4 areas of focus for Emery

by & filed under News Review.

The weekend did not go for Arsenal at all. We’ve gone from an outrageous unbeaten run with dreams of the promised land, to being level points with United inside a month. Our next three Premier League fixtures are Chelsea, Cardiff and Manchester City. 6th place isn’t worst case scenario, it could be looking very appealing if the aforementioned games go poorly.

The things we loved at the start of his tenure have gone from strengths to looking distinctly like weaknesses. He’s going to have to adapt and move the team. I think Arsenal fans were all expecting a turbulent ride this season, but I don’t think anyone was expecting outright regression after investing £70m in 5 players that are regulars in the first team.

The manager has a huge fight on his hands. If we tank and there are no signs of improvement by the end of the year, serious questions have to be raised about the idea of giving cash to fund an unclear vision. In the short term, he has to prove he has what it takes to guide the next 2.5 seasons. He needs to get the players back on message, he needs to excite the fans and he needs to make aggressive inroads on the basics.

Areas for Improvement…

Planning:

The real litmus test for me this season was the Liverpool game. Could we go up to Anfield and give the best team in the country a real game of football. We’ve been used to watching Wenger take a battering for years, trying to play the beautiful game with ugly players. I expected Emery to have a better plan than the open borders strategy he enacted. Emery needs a better plan if we’re to survive the next two top 6 games. He has to find a way of tightening our backline, whilst simultaneously crafting a system that gives our attacking players more options. We cannot take a hammering from Chelsea and Manchester City like the one we took at Liverpool.

Defence:

Emery made it a priority to address the defence. We have three clean sheets to our name. Leicester, Everton, Wolves, Brighton, Palace and Newcastle have all conceded less goals than us. We bought a new keeper, a center back, 2 holding midfielders and a right back. We should be doing better. You cannot pass off bad defending as a Wenger issue. It is a coaching problem. He needs to work out how to shake things up defensively, especially as we’re creating less chances. There is no excuse that will rub when poverty teams are out defending you.

The Problem Children:

When Emery benched Ramsey and Ozil in the beginning, it felt like it was for the good of the system. As we’ve moved seamlessly from bliss to crisis, it’s increasingly clear we’re being masochistic in not playing them, and sometimes, not even bringing them into the squad.

The manager has to utilise the tools he has at his disposal better. He can’t just wash his hands of a player who will believe he can outlast the manager. We can’t pretend that Aaron Ramsey, a player picked off by Juve, is of no use to a team that’s joint 5th in the league. If the system you are operating has you conceding more goals (3 clean sheets all season), creating less chances, and playing uglier football, maybe the system is not a good one?

I have flip-flopped on Mesut Ozil because the outlook on who we’re looking to replace him with is grim. I also don’t think he’s going to leave us. If there were no takers when he was a £140k a week player with 3 months left on his deal, who the fuck is going to buy him now? Surely there is another roll of the dice. If we get him fired up like he was against Chelsea in the league cup last season, he’d be an asset.

Emery was supposed to be able to enact creative strategies to maximise our player’s talent. He needs to get his thinking cap on and work out how to get the most out of two names who can bring finesse to our final third. Picking a battle with your best players only looks smart if you’re winning. The club is currently pleading poverty, there’s no chance of a permanent signing in January, so why not bring them in from the cold?

Team Selection:

Halftime subs were my drug of choice for the first 10 games. A manager who could admit when he was wrong, make devastating changes and win games was all I needed. Now we’re in January and he’s led at halftime once, it’s clear that this isn’t clever management, it’s shocking indecision and a lack of understanding about how to get the most out of his squad. He needs to get better at team selection and he needs to stop using halftime subs, because it makes him look amateur and it cannot be good for the squad to see the same thing happening game after game.

Those are three areas he has to gun for. I didn’t want to have a section for players, but it does seem clear to me that he’s grossly underestimated the need for energy in the middle of the park. I really can’t understand how any manager can look at the contributions of Xhaka over the past three seasons and think it’s ok to persist with him at the base of our midfield. His passing contributions might be electric, but no outfield player has been the cause of more goals from errors than him (in the entire league). This isn’t out of the norm, it’s happened every year. We need to ship him off the Italy, because he’s an absolute liability.

An interesting observation on how odd this season has been is looking at the captains selected at the start of the season.

Ramsey: Binned

Ozil: Binned

Cech: Benched

Koscielny: Too old

Xhaka: Wtf?!

Just give it Sokratis and be done with it. Is that not a move we could all agree would be good one?

Finally, I thought this comment from Valentin was interesting. He’s a French Arsenal fan who followed Emery at PSG.

‘There will be a massive difference between what will be said before he start working, and what the fan will see in reality. Brilliant at explaining how he wants in team to play in interview, mediocre tactician in reality. Breath of fresh air with his early substitutions, clueless initial setup and then change for the sake of change without actual long term strategy. Excellent management and will alienate most of the players. Strong leader not afraid of confrontation, petty control freak ready to isolate his best players. Europa League winner, Europa League manager not Champion’s league manager. Will make good use of the youth team, will misuse the youth team and not properly bed them in lesser competition. Have a small group of trusted players, Will not rotate a small number of players until they physically broke down.’

Let’s hope Arsenal isn’t a rinse and repeat.

Right, I have a BANGER of a post dropping at 0930. Tune in, it took me ages to write and it’s full of hope.

 

29 Responses to “4 areas of focus for Emery”

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  1. Un na naai

    PedroJanuary 14, 2019 03:13:05
    No Joe, 3 PL titles was the real Wenger.Fuck me you say some stupid things

    Wow!! Never thought I’d see Pedro fight for Wenger’s honour so valiantly!!

    What a hero

  2. Un na naai

    Pedro from last night on wenger to joe

    The best. Undisputed unless you are being hugely cynical. Which you are.

    😂😂😂

  3. Un na naai

    PedroJanuary 14, 2019 03:51:40
    Certainly hung on far too long and it left a bad taste, but I’d never say the GG years were better than Arsene’s first ten. Wenger took over a bunch of alcoholics and gave them a new lease of life. Should have left in 2010 though.

    Haha. Pedders. Blinding stuff. I never realised we shared such affection for the man

  4. Savage

    “Emery made it a priority to address the defence”

    I don’t believe that’s true. He said right up front he prefers 5-4 to 1-0, and that’s fine by me, except we’re not scoring 5.

    The big trouble for Emery now is the same as it was for Wenger – when the goals dry up… The mantra about defence winning games is not true – goals win games.

  5. Un na naai

    PedroJanuary 14, 2019 04:00:18
    Joe, maybe you should go and hang out with some real life Arsenal fans before making statements you have no idea about. You are a room of one making statements like you’re on the terraces shooting the shit every week.No one, and I mean no one, has ever spoken about Chapman in a pub setting for at least 70 years.Wenger will be revered for making us a sexy football club. People will talk of him fondly forever. He gave us so many great memories. Went on too long, yes, but his record at the beginning with see him through.

    😂😂😂

    That told you Joe you pseudo-fan.
    Fiat olay Pedro. Man after my own heart.

  6. Un na naai

    Savage

    Well he’s failing at that too
    Was 5-1 to Liverpool. We are blunt and lifeless going forward and the footballing equivalent of a drunk horny Geordie girl at the back.

  7. Dream10

    Solid post Pedders.
    Top comment from Valentin. With each poor performance, Ivan Gazidis recommendation of hiring Emery looks worse. Dein and Hill-Wood knew they messed up with Rioch and made the change after a season. Hope Raul and Josh take a similar step in the summer.

  8. HighburyLegend

    “Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants the club to find an exit route for Mesut Ozil before the end of the January transfer window to free up funds to sign his own players.”

    The cherry on the cake… back to the “wenger days”, with lies bigger than Rocco’s dick. How disapointing.

  9. Un na naai

    Fuck off…Give Wenger, Graham’s players and we would have been relegated.

    Rt

    Wenger did get his players and took them to the top of the league
    Rivalling Manchester United’s doninance with a fraction of the budget.

  10. zaco

    i said in September that Sokratis should be Arsenal Captain from next season and i was mocked and laughed at. seeing how poorly those five players that were made captain at the beginning of this season have performed both as captains and as players, I wonder if the same person(s) who disagreed with me then would still disagree with me now.

  11. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    What is abundantly clear when you read yesterday’s posts is that almost all
    posters are being negative about our future as though the club is now mismanaged and in a downward spiral to financial collapse.

    There needs to be a reality check and a little more composure and positive thinking.

    1. The club has three new sponsorship deals in last 12 months with Adidas, Emirates and Rwanda all coming on stream in the summer. There appear to
    be several other deals as well.

    2. There is now some clarity over ownership of club whether you like Kroenke or not. Kroenke has to take absolute responsibility in future for the decision making at club

    3. Offield the club has recruited a new Football Director and Head of Coaching
    who come with the right pedigree.

    4. The Head Coach has one season to make his mark on the club and demonstrate that he is the right man for the job.

    5. In contrast to many of the other major clubs Arsenal have not only completed their stadium at by today’s standards a fairly modest cost but also
    all other infrastructure projects such as training ground and academy at Hale End. Our debt on these projects are diminishing with less than 10 years to clear debt on stadium.

    It is ridiculous to assume that the football side of the business can be resolved in one or two transfer windows. That is not going to happen. It took Manchester City even with their mega wealth several years to rebuild their
    team.

    I suggest some posters read carefully the Guardiola’s recent statement that
    buying players is no longer as easy as some seem to suggest. Man City are not
    going to spend £100 million on buying a new DMF.

    Arsenal have a lot of players who need to be cleared out of club, but that is not
    going to happen just by waving a magic wand. It has to be done in orderly fashion.

    Recruitment will also take time not least impacted by lack of Champions League Football and of course limited transfer budget.

    Last summer we bought 4 new players and recruited another on a bosman.
    My guess is that we will go down similar route this summer but perhaps add
    two or three additional players from U23 squad.

    Finally the Ozil affair needs to be resolved. So long as he remains at the club
    he should be used to best advantage of club and not simply sidelined because
    posters don’t like the player. If there is one lesson to be learned from Saturday
    we need some creativity in the team.

  12. Un na naai

    Zaco

    I’ll disagree with that
    Holding should be our captain. He’s been our best defender
    After that it’s Torreira for me as vice captain

  13. zaco

    Un na naai

    Holding (pre injury) and Tor as our captain and vice captain is a very good idea and i agree with you, They are both good players with age on their side, holding in particular has always shown good leadership qualities as well, so i totally agree with you.

  14. shaun

    Emery is not helping himself but lets not be naive are defensive performance is not gonna change unless we spend money . if we could loan say baily from MANU and get the Greek lad playing it may improve but getting Cahill will be just more of the same. KOS ,SOC and MUSTAFFI are to old but more importantly two slow to handle big quick young strikers .I would even go with holding and the greek lad if we could buy a world class quick CB …someone who is quick to close down in the center of the park and quick to recover our problem is we don’t have one quick center back let alone world class …..how many times has SOC got away with pen claims I can think of three or four which would have changed the view on Emery a good while before his unbeaten run came to an end..we are not playing good football either which is a little concerning

  15. Kayciey

    ‘There will be a massive difference between what will be said before he start working, and what the fan will see in reality. Brilliant at explaining how he wants in team to play in interview, mediocre tactician in reality. Breath of fresh air with his early substitutions, clueless initial setup and then change for the sake of change without actual long term strategy. Excellent management and will alienate most of the players. Strong leader not afraid of confrontation, petty control freak ready to isolate his best players. Europa League winner, Europa League manager not Champion’s league manager. Will make good use of the youth team, will misuse the youth team and not properly bed them in lesser competition. Have a small group of trusted players, Will not rotate a small number of players until they physically broke down.’

    I have always said this. This man is a Europa league coach. He is not smart either and soon we will all bin him.

  16. Kayciey

    KOS ,SOC and MUSTAFFI are to old but more importantly two slow to handle big quick young strikers …hey hey….Mustafi is 25. Just can’t defend.

  17. Bee

    If Emery doesn’t get things right by the end of the season I think it might be a good time to bring in rafa Benitez.