Arsenal still has an identity crisis (long read)

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The more I pondered where we are as a club, the clearer it became that we’ve made a total hash of the rebirth. A lot of that comes from Ivan Gazidis who has to be one of the worst decision makers in the world of football. Guided by ego and shite people getting in his ear, he’s overseen a transition that’ll likely go down in history as poorly as the one at Manchester United. The main difference being that Arsenal doesn’t have the same resources to claw their way out like our northern brethren.

I think a lot of the issues start with our identity problem. Arsenal never recovered from our delusions of grandeur after the incredible progress we made in the late nineties and early 2000s. We won three Premier League titles, we built a new stadium, we were promised riches beyond our wildest dreams, but then Chelsea and City came along with petrodollars and we didn’t adapt.

Think about this, Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger’s strategy for beating out the big spenders was to convince themselves that regulation would level the playing field. Guess what, it never happened. It was like the two of them had never watched megabrands like Starbucks and Amazon evade tax laws with armies of clever lawyers and influence purchase.

Instead of recalibrating for the modern era where we’d have to work out a strategy that went beyond pound note expenditure, we buried our heads in the sand and hoped. We effectively became a second tier club that believed it was top tier, and sadly, we’ve still not woken up to our place.

That’s why the club will still complain about money issues (despite being top 3 net spenders over 5 years). Our culture is built on excuses as to why we can’t, instead of how we can. As fans, we bemoan our lot in life while Spurs, Bournemouth and Wolves massively outperform expectations. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t be performing with the best teams in Europe. Our wage bill is 263m euros and it’s 55% of our turnover. That’s the 9th highest in Europe. Higher than Juve, Roma, Dortmund, Altelti and Inter. We’re a couple of players shy of Bayern.  We’re the only club in the top 10 for wages not in the Champions League.

The reason we don’t compete is we haven’t accepted our reality.

There is no guiding philosophy at Arsenal. There is no identity. Our structure is not built on an idea, so we get by throwing shit at the wall, but the chances of succeeding are greatly diminished.

Just look at how we hired. Emery seems like a lovely guy who wants to do well, but he doesn’t have that special sauce you need to win at a club like Arsenal. Sure, give him PSG and he’ll drop a title at the second attempt, but moving Arsenal to the next level? How is that ever going to be on the cards in a league that has Pochettino, Klopp, Sarri and Pep Guardiola. You need to battle ideas with ideas. Arsenal took the safe option. Someone who will come in and upgrade the basics and bring a bit of intelligence to the setup. That’s table stakes though, and we really were in a situation with Wenger where basic competence was needed towards the end. That lowered our standards and we landed where we landed.

For me, there is no scenario or amount of money that is bringing us up to our rivals levels. We’re 6 months into this project and we still don’t have a defined style. There’s no excuse for that, just throw on a Leeds game and tell me 6 months is too little time. Our defence is worse than last season despite investing in it and making it a focal point. We have a DM we all adore, yet we’re still leaking goals like a Sunday league team. Halftime subs were our drug at the start of the reign, now they’re starting to look like a predictable panic ripcord. We’ve not led at halftime in 18 of 19 games. Injuries are piling up like we suspected they would. They’re so problematic, Hector Bellerin is out. Double sessions come at a cost. For all the tactical nous we hoped we’d hired in, we went to Anfield with a game plan that was so bad we conceded 5.

Doesn’t bode well, does it? However, I can see the flip side. We went on a terrific run, he is modernizing the club, we fight harder, run further and we’re in better shape than we were last year regardless of what the naysayers try and convince you of. That said, it’s not good enough and nor will it ever be.

We have a historical example of a very similar situation like this just before Wenger arrived. Bruce Rioch came in after we’d finished 12th in the league (6 points off relegation), he purchased Platt and Bergkamp, and moved us up to 5th. David Dein knew he wasn’t good enough and pulled the trigger on his tenure, replacing him with someone who did have the special sauce needed to find the next level.

To find that next level, we need to decide what our footballing philosophy is. How do we want to play, what do we need to play that way, and how do we achieve our objectives without Man City money.

Liverpool are heavy metal football and guess what, they hire for it. The players they bring in are fast, powerful, technically gifted and hugely resilient from a fitness standpoint.

R.B Leipzig has a stunning approach to growth that’s brought them huge success in a short space of time. They play high octane pressing football, they buy in young players under the age of 23 years old, they have a very smart youth academy, and they build feeder clubs that supply them with the players they need. This is the group that produced Keita and Mane (Salzburg just dropped an unbeaten season). They know who they are, and what they want to achieve.

What are we looking to do? Why the fuck are we binning off Aaron Ramsey for EVER BANEGA? What is the vision there? What are we planning for? If there were a clear strategy of who we wanted to be as a club, tell me why Mesut Ozil was allowed to stay on? There is no defined vision for what we’re about.

We’ve had different variations of a north star in the past. Originally, Wenger wanted to play the most technical football in the league with the fittest and most powerful players he could find in the then closed markets of Europe. Then he shifted gears to Project Youth, which was taking strategic punts on the best kids in the world and growing them into world-class players.

What exactly is our policy? Half-baked again. We buy in a little bit of everything and it all looks a touch meh. But then again, what are the parameters we’re working within? This is not the sharp player purchase strategy we’d hoped for. We have two great strikers who can’t really play together. We bought an aging right back who isn’t fit for purpose. The swap deal with Mikhi has tanked. Guendouzi and Torreira are great. Sokratis has done well, but again, he’s at the heart of a defence that’s failing. Leno was an expensive gamble that doesn’t look to have worked. What unites all of those purchases? Nothing.

The youth academy is another area where you fail if you don’t have a guiding principle or vision. It’s also an area you can win greatly. I love Per Mertesacker, but if you are a club that can’t compete, growing your own is a great way in, however, you don’t put generations of young footballers in the hands of someone who has no experience of developing kids. I am not for one minute saying Per can’t be great, I’m just saying it shows the lack of leadership at the club. Taking a punt on a young manager is very different to taking a punt on the Dean of a University.

So how do we move forward from here?

I think the club need to be brutally honest about where we’re going and whether the current approach is going to bear fruit. There’s no point in pissing around for 2 years to find out that the decision we made wasn’t the right one, or even worse, a stasis move. We need to make a bold decision about the future.

We need to be honest about who we are as a club. We then need to craft a plan around how we make it back to the top, or at least to a level where we’re building towards something. #Top4 is not a strategy, it’s a goal. We need to envision a style of fast, powerful technical football and then figure out exactly the type of players we need to deliver on that. That means the best coaches, the best young players from around the world and that means and investment of faith from the fans because we’re going in an exciting new direction.

At the moment, it looks like we’re just going to keep on investing in something that has little chance of succeeding. We can’t spend another 10 years in no man’s land, we just can’t.

Happy New Year, thanks for reading! x

438 Responses to “Arsenal still has an identity crisis (long read)”

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  1. 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

  2. arsene's used sock

    I’ve said it since wenger started buying “big”.
    our best bet is to develop talent from within, buy gifted teenagers and develop them.
    but everyone just wants money to be spent while Liverpool make their own money by developing sterling.

  3. Receding Hairline

    Guided by ego and shite people getting in his ear, he’s overseen a transition that’ll likely go down in history as poorly as the one at Manchester United.

    Wow…..Wonder what you thought would happen in six months.

    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

    It sure has…the over reactions have been of epic proportions.

  4. Dissenter

    You’ve been bashing Emery with this empty jabs of lacking the “X-factor” or “special sauce”.
    On paper we got the best coach who was willing to put with working with a newly assembled DoF and chief scout with a very limited transfer budget. No one else of repute would have taken the Arsenal job without an assurance of a major spend.
    When you say he’s liking a “special sauce”, I assume you mean likeability and camera appeal.
    Please explain this special sauce you keep alluding to ben]cuse you were backing a boring managerial novice over the summer.

  5. Receding Hairline

    Please explain this special sauce you keep alluding to ben]cuse you were backing a boring managerial novice over the summer.

    He already covered all bases with the below

    “Taking a punt on a young manager is very different to taking a punt on the Dean of a University.”

    He is very much still rooting for Arteta and the likes. Emery is boring, his English is poor and he is not the best at press conferences so of course he won’t be universally liked.

    Pedro speaks of identity and then throws in Sarri as a top manager, wht is Chelsea’s identity right now? They have simply gone back to grinding out wins like they are used to as a club for the past decade, if that rubbish they play is Sarriball then he deserves to be sacked.

    He talks about Klopp and Pep, well i guess they breezed the league after their first six months, doesn’t get more box office than Pep and Klopp but even them had got time to settle. Pochettino has shown he can build a team not just one that has the mental fortitude to win things, he is as much a bottler as are his players yet everyone ignores that.

    Emery out after six months is the way to go.

  6. Radio Raheem

    I can see a discernable Emery style, it’s like he said ‘to be protagonists’ – it’s more aggressive, more pressing, quicker transitions. However, we’ve dropped a few notches with the injuries and fatigue kicking in the last few weeks.

  7. Dissenter

    It is going to tie several season to recalibrate out transfer budget into money for transfer and more appropriate wages
    We have to live like a Europa League team for 2-3mseasons until we clear out our books. We cannot afford to keep signing 30 year old stopgaps because we won’t be able to afford replace them in two years time. That’s why I hope Mislintat does not approve the signing of Ever Banega.
    That 18 million is better spent on a Samuel Chukwueze and a young midfield prospect. Chukwueze can be had for about £10 million and there have to be 2013-Coutinho deals around.
    We need to stop geriatricising our squad. There are no short term fixes because we have a systemic failure underting our problems.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    I have to agree the level of hyperbole on this blog over the past few days is beyond a joke.

    All empty statements as well from people who are either deluded or agenda filled.

    I’m quite prepared to be patient, the club got rid of the single biggest problem we had and now we’re moving forward, if others aren’t that’s fine but you’re going to look very silly down the line.

    I mean we all expected absolute shite speech from the pro-Wenger rabble, they’ve have a decade of practice, but from some people on here it’s highly disappointing. Emery, Mislintat and Sanllehi have taken over a club that has been sliding in standards, this is a squad of players getting worse sliding from 5th to 6th whilst somehow spending more.

    Emery had to come in and reverse that, try to plug a defence that made the Titanic’s breech look manageable, try to get a midfield that was shite working, deal with the pussy problem, deal with an unbalanced attack, deal with a loack of coaching, deal with a squad lacking crucial elements, find a GK, CB x2, LB, CDM, CM, CAM and winger and was given a budget of £70 Million.

    There’s a reason the top names like Allegri wanted nothing to do with it. Wenger left such a mess only a few people were willing to chance their arm at cleaning it up. Top names will not risk reputation.

    You all say ‘I think’, ‘I think’, ‘I think’ this person could do better, ‘I think’ that better could do better. I’m telling you ‘I think’ no one would come in under those conditions and do better than Emery has to any significant degree, could be marginally better, could be marginally worse.

    This is a long project.

  9. englandsbest

    Pedro, you have put your finger on it: we have lost our Club identity. This is something I have been saying for ages. However, we differ on the cause. For me, it’s the bottom-line policy of the owner.

    I won’t go into the evidence that Kroenke is the root-cause of the Club’s decline yet again, I have done so many times before. Instead I will reiterate that the situation will worsen because he is bound to load onto the Club the £550 m borrowed by him to buy out Usmanov.

    However, let’s not be defeatist, getting rid of him is not a problem. On the contrary, it’s easy. Stay away.

    Or even better, form an Association of Season Ticket Holders. That covers about 40,000 seats. Just the threat of a boycott will be enough to make him either change his policy or sell out to someone who will.

  10. Paulinho

    “I can see a discernable Emery style, it’s like he said ‘to be protagonists’ ”

    Exactly. It’s pretty obvious what he is trying to do.

    He doesn’t ever want us to sit in a low block, he wants us to continually be aggressive with our positioning on the pitch, even when we score.

    Like a boxer continually staying the pocket and not using the ring.

    Obviously it’s impossible to do that all the time – there will be moments when the opposition force us back – but his idea is to try and minimise that concession of initiative as much as possible.

  11. Dissenter

    Pedro is right about the Banega deal.
    It would signify that Raul and Sven are thorough confused and have no real plan.
    They have to reassure the manger and remind him of whatever goals they have.
    Chukwueze can be had for about £5-10 million, Leicester want him as well. Those are the simple deals that need to be done. We need a wide player who can score goals. One that will continue to improve before our very eyes.
    If our budget is limited, then start buying up these types of talent because they are the real football investments, not some near-washed up Argentine midfielder.

  12. Graham62


    All so true.

    We had an identity prior to 2006. Through GG and the early years of Wenger we were seen as a powerful, mentally tough team that were intimidating to play against. Wenger brought in the technical and physical improvements that enabled us to compete with the very best.

    The identity then changed(for the worst). Players became smaller/ weaker, and were cloned in both mindset and technical ability. The winners and leaders disappeared, and along with this, so did our identity. Teams no longer feared us and because of what we had become, it was sort of accepted that that’s the way it was.

    This somewhat apathetic outlook on things became the norm. Many of us became angered and frustrated by this negative status quo. We were no longer a club with a clear identity which, as Emery has found out, has made things very difficult for him.

    So what should it be……..our Footballing ID? Imo, it needs to be built around variety. Physical and mental strength, technical attributes, leaders/winners, pace in the right places. We need personnel that will instill the fear of God into opposing teams. Unfortunately, we no longer have these players and systems.

    Pretty Football is all well and good, but it has to be effective and rewarding. Liverpool are a scary team, as are MC. Chelsea have Hazard, take him out of their set up and they are half the team. MU are turning a corner, but their identity, built under Ferguson, was based on wanting to attack. Spuds can also be a scary proposition.

    We need a few players to scare opponents, like Henry and Co were renowned for doing. Shite, teams like Wolves have scary players with pace and skill and yet we don’t. You don’t have to spend mega bucks to create an ID, but you do need the intelligence to see and understand that as we stand now, our ID is flawed, or, should I say, non-existent.

    Have a great New Year everyone.

  13. Dissenter

    I also think it’s a defeatist distraction talking about ousting Kroenke. It’s not going to happen nd you know it.’
    A certain billionaire with four times Kroenke’s net worth couldn’t pull it off after one decade of trying.
    Talking about removing Kroneke is like a flash mob of ostriches with their heads tucked in their arses.

  14. Radio Raheem

    And this we haven’t gone into the lead at halftime (or used to be we always fall behind or whichever is the more negative spin) is such a weak point that keeps getting regurgitated here and in mainstream media.

    We started well against Brighton and Liverpool and what happened there?

    It’s such a silly observation to keep repeating. Who has ever won the lead at half time trophy?

    It’s logical that teams that take the lead or start well should win. This might be backed up by statistics. Yet what we did for 22 matches was to, perhaps, buck this trend. It’s a pretty wide sample of matches to buck that trend. Maybe with our profile of players, management and so on this was/is our norm. Who knows?

    This is the mental block many of those repeating this boring observation fail to grasp.

    Even when looked at from a facile perspective, this negative slant can be spun to be a positive in citing the team’s incredible ability to finish games strongly.

    Enough of this already.

  15. Pedro

    Graham, I think my broader point here is less about Emery, more about the general state of Arsenal football club.

    We have no idea who we are, so it’s always going to be tough for any manager to make an impact here.

    Those that are saying no manager would risk their rep here might be right, but that starts from the top. What are we selling? RB Leipzig jumped the queue for Nagelsmann. You have a visionary at the top of that club, so it’s easy to buy into. You know what he wants from you, the type of players you’ll work with and the expectations will be explicit.

    Nagelsmann didn’t need £200m to take that job… he just needed to be excited about it.

    What was our vision on offer?

  16. Receding Hairline

    If our budget is limited, then start buying up these types of talent because they are the real football investments, not some near-washed up Argentine midfielder.

    The interest in him if true is weird considering he was never really that good even in his prime…

  17. Paulie

    He’s had 6 months so we should expect to see some improvement but we’re actually worse than last year. Everyone knew Leno was useless and how did he expect old defenders to cope with the speed of the premier league. All we hear is that he needs 3 or 4 windows yet he’s brought in mostly crap the first and there’s not one decent defender linked with us this time. Arsenal is finished as an elite club until kronke is gone. All the spin and bullshit in the world from arsenal won’t change that. Kronke has been an absolute disaster for us.

  18. Cesc Appeal

    But this is the whole point, for 6-7 years the majority of this blog has said we have lost all identity. Are we a pressing team? Are we a counter team? Are we a defensive team? Are we a passing team?

    No one knew anymore.

    We assembled players like a stupid kid playing FIFA, no rhyme or reason to it at all. Just adding names usually in a panic because there was no plan heading into a window.

    Now those same people who bemoaned that every year and bemoaned the lack of coaching and bemoaned the falling standards etc are expecting identity to be imprinted all over this squad within 6 months and with a paltry £70 Million spend on a degrading team missing a variety of essentially elements like a GK, a defence, a CDM, a CM, CAM and winger? Are you kidding me?

    Sure, I could give you identity if you have me £300 Million to spend. That’s why Allegri was asking for £250 Million.

    What Emery is having to try to do is stamp identity on players who for years have been told ‘I don’t know, pass it about a bit and see what happens’. That is hard and usually results in the recycling of a lot of players. Just as Klopp did.

    People can go on about net spends with Liverpool, the fact is who is our Coutinho we’re selling for £130 Million? What is the biggest asset we have in the team? Probably Torreira, that tells you everything doesn’t it about the job on?

    Just absurdity from some.

    You either bitched for 6-7 years without cause or you’re bitching now without cause. Decide.

  19. Champagne charlie

    “The hope was that Emery would introduce some defensive discipline to a back line which looked lost under Wenger, but instead the situation has worsened. If they continue at their current rate, Arsenal will concede 57 goals this season – six more than under Wenger last season and their highest total in any campaign since 1983/84.”

    So as many have noted then…

    Guess the people at Sky are also “Akbs”. Or simply observing what’s occurring in front of them and not being emotional.

  20. Dissenter

    I read that Villarreal made a mistake with their Chukwueze deal, they don’t have those crazy La Liga transfer clauses on his contract and that he can be had firms low as 5-10 million.
    We almost had him before and frankly I’m glad we missed,out on him then because he would be languishing in our academy by now.
    He’s an easy signing for a club working on a limited budget. He’s probably on 10-20k Euros weekly wages.

  21. Paulinho

    Think Emery wants Banega because he plays the game as he sees it. It comes naturally to the Argentine to probe in a manner which Emery wants; constant balls into the final third and ability to look for the return pass and force the issue himself at times.

  22. Pedro

    CA, it’s not an either or situation.

    If you invested in the defence and you made it a priority, it should be better.

    You don’t need £300m to have a footballing identity.

    The club is still buying in players in a mish mash way.

    You can hate the Wenger era and be thoroughly disappointed with what we’re trying to do now.

    Patience is a myth in football. You don’t need to abide by it if you’re investing in something that won’t work. United played the patience game with LVG and and Mourinho, they shit canned both of them. Chelsea NEVER play the patience game, and it usually pays off well for them.

    Why wait two years when it’s pretty clear it’s going to end in a very meh situation?

  23. Dissenter

    ‘Nagelsmann didn’t need £200m to take that job… he just needed to be excited about it.’
    Emery is a bigger managerial profile that Nagelsmann.
    You’re muddling up managerial ability with camera appeal aka x-factor/special sauce.

  24. Paulinho

    The defensive discipline spiel has always been an overly simplistic view of our problems.

    We were dead under Wenger in every respect. Scored a load of goals when it didn’t matter, and completely unable to play decent football unless the game was over.

    The pundits that hoped Emery would bring defensive discipline, as if he was some Spanish George Graham, were just clueless clowns, obviously ignorant to what he was as a manager.

    Emery could dial down his philosophy, but what long-term gain would that give us? He needed to look at the whole squad and see who was capable of playing how he wants. He’s seen it now and will react accordingly. At least that’s the ‘hope’.

  25. Nelson

    Please allow me to repeat my message on unity.

    “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.

  26. Radio Raheem

    If ManU win the next couple of games won’t surprise me if posters on here champion Solskjaer as Emery’s replacement 🙂

    It’s all a bit stupid now isn’t it.

  27. Champagne charlie

    “On paper we got the best coach who was willing to put with working with a newly assembled DoF and chief scout with a very limited transfer budget. No one else of repute would have taken the Arsenal job without an assurance of a major spend.“

    Sure about that? Rafa Benitez just come off a brilliant season with Newcastle and that’s just the same league as us.

    Emery is riding high on the EL triple, but while it’s a truly impressive achievement it sweeps his domestic “success” under the carpet.

  28. Dissenter

    ‘Why wait two years when it’s pretty clear it’s going to end in a very meh situation?‘

    You’ve let the cat out of the bag
    That’s what this was all about

    Nagelsmann has never managed a club with expectation. It may be that he prefers clubs that’s dont expect anymore than just staying in the first division.

  29. Pedro

    Dissenter, Nagelsmann is extracting miracles out of that Hoffenheim team. He is an incredibly talented young coach that will do great things. That’s special sauce. I personally don’t believe there’s an extra level to Emery, and we either deal with that early… or we run out the next two years and find out then… when everyone will blame money, not managerial quality for the downfall.

  30. Batistuta


    Those at Sky are not saying anything new to be honest but did you really expect the new manager to fix that defense in 6 months with an absolute joke of a budget to work with? Most sensible or realistic fans knew it would take time especially without significant investment

  31. gambon

    Agreed Pedro

    The club need a defined vision, but currently have none.

    A number of our recent signings are in the 29/30 age range, hardly building for a bright future. Banega would be another example of that.

    I see that most people that militantly bck Emery, and refuse to even accept any form of criticism are very quickly bringing Wenger into every conversation. Its like their post Wenger PTSD is forcing them to back Emery through fear of having to accept Wenger wasnt the issue.

  32. Chris

    I had my doubts about Emery from the start and 6 months on I am horrified at what’s going on. We look clueless. It is obvious Emery has no idea with selection, tactics or substitutions. I am baffled at some of his decisions and whatever is going on with Mesut needs sorting now. Painful to watch.

  33. Cesc Appeal


    ‘Patience is a myth in football.’

    No it isn’t.

    Not when you’re club has limited resources.

    And to say something isn’t working after 6 months is ridiculous. So let’s change the manager and give him….oh shit…nothing to spend because we have nothing and we also have nothing to sell to raise funds because of what a great job Wenger did.

    So what do you want to do? There’s a level of realism to reach here.

    Why do you think our only choices of manager were Vieira, Arteta and Emery? Who looks best out of that lot?

    I wanted Allegri, but it quickly become apparent that wasn’t on the cards because Arsenal don’t have £250 Million to give him. Enrique wanted a massive transfer pot as well.

    Why do you think that is? Why do you think none of them would entertain the idea without a massive transfer spend?

    I want Arsenal to do better, but I’m also realistic about where we are. Emery has added one player to the defence, or Mislintat more likely, people can talk about the GK and Torreira all they like but Leno was a cheap prospective punt that is longterm and Torreira is our best player off and on the ball, the work he’s having to do and we’re seeing the effects of it now on him over the last 2-3 games.

    If you told Allegri/Enrique/Whoever that they were taking over a team that conceded 44 goals in 16/17 then 51 in 17/18 and that they would get a £12 Million CB to add tot he defence, what do you think they are saying? Give you a clue it rhymes with duck and there’s go and yourself either side of it.

    People can point at Torriera in their desperation to make a point, but that poor bugger is having to play CDM/CM/CAM for us because Xhaka is slower than a carthorse and the CAMs are ghost players.

  34. S Asoa

    “Emery needs players and that is Sven and Raul’s domain “
    We have an elephant in the China
    Kroenke – who should have been toasted long back when there was still a chance.
    In February we shall know that he bought Arsenal like buying gold i.e. to make money. The Mismatch can use players as salesmen in his Supermarkets

  35. gambon

    “to be honest but did you really expect the new manager to fix that defense in 6 months ”

    Did you think that after spending £70m, a full preseason, and 6 months working with the players every day that our defence would be no better…..not even 1% better?

  36. Guns of Hackney

    On the most amateur of all the nights in a calendar year. A very well thought out and measured delivery. Spot on, Peter.

    Well done for bringing another stellar year for le grove to an end.

  37. Batistuta

    And everyone keeps mentioning this younger managers who would have gotten us better defensively but my question is how do you do that with so many error prone players in the squad?

  38. gonsterous

    wouldn’t cesc be cheaper than banega ? They are almost the same age, maybe cesc would have a bigger wage than banega but cesc is PL proven and associated with the club. I was shouting for him to be bought back from barca, but we had the dim wit wenger in charge. I’ve always liked cesc. Been one of my arsenal heroes growing up. Will always hold a special place in my heart.

  39. azed

    Guess the people at Sky are also “Akbs”. Or simply observing what’s occurring in front of them and not being emotional.

    Those who work in data analysis know the data doesn’t lie, but it also doesn’t necessarily tell the truth.

    What does that mean as regards our defense, the data says we are conceding more goals, but it doesn’t tell why.

    Half of our goals have been caused by individual defenders
    Leno vs Spurs,
    Kolasinac vs UTD,
    Koscielny & Leno vs Southampton
    Lichsteiner vs Liverpool
    Xhaka vs Wolves.

    The point is there’s little a manager can do when some of his players lack basic competence except maybe revert to Sam Alladayce kind of football.

    Are there teams with poorer players who have conceded less than us?
    Yes but there’s a reason we are above them on the table, we score more which itself comes at a cost.

    Against Liverpool, we had Iwobi and AMN in our front three.

  40. Champagne charlie


    No I’ve not once suggested we should be “fixed” or anything close to absolute.

    But if we binned Wenger for being inept is it so difficult to expect a new competent manager to have an effect on what’s left behind BEFORE adding any new faces? I think so, it would mark the difference in quality between the respective managers. Otherwise what’s the point?

    Then on top of that with a few additions we should see some signs of change. So to see a decline in defensive competency is shocking.

    I find this free pass stuff a bit of a joke. Wenger can’t have been as bad as suggested if the new guy can’t get any better out of the same group. If that’s honestly the POV then Wenger was never the issue, it was a simple as handing recruitment to Sven and getting better players in. But that’s not the opinion of yesteryear so have it one way or don’t. Both isn’t on offer.

  41. S Asoa

    We are the 3rd biggest wage paymasters in the League ,but sitting at 5-6 by the skin of the teeth.
    Looks like The Club Management is incompetent in addition to being Stupid to lose out on Champions League money

  42. Dissenter

    You may have missed it but Nagelsmann took himself out of consideration and stated that he wasn’t ready for the Arsenal (higher) level of challenge.
    Emery too used to be the golden boy of Spanish coaches, that’s why he’s had so many jobs in a short period.

  43. Receding Hairline

    Dissenter, Nagelsmann is extracting miracles out of that Hoffenheim team.

    I may need to check what the word miracle actually means once again ..good coach ..yes but you seem to think he is something else because he is young. At his age Emery was working Minor miracles at the lower leagues too and pulled off one at Almeira.

    RB Liepzig is not the pinnacle of football so the constant reference to them is weird, they have a good footballing model but they are not pulling up any trees considering they have outspent 70% of the bundesliga

  44. loyika

    So so funny on here.

    All in all what needs to happen for Emery right now is to keep it simple and get back to basics – Win the next flipping game and then the next and the next……(while banging on the doors of Sven and Raul to get bodies through the door)

    If we don’t see a performance/backlash against Fulham? I shudder to think how the Home supporters would react.

    Man United are getting results and could very well over take us as it stands and we end up 6th season end.

    Do we trust this team to win the Ropa?

    Guess only FAC to look forward too then?

    If by season end we don’t improve on 6th and have nothing to show for a whole season of transition…..what say Stan K.

    Eitherways, guess we will get a hint of how our season will pan out from how the club behaves this JTW.

    My belief is that we won’t do much and it will be same old, same old.

    Lets see if the Club and its Management can serve us doubters a large dose of Humble Pie.

    I guess when Fans/Supporters finally say “Fcuk it!” and stop going to games as they did last season the BoD will sit up and take notice. Once apathy creeps in again, it can’t be stopped.

  45. gonsterous

    replace ozil with cesc. guy will give you the same defensive outcome but offensively, we will be a lot more dangerous.

  46. Dissenter

    ‘Patience in football’ is not a myth.
    How else have Liverpool become premier league contenders?
    The owners got a good manager in and supported him. They even started buying high caliber players against his wishes.

  47. Champagne charlie


    Read the article before talking anecdotally about numbers.

    Arsenal have conceded the most shots from errors (17). But spurs have conceded (12) yet conceded 9 fewer goals.

    We’ve made a league high (6) errors leading to goals. Take that from the (30) we’ve conceded and that’s (24).

    Arsenal defence WITHOUT errors: 24
    Spurs: 21
    Chelsea: 16
    City: 16
    Liverpool: 8

    Wolves: 23
    Leicester: 23

    The “we’ve made loads of individual errors” stuff is what’s commonly called an excuse. We’re awful at the macro-stuff defensively, that’s system, tactics, approach, before looking at micro-reasoning like player errors.

  48. gambon


    Im not sure Stan/Raul will be giving Emery any funds if he cant improve performance.

    Arsenal have a big data analysis team, that report into Raul.

    Im sure he will be asking why we are shooting less, allowing more shots on goal, and conceding more goals despite Emery being a tactical wizard and Wenger being useless tactically, as we have all been told for years.

  49. Dissenter

    I believe Emery took responsibility for the shellacking
    Let’s wait to see the reaction from the manager, players and Sven/Raul.

  50. Batistuta

    Again and in my opinion, no manager or tactics system or structure can stop stupid error prone players from making stupid mistakes, that’s the way i see it. Certain players can’t be coached to be better no matter how much we wish that to be true.

  51. gambon

    “Certain players can’t be coached to be better no matter how much we wish that to be true.”

    But its worrying that they have been coached to be worse.

  52. Jon

    Wenger when he took over inherited Seaman Dixon Winterburn Adams Bould Keown Bergkamp Parlour and Wright. Look at the shite Emery has inherited not one defender who can defend.A midfield of lazy fuckers.
    I wonder what our fans expected this season .Klopp spent £250m on players this summer to go with Salah Firmino and Mane. Emery was given £70m to improve a squad that finished 6th last season.He was told to turn a turd into a diamond
    We have an owner who is giving the manager funds expecting to finish 6th.There is no way are finishing higher on that budget .Our whole transfer budget was one Liverpool signing
    Not even Pep could do anything with this rotten squad.Let Emery clear out the dross Mustafi Xhaka Ramsey Ozil Mkhitaryan Iwobi Elneny and Welbeck and build his own squad.because at the moment this is still Wenger’s squad
    Emery is a proven winner unlike media darling Poch give the man a break

  53. Mr Serge

    dissenter I agree with you totally too much bleating on here we can’t chop and change managers every 6 months. We need more than one window and 60m spend to see what he has.

  54. Radio Raheem

    We’ll see how much worse or better we at the end of the season. Until then it’s just chat. Like City had already won the league until they lost two, Southampton relegated until they won 2…and now Liverpool are the best side across all galaxies withVVD the footballing Zeus until…:)

  55. azed

    Arsenal defence WITHOUT errors: 24
    Spurs: 21
    Chelsea: 16
    City: 16
    Liverpool: 8

    Now let’s take into account players we have. Do we have any defender as good as Maguire?
    Don’t you think a player like VVD would marshall our defense better?

    The fact that we conceded the most from errors tells you a lot.

  56. Champagne charlie


    That’s fair, but I just posted our goals conceded without errors and we’re still considerably worse than the sides around us.

    Mitigation is what managing is all about. Overlong weakness and amplifying strengths are their remit. So there’s only so much you can reduce to player error when viewing our defensive performances for the season.

  57. Jon


    Have you seen Walcott at Everton.He is still as shite as he was at Arsenal because he has the coaching of Wenger in him.Like Bellerin Mustafi Xhaka Ramsey Ozil and Iwobi.They have got years of Wenger telling them what they did on the pitch was right Emery has come in and seen they are no good

  58. Champagne charlie


    I don’t rate slabhead as highly as many on here, he’s decent but not better than Mustafi/Papa to the level you’re suggesting. He’s also not performing alongside players as good as we have, in midfield either.

    You can make a VvD argument if you want, but that’s not denied by anyone. Yes, a top drawer defender would make a difference. Why didn’t we buy one in the summer then?

    You’re going off piste with that narrative anyway. We have a team of players better than West Ham etc but concede as many as them when all errors are discounted. That’s telling.

  59. Pedro

    Dissenter, Liverpool have piled through the managers for years. Brendan Rodgers didn’t last long after nearly winning the league. Everything under Klopp has been an upward trajectory. Energy around the club, energy on the pitch, a defined style, a Europa League final in his first season, CL ever since, great player purchases, the development of young players.

    Patience is worthwhile if you’re seeing progress. I’m not sure we are if we’re honest.

    Emery isn’t a world class coach. Just look at how he bottled the CL two years running with PSG. Look at how he flunked the first season at PSG. Sure, Monaco were a great side, but hugely inexperienced and battling against a team that bought Neymar.

    The whole club is a mess, it’s not all the fault of Emery, but my worry is we’re going to double down on the ‘patience’ thing and we’ll be drifting for years to come.

  60. G

    He needs more time.. think he brought 2 decent players in midfield so far.. Give him Jan and the summer and then we can judge as it generally will be his team
    For what its worth i think long term our keeper is going to be more then capable..
    I would be happy with top 4 next season and at least challenging for title season after

  61. Radio Raheem

    It’s pointless bemoaning our lack of mega spend in the transfer market. With Kroenke in charge that’ll never change. People cite Liverpool but they had player assets they could flip for a lot of money.

    Question then is, is Emery the one to move us forward with a restricted spend? Decide end of the season.

    If we finish 5th and have decent cup runs in the Europa and FA cup I think he’ll be given another season at least. That said I don’t see Arsenal doing a Chelsea serially paying off sacked managers.

    I’m sure Arsenal would be looking at alternatives. The chap that just took over at Southampton was linked to Arsenal prior to Emery and is by all accounts highly rated across Europe and he suits Arsenal criteria of not demanding a big transfer budget. He’s the type I think we’ll be looking at the next few years until we land on the ‘one’.

  62. Don T

    Meanwhile over in Denver Kroenke is pouring himself a large drink and laughing his head off

    While bloggers and fans are attacking Emery our absent owner who will not invest in the team gets away with it scot free.Where are the Kroenke out protests?

    You can blame the manager the coaching staff and the players but the biggest problem at Arsenal is STAN KROENKE and whoever the manager is he will not give them the funds (£350m) to bring in quality players.We shop in Primark not Harrods

  63. HillWood

    Stan likes money
    If he can’t see CL cash at the end of the tunnel he will pull the plug on Emery
    I think that’s the reason he eventually fired Wenger

  64. S Asoa

    Considering that defence is our biggest problem, considering how Bould used to trot out 1-0 winners whenever Wenger used to land in the trough and yield to alternative, what about Emery giving him charge of defence instead of usuing his continental pansies ?

  65. gambon


    So that means Emery is no better than Wenger as a manager.

    So why remove Wenger?

    As Charlie said, if Emery isnt a better manager, we couldve just bought in a Head of Recruitment and let Wenger carry on.

    If Emery is incapable of making performance improvements, then we stand no chance unless we bring the best players in the world in for each position, which will cost £50-100m a time.

  66. Batistuta


    The Why not leave Wenger argument is really weak to be honest as we obviously declined rapidly under him.

    With Emery, it’s obviously going to be a wait and see scenario because unless we are ready to go down a level in terms of managers, he’s maybe the best bet especially with regards the Europa league as a route back to the champions league. No other manager would be willing to undertake the massive rebuild we need without significant investment especially knowing the fickle nature of Arsenal fans

  67. azed

    Emery isn’t a world class coach. Just look at how he bottled the CL two years running with PSG. Look at how he flunked the first season at PSG. Sure, Monaco were a great side, but hugely inexperienced and battling against a team that bought Neymar.


    Pep lost to that Monaco side. Also Pep hasn’t won the Champions League without Messi. Does that make Pep a bad manager?

    You can’t knock Emery for losing the league to Monaco in the same post you call Pochettino a world class manager. What was Pochettino doing when Ranieri was winning the league?

    PS: Has Pochettino won a trophy as a manager?

  68. loyika

    @ Gambon

    You are preaching to the Converted.

    I don’t see Stan supporting Emery with much funds either.

    Josh will have to convince his Dad that we are on the right track and just need a shot of funds to push us to the finish line (of achieving UCL spot this season. Any trophy will be a bonus but would be surprised if a trophy was part of Emery’s KPI for this season)

    At the end of the day, no UCL qualifications twice on the trot and Fan Base apathy was enough for Stan to pull the plug on Arsene.

    Let’s see how long he gives Unai…I think the Fan Base apathy will return/happen (sooner than later) so Emery will be left with doing whatever he can to get us into the UCL spots if not this season then next. (If six month down the line next season we are still where we are, I would be surprised if Stan doesn’t press the eject button).

    There must surely be a reason why Ivan G bailed on this project before it even got a chance to breathe….Guess we will never know.

    Right now we just need to win the next flipping game and move on from there.

  69. Un na naai

    Sky sportsAs 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 recordIt’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

  70. 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.

  71. Freddie Ljungberg

    People comparing our defensive record under Wenger and Emery seems to forget the decline of some of our supposedly best players.

    Kos: not up for it anymore

    Monreal: too old and injury prone

    Ozil: has checked out mentally and not fit for the PL

    Ramsey: out of contract soon and understandably not given much playing time, been declining for years anyway.

    Then we have the error machines Xhaka and Mustafi.

    We have no CAM and no wingers which is why the fullbacks has to bomb forward constantly if we’re going to create anything at all (Pierre) which in turn leaves us exposed at the back.

    How do we fix this? Buying better, faster, stronger players that can actually play in the positions we need as opposed to the haphazard approach to squad building that has happened in the past.

  72. Batistuta

    I really don’t get the Ramsey love in on Twitter to be honest, he’s been with us almost 10 years and many can’t even point to what his best position is. Have Arsenal fans been so starved of quality that many are calling for the manager’s head for letting Ramsey go and benching the less than industrious Ozil

  73. Un na naai

    And besides, even with such investment there would be no guarantees. Arsenal’s defensive problems are not just down to individuals but to the collective. The team lacks structure and organisation and at Anfield they were finally punished. Emery must find solutions sooner rather than later. Until then, the same old problems will continue to hold Arsenal back.

  74. englandsbest

    Here we are, jabbering on and on about the manager again. Would even Pep have got us motoring by now? Not a chance.

    Liverpool fans have set us a good example. They have stuck obstinately to their identity. There was a period when their owner posed a threat. They got rid of him.

    The incoming owner, John Henry, was in it for the money too, but he was smart enough to get the fans onside. He invested money in the Club. No bottom-line policy for him. Now it’s paying off.

    Let’s learn a lesson from Liverpool. It’s sheer defeatism to believe we can’t get Kroenke to change his policy or to sell out to someone who will.

  75. Un na naai

    Why would we go and blow £40m on a young winger when we have one ready made to take the spot. He’s lighting up the bundesliga right now with Jadon sancho. It’s a no brained for me. Unless he gets struck down with injury too

  76. Un na naai

    What happened to Bielik too?? Wasn’t he meant to be the next big thing? And zelalemband the Jeff?? Where did they all go?

  77. Cesc Appeal

    ‘He’s lighting up the bundesliga right now with Jadon sancho’

    He doesn’t start, which is a massive worry expecting him to walk into the EPL and deliver.

    ‘Chelsea in for Pulisic and Isco…..we go for banega and sokratis…..

    We’re a Europa League side who have wasted a massive amount of money on dross in fees and wages.

    How did that happen again?

  78. Batistuta

    Unaii is probably just trolling at this point i mean the dude still has a thing for Wilshere so that tells you a lot

  79. Nelson

    @Batistuta ” no manager or tactics system or structure can stop stupid error prone players from making stupid mistakes, that’s the way i see it. Certain players can’t be coached to be better no matter how much we wish that to be true.”

    It is true what you say. But the manager selects the team. If by now, he can’t see Licht is just there killing our team, then I am really worry.

  80. Upstate Gooner

    “Patience is worthwhile if you are seeing progress” – geezus, I’m agreeing with Pedro again. Although I do know he has a hidden agenda and the manager with that special sauce that he wants is Arteta. In that case, I’m willing to stick with Emery for a little longer.

  81. Batistuta


    Yea that’s one of the areas I’m fuming at Emery for but on the flip side, his other options are Jenkinson and the hugely overrated Maitland Niles

  82. Status and hope

    I think we will still be in this situation in two years time and i think a lot of people fear the same .
    The on e constant in all this shit is Kroenke, I know people say ‘we are the third highest spenders ‘ and ‘ Kroenke doesn’t pick the players ‘ etc etc but does anyone have any confidence in this club improving , I certainly don’t and my main reason for this is Kroenke, ‘ third highest spenders ‘ !! It just doesn’t feel like that to me, especially when we are chasing cahills and leichsteiners!!
    I think nothing will change whilst Kroenke owns this club I’m afraid .

  83. Batistuta


    Just out of Curiosity, if it’s not Emery, who do you think realistically can come in and improve us at least defensively without throwing plenty of money at it

  84. Upstate Gooner

    Emery was willing to take the job? Willing? Give me or anyone else half of what he’s making and I’d be willing too. Soton got Hasenhuttl, Hammers hired Pellegrini, PL winner, Newcastle have Rafa, CL winner. All are better coaches and I’m sure all of them would be willing to take the Arsenal job.

  85. Upstate Gooner

    If Emery brings Banega in January, I will be majorly pissed. We all know what he is trying to do. It doesn’t matter if we need him, it’s just that he is Emery’s guy. Just like Sarri did when he brought in Jorginho when he already had Kante.

  86. Status and hope

    I would also like to know what certain people on here would do if they were in emerys shoes and was told that in jan you’ve 15 million to spend max , what the fuck would you do ?!?!

  87. gonsterous

    in other news, our lead on 6th has been cut to 3 points. We need to go on another winning run, before it is too late.
    Just waiting for chelsea and spurs to break. Which I’m sure will happen sooner or later. I’m hoping it’s later though. 🙂

  88. Marc

    Sorry Pedro but I think you’ve been on the downer juice a little too much. You are also not looking at things with a level view. The Poch has taken the Spud’s to being a top 4 team – well done but this obsession with how good he is – he hasn’t won anything when does he become the bridesmaid never the bride. Sarri took over a time that won the PL season before last, Pep is another level but he’s also doing it at a club that gives him almost unlimited resources. As for Klopp this is his 4th season what if he doesn’t win the league this year?

    I think you were against Emery from the off and you level of hypocrisy is demonstrated by the following:

    ” you don’t put generations of young footballers in the hands of someone who has no experience of developing kids”

    but you wanted to give the top job to someone who’s never managed before. Look at all the great number 2’s Fergie had who all went on the manage – how many of them were even vaguely successful?

  89. Marc

    Fucking hell Pedro what are you doing making me have a go like that.

    I will thank you for your tireless work in running the site and putting up pieces worth reading every day. Have a happy New Year!

  90. Micheal

    Pedro is to be congratulated for having this debate about the overall vision for the club. I totally agree, we have no vision and discussing individual players or tactics is like suggesting that Brexit is all about whether or not people can have a blue passport. For fucks sake, people, look at the bigger picture.

    The inescapable truth is that Kroenke is a very bad owner for our club. The vision, direction and dynamic of any business or institution comes from the top. Perdo, I am sure, sees the truth of that every day in his working life. But as we know, Kroenke does not invest in this club and did not buy Arsenal to win trophies.

    Supporters like me who are looking for vision and direction will get nothing while Kroenke owns this club. We can change managers, buy new players (from our own self-generated resources) and spout PR bullshit about our potential for years to come.

    But real change at AFC will only come when Kronke leaves.

  91. Upstate Gooner

    People are saying that Emery didn’t buy the players and it was all Raul and Sven. I don’t believe that’s really the case but okay. Can someone then explain to me please why in the world they got Lichsteiner, and Sokratis? I was excited when we got Auba. I thought Mikhi swap deal was the right thing to do, even if it didn’t work out. But Sokratis? Is it because of the BvB connection? If that’s the case, then they are just as clueless as Emery is, and I fear for the worst when it comes to our future transfer windows and acquisitions.

  92. Un na naai


    It was arsen wenger wasn’t it?? He made us sign shit players

    He made kroenke come in and give us fuck all money

    He made Lichtsteiner and sokratis give Liverpool victory

    He may as well have scored every goal we’ve conceded this season the way you lot go on

    It’s ridiculous
    He’s gone. So who gives a fuck about it now?? You lot. Every time we lose it’s back to wenger. Grow up man.

    If emery isn’t making the transfer calls then it’s the club who are being tight cunts. We are spending the sort of money prompted teams are spending
    We could have sold 3 players this year and reaped a fresh impetus of cash but noooo

    We kept Ramsey and ozil and now both are useless to us. None of that is wenger. We had a chance to be decisive but it’s the same old arsenal
    Wenger gone but the same shit only worse. Zzzzzzzzzz

    And yeah, he’s lighting it up from the bench. Exactly. Look how good he’s doing. You telling me that we couldn’t use some of that lighting pace and quick feet and fearless attitude or do we just stick with ozil?? No no we will get banega. No no no we will spend £60m on Pepe.

    All fucking terrible ideas when we have an extremely talented young winger on our books who’s ripping it up in Germany for a lesser side from the bench.

    If we have £40-£60m then it needs to go on the defence
    Fuck ozil and Ramsey off for whatever we can get and use the young players we have. It worked for Liverpool didn’t it?? Countinho, strurridge and sterling
    They got one slip from the title

    If we are in for banega and pepe while still lying Ramsey and ozil nearly half a million per week while they sit and watch then someone fucked up this summer. If they had the money to spend then why didn’t they spend it? And why didn’t they clear out ozil and Ramsey initially?? And why are they focusing on attacking positions when it’s our defence that is costing us the points??
    Terrible planning. Terrible strategy. Clueless. Add to that the fact that emery has failed to improve on wengers shambolic defence, not only that he’s made it worse then you have to question his appointment in the first place

    Klopp joined mid season and finished 8th yes. Emery is had a full pre season with a team costing hundreds of millions with wonderful youth prospects added tonit and run them into the ground

    Why all the injuries?? Double fucking sessions don’t seem to be working very well do they??

  93. jasongms

    70 mil spent, six months in the job and a squad steeped in Arsene’s mediocrity.

    You have the temerity to question Emery’s elite credentials, fuck off with that bull shit.

  94. Un na naai


    Ancelotti or allegri certainly

    We were paying £7m per year then we could afford either

    Neither wants to be involved in our shit show of a club. KROENKE OUT!!!

  95. TR7

    It is a bit amusing to see people who never got tired of saying a new manager would extract 20 percent, 30 percent etc. more from the same squad than Wenger could are now pinning all the blame on our squad, the squad which has more depth than last year due to addition of 5 new players.

  96. azed

    Can someone then explain to me please why in the world they got Lichsteiner, and Sokratis? I was excited when we got Auba. I thought Mikhi swap deal was the right thing to do, even if it didn’t work out. But Sokratis?

    They needed bodies. Take away those two from our team and you only have Kolasinac as the fit defender.

  97. Cesc Appeal


    Try to stay on topic.

    You said two things there, one about Nelson, one about why we aren’t signing great players.

    I said we’re a Europa League team, we’ve spent a lot net over the past few years and our wages bill is huge.

    Those are some reasons why we can’t compete in the transfer market, lack of pull and lack of funds.

    You’re arguments are sporadic, emotional and ill thought out, like a child.

    You’re sitting in the isolated Liverpool picture because that’s easier, but answer your own question, whose fault is it we don’t have a lot of money, that we spent £90 Million on Mustafi, Xhaka and Perez? That we spent £25-30 Million on Chambers and Gabriel?

    Whose fault is it that we’ve gone from UCL football to being a 5th placed team to then being a 6th placed team the following year.

    You’re trying to argue without context because it suits your argument. Right now Emery, Mislintat and Sanllehi are playing the game on hard setting and there’s no easy fix to that.

    Unless your solution is Kroenke should give us £300 Million. In which case clap, clap, clap. Maybe the previous power men at the club should not have been so geared toward Kroenke then? Remind me again, who was one of his chief supporters and why was that?

  98. Un na naai

    We’re a Europa League side who have wasted a massive amount of money on dross in fees and wages.


    So why didn’t the club sell Ramsey and ozil this summer then??
    And Mustafi??

    And why did they bring in worse dead wood than we already had???

    I forget ars-en-wen-gaaaaa

    It’s like a zombie chant now

  99. Cesc Appeal

    ‘So why didn’t the club sell Ramsey and ozil this summer then??
    And Mustafi??’

    To who?

    For how much?

    Engage your brain.

    Ramsey is the only one there we would have had a chance of selling for anything approaching a reasonable fee.

    Seriously, stop living in a FIFA world.

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Ozil, pulls a sicky every other week, doesn’t turn up against the big teams, sometimes literally, needs two week rest after a game, can only play against the dross at home and earns £350 000. Not wanted at the club.

    Here’s £40 Million, said no one.

    Mustafi, cost £35 Million, hugely error prone defender, goes to ground at every chance, lapses in concentration, gives away stupid fouls/penalties. Not wanted at the club.

    Here’s your money back, said no one.

  101. Un na naai


    Haha. Ok. What exactly is I’ll thought out?? Why is it that we are spending the sort of money wolves are spending when we are a London based super club comparatively with a 60,000 seater stadium and two brand new sponsorship deals??

    If it’s our wage bill then why didn’t we reduce it as soon as wenger went? We had a few months to plan this out before the World Cup started? We knew he was going. Emery said he wanted to keep them.

    Who’s decision was it to sign Leno Lichtsteiner and sokratis?? Because they are all worse than what we already had and not suited to the league at all. Leno might get there but I’m not convinced. Papa and Lichtsteiner?? No chance

    Who made these calls?

    If there is money to spend in Jan then why wasn’t it spent in the summer? Did emery think he had enough to work with or is it the club being tight?

  102. Marc


    I’m sure that over the next two summers we will see a huge turnover of players at the club but anyone thinking the new management team were going to out half the squad in one summer has no clue.

  103. Upstate Gooner

    Big Sam would do a better job no doubt, and I’m not even joking. But who would I rather have than Emery at this point and who would I think deliver an immediate improvement? Jardim was my personal number one choice. I think Rafa would be good too. And before you all start laughing, Frank de Boer. He was very unlucky at CP. Zaha was injured, and no one else could score goals. But with our offense, I think he would do much, much better. We wouldn’t be conceding as many goals, that’s for sure.

  104. seniorgooner


  105. Cesc Appeal


    This is the point isn’t it?

    Chelsea can spend what they spend on Pulisic etc because they have UCL football but also bought young players to sell on and exploited the China market over the years.

    We’ve sat in 1999 up to April 2018 watching our cash devalue and FFP be shat on just twiddling our thumbs and people are confused as to why we can’t spend.

    It’s unbelievable.

    They are still trying to defend him, as we always said they would. We also always said they would be the first to turn on the new manager despite their protestations years back they wouldn’t because they are ‘real fans’.

  106. Un na naai


    Who’s said we want £40m for ozil?? I’d take a free to clear the wage bill

    We could have got £20m for Ramsey and £12 maybe £15m for Mustafi

    That’s a good portion towards a good centre half there

    I’m not saying those signings were not major mistakes. They clearly were. But now we’ve got rid of wenger aren’t we meant to be more decisive? Wasnt he the ditherer??

    Seems like the same old shite to me Cesc Appeal

  107. Upstate Gooner

    They got another aging player in Sokratis past his prime just because they knew him. That’s bad business. Money could and should have been spent elsewhere.

  108. Marc


    I’m happy to admit I was one of those who thought another coach would improve our defending with existing players, the fact it’s not happening makes me wonder what the issue really is. If all of the players are that poor whydo some think we can sell them for big money?

  109. gonsterous

    is no one listening to me ? replace ozil with cesc. free up 350k , and get a club legend back to teach xhaka and co how a midfielder really plays.

  110. Cesc Appeal


    I agree.

    There is going to be huge change in the squad and it is arguable that players like Mustafi, Xhaka, Iwobi have improved their value from last summer which was rock bottom at the time which will help.

    But we really don’t have a big asset to sell which will hamper us without UCL football.

    Sanllehi talked about asking Kroenke for a loan and that might be what has to happen. We’ve been left in an appalling position because we didn’t have the guts to fire Wenger years ago when we were still in the UCL and before people let him spend on fees and spend more on wages in his socialist way.

  111. Un na naai

    Letting cazorla go was another major mistake. He was our best player. I won’t even bother about Wilshere as it’s done to death but if we went for ozil and Ramsey over those two then who called that?? If it was emery then why did he call it and then just drop them?? It’s on him

    Who signed 3 sub standard defensive recruits??

    If it was emery then it’s on him

    Who has had the squad since June to work with and implement his defensive ideas??

    If it was emery then it’s on him

    I want him to succeed but he or someone is making a lot of shitty mistakes post wenger

  112. Cesc Appeal

    ‘is no one listening to me ? replace ozil with cesc. free up 350k , and get a club legend back to teach xhaka and co how a midfielder really plays.’

    How are you getting rid of Ozil though?

  113. Nelson

    @Michael “But real change at AFC will only come when Kronke leaves.”

    Not all hope is lost. In the past, all Kronke’s teams were very average. What they did for L.A. Rams gives me hope. They fired an experienced coach and hired a young coach and invested in a few players. Look what happens. L.A.Rams has triple its value.

  114. Marc

    Un na

    “Who’s said we want £40m for ozil?? I’d take a free to clear the wage bill” Ozil we be on the accounts as an asset worth millions. If we just let him walk on a free it will restrict our spending as we will be showing a huge loss.

  115. arsene's used sock

    Liverpool and Tottenham are the current model clubs of the Premier league.
    they develop talent from within, sell them at a profit to their rivals, and then reinvest that money in assets that are set to accrue value.

    can we develop the likes of reiss nelson?
    first have to develop players before we talk about selling them for anything that could be considered value.
    we could have sold ramsay for profit and replaced with young talent, he isn’t getting any better for us and now we’re set to lose him on a free.

    But whatever, we’re out of form now and likely out of luck.
    hopefully we can get some good assets through January that we can build around, I would be quite satisfied with a promising cb and any fullback, left or right doesn’t matter we’re light on both sides and lichtensteiner is proving to be well past it.

    very impressed with our new manager though, didn’t expect us to have any run of form to crow about such is the state of our squad.

  116. Un na naai


    I said that 2 months ago and was laughed at. Also mata is on a free too. Snap them up on a 1 year each and spend the money on defence. If we have none then sell Mustafi and Ramsey if we can and try to get someone in who emery really wants and trusts. No fucking Ever Banega

  117. Un na naai


    Nobody is going to pay that money for him and give him £350k per week

    We need rid
    He costs us £1.4m per month

  118. Silverhawk

    Pedro you are being disingenuous here. You keep harping about the so called miracle that Nagglesmann is performing at Hoffenheim.

    This is a team that has conceded 23 goals in 17 games while scoring 32 and they are languishing in 7th position. If what’s happening over there is what you call a miracle, then o don’t want that.

    Like others have said you are confusing being media savvy and talking the good talk to actual managerial competence.

    Nagglesmann is currently averaging 1.53 points per match in his managerial career, a little about what Emery averaged at Spartak Moscow (1.5) where he supposedly tanked. So I don’t really understand what you’ve been going on about as some miracle.

    This is not to say that Nagglesmann won’t be great. He might even tank in the next few years. So stop using him as a stick to bit Emery. Someone who have actually won something in his managerial career.

  119. loyika

    @ Una na nai!?

    What? Didn’t you get the memo? For many on here – Its always going to be Wenger’s fault (its even better here, someone on Online Gooner said it will always be Wenger’s fault till we win the league again).

    Simple really, don’t fight it, just go with the flow.

    That way you live longer and think less.

    22 unbeaten….Its all down to Emery… 1-1 against Brighton and then 5-1 against Pool and its on Wenger and the shyte players available.

    I pray we beat Fulham so we can get back to holding Emery up again. (All this arguing between posters is doing my head in. Lol)

    @ Micheal

    Unfortunately Stan K won’t be going anywhere soon and I don’t think the Fan Base has the stomach for another set of protest and stuff.

    What will happen is folks will just turning up to games if they feel a sense of “Ground Hog day!”

    That in the end will be the biggest statement supporters can make. (and the only tool folks have in their locker that can get the attention of the BoD)

    Will there even be AGMs held anymore? Anyone has a clue?

  120. Marc

    Fuck me – I loved Santi thought he was a great player for the club and always played with a smile on his face but the infection finished his career in the PL. He just isn’t up to the rigours of the PL any more.

    I mean why don’t we just bring Adams, Dixon and Winterburn back. While we at it we could bring Mclintock back as well.

  121. Cesc Appeal

    To highlight the stupidity of the decision making under the previous regime we are now told Wenger ‘really begrudged’ signing off on Ozil’s £350 000 a week.

    But, the stupid idiot was describing the Sanchez and Ozil situation as ‘ideal’ in August before that.

    We ended trading our superstar for another CAM we didn’t really want in January and ended up giving a CAM not really suited for the EPL and not really delivering what we want £350 000 a week which was apparently begrudged.


    I will always say summer 2017 was the time everything that happened summer 2018 needed to happen, stop the Sanchez and Ozil situation, stop the slide to 6th, invest wisely etc.

    I should say as well I think Gazidis takes a massive amount of blame. He had put a £280 000 offer for Ramsey down which just shows mistakes were not learnt from with the old lot.

  122. Cesc Appeal

    ‘time to trick barca into buying him, like they did with song and vermealen’

    How though?

    He earns £350 000 a week, that is some magic trick to make someone forget that.

  123. Upstate Gooner

    Yes, no one is listening. The boy with Barca DNA can F off and rot in hell for all I care. What’s your next suggestion, bringing back Nasri, Cole, RvP, and Adebayor?

  124. gonsterous

    un nai

    You still beating the wilshere, cazorla drum ? I wouldn’t mind having cazorla here even though he was crocked but Wilshire was really shit. Ramsey is better than him and ramsey is the goats bollocks.

  125. Un na naai

    And cesc

    Nobody has turned on him. He’s just had a crushingly humiliating 5-1 drubbing and he’s getting criticized and his decisions are being questioned. Just like the previous manager did.
    Happened to David Moyes too
    And Kenny Dalglish when Benitez left.