Emery goes to war with Ozil, here’s how he wins

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As you know, I’ve been quite interested in Unai Emery’s attack on some of the entitlement that goes on at Arsenal. We all knew there were a few areas he was going to have address this season. Ramsey’s lack of discipline, Xhaka’s ineptitude, the overall lack of giving a fuck at Arsenal… then there was Mesut.

A sublime talent that no one in Europe would take a punt on last season, even when he was in the last year of his deal. A player who takes sick days like he’s being bullied at school. A player who floats in and out of relevance. A player who divided fan opinion at a club that was desperate for a megastar.

Yet we still gave him the mother of all contracts to avoid losing him for nothing last summer.

Whether that was CEO ego, or football strategy, one thing is for sure… right now, the deal doesn’t look like good value for money.

The big question I have sits around his power in the dressing room.

How big a personality is a bonified member of the Bling Bling Gang when it comes to the Arsenal dressing room?

I ask, because Emery really is biting off a lot of meat this season. He’s gunning for anyone who can’t work out his system, and he’s taking no prisoners. He’s imposing himself in the club at a rapid pace in order to make sure there can be no excuses for failure this season. The big question is how will the rest of the squad react?

Has Emery hedged his bets that most of the squad find his salary repugnant? Does he gather that most of the boys think he’s a bit of a passenger? Is he guessing that this sort of equality of expectations is going to stand him on good footing?

I hope so. The simple fact of football management is there is a hierarchy. There is no such thing as equality in sport. The way your position is defined in football is usually through talent. You can have a big personality, but if you’re shite, no one is going to pay attention to you. So that begs the question, how much sway does Mesut have with a dressing room that must know he’s a vital part of them getting back in the Champions League this summer? An achievement inextricably linked to their bonuses?

Mourinho is a big fan of rolling into a club and dominating a favourite. He did it to Juan Mata at Chelsea, Rooney at United, Cassilas at Madrid and a little bit of Joe Cole when he was at Chelsea the other time. He goes in, swings his dick, shows the rest of the players unequivocally who is the boss. It works when you’re Jose, because the reality is, he IS the biggest persona in the dressing room and that’s the way he rolls. Not just that, he has the titles to back his credentials.

Emery is a different breed of manager. He tried similar things at PSG in his first year, working his hardest to control big names like Neymar, and it failed. He tanked the one-horse race, then spent the second season being a bitch to the big names. He even said as much in his GFFN interview where he spoke about just letting genius be genius.

Tell that line to Guardiola who will laugh at you.

So here’s the thing, it sounds like Emery is going to war with Mesut Ozil. If he wants to make this work, he has to pray to the footballing gods the football backs up playing hardball with the number one chance creator, space maker, shadow defender the world has ever seen. Because if it goes wrong, it will impact the managers judgement.

Arsenal players knew they couldn’t oust Wenger, so working on a go-slow was never an option, but these players know there’s little connection between Emery, the fans and the board. If they want to end the manager, they can do that now.

It’s also a tough spot to be in. How much of a protest can you make with a player who costs you £1.5m a month? That sort of carryon can only go on so long, because it’ll piss off sponsors and it’ll embarrass the CEO and the new backroom team. Targetting Ozil is absolutely the correct thing to do, but it’s also the most politically charged when you think about it.

Most fans will respond like the players. I’m happy to see the manager throw his weight about, but really, the hope for me is that he inspires people like Mesut to play for him. Reality is the German was NEVER going to be able to track Jorginho, because he’s just not built that way. We’re going to have to find a role for him that he can thrive in, and one that comes with less defensive duties. It’s a chance for Emery to get creative.

Ivan Gazidis and Raul made a cataclysmic mistake spending £350k a week on a player we all knew had commitment issues… but now it’s done and we have to make the most out of it. Motivating a player who doesn’t give a fuck about Arsenal is Emery’s biggest challenge. Making him fall back in love with a game that rejected him so brutally over the last year could cement his legend early on and it’ll go a long way to helping us crack the top 4.

Let’s see where this lands…

See you in the comment, and we’ll be back tomorrow with a podcast. x

338 Responses to “Emery goes to war with Ozil, here’s how he wins”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Dissenter

    My guess is that contracts of Chambers and Xhaka were renewed to avoid the
    same mistakes that we made with Messrs Ox, Sanchez, Ozil and Wilshire where they were allowed to run their contracts to final year.

    We have a similar problem now with Ramsey where he could leave in summer on bosman.

    Yes you are right that far too many players are at club on grossly inflated wages. Changing that dynamic will take time.

  2. WengerEagle

    ‘Emery is a different breed of manager. He tried similar things at PSG in his first year, working his hardest to control big names like Neymar, and it failed. He tanked the one-horse race, then spent the second season being a bitch to the big names. He even said as much in his GFFN interview where he spoke about just letting genius be genius.’

    Have to admit that I normally skip over the post and head straight to the comments but this part stood out, Pedro going in hard.

    Not that I disagree, echoed similar sentiments when it first emerged that Emery was going to be the guy but damn, no holds barred.

    Knives are slowly being sharpened for Emery, I actually foresee it all ending in tears but hope that I am wrong.

  3. Pierre

    Interesting interview and point of view.

    “back on Saturday, when Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s team that would face West Ham, the Gunners claimed that the player was ill.
    But João Castelo Branco, who’s a correspondent for ESPN Brasil, had other information. According to him, there was a row between the midfielder and Unai Emery in training. When Ozil learned that he would be on the bench for the match, he ‘decided not to be at the game’.

    Castelo Branco had the chance to speak to Emery after the match. After a few questions about the game, he approached the matter, and the manager was quick to dismiss it.

    “Information? No, because it is a lie, of course. It’s not true at all. He was here. Yesterday he was bad and we thought that it would be better for him to rest because he was not in conditions and the doctor also did not authorise him.”
    But Emery was clearly uncomfortable with the question, and confronted the claims a little more: “I found the question and the information strange, I don’t know where they can come from, they are totally lies, so I tell you.”

    So Castelo Branco claimed that his sources were from close to the club. Emery answered: “No, that’s a lie. I assure you not to.”

    Most of what happened has been reported by Castelo Branco on Twitter. That’s where he got abuse from some Arsenal fans, who claim that if Emery said there’s no problem, he’s the main source, no matter how many people has the journalist heard.

    But the official version is not always right, especially in controversial situations like this.

    João Castelo Branco has been ESPN Brasil’s most important correspondent for years and never needed to break controversial news to be successful. Most of his work is about interviewing players and managers, which he does pretty well. Making up stuff is not something he needs, even because Brazil won’t exactly be shocked if Ozil and Emery had a fight.

    So that’s a guy worth listening to, regardless of official versions.”

  4. Leedsgunner

    So Spurs beat Man United 3-0 without bringing in any new players.

    It will look bad if we fail to beat either team…

    I hope we have our strongest team sorted out by then. I expect no less!

  5. WengerEagle

    Lol Red, fair play you literally waited years for that performance, I’m sure you were fully tented as he scored the 2nd.

    You see your boy Ospina pulling off his best Almunia impression last night?

  6. kc

    Unai Emery has won more trophies in the last 5 seasons(10) than any other manager. The only managers close to him are Pep(9), Enrique(9), and Zidane(8). I say we give him a chance.

  7. WengerEagle

    kc

    Bit of a disingenuous stat to pull up when out of those 10 ‘trophies’, 7 were with PSG and only 1 was a league title, the rest were domestic Cups and Shields in France that PSG win on a yearly basis due to having a stronger second team than 90% of the opposition in France.

    Zidane’s haul includes 3 Champions Leagues and a league title, Enrique’s 2 league titles and a Champions League and Pep’s 4 league titles across two different countries.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Mourinho has gone full Wenger, bringing up your irrelevant past successes to try to cover for failures in the now. He is raging at the fact he had all the answers at one point and now has none and that football is leaving him behind. From the limelight to the cold of being irrelevant and washed up.

    I said last year I thought the irony would be he would end up going out that way, delusional, bitter, blaming everybody else and bringing up his past successes.

    Will he even make it to the end of the year at this rate?

  9. Redtruth

    WengerEagle
    Z”idane’s haul includes 3 Champions Leagues and a league title, Enrique’s 2 league titles and a Champions League and Pep’s 4 league titles across two different countries.”

    Lol…What clubs were these coaches managing….lol l lol

  10. Black Hei

    Pierre

    I am an OKB, but you know, ESPN Journo’s don’t do hazard guessing.

    If he says so, it means he has pretty confident in his source.

  11. DivineSherlock

    Imagine being Mourinho , sacked by ManUtd and replaced by Wenger hahah , just fucking hilarious . Irony of the highest order . Karma .

  12. Leedsgunner

    Wenger going to United?

    That would be Christmas come early as far as we were concerned. He would completely make Man Utd a non destination club for any transfer windows going forward and I can literally hear David DeGea and Pogba asking to go…

    They won’t make a mistake like this though, especially after David Moyes and LVD…

    Zizou or Pochettino will be their next manager… and I will be sick in the stomach when they do.

  13. China

    Why on earth would the higher ups believe that the solution to a crumbling Utd team would be wenger?

    I also wonder if Wenger would do us a favour as a sleeper cell and even speed up Utd’s destruction from within. He does claim to have dedicated his life to arsenal. If he dragged them far down the table I think all would be forgiven and he would return to ‘unsoiled’ legendary status lol

  14. China

    Imagine Ferguson in the stands looking on as Wenger trashes the team

    GLORIOUS JOY AND HAPPINESS PLEASE ARSENE SAY ITS SO

  15. China

    Sanchez would start playing again under wenger tho as he’d be given a free role

    Pogba would also probably do better without shackles

    Apart from those two the rest would be a shit show or ‘expressing thenselves’

  16. Leedsgunner

    If Bellerin is going to continue bomb forward without the players behind him covering the space behind him we either need to play with three central defenders in a 3-5-2 formation or play with Lichtensteiner and Bellerin both in the side.

    If we continue to leave that side exposed better teams will crush us.

  17. Black Hei

    China

    No, I don’t think so it will be a disaster appointment. Just a short term stint until the end of the season as care taker manager without authority on transfers; those would be the logical terms.

    The attack and mid at United would do well.

    Mata and Herrera would do very well under Wenger. They strike me as Wenger types. Players who can think for themselves. Kind of like Monreal.

    The defence would still be trash but then it can’t get any worse since they have De Gea. I mean just keep the GK coach.

    The wild card would be someone like Matic, can he do without any instructions?

  18. Pierre

    Leeds
    Of course you are correct about our lack of cover.
    I have been called disingenuous(and worse) for suggesting this.

    I will say again,playing with a back 4 and having both full backs in the opposition box at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

  19. Pierre

    China
    “Imagine Ferguson in the stands looking on as Wenger trashes the team”

    Can he really do any worse than jose, moyes and van gaal.

    Wenger would have a bottomless pit of money to spend and he may even give Le Grove their wish and reunite ozil with sanchez as it’s obvious that sanchez is missing playing with a quality and unselfish player like ozil…

    United’s real fans would embrace wenger if he went to united after watching 6 years of boring, uninspiring football.

  20. Pierre

    Stroller
    What is your take on the new manager and his playing philosophy.
    I understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day but forgetting all the off field rubbish, what do you think of what you have seen on the pitch..

  21. Leedsgunner

    Wenger going to United might give them attacking football initially, maybe a FA CUP or two but as far as a title or an European Champions’ trophy?

    They can forget it.

    Plus he would waste millions on flops, just like he did for us. Maybe Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott would join him up there…

    They would cease to become a threat.

    More negatives than positives in Wenger’s appointment. Why do you think Wenger wasn’t considered for the West Ham, Everton, or Crystal Palace jobs when they were recently available?

    Even Rangers, Derby and Reading went for new young managers.

    Wenger to United? Yes please!

  22. Sanmi

    Leedsgunner
    Admit it, at the back of your mind you are scared of Wenger going to man utd and doing well. It’s not a video game. It could click.
    With endless cash any attacking coach can do wonders.

  23. Wallace

    think it very unlikely, but if Wenger did go to Utd with all the talent they have there – Matic, Pogba, Martial, Alexis – he’d find it very difficult to do worse than Mourinho is currently.

  24. Wallace

    300m kit deal with adidas lined up for next season. if Emery can get things stabilised this year that’ll give him some serious money to wotk with next summer.

  25. Black Hei

    Pierre

    I think it is highly unlike Wenger will take Man United as a mid term project.

    I see only a caretaker role.

  26. gonsterous

    Wenger to utd. why not ? make them very predictable to play against. Wenger doesn’t do strong characters, he’ll sell of most of the players in one window and replace it with a couple of yes men while telling journalists “look, how much profit I’ve made for the club”

  27. raptora

    How do you guys see “the most honorable” Arsenal manager of all time, taking another EPL team and not any other team but Manure – the team we’ve battled the most during his reign. Wouldn’t that be a betrayal of some pretty epic proportions? You know how players say that they wouldn’t play for another team in the country? Well Wenger was/is more emotionally connected to the club than probably any player we’ve had. I don’t see it happen.

    On a hindsight: if Ed Woodward doesn’t get fired because of mouninho, it will surely happen if he is to appoint Wenger lol.

  28. Valentin

    I said before that Unai Emery was a mediocre coach who would be quickly found out tactically and will lose the dressing room within 3 months. That has already started.
    He has lost the dressing room. Most of the academy youngsters know there is no path to the first team for them. The good one are choosing to leave. Reiss Nelson (our only proper winger) is now joining Hoffenheim. Mavididi signed for Juventus. The current senior team are terrified or pissed off.
    Cech is so afraid to lose his place that he continue to idiotically play from the back even when it is not on. Wellbeck was frozen out to force him until somebody realised that even if AFC were to sell him and buy a replacement in January, Arsenal could not play his replacement, unless he was also an English trained one. Özil has the hump because he is asked to play in a role that he cannot play.
    On the tactical side, the first two losses were excused because of who we played. However against West Ham, we could have conceded 5 goals if their strikers have had the shooting boots on. Playing a 4-1-4-1 is suicidal in the premiership. Especially if none of the four attacking midfields close down opponents. Even more if you keep asking your fullbacks to bomb forward.
    People can blame Bellerin for leaving space behind him, but he does exactly what the coach ask him to do. During the open training session in Singapore, Emery has special exercises where Bellerin was running high on the right before cutting back the ball. Midfield players and defenders were supposed to pin the ball to him.
    Ramsey, Montreal, Sokratis, Guendouzi all said that we played badly defensively. The problem is the not just the players, it is the system.

  29. gravyring

    Summer of 2017 – interest in Ozil from other clubs was nil. That should have told the hierarchy that he was a busted flush…yet they give this fraud of a player a mega £350k a week package. Absolute madness.