Politics and pragmatism on the mind of Emery

by .

Never thought I’d be at the stage in my life where I have to plan what I eat the night before a staff do just so I’m ‘comfortable’ when I turn up the drinking game to 100. I’ve settled on a bag of peanuts. What a miserable little night I’m having.

Still, last laugh is on me. Watching a non-binge culture office try and numb their social anxiety with UNLIMITED everything is always entertaining.

‘I may have just passed wind young Johnny, but the CEO just saw you vomit in that plant pot’

Anyway, what have we in the world of Ars… JOSE GOT FIRED la la la la la la la la laaaaahhhhhhh!

The specialist in nasty finally landed his comeuppance as Ed Woodward pulled the trigger on his miserable United tenure.

The man has been in decline for many years now. His ideas are stale, his attitude has been disgusting and he’s clearly lost all the drive that made him great. Power corrupted his curiosity. While Pep Guardiola is constantly developing a tweaking his vision, Jose simply gave up. The master of Stoke football with world class players gave up. As he’s aged, his ideas have struggled to transmit and the rest of the football is now out thinking him.

United is a prime example of how being grotesquely monied doesn’t always buy you success. There’s no real plan in place over there outside spunking cash on whatever the super agents suggest. Crazy to say, but it’s very similar to the mess that followed Arsene Wenger around. The richer version of decay.

Too much power was given to the last three managers. There’s been too little accountability for horrific spending. No clear direction for the club. They have a fanbase that complicit in the demise.

‘Listen, you can’t just blame Mourinho’ is of course correct, but only in the sense that Ed Woodward has been an embarrassing sycophant who refused to take control of the mess. Jose chose the players, trained them, instructed them and motivated them. That’s his squad. The footballing mess is his.

Bitching about a lack of investment because there’s a City to point to is so disingenuous.

I joked that the next move from Ed Woodward was likely to be someone from the class of ’92. I’m not sure Ole Gunnar Solskjær is quite ’92, but he’s not far off. So far, Woodward has gone for a shite ‘young manager’, he’s tried a ‘steady hand’, he’s just had a crack at ‘WINNER’, and now he’s fucked so he’s going to try and keep the fans onside with a hire based on pure emotion.

When your manager is there because it feels right, it’s probably wrong. This is like the time Newcastle handed the reins to Alan Shearer. Sure, there have been some great examples of it working, like Zidane and Pep. But I’m not quite sure either of those two (or Arteta as some will predictably shriek) quite correlate to hiring the Eliteserien manager.

United need to hire in a world class sporting director, they need to move on Moratta as their next CEO, they should bring in someone like Les Read and let him reinvigorate the academy, and they should hire a young manager with a philosophy that aligns with the real Man United.

Hopefully, they’ll take Pochettino from Spurs.

That’s my segue into the BIG game this evening. I’m very excited to play Spurs, but this one really does come at a bitch of a time. We just slumped to a shocker away at Southampton, which as Emery points out, is not good times at all.

“Sunday for us is a big reality check in our way. We need to improve and also we need to continue doing our way in our process.

“It’s not a good result but this reality gives us more motivation to continue to work hard, finding a new thing to work on each day, and also it makes us demand a lot from ourselves in the way we work on this way.”

This is where the money making decisions come in. The club do not need to win the League Cup. It offers no value outside giving us a trophy most fans will deride. We need Champions League football. That means top 4 or a win in the Europa League.

Emery will knows this. However, the fans won’t tolerate a pasting from a local rival, and any sort of loss could also have a negative impact on the squad. So he’s going to have to dance between politics and pragmatism.

“Our first idea is that we play with the best players that we can use in this derby,”

“The opposition is very big and it’s demanding a big performance from us tomorrow.

“We can use some young players because we think with a big performance, they can help us win.

Maybe he can disguise the starting 11 as experienced by bringing back Cech, Kos (who won’t start this weekend) and Licht. A little sprinkling of Mesut and Ramsey would also add to the appearance of going for it. Maybe Saka and Eddie can take up the wide positions to soften critique?

This is a real test of managerial strength for me. It’s also a test of the depth of our squad. There are 4 players out injured, with 4 facing late fitness tests tomorrow. We’re creaking before shit hits the fan. Hopefully, we can come out of tomorrow unscathed.

Right, enjoy the game, see you in the comments! x

P.S. Great to hear our manager admit he’s going to move for someone in January, I just hope it isn’t a pony signing.

“The club is working because if we have one good option to come around and help us, we can do it,” said Unai. “The club has this possibility to help us in the transfer window with some players, but I am very happy with the players.

965 Responses to “Politics and pragmatism on the mind of Emery”

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  1. Davey

    Lost count how many time Iwobi gave the ball away yet at H/T Jamie Red and our Alex were waxing lyrical about how he played, wish I had a few bob as I would have lumped on spuds at just over 2-1 when I heard the teams. Their back4 were far better than the clowns they played in the league game.

  2. Akilan

    He IS rocking the boat, mate. Pretty much no one except may be Torreira and Bellerin is guaranteed to start.

    He’s packing Ozil and Ramsey in half a season. Earn your place or enjoy the view from the bench. Pretty much the definition of rocking the boat in my book.

    Almost everybody agrees that our mentality and work rate have improved.

  3. Cesc Appeal


    That is true.

    I want to see how we shape up after the transfer window.

    You, I and many others have been very critical of the squad building for years and Emery is fighting against that, so are Mislintat and Sanllehi.

    Shit CAMS, defence that is shit, no wingers at all and worse we have nothing of value to sell really like Liverpool did/had to.

    Our summer business was the best business we’ve done in memory, albeit certainly we needed more, I want to see some proactivity in January.

    Emery has already improved the work rate and he has created accountability and a meritocracy. Ozil would have started basically every game if Wenger was here, Emery has called him a pussy and has dropped him. Ramsey was dropped as well.

    Off the bat we’ve seen more work and accountability, those are positives right away. But a lot of work needs to be done still.

    This is a 6th place team though, and not an anomalous finish in 6th like the Chelsea team Sarri has taken over, this was a team that finished 5th before it finished 6th so there was a clear trend of falling standards.

  4. Guns of Hackney

    Our work rate and emery have improved but now we look like a really poor team who now…runs a bit.

    The talent just isn’t there and I doubt any coach in the world is going to get Iwobi to be good, Bellerin to be able to defend and Ozil to show up in ALL games.

    Banter FC. The Banter Billionaires.

  5. Pierre

    “Also some of the morons that say Arsenal lack a clear playing style, are you kidding me???? We play out from the back. Press and win the ball high up the pitch. Attacking wise, our fullbacks overlap and provide cut backs all game. .”

    Play out from the back ….not really
    Press and win the ball high up ….not really.
    Cut backs ….yes and it has produced results.

  6. Pierre

    “Almost everybody agrees that our mentality and work rate have improved.”

    Shame about the quality of the football

  7. Rambo Ramsey

    What is The logic behind xG? It measures performance standard and this standard is based on the capability of the average player.

    So just because our xG suggests we are over-performing DOES NOT mean we’ll be brought back down to earth as so many ‘experts’ suggest.

    It just means we have a higher caliber of players( strikers ).

    And in Lacazette and Auba, we do. These two have probably consistently performed better than their xG for the last few years.

  8. gambon


    Theres a lot of data to suggest theres little difference in the finishing ability of strikers across the globe.

    The good strikers are the ones that get shots in from good shot locations.

    Anyway, both our CFs were here last season anyway.

  9. HighburyLegend

    “The talent just isn’t there and I doubt any coach in the world is going to get Iwobi to be good, Bellerin to be able to defend and Ozil to show up in ALL games. ”
    So one time it’s “Blame it on Emery”, one other time it’s “Blame it on the players”, some other times it’s “Blame it on Kroenke”, and many other times it’s “Blame Them All”.

    And you expect to be taken seriously ???

  10. Nelson

    Just watch the first goal again. Xhake was the CB at center and Monreal is on the left. Son is next to Monreal. As the CB, you have to keep the defensive line with Monreal. Instead, he moved way back to keep Son on side. That’s the error we made using a midfielder to play as CB.

  11. Graham62

    Realistically, to make top 4 we will need a great deal of luck.

    MC and Liverpool are out of the equation. That leaves Spuds, Chelski and ourselves and maybe a resurgent MU, fighting for two places.

    The luck we require would involve key injuries and CL commitments as far as Spuds are concerned. Chelski still have that mental edge, with many players still capable of applying a winning mentality when needed.

    MU will have an upturn in fortunes, of that I have no doubt. We need some fresh blood and the removal of the deadwood and parasite as previously highlighted.

    Because our board took far too long to act in removing Wenger, claiming a top 4 position has become more difficult than some on here seem to expect.

    Losing last night may be a blessing in our quest for luck.

  12. Guns of Hackney


    I have never been asked to be taken seriously. Ever!

    My opinion, like yours doesn’t count.

    The difference between us is, I am a massive hit with the ladies and you are not.

  13. Joe

    Kos has played 2 matches and we’ve allowed 5 goals.

    He should really never play again.

    He was solely to blame for the 2nd goal yesterday.

    We had our 3rd and probably 5th defenders on yesterday. Although I do like Sokratis.

    I’m sure emery knows he needs to buy new defenders. We need to buy a WC CB. A sol type signing. A VVD signing.

    Like I said yesterday. Emery wasn’t going to come in and buy 15 new players.

    We aren’t the club to bankroll that and emery knew he had to make do with the crap wenger left behind for a few more transfer windows. He’s been assessing all season and will make changes accordingly.

  14. Guns of Hackney


    VVD cost £70m.
    Defences cost c. £300m to assemble.
    GK are around £70m.

    We’re looking at players c. £7.00…and we want change.

  15. Joe

    This is a club that finished 40 points back and was managed by a fossil.

    Klopp has the luxury of taking over a team that should have won the league the year before if Stevie G didn’t slip. And still took Klopp 3 years to get to where he is today

    Pep has the luxury of taking a man city team that spends 100s of millions.

    Emery had the luxury of taking over le frauds Mis-assembled, Mis-managed, completely broken team of players.

  16. raptora

    xG stat is trash.

    Yesterday we had much more opportunities to score than spuds but we lost 0:2.
    Several clear cut chances like Mikki’s in the first half and Laca in the second.
    Who gives a damn how many chances you create if you can’t score.

    If Mikki scores yesterday, everything we write today would have been written on the spuds forums plus news would burst how Poch is already thinking about Manure.

    We lost fair and square but you need luck – we hit the bar twice, and you need to have quality players to score the chances you get. Mikki missed, Son didn’t. Same xG but 1 goal to spuds. Useless stat.

    Now spuds didn’t create much – why? Because they scored their two chances, didn’t need to keep pushing on and on. So their xG is prolly lower than their average. If they need to score they’ll attack more and will have higher xG.

  17. Bamford10


    We spent 52m on Lacazette and 57m on Aubameyang. Please stop acting like we haven’t spent money. Also, Liverpool were able to spend that much in large part because they bought Coutinho for 10m and sold him for 110m+. In contrast, Wenger signed Ozil for 42m and we’ll be lucky to get 20m for him if we get anything at all.

  18. Receding Hairline

    Also, Liverpool were able to spend that much in large part because they bought Coutinho for 10m and sold him for 110m+

    I don’t understand why this is being ignored. Yes their owners have made investments but that money was huge

    Add Suarez in there too, they made a 50m profit on him

    We sold our young keeper to Juve for 10m and swapped our 60m pound attacker for an ineffectual CAM

  19. Bamford10

    People seem to be confused about xG, when it’s really not that complicated. It just tells you how good of chances you are creating — or better, how many good chances you are creating.

    Yes, of course there will be games when you create more xG than an opposing team and still lose — or the opposite — but this doesn’t change the fact that the better your xG over the long term, the more goals you’re going to score.

  20. Pierre

    “If Mikki scores yesterday, everything we write today would have been written on the spuds forums ”

    You forgot to mention the chances Ramsey wasted along with his stupid back heel 5 yards from goal and the fact he disappeared totally in the 2nd half.

  21. Graham62


    Regards your 15:34 post, you are 100% correct.

    Emery’s situation can’t be compared to Klopp and Pep.

    Those that think otherwise are totally clueless.

  22. Bamford10


    Who fucking cares. We’re spending money, and people who pretend otherwise are fucking dishonest. Look at our wage bill. Look at the cost of our two forwards. Look at the prices we paid for a Mustafi, a Xhaka, an Ozil.

    Do we need to continue to spend money, maybe even more money? Sure. But we can only spend what we have available to spend, and we only have available to spend what our operating revenues provide us.

    If you want the owner to dig into his own pockets, organize a fucking protest.

  23. Bamford10

    Right, Pierre, Ramsey was the problem. What a fucking farce. Both of his first half strikes were class; they just didn’t go in.

    Your boy Ozil played like he doesn’t even want to be a footballer anymore the other day, but he is the solution to our problems? Give me a break.

  24. Joe

    Pierre is like Trump

    Throws out “ facts” and “stats”
    To suit his agenda but when the real facts and stats comes out he ignores them or claims witch hunt and fake news

  25. Pierre

    I never said that Ramsey was the problem ,but yes he did disappear from the game completely in the 2nd half ..his attempt in the first half was an excellent strike ,the other was 2 ft wide and he should have hit the target as he had a clear strike at goal..the back heel was embarrassing …

    Mhkitaryan seems to be getting a lot of criticism but we were much more effective offensively with him on the field …he is very aware of space unlike iwobi and Ramsey…we missed Mhkitaryan in the 2nd half .

  26. Joe


    We were not more efficient because we didn’t score.

    And guess why? because the Man U reject missed a glorious chance again.

    Again mkhit has cost us a match

    6-9 points in the league.

    And now a chance at the semi final

    He’s been a massive flop.

    Man U won that swap and that says a lot as Sanchez has been garbage

  27. Pierre

    Graham and joe
    I notice that you forgot to mention that sterling and Suarez left the club just before klopp arrived ,sturridge was our injured plus Gerrard was on his way out so to suggest that klopp was taking over a title winning side is way off the mark ….

  28. HighburyLegend


    Tell that to Pierre, Guns of Hackney, gambon and Pedro (among many others), they were persuaded Emery was David Copperfield in disguise.

  29. Guns of SF

    If any AM come in Jan, then clearly the writing is on the wall for Rambo (clearly) and Ozil.

    Club needs to put this in Ozil agents ear, and bring that AM in fast. Ozil will have enough time to pack his stuff up and get loaned out or given away.
    He would be an idiot to think that he has any future at the club anyhow.

    Strategic exit plan by the club

  30. gambon


    Im sorry but if you dont understand xG then youre best off keeping out of the conversation.

    Everything youve said suggests you have no understanding.

  31. raptora

    xG is about as reliable as shots on target.
    No way to tell how clean an opportunity is/was in any metric or form.
    Waaaaay too many variables.

    Say 1 on 1 with the keeper. Striker has space and time but still takes too much time, so eventually when a defender tackles the ball out of play, he had failed to even produce a shot. No xG ladies and gentlemen even though it was a clear cut chance.

    Dumb stat.

  32. azed


    At this stage, I’ll suggest the club tells Ozil to train with the under 18’s. He’s ego will not be able to handle it and would be out of the club in a flash.

  33. Guns of SF

    Azed I like the idea. I certainly hope that his agent is shopping him around Europe or elsewhere. He is 30, and there are a ton of news articles Ive read this morning in including subsidizing a loan deal, or letting him go free.

    One website alluded to Emery already knowing who he wants to bring in as AM thus feeling no stress in letting Rambo go, and sitting Ozil.

    If that is the case, the club needs to leak this – get ozil and his agent to take notice and really read the writing on the wall. Unlike Rambo, who is a profesisonal despite having no Arsenal future, Ozil will sulk, have spasms, get the flu and play endless fortnite.

    The longer he stays, his brand will collapse as well – crossing my fingers he is out in Jan

  34. gambon


    If you think its a dumb stat, you are unfortunately pretty dumb yourself.

    Matthew Benham made £200m from his in depth understanding of this.

    Banks make £trillions per year from their understanding of very similar metrics.

  35. Guns of SF

    Ozil better not let that Inter train leave without him. That might be his last hurray for playing for a decent team in Europe.
    I doubt they will keep coming back for him.

    3 good players for his salary… and we need them badly this Jan.

  36. Joe

    Graham and joe
    I notice that you forgot to mention that sterling and Suarez left the club just before klopp arrived ,sturridge was our injured plus Gerrard was on his way out so to suggest that klopp was taking over a title winning side is way off the mark ….

    Annnnnnnd it took him 3 years to get where he is.

    But you want results in 6 months.

  37. Pierre

    Personally, I would have thought that the priority for Emery should have been to create some defensive stability.
    Sadly he has neglected that part of the team …sokratis,leno,lichsteiner,Torriera and Guendouzi all joined the club and Emery is no closer to finding a defensive system that works ,in fact he is further away than ever .
    That’s 5 defensive minded players that cost the club 70 .million and still no sign of improvement and all we are hearing is let’s go and spend a fortune on more defenders ..

    I have an idea …why not try and mould the players we have into a proper effective defensive unit ..we have a solid midfield at last in Torriera and xhaka so it really shouldn’t be that difficult to defend as a unit ….

  38. azed

    “I have an idea …why not try and mould the players we have into a proper effective defensive unit”

    No matter how many hours you spend on the training ground, you cannot create an effective unit from defenders who make rookie mistakes in their 30’s.

    Yesterday Koscienly lets Kane bring down the ball, turn and pick a pass. If that was Sokratis, you can bet he’ll rather commit a foul than let Kane turn.

    Like I have said so many times since yesterday, half of the goals we’ve conceded in the EPL were due to individual mistakes and there’s really nothing a manager can do about that.

  39. London gunner

    Reading through some of the comments about politics on this blog makes me worry about humanity.

    You are either crazy liberals ruled by foolish fantasies that are ultimately distructive and orwellian or crazed right wingers who are in essence the type of scum who don’t belive every has a right to life aka free medical care and think capitalism should be left unloosed (see how well that went in 2008 ya fucking numnuts)

    The only way is centralism or Christian democracy (not a religious thing)

  40. Pierre

    “Yesterday Koscienly lets Kane bring down the ball, turn and pick a pass. If that was Sokratis, you can bet he’ll rather commit a foul than let Kane turn.”

    It was xhaka who let Kane turn and he shouldn’t have even been in the back line ..where was Sokratis….if the manager had sorted the defence properly he would have had sokratis playing alongside kosielny in the 2nd half instead of going to wing backs …very poor game management .

  41. Goobergooner

    “Emery plays aggressive high-risk football,always has, that comes with risks and short-term pain when personnel is lacking. In the long-run though, simply trying not to concede goals is a road to nowhere, so the work Emery has put in this season should reap dividends next season.”

    Explained a bit better than how I said it. Exactly how it is.

    Why weren’t these people crying over defensive stats the last few seasons?

    “The gist of all of this is that there are still far too many supporters who remain in a state of denial. Denial, that is, at how far we had fallen as a club.”

    Haha this. We haven’t been close to good enough for years. Our squad really is poor, even going back to the discussion about combined spurs arsenal 11, where only 2 players got in from ours. And that is just spurs let alone the best team in the league.

    We aren’t great and it’s going to take time to get back to the top. Not just 6 months of trying to figure arsenes mess out.

  42. gonsterous

    I understand why people are quick to put the blame on the manager but it wasn’t the manager who decided that there will only be 70m available in the pre season. I think we made good use of the money we had. We had to strengthen the defence, the mid and the wings with 70m. tough ask if you ask me. I think we will know more about how good this squad can get under emery when he has another 2 Windows under him. Don’t forget people from this very site were calling klopp and pep a flop in their first season here.