45 minute presentation and Q&A was given by Darren Burgess. The key takeaways were:

• The club wants to be more open and relationship driven, including with regard to player injuries and fitness

• There are now 31 full-time medical staff at the club

• The club has hired data ingenue and Candy Crush guru Mikhail Zhilkin to provide the analysis for the vast swathes of data that’re recorded

• The club are constantly monitoring and assessing the players’ fitness – to paraphrase, every training session is a fitness test

• The key focus area is around player resilience, which is tailored to Emery’s desire for high-pressing and constant movement

What was abundantly clear from both the tour of the facilities and the subsequent presentation from the team, is that whilst Arsenal could certainly be accused of letting standards drop on the pitch over recent years, they haven’t given an inch off it.

The improvements are incremental and ongoing, but the club has made both the physical investment in facilities, coupled with hiring the best experts from around the globe to build on marginal gains and create the best possible platform for the manager and his coaches.

Most tellingly, it was made clear that the players have been receptive to the heightened importance placed on physiology and conditioning. Whilst it may mean more time in the gym or in recovery sessions, they buy-in to the practices and believe it can enhance performance.

A big thank you to Darren Burgess and his team for their time and insight – the above only skims the surface of what was garnered.

Man City and looking ahead to Chelsea

I’m not going to wade too deep into Sunday’s game – Pete covered it off nicely yesterday, but a few observations:

• The main positive was how we pressed as a unit for the majority of the game. The results were mixed, but there was a clear change from last season – the distance run by the team exceeded any distance we covered last season

• Ramsey came in for a lot of stick – as he so often seems to – but watch the game back. He was outstanding at leading, or ‘triggering’, our front-line press and most of the times that it bore fruit was a result of his industry

• The issue with this approach is that it leaves Ramsey as one of the furthest two players forward (often the most advanced), which prevents him from hurting opponents with his unique skillset – namely his ability to break into the box from deep, often unchecked

• Ozil undoubtedly had a poor game, but similarly to Ramsey, the role he was playing was never going to allow him to weave his magic. His position on the wing meant he spent large swathes of the game as an auxiliary right back to support Bellerin, and crucially, he was not in positions to hurt our opponents

• Aubameyang also looked isolated. With Ozil too deep and Ramsey too advanced, he didn’t have the benefit of arriving support to play off

• Our success, or otherwise, this season depends largely on getting Ramsey and Ozil into positions on the pitch where they can hurt opponents. This set-up didn’t achieve that in this game – but, it’s Man City who aren’t a fair barometer of how we will shape up against more forgiving opponents (who are pretty much any team in the last decade of the Premier League)

• Cech made some excellent saves – undeniably – but if Emery wants to set out the side to build from the back, Cech is not the man for the job. That being said, it should be of concern that our £25 million German international hasn’t convinced the coaching staff that he is good enough to usurp the helmeted veteran, who’s best years are clearly far behind him

Chelsea

• For Chelsea, I’d be setting up slightly differently. Whilst our defence didn’t cover themselves in glory on Sunday, very little was expected of them. Of more concern was our inability to get our star-studded attack firing

• If you look at Klopp’s Liverpool (pre-Van Dijk and Allison), he has clearly taken an approach that has shoe-horned all of his best attackers into the team and creating a platform for them, accepting that their defence is not top tier

• I sense we are in a similar situation. Our defence is highly fallible, but our attack is high calibre and that’s the part of our game we need to optimise (appreciate this feels a bit like a Wenger-throwback!)

• Aside from bringing Monreal into the side (fitness permitting), I would be drafting in Torreira and Lacazette for Saturday teatime for Guendouzi and Mkhi

• Guendouzi did *okay* against Citeh – his attitude was outstanding, he never hid and always wanted the ball, but his defensive naivety (which is completely to be expected at this embryonic stage of his career) was brutally exposed by Silva, Sterling et al. and with Jorginho and Kovacic in waiting at Stamford Bridge, I would be plumping for experience

• Mkhi shouldn’t start big games for Arsenal. In my view, he is a talented stat-padder versus dross, who looks lightweight and ineffectual against our immediate rivals. I’d have preferred the money for Alexis….

• Xhaka had a poor game on Sunday, however I’d be interested to see him with Torreira who – in theory – should prevent Xhaka having to play on the turn so much, which he clearly struggles with

• To get the best out of our four main attackers, I’d have a diamond with Torreira at the base with Xhaka sitting deep alongside Ramsey (with licence to roam) and then Ozil at the tip in a more conventional number 10 role; behind a front two of Auba and Laca

• Our two front-men’s synergy is obvious and their best spells in Arsenal shirts have been when they’ve dovetailed together.

Sorry it’s been a long one – thanks for sticking with me. Until next time.

Follow me @BeardofPires

387 Responses to “Survival of the fittest”

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  1. Dissenter

    Mustafi was the better center back on Sunday, not Papa.
    We can’t have a situation where the best CB is Mustafi.

    Papa showed his maturity and no-nonsense approach though.
    There was a professional foul he gave away that our Wenger-defenders would have allowed Aguero to run at Cech.

  2. Ishola70

    Vic

    I was not one of those who wrote him off as some others have done on here.

    Said that he had some good characteristics but others that were a bit worrying and it was a wait and see signing.

    And that’s still the case for me wait and see.

    But I wasn’t that taken with his performance. To me it was a bit nondescript. He didn’t make an obvious error though which can maybe be good for his confidence.

  3. Dissenter

    I was one of the people [perhaps the only one tbh] that said Papa was too slow and too expensive for the price tag.
    I would have rather spent 27 million on Yerry Mina that 17 million on Sokrates, for pace, longevity and resale value.

    I hope Papa proves me wrong. He had a good quiet start on Sunday, not blockbusting but okay.

  4. Victorious

    Did you rate “big Per”?

    Absolutely!

    He joined in the summer of 2011 and formed a great partnership with Kos and he also had an immense impact in our leaking defense, I quite thought he brought out the best in Kos, he was very calm and reconciled for his lack of pace by being leggy which ensure he won last ditch tackles in 1v1 situations not to mention his leadership qualities as well

  5. NW9 gooner

    Dissenter and others who want Ramsey to be sold- just wait and see – his role will change in the next matches. With the energy he has, he will be a crucial role in the pressing style which Emery is introducing

  6. Victorious

    But I wasn’t that taken with his performance. To me it was a bit nondescript. He didn’t make an obvious error though which can maybe be good for his confidence.

    Big Papa wasn’t nondescript, he was very much effective, and took a yellow for the team in what could have been a clear cut chance for Aguero.did what was expected from him and more.

  7. Michael24

    victorious

    Obviously you didn’t watch 80% of Arsenal’s games during this period.

    Slow, ponderous, clumsy, crap positional sense, a liability to his fellow teammates, always passed the ball into pressurised areas.

    For his size, he was incapable of putting his body on the line on a consistent basis.

    Culpable for so many goals conceded over the years.

    His best game was the Cup Final against Chelsea.

    One of the worst defenders I’ve seen.

  8. HillWood

    Emery got it totally wrong on Sunday trying to play out from the back was idiotic.
    Hopefully he will realise he has to adapt depending on the opposition

  9. Michael24

    victorious

    What leadership qualities?

    Telling his teammates to go and thank the fans after getting spanked 6-3 by MC, when he was at fault for 4 of the goals conceded.

  10. Victorious

    Micheal

    Are you for real? Big Per was a major influence in us having a stabled defense when he joined, Prior to his arrival we always looked nervous and panicky in defensive situation, Vermaelen was ponderous and became a nightmare, Big Per later faded away cos of age but overall had an excellent career with uz

  11. Ishola70

    Vic

    Big Papa got overall ratings of 5/10 with the rags for the Man City game.

    Do all these journalists have a grudge against him?

    These ratings confirm that he was really note noteworthy in the match.

    But anyway at least he didn’t make an obvious error.

  12. Michael24

    The fact that “big Per” became a cult figure amongst Arsenal fans, says more about our supporters than it does about Mertesacker.

    On the flip side Sokratis looked reasonably solid.

    Long may it continue.

  13. Ishola70

    Per was influential in his first season or two and had a good partnership with Kos for a period.

    He became more of a liability the longer he was at the club.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    I thought both CBs had 6/10 games, not bad. There is not a CB around who will be helped by having Xhaka in front of them and add to that the fact City were swarming out wide because Ozil and Mkhitaryan were providing little to no cover for the full backs which is made even worse when Maitland Niles is the LB and is having a poor game.

    Looking back on it, Emery got the game badly wrong I think.

  15. Carts

    If Emery is to go safety first for the Chelsea game, then that means he needs to play to our strength and drop the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 shit. We lack the personnel for those.

    We should utilise 4-3-1-2 with either Mkh or Ozil playing as the #10

  16. Victorious

    Big Papa got overall ratings of 5/10 with the rags for the Man City game.

    Genuinely curious as to what rating the likes of ozil and Ramsey got then

    Look the whole team had a mare,I mean we chased shadows for majority of the match, don’t expect any one to be rated above 5′,maybe Guendouzi, even when he had several mistakes also, any player scoring 5/10 has the to be seen as the best of a bad bunch

  17. Michael24

    victorious

    Open it up to others.

    Was Mertesacker an excellent defender/leader for Arsenal or was he as crap as I thought he was?

  18. steve

    “but overall had an excellent career with uz”

    ___

    Lololol Mertesacker was bang average most of the time at Arsenal. Just one of many run of the mill signings by the specialist in failure.

  19. Michael24

    Ask yourself this –

    Would Mertesacker have got into any other top 10 side?

    The only reason he played for Arsenal is that Wenger was clueless when it came to the defensive aspects of the game.

  20. champagne charlie

    Per was horribly ill-suited to us imo, and Kos spent the best years of his career having to do a 1.5 mans job to cover his arse.

    Weak, non-combative, no technique, sheepish in possession. Really poor defender in my eyes.

  21. Marko

    Sokratis considering that it was City and there was a bit of a worry about him especially playing with Mustafi did alright. Can’t really fault the CB’s even though there was one incident in the first half where either Aguero or Sterling just waltz into the box and Mustafi looked like he absolutely shit himself he didn’t know what to do. It was the full backs and the midfield that were the major concern on Sunday

  22. Victorious

    Marko
    oh yeah, good we can be on same page once in while eh, even if it happens once in a blue moon, but ANYONE with a good pair of eyes can now clearly see Xhaka was a mistake,thoroughly a flawed player, with not a single outstanding quality, IF Emery doesn’t bin him immediately from the first 11 chances are that he will cost him his job

  23. Michael24

    CC

    3-0 to crap!

    Exactly CC.

    Kos had to cover for PM’s many deficiencies.

    Starting to get the idea victorious?

  24. Marko

    ANYONE with a good pair of eyes can now clearly see Xhaka was a mistake,thoroughly a flawed player, with not a single outstanding quality, IF Emery doesn’t bin him immediately from the first 11 chances are that he will cost him his job

    Stop this Vic word for word you are killing it.

  25. Victorious

    Micheal24

    come off it, Big Per was quality in his first few years with us,

    are you saying he had no leadership qualities?

    even before he was made captain, I could recall the season we played city at Etihad when Ozil and team had a shocker, and ozil wouldn’t applaud the fan base when coming off the pitch, Big Per literally tore into him like a reincarnation of Keown

  26. Guns of SF

    Darn we could have used Nzonzi. Oh well.
    6’5 does a lot of good at set pieces.

    Seville was not playing as they really wanted the 30M!

  27. champagne charlie

    Vic

    Per wasn’t quality in any seasons, he had his moments but he never ended up delivering on the promise that was hoped when signing. Take leadership to the bank on him, but he wasn’t a leader in any defensive category for the team let alone the league. Just average

  28. Victorious

    By all means have a go at his weaknesses on the pitch for which he always made up for, by his positioning, aerial prowess and ability to shield the ball.. but don’t expect anyone to take you serious when you say he was no leader.he was absolutely the best captain we had since Fabregas

  29. raptora

    Yup, Nzonzi to Roma.

    Much better player than Xhaka, although 30m is quite a lot of money. Well by the look of it, we and Roma are looking at the same pool of players. Even if on paper we should be much richer than them.

  30. Michael24

    victorious

    Read my 22:02 post.

    That’s not leadership my knowledgeable friend.

    Leadership takes place during the game, not after it.

    Even though Mertesacker scored a meaningless goal in that game, he was to blame for some of the six goals conceded.

    Ever heard of the phrase “Lead by example”?

  31. raptora

    Per deserves to be a cult hero because of that one game vs Chelsea in the FAC final. Guy had literally no minutes before that, came back from a long injury, got in the center of our defence and just played out of his mind. Everyone thought that we will lose that game and that our main weakness will be our BFG. In the end that FAC is largely thanks to him.

  32. Michael24

    victorious

    One final thing.

    Have you ever worked in a team environment?

    Just curious……….once again.

    Good night.

  33. PessimisticPat

    Watched the game again tonight and noticed a strange thing. I found myself nitpicking all non-new signings slightest mistakes,whilst I was being more lenient to any new signing.

    I think the frustrations of the last few (5) years of the Wenger era still reside in me and I was aiming that at our players.
    Now as I thought Wenger employed minimal tactical instructions to our squad,made atrocious selections and it was he who I blamed at the time,I feel it would be unfair going forward to criticize players based on the last few years.

    I am going to treat the whole squad as if they are new signings from here on and give them a chance to prove themselves. Come the new year I think we’ll have a much clearer idea of what players can contribute to our new style of play and which ones are surplus to requirements.

    Just my 2 pence

  34. Victorious

    Per wasn’t quality in any seasons, he had his moments but he never ended up delivering on the promise that was hoped when signing.”

    Not true, and what promise are you talking about? to lift the EPL? perhaps champions league? He contributed his fair share in our triumph of the FA cup, not sure what else you were expecting

    I mean he brought physical presence to our weak defence devoid of any character that none of our other center backs had. Standing at about 8’9”, the he was able to win headers that Monreal and others simply were not capable of contesting. His playing style was ideal for teams with more physically imposing strikers. and some of his competitive games exemplify that strength.
    The FA Cup final was a masterclass. Rob Holding and Mertesacker ran a terrific good cop-bad cop on Diego Costa. he was instrumental to our clinching of that trophy

    Certainly more than the likes of Kos, Veemaelen,and other recent CBs could achieve for us.

  35. Marko

    Arteta was much better than Per.

    Arteta was an awful captain. Did fuck all and was always getting injured. Should never have been signed in the first place

  36. Marko

    I will say this of the players signed in the aftermath of the 8-2 defeat to United (Per, Arteta, Santos, Park and Benayoun) he was the best of a bad bunch

  37. Victorious

    Arteta was much better than Per”

    Lol, now I’ve heard it all, Big Per was a leader who most of the teammates said was mean in the dressing room and had them paying fine for undisciplined tendencies

    Arteta? lol

  38. PessimisticPat

    Also whilst you are on the captain debate here’s an interesting stay for you lot, between November 22, 2014 and October 14, 2017, Arsenal went an astonishing 110 consecutive Premier League games without naming the club captain in their starting line-up.

  39. Guns of SF

    We have spoken of the lack of width, speed but lets not forget the lack of height too.
    Who is our tallest outfield player?
    6’1 Papas
    6’2 Auba
    6′ Kos?
    6’1 Xhaka

    I will say having Per and Olly in the side, helped with set pieces.
    That is why I was also hoping for Nzonzi!

  40. champagne charlie

    Vic

    the promise of him as a defender, which didn’t materialise. He was supposed to be this immovable mountainous guy who in fact was a manly legged chicken shit of a defender.

    You keep trying to equate leadership to token gestures, like rimming Ozil or collecting the fine money. Hard to take that stuff serious, he was a well liked character and that’s about it.

  41. Marko

    You keep trying to equate leadership to token gestures, like rimming Ozil or collecting the fine money. Hard to take that stuff serious, he was a well liked character and that’s about it.

    Didn’t Arteta take up the duty of collecting the fines and buy Gazidis a watch with it? Wasn’t he known to rim Ivan hence his qualification for the Arsenal job.

  42. Carts

    We could easily shift £200k p/w in wages by doing away with: Elneny, Jenkinson, Welbeck, Ospina.

    We have to be ruthless

  43. Cesc Appeal

    That Ozil deal again though, so stupid.

    The club are close to getting rid of Ospina, Elneny might be going, Campbell as well might be on his way.

    Welbeck will stay now.

    No way we’re getting rid of Jenkinson, he is totally shameless and no one will pay him £35 000 a week.

    It is a bit worrying that this is all to give Ramsey £225 000 a week and be FFP compliant.

    That would be £575 000 a week we’re giving just to Ozil and Ramsey. That is £27 600 000 a year on those two, not worth it at all in my opinion.

  44. DaveB666

    Doesn’t anybody think that Wengers tactics to let the full-backs spend most of their time in the opposition half contributed to Per having to cover so much ground and maybe not looking as good. The guy won the World Cup with Germany – not many Arsenal players can say that. Maybe having Lahm beside you helped….

  45. Marko

    Arsenal are apparently focusing on getting wages off the books, is this to do with FFP wage increases?

    If that’s so then don’t give Ramsey a new contract. He’ll just be another who’ll hamstrung the club and we won’t be able to get rid of him.

  46. Carts

    Ozil is livinggggg! Agent deserves a BAFTA.

    Jenkinson though, I mean, lol. Wenger must be his dad or something. Outrageous the kind of money he said on for doing fuck all.

    Didn’t even get a kick during preseason

    Personally i wouldn’t bother with Ramsey but even if we sold him in Jan, We’d do well to get north of £20m

  47. Alex Cutter

    “The guy won the World Cup with Germany – not many Arsenal players can say that.”

    I can think of one that’s playing right now.

  48. DaveB666

    Thats the other one 🙂 were there any others? But again my point about playing to player’s strengths – Ozil in the Geman team back then was supported by defensive midfielders who allowed him to roam and wreak havoc – a bit like when Flamini covered for Fabregas or Viera and Petit let Overmars and Parlour roam free

  49. China

    What worries me is that the club may think they need to sign Ramsey as a sign of intent to the fans – oblivious to the fact that half the fans think he’s nothing special and would rather we sold him anyway

    It happened with ozil and considering we’re in mid August and he’s still on the books it looks like Ramsey is being equally mismanaged.

    Sell sell sell.

  50. Dissenter

    Sad day for Pierre
    Daily Mail; “Steven N’Zonzi joins Roma in £27m deal as World Cup winner seals switch from Sevilla”

  51. China

    Per was mean in the dressing room and had his team mates paying fines for I’ll discipline????

    LOOOL

    I like pet as a person but that’s the funniest nonsense ever. Our entire squad was ill disciplined as hell. Bellerin insulted the fans for being annoyed with wenger. Sanchez did the same just 6 months before jumping ship himself. Our youth famously made minimal effort in training and were spending a lot of time playing on their phones. Xhaka spent the entire last two seasons with poor discipline on the field, especially his first season. Per himself openly told the world that he didn’t want to play football anymore whilst still having about 8 months left on his contract and collecting his pay cheque knowing he wasn’t gonna play

    I’m sorry but big scary per handing out fines is the most comical bs ever. During Per’s time we reached our lowest points in the last 20 years and the squad was less focused and serious than ever before under wenger. Where was per to stablise the dressing room when the entire team started mailing it in last season? What a joke

  52. Dissenter

    I think 90% of the posters here would have delivered the same opposition researchers that Arteta supposedly gave Pep.
    Ozil and Mykhi are lazy fu*ks, everyone knows that.
    Arsenal doesn’t;t have any width , every damn person knows that .

    The Metro just babbled to fill their pages

  53. Pierre

    One of the preconceptions or misconceptions on here and in the media is that because Emery is a bit more livelier on the touch line it will make Arsenal a better football team….. Not for me.

    Emery always looks a worried man to me… . There is nothing about his persona on the touch line that will instill belief and confidence in the players.. The opposite in fact.

    He is not a klopp or Conte that’s for sure so forget it if you think a bit of arm waving and pointing will make any difference.

    What will make a difference is early substitutions as he showed at the weekend.

  54. mysticleaves

    Dissenter, I don’t rate El Neny and Xhaka per say. I just know there are here for now and so I focus on their uses and try to figure how they can improve in theory. It keeps me more sane than harping on their deficiencies. And I do it for all Arsenal players.

    Infact the only staff I have ever wanted to get rid of immediately was Wenger because try as I could I never saw any uses anymore.

    As for Per. I thought he was solid for us overall. His first seasons were very good and then got worse as he stayed on. But overall I would give his career with us 6.5

  55. gonsterous

    lol why is le grove always in meltdown mode ?? sure we could have done better in the transfer window. Other than that, we look like a good team. We lost one game against city, and people start going into manager mode. I did enjoy listening to graham on Aftv and he had some positives to take from the game. I still want to wait till we have played at least 15 games under the new manager to see how we have progressed…

  56. Michael24

    victorious

    Before I set off for work, just a quick addition to our “big Per” debate from last night.

    Read @ China’s take on the matter. That my friend is what I’m talking about.

    I suppose the reason you see Per as such a fine example of a great player and great leader, is that his skills are a bit like yours.

    Pretending to act big and important when basically he was clueless.

    As for his international credentials, know your facts. He didn’t play in the QF,SF or Final in 2014. If he had, Germany would not have been champions.
    Joachim Low was not that stupid.

    Mertesackers atrocious display against Algeria was enough for Low. A very wise but easy decision.

    I’m afraid it is you who has embarrassed yourself on this particular subject.

  57. gonsterous

    Pierre

    Emery always looks a worried man to me… . There is nothing about his persona on the touch line that will instill belief and confidence in the players.. The opposite in fact.He is not a klopp or Conte that’s for sure so forget it if you think a bit of arm waving and pointing will make any difference.

    I thought it was a given that klopp and conte were a flop. conte had one good season and then came 5th and then got sacked. Klopp never instills any thing in his players from the touchlines. I think the whole fan base wants to give emery time apart from le grove where someone always has to be a scapegoat…

  58. Michael24

    Frank Mc

    Nice!

    I always looked at the expressions of the other players around him, notably Kos.

    It was like, Why am I being put in this situation? and Why the fudge am I having to do his job as well?

    It goes to show that so many supporters (ie @victorious)have no idea when it comes to the game of Association Football.

    Definitely in my top ten of Arsenal’s worst ever defenders and I’m going back to 1969!

  59. raptora

    The day that Wenger apologists are going to turn on each other is here.

    You would literally not hear a single person unhappy with Emery as a whole, but the ex AKBs. God bless that some of them have seen the light and are thinking about actually supporting the club instead of our ex manager.

    It’s weird that the same things that AKBs have flamed the rest of the fans like creating bad atmosphere around the club by being negative, that they have to “shut up and support the club”, that they won’t ever be happy no matter who is our manager. Well, I’m pretty sure that the so-called WOBs gave a lot of time and were extremely patient before they had enough of Arsene and wanted him gone. But now the ex AKBs like Pierre, are saying how Emery’s gestures on the sideline would not help, how he always looks like a worried man (coming from an AKB LOL), and how he isn’t on Klopp or Conte’s level. Only good thing he has is the ability to make early substitutions.

    How pathetic…

    People that were perfectly fine to give Wenger a good 10 years of slow but methodical destroying of our club, now shoot the gun after ONE game with Emery in charge. Fk me, how inconsistent and two faced.

    And giving Klopp as an example… Emery dwarfs anything that Klopp has achieved. Klopp’s 3 EPL campaigns – 8-th, 4-th, 4-th. What a manager!!!

  60. raptora

    All of it when the WOBs – the impatient grumpy never-happy morale destroyers – are supporting Emery and giving him the needed time for his ideas to bed in the team.

    You couldn’t make this shiet up.

  61. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pierre

    One match in an you are casting doubt an insidiously slipping in that Wenger was better.
    Leave off Arsenal an kronke had the chance to get the very best pep. But bottled it out of
    Loyalty to the thief Wenger,.

    I for one say emery needs a good length of time to turn it around.

    Get behind the club man

    That cretin Wenger had finally gone

    Good riddance to him.

  62. Black Hei

    raptora

    This AKB kind of like Emery you know. Just like I like Wenger. And if the club had appointed Arteta, I would have liked him too.

    What I am a little wary of is this transfer structure placed above Emery as well as the club’s spending in general.

    Also, I am wondering if Emery should perhaps be a little pragmatic and to prioritize performance over playing style.

    If the entire squad can’t do the Emery press, perhaps he can adapt himself to bring the best out of the team? Just like in PSG?

    That will be down to him.

  63. Black Hei

    “I’ve seen milk turn quicker than Mertesacker.”

    Didn’t do Diego Costa any good being able to turn faster in the FA Cup final.

  64. raptora

    Black Hei,
    True words. But even Pep popped in the first season and started to revolutionize everything right from the get go, fast and without hesitation. Just what Emery is trying to do. Second season Pep had a more clearer idea what he wanted and yes, he bought players, but he did change his original idea a bit – this Man City team is MUCH, MUCH more direct compared to his Barcelona and especially his Bayern team. The endless boring passing is mostly gone and instead he’s gone with much more quicker although not as highly technical players as he was using before. This shows that a manager can and has to be able to be flexible in his approach, especially when arriving in a whole new country and league.

    Still, flexibility aside, all of the managers of big teams like Pep – attacking direct passing football, like Conte – rigid wing back formation, like Sarri now – Sarriball, like Klopp – gangenpress and wild attacks, like Mouninho – defensively oriented boringho style, yes, like Wenger – express yourself style… They all come with a style that’s been working for them for years. It’s their signature.

    So I would expect Emery to try and show us his way. To take his time, and adapt to the EPL’s requirements. He will need to adapt if he wants to be successful. But he was picked as our manager because of his ideas. So let him show us what he has.

  65. Leftsidesanch

    Emery looks a worried man…, would you say the same of the lanky man who would stare at the field looking befuddled who would then sporadically complain to Bould who would just disregard what he was saying?

    Or better yet, sit there having difficulties with a zip to an oversized coat?

    Your agenda and hypocrisy is pathetic just like your name Pierre

  66. raptora

    Re the transfer structure placed above Emery…

    That’s actually my biggest concern…

    I’ve had 2 transfer windows to judge on the new power duo of Sanllehi and Sven and my opinion about their work is not good. Which in the grand scheme of things is probably an even bigger problem than who our manager is. And, to say the least, is worrying.

    I literally not like a single of their decisions bar acquiring Torreira, Guendouzi and possibly Mavropanos. I don’t like the Alexis – Mikki swap. I don’t like Ozil’s new obscene salary. I don’t like that we got another 50m+ striker when we have 0 wingers. I don’t like that we gave new contracts to Elneny, Iwobi, Chambers and Xhaka. All of them could have been sold this window. I don’t like that we didn’t sell many more average players in order to raise money for quality players. I don’t like that it’s taking them so long to come to a conclusion regarding Ramsey’s deal…

    We’ll see but yeah. Definitely more worried about the directors than Emery.

  67. KAY Boss

    Marko, I agree with u re Thomas Partey. He should be one of our midfield targets next summer to replace Xhaka/Ramsey depending on who leaves.