Arsenal defence to face powerful test + Mini Cesc Tribute

by .

It’s going to be a tough away day at the worst new stadium in the country. We head east to play WEST Ham. There’s a confusing one for you non-London folk.

Anyway, I’m worried about how our defence is going to hold up tomorrow. On the one hand, I’m excited to potentially welcome back Hector Bellerin, on the other, I’m deeply concerned about how we’re going to deal with Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal playing together.

Arnautovic is a man-beast and unplayable when he fancies it. Felipe ran rings around us last time he played. Antonio is also more than capable of causing us problems. If you remember last time we played West Ham, we really were lucky not to come away from the game losing. Now Pelligrini has had more time, we should expect just as tough a game as before. Our last 4 away Premier League games have seen 2 draws and 2 loses. We really need to get back on track and it’s imperative we don’t lose more ground on the top 4.

We have a squad as fit as it can be at this stage of the season. Will he play Ramsey? Will he go with two up front away from him? Will he start Auba and Laca? So many questions that need answering.

In other news, Cesc Fabregas has ducked out of the Premier League to join Monaco on a 3 and half year deal. Thierry has dropped a steal there… not quite sure I’d be giving someone with his injury record and pace that money, but whatever. I loved Cesc. One of my all-time favourite Arsenal players. When you talk about attacking footballers playing in a banter team, that was Cesc, and he fucking owned it. No bitching, mincing out or failing to score goals because that’s “not his thing.”

I remember him bursting on the scene with his mullet and rat tail. He looked like he was going to sell you a banging pair of fake Rayban’s, and he defo knew someone who could by you some South African skunk. But as his hairstyles improved, so did his ability to control games on the pitch. He was a revelation, one of the first midfielders of his type in the league. He had no pace, no physical presence, he just had this incredible ability to always find space… and his range of passing was out of this world. Then the goals came… then the interest came.

I don’t want to talk about how he left. I think the strike thing was massively overblown. Really though, who can blame him for going to play in that Barcelona side? It was the greatest of all time. Doesn’t matter that he didn’t really break into it. He went there to win trophies and that’s what he did.

Would I have wanted him back at Arsenal? For sure. We held out for him for a summer and didn’t fill his position because Wenger didn’t want him going to United. He kind of strung us along to get assurance from Barca, then he stayed and was fucked over anyway. We eventually moved hard on Mesut Ozil and that was that. Cesc was over for us.

What a career he’s had regardless. He’s lived in London, Barcelona and now Monaco. I have so much love for how that guy has run his career. A true role model if ever there was one.

Good luck Cesc!

Finally, Bielsa admits to hiding a spy in a bush and there are people out there defending the actions like that isn’t utterly abhorrent behavior. I saw a French publication justify the Leeds managers decision by saying there is no law against spying, and it was basically fine because he was chasing perfection.

Hmmm… pretty sure the police wouldn’t have picked up the perpetrator if there wasn’t something legally dubious about what he was doing. Additionally, don’t be a cu*t and play the strict interpretation of the rules card. Life is not about living by a strict legal code, there’s such a thing as norms, if you think there is anything upstanding in spying because no one thought there was a chance an opposition manager would go to those lengths, you’re full of shit.

Someone could stab someone in the leg before a game and there’d be a dickhead on Twitter lining up to tell you that taming player passion was a bad thing and if we punished the stabbing, it could be the end of the game. Not all opinion is born equal and the internet levels a cesspit of horrific views.

Right, that’s me done, enjoy the West Ham game! x

947 Responses to “Arsenal defence to face powerful test + Mini Cesc Tribute”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Pierre

    BobN16
    “Play him or ostracise him, that’s the choice. I’d give 5-4 a go!”

    agree …

    I have said all season that I want our best 4 offensive players starting…Aubamayang,Mhkitaryan,Lacazette and ozil….
    They have only started once all season ( v Liverpool) and it worked ……

    I would also bring Ramsey back into midfield as he looks much more disciplined of late.
    All out attack v Chelsea and United to get the fan base back onside .

    I just hope that Emery is prepared to swallow his pride regarding ozil.

  2. Un na naai

    Pierre

    Ozil is cack mate

    He is an unappreciative prick.
    Like many ex arsenal players he’ll regret his choices when he’s gone

    One thing wenger must take e the blame for is the comfort zone these pampered man children fell into
    That’s on his watch

  3. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “Problem is Nasri does a lot more than just make an assist. He too was pressing like possessed.”

    I think you need to watch the game again if you really believe that …..his energy was used when on the ball for the majority.

  4. Un na naai

    I took my afghan hound to the dole office this week to see what he was entitled to.

    They said sir. He’s a dog and we do not pay benefits to animals

    I said he’s Middle Eastern, , he’s never worked a day in his life and he can’t speak English!!!

    He said ok he starts Monday

  5. Guns of SF

    Where do we go now? My gut is telling me that Emery has got the best out of his bunch already. at this rate, we stay put in 5/6th place.
    Who, and how is this going to change?

    Im getting the feeling we get one player in Jan.. Suarez- but it was clear today, that a middle creator for the team is needed. Ozil will hardly play this season. that is for sure.

    It is just depressing… We sorely lack creativity

  6. Un na naai

    Sf

    You’re a nice fella. A genuine sf guy who’s isn’t a self important virtue signaller. I think you actually really care about people
    They do exist

  7. Guns of SF

    Will stan invest his hard earned dollars back into the club?
    If he does not help us, we will slowly wither away.
    Im so pissed I hope the Rams lose just to spite his ugly mug

    Even though LA is my old hometown.
    Go chargers

  8. Guns of SF

    We really need another striker. Danny is gone…
    What happened to the massive Brazilian guy?
    Just utterly depressed.
    f–k

  9. Upstate Gooner

    RH
    “And this bring back ozil nonsense has to stop. We were a sixth placed team with ozil supposedly pulling the strings in the heart of an attacking team filled with joy…”

    You forgot to mention that we were the 2nd best scoring team after City last season. Should Ozil get some credit for it perhaps or do we only blame him when he doesn’t track back? What about our shitty defense now? Ozil’s fault again? Ridiculous to say the least.

    azed
    Apologies accepted

  10. Redtruth

    What Brucr Rioch did for Arsenal – looking back 20 years on from his arrival

    The hard-nosed Scot gets a bad rep for his ill-fated season at Highbury, but Jon Spurling says plenty of good was done too…

    by
    Jon Spurling

    Published 17 June 2015

    Twenty years ago, Bruce Rioch was unveiled as Arsenal’s new boss having guided Bolton to successive promotions. His one-year tenure is hardly remembered fondly, punctuated by bust-ups with senior pros including Ian Wright, and a frosty relationship with vice chairman David Dein. Thus, the former Bolton manager has been virtually airbrushed from Gunners history.

    Rioch was dismissed as a dour “interregnum” boss who simply kept the seat warm for Arsene Wenger, but here are five reasons why Arsenal fans and Wenger should be grateful to the straight-laced Scot…

    1) He bedded in Dennis Bergkamp

    Bergkamp freely admitted that his confidence had taken a hefty knock during his troubled two-year stay in Italy, and although glimpses of skill were evident in his early Arsenal matches, it wasn’t until game six that he scored his first Gunners goals against Southampton.

    Bruce nursed, cajoled, and eased me into what was a different style of football- Dennis Bergkamp

    Although Rioch later insisted that “Dennis would have found his feet eventually whoever the manager was,” Bergkamp remains eternally grateful to the man who “nursed, cajoled, and eased me into what was a different style of football, and made my family feel so welcome in England. He talked me through the different approach needed to be successful in England.

    The combined £12 million that Arsenal shelled out on Bergkamp and David Platt represented proof that the club were finally ready to loosen the purse strings and throw off the defensive, blue collar approach which had blighted the latter years of George Graham’s regime.

    Bergkamp acted as a magnet for other foreign signings over the next few years, including Patrick Vieira and fellow Dutchman Marc Overmars. When Wenger arrived in September 1996, two months after Rioch’s departure, Arsenal were ready to go truly multicultural and Bergkamp, who’d put his Italian nightmare behind him with Rioch’s help, was the first piece of the jigsaw.

    2) He introduced more of a passing style

    The Scot was very clear from the outset about what he wanted at Highbury. “I wanted to leave the era of the long ball behind us, and begin to get the defence to pass balls through the midfield, rather than simply launching the ball forward,” he reflected.

    The Gunners were certainly easier on the eye during the 95/96 campaign, if prone to stuttering on their travels in crunch games. Rioch had to settle for a largely functional midfield, however, with the likes of John Jensen, David Hillier and Steve Morrow all still present and correct. He planned to add “a more creative presence to the centre of the pitch,” although he wasn’t at the club long enough to make good his plan.

    Keown honed his ballwork in Rioch’s midfield

    However, Rioch began to experiment, playing centre-back Martin Keown in midfield for several games. He insisted: “Martin may not agree at the moment, but in the long-term it will make him a more effective defender.” It was a point with which Keown concurred, explaining how “Rioch helped improve my distribution of the ball no end.” Paul Merson was less effective in this area, although his insistence on balls to feet was a precursor of what was to come. It was Wenger’s predecessor who first introduced a change in playing style to the club, and by and large the players were receptive to the change… with one exception.

    3) He addressed the Ian Wright problem

    When Rioch arrived at Highbury, the single-minded Arsenal goal-machine was already 32. Gunners skipper Tony Adams later admitted that he “wondered if we’d ever win the title with Ian in the team”. Rioch was insistent that Arsenal “need to find a way of scoring goals from all across the team, and not be on one man”.

    Wright and Rioch had a tempestuous relationship. Rioch labelled Wright a “Charlie Big Potatoes” and Wright handed in a transfer request after a verbal spat with his manager following an FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United. Wright was used to feeding on scraps and long balls from the defence, but with the development of the passing game, he began to feel starved of service. Wright made his feelings about Rioch known to vice chairman Dein, and the writing was on the wall for the Arsenal manager.

    The Wright situation was wrong for Bruce
    It’s true that Rioch was often supremely unsubtle with Wright (the striker allegedly nicknamed his manager “Dagenham” because he believed him to be only a couple of stops short from Barking), and Wright did plunder goals aplenty for another couple of seasons, but Rioch realised the truth: for a club to win the league, goals needed to be more liberally spread. Two years later, Wenger’s Arsenal lifted the top-flight trophy, and following injury, Wright didn’t figure in the title run-in – his place had been taken by Nicolas Anelka. Rioch’s hunch about Wright was correct, but his heavy-handed approach backfired on him.

    4) He began fumigation process after Graham era

    “I feel like (renowned agony aunt) Marje Proops sometimes, having to deal with you lot,” barked an exasperated Rioch at the team during a particularly trying week. There were tantrums, personal crises, and fitness concerns over top stars. Rioch took a hard line with some of Arsenal’s misfiring and stroppy players, and coaxed others into restoring their reputation.

    Unashamedly puritanical in many respects, he suggested: “Young footballers should be married, and looking after themselves in the evenings to ensure they’re fit and healthy.” He realised that if Arsenal were to be successful, the drinking culture at the club had to stop. Rioch despaired of the overweight and temperamental John Hartson, omitting him from the team because he remained unconvinced about his match fitness.

    Wenger would concur with this view. He also got to work on the fitful Ray Parlour, urging him to bring a more consistent and mature approach to his play and his lifestyle. Rioch went out of his way to man-manage Merson, who was still in the process of heavy therapy following his confession the year before that he was an alcoholic. Merson remains eternally grateful for Rioch “spending so much time with me when he had a difficult enough job to do already”. Perhaps history would have turned out differently for Rioch had skipper Adams not experienced his own personal demons, having suffered an alcoholic meltdown following Euro 96. “I wasn’t there for Bruce in the dressing room,” he admitted. But Rioch was there for some of Arsenal’s misfiring stars, who flourished under Wenger.

    5) He gave full-backs licence to roam

    In the final year of Graham’s tenure, both Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn expected to be sold. They looked jaded and crotchety. But the truth was that they were just tired of the defensive straightjacket within which they were expected to operate. By autumn 1995, however, the pair could be seen bombing up and down the wings like they were 21 years old again. Following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester United in November 1995 (Dixon and Winterburn excelled), Alex Ferguson asked whether the pair “had 10 shredded wheats for breakfast this morning”. They regained their old tenacity too: witness Dixon’s fractious encounters with Newcastle’s David Ginola that season at Highbury. It was Wenger who added years to the full-backs’ careers by revolutionising their diets and exercise routines, but Rioch planted the seed that just because were in your 30s it didn’t mean your days of pelting up and down the wings were over.

  11. Moray

    Somebody at the club needs to come out on to the balcony soon and tell the fans what is going on. What is the short and long strategy? What is the plan for clearing the overpaid and undermotivated players out? How do the club look to build on our corporate sponsorship and marketing deals? What is expected from the coach, the DoF? The scouts? Who is in charge? Show some accountability, some fucking leadership.

  12. azed

    What about our shitty defense now? Ozil’s fault again? Ridiculous to say the least.

    But playing Ozil in midfield doesn’t help our Midfield when defending, he’s limited playing on the wings so what do you want Emery to do?

  13. Upstate Gooner

    SF
    “Emery has got the best out of his bunch already. at this rate, we stay put in 5/6th place.
    Who, and how is this going to change?”

    Emery is just as stubborn as Wenger was. I absolutely hated his favoritism towards certain players and treatment of others, and our crooked teeth Dracula is doing the same thing. I don’t think he’s getting the best out of this bunch. He could and should be doing much better. We’re still scoring plenty of goals as we did last season but our defense has gotten even worse. Give this team to someone who would make an emphasis on keeping clean sheets, proper defending, etc and you would see a huge difference. I reckon someone like Jardim, or even Rafa would be doing much better.

    P.S. I too hope Rams lose. Want Saints and Chargers in SB, and Rivers finally getting the ring. Bills fan, btw.

  14. Upstate Gooner

    azed
    “But playing Ozil in midfield doesn’t help our Midfield when defending, he’s limited playing on the wings so what do you want Emery to do?”

    I hope you saw what I did today, and that is the lack of creativity up front. We were fucking toothless. Would Ozil have made a difference? You might disagree but I think he would. He’s been called the best number 10 in the world by many so play him in that role, give him some freedom. I agree, he doesn’t do/add much defensively so put 2 defensive mids behind him. Xhaka is horrendous, anyone can see it. Guendouzi is too young/raw. Why not try Torreira-Elneny partnership? Would keep midfield nice and tight, and will give Ozil some freedom to create.

  15. Champagne charlie

    Azed

    How can you put a lack of vision or plan down to the structure of the club being new? If anything it should exaggerate the emphasis of a plan.

    In any leadership role you absolute must have a clear scope, and a method in achieving such. Anything else is totally unacceptable, and doomed from the start.

    The very first meeting with Stan, Raul, Sven, and Josh should’ve outlined where they see Arsenal now, then where they want to see Arsenal next year, the year after. How to do so is a crucial aspect, and it’s these questions that are so muddied at the club.

  16. Dolomite

    Crux of the matter

    Somebody at the club needs to come out on to the balcony soon and tell the fans what is going on. What is the short and long strategy? What is the plan for clearing the overpaid and undermotivated players out? How do the club look to build on our corporate sponsorship and marketing deals? What is expected from the coach, the DoF? The scouts? Who is in charge? Show some accountability, some fucking leadership.

    Great Post Moray.

  17. Dolomite

    From the playing side of things, attacking wise we don’t get the transition from defence to attack right – our midfielders are capable of build up play but lack the incisiveness to create clear chances

  18. englandsbest

    Coming back to today’s game, there was a period of about fifteen minutes in the second half when the team played splendidly, when they came close to scoring two goals. The difference was that they attacked at speed and passed to each other with pinpoint accuracy.

    Most of the rest of the time they were carap. If it had been the other way round – fifteen minutes carap, seventy-five minutes mostly brilliant – they would have won the game comfortably.

    It’s a conundrum that every coach faces. There are many factors, tactics is only one of them. Whichever he uses can be countered.

  19. Benkamp

    I don’t know why anyone is not talking about the performances of AMN. I can’t remember the last time I saw a player lose the ball this consistently game after game apart from pascal cygan being thrown into the squad.
    He is not strong in defence and gives us nothing going forward constantly spraying wayward balls about the pitch.
    I do see some potential there and I’m all for giving youth a chance but playing players who aren’t ready for first team football it of position just makes no sense. Also one of Iwobis best games all season he held the ball up all game of only he could finish what a player he would be!

  20. Moray

    I liked Rioch. He brought Bergkamp into the club, if nothing else. People seem to forget that Bergkamp was pure fantasy for us at that time. A top top world class playmaker who we never would have dreamed would sign before it happened. This was the start of modern Arsenal. Bergie’s my favourite generational Arsenal player by a country mile.

  21. Burleydave

    The problem is that Ozil as been given chance after chance to prove himself and has failed time and time again. Particularly in big games where big reward demands big performance and contribution. I challenge anyone to name the last big game he had an influence on. And please don’t say Leicester. The question for a world class player should be – name the last game he didn’t have an influence on. With Ozil it is the other way round. So he is useless to ud

  22. steve

    @Un naa naai

    I’d rather have Mourinho at this stage. At least he can coach a defence.

    Emery doesn’t have a fucking clue about coaching a defence.

  23. Un na naai

    Sinead occonner and Natalie Portman are the only women I’ve ever seen who still look beautiful with a skin head

  24. David Smith

    Tim Stillman has a point, Stan gambled the transition money on giving Wenger two years, and now emery has no money.

  25. azed

    Upstate

    Ozil is finished at the top level, you might not agree but the fact that no club has been in for him since last year says alot.

    Even Wenger didn’t trust Elneny over Xhaka.

    We have such a bad squad that we can’t afford any more passengers.
    Kolasinac is a liability defensively, same as Mustafi, Xhaka and Koscielny. Adding Ozil to the mix means we have half a team with defensive issues.
    The problem with the other 4 is they have to play because there are no replacements for them.

  26. raptora

    My number 1 realistic choice of manager was Conte but fk me he would have been back to Italy already, crying out loud that the club hasn’t given him any dosh. And rightly so. We desperately need wingers. Hazard, Willian and Pedro won yet another game for Chelsea. We don’t have a single winger of similar quality. Not one. That’s up to the management of the club. Yeah, we are skint, but you’ve got to make some decisions if you want to progress. I don’t see the club being too active on looking for a solution to a big chunk of our players.Like why isn’t Elneny sold already? Why is Jenkinson still stinking the place and why hasn’t the people in power found a team for him? Why is not one of Mkhitaryan and Ozil sold this window?

    We can fund a proper winger with potential if we wanted to and still bring Suarez on loan to play CAM. Problem is that Emery should have been much more flexible than what he’s done. Ramsey showed a little bit of what’s being missed – the fluidity in moving the ball forward from defence to attack. You have to make the right choices most of the time and Emery hasn’t done so lately.

  27. Pierre

    If no one came in for ozil then why offer him 350,000 a week …we could have offered him less than half that and he would have taken it if ,as you say , no other club was interested in him .

    Obviously there would be clubs interested in him on a free ,same as clubs are interested in Ramsey on a free ….would be stupid to think otherwise.

  28. Wenker-wanger

    Emery has no chance managing Wenger’s calamitous dross. Wenger somehow Spunked loads of cash up the wall, but emery is only allowed loan transfers.
    Whether emery can take us to the champs league level remains to be seen…but whilst his hands are tied by the money-mad kroenke, we won’t know.
    Kroenke I’m sure has the belief that spending £50 million on a player only has marginal effect…he has seen wenger spend big and the result at the end of the season is a massive deficit in points to the prem league winner.
    I would say that wenger has negatively influenced kroenke…why else have we no money to spend on transfers.

  29. TheLegendaryDB10

    CC

    The very first meeting with Stan, Raul, Sven, and Josh should’ve outlined where they see Arsenal now, then where they want to see Arsenal next year, the year after. 

    And they most probably did. But it was just all about getting back into the top 4 (status quo) with whatever money we have. No putting the hand in the pocket.

    This will be Kroenke’s downfall if he does nothing about it. Josh probably liked Emery as he won’t complain.

    Any way we cut it there will need some money invested in the team to help move us forward if we got any aspirations to get into the top 4.

  30. TheLegendaryDB10

    Pierre

    If someone had approached Ozil, we would have heard about it by now. That’s the kind of stuff that’s not even remotely close to being a close guarded secret in football. Certainly for the likes of Ozil.

    Even if it was the case, his agent would have boasted about it by now to show how popular he really is.

  31. TheLegendaryDB10

    Pierre

    It certainly is. But, nonetheless, don’t you think it’s strange that nothing has been said in the press? It happens for every other player, ceetainly where a big team is concerned. It heightens their profile.

  32. Wenker-wanger

    Ozil…a typical wenger player…can look good particularly against average opposition…but like wenger..not the real deal and short of raw fighting spirit.
    This is the squad Emery has inherited.
    The game at Southampton proved the wenger-built squad wasn’t up for the fight.This is what emery has to work with…a defense composed of error prone players…koscienly should not even be at this club, and mustafi at £35 million is probably the worst buy this club and wenger has made.

  33. raptora

    On a sidenote – extremely disappointed in Laca’s committment today. He played for 10 mins and in the next 80 he was a shadow. He is the type of forward that never hides, always up for it. Well today he wasn’t. Ramsey was more dedicated to help when he came in that Laca was for a whole game. We know that Auba is a different type of striker so in Laca not pressing and fighting and feeding off of scraps you eliminate his strongest qualities. He needs to work hard to be useful unlike Auba so in him hiding there’s really zero point of playing him.

  34. alexanderhenry

    Steve

    ‘Emery out Mourinho in’

    Mourinho is over. He’s a busted flush. I suggest you get over it.
    I doubt there is a more unpopular man in football. The fact that with one of the most expensive squads ever assembled in football, he couldn’t even overtake a side as average as the current Arsenal team says it all.

    Mourihno- no

  35. Un na naai

    Typical Wenger players??

    Ok muppet

    Freddie
    Pires
    Henry
    Over mars
    Paddy
    Petit
    Lehmann
    Lauren
    Cole
    Kolo
    Campbell
    Kanu
    Rvp
    Cesc
    Hleb
    Parlour
    Anelka
    Adebayor
    Sanchez
    Silvinho

    Wanker

    You know nothing you Johnny come lately puddle of urine

  36. LeMassiveCooq

    Whoever just proposed Maureen is a muppet.

    I’m going to wade in on this Ozil debate…

    Without Ozil, Rasey or (dare I say it..) Miki, what do we have in terms of creativity? Iwobi bowling forwards or a few crosses from Kolasinac or Bellerin? Guendozi and Torreria are the holding , DF mids we’ve needed but now we have 0 creativity.

    As for Dick Emery….not for me.

  37. steve

    @Un na naai

    “Eduardo was fucking unreal”

    Yes he was so unreal he managed to score a whopping 4 goals in 17 apps before his leg got snapped lol.

  38. Batistuta

    Bamford and his dedication to absolving Kroenke of anything at all is always so so funny to watch….Almost like how most thought Wenger couldn’t do any wrong

  39. Un na naai

    Steve

    Boring tiles won by holding out against Bolton or flair and beauty and the best sides the league has seen?

  40. Batistuta

    In Milan here, they call Arsenal the new Ac Milan……stuck with a stupid owner and bang average players and a fan base that is so deluded they think any manager at all can turn the pile of shit here into a well oiled machine

  41. alexanderhenry

    Steve

    Have a look at how much he spent at man utd.
    They were worse than us under him. Therefore, what makes you think with our current squad and no money, Mourinho could even get us top four let alone win anything?

  42. steve

    @Un na naai

    I’m assuming you’re referring to when he won the league in 2004/5? 95 points, record at the time and 12 points ahead of Wenger who like on many other occasions choked and collapsed.

  43. alexanderhenry

    Steve

    That was then and this is now. He was good then and now he’s shit.
    These days the man has as much wow factor as the fucking grim reaper.

    …a bit like wenger. How ironic.

  44. Batistuta

    Alex

    Basically an Everton or Leicester these days but with more over paid players and a fan base that still thinks changing managers is all it’s going to take to turn things around

  45. alexanderhenry

    Batistuta

    That appears to be where we’re heading. The question is, how will the fans respond. There have been plenty of empty seats already.

  46. Pierre

    “That was then and this is now. He was good then and now he’s shit.
    These days the man has as much wow factor as the fucking grim reaper.”

    I had a dream last night I was cutting carrots with the grim reaper

    I was dicing with death.

  47. alexanderhenry

    Right

    EVERYONE must watch this. This fan is telling it how it is and he’s an American

    God bless America:

  48. Pierre

    Raptora
    “Ramsey was more dedicated to help when he came in than Laca was for a whole game”

    Ramsey came on and he did start very well but he faded and was ineffective towards the end just as everyone else was.
    I did think Ramsey had a good game v Blackpool and his game looks like it is maturing the last few weeks of so .

    I would start him v Chelsea and United and I think he should play centre mid in a 2 man midfield.

    Our last 3 prem away games (not including Liverpool) against Southampton, Brighton and West Ham have been very disappointing and the most disappointing aspect of those games is that we never looked like scoring in the closing stages , our play just fizzled out like a damp squib….

  49. Batistuta

    Alex

    Arsenal fans like to bicker and fight over the most stupid and mundane of things…take for example the endless mind numbing Ozil debates on here, unless everyone comes together in unison to accept that we are being badly run which is almost impossible when you see people here still say Kroenke shouldn’t be blamed then we are heading even further downhill.

    If i were Emery, I’d accept defeat and resign immediately, let’s see what magical manager many on here think can turn this shower of shit into any resembling a good team

  50. James.wood

    A few more bad loses .
    If we go out of Europa cup
    and loose any viable chance
    of Champions league qualification.
    And spend no money.?

    I can see this Kroenke debate turning very toxic.

  51. Upstate Gooner

    Batistuta
    You don’t have to be a wizard, magician, or someone like Pep with half a billion dollars to spend to figure out what’s wrong with the team. DEFENSE. Plain, and simple. BHA lost to Pool 1-0. We got spanked 5-1. We make teams like Soton, and West Ham look like title contenders. Stop the rot in the back, and the results will follow. Unfortunately, Emery is incapable of doing so. The myth that he inherited a poor squad is just that, a myth. We were scoring goals for fun this and last season, and were only second to City. Jardim, Rafa, anyone really would be doing a much better job, I think.

  52. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Something ain’t right at the club

    It must be ozil.

    If you have a work mate on more than double even treble an he is never in work, an when there he does fuck all.

    You would get the right hump. Even to the point of saying how’s he get away with it…

    Players are human maybe very rich people but they still have emotions .

  53. Batistuta

    Upstate

    Your last two words were “I think” so you don’t know same way we all don’t know what any other manager could have done with this squad that has more error prone players than teams in the championship. I’m not an Emery guy, i personally feel we need someone more steady but there is a reason why no other manager worth his salt was interested in the Arsenal Job oh and as for outscoring everyone bar City last season, didn’t we finish 6th or something

  54. Batistuta

    And our Defense, unless and without any significant investment in that part of the field, it doesn’t matter who the gaffer is, Mustafi will still go sliding in like a dumbo and Kolasinac wouldn’t start knowing how to defend or Koscienly’s legs wouldn’t still be gone or Bellerin wouldn’t still know how to defend or Maitland Niles wouldn’t stop being shit and Monreals legs wouldn’t still be gone too. Hope you get my point now upstate

  55. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I’m not saying emery is wrong man.

    On the countary

    He needs a squad of players he wants a chairman who backs him

    Gazdisas an wenger had a royal laugh in the last 6 months,..

    Knew they were both off so they lined there pockets an slipped off.

  56. gambon

    Our defence is worse than last season.

    Considering Wenger completely lost the dressing room…

    Considering Emery bought 5 defensively biased players….

    Considering we are creating far less chances…

    It takes a pretty terrible manager to actually make this defence worse.

    The Spanish Pulis has been found out.

  57. Champagne charlie

    Gambon

    You don’t think you’re being a bit harsh there? Or is it purposeful hyperbole?

    You know where I sit , and what my issues/reservations are but how would you have seen the summer handled? You fancied Emery beforehand after all.

  58. Upstate Gooner

    Batistuta
    Of course, it’s “I think”. No one knows for sure how things would be under a different manager. Yes, we did finish in 6th place last season, my point exactly. Our offense needed very little tweaking. Our defense, however, was shambolic. Somehow Emery managed to make it worse. Agree with you on your players assessment for the most part but that is why Emery was hired, and it’s his job to make those players better. He had a full preseason and a transfer window to figure out what he wants and needs. Again, he failed.

  59. gambon

    Charlie

    I wanted Emery. I was one of the few on here that mentioned him before it was in the public domain.

    I was wrong.

    In terms of underlying performance, shots, shots against, xG and xGA we have regressed.

    Considering Wenger completely deteriorated in the last few years that’s some feat to actually make them worse.

    Absolutely agree with anyone that says our players aren’t good enough…however the managers job is to improve performances, not just buy new players.

    There have been far too many utterly bizarre decisions.

  60. Cesc Appeal

    One of the few positives today was that Sokratis looked better, back to his more solid looking performances.

    I really think we need to pair him with Mavropanos and see what happens. I know he is young for a CB but I really don’t think he can do any worse than Mustafi or Kozz short of killing someone in the crowd.

    If it works we may have ourselves a very good CB, he is a Mislintat scout after all. If he doesn’t work out we either get ourselves a squad player with more experience now or we know we can flog him to Sevilla.

  61. alexanderhenry

    Batistuta

    Agreed.
    I softened my position slightly, regarding Kroenke earlier in the season- not because I think he is in any way the right owner for arsenal, but because with a new manager and back room team I thought it might be possible for arsenal to compete IN SPIGHT of Stan’s shortcomings.

    Difficult, probably unlikely but possible.

    However, seeing the return of a zero transfer budget this January and the likelihood that he will load more debt on to the club- he can do that now he is sole owner- I have returned to my original position concerning our silent, absentee owner.
    He will wreck arsenal football club unless the paying fans get organised and demand change .

    As far as Emery is concerned, unless he’s given a hefty war chest this summer- which he won’t- I reckon he’ll walk.

  62. Cesc Appeal

    I’m not the biggest fan of throwing players into positions they don’t play, one of my pet hates was always people saying Vermaelen could be a CDM for us or some other CB, but does anyone think it is at all possible for Kolasinac to play LM for us?

    While our options are so limited and we need someone to take it to the touchline and whip balls in?

    I realise he would be missing key parts of a LMs game, but he has improved with taking people I think and he is most dangerous on the edge of the opposition box.

    I don’t know. Just a thought.

  63. Upstate Gooner

    gambon
    Spanish Pulis? You probably mean Moyes. Pulis would have done a much better job. Honestly, I can’t stand the guy anymore. From his shitty English that I don’t understand to his shitty team selections and formations that I understand even less.

  64. gambon

    Cc

    As for how I would’ve handled the summer…

    Firstly I would’ve signed an attacking midfielder. I respect that Emery wanted to give everyone a chance, but everyone said our wide players weren’t good enough. Unai apparently watched 1000s of hours of our games but didn’t see it.

    I would’ve sold a lot more and just signed 2-3 very good players, not 5 so so players.

    Not to mention the absolute farce in deciding not to sell Ramsey and Welbeck, but also not the them down.

  65. gambon

    Having said all that, I do see the validity in just keeping Emery for the next 18 months.

    At the end of the day Raul and Sven are probably more important than Emery for the next few transfer windows.

    We need to unwind our bad decisions, then make some smart purchases.

    Once we have the structure of the squad right, we can get in a better manager than the Spanish Pulis.

    However you can’t help thinking 5 years of EL football will be devastating for the club.

    We will be behind even Spurs financially by then.

  66. Pierre

    R.s.p.c.a
    “Something ain’t right at the club …It must be ozil”

    Of course it is ,let’s blame the one person who has missed our last 4 defeats.

  67. Dissenter

    gambon
    Welbeck came back late fro there world cup and apparently was “injured” . He declined a transfer request from Southampton. We didn’t have killer instinct to get him out.
    Ramsey led the team by nose and dragged negotiations beyond the deadline. I thinks Arsenal also sent double messages too naming him as a club captain.
    Elneny didn’t go because he liked living in London.

    In fairness, Gazidis was still in charge and was publicly dithering about the AC Milan offer. The uncertainty about Gazidis leaving made the summer business more difficult.
    It was a chaotic summer for us with all those changes going on. That’s why we dropped the ball with Ramsey and Wellbeck.

  68. Joe

    Alex

    Hate to agree with him but he’s right. Gazidis and wenger left this club a
    Mess. To expect emery to clean it up so
    Quick is ridiculous. He’s handcuffed by the buffoonery of wenger and Gazidis

  69. Ishola70

    CA

    “but does anyone think it is at all possible for Kolasinac to play LM for us?”

    He played quite a few matches for Schalke at LM so why not.

    One thing is for sure he is never going to be seen as a top LB in the league because he is not good enough defensively.

    If Arsenal want a fast direct winger in the team that can put in accurate crosses in more often than not then they should be looking at Manuel Lazzari from SPAL. He fits the market Arsenal will be playing in now and could turn out a very useful signing.

  70. azed

    Firstly I would’ve signed an attacking midfielder. I respect that Emery wanted to give everyone a chance, but everyone said our wide players weren’t good enough. Unai apparently watched 1000s of hours of our games but didn’t see it.I would’ve sold a lot more and just signed 2-3 very good players, not 5 so so players.

    Gambon
    Emery isn’t head of recruitment, its Sven. I also don’t think Emery has the power to sell players, that’s Raul and Sven.

    The best Emery can do as regards sales of players is freeze them out.

  71. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    The club is dying if nor dead.

    Thebyankee dollar is dried up.

    Big stadium empty seats .

    Big club with destination…

    Ah well good while it lasted

  72. Champagne charlie

    Gambon

    Yea I concur with pretty much all you’ve said there. Wasn’t a lover of the activity in the summer when all said and done, was willing to say ‘fair enough’ were we to bag Dembele at the 11th hour but it went south quick without that.

    Personally I would’ve liked more transparency from the club in outlining our ambitions and aims over the next few seasons. Again, personally I’d have gone for a more anti-Wenger manager if headed down the uninspiring choice of managers. Rafa was my pick there, commands the language, knows the league, handles the pressure, was just off a terrific two seasons. He’d have made us mean and worked with a paltry budget along the way. Ideal transitional coach imo.

    Just not overly impressed with anything going on at the club currently, we’re sleepwalking it seems to me. Waiting hopefully for a bolt out the blue to kick us up a notch. It’s fanciful.

  73. Joe

    Look

    If this doesn’t improve emery he can fuck
    Off. There is no loyalty to emery like some
    Of you Wankers has to wenger.

    BUT this team still has too many wenger lingerings. Emery deserves until next jan to make some signings and make the team his

  74. Cesc Appeal

    Gambon

    I think that is exactly the thought process. He is a safe and experienced pair of hands while the club undergoes massive change and modernising.

    We need to chop that £250 Million wage bill.

    We need to overhaul this squad.

    We need to sort our loan system out and youth production as a source of first team and cash resources.

    We need to address our average commericals which it looks like is already being dealt with between Rwanda and Adidas, as a start anyway.

    So much needs to change and it could even be that the club was looking for a steady manager for the 2018-2020. Maybe it was case of recognising that is all we could get because the above situations had not been handled meaning a top manager like Allegri etc was out of reach.

    Ishola

    I would give him a go there.

    Put some power and pace into the wide positions. He will also have more defensive instincts than your average LM.

    Not perfect but I am sick and tired of seeing our flat, average options wheeled out week after week.

  75. Graham62

    Sat on the train going up to London today with my son whilst streaming the game live. What a joke.

    Forget the farcical finances for one minute and the fact that we had an incompetent manager at the helm for so long, the truth of the matter is that our new manager, for all the problems and difficulties he is encountering, doesn’t seem to get the EPL.

    The patience I had is fast evaporating. When I saw the set up today and the lack of any creativity in the middle of the park, no Torreira and such a slow mundane pace to the play, I said to my son ” What the fudge is Emery doing?”

    Arsenal could and should have won today. Infact, they would have won if Emery had an idea of what he is doing. The bubble looks like it has burst and the daggers are definitely out and ,unless Emery comes to the realisation that Arsenal fans will not tolerate even more “blind refusals” to act, he will soon find himself being hung out to dry.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see and understand what we need to do and how to play.

    Things seem to be getting lost in translation.

    Sort it out or get out!

  76. Joe

    Emery doesn’t have full control like
    Wenger did

    He says what position and type of player he wants. It’s a group decision.

    He can’t say I want pogba Messi Ronaldo. Go get them

  77. Charlie George

    What a competent job , no frills job Pellegrini has done. ( and always does)
    Absolutely travesty – that Gazidas felt fit Emery was our best bet as manager-after Wenger.

    We have no identity.
    Imperative The Spaniards currently in charge- get Ramsey SIGNED UP and made CAPTAIN.
    IF they had a shred of decency- they should admit their error of ways and apologize to our longest serving player
    No other club in the world would have done this to a respected and loyal

    Totally ashamed of the actions of these two Raul/Emery.

    All because Emery wants Banega.

  78. Charlie George

    These 2 pillocks have given contracts to
    Iwobi
    Xhaka
    Eleney
    Chambers
    Lichsteiner
    And themselves

    BUT NOT TO RAMSEY

    totally shameful.

  79. Ishola70

    Samesong
    ” hey budWhat do you think of that Chillwell chap at Leceister?”

    Yeah he looks good. Assured on the ball and good dribbler. Needs to improve defensively cause he switches off from time to time but you can put that down to his young age. Would Arsenal be the place to see him improve defensively? lol because he doesn’t need much working on from the attacking perspective.

    Leicester would also want quite a tidy sum for him.

  80. azed

    CA

    Playing Kolasinac as a winger is Eboue all over again and a terrible idea.

    If Emery wants a winger (and he should want one) he should be telling Sven and Raul to get him one.

    By now, Emery should know those in his medium to long term plans and anyone not in it should be on gone even if we are selling for a bucket of KFC nuggets.

    The club needs to get ruthless.

  81. Dissenter

    I have to say that I am in full agreement with the way Emery hasn’t treated Ozil.
    He doesn’t deserve another even an ounce of indulgence. Wenger used to give him special treatment, same as Sanchez.

    Our way back to playing like a top club doesn’t involve Ozil, his huge pay check notwithstanding.

  82. gambon

    Chilwell would be my choice of LB

    I feel however that we are going to try and find cheap options in most positions with maybe 1 big name £50m player.

    I would just rip it up, sell everyone and start again with talented, physically impressive, younger talents.

    Apart from Leno, Sokratis, Holding, Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi and Auba I’d sell everyone. Probably keep Iwobi as a squad player

    Sell everyone, promote kids and restart things from scratch.

    Give Willock, ESR, Nelson, Amaechi, Saka and Nketiah their chance.

  83. Ishola70

    azed

    “even if we are selling for a bucket of KFC nuggets.”

    I’ll give you a half-eaten corn on the cob for Granite Xjaka.

  84. gambon

    Dissenter

    I disagree regards Ozil.

    I really don’t like Ozil, everyone knows that.

    However if there isn’t an end goal to this, then it’s a ludicrous decision to drop him.

    We had 3 full backs on the bench today. The idea that Monreal is a better bench option than Ozil is ridiculous.

    We either sell him or play him. Simple as that.

    If there is a real chance we can shift him then I’m fine with this.

    If not then it serves no purpose.

    It’s not like were seeing a hard working, pressing team.

  85. Charlie George

    and our useless, greedy leech of an owner. You must see that now, surely.
    What evidence have u – he is greedy?

  86. Ishola70

    This transfer team have to show much more imagination and pluck in the transfer market now than ever before.

    No more stop gap signings. No more signing players on the back of how many international caps they have.

    They need to identify up and coming players with attributes this team is screaming out for or players that are seen as “late” bloomers. Late bloomers are quite young themselves in this day and age. If you are not a superstar footballer at 23 years of age you are written off it seems.

    They have to be braver in the market.

  87. Nelson

    @Gambon “We had 3 full backs on the bench today. The idea that Monreal is a better bench option than Ozil is ridiculous.”

    I thought I read that Licht is on the bench also. When we were chasing the game, we had Licht on the bench. What a joke!

    We were told that Emery studied every opponent very well before each game. WestHam played with 3 CMs and we played with two. No wonder we couldn’t advance the ball through the midfield. I start to have doubt with Emery’s judgement. Auba’s strength is in the box. Today Emery played him on the right. He has set up Auba to fail…

  88. Leedsgunner

    On the whole, we cannot regularly beat teams above us. We cannot consistently beat teams around us and we fail to beat below us convincingly.

    Plus we cannot bring in players except on loans to change this.

    Is this why we moved to the Emirates?

  89. englandsbest

    Wise words indeed from the American fan: nothing will improve at Arsenal until Stan Kroenke is gone. Arsenal is a money-making investment for him, nothing more

    No surprise: Kroenke’s record here and in the States speaks loud and clear. He won’t sell the Club unless it starts losing money. And for years it has been making him richer by paying off the stadium debt.

    We can make that change, we can make Arsenal into a money-losing Club. Or rather, we need only threaten to make it into a money-loser. That will have him gone.

    Another possibility is that he may be forced to sell. Plainly he is stretched to the limit. The commercial property market in the States is in troubles, the Rams move to LA is rocky.

    Fingers-crossed, we’ll be rid of him eighteen months from now.

  90. Dissenter

    Gambon
    Upon further reflection, you’;re right about the Ozil stuff.
    The team has eased off the pressing is it’s unfair to single out Ozil.
    Auba and Laca were both pedestrian today, didn’t put any effort on.

  91. Cesc Appeal

    The club are still trying for Suarez which suggests that Ozil is not going to be welcomed back with any sort of long term thinking.

    We’re signing a CAM on loan when we have one who has been rested for half of the season so far earning £350 000 a week, supposedly our best player. That just tells you everything.

    I don’t know how but if that’s the decision then get rid of Ozil. Even if it is on loan paying half his wages or something which I how I always thought this would end.

  92. Pierre

    Cesc Appeal
    “The club are still trying for Suarez which suggests that Ozil is not going to be welcomed back with any sort of long term thinking.”

    Maybe not by Emery but I’m sure he will be by our new manager.

  93. Ishola70

    Suarez shows good drive on the ball.

    Would certainly give the midfield a much needed physical aspect to it as he gets around the pitch and unlike Ozil and Xjaka he is also decent behind and off the ball.

    Would be interested in a loan now and buy in the summer if it meant seeing the back of the “specialists” Ozil and Xjaka.

    Suarez is a 6 so him arriving is a threat not just to Ozil but Xjaka as well.

    Everyone is putting Suarez in at ACM. I think he is better employing as a CM.

  94. Cesc Appeal

    Ishola

    I’ve heard a few people say that, it may be then that he is deployed as a CM/CAM in similar fashion to Bernardo Silva at City with Torreira and Guendouzi/Xhaka in the midfield.

    The only thing is Emery did say he wanted a winger and a CB. So perhaps he is thinking of using him as a RM?

    When Mkhitaryan returns in February we could potentially have more balance and more effective on ball work with them both in the team.

    Going back to what we said earlier, I would also give Kolasinac a go at LM in that system. He can’t be worse than the wide players we have right now, or rather the players playing wide there. In fact even as a LWB/LB he has been our most effective wide threat.

    It is far too quiet on the CB front as well. I think the club are going to give the rest of the season to Mavropanos, if so, that is likely Mislintat’s insistence as he was the one who scouted him.

    I’m all for giving a Bellerin, Mavropanos, Sokratis, Monreal back four a go.

  95. Cesc Appeal

    Mavropanos is starting for the U23s on Monday. The coaches though have plans for him in the first team and are getting him sharp as quickly as possible.

    Makes sense.

    Kozz just looks done and Mustafi is never going to change.

  96. WengerEagle

    Worrying times indeed, just 3 points above United now who have a game in hand.

    You know that it’s bad when you’ve given up on catching those Spud cunts and are actively hoping that they do you a favour against United.

  97. Ishola70

    Cesc Appeal
    “I’ve heard a few people say that, it may be then that he is deployed as a CM/CAM in similar fashion to Bernardo Silva at City with Torreira and Guendouzi/Xhaka in the midfield.”

    His best looking attribute is running with the ball from central midfield.

    The criticism of him in the past is that he can lack the killer instinct further up especially goal threat.

    I’d be very happy with him at Arsenal playing CM in front of Torreira and driving the team forward from CM position.

    For CAM I’d prefer a player with much more goal threat than Suarez.

  98. WengerEagle

    6 points off Chelsea too, basically 7 if you factor in GD.

    We lose next week and we could conceivably be out of the top 4 picture by mid January.

    Such a massive game for us, absolutely must win.

  99. Charlie George

    Love to see Freddie L take over the reins to the end of the season.
    Would be great if big Per could take over Rauls job too.

    Get some Arsenal people with arsenal blood running in their veins- in charge.

    Immediately morale – would be lifted.
    And a contract for hopefully captain Rambo

    Ozil will be eased rightly back into the first team too.

    Desperately need to Get rid of the Spanish guys .
    They don’t mean harm. But they have no Arsenal empathy.
    They make colourless decisions based on spreadsheets)
    But we have seen enough already – they will never get Arsenal

  100. Charlie George

    Who wants to support club after all- with so many disparate parts?

    Let’s use our iconic players
    Sol,Keown,Adams , Paul Davis, etc
    For ad hoc coaching and mentoring.
    Who are these people Emery has surrounded himself with??

    And why did he get rid of Jens?

    Too hot to handle, perhaps…

  101. Cesc Appeal

    Ishola

    It is a massive responsibility playing that CM role next to Torreira, we’ve seen how much Torreira has suffered having to do the work for Xhaka so Suarez would have to be responsible and live up to the physicality of the EPL.

    I cannot get over how bad Xhaka was today. He was given a break as well, a real one, went on holiday and rested. He looked so off the pace.

    When you think Mustafi and Xhaka have cost this club £70 Million. They are equally as mistake prone, having them in the same team, one in front of the other as well.

    If we can get Suarez in I would then make sure Mavropanos started and Smith Rowe and Saka were on the bench. Keep Ozil where he is and get rid of him. Give the young players their chance to shine with some minutes.

    We will be helped when Mkhitaryan returns. He has not been great and is another I’d look to get rid of but he’s our best CAM option currently.

  102. Charlie George

    I would not hang my hopes on torriera
    Terrific little footballer.
    But no way his little legs will be sufficient against the juggernaut teams away from home.
    E.g.. firminio at Anfield..
    Pogba on the horizon….

    Need athletes in the Prem
    You imagine what Patrick Vieria would have done to him, in his pomp

    Would have squashed him- like a gnat!

  103. Ishola70

    Cesc Appeal
    “It is a massive responsibility playing that CM role next to Torreira, we’ve seen how much Torreira has suffered having to do the work for Xhaka so Suarez would have to be responsible and live up to the physicality of the EPL.”

    Well he can’t be any worse than Xjaka behind the ball and unlike Xjaka he can motor. He has got gears he can go up. This in itself can help Torreira as he is no longer playing with a player that has the pace of a slug.

    I’d be happy to see Suarez brought in as CM but not employed as winger or CAM. Don’t think he has enough end product for advanced positions but he looks like he could be a real asset for this team in the CM position.

  104. Charlie George

    Just reading the sun online story about the potential swoop for Suarez
    .
    Changed my mind.
    HE will be perfect for us. He is wearing gloves in the foto ( playing in Spain!)

    See the Spanish duo- are going Spanish ( entrenching their positions, )
    Did we not learn anything from that the previous regime.?

  105. Joe

    Love to see Freddie L take over the reins to the end of the season.
    Would be great if big Per could take over Rauls job too.Get some Arsenal people with arsenal blood running in their veins- in charge.Immediately morale – would be lifted.
    And a contract for hopefully captain RamboOzil will be eased rightly back into the first team too

    The mutterings of an imbecile

  106. Charlie George

    Unai Emery is Arsenal manger!
    Can you actually believe it.

    There is another stupid thing, I have said Joe.

  107. Charlie George

    Joe
    If i said something akin last year.
    I want :
    Emery as manger
    Raul as Dof

    U would have called me an imbecile then too!

  108. Joe

    CG

    There is no manager that could have cleaned up the mess wenger left

    And if emery doesn’t work, he’ll be gone.

    Wenger and Gazidis have set this club so far back. It’s going to take a few windows to fix it and get rid of the wenger stench. That we still have Kos playing says it all. He was finished years ago.

    You think ramseey should be signed for £200 k or more a week and made captain? He’s bang fucken average and juve will find that out very quickly.

    Ozil? He should go ply in Spain or Italy. More his speed.

  109. Joe

    The way emery speaks of Ozil tells me
    Ozil isn’t showing up in training. Doesn’t have the right attitude.

    If Ozil can’t be bothered to win over the manager at the club why should He deserve to play as emery say

    He said everyone who deserved to
    Play came to
    West ham

    Ozil can fuck off.