After a week of starving out in the wild, picking through the bones of poor Danny Welbeck performances, scuttling around in the bin of international football like a mangy door mouse, today, daddy has come home with a bag of delicious Kentucky Fried Premier League football, along with that garlic dip you like so much.
Feels good to be back… let’s gorge.
Unai Emery is apparently REFUSING to roll deep with a translator in the Arsenal dressing room. The Mirror have reported this story without quotes, noting that the Spaniard has a translator at press conferences mainly to help him if he gets stuck. I did hear an amusing whisper through the grapevine that the reporters find Emery very dull and uninspiring over at Colney. Make of that what you will. You’ll find out how much they like him when the club goes through a nasty rough patch.
The boss has to be thinking about 4 very important games this week, we take on Newcastle who could be troublesome, then we have to deal with a Europa League game in Ukraine, followed by a very tricky game against Everton at the weekend, rounding off against Brentfordelona.
“After the Champions League, the Europa League is the most important competition. If teams cannot play in the Champions League, it is very important,”
“I have proven with my experience to know the best way to manage the players. Now it is very important for me to think first the match against Newcastle, we need to win the three points, and then think the same for the Europa League.
“My idea first isn’t to change 11 players for one competition and the next competition. Each match is giving us information for how we can play.”
Sure, Emery knows how to win the Europa League, but he’s only managed that in Spain. I think England is a different kettle of pescado, but hey, we have to give him a chance. I really hope we don’t see a repeat of the dark Wenger years where we throw the same 13 players at each match until they start breaking.
There are some people that come into a new workplace and take advice, some who like to learn the hard way.
‘If Dave from transport invites you for a beer in the warehouse, say no, ok?’
That’s where I’m hoping Darren Burgess has managed to wrestle some influence over his new boss, he and Shad will be able to advise the new coaches on workloads, the big question is whether the new fitness coach, Julen Masach, who has the ear of Emery will care to listen. If he doesn’t, we’ve seen plenty of times how the December injury pile up can decimate your season. We’ve been through the Tony Colbert years of TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, my pretties!
Players need to be rested is now an obvious thing to state. Additionally, you need to put game time in other players legs, firstly to keep them match fit, but also to keep them mentally in touch with the rest of the squad.
Players are just like you are in the office. If you see Jamal getting all the sweet spreadsheet duties, and you’re stuck there doing sandwich runs, you’re going to switch off after a while and feel undervalued. You need the squad to feel included so when the call does come, the players are flying out of the traps. You also don’t want to have to give squad players 6 games to get match fit mid-way through the season. Better to rotate bodies in at the start of the year, than in December.
The manager is focused on the now though.
“Now I want to win Saturday, I want to win Thursday, next Sunday [at home to Everton ], and against Brentford in the Carabao Cup [the following Wednesday]. It is the reason we are looking forward to playing every match and thinking every match about the best performance.
“I think each match if we can find the best performance with the first XI but with different players on the pitch.
“I am looking behind me on the bench for players who can also stay in the first XI and it will be a good moment, because we will be more competitive for each match.”
It really is of huge importance to start the second phase of the season well. I know the League Cup isn’t really that important, but with all those fancy kids we have in the squad, it’d be remiss not to use them. Smith Rowe really needs some games and it’d be great if the new setup could get us feeling like 2007 about a trophy we’ve not won in a very, very long time.
Today I’m hoping that Emery has had some time to work with the defence. I hope he’s had a deeper think about how to unlock creativity in the front 3, whilst giving some stability to the back, and I hope we see a much more fluid Arsenal. Things need to pick up in this phase of the season and we need to continue to chalk up the wins.
We have 13 games between now and the next international break. The big games really, are Everton, Liverpool, Watford and potentially Wolves. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be kicking around top 4 sitting pretty in all comps by then. The theme of this phase has to be about consistency. The manager needs to work out who is his best 11 is, and how he operates when he doesn’t need to go all guns blazing.
I’m very excited to see where this goes!
Catch you in the comments! x