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. Uwot?

    Emery was prob the only “ top manager” willing to undertake the rebuild of the shit show wenger\gazidis dumped on us without or accepting he wasn’t going to be gifted 2/3 00 million for a rebuild job ala scousers who had a host of saleable assets to generate funds I.e coutinho,Suarez etc.unlike us .but we know who’s fault that is hey?or petrodollars citeh & chavs or unlimited resources I.e Manure.would Maureen have taken it on ( afc job) under theses circs? Would he f** k!.it is ridiculous after just 6 months to start to question a manager with limited resources & one transfer window to turn it around so quickly yet he managed a 22 match unbeaten run.as many pointed out.lets see where we are next season.Maybe it’s the reason why the club gave him a 2 yr deal & extension option,if read.patience is reqd.no matter how hard it is to deal with….

  2. gambon

    Cesc Appeal

    I have to say, you have become unbelievably agenda driven.

    Every argument you use to excuse, sorry I mean support Emery, were non existent when Wenger was around.

    You used to say daily Wenger didnt do tactics, and didnt know defence……now its the quality of players thats to blame.

    You used to say Wenger was reluctant to sell his babies, now we have players that are worthless.

    You used to say a new manager would get an immediate improvement out of this lot, not its 26 years and £2bn thats needed.

    You seem to get unbelievably angry when anyone suggests Emery might not be up to scratch.

    I just read a french article saying Emery very quickly pissed off the PSG fans, by playing bland, pragmatic football and making weird halftime substitutions (Veratti).

    I assume that was down to the mess Wenger left at PSG.

  3. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Wilshire was really shit’

    Similar to us in the 14/15 season or whatever it was, first Puma kit season, when our results always took an upturn when he was not playing, West Ham have experienced the same.

  4. gonsterous

    upstate

    I wouldn’t mind having that girl Nasri in the team actually. Never rated adebayor, even when he had that stellar season. RVP is too old and slow and I don’t know where cole plays anymore.
    And I always say that cesc move as a loan to barca because I always felt he would fail there and would come back to England. Only at arsenal, we won’t bring a player back. All other clubs seem to have no problem in getting back quality players that left but were available again.

  5. Marc

    Cesc

    I’m purely speculating here but I think the swap deal for Miki was Gazidis panicking. At the time it wasn’t a done deal that Wenger was out the door and I think Gazidis thought that if we took money Wenger would just refuse to spend it – usual lines about no one available etc etc so Gazidis tried to bring a player in who would be able to contribute.

    It’s looking like Miki just can’t cut it in the PL. Real shame because he was a good player in Germany.

  6. Dissenter

    We have to get to the exciting talent early, not wait until they’ve broken out fully and now have huge transfer price tag.
    Which is why we shouldn’t be signing soon-to-be 30 year old players. Banega turns 30 next month.
    The club isn’t communicating the right expectations to the fans. Signing Banega just feeds the delusions of those who think there is a short term fix. We will be in worse shape in two seasons time because our squad will be filled with 32-33 year olds with no resale value. We wont have money to replace them properly.

    We need to be signing 1-2 exciting young talent every window to redevelop our appreciable footballing investments.
    Start with Samuel Chukwueze who’s not jumping at Villarreal’s attempt to sign him to a long term deal that will have a huge buy-out clause.

  7. gonsterous

    Un na naai
    December 31, 2018 14:49:41
    Gons
    I’m not getting into it
    He’s not shit. Keep him fit and he a player

    exactly, and how do we keep him fit ? He goes missing more than ozil in a season.

  8. Un na naai

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

    CA

    Yes. Wenger fucked yo royally before he went. Not denying it. Letting Ramsey ozil Wilshere sanchez and welbeck run their contracts down made me want to tear my left nut off and throw it at the wall. As did the rvp cesc and Nasir situations

    None of that is in dispute but we had a clean slate this summer to start afresh and we ballsed up again.

    We have now made our worst start defensively in the premier league era
    We have conceded more goals in 20 games than any other premier league season

  9. Bamford10

    Sorry,Pedro, but this post is mostly nonsense.

    Gazidis got us a new chief scout, a DOF and a modern management structure. He filled these positions with smart, experienced, ambitious men. He is the reason we are starting the post-Wenger era with a rational, modern set-up.

    As for the new manager, his task isn’t to win the league, it’s to get us back into the top four and to help us rebuild the squad. No, he doesn’t strike me as the kind of genius who can out-think Klopp and Guardiola and transform us into world-beaters, but that isn’t his assignment.

    The one thing I agree with you and others on is that it’s a little unclear what Emery’s tactical vision is at the moment; indeed, he may be a little confused about this himself. I think he came in believing he had a good squad that simply needed to add pressing, defensive organization and a new mentality. In truth, (i) the squad had serious issues and (ii) pressing and playing out of the back, while trendy, may not actually be the best tactics for this group.

    I also think he’s getting his selections in certain matches wrong.

    But his struggles at the moment are due to the difficulty and complexity of his challenge, not to incompetence.

    He may not figure it all out — this remains to be seen — but it is still a little early to be writing him off. After all, it was just 3-4 weeks ago — prior to the injury crisis — that you and others were saying Emery was the right man for the job (of getting us back into the top four).

  10. Radio Raheem

    If we get all these players in their 30s people are putting up it might be worth getting Gazidis to send us that fabled Milan lab . Then hire Allardyce to complete the ensemble as some are nostalgic of early 2000s Bolton.

  11. Marc

    gambon

    There is a slight difference Wenger was at the club for over 20 years and had a squad of his own making. Emery has had 6 months, 1 transfer window and limited funds to fix a seriously fucked up squad.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Gambon

    I don’t care if Emery isn’t up to scratch, I get pissed off at people like you and the hyperbole and histrionics when we start losing. It’s beyond pathetic from a poster I used to rate but you’re just a whinger.

    If all this stuff is happening at the end of the season, by all means move on and find someone else who can do better. I’m maybe a bit more willing to allow a new manager time, as I always said I would, as you said you would but you live in a fantasy world where we need to spend like City or else we will never amount to anything. And don’t say you didn’t say that because I’ve had that out with you before.

    But after Spurs Emery was great in your book, now suddenly he’s shit and should be fired right now.

    I think you need to have a serious word with yourself.

  13. Un na naai

    Gons

    I’ve argued this so many times

    Let’s just leave it and focus on cazorla. Nodby will ever see things my way on this one

    Cazorla is playing very very well now at villareal and we could use him. He would still be our best player if he was here, he was that good. Saying that, it’s not like we are stacked with any competition in that regard any more

    We went with Ramsey and ozzzzzil and now it’s back fired spectacularly on whoever made that call

  14. Un na naai

    IS anyone else happy that we are looking at banega when we had santi who was better??

    Or that we are looking at Pepe when we have Nelson

    All while our defence looks like a creaking barn door with one hinge!!

    Is it wise to focus on attacking positions right now?

  15. Upstate Gooner

    gonsterous
    My point was that all those players were snakes. Would I love to have Cesc back? F yeah! But he’s a traitor, and I can’t and won’t stand up for that. Players come and go, it’s business, I get it. But all those mofos forced their way out for one reason or another. Ca$hley Cole, Barca DNA, the lost boy RvP who needed a father figure. F all of them. Someone mentioned Mata though, would take him in a heartbeat.

  16. Cesc Appeal

    Un

    Of course they can.

    Question away.

    But it’s the extent of the criticism, statements of totality like he’s shit and always will be.

    I’m not arguing against that, I argued against an untouchable manager for years before it was trendy.

    He has to do better, he will know that, but I’m arguing for context and maybe a cap on the crying and screaming from some like little girls not getting their way.

    Guardiola spent £52 Million on a RB, taking over a team that were recent EPL winners and that was a season after struggling slightly, losing 4-0 at Everton, having already spent about £200 Million the summer before.

    Emery was able to spend £64 Million in total taking over a 6th placed team that conceded 51 goals.

    That’s the context.

    If he can’t do it, he will go, that’s the nature of this contract. But jeez the whinging.

  17. kc

    Pedro quit acting like you were ever an Emery supporter. You’ve been against the appointment from the beginning. I can literally hear your teeth gritting every time you type out a compliment of the man. You said it yourself this was going to take time, but you’ve bailed at the first bump in the road. You wanted Arteta and were the biggest Gazidis fan on the web so your opinion means fuck all.

  18. Marko

    So we sacking Emery or what? Maybe we originally jumped the gun with the whole time and a couple transfer windows to address a poor squad stuff. Who we thinking? Gambon just seems to be angry and isn’t offering up any solutions bar protest and sacking so he could like anyone really. Charlie’s offering up Rafa maybe? Pedro loves himself a young hipster name so that’s Arteta or flavor of the month Nagelsmann. Also the constant use of Leipzig as a point of reference to having a club strategy is a weird one considering they’re the most hated club in Germany that only care about money and the whole buying players young and selling them off when they get good just seems like something you’d hate to see as a fan. Do we want to go back to selling our best players on a regular basis?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/861335/rb-leipzig-is-everything-people-dont-like-about-mixing-business-and-sports/amp/

    Anyway another day another argument let’s just cut to the cheese we sack Emery tomorrow who do you want to see appointed? Let’s gauge if it’s something realistic or just some pissed off fans venting after a heavy defeat

  19. Un na naai

    CA

    But I don’t think he is shit. At all. I’ve stated clearly that I want him backed financially. I’m just not sure that he is doing as well as he could. If it’s the players then

    -why didn’t he sell Ramsey and ozil in the summer and use the money to find better players?

    -why did we sign Leno Lichtsteiner and papa at all when they were sub par

    And with the whinging.
    We just got pasted 5-1. What fans of what club wouldn’t be pissed at that??
    Factor in that we are THE whingiest fan base and this is our fanbase’s whingiest site (I’m sure you know) then you shouldn’t be altogether surprised.
    It’s been this way since 2008 after all

  20. Guns of Hackney

    After match two…Pierre, myself and a couple of others said Emery was probably not the guy to push the club forward.

    20 games later and there is a growing feeling that the above is true. There is little to no evidence that he could be ‘the guy’. Zero.

    As for time? Why?

  21. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Let’s gauge if it’s something realistic or just some pissed off fans venting after a heavy defeat’

    I know what my money’s on. He will go back to ‘looking like there’s a real future with him’ if we beat Chelsea at home.

    You’ve only got to back and look at the admiration for Emery’s ‘ruthless’ management and tactics after the NLD.

  22. Marc

    Cesc

    I don’t think some on here realise what’s going on. We are on a rebuild but we’re not a speedboat we’re a fucking oil tanker and it’s going to take time to make a turn.

    If we finish outside of top 4 this season and next season is showing serious improvement then Emery will be replaced. What’s not going to happen is him being fired after a single season unless he completely collapses.

  23. Un na naai

    Kc

    This is far from a bump and it’s not the first either
    Funny how the terminology has changed since last season for 5-1 defeats at anfield

  24. loyika

    Human nature is so great to watch.

    When we beat Spurs it was hailed as the 2nd coming by many on here and now Liverpool do us for 6 (well 5) and its “End Times!” by others.

    In reality its somewhere inbetween those 2 extremes.

    Just that the “Blame things on Wenger and the Players” mantra is growing thin and becoming boring.

    Hope by season’s end (regardless of how we do or where we end up on the EPL table) that mantra will begin to die a slow death and we can evaluate a Manager by the facts on ground/show and not grab at old worb out straws!! (Nothing being said now regardless of where one stands hasn’t been said already about Arsene and his culpability in the state of things, but to keep using it as some “get out of jail” card for any new Manager is frankly…meh!! Don’t worry Unai…get beat by 5 goals again, we will just blame it on The French Bloke and his players.)

    And folks said as soon as Wenger goes out the door it would be “Kumbaya!” within the Arsenal Fanbase.

  25. Cesc Appeal

    Un

    Right you walk into a club that has slid to 6th, conceded 51 goals up from 44 the season before.

    You have Kozz (aging and broken), Mustafi, Holding and Chambers as your CBs.

    You have no CDM.

    You have a carthorse CM.

    You have a ‘star’ player who doesn’t want to play football anymore.

    You have no wingers.

    You have a £64 Million budget.

    Go.

    This is my whole point.

    I can understanding venting. I’m embarrassed and was pissed to no end, but I expected an up and down season where the new manager, whoever that was, would be struggling with the reins to get a hold of the wagon for a while.

  26. Bamford10

    Englandsbest

    One, the self-sustaining model isn’t “Kroenke’s policy,” as you suggest; this policy was implemented by the board long before Stan Kroenke took control.

    Two, you’re back to making wild claims re Kroenke saddling Arsenal with massive debts that do not belong to Arsenal. Would you please support these outlandish claims with a credible article or two? Thanks.

  27. Guns of Hackney

    We ain’t beating chelsea.

    Tonight, Arsenal’s social media heroes will be out rooting for babes, smoking hippy crack or a hookah and drinking until vomit or blackout.

    Emery will be at home with his bloody stamp collection and choosing what hue of ‘bone cassian white’ he’s putting on his stamp room.

  28. gonsterous

    un nai

    You do know that cazorla plays in the la liga right. who’s to say, he would have already been injured playing in the PL? past record, shows that he would have gotten injured.

  29. Marko

    That’s it really CA. A couple of January signings and home victories in the second half of the season against Chelsea and United will see certain people doing a 180. And then they’ll change their minds again when we lose away to Spurs and City.

  30. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    I agree completely.

    The stupidity for some has to be contrived to make a point about ‘look how clever I am’.

    I actually think that Mislintat and Sanllehi are looking at it from a manager is irrelevant point of view to an extent, they want to drag this club into the 21st Century and that is not going to be easy, cheap or quick.

    That is because we sat still for a decade and preached ‘Wenger knows’ all the while watching everyone else rush off into the distance and our money blow away in front of us.

  31. Guns of Hackney

    Marc

    Pierre is a legitimate poster. I don’t agree with the Wenger thing but I like his posts.

    Marko

    Not Arteta. Go back in for Allegri, Jardim, Nagglesmann, Vieria or quite literally give Pep a blank chequebook and tell him to fill it out.

    Then Arteta. He wouldn’t need six months. 3 games in and you’d see a difference. (Wink).

  32. Cesc Appeal

    ‘So who’s the guy guns? Arteta? You giving him 6 months too?’

    That’s a great point.

    If it was Nagelsmann or Arteta or someone else others would be saying exactly what many of us are now.

  33. Marc

    Cesc

    Sanllehi will be working on a no member of staff is irreplaceable and everyone works in a structure which means they can be replaced without things turning to shit.

  34. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    And I think that is exactly right.

    Lots of ideas, lots of voices and lots of accountability for those voices.

  35. Marc

    Un na

    Santi’s averaging 60 minutes per La Liga appearance at the moment in a less physical league. He’d be eaten alive in the PL now, loved him as a player and the complications around his surgery were tragic but for fuck sake move on.

  36. Marko

    Just that the “Blame things on Wenger and the Players” mantra is growing thin and becoming boring.

    Thin I’m not sure about. Look at it from this point of view for the last two seasons we’ve seen players like Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Cech Chambers, Ramsey and Xhaka show that they’re not good enough on the defensive side of the game and have all made errors at various times that’s cost us. We have tried to remedy that slightly with taking Ramsey out of a midfield two and bringing in Torreira. We haven’t done nearly enough to address the defence (CB especially) and thus we’re still bad seeing no improvements. I know it’s a simplistic approch to the issue but that’s what we’re left with. People like Mustafi and Koscielny don’t miraculously become better defenders. If that were the case they’d probably be playing for better clubs

  37. Guns of Hackney

    Cesc

    Arteta would have bought the unknown and a bit of pizazz.

    Nagglesmann is the best young manager in the world.

    Either one gives something that emery doesn’t.

  38. Bamford10

    Those who are concluding we are “worse” defensively than we were under Wenger or that Emery may be no better tactically than Wenger — an utter absurdity — because of our current GA and related stats are being incredibly simplistic. If Emery’s side is leaking more goals than it should, this is because of the difficulty of what he’s trying to accomplish — I.e., transition to pressing and playing out of the back — not because he is not putting them through their paces in training and in the classroom.

    It may turn out that Emery was wrong to try to be so ambitious — for example, we may have been better off adopting a sit-and-counter approach a la Leicester until we assembled a proper squad — but that is a very different kind of mistake from the sort our previous dipshit dinosaur of a manager was responsible for.

  39. Guns of Hackney

    With our assists, funds and status we could afford pep and to fund him.

    Perhaps Stan isn’t dumb after all and only game Emery a taste to see if he could do what he may have said he could…testing Emery’s bunny.

  40. Dissenter

    The scale of whimsical thinking reflected about our situation is alarming.
    People are underrating the scale of rebuild needed to get us back on track. The current backroom team has to drag us back from a decade of decay…and they don’t have the money to do it.

    We have a really poor squad; ageing defenders, very little bright young talent emerging, some good players who are too limited —–on a big wage bill.

    It’s going to take a lot of time to fix this malady without money, deal with it.

    I thought it was entrenched dogma here last season that the rebuild will be lengthy and fraught with challenges. What’s these hideous hullabaloo about?

    The fantastical insurgent s are ably led b the one and only gambon aka Mr. lets-sack-a-new-manager-every-6-months.

  41. arsene's used sock

    look at us desperately trying to figure out who brought in which player and for what reason.
    so glad the wenger era is over.

  42. Marko

    Go back in for Allegri, Jardim, Nagglesmann, Vieria or quite literally give Pep a blank chequebook and tell him to fill it out.

    Allegri is at a great club with great players competing for the biggest trophies he’s never going to Arsenal. Nagelsmann has Hoffenheim sitting in 7th place in the league and Vieira has Nice sitting 10th in France. So I’m going to have a wild guess here and say that you’ll only be giving them around 6 months as well before you demand the sack.

  43. unai's clean socks

    hey pedders should I just use a different email and name cause I keep being put in moderation with the old one, and I’m pretty sure you’ve ok’d it twice in the last 3 days.

  44. Marko

    So guns do you ever want to be taken seriously or do you just exist to annoy? Either offer up reasons for why you think Arsenal should hire whoever or go back to taking care of the “baby”

  45. Marc

    Bamford

    It’s funny how the Poch is seen as some sort of god on here and it wasn’t picked up on why when the Spud’s had the chance to go ahead of City and close the gap to Liverpool to 3 points they bottled it and lost at home to Wolves, all in the last 20 minutes.

  46. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    Dude, maybe Emery just doesn’t land with some people?

    Look at me…I’m a massive hit with the ladies but not everyone on here likes me.

    Que sera.

  47. Dissenter

    Pizzaz!!!!

    Add that to the fairy dust language which now includes “X-factor” and “special sauce”

    We need a new manager with Hollywood looks, shiny white teeth and an ultra portable money printing press.

  48. loyika

    @ Marko

    Carlos Anchelotti should have been whom we went for to steady the ship (in my humble opinion)

    Someone like him would have been clear with the fan base on where we are and what the end game for the season would be.

    He would have been an easy transition for a turn around before going in for an Emery or whomever.

    Carlo might not be pulling up any trees as he has gotten older but he would have been a wise head and someone respected that the Fans could have rallied around knowing that his job was short term and was to stabilise the club for the next Manager (unless Carlos could have miraclously won us the league).

    Even Rafa could have done a job (altho must be honest, would have not been happy to see Rafa appointed) especially with our defence. And I think Old heads like Rafa and Carlos will be far more rspected for what they have achieved in the game by Raul and co (and even Stan K) and would be given the money they need to change things up in the short term.

    I don’t think the BoD (more like Stan) respects Emery in that way to release a large chunk of money for transfers…but I could be wrong, the proof they say is in the eating, we shall see in the next 2 TWs if the Transfer team respect the Head Coaches inputs and gives him what he needs.

    In the end, we will definately have to see this season out and live with what we get come last game….If its a UCL spot and a trophy (even no trophy) then so be it. If its 5th or 6th then so be it.

    In the end the chips will fall where they may.

    What many need to get clear though is the fact that, Arsenal Supporters don’t owe Emery FCUK ALL. (Has abosolutly fcuk all to do with what came before him and how long so and so had or when folks were reborn as “WOB” from their “AKB” womb. Majority of fans will not suffer him lightly if we don’t see the so called improvements that was being promised) If/when he delivers he will get and deserve all the accolades that will be poured on him by fans and pundits alike, if he doesn’t – BYE FELICIA!! End off.

  49. Marko

    Arteta would have bought the unknown and a bit of pizazz. Nagglesmann is the best young manager in the world. Either one gives something that emery doesn’t.

    Which is?

    Pedro you’re on great. Worried about the vision and the future of Arsenal who do you want appointed so? Whose vision impresses you the most?

  50. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    “Baby” is here on my arm while I debate bullshit to you.

    I’m not sure if I want to be taken seriously. No one on here can influence Arsenal football club. I’m here for the laughs.

    Some very funny people on here. Including you.

  51. Pedro

    Marko, we can all play this game…

    X WOULDN’T JOIN
    Y IS SHITE BECAUSE I SAY SO
    Z NEED 400 BILLION

    I could name any manager in the world and we’d circle back to Emery being the only manager that possibly could come in and land us where we are right now.

  52. Guns of Hackney

    Marc

    A very good friend of mine tells me that I once pursued a very obvious cat with a beard and skirt in a Spanish bar near Tottenham Court Road. I was smitten.

  53. Marko

    See loyika at least you offered up something more than sack Emery bring in Arteta he’d be special why? Because. I wanted Carlo but alot didn’t because of the whole not pulling up trees stuff. I’m beginning to think that you won’t ever be able to please the Arsenal fanbase. Shocking I know

  54. Guns of Hackney

    Artetanal FC.

    The Art of war.

    To Mikel and back.

    The headlines even write themselves.

    Vieria I would struggle with.

    Vieria good from the Gunners.

    I could write for the Sun!

  55. Un na naai

    CA

    You make sure that you don’t get pasted 5-1. You make sure that your defence doesn’t hand all 5 goals over. You coach your ideas into them

    If there is more than what we spent then why didn’t we spend it then instead of holding onto it?

  56. Guns of Hackney

    Marc

    No mate. Oddly enough the transvestite left the bar as I was being annoying apparently.

    I was just being inquisitive.

  57. Vintage Gun

    Good post Pedro regarding our “lack of identity” Although this issue has been ongoing for a good few years now.

    You knocking Emery for lacking “THE SAUCE” had me in bits though, especially when Arteta apparently oozes the stuff without even having to manage a single game to obtain it. What disqualified Emery from possessing “THE SAUCE?” His teeth? or the way he says “process”?

    Jokes aside, where on God’s corrupted Earth did people expect us be at the halfway point of the season? Honestly?
    I’m not for one second saying we should be dusting down the bottles of vintage but we shouldn’t be ruefully downing bottles of Glenn’s Vodka neither.

    Given our summer input (50m net) top four (Basically 4th) was as good an output that we could realistically expect with the 6th best team in the land.
    For me this season was all about finding out which players were failing due to AW and which ones are just simply not up to scratch. Once identified them the powers that be shift out those that can’t/wont adapt/step up, and then BACK the manager with signings that he thinks can/will.

    If the powers that be can’t do that due to monterey issues the don’t blame Raul, Diamond eye or Emery it will be the all seeing Kronke to blame for obvious reasons.

    I’ts not rocket science

  58. Un na naai

    How can marko CA and dissenter be happy with what’s been offered in 20 games. There are some positive signs but for the most part it’s just mediocre. Not terrible (yesterday aside) just mediocre. Every bit as mediocre as wenger’s last 5 years. Maybe even more so.

  59. unai's clean socks

    is there any manager that is gettable that has ucl pedigree and a knack for developing academy graduates?
    that’s the manager we need lol

  60. Marko

    Pedro you’re the one who wrote the article you’re the one who doesn’t rate Emery who wants him replaced and wants to see a firm vision for the club. I’m merely asking who that person is realistically? Emery wasn’t the only manager we could get he was the best one between himself Arteta and Vieira

  61. Pedro

    Vintage, the sauce is real my friend, all the best have it.

    ‘What more can you expect’ is really a you question.

    If you feel this past 6 months have given you what you need in terms of progress, good for you, but I think if you extract emotion at this and look at it cleanly… we really should have made greater strides in defence, with our midfield creativity and the style of play.

    If Leeds can go from 7th to top in 6 months playing an outrageous style of football, then so can a manager working with the 9th biggest wage bill in world football… especially as he’s not playing Champions League.

    No excuses.

    It’s not all Emery, I think the leadership of the club has a lot to own up to here… but we need to do better, but I’m not sure the setup we have currently is taking us there.

  62. Pedro

    AND, we certainly should have laid to rest the annual spankings to big teams.

    That was an abomination. The players didn’t beleive for one second they were taking points away from that game. They looked flat and dejected, which felt very familiar.

    Not like that didn’t happen at PSG. Remember that Barca CL capitulation?

  63. loyika

    @ Marko

    On your players stuff…I do remember when Mustafi came on with his – I am learning and improving everyday – rubbish (like some other players did @ the same period) many on here came and said Mustafi was shyte and will still be shyte (and we did say/accept it was Arsene’s fault that he was bought and kept on).

    But some other said – Oh no…look this shows that Emery has the “Magic Wand” and will turn players into this and that, just wait and see (because now they would have proper coaching than what was applicable under Arsene)

    But hey 6 months down the line the story hasn’t changed innit.

    Same way people went on and on that Alexis will turn back the hand of time under Jose and become the best of the best again under his tutalage since he would be far away from Death Star that is Arsenal FC. How did that work out in the end under Jose?

    What is funny is how some folks come on and pretend that they don’t have any agenda whatsoever (really) and go on and on about how others all have “Agenda driven motives behind their comments “FCUKING BOLLOCKS!”

    We all push our viewpoints on Le Grove with an agenda (whether it is to be proven right or to come across as some footballing genius, whatever) So this fallacy of – Oh look I am commenting in a sane way and everyother person is being hysterical or a C@nt is just hogwash.

    We can all post or comment on whatever you want about the club and be done with it…lets all leave the sanctimonious shyte to the side because we all have agendas when we post. (whether in jest or not) and to deny that and claim a “Higher ground” is silly.

  64. Marko

    If Leeds can go from 7th to top in 6 months playing an outrageous style of football, then so can a manager working with the 9th biggest wage bill in world football…

    How the fuck is that comparable to our situation in the premier league? And you’ve written article upon article over the years about our players being overpaid so why does what they’re being paid translate into performances?

    I’m not sure the setup we have currently is taking us there.

    Pardon my language but not only are you giving the new manager 6 months but you’re giving Raul since just February and Sven just a year before you make up your mind. And where exactly is there? I think you need to temper your expectations of the club a bit. But anyway so Arteta or Nagelsmann come in and…

  65. Marko

    Not like that didn’t happen at PSG. Remember that Barca CL capitulation?

    I’m sure you can find a heavy defeat in Carlo or Rafa’s past. Same with Nagelsmann. Obviously not with Arteta even though I’m sure there’s a 5 a side in training that he’d like to forget. Point is in the same scenario a couple of days ago do you see Arteta or Nagelsmann doing any better? Ultimately do you see them doing a better job inside 6 months in the same scenario?

  66. James.wood

    Yes Pedro petrochemical rich.
    Abramovich money portfolio made 1.6 million a day
    this year without anything else he is wrapped up in.?
    I’m afraid Kroenke cannot compete with the big boys
    even though he is a billionaire he is more paper rich than cash rich.
    Anyway why would he want to dig deep when he’s racking it in
    and feeding his love of the NFL.
    The old saying goes speculate to accumulate but don’t exspect
    any big names at our club with the current owners.

  67. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    Maybe it’s not about them doing better or worse, but differently. Perhaps those two may have offered us a vision towards the future that we haven’t quite seen with Emery.

    Anyway, new year Marko. Good luck for 2019. I’ll try and be a better poster with less bullshite. Peace.

  68. Dissenter

    Raul and Sven must have had a plan in mind when they cancelled the deal Ramsey had on the table.
    Hopefully that plan isn’t Banega.
    Lets see where we go this TW,

  69. Dissenter

    Guns of H
    “Maybe it’s not about them doing better or worse, but differently”

    Yes…with pizzaz
    Your measuring yardstick is shaped like a rhombicosidodecahedron [check that up, will ya].
    You’re all over the place. So you’re good with Arsenal in 9th place in Dec so long as we do it with pizzaz?

  70. Pedro

    Marko, Nagelsmann is managing a pub team on a Championship wage bill… he’s also leaving, which is never good for team spirit.

  71. Marko

    Maybe it’s not about them doing better or worse, but differently. Perhaps those two may have offered us a vision towards the future that we haven’t quite seen with Emery.

    Ah different. Emery is different to Arsene but we wanted you know different. Haven’t quite seen is right you gave him about 5 mins and others are giving him 6 months. Again nobody can point to Arteta having a vision and Nagelsmann who I like there’s no guarantee that he wouldn’t be struggling or worse in the same situation as Emery.

    Basically I have a feeling if it was left to some we’d have Arsene back and if it was left to others we’d be hiring and firing every 6 months or after every bad performance

  72. loyika

    @ Marko

    By the way (In my honest opinion, and I am really trying to be sane here)

    Thinking back now that Arteta could have been our Manager actually makes me want to see Emery succeed.

    Like really!! Arteta would have had this team laying in 10th place. (as said, in my opinion)

    As in seriously why would we have even thought about or considered that as a Club?

    That kind of appointment could have only worked on a Twin Peaks movie setting.

    Paddy V would have been a sentimental appointment (Like Henry at Monaco)

    Not sure if we would have improved under him, but he would definately be assured more patience from the Arsenal Fan base and would have been someone we could all rally around and really want to see succeed back at his old stomping ground.

    As for Allegri…I believe he would have come if Stan K was ready to release the necessary funds, so it was more on that fine point and not that he would not have jumped at the opportunity to test his wits against Pep and co in the EPL.

    I think funds were the same reason he didn’t go for the Chav job as well?

  73. Guns of Hackney

    Dissenter

    As I said a few days ago “it’s better to burn out than fade away”.

    I’d rather Arsenal go down in flames trying, that tread water for the next few years. Just my opinion.

  74. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    Real Madrid fire managers after bad GAMES!

    So do some of the most successful European clubs in history. 6 months is longer than a lot of managers get.

    Why wait and see the house burn down? Call the fire brigade.

  75. gambon

    Marko

    It’s not about “giving people 6 months”

    It’s about process, progress and improvement….3 of Emerys favourite words that he isn’t delivering.

    Fulham made a managerial change, brought Ranieri in, and have immediately improved their underlying performance statistics.

    Emery has delivered nothing.

    6 months, 70m spent, star players that weren’t at the WC and we are shooting less, facing more shots. No improvement.

    There’s no over arching process at all. Despite what Emery sayss.

    He can’t get a lead at HT. He constantly has to change the team at HT, he wants 4-2-3-1, then he wants 3-4-2-1, then back to 4-3-1-2, then a back 3 again, then a back 4 again. He wants Ozil in the team, then out, then in, then subbed at HT, then out again. He wants Xhaka at CM, then LB, then CB. He wants Auba as a winger, then a CF, then he wants 2 CFs, then back to just Auba up front.

    It’s not process or evolution. It’s just chaos from a manager that doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  76. Marko

    Nagelsmann is managing a pub team on a Championship wage bill…

    Is this the vision you hope he would bring to Arsenal? Or is it more specific. What exactly do you like that he does over Emery?

  77. Dissenter

    Guns
    “As I said a few days ago “it’s better to burn out than fade away”. I’d rather Arsenal go down in flames trying, that tread water for the next few years. Just my opinion.”

    I’m glad you are no where involved with managing the club.
    “Fading out” is a lot better because you can still arrest a decline and do something about it. That’s why Emery has a two year contract.
    Giving Arteta the deal would have been putting all the eggs in one basket. That would have been a real burn-out. We would really have gone down in flames.

  78. Batistuta

    Upstate

    From the other page, can’t believe you really mentioned Allardyce would be doing a better Job than Emery at the moment but as i said some days back, that’s probably going to be our level in the next few years if significant funds are not made available for the manager no matter who he is. Arsenal can’t keep pleading poverty while the fans pay the highest ticket prices and a multi billionaire in charge. The earlier we do away with the self sustainable model, the better for all of us

  79. gambon

    Oh…and let’s remember what we were told when Emery joined…

    – players would improve
    – pressing
    – defensive balance
    – results against top teams

    No players have improved. Exactly the same shit we saw last year.

    Pressing has been massively disappointing. 1 game against Spurs and 45 mins against Liverpool at home.

    No defensive balance at all.

    Just as bad in the big games.

    Now if Emery was at all capable of what we all want would we not have seen some level of improvement here?

  80. Bamford10

    “Is there any manager that is gettable that has ucl pedigree and a knack for developing academy graduates? That’s the manager we need.”

    Jardim? I’m sure others can think of others.

  81. Dissenter

    Guns
    “So do some of the most successful European clubs in history. 6 months is longer than a lot of managers get.”
    You realize that we are still paying Wenger off…from a limited budget
    Add to that the pay-off for Emery [and his staff], then repeat every six months…all the while you’re working out of a limited budget.

    Then remind yourself that any new manager still has to work in a restrictive environment with limited funds and a sub-par squad.
    That’s what I will call “going down in flames”

  82. Batistuta

    Gambon

    Did you in all seriousness think Emery would have achieved all of that in 6 months? Common man you can’t be this reactionary.

    Are we better? Slightly but you can see it’s going to take time especially without significant investment but to claim to want significant changes within such a short period is nuts

  83. Marko

    Fulham made a managerial change, brought Ranieri in, and have immediately improved their underlying performance statistics.

    I’m sure if we were down near the bottom he’d justifiably be sacked and your comparison would make sense. But I know a losing battle when I see one so gambon we sack him tomorrow morning what do we do then realistically? Hire who? And if the same defence with the same players is still not good enough what do we do? Sack another manager inside 6 months? Basically what do you want them to do?

    By the way Fulham sacked their manager after he got them 5 points after 12 matches. Agree with the first half stuff something has to give there

  84. Guns of Hackney

    Dissenter

    …sorry I was going down in flames over here.

    After Arsene, I think 99% of fans were excited and looking forward to something new and exciting. I don’t think it mattered what that ‘exciting’ was, but it was important for the club to move on and upwards. It just hasn’t happened mate.

    As Gambon et all said… not even a 1% improvement over six months. That’s really poor. No money or not, I think we should at least see something we could get our teeth into.

  85. Dissenter

    Floyd Mayweather has proven himself to be a genius
    9 million in 2 minutes after an all expenses paid vacation to Tokyo.

  86. Receding Hairline

    Marko you need to read up on Hoffenheim I have been told.

    He met them in the bundesliga and finished in the Europa league places then Europa league, forget the fact they didn’t make much of an impact in Europe. Man is a miracle worker hence the model club Leipzig want him.

    He chooses to ignore what Emery did at Almeira, how he took a lowly club to La Liga and finished 8th his first season there, before moving to a troubled Valencia for more miracles but now he is old and has tanked at PSG with Neymar I’m told, Neymar joined the season they won the league at a canter but who needs facts

  87. Batistuta

    Thomas

    Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe now we know the extent to which our defensive line has been left without any proper investment in almost a decade, I’d have been more disturbed if we were improving at the back with the pile of shit we have as defenders

  88. Thomas

    The club had three chances to get either Klopp or Guardiola but they bottled it. Then had the chance to get Allegri but once again bottled it and wouldn’t give him the funds.

    Disgraceful

  89. gambon

    Batistuta

    Do I think any managers can get us conceding less than 53 goals per season?

    Yes I really do.

    In fact Palace, Leicester, West Ham, Watford, Brighton are all conceding less than us.

    There are 12 teams in the PL allowing less shots than Arsenal.

    That’s not a funds issue…that’s a coaching issue.

  90. Dissenter

    Guns of Hackney
    “As Gambon et all said… not even a 1% improvement over six months.”

    That statement is one for the ages.
    Like I said, you lot are like rampaging vikings who just want to raze down everything .
    One manger every six months will keep you lot excited, lots of pizzaz in that approach.

  91. Guns of Hackney

    Ha ha…remember when Pep publicly said he’d like the Arsenal job? Then we signed Arsene for another three and Pep went to city.

    Arsenal are the Pete Best of the football world.

  92. englandsbest

    Pedro angry? Nothing new in that. Nothing new in me angry either. Arsenal supporters have every reason to be angry – extremely angry. Competing for major titles, and often winning them, should be the default position for a Club of Arsenal’s stature, history, fanbase, and revenue. Instead of which we are looking at yet another barren season.

    Did I expect any better? No. It was clear from Day One of the season that the Arsenal squad was disjointed, deficient, and demoralised. If anything, Emery has done better than expected. For me there were five Clubs with notably better squads, sixth place was the most I expected.

    It’s not the manager who upsets me, nor is it Raul or Sven – the Club was in serious decline before they arrived. My belief is that, together, they are capable of taking Arsenal back into elite status. As for Pedro, I have a sense that he too thinks they can.

    So why are we, and so many other fans, angry? Well, you can fall into the conditioned reflex trap and say that we’ve lost our Club identity because of Wenger, and now Emery, and by inference, Raul and Sven. But that would be wrong.

    Danny and Kroenke destroyed our Club identity. Money, which was hardly ever mentioned before, became the defining distinctive factor. Supporting Arsenal is like feeding a piggy bank.

  93. Marko

    players would improve
    – pressing
    – defensive balance
    – results against top teams

    The results against top teams bit is a bit unfair considering our first two games were City and Chelsea away. As for the rest players would improve you yourself have said he inherited a piss poor squad and acknowledged that some players are just poor and can’t improve. Hard to press when you yourself have admitted that we have defenders who aren’t fast enough and strong enough and we have some slow and cumbersome players in key defensive areas. Basically these points that you’re making now you’ve made a point of reference before about the need to replace them from the squad before you can see a difference. So what’s changed then from now? Is Xhaka or Mustafi any faster? Kolasinac any less cumbersome? Or do you now expect these players who you yourself have said aren’t good enough and can’t do certain things to all of a sudden be able to and are all of a sudden good enough?

  94. Guns of Hackney

    Dissenter

    And special sauce.

    Keep the club fresh. 12 month max deals, six month reviews. Performance targets and reviews.

    I’d even have public sackings on the pitch.

  95. Pedro

    Nagelsmann took over a club in the relegation zone. In his first full season he finished in the Champions League spots. In his second season, he took them to 3rd in the table.

    He is a boy wonder. Loads of special sauce. That side is dross. He gets the most out of them.

  96. Marko

    As Gambon et all said… not even a 1% improvement over six months.

    How people can say this… after an improvement on our away record and a 21 match unbeaten run

  97. gambon

    Marko

    Coaching will only get you so far..

    ..However the fact that Emery is incapable of improving on a team that was basically finished last year is mental.

    The dressing room was lost…and still we see no improvement.

    That is some feat.

    Both our xG and xGA are actually worse than last season, so in terms of underlying performance Emery is under performing a almost dressing room with a tired old man in charge.

    I don’t even understand how that’s possible.

  98. Terraloon

    I see that Chelsea have published their accounts to year end 31/5 and after tax are posting a profit of around £62 million. Meanwhile at Arsenal for the first time in many a year Arsenal’s accounts, as a consequence of Kroenke hovering up the shares , will be published after Chelsea’s.
    AST are predicting that when the clubs accounts eventually do get published they will record a loss of around £60 million and have suggested that in 2018/19 the manager would have around £40 million to spend
    It’s abundantly clear that CL qualification is a must for without the income qualification generates Arsenal have to sell just to stand still and sorry I can’t see the worth in the players that could be sold without there being a negative impact in terms of squad quality

  99. Marko

    He is a boy wonder. Loads of special sauce. That side is dross. He gets the most out of them.

    So Nagelsmann it is then. He’s got the vision (though you can’t say what it is) and he certainly wouldn’t have lost to Liverpool in the same scenario that Emery was in. So let’s make it happen then. But it’s only fair that he’s judged after 6 months though. Anything less than a 60% win rate and anything more than 5 defeats and he’s got to go…

  100. Dissenter

    Terraloon,
    Which is why we should be pursuing the best young talent before they get their break-out moments.
    We shouldn’t be buying 30 ear old Argentine midfielders to cover for 30 year old German-Turk or Armenian midfielders.

  101. Guns of Hackney

    Marko

    That unbeaten run was built on quicksand. We were lucky in 80% of those games. We could have easily lost half of them.

    %1.

  102. Marko

    Bould, Adams and Keown were all as cumbersome as fuck yet it didn’t stop them defending the goal..

    True. They might struggle with a faster premier league and playing a highline though. Probably not they weren’t as error prone as some of our lads

  103. Paulinho

    “Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will hold talks with five of Europe’s leading clubs in January ahead of leaving the Gunners when his contract expires next summer.”

    Ornstein must have forgotten to add West Ham and Everton at the end…….

  104. Guns of Hackney

    The famous five were not the best individuals but as a unit, probably one of the best of all time. And that includes anything the Italians could produce.

    George Graham was a brilliant coach.

  105. Marko

    However the fact that Emery is incapable of improving on a team that was basically finished last year is mental.

    You said it yourself basically finished. You commented so much over the years about how poor the squad is and how shit this player is and that player is and now it’s how come the manager isn’t getting more from them? Which is it the squad not being good enough or the manager not getting enough from a good squad? Besides you have not offered up any solutions other than protests and sack the manager. Who do you want to be Arsenal manager?

  106. azed

    “AND, we certainly should have laid to rest the annual spankings to big teams.”

    Klopp lost to 5-0 to city and 4-1 to the spuds last season but he has the ‘SAUCE” so a spanking ok for Klopp right Pedro?

  107. NorwegianGooner

    Hi Pedro and all,

    I’ve been reading for a couple of years, but this is my first time posting, so fair warning, this is a long post, just really wanted to say my piece on the (quite unbelievable that we’re having this discussion at this point) Emery in/out debate.

    While I understand the concern about our current lack of identity and future vision (we really are looking lost at times), it really is too soon to judge whether or not Emery’s vision is going to work, as our situation is rather unique. We changed our entire management structure six months ago after maintaining the same system and philosophy (or lack thereof) for 22 (!) years. The only team whose situation is somewhat comparable is Man U, and they are still struggling massively 5 years and many hundreds of millions of pounds later. If reports that are coming out of the club from current and previous players who played in the later years Wenger-era are to be believed, most of our current squad have suffered from a severe lack of guidance and tactical coaching, not to mention a general lack of fitness training, for the better part of a decade. Turning that trainwreck around is going to take more than one transfer-window of moderate spending and six months of proper coaching!

    In spite of this I actually feel like I do see marked improvements in most of our players since the summer. They are working harder, tracking back more, pressing harder, and seem to just generally care more than this time last year. Until we had 4 of our first choice back-line injured we also had a clearly defined strategy of high press, moving the ball wide, overloading with wing-backs on the flanks and packing the box with late runs which was quite effective.

    But regardless of that (a bit beside the point), even if Emery was the greatest coach in the history of football, we’d be very unlikely to be able to see that at this stage in development. He still has nothing close to the squad he wants, the players are lacking in fitness, and playing with a new system that they haven’t properly mastered yet. High press is not an easy thing to execute perfectly over 90 minutes, they are going to be making mistakes (particularly as a few of our players are quite error-prone already). Those mistakes lead to goals, which lead to lost points. That’s not really a reflection on whether or not Emery’s vision is working, rather it’s an indication that he is working to implement one.

    Klopp came 8th in his first season and has yet to win anything three years later. Guardiola, commonly accepted to be the greatest coach currently active, and with a team of galacticos, barely scraped into the top four in his first season. The primary reason for both was a very leaky defence due to big changes in playstyle.

    I’m not saying Emery is definitely the right choice, I’m just saying that we have no way of really knowing at this point. We have to give him at least until this time next year before we can start making any accurate conclusions about whether or not his vision is working, and if he’s getting the team to play the way we want.

    Just my two cents, happy new year!

  108. Paulinho

    Marko -Juve fans seems pretty up for it from what I’ve read. They are incredibly well coached but have got shite like Khedira and Matuidi in their midfield so think he will cope pretty comfortably. The fans want someone that has legs and can join an increasingly static Ronaldo.

    PSG? Nope. The rest he’s got a decent chance.

  109. Receding Hairline

    I think the 5-1 scoreline was a bit much for some. Those who seemed to think only Wenger got beaten by such score lines.

    Gambon is on a mission, left to him Emery would have been sacked on the spot. Anyone with half a brain knew we were going to go through periods like this over the course of a season. Very soon the term EKB will be coined by some to justify their fury.