Unai Emery’s game plan pivot points the way forward

by .

YES via @EditsByRonan

Well, might as well get the depressing news out the way first… The Rams are going to the Super Bowl.

It’s like 95% of Arsenal fans must have been real shitty things to puppies in another life, because this is just utterly depressing.

Still, on the flipside, maybe Stan will be so enthralled by actual sporting success he’s rarely tasted, he’ll chuck a couple hundred mill our way.

Hopeful and naive. I get it.

Or is it? At some point, he has to wonder whether it’d make good business sense to have two world class teams on his books? Maybe Josh will want to show he’s dad he’s well clever? Who knows… I’d just reccomend your read my blog post on how they made the magic happen (HERE).

In more positive news, Emery went and done a good this weekend.

I think a lot of Arsenal fans are prematurely blowing their ‘SEE HE’S AMAZING’ load on the curtains, but I can’t take away from the absolute destruction he dropped on Sarri’s Chelsea.

Alex went over the game in great detail, so I won’t rehash it. What I will say is that Emery pivoted this weekend and it paid off handsomely.

He put his best players on the pitch, he played them in a system that worked to their advantage, and he absolutely sussed out Sarri.

Many were saying that he axed Mesut Ozil, I’m not quite sure about that. He had a player on the bench who is supposedly coming back from injury, and whether you like it or not, that’ll have an impact on the squad psychologically. Interestingly, Jose Mourinho echoed some of the points I’ve been raising about Mesut.

Emery has yet to find the balance between tough love and empathy, something Jose said Ozil needs both sides of. If you can’t be bothered to watch the video, he says if you’re too soft, he goes limp, but if you’re too hard, he retracts into himself because he needs to feel the love. I heard a similar thing on The Totally Football show about De Gea, apparently, he’s always looking for reassurance from his keeping coach on the sideline at games. Weird as he’s so good, but just doubles down on the fact that players are people and all have different motivations. Anyway, good to see the coach move to repair bridges there.

Additionally, it was great to see the manager start with Aaron Ramsey. No one in the league is going to harass Jorginho like he did. He sat at the top of that diamond and shut down the Brazilian, whilst also doing a good job of putting their centre-backs under pressure. We’re just better with Aaron in the side.

Having two strikers in a 4-4-2 worked wonders, especially as both did such an incredible job of defending. Lacazette in particular impressed. He does so much dirty work for the team. Not just that, look at the flair for that goal, unreal control, spatial awareness and outright audacity to strike the ball at one of the few places he had access to that Kepa didn’t.

The front three allowed Emery to live out his dream of 3 defensive midfielders who all did a very good job. I have to hand it to Xhaka, when he’s not making stupid mistakes, he’s been good this season. He had a very good game, racking up ball recoveries like a hero (11). I have a lot of love for LT and MG. The Uruguayan pitbull made 9 tackles, with MG making 5 but having a go at 10. Both have real tenacity and it was a pleasure to watch. Honestly, fuck people who thin MG is anything outside a top tier youth talent who could take the world… NO… universe by storm if he continues his upward trajectory.

Then there’s the defence. Chelsea had nothing. Sokratis did a sterling job, but no one stood out more than Laurent K. When he’s playing in a defence that playing behind a system that is not trying to play a highline, he’s in his element. His experience, positioning and outright hunger to win was a joy to watch. He was our most potent attacker with 2 shots on target and a goal. He had a very important game.

I also liked that Arsenal let Chelsea have the ball in wide positions knowing they had no one to attack the ball in the box. We clogged up the middle of the pitch with a sea of red shirts. We also allowed them to have the ball, giving them 300 more passes than us over the 90. It was almost a reversal of the roles of the past 10 years. Chelsea were… a bit… you know… Arsenal like.

You do have to be honest about Chelsea. They were a fucking car crash. Sarri is a fanatic. He has his way of playing and he doesn’t give a fuck who his players are. Willian on the left, Hazard through the middle with no runners, Kante in a more advanced position, with Jorginho sideways passing like peak Denilson… it was really difficult viewing.

Chelsea had some bad luck, no doubt, but you felt the explosion Sarri had after the game, when he questioned his players’ mentality, is going to bite him. The manager doesn’t have the bodies to do what he wants.

If you’re honest, nor does Emery, but the whole point of us hiring in the Spaniard is we had a manager who’d dropped a powerpoint presentation for the ages on how he’d use the players we had.

For me, Emery has shown the way forward.

All the fans saying 4th place isn’t possible without a billion in January expenditure are out of excuses. We’ve already outperformed Wenger-2018 with points against the top 6 this season. We smashed Chelsea, beat Spurs, held our own in all the big games bar maybe City and Liverpool away. I don’t think it’ll happen, but that’s not because I think the players aren’t good enough. Points dropped at West Ham, Brighton and Southampton in such a short space of time shouldn’t have been part of the equation.

Emery has to shake of his PSG delusions of grandeur and get back to extracting more out of his squad. He needs to be better tactically, he needs to utilize his star names even if that hurts him personally, and he needs to make sure no one heard him say Arsenal was a distinct club because winning wasn’t that important.

Just a word to the injuries. I was devastated to see that Hector dropped an injury that has been a career ender in the past. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as it looks. It’s very difficult to apportion blame in these incidences, but it’s hard not to have noticed that our players have looked leggy this past month, and the big injuries are coming in at a rate of knots. We’ve lost 3 players sub 30 to nasty 3 letter acronyms and had a lot of problems this season.

Emery brought in his own strength and conditioning coach, despite us having hired in Darren Burgess to huge fanfare and already having a World Cup winning S&C man in Shad Forsythe. I said at the time that was unbelievably weak from Ivan, as it essentially handed veto power to someone who had unlikely been vetted. Factor in that we know Emery was more than happy to let the press know that he was hitting his players with double sessions early in the season (and was horrified at the fitness of the squad), and the leaked story Mokbel had in the DM that said the club reduced the intensity of training to help the players. Whatever is going on, if we’re to have a good backend of the season, we need to have fresh players and we need to stop losing them to injury.

Right, seeing as you’re here, jump into a meaty podcast where we talk about additional details on Sven, Chelsea and how the season is going to pan out.

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372 Responses to “Unai Emery’s game plan pivot points the way forward”

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  1. Un na naai

    Bamford10January 20, 2019 22:36:32
    Un NaOne, can you explain how you’ve determined that Wenger 08-18 is better than Sarri? I would love to hear this.
    Two, we were better than Chelsea, and we were better than Spurs on those particular days. So what? You have this incredibly simplistic view of things according to which if you manage to beat or draw this or that team on one day, you should be level with or above them in the table. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

    Bam

    NOT JUST this game or that game or that game though is it? You’re trying to downplay our performance levels against our rivals to suit your narrative. We have outplayed our rivals in 5/7 contests. Which would imply to me that
    1. Emery takes those games seriously
    2. He can get it right tactically
    3. When he does that our squad of players is capable of matching our rivals. It’s not just the two wins but the loss to Chelsea and the draws with United and Liverpool. They were games where we outplayed our opponents and should have won those games. We dominated and had the lions share of clear goal scoring opportunities.Why is wenger better in 08-18 than Sarri
    Beacuse wenger created beautiful teams that consistently beat the big sides while falling just short of greatness on few occasions
    08-11 being notable. Sarri is pretty much wenger post chelsea fa cup final.
    I predict now that we will battle united for fourth while Chelsea will slip down to 6thLook at the money he’s spent and the money spent before him. He’s had 2 too strikers but he pulls hazard out of his natural and most dangerous position and nullifies him
    He takes the best defensive midfielder in the world and sticks him in the right to accommodate his pet project, the mostly ineffective Jorginho. It’s blunder after blunder there.
    Then his arrogance in blaming the players for his problems. That Chelsea team has fight. It’s littered with title winners and a couple of World Cup winning starters for France. If he can’t get it right then that’s on him. Conte managed it immediately. As did Mourinho when he came in. All new chelsea managers are backed financially to implement their vision and recently that means they hit the ground runnng. Sarri is taking Chelsea backwards through stubbornness. He still thinks he’s in serie a where Jorginho has time on the ball.
    This is the premier league. Nobody respects you here enough to let you just sit and dictate. You have to create your own space. Say what you want about xakha but for a pounderous bla bla bla he manages make enough space for himself to pop the ball around.He was highly impressive Saturday

  2. Un na naai

    Yes wenger failed to address three crucial positions in those years gk cb and dmf. No doubt. He also failed to install proper leadership but some of those sides were a thing of beauty and beat milan Barcelona Bayern chelsea untied Liverpool City Dortmund and spurs He gave us players like rvp, Sanchez, cesc, hleb, Wilshere, nasri who lit up the league with their football on a shoestring budget whilst paying for the stadium. Up agaisnt cash flush rivals.
    Maybe a director of football should have been installed back then to take the signing of players and use of funds away from wenger for defensive players as if he’d have been given those players and told to work with them we may of fared better but ultimately that’s his failing. You out Sarri under the same financial constraints and he’d bomb even worse than he is now with money to burn and a team of champions

  3. Un na naai

    Interestingly Jose echoed some of the points I made on ozil.

    Pedro

    Hahahahaha
    The old narcissistic ego is alive and well!!!

  4. Pierre

    Looks like Emery has at long last got the message and asked his full backs to play much more conservatively .
    Will be interesting to see if the manager keeps to this policy as it gives our defence a much better balance and we are not so open down the channels.

    It does take away part of our attacking potency but I believe the Arsenal fans are willing to accept this if it means we put in similar performances as the weekend.

    It s our away form which is concerning in the league , November 25th v Bournemouth is the last time we won an away game and we have city as our next away game.

    Emery played a diamond midfield at the weekend and it worked well ,plus it allows us to play with 2 strikers..maybe that is the way forward as it gives us a much more solid look throughout the team .

  5. Un na naai

    Pedro

    I find our views are becoming too similar for comfort (footballing wise)

    Are you sure you aren’t just copying my posts from the weekend or are you becoming an ex AKB?

    Having Torreira and guendouzi alongside xakha allows him to do what he does best.

    As myself and CC have been arguing with anyone who doesn’t possess an eye for the game, if you put xakha in the right midfield then he’s quality at breaking the lines and moving the ball forward quickly.

  6. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I was like Alex at the game on Saturday and it was plain to see the difference between the team set-up for that game and against West Ham.

    For a start we played effectively with a 4-4-2 formation as Alex pointed out. This is not particularly fashionable in today’s game, but it provided us with a better balance than we have seen for some time.

    Playing a diamond in midfield is also the best option for Arsenal. For a start we
    know that Xhaka is more comfortable with Torreira in team and for the first
    60 minutes Guendouzi was also effective with his high energy game.

    Ramsey was the link to the forwards and can also provide different attacking options. He is not as creative or as good as Ozil in passing and assists department, but at least he poses problems for opposition which was missing
    in the previous game.

    The backline looked slightly better than it has been in last 2 months, but I still
    think we have problems to resolve. We need at least two new defenders namely a full-back who is a solid defender and a top class centre back who is
    a team leader and communicator. Despite the clean sheet we still looked shaky and panicky in second half.

    The main issue for me is that Arsenal has still not resolved the problem with
    our AWAY FORM in EPL. As I pointed out yesterday we have not won a single match in last 5 games losing three and drawing two. We have managed just
    TWO POINTS OUT OF FIFTEEN in those matches.

    For me the main problem is the set up of team in those matches.

  7. Pierre

    Stroller
    The formation was effective but I think it was more about the intensity and attitude that made the formation work.

    It also seems to me that we perform better when the Emirates crowd is up for the game …Tottenham(league) ,Liverpool and Chelsea were all games with a cracking atmosphere…

    Somehow the manager needs to find a way of reproducing performances like these consistently, home and away.

  8. Un na naai

    Pierre

    It was the formation as well pal

    Xakha is a weak link in a two man midfield that doesn’t contain Torreira. This formations literally suits the entire team. It brings the best out of the personnel we have at our disposal

    Our intensity should be there whatever formation we employ and whoever we are up agaisnt. It’s the least we should be able to expect form elite level sportsmen

  9. Leedsgunner

    I don’t doubt Lichtensteiner’s experience, but if we are hoping that he’s going to be solution whilst Bellerin is out we are deluding ourselves. He just doesn’t have the legs anymore. We will be exposed on that side if we place Lichtensteiner there.

    AMN all the way for me… he has all the physical attributes to be a great wingback in this league. The question is does he possess the aptitude to learn and the mental toughness. In this the veteran Stephen could help in teaching him the tricks of the trade…

  10. Pierre

    Un
    “It was the formation as well pal”

    If course it was that’s why I posted earlier

    “Emery played a diamond midfield at the weekend and it worked well ,plus it allows us to play with 2 strikers..maybe that is the way forward as it gives us a much more solid look throughout the team .”

  11. bennydevito

    Good post Pedro,

    “I think a lot of Arsenal fans are prematurely blowing their ‘SEE HE’S AMAZING’ load on the curtains”

    Lol! At least it makes a change from those prematurely spewing their Emery out shit from their mouths onto the carpet.

    Forget all that – you can’t post a picture of a glorious modern rebirth of the best Arsenal away kit ever and not say a word about it!!

    Is that a concept shirt? A CGI impression or a real piece of majestic material? Please tell me it’s a leaked Adidas prototype for next season?

    I need this shirt in my life!!

  12. Leedsgunner

    Why anyone wants to get rid of Lacazette after a performance like that versus Chelsea is puzzling. He is turning into a big game player for us. We need more of these types of players not less.

  13. Graham62

    Watching the game on Saturday, you have to wonder the sanity of Sarri for playing two world class players out of position.

    Good for us but utter lunacy on the part of Sarri.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Arsenal have followed a similar pattern this season under Emery as they did
    last season under Wenger. The main difference between two is that Emery is
    at least attempting to experiment to find a solution.

    The club’s main problem is our AWAY FORM and that is in my view how we play in those games.

    Gaining just 2 points out of 15 in last 5 away matches is just not good enough.

    What I see is a set up which goes into defensive mode with very little midfield
    creativity and two strikers completely isolated and consequently ineffective.

    You are not going to win games if you play defensively and have as brittle a team as we appear to be.

  15. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t think anyone is saying we need to spend a billion, don’t make arguments easy for yourself by using hyperbole, people are saying this is the worst squad in the top 6 and needs money spent on it to seriously improve. Sarri inherited a team that were champions the season before last and he’s throwing his toys out of the pram massively even though Chelsea have spent £150 Million already with him.

    It’s fair to want to see more solid defensive displays out of Emery’s arsenal, similar to Saturday, but to expect him to march a 6th place team that was 5th the year before that up the table with minimal spend is ridiculous. Unless you’ve got Dumbledore in the dugout.

    Mourinho’s comments on Ozil are pointless and useless for Emery because this isn’t Real Madrid. Mourniho also said Ozil was a coward, he is, and could take him off early in the second half and replace him with some great talent.

    As many have said, if Ozil plays in a team of superstars, for a team that bitchslaps the majority of its league and is able to be rested often he will no doubt be great.

  16. Dissenter

    Several lazy narratives were destroyed yesterday;
    -Kroenke’s American franchises are shit
    -Arsenal is the biggest sporting organization in Kroenke’s stable.

  17. Champagne charlie

    Where did the concrete narrative that we have the ‘6th best squad in the league’ come from?

    That just seems like one for those professing ‘more players’ as the answer to everything, and the reason to give Emery more slack.

    We finished 5th and 6th the last two seasons is that why? If so are the majority of folk now deciding to change their tune on Wenger to suit another POV? Wenger was past his best and a hinderance to us which led to 5th and 6th, so that would suggest the squad is plenty capable of more. Especially with a new starting spine, and full season from Auba.

  18. Freddie Ljungberg

    People are saying we have the 6th best squad (barely) because that’s how it is.

    We have spent badly under Wenger and we have spent much less than our competition, (don’t give me any net bullshit, that links to the fact we spent badly) how many of our players would make the first XI of any of the other top 6 teams? Honestly, maybe 2 or 3, not more.

  19. Bergkamp63

    CA,

    I have been saying that since Ozil arrived on day 1,

    Saturday’s result just reiterates the fact and justifies Emery’s exclusion of him, something that seems lost on most.

    Also dropping the awful Mustafi was another good decision by the manager.

    Little credit still given to Emery, it seems he can do no right for some.

  20. Dissenter

    You known you’re reaching down the barrel when you’re supporting your POV with what Mourhino has to say.
    Ozil could have had Arsenal insert into his mega contract; “ player is to be supplied with a bamboo pillow to keep him comfortable at all times to give him love and attention ”.
    Instead he chose the money.
    Nah, that bit isn’t on Emery. He’s a 30 year old WC winner for funk sake. He should be grooming younger players now.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg

    The reason we’re doing better against top teams but struggle away or against “lesser” teams are partly injuries, our starters are barely up to the task and their replacements are even worse.

    Partly that we can raise the intensity in one off games but don’t have the personnel to do it consistently.

    Complaining about injuries and then complaining when we don’t put in such a high intensity performance as we did against Chelsea and spurs every week is a bit hypocritical imo, it’s clear our squad isn’t up for that.

    We also lack quality and creativity to overcome teams that doesn’t come out and play. Easier to negate another teams play than dominating yourself.

  22. Dissenter

    I love the way Emery doesn’t lose his rag and go after his player after a bad loss.
    I love the manner he handles the good victories
    I like the way he doesn’t bow to crowd pressure. He still won’t play Ozil whe a lot is at stake and he won’t stop taking off Lacazette when he thinks it’s necessary.
    He’s probably been the most even keeled person in the club for the last year.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Little credit still given to Emery, it seems he can do no right for some.’

    He deserves stick for some things, I have been disappointed with the defence, from some the criticism is obviously agenda filled, but from others it’s a bit baffling. The level and intensity of it anyway.

    He has taken over the 6th best team in the top 6 and was given £64 Million to spend, when you contrast that with Sarri who isn’t doing that much better really I think Emery is at least doing alright right now.

    Arsenal were a complete mess last season and we’ve slowly allowed a massive amount of damage to occur year on year with Wenger here which is exactly what many of us said for years. He built a team to be 4th best and slowly due to declining standards built and coached a team to be 5th best, then 6th best.

  24. Leedsgunner

    The jury is very much out on Emery.

    Yes, he had a good result yesterday but even with Wenger, we have been here before. We would get a good result, followed by a series of bad ones usually against mid table (or even lower) sides.

    The important question has to be — what is the trend? Was yesterday just a one off or is the team improving gradually under Unai?

    I think I would take the bad results better if I understood what his grand plan was.

  25. Dissenter

    The jury can’t come to a decision without all the facts so I don’t get all the “jury is still out” stuff.
    It’s just 7 months into his tenure.
    It’s like asking a jury to weigh in right after the defense and prosecution’s opening statements.

  26. Emiratesstroller

    Dissenter

    Last week I asked Pedro some questions about LA Rams including details of their revenue.

    His reply suggests that Arsenal’s current revenue is significantly larger than LA Rams.

    If that is the case then Arsenal has to be considered an important investment.
    It is clear that Kroenke trusted both Gazidis and Wenger to manage the business properly.

    Clearly that has not been the case. Hopefully he will now be much more hands on.

  27. bennydevito

    People say we have the 6th best squad because we literally have the 6th best squad, it’s not rocket science. And there’s no pov change regarding Wenger b3cause it’s Wenger’s poor squad building that has left us with the 6th best squad.

    Having said that I still think we could have finished higher last season had a pep, Klopp or Fergie had been in charge over Wenger so Emery needs to finish higher than last season as a minimum, but we also need to factor in that the squads above us and utd have had additional investment so the bar has been raised, other than Tottenham but their squad is still better than ours.

    I think only Aubameyang and Lacazette would get into the squads if City, pool, Chelsea, spurs and utd, possibly Torreira and Guendouzi too.

    Still a lot of work to do and a lot of money needs spending before we can really judge Emery fairly. A lot of people saying Emery needs to go after 6 months weren’t complaining about Wenger for 10 years so Emery should easily be afforded at least his contract before judgement is reached.

  28. Nelson

    The team needs more depth to succeed this season. We still have 3 competitions. Any responsible board should provide the team at least two more players in this transfer window.

  29. Freddie Ljungberg

    Not only have the teams above us strengthened their already superior squads (except spurs) but we also spent less than some of the lower placed teams, it’s much harder to get points this season than last. The gap between top and middle isn’t that great anymore and we are on that line quality wise.

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    Before someone trots out the league table to point out the points gap between first and 7th (27 points) City and Liverpool are clearly on another level atm.

    The point is there are now 4-5 teams like Wolves, Leicester, West Ham, Watford and Everton that can keep pace somewhat where before there was only 1 or 2, we have also gone from a top 4 to a top 6 in the last couple of years so it’s definitely getting harder, we can’t expect Arsenal to get top 4 just on name alone when everyone else around us either spends more or smarter or both.

  31. Charlie George

    An excellent result and energetic performance over the weekend against a comically poor Chelsea.
    Huge kudos- for Emery in the motivational stakes,

    With the devastating injury to Hector Bellerin – surely the new regime (Raul/Emery) will have the chance to show if they are indeed fit for purpose- And change tact with the completely unneeded signing of Suarez (denis) and show they can think on their feet – and get the right back we NOW desperately require to go into the second half of the season

    Recalling Callum Chambers is clearly the right thing to do.
    Failing that Seamus Coleman from Everton

    Why we need Suraez (Denis) when we have midfielders:
    Ozil, Rambo, Xhaka, Torreira, Genduzi, Iwobi, Miki, Elneny,AMN is anyone guess?

    its a total dereliction of their duty to stockpile midfielders – what with our meagre resources when robust defenders are REQUIRED.

    When Suarez arrives – it will there 6th signing in tandem – all from overseas- none with any prem experience- and by reckoning- only one defender (sokratis)

    Now, we all expected haphazard signings and injuries under Wenger
    Post Wenger – on both fronts we are actually worse.

  32. Graham62

    Lunch break. Pastie and chips. All healthy stuff.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that after so many years of frustration and inept leadership under Wenger and his crew, watching Arsenal these days still lacks something for me.

    Is it my steadfast philosophies and principles, or is the fact that Football has changed so much. Maybe. However, watching my beloved team these days no longer holds the same excitement it once did.

    The anger I have inside for the past regime, along with the feeling of disbelief at the way the club has treated it’s own fanbase, will never die.

    Doubts have also surfaced in recent weeks in respect to Emery and even after our victory against Chelski, I still feel he may not be the answer to our problems.

    As I said last week, my elation at Wenger leaving has sort of clouded over my judgement of Emery. Nevertheless, 44 points on the table, lying in 5th, just 3pts behind Chelski, with 15 games to go, is pretty damn good all considering.

    It’s never been just about winning for me. Competing is what matters. Collecting silverware along the way is an added bonus. Someone on here yesterday(I think it was Charlie George) highlighted that winning the FA Cup was more important than winning the Europa League. Slightly strange considering that winning the Europa League is a guarantee of CL qualification and the chance to compete at the top table once again.

    Emery has many things to sort out, which I hope he succeeds in doing but, more significantly, our owner has to begin to show some balls and start to be a little bit more proactive in his actions and communications, in order to satisfy our ever tolerant fans.

  33. Danny

    Many Grovers wants the PL title right here, right now
    —————————
    I see nothing wrong with that, I mean shit, look at bloody Leicester.
    Even in the dark days between 71 – 89 there was always that feeling (and quite rightly so) that we are The Arsenal and we should be winning the league every season.
    That’s what passion is all about.

  34. bennydevito

    Chelsea were not ‘comically poor”, this is just another passive aggressive dig at a great Arsenal performance from an Emery outer. Chelsea hit the post and Willian was very dangerous, Chelsea were below their usual standard but far from comically poor.

    Absolutely agree that the priorities considering our Oliver Twist finances and Bellerin’ s injury should be a right back and a WC centre back. We need better wingers but that should wait until the summer after we’ve had a clear out, and shouldn’t include the purchases of Suarez, Benega or Carsaco (sp). For the rest of the season we should be promoting our hot prospects, not squad blocking their chances and squandering our finances on mediocrity and cast offs.

  35. Dissenter

    Graham62
    You’re the yo-yo man here.
    One day, Emery is not good enough…a good result and he’s okay.
    There used to be a nursery rhyme to describe you.

  36. Pedro

    Not sure I buy into us having the 6th best squad, especially if you bring in Rambo and Ozil in from the cold / consider Spurs injuries / Chelsea’s reluctance to use players properly / United getting all the luck.

    We have two 25 goal a season strikers. Most of the defensive players are now Emery’s. The real issue for us is width.

    I wonder if Emery will give a kid a run out. See what Saka is made of. Gotta say, I’m with Un, we can mix it when we fancy it. It’s the cold trips down south against thugs like Brighton that are killing us. 😂

  37. Freddie Ljungberg

    Yes, we have 2 great strikers, that’s our only saving grace. We can’t keep playing them together every match though.

    Ramsey is leaving and wasn’t worth the money he was asking for. Ozil has been on a downward spiral the last 2 seasons and are wildly inconsistent when he gets to play.

    0 wingers.

    Most of the defensive players are now Emery’s? Are you kidding? The keeper, 1 defender and 1 DM is hardly most. (Discounting Licht because he’s hardly qualified as a backup and Guen because he shouldn’t be starting this many games at this stage but our options are shit)

  38. The Royal Arsehole

    Fuck Stan Kroenk! You want to know why we dont have a dam dollar to spend in January?????The NFL and Refs from yesterdays game have it all. MAY HE BURN IN HELL!!!

  39. shbhlando

    i don’t see our drastic need for a CB after Kos finally getting up to speed and that young Greek guy (who many believe has the potential to be a world class CB) coming back from injury. +holding next season.

    if emery were committed to playing 3cb, i might agree.

  40. Pedro

    Leeds, listen to the pod. That gives a good overview. Not as cut and shut as it looks.

    Worry is Emery and Raul are in lock step. Buying up bargains from big clubs.

  41. Charlie George

    “Worry is Emery and Raul are in lock step. Buying up bargains from big clubs.”

    You are not the only one!

    I thought in these post Wenger days this was the formula:

    a head coach – coaching the players- no real input in buying players
    DOF- conduit between money men and coach.
    Chief Scout- data base of YOUNG European talent.

    Scenario: Bellerins inury.

    DOF speaks to Chief Scout. He recommends him an affordable right back.
    Coach continues as before – with the NEW incoming right back,

    What I did not envisage- the model above breaking down so quickly

    And the now 2 remaining Spaniards -buying players they knew previously. (Suarez)

    If Emery now departs the scene- we are stuck with Suarez etc.

    Add a new technical director to the mix- surely only exacerbates internal struggles

  42. Nelson

    Wonder how the team should field for the upcoming FA Cup game. At least I’ll give Kosc a rest seeing how Bellerin got injured. I think Mustafi will come in. Cross my finger that he’ll have one of his good day. I would like to see ESR and Willock playing. Maybe starts Eddie also.

  43. Bamford10

    Mislintat to leave on February 8th. I guess we’ll have a new chief scout sooner than I was thinking. Very important hire.

  44. Receding Hairline

    Too bad …fans were really taken with Sven. A lot of hope pinned on his shoulders when it shouldn’t really be the case, i buy Pedro’s idea that we should have a CEO who decides the path the club should take, has a vision, this power sharing arrangement can get messy

  45. Receding Hairline

    Nelson we are playing United at home after a good win against another rival Chelsea..i say play the strongest squad we can. It’s a Friday game, enough time to rest and train more smartly

  46. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Buying bargains from big clubs will only be a part of the strategy. Buying young talent (before it gets too pricey) will also be a part of it. The former will get us quality players for today’s matches; the latter will get us quality players for tomorrow’s matches. Stop pretending we won’t be doing the latter. They have both near-term and longer-term goals.

  47. Leedsgunner

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcGaph1XNPk

    I posted this the other day but in light of the formal announcement of Sven’s departure it’s worth posting again.

    Sven is a master in the new era of scouting. Absolutely cray that we are letting him go.

    No matter how good Raul’s contact book is, if our scouting is going to be centred around picking up rejects from Barcelona and Real Madrid and transforming them, we are always going to be behind them.

    Like I said the other day, why did the club feel that it had to choose between the two anyways? Why couldn’t we the best of both?

    Plus Raul spent the better part of a decade taking us to the cleaners with Barca, now he wants us to pick up Barca rejects? Does anybody else find this strange?

    Surely we should be getting to talents before Barcelona and Real Madrid rather than just taking their bad choices off their hands.

    Sven and his analytics were, for now, the best chance for such signings.

    I hope I’m wrong but I can see this rejection of Sven hurting us very badly in the years ahead.

  48. Dissenter

    Raul knows the inner workings of one of the biggest clubs in th4 world. He’s the quintessential ‘football man’.
    I’m optimistic about the near future.
    We are better off now than we were in Jan 2017.

  49. Charlie George

    Not often we agree RH-but am with you here.

    Imperative a CEO is brought in.
    And equally imperative that he is chosen by Kroenke!

    Ideally that man – would be Josh!

    for a multi millionaire organisation – we have the most incongruous, unsustainable and inept set up imaginable.

    its doomed to fail .

  50. Pedro

    Leeds, you’re not wrong.

    We’re rejecting that stats nonsense like peak Harry Redknapp.

    I don’t think Sven was perfect, but his methods should have been adopted and his vision was certainly a smarter way forward.

    Arsenal should be a richer version of Dortmund, not a shit version of Barca.

  51. Pedro

    To RH and CG, I don’t know what the deal is with Marotta, but we should be all over him like a cheap suit. We are desperate for his sort of leadership

  52. Charlie George

    People pinning their hopes on Raul- i am afraid will be disappointed.

    His record at Barca – is patchy to say the least,

    If he buys Denis Suarez for £16 million with Arsenal money and yet at Barca he paid £3.5 million= serious questions have to be asked about his acumen and competence.

    Why has the players price increased FIVEFOLD – when he has not been able to cut the mustard it in La Liga?

  53. Receding Hairline

    No one know’s who couldn’t get on with who, or if the whole Spanish connection thing between Emery and Raul is being overplayed,

    Here are the things i do know though

    – Borrusia Dortmund have continued bringing in young exciting talents even after Sven

    – Arsenal football club has never been about who the scout is, Sven has only been here a year so some of the reactions to him leaving have been OTT

    -Athletic Madrid, Lyon, Napoli, Porto to name a few are all European clubs who keep bringing in talent year on year, Sven has never worked for any of them,he is not the only talent spotter in football, maybe we can recruit one who is content doing that job without sweating on their job title (assuming the whole Technical Director thing is true)

  54. Charlie George

    i dont want Moratta,
    i want a competent, instinctive British CEO.
    I would make an offer for Richard Scudamore.
    Now – he is good!

  55. gambon

    “His record at Barca – is patchy to say the least,”

    Barca won 9 x La Ligas and 4 x CLs in his 15 years.

    I cant wait for a patchy period at Arsenal.

  56. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    It sounds like we’re accepting Raul’s words like cure all.

    Like you say, Arsenal should be a richer version of Dortmund, not a shit version of Barca… but that’s exactly where we are headed because Kronke is unwilling to invest in Arsenal so that the transformation into EPL version of Barca can work.

    I hope I’m wrong, but my gut reaction says this is going to be a bad decision… I’m going to wince everytime Sven discovers the next big signing… and regretting that he isn’t at Arsenal.

  57. Bamford10

    Charlie

    Denis Suarez is quality. Watch him play. That he doesn’t start at Barcelona doesn’t mean he’s not quality. FFS, Coutinho rarely starts for Barcelona. Your narrative is bogus.

  58. Dissenter

    Leeds
    Do you call the acquisition of 30 year old Sokratis and 29 year old Auba for £80 million excellent Mislintat signings.

    Like gambon stated, you have no clue why he is leaving.
    His record at Arsenal is mixed, granted the time span was too short and we won’t ever know what really happened.

    He’s not the only footballing mind on the planet so let’s relax on all the forced outrage.

  59. Pedro

    RH, shared leadership. Raul is football, Vinai is commercial. Awful offering. Power shares never work. No one is accountable.

  60. Leedsgunner

    The next big force in football will be the team that can scout world class talents better, train existing talents so that they are fitter faster and stronger, rehab injured players quicker and more effectively than their rivals.

    Sven should have been a big part of this.

  61. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Why are you suggesting that we will no longer be relying on a chief scout to find us talented youngsters? Because of course we will be doing this. If they are leaning more on Raul than on the chief scout in the present, this is likely because we need players who can improve us right now.

    Of course we should be a wealthier Dortmund; but there is no evidence that we’re not going to be that.

    We don’t know why Mislintat is leaving; but it’s far more likely on account of his being passed over for the technical director role than it is because we won’t really be using our chief scout any more.

  62. Pedro

    Leeds, agree.

    Raul is a politician.

    I’m happy to wait and see where he goes with his next hires… it’ll be interesting to see if he throws out the notion of data and science in pursuit of an old boys network hire.

  63. Dissenter

    We have a director of football, don’t we
    We are a football club and there’s someone in charge of footballing affairs.
    Did you expect a non-footballing person to run football or a non-business person to run the football?

    What’s the moaning about?
    The Kroenke’s have taken over. They are running the club with a two-chief officer model; a chief financial officer and a chief operations [football] officer.

  64. Pedro

    Bamford, what we’re doing right now is not strategic or longterm. Buying in Banega , Carrasco, Suarez and James are all so so for me.

    We should be investing in the future, reworking the wage bill and defining a style of football. Liverpool is the model for me. Spurs to a certain degree. But going for broken ok players seems like a poor model.

  65. Charlie George

    “Denis Suarez is quality”- Bamford

    he might well be!
    My point is- we have quality in his area of the field.

    We have little quality- as of today in the right back position.
    We have thinning quality in the CH position.
    We also have budgetary issues,

    Its a vanity signing at best,
    It will also probably mean AMN will be forced to go elsewhere.

    Harry Winks aint as good as our lad (AMN)- yet Poch – sticks by his BRITS.
    Because- he feels rightly ( they are important)
    Emery clearly does not!

  66. Dissenter

    When Raul was in Barca, did Barcelona have a network of scouts?

    Baracelona have led the way in showing how to run a club from down-up, from the grassroots up.
    I’m not crediting everything to Raul but damn…the narrative is so wrong that every signing will be based on Raul’s contacts .

  67. gambon

    “No one is accountable.”

    Not sure about that. Although I do agree you really do need a unifying leader to set the vision.

    Rauls job is to make sure we have the best possible manager, best possible coaches, best possible backroom team, best scouts, best scouting systems, best transfer strategy, best youth development.

    Vinais job is to make sure we sell out the Emirates, particularly club level and boxes, make sure we are strong commercially (probably the biggest job at Arsenal right now).

    Both are more than qualified for their roles. Its just a question of whether they are actually good and innovative enough to move the club forward.

    We had a complete fraud as CEO for the last 10 years, at least the current duo are far more capable in their respective areas of expertise.

    It would certainly be interesting to have a Q&A with them to understand what their plans are.

    It only takes 2 minutes to understand if someone at MD level is capable or not.

  68. Pedro

    Let’s pray Dissenter.

    I’m with Leeds, this is a dark day for the future of the club.

    Our manager is too powerful, now our football director is too powerful

  69. Dissenter

    Pedro
    What do you know about Raul Sanllehi?
    I bet it’s what you’ve gathered from the media. Sometimes the most enlightening thing is knowing what you don’t know?

    Because he ditched Mislintat?
    I hope you are aware that many Dortmund fans credit most of the Dortmund revivial to the work of the DoF, Michael Zorc who’s been there since 1999. I know that runs contrary to the narrative you’re pushing that it’s all Mislintat.

  70. Bamford10

    Pedro

    No, you’re just not representing all that they’re doing. You’re focusing on certain things in order to paint what they’re doing in a bad light.

    They have both near-term goals and longer-term goals. The near-term goal is top four, and if they are leaning more on Raul and Emery’s contacts there, that’s because we need players who can help us today for that goal, not 18-year-olds.

    However, that doesn’t mean they’re not looking at 18-year-olds as well, for the future. Of course they are.

  71. Dissenter

    The two chief officer model is actually not uncommon in business. There’s a chief finincial officer and and chief operations officer i.e football.

    Some want to have their cake and eat it.
    They say the Kroenke’s aren’t involved but when they get involved …it’s oh. we need another layer of beuracracy between the real authority and the real people running the club. I suppose they can appoint big bird as CEO for ceremonial reasons.

    This is the course correction from the Kroenkes. They have learned their lesson well after staying away and watching mistake after mistake occur.

    They are doing away with the Gazidis type CEO and ceremonial board of directors it seems. Now it’s all on them.

  72. Receding Hairline

    Yea such power sharing arrangements don’t really work out in the end but we will see. Bit directionless if you ask me.

    However Raul has been in football at the highest level so he knows what it takes to succeed. The Vinai fellow for commercial is a different kettle of fish, a bit too young for that position in my opinion

  73. Bamford10

    Charlie

    Just because they’re looking at Denis Suarez doesn’t mean they’re not looking at right backs as well.

    And AMN is not an attacking mid. Nor is he has good as Harry Winks. So that is really quite beside the point.

    If we’re looking at Suarez, it’s probably because we need a dribbling, attacking midfielder given that Ramsey is leaving, Ozil is Ozil and Cazorla has left the building.

  74. Pedro

    Dissenter, I write in more detail about the mechanics of how football/Arsenal is run than almost any journo out there. I do not get my info from journalists.

  75. Pedro

    Gambon, yes. You are right.

    Raul is great on paper, I’m not sure he’s an innovator though. Well, just look at his vision for players… contacts.

  76. gambon

    Dissenter

    I see what Pedro is saying though.

    At the end of the day, a good CEO is proven to be absolutely correlated to business success. Your COO and CFO are “doers” they dont create and set company strategy, they enact it.

    Look at what people like Martin Sorrell and Angela Ahrendts have done in recent years with WPP and Burberry. The vision and success was almost solely down to the CEOs grand plan.

    Arsenal have (I think / hope) 2 very good doers, theres no evidence they have any experience designing and developing a strategy from the top down.

  77. James.wood

    Kos looked like he had played two games back to back
    it’s a matter of time before he breaks down completely.
    Bellerin – Holding – Mka -Welbeck long term injury’s.

    And yet loan signings not even mentioned.

  78. Receding Hairline

    Raul is great on paper, I’m not sure he’s an innovator though. Well, just look at his vision for players… contacts.

    Well those contacts might include some very good scouts who are content to remain scouts

  79. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Doyou remember when you were hyping Tom Fox?
    He may have been an excellent business manager but failed woefully when promoted to the CEO job at Aston Villa.
    It’s better to keep these chaps in their lanes only. There are advantages in separating the operations from the finances.

  80. Dissenter

    gambon
    I see what you’re saying and fully understand Pedro’s point.

    I think the Kroenke’s want to make the club their own and this is just a temporary solution. There’s more to come as they try to figure it out.
    They dont want to give anyone too much power after seeing what Gazidis did.

    They may have been too trustful of the institutions at the club in the past.

  81. Pedro

    Dissenter, I think a lot of things went badly wrong behind the scenes for Tom Fox. Villa not a good club to start your career, especially when the guy running the place wants to sell. I’m also not asking for Tom Fox to run the club.

  82. gambon

    “Well, just look at his vision for players… contacts.”

    We dont know what Rauls vision is though. We really dont at this point.

    The idea that because Sven is leaving, that we are turning our back on scouting is probably far from right.

    Sven may have been a fraud (maybe Zorc was the man that made it happen at Dortmund)

    Sven may have chosen to leave for numerous reasons.

    The club may have absorbed Svens IP and no longer actually need him.

    Sven may have been caught stealing £6.50 from petty cash.

    But the club has an operation thats far bigger than Sven Mislintat. We have our own stats & analysis business, StatDNA. From what I understand, some StatDNA people are heavily integrated into the clubs processes.

    We have made some poor purchases in recent years, but a huge part of that was Arsene Wengers terrible decision making

  83. Pedro

    Thing with Sven is for all the ‘scouting’ he oversaw us buying in Dortmund and Lichtsteiner.

    Next hire will tell us who we’re planning to be.

    If it’s Harry Redknapp, we’re fucked.

  84. Charlie George

    Raul might be the *David Dein *of Spanish football.
    An exceptional operator.

    But he has no experience in English football!
    In the 7 months he has been here. We have witnessed his lack of inexperience.
    green lighting the appointment of his fellow Spanish compatriot Emery, being his most glaring error. And now losing his much vaunted Head Scout being his second.

    *David Dein would not be the right operator at Barcelona. Because he has no expertise in La Liga

    Its not a xenophobic argument
    Its a COMMON SENSE one.

    After all – have there been any noted examples of successful overseas DOF in our game?

  85. Receding Hairline

    If it’s Harry Redknapp, we’re fucked.

    We are anti English according to Charlie George so it certainly won’t be Redknapp….might be some Spanish or German Fraud as far as Charlie is concerned, he will welcome Redknapp with a parade

  86. Un na naai

    Bamford10January 20, 2019 22:36:32
    Un Na

    One, can you explain how you’ve determined that Wenger 08-18 is better than Sarri? I would love to hear this.
    Two, we were better than Chelsea, and we were better than Spurs on those particular days. So what? You have this incredibly simplistic view of things according to which if you manage to beat or draw this or that team on one day, you should be level with or above them in the table. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

    Bam

    NOT JUST this game or that game or that game though is it? You’re trying to downplay our performance levels against our rivals to suit your narrative. We have outplayed our rivals in 5/7 contests. Which would imply to me that
    1. Emery takes those games seriously
    2. He can get it right tactically
    3. When he does that our squad of players is capable of matching our rivals. It’s not just the two wins but the loss to Chelsea and the draws with United and Liverpool. They were games where we outplayed our opponents and should have won those games. We dominated and had the lions share of clear goal scoring opportunities.Why is wenger better in 08-18 than Sarri
    Beacuse wenger created beautiful teams that consistently beat the big sides while falling just short of greatness on few occasions
    08-11 being notable. Sarri is pretty much wenger post chelsea fa cup final.
    I predict now that we will battle united for fourth while Chelsea will slip down to 6thLook at the money he’s spent and the money spent before him. He’s had 2 too strikers but he pulls hazard out of his natural and most dangerous position and nullifies him
    He takes the best defensive midfielder in the world and sticks him in the right to accommodate his pet project, the mostly ineffective Jorginho. It’s blunder after blunder there.
    Then his arrogance in blaming the players for his problems. That Chelsea team has fight. It’s littered with title winners and a couple of World Cup winning starters for France. If he can’t get it right then that’s on him. Conte managed it immediately. As did Mourinho when he came in. All new chelsea managers are backed financially to implement their vision and recently that means they hit the ground runnng. Sarri is taking Chelsea backwards through stubbornness. He still thinks he’s in serie a where Jorginho has time on the ball.
    This is the premier league. Nobody respects you here enough to let you just sit and dictate. You have to create your own space. Say what you want about xakha but for a pounderous bla bla bla he manages make enough space for himself to pop the ball around.He was highly impressive Saturday

    Yes wenger failed to address three crucial positions in those years gk cb and dmf. No doubt. He also failed to install proper leadership but some of those sides were a thing of beauty and beat milan Barcelona Bayern chelsea untied Liverpool City Dortmund and spurs He gave us players like rvp, Sanchez, cesc, hleb, Wilshere, nasri who lit up the league with their football on a shoestring budget whilst paying for the stadium. Up agaisnt cash flush rivals.
    Maybe a director of football should have been installed back then to take the signing of players and use of funds away from wenger for defensive players as if he’d have been given those players and told to work with them we may of fared better but ultimately that’s his failing. You out Sarri under the same financial constraints and he’d bomb even worse than he is now with money to burn and a team of champions

  87. Bamford10

    I agree that you need someone at the top with vision, with a vision.

    However, can someone tell me who this person is at Liverpool?

    In a sense it’s Klopp, no?

    If you say that it’s someone above Klopp — maybe it is, maybe it isn’t — you have to acknowledge that this vision guy or guys also produced the Brendan Rodgers years and the Kenny Dalglish episode.

    Bottom line, IMO, is that it’s a tricky, complex and complicated process.

    Some people are jumping to new and extreme conclusions every day rather than watching this complicated process play out and reserving judgment or sticking to moderate, measured judgments.

    This is a problem, IMO.

  88. Un na naai

    Bamford

    This is the 3rd time . If you don’t respond I’ll assume you submit that we do have a squad capable of matching our rivals in competitive matches as outplayed by me over the last 48 hours

    Yes we need improvements but what we have is capable of matching any team in any game if emery gets it right.

  89. gunnershabz

    we need a new modern scout hire, some whizz kid with stats of young players around the world

    I am guessing sven used to monitor a players mileage in a game etc and passes in short areas and long etc

    we need a good investment in the tech for access of all players

    for example, you got the football manager team who scouts players for their database

    now I am sure they must be some geeks out there who can do this and then get a first team scout out there to see them in person

    I don’t like Sven leaving but it is what it is now

    Raul Sanhelli will have his network of crocked agents but we do need science data for players

  90. gunnershabz

    Pedro

    do you think we need a big name hire?

    or

    a guy who has all skills to capture data of the modern footballers like Sven?

  91. Un na naai

    Isn’t Raul already a big name hire?
    Why couldn’t we have melded his contacts with Sven? Have the best of both worlds and use them in tandem to our advantage?

  92. gunnershabz

    Pedro,

    I get what you saying but maybe an upcoming data analyst could be huge potential too

    I don’t think we can stir many big names with Raul in full charge mode, a big name hire will want promises and I am sure they be looking at our current situation and thinking twice

    porto, benfica, lyon, ajax, lille and psv seems to be picking up hidden gems around the world

    would you fancy anyone from there?

  93. Bamford10

    Pedro

    So do we. You’ve just decided you don’t like or don’t trust Raul. Time will tell if he’s the right man for the job, but it is way, way too early to be claiming that he’s not.

  94. Dissenter

    The narrative is that because Sven is leaving then Arsenal have ditched the gidital analytical approach and are going back in a time machine to the analog Rolodex of Sanllehi.
    You would think Sven was the only scout of this generation.
    Time will tell.

  95. gunnershabz

    also another big factor could be brexit and work permits

    are we able to get hidden gems from south America or Africa???

    I know the rule is if you spend over £10m on a player work permits would be all okay

  96. Charlie George

    Un

    What possible use is Rauls contacts to us?

    He would be more suited at Man City -with their unlimted funds.

    We need the someone who has the contacts for the best young Eng/French contacts- not Lichsteiners agent or his buddies from barca (suarez)

    he has had a totally inauspicious start to his Arsenal tenure!

  97. gunnershabz

    I guess these so called “super agents” will always approach Raul i.e. the James Rodriquez story

    but I know one thing we should poach FC Porto analyst scout because they always picking up some great potential from south America and sell on for huge profit

  98. Dissenter

    Charlie George
    I bet you’ll love Sanllehi if his name were Saul Raymond.
    Such is the basic level you’re operating in

  99. Bamford10

    Un Na

    I long ago responded to this meaningless point of yours.

    Is our squad good enough to compete with Spurs, United, Chelsea or even Liverpool on this or that given day? Sure.

    But this in no way changes the fact that all of those clubs have better squads than we do and that Emery will need to get nearly everything right and that other stars will need to align for us in order for us to finish 4th.

    You have this incredibly simplistic view that says that if you manage to compete with Team A on a given day, this means you should be level with them or above them in the table. Sorry, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.

  100. Bamford10

    Un Na

    “Yes, we need improvements, but what we have is capable of matching any team in any game if Emery gets it right.”

    No, not exactly. If Solskjaer gets his approach right and Emery gets his approach right, United could win — and for any number of reasons, including their having a better squad.

    This is partly what I mean by your view being simplistic.

  101. Receding Hairline

    Crystal Palace beat City at the Etihad so they should be winning the league

    Wolves beat Chelsea at the Molineux hence they have a better squad than them

    Leicester beat City and Chelsea back to back, that shows their squad this season is good enough to challenge for the top four and to a lesser extent the title

  102. Charlie George

    Dissenter

    “”I bet you’ll love Sanllehi if his name were Saul Raymond.
    Such is the basic level you’re operating in””

    i do not care what his name is
    I do care – we have someone who has experience/Knowledge/expertise in the arena he is working in (English Football)

    thats a pretty basic requisite to be successful!

  103. Bamford10

    Receding

    Exactly. According to Un Na, if Crystal Palace beat City at the Etihad, that proves they can compete with any team on any day. Therefore, if they finish below 2nd or 3rd, it’s all on the manager and his decisions. Clearly he isn’t getting it right.

  104. Un na naai

    Bamford

    But solkjear has only managed a nobody team in Norway. How can he compare to the experience and tactical nous of emery?

    United’s defence is pretty crap. As is their attack. They are heavily reliant on a modern day Emile Heskey an ex arsenalnhas been whic score like 3 goals in a year and a 19 year old with patchy form and question marks over his consistency.

    Not to mention their overrated start attraction who is their version of Mesut Ozil onky without the assists.

    __________________________________

    Bamford

    Is our squad good enough to compete with Spurs, United, Chelsea or even Liverpool on this or that given day? Sure.

    _____________________________________

    Yes

    So if we ARE good enough to compete with our rivals in 5/7 games played so far then we are well equipped to beat lesser sides surely?? Your logic makes no sense

    So we can only beat the best team in the league but struggle with the average to lesser teams.

    Come on Bamford. Shouldn’t your intellectual pride kick in before framing an argument so poorly?

  105. Leedsgunner

    Man City offers the best private school education in the area to all their scholars. The standard is such that even Man United players are sending their sons to the academy to get them into the schools.

    If you make life easy for their families stars will often choose your club… it’s not about the money but giving your club a unique selling point so that players choose to come to your club over others.

  106. Receding Hairline

    I’m lost.
    I was sure we’d beaten Leicester twice a few years ago…So what does that means ??

    We were good enough to win the league that season is what it means, the table disagreed though