Thud.

by .

Arsenal crashed at Southampton in what felt like a fairly predictable game and sadly, historically familiar.

The odds felt slightly stacked against us even before the game started. Two centre-backs suspended, Holding out longterm, our two returning defenders 32 and 33, and Lichtsteiner who is 34. Things were so rough, Emery once again elected to drop Xhaka into the back three.

We didn’t make it easy for ourselves, as has been the script all season. For the 17th time this season, we couldn’t manage to head into halftime with a lead. Our defending was awful, we conceded 7 shots on target, despite dominating 66% of the possession. The most damning stat? Southampton scored 20% of their goals against us yesterday. What a joke.

We went a goal down on 20minutes. Bellerin marshalled Targett out wide, the English left back whipped in a beautiful cross that evaded Koscielny at the front post, finding Ings who breezed past a dozing Xhaka. It really was an exceptional ball, but it was being defended by a player who hasn’t dropped a full 90 for 250 days, and a deep-lying midfielder who obviously isn’t going to be comfortable in a back 3.

We clawed our way back into the game, Iwobi used a burst of pace really well to release Monreal, the Spaniard found Mikhi in the box and his bullet header from 10 yards was enough to pull us level. We still managed to fuck things up, Redmond, who’d caused problems with his pace all game, evaded MG and Iwobi, floating a perfect cross between Lichtsteiner and Koscielny, finding Ings who lofted a perfect header under the bar.

The second half saw Lacazette emerge. We had a really good opening 15 minutes and drew level on 52 minutes. Lacazette rustled the ball as Southampton looked to break, he fed Mikhi who bundled home a dirty deflected shot.

I don’t want to scapegoat here, but I felt the air leaked out of our performance when Iwobi blazed over a backheel pass from Auba. It really was atrocious technique and the difference between Arsenal and the elite teams in the league. I really can’t fathom how anyone can defend that chance. When you’re an international footballer, you should at the very least be hitting the target.

Our final goal was also a calamity. Mesut Ozil lost the ball on the halfway line with a stupid stepover, the ball made it down our end, Austin is picked out at the back post, Leno came flapping and missed, the rest is history. Not good enough, and another silly error from our German import.

Thoughts:

This is what the first season under a new manager will look like, if we’re honest, we’ve had it very nice up until today and we should be grateful. It took Klopp 3 seasons to make things work for him. We cannot expect Emery, with limited summer investment and a dirty Arsene Wenger hangover, to perform miracles. Our squad is very slim and we were exposed today.

The club needs to continue to upgrade. We need better wide players, we need to move on names that either don’t want to be here or aren’t suited to the system, and we need to focus on bringing through quality.

Emery needs to take stock of a few things that he’s been getting away with… namely, our shocking first-half performances. It’s true that our resilience to bounce back has been a joy to watch, but 17 games without leading in the first half is a semi-crisis. It means the manager is making poor decisions. We need to be seeing better selections and we need to see players more focused from the off.

I joked yesterday that an Arsenal player could play keepy-uppy in his own box and roof it into the net on purpose and you’d still have a group of fans screaming ‘FOOTBALL IS A TEAM GAME THAT’S NOT HIS FAULT’… well, in most jobs, there’s an element of individual responsibility. Mesut Ozil needs to take some stick for giving the ball away then not going hard to retrieve it. The great thing is that sort of subpar attitude might rub with some of our fans, but it won’t with Emery. The club needs to move him on. It’s clear that he’s not right for how the team needs to play, and he’s also not right for the sort of structure we need to build wage wise. He needs to move on.

We also have to do something about Aaron Ramsey in January. We have a very good player who would have been more useful than Mesut, sitting on the bench today. If he’s going to be a nothing player, let’s sell him and bring in a talent that can give our midfield the extra ingredient it needs to create and press.

That said, it is worth remembering that we don’t have a coach that’s denying we’ve been less than optimal. He said in the pre-match prezzer that there is a lot that needs to be improved upon. That’s good news. We’re dealing with a coach that understands reality and pragmatism. Let’s hope Sven and Raul have something smart lined up in January… Pepe and Cahill both available as potential stop-gaps at the back.

Finally, big thumbs up to Hassenhutl. He’s a manager we scouted when names were rumbling for Arsenal. He’s brought a lot of energy to their squad, and he bought all theb fans a beer. Can’t know that sort of carry-on.

Right, see you in the comments!

407 Responses to “Thud.”

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  1. Guns of Hackney

    Absolute rubbish from Arsenal.

    The Caraboo cup game is now season defining…and that’s a sad indictment of a club as rich as Arsenal.

    I think when you are pinning your hopes on a 22 year old Uraguyan, in his first season at the club, something is very wrong.

    Auba was not even pub league level yesterday and Iwobi is perhaps only 5% better than the great, Sanogo.

    Calamitous.

  2. Drey

    I could only imagine how the Soton coach would be feeling yesterday, he worked out a game plan based on our defensive vunerabilty and it worked, not one, but THREE times!! Talk about out-thinking Emery tactically.
    Also have to criticise Unai yesterday, Ramsey and not Ozil was wat we needed yesterday.
    Hopefully this is a good reality check.
    Finally, KOSCIELNY WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK MAN!!!!!

  3. Leftsidesanch

    There’s a real chance that after going unbeaten in 22 we could come unstuck in two games by the time Burnley visit on the early kick off on Saturday.

    Retrieving the most points in the second half is nice but football is a game of two halves. Almost half the season has passed and we (maybe Tottenham at home aside) have started all the games poorly.

  4. Major_Jeneral

    We will bounce back, what we need short term wise is to improve the first half performance and bench those who cannot work in the system.
    We need to go back to basics to stop conceding school boy errors and I expect unai to be more ruthless in his selection moving on from this loss.

    Sven and Raul must be ready to deliver in the next 3 transfer window starting with Jan.

  5. useroz

    Though it’s going to happen sooner or later losing to So’ton and in the manner we did is atrocious, such as

    * Opened their account for their first home win for how long again?

    * Did I hear So’ton struggled to score goals vs all teams (not just City) and we doubled their GF this season!

    * Helped open their a/c on the first headed goal, and let’s throw in 2 more as Xmas is coming!

    * oh, they were (still are?) second, from the bottom….

    During the game at 1 – 2 I remarked we had enough firepower to punish ’em. We did, if Auba could fucking finish those 1v1s. For a striker who wanted to be remembered like Henry (said weeks ago), his finishing was shocking. I counted 3 terrible misses. Got 2 of those and we love you like the Dennis B!

    Our shooting has been poor for some seasons, depsite the goals. Is hitting the target that difficult even at PL level? So what if it’s saved but at least works the GKs. And look at the Lampard special of deflected goals!! Three betw our and the Pool.

    I cursed Auba when he back heeled as I saw it was Iwobi and he fully met my expectation with a sky-shot. Rubbish.

    The less said about the back 4 or 5 the better. All to the trio who are now in no uncertain how shitty the defence squad can be. Kos didn’t seem to be able to jump btw. Not the 50m difference but Leno lacks some swagger Alision oozes.

    Don’t care about the League Cup tbh esp with how flimsy the squad gets. I’d say focus on the PL and Europa. CL football next season is the priority. What seriously those FA cups gave us?

  6. HighburyLegend

    “a dirty Arsene Wenger hangover”

    Pedro please could you stop saying things like that.
    You’re going to wake all the jokeheads band, Vic, Pierre, gambon… and in a certain measure, GoH. lol

  7. HighburyLegend

    “I think when you are pinning your hopes on a 22 year old Uraguyan, in his first season at the club, something is very wrong. ”

    Sure… and by comparison, our former manager would NEVER have do that!!
    (lolZ)

  8. Guns of Hackney

    I’m not blaming Wenger for this shambles.

    Yes, his dna is still running through the team but emery has now had a while to imprint his own methodology to the squad…apart from Torrier, it hasn’t been great.

    This defeat was in the post for months.

  9. HighburyLegend

    @GoH (and he’s not the only one) seriously need to realize that we’re no longer part of the European Football Elite since a decade, almost everything in the squad must be rebuild…

    WAKE THE FUCK UP!! Or go support another manager, and so another team.

  10. HighburyLegend

    “emery has now had a while to imprint his own methodology to the squad…apart from Torrier, it hasn’t been great. ”

    Yeah, especially when you consider he has top class players at his disposal. lol

  11. HighburyLegend

    GoH, Vic Vic, Pierre, gambon, Vicuntious and a few others have already signed the petition : WE WANT OUR ARSENE BACK!!

    Maybe I’m gonna sign it, me too…

  12. Mysticleaves

    “I don’t want to scapegoat here, but I felt the air leaked out of our performance when Iwobi blazed over a backheel pass from Auba. It really was atrocious technique and the difference between Arsenal and the elite teams in the league. I really can’t fathom how anyone can defend that chance. ”

    Talking about whipping Iwobi. You failed to mention how Auba fucked up that chance and was left with a clumsy backheel for Iwobi who was half expecting it. If it were City, spuds or Liverpool that was a goal; Auba cross to Laca and boom!!

    I saw Auba try to run with the ball like 3 times yesterday and almost fell over, he was dispossessed in all the situations. Lol. Its comical. He’s supposed to be world class

  13. Guns of Hackney

    I thought we had left behind the ‘plastic fan’ insults that always follow criticism of the team. But no.

    Gambon got it yesterday. Pierre gets it all the time and now I am. Grow up.

    I’m pretty sure that when Arsenal were going unbeaten, we criticised certain aspects of the performance. It’s human nature. Emery has done well but he shouldn’t be immune to critique.

    The team as a whole have been so lucky this season. I mean, really lucky. As Peter said…our first half performances have been akin to relegation form. That’s on emery and his team selection.

    Look, Wenger did untold damage to the club but in one, two or three seasons, we can’t still blame him for Arsenal’s lack of ability or silverware.

    Plastic fans. The lazy bastards answer to everything.

  14. Mysticleaves

    The club needs to continue to upgrade. We need better wide players, we need to move on names that either don’t want to be here or aren’t suited to the system, and we need to focus on bringing through quality.

    This though. We really need to use the tw to move forward in any way.

    Our play is not there yet. The players are afraid of evading the press with succession of quick passes. They always go back to the keep who im turn hoofs it. It’s worse because we don’t have dribblers in the WHOLE team bar Iwobi. Can you imagine that

  15. Guns of Hackney

    I was Arsene out for a very, very long time. To critique emery does not automatically mean I want Wenger back. What terrible logic some people apply to innocuous statements.

    It’s like saying “I had a bad pint, therefore I am going to burn the pub down”.

    Emery is doing as well as he can, however, some of his decisions have not been great. This is not the first step to a Wenger back petition!

    Christ.

  16. Leftsidesanch

    It’s like saying “I had a bad pint, therefore I am going to burn the pub down”.

    Funny you say this, because you criticised the criticism of Gambon yesterday. The same chap who after the match said he wasn’t going to watch for the rest of the season after one bad result.

    Some of you are genuinely beserk on here.

  17. Jim Lahey

    Couple point about yesterday and the last few months on a whole.

    Laurent Koscielny is done, he was finished seven months ago and time on the sidelines hasn’t improved him, hopefully its the last we see of him if we can get someone in during the upcoming window.

    Mesut Ozil.. we have all said a lot about the guy, but I want to know.. how can a grown man be so physically weak?! I can’t think of another footballer with no upper body strength whatsoever!

    Refereeing… something needs to change and fast, the standard of refs in the league is just terrible. No consistency, many of them overweight, allowing borderline assaults to occur on the pitch. Yesterday 3 Southampton players should have seen yellows within 5 minutes of each other and nothing was given. Its now become an acceptable tactic while playing Arsenal, late tackles, ref will do nothing its fine.

    And can we give Emery some time before talking shit about him?! The man is dealing with a car crash squad he needs a year or two to sort it out. Talking about he has had time to imprint his methodology.. with players incapable of playing the way he would like?!

    There is still a LOT of dead weight in that team: Elneny, Koscielny, Mkhitaryan, Özil, Iwobi, Mustafi, Welbeck, Jenkinson all need to be shipped out and let Emery bring in some of his own players.

  18. Skinnywill

    I think the Ozil debate is similar to the Wenger issue. Ozil is clearly a wonderful player who can do things to justify your entrance fee but just like Wenger it is time for the club to go in a different direction as he no longer fits and those moments are no longer outweighing the negatives.

    I love watching Ozil but his 15 minutes yesterday make it hard for even his most ardent supporter to defend him.

  19. Skinnywill

    There is a player somewhere within Iwobi but that chance showed his basic lack of technique, the U15 team I coach know that is you lean back when striking at goal the ball will probably go over the bar.

    If we want to get back to the top think of to whom that chance would have fallen to for City or Liverpool (Silva, Mahrez, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Mane, Salah, Shakiri etc.)

  20. China1

    How much would Cahill cost?

    If he’s more than 6-7m he’s not worth it

    He’s a solid player but we also can’t affird to be wasting our transfer kitty with stop gap options eating into the transfer budget

    We need some bargains sure, but we need a long term elite CB to play alongside our young talents like holding and our shorter term options like Pappa.

    I don’t usually endorse burning money on players but we really do need an elite CB. At LB we can probably get a bargain but at CB those will be much harder to find. On the wing as well we need a ‘proper’ player as well as in AM.

    I will back any bargain dealing we do but I do hope the club take this seriously

  21. Un na naai

    Leno

    Another big game and another massive mistake. He was lucky against spurs
    He’s cost us 5 crucial points this season already while cech has won us points. I’m sorry but I don’t think he’s ready to be our full time no1 yet
    I’ve said it before and I stand by it

  22. Mysticleaves

    Kos is better than Cahill and Kos isn’t good enough for us at the moment. If he was on a free I won’t touch him. Cahill that is.

  23. Dolomite

    Great point SkinnyWill and Shaquiri actually scored from a similar loose ball v the Mancs. Iwobi does need to concentrate on the basics in oredr to become a better player, its ok showing batches of skill but for his position end product and goals based on good decision making and technique are what he will be judged on.

  24. KAY Boss

    Why do football fans think their club is entitled to victory all the time.
    You win some,lose some n draw some.
    We’ve lost so what. This is football and it’s a game.
    Emery needs to approach games especially first halves with seriousness. He with his backroom staff n players became imo complacent.
    The loss might propel us to correct the wrongs which might have been ignored.
    We’ll be in CL next season.

  25. Dolomite

    On the defence – could it actually be Emerys weakness? Although our options and talent are limited the manner and type of goals we conceed are quite shocking and always seem to be positional and poor marking based errors as exemplified yesterday.
    Throughout the entire team the only player that is always well positioned to recover the ball or tackle IMO is Torreira hence why he seems to stand out. Most of the team tend to tackle from a position where they’re most likely to be beaten or give away a foul or free kick.

  26. Guns of Hackney

    Leftside

    I did defend the criticism against Gambon but I don’t agree with his statement about not watching anymore. That’s his call. Anyway, after a defeat that shouldn’t have happened, we all go a little mad.

    I think Gambon’s main point was he hasn’t really seen much improvement over the season.

    Our defence is as bad as it’s ever been and that includes Wenger’s bantz years.

    Our middle is still soft (Torrier the exception).

    Too many passengers.

    Not enough ability.

    Powderpuff forwards.

    The one area we have significantly improved is our heart for the fight. That can’t be underestimated and is a great base to work from. But ultimately it will come down to two things. Scoring goals. Conceding less. We are miles away.

  27. Dolomite

    On the first Southampton goal… no one was in a position to win the ball or stop the cross coming in – 1 right back, 2 centre halves or the keeper (4 players)

  28. Jim Lahey

    @Skinnywill

    “There is a player somewhere within Iwobi”

    Where? Where is this player people keep taking about? 118 games for Arsenal 10 goals, from a wide attacking player. We did this exact same thing with Walcott for the best part of 10 years, sit around waiting for him to become the player people thought he was.

    If we want to push on and actually achieve some real goals, players like Iwobi need to go, we can’t remain a daycare center for mediocre players.

  29. shaun

    Auba form is a little worrying as it seems like he is still adjusting to the speed of the prem 1 second quicker on any of the three chances he missed would have resulted in a goal …we all know Kos should not have started yesterday and the to put xhaka in there is always asking for trouble.hate to say it but if we had Socratis and mustaffi yesterday we would not have lost that game .It’s quite simple the back three used against Southampton are simply not good enough. Kos is well off the pace and cannot be used with xhaka who is defensively unaware .not sure what the options are but we will now loose more games with what we have left in defense

  30. Jim Lahey

    @Dolomite –

    Lets give Emery some time to bring in his own players in defense, also yesterday we started with a very much second string defense, two suspensions, 2 injures and a third injury during the game, show me another side that could take that damage and still be solid.

    Also lets not forget that we started with a defender who literally kicked a ball into his own face to cost us a place in the Europa league final the last time he was on the pitch… so there is that too!

  31. The Arse Bum

    Let’s face it, Ozil is the biggest problem in this squad. For the amount of money he’s being paid, we could have had two more CB’s, a young-promising winger and maybe even another midfielder. On top of that, he does not deliver what he is being paid for, he goes missing in games, he is lazy, hardly ever tackles, whines to the ref constantly whenever there’s the smallest niggling tackle on him, does not defend, and doesn’t score that often, considering his forward position. He really is a hack and a fraud. Talented, yes. For that sum of money? Hell no.

  32. Pedro

    GoH, good words today. I agree.

    We’ve been dining out on the joy of resilience, without taking much time to think about some pretty fundamental issues that have been bubbling.

    Emery has helped us in a lot of areas, but as I’ve said all season, I’d be very surprised if he helps us find the next level.

  33. Davey

    Are we such a great team when we can afford to put a top goal scorer on the bench?
    I really don’t understand why we can not play Auba and Lacca up top?

  34. DONOVAN

    Why oh why is no one going crazy , as I am, at the continuation of the Wenger period’s no tackle or weakness in the tackle defending in almost every position on the field- Torreira excepted.

    Jim D

  35. Guns of Hackney

    Peter

    The resilience side of things has been a joy to watch but it comes with a caveat…we’re falling behind in virtually every game, ergo, we have to show resilience. If we were batting it out of the park every game, we wouldn’t need resilience.

    Like you, I’m not seeing anything ground breaking from emery. I appreciate his tools are blunted somewhat, but I’m still struggling to see the ‘vision’. We still don’t have a style of play per se and it takes for us to go down for him to change it. That’s plain bad. He should be changing things before they go bad!

    I want to really enjoy Emery but he’s so very vanilla.

  36. Jim Lahey

    @Pedro –

    “I’d be very surprised if he helps us find the next level.”

    Which level are we talking about? I mean Wenger left us several levels below the top teams in the league and I would argue that within his first few months Emery has already brought us up a level or two with mainly trash he inherited. I think we have downplayed just how back of a team he was left with, maybe not on an individual level but as a club. The club was rotten to the core. Everything was fall apart, no winning mentality, no accountability among the players, no desire. It was rife throughout the club. Emery has come in and put the foundations down, we are no longer the joke club who get stuffed 5 or 6 by our closest rivals, or get mashed away from home every second week. I think we can all see the positive impact already he is having.

    None of us expected to challenge this year, I think if any of us where asked what we wanted during Emery’s first year it would have been to stop the rot, to stabilise the club and that is exactly what he has done.

  37. Marko

    The idea that he was at fault for yesterday’s performance is plain absurd.

    You’re kind of missing the point no one is blaming him for the defeat merely pointing out that he came on and did fuck all. Didn’t contribute at all. Ramsey is capable of a good cameo off the bench so is Iwobi why isn’t Ozil? In fact why isn’t he doing more to be that key man in the starting 11? You hear people say fleeting genius and when he plays well Arsenal play well then why doesn’t he do more to play well?

  38. Skinnywill

    Jim Lahey

    I agree at 22 Iwobi should be showing us more if he wants to be a regular first team starter, however he has put in some good performances and has improved this year (end product aside). I think as a young homegrown player there is a place in the squad for him but it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets surpassed by the likes off Nelson, Smith-Rowe and even Saka unless he really pushes on. For me wide-forward as well as centre-back are the two key positions where upgrades would make the biggest difference.

  39. Marko

    You just knew the second the unbeaten streak finished the Arteta groupies would find their voice again. I mean after all it’s pretty hard to criticize a manager who’s undefeated after 21 games but pretty easy to after a defeat.

  40. shaun

    Iwobi is nonsense and pretty clear and even he himself knows he is crystal palace level tops ….the most notable problem with the Southampton defeat was the defensive shape was all over the place something I thought we had improved on especially with Mustaffi and Soc in the side and torriea in front of them but something was telling me what the hell was KOS doing as his positioning for two of the goals would have made him directly responsible for conceding and we were back to the very wenger like defending

  41. Marko

    I’m sorry but I don’t think he’s ready to be our full time no1 yet
    I’ve said it before and I stand by it

    I mean you’ve been wrong plenty of times so why stop now

  42. Jim Lahey

    @Skinny –

    I don’t think Iwobi is a bad footballer, he just isn’t on the level required to play for Arsenal, and a team with ambitions that Arsenal should have doesn’t have the time to wait for him to become the player we want him to be. Its been 4 seasons now, he has more than enough time to prove himself. Its time for the likes of Nelson to have their opportunity.

    Iwobi with have a good career playing for someone like Palace or Newcastle, not Arsenal I am afraid.

  43. Nelson

    Watching the Champions league draw now. Just feel kind of sad that Arsenal is not in the party. UEFA cup draw will come an hour from now.

  44. Guns of Hackney

    I think it says a lot if we’re talking about missing Mustafi, Sokratis and Holding…seriously. Arsenal have had two eras of arguably the greatest defences seen in the league/premier league and this is the best we can muster? FFS.

    Arteta groupies. Good one.

    Honestly.

  45. Danny

    KAY Boss
    December 17, 2018 10:42:27
    We’ll be in CL next season.
    ——————————-
    No we wont. We’ll end up higher than last year, 5th instead of 6th……maybe.

  46. Pedro

    Jim,

    Wenger left us Europa League finalists. Emery didn’t pick up Blackburn Rovers.

    He should be able to fix the defence and there should be an attractive style of football to boast of.

    Our play is pretty basic, recycle the ball to wide positions and attack from there.

    It’s been pretty effective, but we’ve struggled with creativity and our defence has been a shambles all season.

    Defence he has no excuse for…

    We’ve rode our luck, as GoH said, Southampton was coming for a while…

  47. Pedro

    Marko, that you keep coming back to Arteta shows how insecure you are about Emery.

    You have no idea what Arteta could have done at Arsenal, and you never will, so it’s a pointless thing to keep coming back to.

    He wasn’t the only managerial candidate name on the table. I’d have preferred a lot of managers to Emery.

  48. Guns of Hackney

    Iwobi isn’t a bad footballer. He’s dreadful.

    You get the impression that he showed up for trials and the scout was smoking crack, thought Iwobi looked good doing 8 kick ups and signed him on the spot.

    The guy is going nowhere. Let’s not throw the same time and effort at him as we did with Theo.

  49. Skinnywill

    Under Wenger when we lost there was always a negative effect for at least the next 2 games, be interesting to see how the current team under Emery respond.

  50. Guns of Hackney

    “Marko, that you keep coming back to Arteta shows how insecure you are about Emery.You have no idea what Arteta could have done at Arsenal, and you never will, so it’s a pointless thing to keep coming back to. He wasn’t the only managerial candidate name on the table. I’d have preferred a lot of managers to Emery.”

    This is why Peter writes the blog and I bullshit on it.

    Arteta was NOT many people’s first or second or even third choice but he was a very interesting option.

  51. Jim Lahey

    @Pedro –

    We all know the problems at Arsenal go far deeper than the first 11 under Wenger, Emery was left with a squad of serial losers.

    “He should be able to fix the defence and there should be an attractive style of football to boast of.”

    I mean…. can we give him more than a couple of months?! Seriously… How about a few windows to get some players in to implement his way of playing?

    “Defence he has no excuse for…”

    Really… because we were blessed with one of the best defences in the league for the past number of years?!

    “We’ve rode our luck, as GoH said, Southampton was coming for a while…”

    Yeah we have, just like every other team. I mean you have seemed to forgotten very quickly the state the club was in this time last year. It will take time for everything to fall into place.

  52. HighburyLegend

    After the game at home vs. the Spuds, Pedro thought that Emery was the right man… But now, just like his pal GoH, he thinks that Emery is mediocre –
    And that has nothing to do with the squad Wenger left us with, of course.
    (lol ?)

    Funny how some minds change quickly around here…

  53. Pedro

    Allegri and Nagelsmann would have been interesting. I’d have preferred Carlo if we were planning to go for experience tbh.

  54. Guns of Hackney

    Jim

    We don’t have a few windows to get this right. City and Liveroool are now light years ahead of us. Man yoo and chelsea are rich and will always spend cash on a project and back a new manager.

    We are feeling the effects of being out of the CL and the longer we are out of it, the harder it will be to get back in.

    We will get players but they will either be:

    1. Cheap
    2. Old
    3. Broken

    None of the above will win us anything or get us back into the shop window.

    I feel for emery but he has a job to do. Wasn’t this his USP??? That he can work with what he’s got etc etc.

  55. David Smith

    Why all the consternation? Let’s be real here, you don’t escape the clutches of what Wenger became in a mere half a season.
    As we saw yesterday, and in other games, Wengers influence remains printed all over those who played under him.
    Emery will rid this squad of Wenger, he has begun to do just that, but on his budget, it will take him time

  56. Pedro

    HL, I have never thought Emery was the right man.

    I have been impressed with him this season, but I’ve always put that against the backdrop of issues like xG, first-half performance and poor defending.

    Again, you all work in black and white.

    Emery has done a pretty decent job. He’s taken us from the dark ages into color TV. Doesn’t mean I think he’s taking us full on 8k motion picture.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    Marko

    He’s not kind of missing the point he’s spectacularly missing it and on purpose as well to avoid a difficult conversation.

    No one is saying Ozil was at fault solely for the loss or that he should be sold because of 20 minutes of football yesterday.

    That is a lazy, cowardly argument and reeks of picking a battle that isn’t there to suit your arguments. I’ve come to expect it from a lot of fans. We saw it for years. The real argument is too hard for them.

    The Ozil supporters are getting as ridiculous as the Wenger ones were. ‘To his credit he tried to make things happen when he came on’. Fuck me. What game were they watching.

    If a dummy to Aubameyang in 20 minutes of football is enough to have fans saying ‘to his credit he tried’ sign me up for £350 000 a week at Arsenal. I can lump it to Aubameyang once a game and then look total shit for the other 89 minutes and 50 seconds.

    ‘To his credit he did lump a ball into Aubameyang’.

  58. Receding Hairline

    All it took was the first defeat since August………..

    Take out Van dijk and Gomez, then remove the option of fielding Lovren due to long term injury, the turn up away at a team with a new manager fighting for their live’s ..i will like to see how defensively sound they will be

    Anyway you guys can enjoy your misery and your list of super managers who would have had us above Pool and City

  59. Guns of Hackney

    Anyone else see Arteta giving Pep instructions over the weekend?

    3…2…1 cue the nuclear explosion.

    Only Gambon, as far as I can remember mentioned Emery as a candidate. He was not on anyone’s radar and probably for very good reasons.

  60. Marko

    Allegri and Nagelsmann would have been interesting. I’d have preferred Carlo if we were planning to go for experience tbh.

    Yeah Allegri was never really happening and sure there was a time during the summer where you mentioned everyone linked with the job just to cover all of your bases but you went hard for Arteta like super hard and it took a long time for you and the GOH to accept Emery. And it’s taken one defeat for it all to come crashing down. I say Arteta groupies because you two in particular were really behind the idea. I was behind the idea of Jardim but I wouldn’t call myself a groupie because I didn’t spend weeks and months backing him in any obvious sort of way

  61. Guns of Hackney

    RH

    Valid point. Misplaced. Sure Liverpool would miss those players but they have the firepower to overcome a weakened defence. We don’t.

  62. Dissenter

    Emirates stroller is just being diseingenious.
    He’s setting up a soapy falllacy with so many greasy words.
    Ozil was brought in to win the game. He’s out star player making one of the biggest salaries in world football….and what did he do?
    …. , …. , ….. wait for it …. NOTHING.
    Can you imagine if Liverpool introduced Salah in that 2-2 situation?
    Can you imagine if City introduced Kevin De Bruyne?
    Remember when Chelsea threw in Hazard at 2-2 agajnst us?
    Imagine if Spuds brought in Son or Christian Eriksen at 2-2 against Southampton?

  63. Cesc Appeal

    To be honest ‘is Emery the right man or isn’t he talk’ is shockingly premature.

    Lets give the guy another couple of transfer windows at least.

    Look at the impact Leno, Sokratis and Torriera have had already. That accounts for £58 Million of our lowly £64 Million spend.

    With new commercials, a lot of selling and hopefully UCL football lets see what team arrives when Emery is given £120 Million to spend with Mislintat and Sanllehi.

    No manager in the world not Allegri, not Guardiola, not Klopp no one could take over a 6th Arsenal team utterly ruined by Wenger’s incompetence and turn them into sensations.

    It took Guardiola a whole season and about a £6 Billion spend to get City where he wanted them and Klopp 3 years and something like a £300 Million spend. Liverpool’s purchase of Allison cost more than out entire summer spend.

    For a blog that well ahead of time pointed out our startling deficiencies I think we need to remind ourselves of them.

    An environment of zero expectation and comfort, no coaching, no competition, incompetent squad building, lack of investment at critical times, unbalanced team structure, lack of system integration, lack of any sort of off field infrastructure and a gradual decline to a 6th place team.

    If you thought Emery was waltzing in and with a £64 Million spend and 5 months of EPL football was turning that around you probably believe in unicorns.

  64. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    Arteta wasn’t on my radar until Peter wrote a piece about him and it had me hooked. I looked at Naglesmann and remembered a young Jose and thought, why not?

    Artetanal would have blown the league apart. And I can tell you this, I guarantee it would have been exciting.

  65. Nelson

    I am sure that every fan can see Xhaka is slow and is often absent-minded while defending. Using him as a CB is the dumbest choice. With 2 CB’s defending vs 1 ST, one of the CB has to stick to the ST. All 3 goals, we let their ST having a free header.

  66. Receding Hairline

    i mean taking shots at Emery today and reeling out names of people who would have done better is not a good look at all

    We were without our first three central defensive options and lost our most attacking full back at half time, i find it sad Arsenal fans on this blog are always on hand to make excuses for every other team besides the one they support

    No one is saying Emery is a messiah or the best manager around, but to jump on him after his first loss in months considering the circumstances surrounding is pretty low sorry to say

  67. Pedro

    RH / Marko, it didn’t take one defeat, because I’ve been calling out the issues all season… and you’ve whined every time I’ve done it.

    AHHH, Jardim. Another great choice of manager.

    I campaigned for Arteta, and I’d do it again. You didn’t like the idea, I did. Calling me a groupie is childish.

    I’ve written extensively about managers from around Europe for 11 years. Tuchel, Klopp, Pep, Simeone, Favre, Rodgers… yadha, yadha…

  68. Jim Lahey

    @GoH –

    “We don’t have a few windows to get this right.”

    Of course we do…. We’ve had 10 years of not competing .. why can’t we have another two just to become a competitive side again?

    I mean, did you really expect ANY manager to come in with the current players at the club and not need a few windows to get things right?!

  69. Guns of Hackney

    Cesc

    Leno has made an impact alright. Just not the one we hoped for.

    Sokratis is filthy and gritty but meh.

    Torrier has been a revelation but he can’t hold the whole team together.

    The budget emery was given was derisory but he could have sold a lot of our crap and raised the cash money to more significant levels. He didn’t.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    ‘RH / Marko, it didn’t take one defeat, because I’ve been calling out the issues all season… and you’ve whined every time I’ve done it.’

    Why do you think any other manager would do better though? Given the rot and a £64 Million spend?

    The fact you think Arteta might have done better is laughable. No other word for it I’m afraid, Pedro.

    Let’s let the baggage handler fly the plane, he’s been on the tarmac for years and drinks coffee in the pilot’s break room.

  71. Danny

    Don’t worry lads. Emery wont be here for 22 years, I reckon he’ll be gone in 2 years time if we’ll not challenging and if we are then maybe a couple more after that.
    The days of Ferguson and Le Senile are gone.

  72. Skinnywill

    2017 – P17 W9 D3 L5 F30 A20 PTS30 POS7th
    2018 – P17 W10 D4 L3 F37 A23 PTS34 POS5th

    We are slightly ahead of where we were last season and remember our away form spectacularly disintegrated after Christmas so we are on course for an improved season compared to last which is progress. I think for me Emery has got the team fitter and working harder, we look a bit more potent but are still letting in too many goals. Will be interesting to see what we can do in this window as I think that will define whether we can claim a top 4 space and progress in the Europa League but the time to really judge Emery will be this time next year.

  73. Cesc Appeal

    GOH

    Leno has made blunders, he’s also pulled off wonder saves that have kept us in the game.

    You saw the best and worst of him yesterday. A top draw save from a corner and then the gaff at the end.

    Not helped at all but the total inability of the CBs to deal with anything with a little bit of height on it.

  74. Guns of Hackney

    Jim

    Arteta would have won the league in his first half season. He is so good…they would award 6 points for a win if he was in charge.

    Even if arsenal lost under Arteta (they wouldn’t) we would still get style points.

    Artetanal FC.

  75. Dissenter

    After sleeping on the game, I have to admit that Emery got too clever yesterday.. He ought to share some of the blame.
    He didn’t use his squad properly. He should have played Elneny in the center of the defence and left Xhaka in the midfield.
    He should have started Ramsey instead of Iwobi. If Ramsey wasn’t fit then why have him in the bench?
    He took a chance on Ozil. I don’t blame him for that, he had to give him opportunities to shine or fail.
    I’m sure Emery learned a lot from the loss. He’s a very experienced manager who’s been around. The unbeaten run was kind of dubious when you consider that we could rest our best players for the Europa league games. We also eked out a lot of close wins in the second half. I’m not sure we can cope with playing a strong team twice a week.
    I feel for Emery because he was left a shit sandwich by his predecessor but that’s life. He certainly didn’t make a good selection yesterday too.

  76. Receding Hairline

    I campaigned for Arteta, and I’d do it again. You didn’t like the idea, I did. Calling me a groupie is childish.

    I did not call you a groupie and you are very much at liberty to wish for any manager you want and to go on and on and on about the next level..its your blog

    I’ve written extensively about managers from around Europe for 11 years. Tuchel, Klopp, Pep, Simeone, Favre, Rodgers… yadha, yadha…

    What does this mean?? Rodgers is also a better manager than Emery?? You really don’t rate our manager but again its a free world

  77. Danny

    Arteta could’ve been interesting but not while there are players at the club who played with him, they wouldn’t have had the time of day for him.
    Maybe after Emery moves on.

  78. Guns of Hackney

    Leno isn’t going to win a team the big games.

    I was hoping he was an answer to the GK question.

    He’s a good shot stopper but so was Fabianski.

  79. Cesc Appeal

    Ignoring the fact as well that Emery had more points after his first 15 games than any of the other top managers aside from Sarri.

    The only manager taking over a side comparable was Pochettino, other than that he bested Guardiola, Mourinho and Klopp.

    Consider Sarri took over a team with Hazard, Kante etc that were EPL champions in the 2016/17 season.

    Some people need to calm their tits for a while.

  80. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Arteta could’ve been interesting but not while there are players at the club who played with him, they wouldn’t have had the time of day for him.’

    I don’t know.

    Maybe Arteta should manage a football team first?

  81. Receding Hairline

    Let’s let the baggage handler fly the plane, he’s been on the tarmac for years and drinks coffee in the pilot’s break room.

    Not if the baggage handler has friends who have written glowing articles based on nothing on how he is the best pilot to be in waiting

  82. Uwot?

    I’m with Jim on this one.ffs get a grip people.It was a 2nd string defence we had out yesterday.the saints with a new manager treated it like a f*** ng cup final.it was a crash waiting to happen.on top of that Emery with the limited tools he had available didn’t get the selection right.imo.not too often that’s happened on a 22 unbeaten game run in his FIRST season inheriting a shambles wenger left him.i thought we’d struggle in the air withoubt the likes of holding,Mustafi,Sokratis & Mavropanos & so it turned out Southampton must have been lickin their lips.Bad luck for us.& yet we STILL had chances but didn’t put them to bed.so for those with the knives out for Emery already please,please get a grip & give the man a couple of windows at least!

  83. Pedro

    CA, firstly, I didn’t say that… but, while we’re on this:

    The idea that what we have now is the best possible outcome is also ridiculous.

    We haven’t led at halftime in 17 games. Why do you think it’s beyond the pale another manager could have bettered that?

    Are you pleased with our style of play? Seems this is what it’s going to be. Are you happy?

  84. Jim Lahey

    @Receding Hairline –

    “I campaigned for Arteta, and I’d do it again.”

    Can I ask with all sincerity, why?

    Entrusting the future of our club on a man who has never managed a day in his life, I’d like to know why you felt he would have been the best fit?

  85. Guns of Hackney

    Cesc

    He didn’t beat anyone you mentioned.

    Bloody hell.

    At least Le Grove is back where it was about 12 months ago. Two violently opposed factions. Emery ins. Emery mehs.

  86. Cesc Appeal

    Jim

    It is absolutely ridiculous.

    We’ve gone from basking in the cries of United fans about how jealous they are of Emery to saying he’s not the right man for the job because of yesterday.

    In an ideal world we get Guardiola and he can spend £600 Million like he has at City.

    But then you hope fans grow up, realise the mess we’re in and the resources we have available and think, the club is actually doing pretty freaking well.

  87. Arse&Nose©

    Top marks to Hassenhutl, he saw that we had a makeshift defence. He knew Koscielny wouldn’t be comfortable in the air after an achilles injury, he knew Xhaka rarely contests anything in the air and is positionally awful, he instructed his team to target these weaknesses again and again and that was our undoing.

  88. Pedro

    Again guys, this argument has been taken here by you lot.

    I haven’t campaigned for Arteta today.

    I’m just asking you to be honest about Emery, and your default is to fall onto Arteta because you know this manager isn’t the promised land we’d hoped for.

    He’ll do ok this season, we’ll fight for 4th. But even with better players, I don’t see us finding another level.

  89. Receding Hairline

    Top marks to Hassenhutl, he saw that we had a makeshift defence. He knew Koscielny wouldn’t be comfortable in the air after an achilles injury, he knew Xhaka rarely contests anything in the air and is positionally awful, he instructed his team to target these weaknesses again and again and that was our undoing.

    I doubt he knew any of this before hand, they tried three crosses in 90 minutes and scored from all three, hardly a game plan

  90. HighburyLegend

    ” I’m not seeing anything ground breaking from emery”

    Apart the fact that he has bring back joy and passion for most of the fans ??

    Not good enough, for a start ?? You guys wanted to win the PL this season ??
    Arteta, Allegri or Carlo would have won it this season, with our current squad. lol

  91. Jim Lahey

    @Pedro –

    “The idea that what we have now is the best possible outcome is also ridiculous.”

    Who is saying we have the best possible outcome? Can’t you see the change throughout the team already?

    Its undeniable that aren’t playing the most expansive attractive football, it will get better as Emery fills the team with his players! But we are no longer the joke team we were.

  92. Dissenter

    If Arteta is so goo, why he is still an assistant manager.
    Why didn’t Southampton seek him out?
    Why didn’t Fulham try to get him?

    We all know why. The owners aren’t going to entrust a managerial novice with their investment when £100-150 million is in the line.
    The Arsenal project was colossal in the summer. We had been run to the ground by a certain manager who overstayed his welcome. We didn’t even sign expensive players, just Torriera, an unknown French player that PSG rejected and an old Greek defender.

    Why are we still talking about Arteta?

  93. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    Am I happy?

    I’m a grown up I would say.

    As someone who was Wenger Out before you and as someone who watched the slow decline of the club to the state it was in last April I know the mountain we’ve got to climb.

    A £26 Million 5ft 5 Uruguayan with 5 months of EPL experience is out best player, a 30 year old £10 Million CB from Bundesliga with 5 months EPL experience is our best defender. The scenes of the squad Wenger left is unbelievable.

    We have no good CAMs, we have no wingers at all, we’ve got £110 Million locked up in STs we struggle to play together.

    We had an unbalanced side that had zero coaching and behave like they were in a creche for years with their mates, no off field infrastructure, ideas about football clubs rooted in the 1990s.

    Sorry if I didn’t think Emery was showing up with a cool £64 Million spend and changing that overnight.

    Are there problems? Yeah. Are our first half performances a concern? Yeah. Do I think it will get better with more investment? Yeah, of course.

    Am I willing to be patient? Yeah. Like I always said I would be.

    If you’re not, fine. But it sort of erodes the point you’ve been making for a few years.

    I honestly don’t know what you think we could do better short of giving the chair to a baggage handler, an inexperienced Bundesliga coach, a coach that just tanked in Ligue 1 or you list targets who are at clubs backed by countries or in leagues they dominate with £250 Million budget demands.

  94. Danny

    One thing that drives me nuts is watching Liverpool spending millions while our yank owner, who is worth 3 times what theirs is, spends a fraction, if at all.

  95. Arse&Nose©

    “I doubt he knew any of this before hand, they tried three crosses in 90 minutes and scored from all three, hardly a game plan”

    If you watched the game you would’ve seen that they attempted many crosses and dinked balls, they clearly instructed Redmond to run at Xhaka as well.

  96. Jamie

    “Maybe Arteta should manage a football team first?”

    He did. Once. Lost at home to Lyon with one of the best squads in world football. 100% loss record as the gaffer, and incapable of parroting Pep’s instructions for 90 mins unsupervised.

    Not rating Emery is fine. There are undoubtedly higher caliber managers in Europe (although few would want the Arsenal gig when Bayern, Madrid, PSG, Utd all look for replacements every few years). Rating Arteta though is negligent in the absurd.

  97. Receding Hairline

    He’ll do ok this season, we’ll fight for 4th. But even with better players, I don’t see us finding another level.

    I beg to differ, we will be a better team with better players, i don’t know what you mean by another level, but i fully expect Emery to sustain a league challenge in two years if we bring in the right players

  98. Nelson

    One advantage Arteta over Emery is that we’ll have close tie with MC. We can get some of their second tiers on load to replace all our dead woods.

  99. Dissenter

    Pedro
    “AHHH, Jardim. Another great choice of manager”

    Jardkm left a bad situation at Monaco, partly due to his mistakes. He wouldn’t be doing better at Arsenal with the options we have.

  100. Skinnywill

    Pedro you are probably right, but we needed someone to steady the ship that was potentially in danger of sinking. I think whoever takes over from Emery will have a better base to work from than Emery inherited.

    I am happy with Emery for now as I don’t think an inexperienced manager would have been the right appointment to take over an unbalanced squad with such a poor attitude to working hard when we don’t have the ball and lack of positional discipline. However I would have expected him to have had more of an effect on our fragile defence.

  101. Leedsgunner

    Our defence has been gifting goals all season… why is it a surprise?

    The last thing is for all the fans to panic. The defence last night were all Wenger’s men and it showed.

    Xhaka in CB? With his lapses in concentration? We were asking for trouble.

    I would seriously consider playing Zach Medley at some point versus Spurs, if not against Burnley. Is Julio Plezeueglo fit?

  102. Receding Hairline

    One advantage Arteta over Emery is that we’ll have close tie with MC. We can get some of their second tiers on load to replace all our dead woods.

    Wow..is that really the way forward?? City’s second string players??

    Why did we then bother to hire one of the best scouts in the world and a football man like Raul if we can just hire Arteta and get City’s reserve players on loan

    Lofty ambitions

  103. Pedro

    CA, this is the second time you’ve put arguments in my mouth.

    I’m not talking about Arteta today, Marko brought it up
    I’m not calling for the sacking of Emery or suggesting I don’t back him.
    I’m not saying I won’t be patient.

    I don’t rate Emery and I don’t think given money he’d take us to the next level. That is my view and that is what I think. My job is to be honest about the coach we have in charge, I’ve done that for 11 years.

    Will Emery improve us? Undoubtedly. I just don’t believe he’s going to find us the next level.

  104. HighburyLegend

    I can understand Pedro’s point of view… there is no doubt that Ancelotti or Allegri would have done a better job with our current squad.

    (lol)

  105. Uwot?

    The ones who’re are laying into Emery as of yesterday have to be on a wind up.seriously.ffs no wonder AFC le grove fans come in for a slagging .are they the new aftv?some people will never,ever be satisfied. Instant success.no journey reqd….

  106. Guns of Hackney

    Here we go. Arteta hasn’t managed a game.

    Flipping heck. There were people saying they would rather have Henry because HE HAS managed games.

    Well…

  107. T

    So much negative people here I might mistake this place for a hospital of depressed and angry people 😀

    I thought that kozielny looked sharp and much better than before his injury.

    I also think that when he plays in a back 4 with big papa we are going to have a lot of clean sheets in the upcoming games.

  108. Pedro

    Leeds, I have no idea why Emery goes for Xhaka at the back, I don’t understand it tactically at all.

    He’s ponderous, he’s not aggressive enough and he’s painfully slow.

    Don’t know much about Medley, but he has to have more about him defensively than a regista.

  109. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    No I’m not.

    You’re trying to avoid an argument that makes you look silly because you do look silly.

    You’re saying this isn’t the best we could do.

    I listed the managers you’ve thrown out, baggage handler, Jardim, Nagelsmann, Tuchel and Allegri.

    Who is coming in and guaranteed to do better than Emery has given our situation and a £64 Million spend?

    Who is coming and getting more points after their first 15 games than Pochettino, Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho like Emery did?

    First of all you can strike Tuchel and Allegri off your list. One went to a club backed by a country and one demanded £250 Million.

    So who out of the baggage handler, Jardim who tanked Ligue 1 and the inexperienced Nagelsmann could do better?

    Otherwise you don’t really have a point. You’re just whining.

  110. HighburyLegend

    “My job is to be honest about the coach we have in charge”

    Just like you did after some games…
    Liverpool ?? Tottenham ?? If you can look in the miror without being ashamed, well good for you.

    A true weathercock you are.

  111. Receding Hairline

    My job is to be honest about the coach we have in charge, I’ve done that for 11 years.

    You are giving your opinions ..nothing more nothing less. Doesn’t mean it’s the truth.

    Miguel Delaney and his snobbish cronies in the media don’t rate Emery so you think the cool thing to do is not rate him. Miguel was beside himself with excitement when he though Arteta was coming in, he wrote articles after articles like a besotted school girl, when Emery was hired he started a campaign of not rating him and has continued with that to date. I see a lot of his influence in your attitude towards Emery.

    You were all over the manager of Schalke a year ago, now they are tanking you have gone very quiet on that front

  112. Jim Lahey

    @Pedro –

    “I don’t rate Emery and I don’t think given money he’d take us to the next level.”

    Once again, what is the next level? Arsenal’s next level? If so then I would argue he has already done that. On level with City and Liverpool? Maybe if he was given endless money to spend.

    Emery is not one of the worlds best but he is exactly what the club needed after the last 10+ years of rot under Wenger.

    This transition could have gone wrong, just look at United since Fergie left, count our blessing thats not our fate.

  113. Nelson

    RH

    The problem is that our club doesn’t have money to compete. It is not easy to find good and cheap players. There are hundreds of lesser teams scouting for those players. We are one of them. Getting players on-loan is much cheaper.

    Anyway, UEFA cup draw is on now. Hope we get an interesting draw.

  114. Pedro

    CA,

    Carlo would have been a better choice than Emery.

    Jardim would have been a better choice. The guy who beat Emery in a one-horse race, but fell to pieces when his team was obliterated by oil money the season after.

    Again, you can bleat on all you like about Arteta, but you have absolutely no idea. If we were going curveball, that would have been an excellent choice at the time.

  115. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “Defence [Emery] has no excuse for”

    This is only half true. Yes, he is responsible for our team defending, our defensive shape and organization, but all of this has improved under Emery.

    Our defensive weakness is largely down to the weaknesses of our personnel, our players, our squad. Some of this is sort of on Emery — he probably overestimated the quality of certain players — and some of this is just where we are player-wise.