Arsenal battered in harsh Liverpool correction

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Unai Emery dealt with his first major humiliation at Arsenal in a game that was of no surprise to anyone paying attention to what’s been going on over the past few months. We sent out a group with sticks and stones to respond to players with nuclear weapons. There was never a chance. It was an obliteration. The spanking was so hard, there wasn’t even a bloodbath, because we’d been vaporised.

Fans had to have seen that coming, we’ve been getting away with a lot of average over the past 5 months. There was always going to be a correction. The defence has been incredibly porous, but we’ve rode our luck. Our strikers have been outrageously efficient in every game. Our style of play has yet to be defined. This result was always on the cards, but we hoped the slap back to reality wouldn’t be so brutal.

There are two conflicting issues we’re running up against here that could cause challenges as we look to progress from 14 years of squad and backroom neglect.

The coach has to get a free pass is the first.

It’s very difficult to apportion too much blame on the manager. We don’t live in a world where there’s one man who makes all the decisions. There’s now three. No man, woman or child can look at the squad Emery has and say that he’s been given anywhere near the right tools to do a good job at Arsenal. We are woefully short across the board. Our keeper looks fragile, our defence is old, our star midfielder is slow and ponderous, and we have no wide players of note. That is not the work of Emery alone. That’s the remnants of Arsene Wenger and some teething problems with Sven Mislintat.

As a friend pointed out to me. Klopp finished 8th in his first season with Liverpool, the Poch dropped fewer points than Tim Sherwood in his debut with Spurs. You don’t build an elite side in a season unless the owners invest properly, or you get very, very lucky.

The concern I have is what comes after we invest?

As much as I want to believe in the current man in charge, I’m struggling to see what the offering is at the moment. This feels like a transition moment. Like the club is upgrading the gym, injecting some energy, and fixing the basics. We’re 6 months into this project and I can’t see what the plan is. What’s the style? How are we solving the defensive issues? Things have been so rough that we’ve only led once at halftime in half a season. That says the coach doesn’t know how to pick a good starting 11 and he doesn’t know how to fix the defence.

This is the conundrum the club is in. We have made our bed and the only way to give Emery a fair crack is to supply him with a shit tonne of money we know almost certainly isn’t coming.

So we are in a stasis situation. We’re exacerbating our problems by funnelling resource into someone who is unlikely to take us to the next level, which is probably going to put us further back. I don’t think Arsenal can absorb the cost of a transition coach like United have been able to. There’s too little interest from the owner to be able to afford that.

That’s the brutality of elite sport. Bad decision after bad decision puts you further and further out. I’m sure we’ll be in a better place by the end of the season. Things won’t be that bad. However, I don’t think the coach we have in at the minute is better than any of the coaches above us. If you want to find the next level, you have to find someone with new and original ideas. Someone who can extract more out of less. I just don’t think we have that, and unfortunately, it’s going to take us 2 years to come to this exact conclusion, because no exec team is going to own up to a mistake this early on.

So what do we have to look forward to?

Well, the club can certainly make some aggressive moves in January. We need to clear out the players that can’t help us moving forward. Say what you will about Emery, the biggest challenge he’s had to deal with is having his two best players in conflict with his vision. Aaron Ramsey has been deemed not good enough which is the correct decision. He needs to be shipped off. Mesut Ozil is a broken player who hasn’t given a fuck for 3 years, let’s do whatever we can to clear him from the wage bill.

Then we need to sign in better. We need the cream of the 22-year-old’s so we can elevate our play.

We also need to move on the players that are clearly too old or too weak for where we need to go. Mo Elneny shouldn’t be with us if he has no use outside league cup games. Lichtsteiner has been a miserable experiment. You can’t adapt to the Premier League at his age. Koscielny is finished. Love him, but it’s over. Granit Xhaka is never going to hit the level, it doesn’t matter how many passes he sprays around, he’s too slow and prone to bouts of dimness.

The squad needs to be aggressively shaken up, because everyone around us it getting better, and that’s before United find another 100m to spend with a proper manager.

The biggest concern for Emery right now though is to inject some belief into the squad. Those players will switch off from him very quickly if he doesn’t get them firing very quickly. He’s made some bold decisions, but they’re not paying off. He needs to get everyone back on side and he needs to rally those troops fast. We cannot afford to have a Wenger like flop in January and February, there’s too much riding on this season for it to be over now.

Just before I go, the absolute atrocity of the exAKB ghouls who came bounding online yesterday like they’d just won the lottery was truly shameful. If you can’t piece together the direct implication of Wenger in our current mess, you truly have no place commenting on football. Taking joy in a loss because you think your average opinions of Wenger having a rough ride over the past 14 years is the height of shit fandom. And yes, there was a lot of that yesterday. Utterly pathetic.

We are paying the direct consequence of not firing Arsene Wenger 8 years ago when it was clear we were on the slide. We let everything fail, from top to bottom. We let good people rot, we passed on innovation, we didn’t bring in great players and we failed to maintain a grip on an elite mentality. That’ll take any coach longer than 6 months to fix.

Right, that’s me done, see you babes in the comments.

463 Responses to “Arsenal battered in harsh Liverpool correction”

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  1. Graham62


    As it’s the festive season and a New Year is fast approaching, I will not respond as I normally would to your perceptions of where all the problems originated from and why so many of our fanbase reacted to what was happening at the club. Nevertheless……..

    The negativity that built over the years was brought about by numerous things and had nothing to do with not being happy with top 4 and winning a few “shitty” FA Cups. It was the fact that the ethos and culture of the club was being systematically destroyed by a mindset geared to not genuinely competing and maximizing the resources that infact were available.

    Mr Wenger sat back and accepted the status quo. Rather than stand up, question and act, he took it upon his shoulders to take control of all facets of the club and feed the fans excuses and a rhetoric that was not the reality. This had nothing to do with not having a pot of money, because,as you know, there has always been money available. It was how we spent it that concerned many fans.

    On top of this we had a manager that became a dinosaur with his methods and philosophies and who created a culture and structure geared to “making do” and keeping the financial big wigs happy. We fell off the top table because of this and are now suffering the consequences of this gross negligence and mismanagement.

    Arsenal do not need a yes man. Wenger became a yes man and, if I sense for one moment that Emery is of similar trait, I will want him out of the door asap. Arsenal need someone to counter the financial status quo, not glory in it. Fudge values. Where have values got us? Oh yeh, that’s right, in this mess.

    We moved to the Emirates to progress and compete with the very best, not to just “accept”. The virus you talk about was not caused by those of us who questioned Wenger and the club, it was caused by those who did fudge all to end it.

    Have a great New Year and keep working on that handicap.

  2. Pierre

    Happy New year to you Graham,have a good one….

    Teeing off 11.45 …weather not too bad …very little wind ….soft greens …perfect scoring conditions, which means I will probably have a nightmare.

  3. englandsbest


    Absolutely wrong to say getting rid of Kroenke is difficult. On the contrary, it’s easy-peasy. Stay away.

    Or better still, form an Association of Season Ticket Holders. That’s approx. two-thirds of the seats. The mere THREAT of a boycott will have him throwing cash around like confetti, or off like a shot.

  4. Dissenter

    The quality of discourse on this blog plunged off the cliff in Saturday. I’ve never read more babble.
    Let’s hire and fire a manager every six months, that will fix all our problems.

  5. Dissenter

    Pierce is hurting really badly and cannot come to terms with Wenger”s sacking.
    His Emery bashing posts are all laced with Wenger nostalgia.

  6. Nelson

    “form an Association of Season Ticket Holders.”

    There is a difference between pool’s fan and Arsenal fan. When the new pool owner wanted to raise the ticket price, the pool fan were so united and walked out of the stadium during the game. The owner complied to the fan’s wish.
    Just look at this blog, there is so much division among the Arsenal fans. They seems to enjoy blaming each other’s favorites. You want to form an Association, good luck!

    On the other hand, the pool fans deserve their success because they are united.

  7. Un na naai

    Used sock

    What did you do??

    Wether emery has another £70m worth of talent come in next month or not, he shouldn’t rest on that basis. The defence needs work on the training ground. Our attack is disjointed too but we have enough going forward to ensure that we have always a goal or two in us at any ground. The defence needs special attention and if the whole team is geared towards that at the moment then so be it

    Lacazette has to start league games from now on and wether he starts Aubameyang from the bench or the wing I don’t care. He’s just not working well enough up front and we’ve lost our verve since plumping for him as our no9

    We had the Fulham game, Leicester, spurs where we have seen what can be done with emery in this set up and yes he has an injury crisis to manage but it NEEDS addressing. Our positioning is rarely if ever on point.

  8. Un na naai

    Sky sports

    As well as highlighting the gulf that still exists between Arsenal and the elite, the result threw their debilitating defensive issues into sharp focus. Arsenal have shipped more goals after 20 games (30) than in any previous Premier League campaign. They occupy fifth place in the table but only seven Premier League sides have worse defensive record

    It’s just not good enough. We have pretty much the same defence we’ve had for 3 years so why is it now so much worse when we had the most non existent defence coach in the league for the past 12 years

  9. Un na naai

    According to Opta, Arsenal have made more errors leading directly to opposition shots (17) than any other Premier League side this season. Unsurprisingly, they also rank top for errors leading to opposition goals, with six. They have conceded the most penalties in the division (five) and only kept three clean sheets in 20 games.

  10. Valentin

    Anybody who had followed French football knew that Unaï Emery was not the right man.
    Here is a list of things that he was accused in Ligue 1:
    – Starts season with substitution that will look brilliant but then be revealed to be lack of proper planning
    – regularly get his tactics wrong when facing quick pressing organising team that results in big humiliating spanking
    – get out of jail against second tier team because of better players
    – Bore to death half the squad with video without ever resulting in better organisation
    – Upset some important members of the squad by isolating some players without good reason showing a petty side
    – Fell out with some senior players and senior staff members
    – Request specific players who will all turn out to be expensive flop
    – Pretend to play youngsters but in fact never properly involve them in the squad
    – Run a small number of favourite players to the ground

    Unaï Emery is the ultimate job interview specialists for a club with aspiration of Champion’s league success. On paper looks near perfect, in reality a complete mismatch.

    Now that Leonardo Jardim is available, I say get rid of the Spanish fraud before the implosion and hire a proper coach.