Four things I’ve been thinking about intensely for a whole day.
The Squad is toilet commentary:
Sven Mislintat gave Emery 5 players last summer at a cost of £70m. He focused on mainly defensive players, with one player hired in for his FIRE mentality.
Bernd Leno: A massive improvement on Cech, can play with his feet, makes good saves. HIT
Lucas Torriera: Ferocious defensive midfielder that has a super instinct for the game. He’s a good tackler, he can pass and he’s comfortable sitting at the base of midfield. MASSIVE HIT
Matteo G: If you don’t love this guy, you’re dead inside. A bit rough around the edges, but he’s been very good considering his age. HIT
Sokratis: Beast at the back. A fighter, solid on the ball, good in the air and a proper leader. Should be our captain. Guy is so aggressive he told his ankle off for being injured. HIT
Lichtsteiner: 34 years old, was never going to be able to do it on the pitch, but he’s not shite, he’s just off the pace.
We have improved the squad. It is difficult to argue anything else. These are good players.
So why haven’t we seen an improvement to our defence?
Five teams that either share the same goals conceded, or have conceded less than us. Seriously man, Newcastle United.
Add to that the fact that we have two 25 goal a season strikers (£116m) that even the most miserable Arsenal fan can’t be unhappy with. Do we love Lacazette? Yes. Do we love Auba? Damn right we do, even if you don’t, he’s joint second in the Premier League for goals with Kane and 2 behind Salah He also has a banging haircut and a nice smile. He also has 7 more than Lukaku, who everyone is now pivoting towards being better than Auba. Bitch please.
Lacazette has 1o in all competitions and we love him as well. Chelsea would die for our frontline.
Emery has a world class player in Ozil he can’t motivate and he’s chosen to leave a player like Ramsey on the bench all year. I know Mesut is a being a little bitch, but come on, buy him a Balenciaga snood and make up already. Seriously, this has gone too far.
So in short, this idea that our squad is Stoke levels is more dramatic than the output of a mild Ospina collision.
I thought the tactics against United were subpar, but as I am somewhat dyslexic when it comes to writing about them, I stole a piece from Valentin in the comments:
The most depressing of Friday’s defeat is that the manner of the defeat was predicted. Everybody knew the tactics that ManUtd were going to employ except our coach. Soak up pressure and let Arsenal have the ball wide but intercept any cut back and counter-attack at pace.
Arsenal left side via long balls over the top from Pogba or Matic. Emery did nothing against that. In fact his tactics and players selection played into their hand.
We needed a quick and decisive left back and instead of Monreal he played Kolasinac who is not the quickest nor the best at defending.
We needed a deep line with a compact midfield in front. Instead we played a high line with regularly our midfield and Kolasinac ahead of the ball which means that when they counter-attack they had one more attacker than defenders. 3v2 as for the second goal or 4v3.
We needed somebody to man mark Pogba and as far as I could see neither Ramsey nor Torreira were tasked to do that. The closest to regularly block Pogba was Lacazette !
Newcastle employed those tactics and it nearly paid off for them. With luck and better players (which we have compared to Newcastle) they could have won it.
The worst thing is that on the sideline everybody could see that clearly Emery had no idea how to turn the tide.
Ole G, Mike P and Carrick just rolled out the same strategy Alex Ferguson used against us for years.
Emery apparently does more video analysis than a 14-year old who’s just discovered incognito mode.
What happened here? Did he miss the Spurs game?
Emery has helped see off Sven by basically blacklisting ‘hot youth talent’ e-mail suggestions, instead, favouring journeymen stars from Champ Man circa 2014, preferably with an agent Raul knows… what does that mean for our F5 Newsnow refresh trigger finger?
ARSENAL LINKED WITH IVAN PERISIC.
Holy mother of Mary. What a boner killer. Like ‘accidentally’ opening a really bad tab in incognito mode.
A 29-year-old who is 30 in a month. A player working in a much slower league, in physical decline, with a goals and assists record this season WORSE than Iwobi’s. 25 games (72mins a game), 3 goals and 5 assists. Did we learn nothing from the Mikhi disaster? Pepe over at Lille has 13 goals and 10 assists in 23 games. Wait for him! Save those loan pennies.
If this is the future, why does it smell so much like Everton?
What makes things even more worrying is we’re hiring in Spaniards at a rate of knots. Emery has been adding to his backroom staff over the course of the season and he’s even picking his mate as the Technical Director this summer, and look, I think Monchi could be a great candidate (5th with Roma, which is fitting), but it’s quite clear Ivory Towers are being built which could be problematic, and even worse, tough to break up should the worst happen.
Also, is there no search and select process for this? You know, even just to pinch ideas from the other candidates.
As Matt noted on the podcast, this is all happening because there’s no defacto leader at the club. We need a Bepe Moratta like figure, or a Michael Zorc. Someone who purposefully decentralizes power, sets the vision and makes people work smart to deliver a great footballing experience to the fans. Most CEOs wouldn’t want to create management cliques. That’s why you’d limit the power of the manager, take ownership of the staffing around him, and be very careful about hiring in friends. In football, an industry known for bullshitters, you really need to have your wits about you.
We just shipped out Wenger’s regime and now seem to be allowing a new one to form. This is all the more worrying because the raid is being executed by people who have little affinity for the club, which wouldn’t be a problem if we had a CEO and a strong board with business and footballing acumen (preferably people that have Arsenal DNA (Brian Marwood)). Just look at Ivan Gazidis giving himself a massive payrise in his final year at Arsenal despite achieving nothing on or off the pitch. That’s scandalous corporate greed. But who was there to overrule it? No one. That’s who. I mean, no one isn’t really a who, but you get what I mean.
The season should be judged on expectations.
My expectations, ok?
- Do we have a defined style of football?
- Are we better defensively?
- Are we better going forward?
- Are we technically a better outfit?
- Are the fans excited?
A very basic list. If nothing has improved and we’re still 6th, we should think about a different path.
Bruce Rioch picked up the pieces of George Graham era, was told to land European football, and he was sacked two weeks after he achieved his goals. Why? Because David Dein recognised he could do better.
Nigel Adkins took Southampton up from League One, he was doing well in the Premier League, and he was fired because they were able to bring in Pochettino (remember the reaction in the press to that!).
If there is no improvement this season then good leadership should course correct and make a change.
Can anyone disagree with that notion? No they can’t. They absolutely can’t.
Right, that’s me OUT. See you tomorrow when I promise it’ll be sparkles and rainbows.
Luuuuurve u x