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.


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

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  1. azed

    The Emery out crew seem to the 4-4-2 diamond will work against every other team because we beat Chelsea with it…..

    News flash, if we play that against City, we would be annihilated.

    Its important to note that Ramsey started the first two games of the season and Pierre and co were wondering why Emery was playing Ramsey…..

  2. azed


    Who was the last starter from our Academy?

    “Maybe make better decisions pre-season then instead of loaning a fit Chambers out. Or turnover the squad better in the summer?”


    We already have two LB’s and Chambers was destroyed playing Right back against Swansea by you think he can do a job at left back?

  3. azed

    City’s current fullbacks are not the ones Pep met there
    Liverpool’s fullbacks are not the ones Klopp met there

    On Le grove, Pep and Klopp are great managers but its funny how they were only able to compete when they brought in their own players.

  4. Bamford10


    No, that’s actually not what Un Na is saying. If it were, he and I would have no difference of opinion on this point, as I too think we are capable of finishing top four.

    The difference is this: whereas I (and others) think we have the 6th best squad but are nonetheless good enough to manage to finish fourth if Emery gets everything right and certain stars align, Un Na thinks our squad is just as good as teams 2 – 5 and that if we do not finish fourth or better, it will be on Emery.

    Those are two very different positions.

  5. Marko

    The principle reason for our “failures” this season so far are at the feet of Emery in the form of his tactical approach, selection of personnel, and inability to utlilise what he currently has at his disposal to the fullest potential.

    Simply not true it suits a certain narrative but not true. It’s a poor squad a 5th/6th place squad and if it’s in with a shot of 4th or if it’s got a better record against the top 6 sides in the league this season it’ll be because of the manager who said certain types love to deride.

  6. Bamford10


    “I recall Wenger groomed Elneny at CB….has Emery really used all the resources at his disposal?”

    I hope you’re being facetious.

  7. Un na naai


    Were we the dominant side in these games

    Chelsea 3-2
    Liverpool 1-1
    Spurs 4-2
    United 2-2
    Chelsea 2-0

    5/7 of our top 6 matches

  8. Marko

    Maybe make better decisions pre-season then instead of loaning a fit Chambers out. Or turnover the squad better in the summer?

    Sure why not have 3 players for every position just in case you know. Have 3 RB’s 3 LB’s for rainy days. See if the premier league can make it a 35 man registered squad instead of 25

  9. Un na naai


    I’m saying we cant hide behind the farcical concept of our players being of insufficient quality to reach top four this season. I’d put us 4th best above United and above Chelsea this season.

    But hey, some of us are just optimistic or we expect more from arsenal.

  10. Marko

    I have noticed azed that people like to make the comparison with what Pep and Klopp are doing but at the same time they argue that Emery should be able to do it what he’s got which is incredible really. No win scenario really

  11. Receding Hairline

    Just like Pep came in and decided he needed four new full backs, two 50m defenders, why didn’t he just coach what he had and stopped spending

    Funny enough Emery has never even complained of a lack of funds or the need for better players, all he ever says is we need to keep working hard to be better.

  12. Bamford10


    “The principle reason for our ‘failures’ this season so far are at the feet of Emery in the form of …”

    No. Sorry, but that is complete nonsense. While some of where we are at the moment is down to Emery and what he has not gotten right in terms of tactics or selections, most of the responsibility for where we are at moment lies at the feet of an inadequate squad.

    We have the 6th best squad in the PL. If Emery finishes 5th, he will have failed to achieve our goal for this season, but he will have slightly overachieved given the squad at his disposal.

  13. InsideRight

    A couple of weeks back I gave up on 4th. The team selection had been poor yet again, the lads looked toothless, the defence was absolutely shocking.

    Yet along comes that Chelsea performance, admittedly against a team that is delivering less than the sum of its parts, and I see a glimpse of what could happen if we strengthen at the back this month, Emery gets his shit together when picking his starting line up, and we get back to brutal efficiency in front of goal.

    The financial return for getting back in the CL justifies Kroenke letting a few moths out of his Arsenal wallet. We are so close to the Trop4y we surely have to go for it.

    God, it reminds me of Sam Allardyce nearly taking Bolton into Europe. He was a couple of players short and asked the board to sign off a couple of signings. They refused and Big Sam’s team fell short. The rest as they say… We (Kroenke) shouldn’t pass up the opportunity in front of us.

  14. Champagne charlie


    Do I think Chambers would’ve been a better option than Xhaka in defence? Yes.

    Did you work out how many points we lost with Xhaka playing as a defender?

    “On Le grove, Pep and Klopp are great managers but its funny how they were only able to compete when they brought in their own players.“

    Not one person has made this argument.

  15. Marko

    It’s amazing some people are saying or at least pretending (to fit their agenda) that our squad is good enough. It’s almost like they haven’t been watching us the last two seasons or are oblivious to the total lack of balance and quality in the squad. Zero wingers in the squad not one pace merchant/dribbler who can beat a man. Serious lack of quality at the CB position (says alot that a 29 year old from Dortmund for 15 mill is probably our best CB) and our full backs plural need work. DM and goalkeeper issue kinda got addressed after being overlooked for so many years by the previous manager but still a tonne of squad work to be done

  16. Batistuta

    This from Ornstein on twitter

    As per @DaveHytner Bellerín ruptured ACL confirmed in scan today, 6-9 months. Rest of squad were paintballing pre #MUFC. Francis Cagigao tipped by many to succeed Mislintat as HoR with Monchi among names for TD (no timescale). #AFC want 2 loan deals, 1 being Suarez but not close

  17. Marko

    Francis Cagigao tipped by many to succeed Mislintat as HoR with Monchi among names for TD

    I could get behind this. Monchi is as good as it gets

  18. Bamford10

    Un Na

    “I’d put [our squad] fourth best, above United’s and above Chelsea’s this season.”

    OK, and you’d be wrong, in my opinion. Both of them have better squads than we do, IMO.

  19. Valentin

    I would argue that Arsenal has the fourth best squad in the EPL. ManCity, ManUtd and Liverpool have a better first eleven and a better bench.
    However man for man, Arsenal has a better squad than Spurs. From the Chelsea squad I can only see the Kante, Hazard and maybe their goalkeeper and left back better than Arsenal corresponding position.
    So expecting a top 4 finish is not being deluded.

  20. Dissenter

    If Bellerin and Iwobi were capable of some improvement, then so was Chambers. He would have been a versatile player that could have played RB, CB and defensive midfield.
    It made no sense in August when Chambers was sent away on loan.
    It still doesn’t make any sense in January why he is still away on loan.
    That was part of our summer blunders.

  21. Marko

    However man for man, Arsenal has a better squad than Spurs.

    Are you fucking kidding me? Absolute bollox. To a man they’ve got a better 11 bar Torreira for someone like Winks. Better squad

  22. Dissenter

    Just curious, you’re a PSG fan who believes we have a lot to learn from them. An astroturf club founded in 1970 that didn’t t win it’s first championship until 1985.

    What are you dong here, on an Arsenal blog?
    Please don’t tell me that you have a “second team”, if so, who are you going to support is we ever play PSG?

  23. Valentin

    Loaning Chambers and Reiss Nelson were two bad decisions. Emery is the one who took those decisions. He can complain that he needs a right sided winger, but he had one. He send him to a Champion’s league club. Regarding Chambers, Koscielny had to play 6 weeks earlier than anticipated because of Rob Holding injury. And it showed and he was struggling for form. Having an extra body who could have been used in the cup competition was the wise decision.
    It is not a question of hindsight after the event, because I made the cases against on this blog when the loans decisions were announced.

    The fact that we cannot recall either of them is another blunder that may not be on Emery. But then that does not show the admin team in a good light either. At last they have named a dedicated person to deal with our loanees. Years after every other clubs. Arsenal did not even had a chat group for the loanees. Every thing behind the scene is so behind the rest of the world.

  24. Dissenter

    David Ornstein; Ornstein: As per @DaveHytner Bellerín ruptured ACL confirmed in scan today, 6-9 months. Rest of squad were paintballing pre #MUFC. Francis Cagigao tipped by many to succeed Mislintat as HoR with Monchi among names for TD (no timescale). #AFC want 2 loan deals, 1 being Suarez but not close

    This guy and his verbal diarrhea or shall we say sticky fingers.
    He doesn’t say anything anyone cannot guess but he threw in the paint balling stuff.
    What nonsense.
    Why would Monchi want to come and work under Raul when he’s already running another big club in a famous European city?

    Oh wait, where’s that Pedro pitch
    …we are Arsenal…6th richest club….located in London….

  25. David Smith

    Hope to be proved wrong, but sadly, I imagine the club will go for the safe option already on the payroll rather than Monchi who might ruffle too many feathers

  26. Valentin


    As I have already told you. I am not a PSG fan.
    One of my brother and his sons are. They live in the outskirt of Paris and are season ticket holders.
    I didn’t like PSG before the Qatar because it was mostly full of racists degenerates and/or media show off. Post Qatar, I still don’t like them as despite having one of the best French football academy, they rely on mercenaries. Their financial dopings is slowly killing Ligue 1. 2 years ago they spend more than the rest of the entire league together!
    I have been leaving in London for 25 years and attend regularly Arsenal game.
    It just happen that I like football and have heard my brother and his family bitching about Emery for 12 months. Once the initial excitement passed, they quickly started to rant about him.

    If you want to be credible, instead of personal attack, try to come with some argumented points.

  27. Marko

    Loaning Chambers and Reiss Nelson were two bad decisions

    Not at all. Nelson needed games and by all accounts the Hoffenheim loan has been a success so far. Any appearences made last season he looked out of his depth and now he’ll come back next season ready to compete. As for Chambers we missed the chance to sell him when Palace offered 16 million for him then by keeping him last season and he underperforming we were left with little option than to loan him and hope he impresses enough to garner some interest next summer

  28. Marko

    Why would Monchi want to come and work under Raul when he’s already running another big club in a famous European city?

    Because Arsenal are a bigger club than Roma. And I’m sure we pay more

  29. Marko

    I imagine the club will go for the safe option already on the payroll

    That would have been Sven then. I’m assuming the reason he’s leaving and the reason they didn’t offer him the position is because there isn’t a person at the club for the position and they have someone in mind for the job

  30. Marko

    Fuck Giroud the useless fuck. Should have been binned at least a couple years before he finally got binned and now people wanna bring him back now he’s older and worse. No

  31. Takin the Mhik

    Was just having a look at our injuries of recent..

    Holding, Bellerin and Welbeck all out for the season and would have played key parts in the team .

    Of recent we haven’t had Monreal, Mustafi done is hamstring, Mhkitaryan and Ozil has also been out.

    Koscielny is till coming back from a long term injury, same with Mavraponas. Lichsteiner has also been out the team lately.

    Any team, including Liverpool and City, would suffer. It’s near impossible to attain any sort of consistency with so many players coming back from long term injuries and with players in and out the side.

    As frustrating as recent weeks have been, you can’t put too much of the blame on the manager for recent results. This was the same with Wenger and injuries.

  32. Tony

    I agree with Pedro we should have a CEO – preferably a time served, successful footballing chief executive.

    Maybe because I’m from an older business generation I haven’t worked in a shared senior executive management environment; however, alpha personalities – often dictatorship or autocratic like – are generally the norm for MDs and above, although maybe less now since Horizontal Management replaced ‘Top-Down’ management autocracy has no real function.

    So who monitors Vinai and Raul when their performance levels drop?

    Who sets their KPIs?

    Who are they really accountable to?

    Certainly not Chairman Chips or absent Kroenke unless the bottom line was really affected by their combined mismanagement efforts.

    I wonder who the posters here would say is the dominant alpha out of Vinai & Raul?

    When deciding would any of you really want that person running the club for the next 2 to 3 years in the form of a pseudo shared leadership?

    Imo it’s too easy for scapegoats to be set up below Raul – not so much Vinai as he really only has the financials to be concerned with.

    Another reason for the necessity of a CEO.

    I posted recently that it’s a same shit but different day scenario, however, the song remains the same – this is going to be true if there is no one to oversee Raul and Vinai’s functions and decision making at our club.

    In my mind Raul has really quietly stepped into Gazidis’s power base and Vinai will happily beaver away at commercial business acquisitions and maintaining the status quo of our SSM while not interfering with he football side, but being the face for PR because Raul has that smarmy look about him.

    You also have to wonder if the Emery hire wasn’t orchestrated by Raul behind Gazidis and Wenger on the QT before Wenger was fired. Gazidis was that clueless he had no idea what was going on, but in his face-saving way claimed it was all his doing.

    Was Arteta used as a pawn in all this to get the fans talking about the management job?

    Was Raul and Emery’s game plan all along to oust Sven and for Emery to get another foothold step up of power as manager?

    I was concerned as to how the Sven and Raul partnership would work and am not in the least surprised rightly or wrongly Sven is leaving. That truth will come out in time.

    All we can do is see what Raul’s next management installment is going to be where whatever it is and whoever Raul brings into replace Sven, that appointment will in no way be able to run interference with Raul’s lofty position and (autocratic?) future footballing policies.

    I firmly believe Raul and Emery are not the men to lead us back to the promised land of challenging for top honours and this will in some way hinder Vinai in his financial dealings, but Vinai is probably being too dazzled by Raul’s CV accomplishments to notice and extremely happy to be in such a position at such a young age.

    They might be able to get us back to the CL by the end of next season, but not close the enormous gulf between us and City & Liverpool.

    We’ll just be back in ‘Top 4′ limbo land again keeping Stan’s little nest egg safe and appreciating and, as Pedro said waiting for the super league, which I posted about 2 years ago is coming.

    It won’t matter what happens on the pitch between now and the season end Raul will ensure Emery is around for next season.

    For me CL football next season is still very much a pipe dream needing a miracle.

    I’m not anti Emery and I’m interested to see what he does next with the United game, but equally right now I’m not pro Emery either.

    As the famous line goes, “I’ll judge Emery in May!’

  33. Leedsgunner

    Vontae Daley-Campbell playing well for the U23s as their starting right back. Yes, it would be a big step up but let’s remember Bellerin himself made his first team debut under similar conditions when Debuchy was injured. Coming to think about I think Julio Pluegeuzo has played in there as well.

    So for the rest of the season, I would play AMN as the RB. Then I would play Jenks. VdC can sit on the bench as the understudy. Sure, Lichtensteiner might have the experience but he doesn’t have the legs anymore to play more than very occasionally.

  34. Dark Hei


    I think we are struggling because a talented roster might not translate into results.

    For example, the 2 teams with the biggest roster of talents are the Manchester teams, but their league position do not necessary reflect it.

    To make things worst, our top tiered talent is not suitable to our manager.

    Maybe Emery is better off building from the ground up than using “Superstar” players.

    Potts do not have “Superstar” players on his roster. Kane don’t count since Spurs pay him in cash and the rights to playing for Spurs.

  35. Charlie George

    Excellent analysis Tony.
    I think you are spot on

    Raul will ultimately make descions that ARE best for him- But not what’s best for Arsenal (,e.g. The RamseyWithdrawal and the existing of Dortmund Eye) – to lose both in such a short space of time for no compo is total ineptitude.

    Like you – still astounded that Emery got the prestigious Arsenal job .
    Did he get in Emery because he was pliable to his way of thinking and his dealings.

    We have to watch him like a hawk..
    Analyse him, scrutinise him….

    I have serious reservations about his acumen , competence and ability.

  36. Charlie George

    Surely Raul should have found a way to keep Dortmund Eye on a consultancy role?

    Surely Raul could have given Ramsey a 18 month contract with a soft buy out clause in it.

    My prediction: more Spanish speaking
    recruitment to ENTRENCH his position.

    No evidence yet too that Vinai has the cojones to question Raul or the Kroenkes…

  37. Emiratesstroller

    The most worrying feature at Arsenal is that the club has made no material changes to the Board of Directors to either Holding Company or Football Club

    Ken Friar and Richard Gibb are in their 80s and Lord Harris is in late 70s. Only
    Josh Gazidis is not past retirement age.

    Whilst there may be an argument for wisdom and stability there does not seem to be much evidence of this going on in recent years particularly when
    there are now such financial restrictions at the club as a result of poor management decisions.

  38. Charlie George

    The Pro and Cons of Raul s first year:


    Torreira & Gendusi signings.


    Tacit agreement for Ozil eyewatering contract
    Green lighting the Emery appointment.( not the man to unite and excite Arsenal 2019)
    Ramsey fiasco ( to make him look like the strong man no nonsense negotiator)
    Lichsteiner in/Chambers out fiasco
    Elneneys extension ???
    Slew of 30 year old players with no resale value( PEA, SOK,Miki)
    Losing a highly rated Chief Scout so quickly( for £000)
    ( the last few days – I have come to the conclusion- this has real serious undertones for us)
    Signing of his ex Barca player – Suarez ?

    That above charge sheet alone- should tell us- it’s Dortmund Eye who should be staying and Raul departing…

  39. Charlie George

    The undertones being- the now Departed Dortmund Eye- will now know about all our youngsters.
    His next club – might get this and all his other knowledge.
    Absolute insanity – how Arsenal 2019 operate.

  40. Un na naai


    Our squad is talented. It’s just not suited to emery’s style and preferred formation.

    He went with the diamond Saturday and it worked perfectly. It’s down to him to get the best out of what he has as he was signed on that basis. He’s done well enough in that regard vs our rivals but not agaisnt the lower teams. This is down not to personnel but either tactics or lack of motivation. Which comes back to the manager

    We have a squad able to defeat Southampton Brighton and West Ham but we chucked 8 points away there

    That’s on emery.

  41. Charlie George

    Thanks Un.

    ARSENAL 2020?

    Richard Scudamore CEO
    David Dein: Head of Recruitment.
    Gareth Southgate Head Coach
    Sol Campbell Asst Coach

    That will put the cat amongst the pigeons!

  42. qna

    Its laughable that people are throwing the toys out of the pram at Emery. Those people had zero understanding of what job was at hand for the new manager. Emery has done an outstanding job given the cards he was delt. The idea that this squad would genuinely compete even under the worlds best manager was always laughable. Now people are blaming Emery for their own poor judgement of the situation.

    None of us know if Raul is doing a good or bad job at fixing the mess that Ivan has made either. Its too early to tell. But I am extremely disappointed that we are losing Sven.

    The only thing that we know (if you can believe the club) is that we only have money for loan signings. Outrage aside, this only can be explained by the fact that we have mismanaged player contracts so badly. I have been saying this for years and years and it has eventually come to this. The fact that Ramsey is leaving is a good thing. He is not worth the 300k that Juventus are supposedly paying him and he is definitely not worth the 250k that we thankfully withdrew.

    The remaining issues are to offload as many players as we can who are being paid more than they contribute. I hold out hope that despite losing Sven, Raul can at least get this part right. Once we balance those equations we will operate within our means and be able to afford a good balance of top class players, supported by up and coming talent on low wages. Its this latter part that is really hurting us. The kind of wages we are paying to players like Elneny, Welbeck, Jenkinson, Kolasinac, etc are far and away above what these types of players would earn at most other good clubs. Then rather than pay the big bucks for genuinely top talent we are paying top talent money to guys on the next tier down – Mustafi, Xhaka, Sokratis, Mkhitariyan, Ramsey, etc.

    And while Ozil is a top level talent, we dont have the team or the budget to afford that kind of luxury player. He is icing when we dont have the cake. Love what Emery is doing with him. Hopefully it pushes him out the door.

  43. Valentin

    The reason why I do not trust the current management team is that they were the team that negotiated some of the worst deals at Barcelona.
    They are the one who passed on Raphael Varane to buy Jeremy Matthieu.
    They are the one who bought high, sold low and paid unsustainable wages. Because of them now Barcelona are broke.
    Barcelona had one strategy, make full use of their academy, and sprinkle that team with very high level players. Once the academy team left for Manchester City, the flow from the academy dried up. Instead of fixing the academy and concentrating on better value deals, they let it for and spunked money on bang average players.

    Arsenal are in a completely different position. We are already broke until we get rid of the overpaid players under contract. We need people able to discover tomorrow’s gem not well travelled HasBeen and NeverBeen ready for a last pay check. That was supposed to be Sven, but not them.
    Also most of their contacts are in South America, but most South Americans don’t acclimate well if thrust directly in a major European league and team. They need time to adjust in a lower league or team before shining. However everybody is already aware of those and often they are already under contract. So finding unpolished gems in South America, loaning them out to Dutch or French league and them inserting in the Arsenal team is a long term project. I doubt that they will be given 3~4 years of Europa League before getting their marching orders.

  44. Tony

    I wouldn’t say I was astounded about Emery getting the job that’s bending my narrative somewhat.

    Emery is a reasonable manager but like many others here, I don’t see him taking us to the next level.

    Maybe the odd cup including the European and maintaining CL positions.

    If you like he’s a more playable Wenger without the condescension toward fans and tactically improved – hence the small gains we’ve made this season.

    However, small gains are nowhere close to what The Arsenal needs or wants from the fans perspective, but certainly enough for its owners only interested in keeping their investment in the black and ergo profitable.

    We are nothing more than the potential to add another US$billion to Kroenke’s portfolio/overall wealth.

    Gazidis rode Wenger’s coat tails and Emery is riding Rauls’.

    The Kroenke gravy train is going to attract more leeches dressing themselves up as the club’s footballing saviors.

    Just listened to the podcast and like Matt I felt Sven had done his job for the last TW. I’m sure Sven can just as easily work from his living base whether it is a hotel or abode.

    You buy experience when hiring a manager, which is why Raul, Vinai, Sven and presumably Emery were given their contracts.

    I really hope a journalist gets the real story about Svens departure.

    Raul’s little black book policy needs more and we need to employ another data Sven type.

    The thought of Rowley & other Wenger scouts being used as consultants is absurd.

  45. Charlie George

    I think what we are seeing as the weeks and months go by is that is that it seems more an more likely Raul chose his fellow compatriot Emery as coach.

    probably Gazidas did want Arteta ( but knowing he was leaving to Milan) meant he could not reinforce his preferred pick

    The reason Raul chose Emery – is he sees him as pliable and knows he ain’t gonna rock the boat, ie. “Yes Man” ( and accept his signings)

    Raul also Probably orchestrated Dortmund Eye s exit. ( as soon as Gazidas left- freezing him out of the picture)

    Raul and Emery were obviously In cohorts with regards to the Ramsey Withdrawal.

    They are also in cohorts with the Suarez/Banega/James nonsensical signings.

    Raul is a streetfigher . And supposedly has a book of contacts.( ie. Spivey agents mobiles). HE WILL always do what’s best for him – Arsenal will always be secondary in his thoughts!

    I think he and Emery are potentially hazardous for Arsenal

    And that’s my honest appraisal.

    * I think Dortmund Eye- genuinely wanted to get Arsenal exciting young talent.

  46. carlito

    You gotta be kiddin’ me with these arguments that the scousers will be top of the league with the same injury gallore we are going through!hell no! van dijk out injured,milner injured,fabinho not fit,firmino injured.you think they”ll be in top 3?We are pulling through a serious injury crisis to our main defenders,full backs and a winger,yet we doing averagely well.lets see things a better way.

  47. David Smith

    If you are right CG, and the circumstances show you may well be, means The Kroenkes have let another authoritarian control freak in at the top, very soon after the club said it was moving on from such things

  48. Receding Hairline

    What does Raul really gain by running the club badly??

    Sven has been here for just over a year, how is it that all of a sudden he is seen as the Knight in shinning armor who wanted to get the club back among the elite when he actually has no track record of doing that, he simply finds good players while competent executives ran Dortmund

    Charlie George if i took you seriously i would find your posts disturbing but i don’t.

  49. Charlie George

    I think they obviously care. But
    I think they need to get their Arses over here- and keep an eye on what’s going on..

    Chief Ex left
    Chief Scout left
    Longest serving player going…

    It’s only January…..

  50. Dark Hei


    I don’t think Raul wants to “run” it badly.

    Just that if he and Sven can’t work together, I think it is best if one of them makes way.

    Who knows?Maybe we beat the naysayers and win the 4th place trophy with the likes of Denis Suarez on loan and Ozil on ice.

  51. David Smith

    Agree on that. Wasn’t JKs role to keep a closer eye on things?
    Just hope they hadn’t become reliant on Ivan with Wenger gone, and are taking too long correcting this reliance

  52. Charlie George

    Dark Hei
    Is the relationship between Raul and Swen not working – because Raul does not want it too work?

    Swen scouted dembele for 8million for Dortmund
    Raul bought dembele for 130 million for Barca.

    Do those facts alone- make uncomfortable reading alone!( for us fans and Raul)!!

  53. Un na naai

    Just stop buying tickets
    Kroenke would soon fuck off
    Even if he does sell to tourists it would put enourmous pressure on the club as they’ve drained the life blood

  54. Charlie George

    You do not actually want them to put their own money in the club ( ie buying players)- by the simple fact – they will want it back.!

    We have seen Villa and Sunderland with their USA owners nearly go into administration and relegated because their owners stopped the money taps.( and wanted it back sharpish)

    No- We have to be run properly . BUT we have to have competent people in charge.
    Unfortunately we have none of that at any level at Arsenal 2019

    We spend ample on players and their ludicrous wages.
    We just need to spend it better!

    If we have money to give to Lichsteiner and extend Elnenys and ozil contracts.

    We dont really deserve more.

  55. gonsterous


    probably Gazidas did want Arteta ( but knowing he was leaving to Milan) meant he could not reinforce his preferred pick

    The reason Raul chose Emery – is he sees him as pliable and knows he ain’t gonna rock the boat, ie. “Yes Man” ( and accept his signings)

    Raul also Probably orchestrated Dortmund Eye s exit. ( as soon as Gazidas left- freezing him out of the picture)

    Raul and Emery were obviously In cohorts with regards to the Ramsey Withdrawal.
    They are also in cohorts with the Suarez/Banega/James nonsensical signings.
    Raul is a streetfigher . And supposedly has a book of contacts.( ie. Spivey agents mobiles).
    HE WILL always do what’s best for him – Arsenal will always be secondary in his thoughts!I think he and Emery are potentially hazardous for ArsenalAnd that’s my honest appraisal.

    * I think Dortmund Eye- genuinely wanted to get Arsenal exciting young talent.

    Lmao CG thanx for the laughs mate. Here’s another theory you may like, the earth is flat and I fart rainbows.
    How about you get some evidences before sprouting another 100 word essay on what’s going on at arsenal.

  56. qna

    Charlie G: Chief Ex left
    Chief Scout left
    Longest serving player going…It’s only January….

    Chief exec leaving is the best thing that has happened since the news that Wenger was leaving. I can’t see how that would have been Raul’s call anyway, but if somehow it was then its a big tick

    As for Ramsey leaving, he had an offer of 200k/week on the table and we can’t buy players because our wage bill is too high. Having Ramsey as our second highest paid player is ridiculous in and itself. But having that deal block us from actually getting players worth that kind of money would be mismanagment. The kind of mismanagement that has us paying Ozil 300k or 350k per week (whatever it is). The real crime was letting Ramsey, Ozil and Sanchez’s contracts run down. They should have been sold under Wenger when they had good value. We could have reinvested that and been in a considerably stronger position as a club.

    As for Sven leaving, that is a disappointment. Particularly as I personally feel that we need to rebuild the hard way in a model similar to Dortmund. The fact that we have most recently purchased older players like Sokratis and Mkhitaryian (instead of selling Sanchez) is completely the wrong approach.

    Raul wont have the funds to do what Barca have been doing, so that wont be an issue. But if he continues to invest what little money we have in 29 year olds and above then we are going to find ourselves in an even worse position than we are in now.