Lack of belief cited as Emery’s Arsenal tanks again

by .

courtesy @allthatchas

Arsenal under new leadership looks exactly the same as the old Arsenal we thought we’d left behind. The sum total of what we delivered in a 3-1 loss was 15 minutes of football that looked interesting. The main celebration of Arsenal fans post-game centred around not losing by 8 goals, as many feared we’d be revisiting that fateful Manchester disasterclass of 2011.

That’s a depressing new low 9 months into a new regime.

I don’t think anyone was really expecting Emery to deliver a blistering win, but I also don’t think anyone expected Arsenal to go down so meekly. Emery was pitched as a master tactician, a man who had a plan for every player, an energetic motivator who was furious at the fitness levels of the players, and on a mission to hold players accountable for their pitiful attitude towards winning. What he delivered yesterday was another shambles shielded by the fact that he has a free season pass with a huge group of the fans who seem to believe that patience and money will iron out the kinks in a body of issues that looks more like coaching issues.

The starting 11 was odd. Emery opted for 4-4-2. He chose to play Iwobi, he once again picked Lichtsteiner, and he left Suarez, Ramsey and Ozil on the bench.

We paid the price within 50 seconds. Guendouzi had tried to move the ball out of our box, he played into Iwobi who dithered and lost the ball, Lichtsteiner was too slow to realize what was going on, Mustafi played everyone onside, and Aguero was found with a diving header he easily put past Leno who jumped the wrong way. We were so stretched early on it was hard to work out what the formation was at times, but what was clear is the defence was shell shocked and hadn’t a clue how to settle.

Arsenal did come back into the game with a great set piece goal from Laurent Koscielny. Torriera found Monreal at the front post, the ball was knocked on for a simple headed goal. We had City rattled for a good 15 minutes, Guendouzi and Torriera were doing as solid a job in midfield as they could considering how outnumbered they were and we nearly took advantage of a few pieces of shoddy defending. But ultimately, we weren’t set up to take advantage of the weaknesses in City’s armour. Our strikers were playing too deep, Auba is ineffective against great sides that control the midfield, we had no width, and our creativity was limited to Iwobi.

To make matters worse, as always with this Emery side, we didn’t have the maturity to see out an advantage into half time, a now chronic issue almost as debilitating to our progress as not winning away from home last season.

Fernandinho had time to pick out Sterling on the right, Lichtsteiner pottered over, the ball was cut back to Gundogan who clipped a ball back over the defence first time, our right back had lost Sterling trying to clear his lines, the ball was volleyed across goal where Aguero was on hand to finish unmarked for the second time.

Emery didn’t do anything to change things at halftime, I thought he might switch to three at the back and introduce some creative talent. We’d not given Lacazette or Auba a single chance the whole half, you felt if we addressed that, we might have made things more interesting.

As it happened, City came gunning for us in the second 45, and we were finished by 60 minutes. Aguerro found Sterling out on the right, Iwobi wasn’t covering, Lichtsteiner couldn’t deal with the pace, a simple cross found Aguero for his third tap-in of the night.

The manager tried to chase the game after that by introducing Denis Suarez for his debut and giving Rambo a run-out, but the players had essentially given up. They knew it was over and they didn’t want to go down fighting. Emery himself seemed to follow their lead offering up Mavrapanos as a 79th-minute sub.

Worth noting that Suarez dropped a debut so bad, there’s a compilation of it. It’s only one game, but I’ve seen him plenty of times before, I’m really struggling to see what he’s brought to the table that we don’t already have at the club. He doesn’t give us width, he’s not physical and he’s slow.

Arsenal were chasing a game in the second half and we managed to register ZERO attempts at the City goal. We couldn’t even provide a wild shot at goal from 40 yards (miss u, Xhaka).

The two bright spots for me were Matty G and Lucas T. Those two worked tirelessly and deserved more out of the game. Matty G is such a great player, I love his ferocity and work ethic, his lanes of passing and his growing confidence. What a star we have there. It’s telling that he’s our most important player at the minute, this reminds me of Jack in his breakthrough year. Let’s hope we take care of MGs body a little better.

So in conclusion, it was 3 points we were all expecting to drop, but a match that once again exposed the manager as lukewarm at the highest level. He made a lot of mistakes yesterday and I think that’s 13 games he’s failed to best Pep. I think this comment after the game was very telling.

“Our players have the mentality that when we are worse than the opposition we feel that.’’

Apparently, that line isn’t a translation issue, he said it over and over again. Though it might be true, you do wonder if Emery was wise to say it? The team are clearly struggling with inconsistent ideas, indecision with team selection and interchanging tactics. I’m not sure throwing stones is smart when you opt to play two strikers and leave all your creativity on the bench. Is Emery really surprised the players didn’t believe when he started Lichtsteiner despite knowing he’s finished at the highest level?

Inferiority issues usually stem from the leader. You’ll always come up against bigger and better-equipped opponents, the key is to find stratagems that convince your soldiers the fight is winnable.

Whatever the reason, Emery’s observation was correct, you absolutely knew that when Arsenal walked out on that pitch they had no hope of winning that game. The players didn’t look like they knew what they were doing and there was the same lack of belief we’d have under Wenger. The interesting thing about the comment is earlier in the season, we were celebrating the shift in mentality under Emery, a manager who said he refused to let his players play like cowards, a manager who had reinvigorated the dressing room with a winning mentality. The proof points were a succession of late winners, games turned around at half time, and 22 games unbeaten (I was saying it too!).

What are we saying now? Was that a mirage? Is it now back to Wenger’s team after 9 months? Do we have to go on a Stalinist purge to rid every single player that had a word whispered to him by our ex-manager before we can be fully satisfied that the new coach has been given the best possible chance?

We are 9 months into this project and we’re on course to concede 57 goals this season. We’ve shipped 13 goals in our 4 big away games so far this season. We look an absolute mess. There was no organisation yesterday, senior players were making basic mistakes (players that have been making mistakes all season), and the tactical hypothesis we went for in leaving our creative players on the bench ended up punishing us because the pragmatism didn’t equate to better defending.

Arsenal didn’t have to travel this week, so they’ve had time to prepare for this game. We conceded 12 shots on target from 19 attempts. That is miserable, but we did the same away at Chelsea (13) and Liverpool (10). Just to put it in perspective because I know we had injuries, Newcastle limited City to 4 shots on target the week before. Even Huddersfield, a team in a terrible state, managed to reduce City to 4 shots on target. Defending is a team game, and we’re not doing it well. Even worse, both the aforementioned sides registered the same number of shots on target as us (2), both had more attempts.

If there is such thing as winning ugly, then yesterday was an example of Arsenal losing ugly. City were average, but as always, we are exactly the team you want to play when you’ve hit a bumpy patch. We’ll always roll over and take it. I knew we’d have problems this season, but I thought we’d see a sharper vision of a new Arsenal sooner. I thought at the very least, if we went down, we’d go down fighting. I didn’t expect the coach to be slaying his player’s mentality in February, especially when 6 of the starting 11 were players bought in during the Sven era (the remaining 5 all capped at international level).

You can attribute yesterday to Wenger all you like, you can plead for more money and patience, but you cannot escape the reality that Emery was hired in as a prestigious head coach of Arsenal and he’s failing across the board. The video analysis hype doesn’t seem to be translating onto the pitch. Maybe players can’t concentrate for the hour or so he spends talking to them, maybe the ideas aren’t good? Whatever Emery and his team are doing defensively, we’re getting worse.

‘I like the possession with the ball, I like good pressing against the other team. I prefer to win 5-4 than win 1-0.’

Today we registered 2 shots on target both shots coming from defenders. The pressing game isn’t really there. The players are not getting better individually. Stylistically, we’re still awful to watch.

That’s on the coach.

Today’s result was expected, the question you have to ask yourself is whether that was the sort of loss that’s driving towards a better Arsenal. For me, all I could take out of that was the dread that we have a manager out of his comfort zone and as a result is shifting his own narrative from a power point mastermind who had a plan to coach us into the next level, to just another drab chequebook manager who needs two seasons to make improvements (remember the press defending Moyes in the same way?).

That’s not what we were sold people because if it were, you’d not have bought it.

Remember, there is nothing rational in calling for patience and investment in a person who isn’t delivering improvement. There is nothing sensible in taking a drab path if you don’t need to. Bruce Rioch hit his objectives in his first season at Arsenal and David Dein took the rational decision to dispense of his services for Arsene Wenger. That’s great leadership. Let’s hope Raul has that in him should the season continue to head south.

Would love to hear your thought in the comments.


1,469 Responses to “Lack of belief cited as Emery’s Arsenal tanks again”

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  1. lari03

    You are right and wrong about the inferiority complex issue, it stems from leadership and it has been ingrained into the psyche, which is why after getting a new coach, you need to do a clear out of the players most affected by this mental malady.

  2. Begeegs

    Pedro – There is also nothing rational in acting like your hair is on fire after 7 months with this new Arsenal manager.

  3. Ishola70

    Pedro was so commendable in his consistent criticism of Wenger and said the truth that the club was slipping and eroding for a good few years under Wenger.

    And yet now he expects a new manager to come in and immediately rectify matters.

    It just doesn’t add up.

  4. qna

    Pedro. Every argument you have put forth this year is based on your initial assumptions that you made at the start of the season. That the squad is good enough that a quality manager can come in and compete for the league and other trophies. And compete against the other top 5 clubs.

    Really, your initial premise was wrong. You were wrong. Rather than admitting this, you are just blaming every thing on Emery. It’s laughable to think that had you got your way and Arteta was in charge that things would be remotely different.

    Most likely they would be worse because the players would have already lost faith in the rookie manager. We’d be playing Ozil because he is bigger than Arteta and this would be another season of the Mesut Ozil show under Wenger.

  5. lari03

    I am not holding brief for Emery, but the club’s football decision makers in charge of recruitment are culpable as well, the recruitment of Lichsteiner was not done by Emery.
    It is clearly stated that the head coach has an input in making recommendations but not the final say in recruiting players.

    The absence of a technical director who can provide a second opinion to the head coach about his squad, style and player recruitment, promotion and management is glaring.

    For instance the technical director or d.o.f recommends using Jenkinson as RB, and the head coach uses Lichsteiner, then there is conflict of opinion, discord and a genuine grouse can be registered because the structural head could spot a defect (even if it were self-inflicted) and the coach refused to use his squad sensibly as advocated. Checks and balances.

    So, not only do we lack a head of recruitment, we lack a director of football or technical director, in moments of squad deletion as we face now, and the lack of qualified playing personnel which ought to be recruited by the club.

    It all boils down to Kroenke and his lack of passion for football as a game, but his obsession with sports businesses, lacking the required knowledge.

  6. Ishola70

    And it is unfortunate that those that are not Wenger advocates are demanding instant improvement.

    Of course we all knew the genuine pro-Wengers would be in uproar immediately if the new manager didn’t come in and wave a magic wand and they are now clogging up this blog.

    It’s not good to see though that others are being sucked in to their obvious agenda.

  7. Un na naai

    Ishola It’s not nonsense
    Who at Manchester United would walk into our side? De gea that’s it. Pogba is no more effective than Ramsey really.
    Their centre halves are decent but not better than ours
    Their full backs are not as good as ours Lichtsteiner aside
    Their midfield is not better than ours in fact I’d say ours is superior
    And our attack is superior to their

    Then who from United’s squad is better than his arsenal counterpart? De Gea aside. Nobody

  8. Guns of Hackney


    As you know, I was on the ground floor when I stated that emery was in fact a worse version of Arsene during his last decade in charge. There’s an inherent weakness in the club that translates into the manager they hired, and then onto the players in the squad. Winning machines are built but they need careful maintenance to keep them running. Ferguson had man yoo winning and dominating but every season, he would ship a cog that perhaps started showing signs of wear and replaced it with a newer and better version. The result was total domination.

    We’ve replaced broken cogs with…more broken cogs. Replaced cowards with weak individuals that make football look as complicated as String Theory. Seriously, have you ever seen a collection of players so bad at doing football???

    Emery cannot lead this club. It’s too big for him. PSG was too big and now Arsenal have proved to be too bigger job for him. I don’t blame him but we can’t afford any more mistakes. At the end of the season, he should be moved on and replaced ASAP. 90% of our squad needs selling and the club need to restructure how they recruit, how they pay and how they want Arsenal football club to be perceived. If we refuse to spend money, fine. Let’s make Arsenal the worlds greatest club at finding and neutering young talent from across the world. Arsenal are just something, but nothing at the same time.

    The emery experiment has failed. And that’s okay. Let’s not give him another two years to really screw us up. Pull the plug, hire a young gun and see if that works.

    Because Arsenal version: Emery MK 1 is worse than Wenger’s very worse Arsenal. As bad as Arsene got, he always had charm and the ridiculous football he gave us from 1997-2007. Emery doesn’t have anything to fall back on.

    Arsenal need to become like an Ajax.

  9. Leftsidesanch

    ‘you need to do a clear out of the players most affected by this mental malady’

    This is it, yesterday our best players (and for the majority of the season) were our newest recruits. The players from the immemorial regime carry fear into games against teams our equal and superior to us because they know they’re not good enough. We simply need to recruit better options, that’s why this summer is so important. Not as hopeful of doing this as I was when we still could call upon Sven’s services.

  10. AngeAusArsenal

    Lichsteiner should never play for Arsenal again 1/10 only because he had a goal line clearance.
    Mustafi 2/10 as above, countless possession lost thru poor passing and always acts injured when we are losing.
    Koscielny 4/10 did ok but not a leader and well past his best.
    Nacho 4/10 as above.
    Kolasanic 2/10 was playing striker and right mid at one point, didn’t help the defense and useless in attack, might as well have had Mesut on the pitch at least he creates chances.
    Iwobi 2/10 continues to get picked despite his brainless performances, what exactly does he offer, should’ve played Ramsey.
    Guenduzi 7/10 Torreira 7/10 class above in this team, intelligent, hard working and always brave.
    Laca and Auba 5/10 no chance to cause the opposition problems with the shit behind them.
    Leno 7/10 saved plenty.
    Emery 1/10 he’s being found out.

    The general gist of the Emery apologists was that we were always going to lose, our team and coach must be worse than Newcastle in that case.

  11. Arthur

    This is a great season to be an Arsenal fan because the Wenger haters can blame every loss on Wenger and every win on Emery. The Wenger admirers can blame every loss on emery and every win on Wenger.

    So all of the Arsenal fans should be happy this season for all of the time :-}

    I actually feel no stress watching Arsenal anymore because whatever happens i will be happy !

  12. Bamford10

    Emery got both the formation and his selection wrong. Yes, he is working with an inadequate squad, but a good manager still makes the right decisions given what he has. Emery did not. He has four more months, but questions should be asked. Is he the right man to rebuild the squad? Does he have the right vision for how we get back into the top four, then upwards from there? For my part, I’m not convinced he is.

  13. Un na naai


    You make a really good point about switching the narrative from a power point mastermind to just another drab cheque book manangwr
    It’s not what we were sold at all. Even I had my hopes up for a while. The fact that he’s contradicted every single thing he said or did initially makes me think he had nowhere near as much knowledge as he thought he did coming into the club.

    All this supposed experience he’s got over arteta has counted for nothing. Wenger has all the experience in the world of managing arsenal but he got left behind.

    Emery is just today’s new yesterday man.

  14. lari03

    In further explanation of the club’s ownership misdeeds, ask yourself Kroenke has been majority shareholder for how long?

    Wenger over saw his British Empire for a time, until he ran the club aground by dropping out of the Champions League after a 10-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich, Sven’s departure has been announced, where is the replacement and the technical director, whom we learned that his portfolio was the reason Sven was leaving?

    If Raul assumes the Lordship position between the b.o.d and the football staff, without adequate recruitments of professionals, to offer a second opinion, isn’t it an opportunity for Raul to drag us down the same route Wenger did?

    Doesn’t this illustrate a basic lack of understanding from the owner to provide the right leadership to lead the club in the right direction?

  15. Guns of Hackney

    Shock horror: Emery probably massaged his cv and adapted his pitch to get top job.

    They guy told the board exactly what they wanted to hear. He just isn’t qualified to handle the Arsenal gig. Arsenal is a massive and complicated job to unravel.

  16. Ishola70


    “Does he have the right vision for how we get back into the top four, then upwards from there? For my part, I’m not convinced he is.”

    The vision needs to come from the club itself. Then the manager if he proves good enough carries out this vision.

    We see no clear vision definitions coming out of the club. Nothing.

    All we hear is that top four is needed and required. This is not a true vision.

    It would not surprise me in the least with this current set-up that Emery’s remit was to carry on the Wenger “legacy” whatever that is with his being wrapped in CL qualification.

  17. Leftsidesanch

    The positions below are where I believe we are short of quality players who can perform at a high standard regularly:

    Left Back
    Centre Back x2
    Central Midfielder
    Right Winger
    Left Winger
    Central Attacking Player

    That is more than half of the team that needs to be replaced, and it is a big ask to fill these positions adequately in one summer but until this task is completed we won’t make much meaningful progress.

    I really hope we’re planning diligently for smart, relatively low cost buys that can slot straight into the team because we’re going to need them!

  18. OleGunner

    Christ Pedro,
    Throwing the baby with the bathwater are ya?

    Think we give it one more season before grabbing the pitch forks but then again you’ve been mostly against the manager since his appointment so you’re pessimistic outlook is not surprising.

    Sure we got smashed yesterday but we are still mildly in for 4th place and/or a Europa League win. Season could still pan out ok so relax.

  19. Bamford10


    No, we’re talking about different types of vision. The club has aims: top four, then upwards from there. They have stated this explicitly. As for the kind of vision you’re thinking of, it’s play attractive, attacking football but with a solid defensive structure.

    The vision I’m talking about is less macro, more micro. I’m talking about seeing what we are at the moment, what the PL is, what the CL is — and then seeing what we need to become, what players are going to get there, what our specific tactical approach should be, etc.

    I’m not convinced he sees any or all of this well enough.

  20. Un na naai


    Neither am I. He seems to be looking quite desperate. Every man who watches arsenal could see that Lichtsteiner should not have been selected at all yesterday
    That we needed a 3 man midfield
    That we needed a link to the front men and to press their defence.

    Emery could not see that. He went for possibly the worst formation and lineup he could have yesterday. Only for the endeavors of our central midfielders, Monreal Koscielny and most of all Leno, then it would have been a slaughter.

  21. Goobergooner

    Ishola, nice to have you back after a little hiatus!

    Lack of belief is the reason we are losing now? Where was that excuse 5 seasons ago after Wenger had declined enough to lose the dressing room of any of the other top 4 clubs(not including spuds).

  22. Goobergooner

    Emery does need to sort his shit out soon.

    But the fact that I’ve gone through so much Wenger decline gives me no reason to expect much from this season.

    Pretty much how it is really.

  23. Un na naai

    Guns of hackney

    No he isn’t. That’s just not true. It’s nit even a matter of opinion. Wether or not he is better at all is up for debate but 1000x? Come on.

  24. Bamford10

    Un Na

    Yeah, not including Ramsey or Ozil in the starting XI yesterday was very dumb. There was no link between the midfield and the forwards.

    Back four was dumb. Lichtsteiner was dumb.

    I don’t even want to get into it. It was really dumb all around.

  25. qna

    Bamford. Emery got it wrong. But the conversation that some are pushing is whether he is a good manager or not. I am not even sure that he is. But the squad that any top manager has at his disposal when he rocks up away to a seriously good side is entirely relevant.

    Honestly I am unconvinced that Emery’s style will hold up to the EPL. It’s physically taxing enough. But compared to fucking Arteta. Please. We didn’t have a great lot of choices. And the bottom line is that whoever we got was going to be stuck with a mediocre squad. Emery has done incredibly well to go on that unbeaten run with the players he has. We aren’t getting any goals from midfield and our defenders are ordinary. It looks to me that we have a pretty reasonable manager at the helm while we undergo a major overhaul of the squad….. if that is even the plan.

  26. Bamford10

    Un Na

    United have a better squad than we do. As do Chelsea, as do Spurs.

    Give it up, mate. You’re fighting a silly, losing battle.

  27. Batistuta

    Only a delusional fellow will think only De gea and Pogba who he says is a nothing player would get into our squad….Same squad that has no wingers, no defenders worth anything.

    Some of you are just poor poor version of trolls who’s only remit is to hold sway for the former manager

  28. Bamford10


    I’ve been here every day for some time, so I’m well aware of the narratives various people are pushing.

    I think Emery is a good manager, and I think he was a reasonable hire, but I am beginning to have my doubts about whether he is the right man for the job.

    That, in brief, is where I am at the moment.

  29. Moray

    I think you nailed it, Pedro.

    We changed the structure of the club to allow the coach to coach. He no longer has to worry about the temperature of the water in the showers. Therefore, as primus inter pares, he will be judged by what the team delivers on the pitch and only that. This is both through outcomes delivered (placings, trophies) and through strategy (outplaying top class opposition, avoiding injuries to key players, performances, game-changing tactics).

    At the moment we are failing to get the results we need to finish top four, we are not maximising the players available, there seems to be little to no coaching whatsoever, particularly if you look at the basic errors that happen all too often throughout the squad, and we are regularly failing against our rivals.

    One would hope to see some improvement, even incremental, by the stage of the coach’s tenure, but we are just witnessing the same lack of intelligence, the same mistakes and the same poor tactics resulting in eg our strikers having no shot in target.

    I was defending Emery until now, but he is rapidly running out of time to show what he is about. I know the club is not much help, but he needs to own the coaching, own the team and own the narrative. I am not seeing this. Just a guy playing the same high line against all opposition regardless of which players are available to him and who he is playing against.

    Even more damning, I’m failing to see what he gives us that Wenger didn’t.

  30. Ishola70

    “nice to have you back after a little hiatus!”


    As for lack of self-belief as another said on here yesterday that is probably the case and after the self-deceiving years of Wenger a little honesty about the club and team can be seen as a bit refreshing.

    The job on now is to get this squad and team to a level where there is less inferiority complex of course.

    With Wenger in his second period it was all mostly bluff and a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

    I prefer honesty rather than self-deceiving.

  31. Jim Lahey

    @Batistuta –

    The quality of the blog has plummeted over the past few years, any decent poster has been run off by the increasing amount of trolls who spam the comment section every day, its become unreadable and next to impossible to actually have a constructive debate on here.

  32. Pierre

    “This is it, yesterday our best players (and for the majority of the season) were our newest recruits. ”

    you are right, Torreira and Guendouzi have have settled in well as has sokratis and Leno had a good game yesterday.

    The fact that the new recruits have settled in so well , one would have thought it would improve the team, the quality of football and our defence as they are all defensively based players……sadly it hasn’t.

  33. Charlie George

    Great to see Pedro – back on a form with a blockbuster of a post today.

    Also like to echo most of Guns Of Hackneys comments ( except Ajax imitation)

    The continued improvement in Man Utd -9/10 for OGS – shows the absolute folly in keeping with Emery for any longer.

    He has botched his huge opportunity to replace Arsene Wenger – this job was not the poisoned chalice- as some like to say- but frankly – his chronic lack of ability has put us back even further in terms of our aims to get back to the top.

    His destabilising of Ozil and Ramsey has been a self indulgent nonsensical strategy and counted productive tactic too

  34. Dr Emil schaffhausen

    ‘Do we have to go on a Stalinist purge to rid every single player that had a word whispered to him by our ex manager’

    That’s exactly what I want !

  35. Bergkamp63

    Pedro with his customary knee jerk reaction to a loss ! Away to possibly the best team in Europe, if not, certainly one of them.

    I was quite impressed with a lot of our play yesterday for long periods and can see we have the makings of a team that will challenge again for top 4 before long.

    We have many injury problems that have nothing to do with Emery, HB, AMN, CJ all injured in the RB position, Sokratis in defence, not surprising then that is where we leaked goals from.

    Yes, we need to clear out the dross that he was left with but let him get on with the transition before banging your Emery out drum which seems to be your objective right from the start of the season.

    We have by far the easier run in than Chelsea & Man Utd so it’s not over yet as you seem to believe.

  36. Ishola70

    Dr Emil schaffhausen
    “That’s exactly what I want !”

    Only one, two at a stretch are worth keeping on that were signed up pre 17/18 season.

    That player being Rob Holding. The other player at a stretch being Bellerin.

    All the others can happily be culled off. They will not be missed.

  37. Dissenter

    Un na
    ‘He rendered our front two useless with his set up.

    That statement belies your utter confusion

    Why are we are we starting the game with two strikers?
    That’s where the problems begin. You’re to going to play tight away with two strikers. .

  38. Dissenter

    ‘The fact that the new recruits have settled in so well , one would have thought it would improve the team, the quality of football and our defence as they are all defensively based players……sadly it hasn’t‘

    Because Wenger acquired players were so filled into mediocrity that set in over 10-12 years.

  39. Bamford10

    Guy on Twitter saying that Jamaal Lascelles is our first-choice CB target for the summer and that Mustafi will be sold to raise the funds for the move.

    No idea if it’s true, but it’s probably not a bad idea.

  40. Danny

    I know it makes no difference but I expected Pedro to mention that Aguero was offside for the 2nd and handled the 3rd.
    Of course we still would’ve lost anyway.

  41. Graham62

    I credit only three players from yesterday’s feeble display.

    First and foremost Master Guendouzi who, at the ripe old age of nineteen, continues to show the rest of the Arsenal players what true commitment is all about. Another 12 months or so of beefing himself up and this kid will be a colussus.

    Secondly, I single out Lacazette and Aubameyang for trying to adapt to a ludicrous system. Unable to play to their strengths the two of them tracked back, spending most of the game in their own half, showing occasional glimpses of what they are all about.

    Do I blame Iwobi for his early screw up? To a degree, yes I do. However, I also point my finger at Emery and his mindblowingly stupid philosophy to play out from the back at all times, against MC for Christ’s sake, and setting up with three at the back(including Lichtsteiner!) This is tactical ineptitude to the highest order.

    This has nothing to do with the “careful what you wish for” mindset. This has to do with the fact that I am becoming increasingly annoyed by Emery’s inability to understand the English game and adapt his game plan accordingly, based on the players at his disposal.

    Why does he continue to make things so fudging complicated?

  42. englandsbest


    The question you should be asking yourself is whether you are being fair – or even trying to be fair – to Emery.

    For a start it is not Emery’s side, For the most part it is a disjointed demoralized squad inherited from Wenger with a few add-ons, Pep had players who were better in every position (except maybe in midfield, two Emery add-ons.)

    What is more, Emery is forced to make do with what he has. Nobody knows better than him that he needs reinforcements – but he got just one, a loan. To pass final judgement on a player that was thrown on for 20 mins seems unreasonable no matter how many times you’ve watched him.

    If it’s any comfort to you, I think it’s unlikely that Emery will want to stay at Arsenal for very long. He has a near-hopeless task: a deficient squad, no money, and a demanding fanbase.

  43. Dissenter

    ‘Guy on Twitter’ knows nothing.
    We can’t afford Jamaal Lachelles. That’s our entire summer budget.
    The days of “big clubs” getting well contracted players from smaller clubs for peanuts are gone.

  44. Confidentgoner

    I am not a Wenger advocate but Emery has once again confirmed that

    A) He has no clue organizing defense
    B) Does not know how to play against City.

    At 1-1, I thought we were just about good for half time until Litchteiner allowed Sterling to make a run, and the cross was dinked in easily over ball watcher, Koscielny. Kos was directly at fault for all the 3 goals. He allowed Aguero to get goalside of him because he was ball watching.

    Overall, they overan oyr midfield. Could Xhaka have helped? Or Whoever? No. The key to playing City is to track runners, keep offside and NEVER allow their strikers out of your sight. We failed in the basics, and Emery blaming youth for his loss ( code word for Iwobi) is pathetic.

    Give many coaches ( CP, Newcastle, Spurs, Wolves eyc) our current team, they will do a better job of organizing defense than Emery.

    We need to rectuit Martin Keown to help us in defending. This one signing was all that the wintwr required!

  45. Charlie George

    bergkamp 63

    “”We have many injury problems that have nothing to do with Emery, HB, AMN, CJ all injured in the RB position,””

    –it was emery who played Rob Holding in 3 games in 6 days ( including a dead rubber tie in the Ukraine)

    –it was emery who rushed back Bellerin -he had been out for the previous
    8 games. ( why not sub him – we were 2 nil up against Chelsea)

    — its under emerys watch that continually playing AMN out of position – either left wing back/right wing back- the lad keeps getting bad injuries.( twice now this season)

    –its emerys decision to send out on loan to Leipzig an INJURED ESR.

    to be fair, I absolve emery from any part – in the Welbeck injury. That just unlucky.

  46. Jimmythegun

    I’ve been something of an Iwobi cheerleader this season, but I couldn’t believe the decision to start him yesterday. He should play on the ‘wing’ (remember those?) or not at all.

    After Ramsey’s performance against Chelsea, I couldn’t believe he didn’t get asked to do the same job again – he’s actually played in central midfield before, albeit unsuccessfully, and would have interchanged better with MG and LT when either went forward.

    Worst possible start, and the worst possible player to be involved, Iwobi’s confidence never recovered from that and he’s a confidence player, I would have taken him off at the earliest opportunity – one of many bad decisions by Emery on the day.

    I think you’d have trouble finding anyone who thought it was a good idea to play Litchsteiner. I’d imagine Emery would say something about mentality, but this is arguably the worst possible game for him to play in, along with Liverpool at Anfield maybe. Yes Jenks is limited, but even if he didn’t touch the ball he would have made life more difficult for Stirling and City.

    Agree with Pete on the worrying propensity to concede before half time, although I’m convinced we still would have lost if we’d gone in 1-1. What was more worrying was the 15 mins after half time and before they scored the third where we couldn’t do anything and everyone could see we needed a change.

    Like everyone, I’d question the logic of bring Suarez on after two training sessions when he’s sitting next to Mesut but we were crying out for a double change at half time or immediately afterwards – how mad is that btw, double substitutions should be reserved for 3-0 canters but that how bad things were after 55 mins yesterday.

    I’ve no doubt we still would have lost, but we might have at least made them work for it.

    We are worse than City, of course we are, but yesterday Emery reminded me of Henry Winkler’s character in the Waterboy…so terrified that he couldn’t even make decisions. At least when Arsene did it it was because he thought he knew better…

  47. Mozil

    When Liverpool were bang average and a Europa League team in 2015/16, they were always up for the big games. They beat City home and away by 3+- goals, There was an away win at the Bridge. Those players as shit as they were, Klopp made them understand what it meant to play for LFC and they went to war for him and the badge against the big teams even if they were beaten 3-0 at Anfield by a Palace and the likes the previous week.

    Emery’s Arsenal on the other hand look disinterested, clueless and lack direction. It is the Manager’s job to motivate the players to fight for him and the club and Emery is clearly failing in this area

  48. Graham62

    Charlie George

    No, it wasn’t ” the poisoned chalice” that some like to highlight, but it was in need of someone with a much more logical and seasoned mindset to counter the problems left by Wenger.

    It also required someone who had the ability to question the hierarchy more openly, in English(!!), and not to accept the principles and philosophies that helped get us into this mess in the first place.

    Emery is not strong enough, imo.

  49. Dissenter

    ‘It also required someone who had the ability to question the hierarchy more openly, in English(!!), and not to accept the principles and philosophies that helped get us into this mess in the first place.’

    Charlie George gets another convert
    If only Emery spoke better English and could publicly critique the hierarchy

    Keep them coming people.

  50. SpainishDave

    Emery is a typical Spaniard they tell you what you want to hear.
    The board sucked it in because his pitch was not to spend too much and he told them he could get more out of our players.
    There is no strategy at the club just hope something might happen.
    The unbeaten run was not what it seemed , but this and injuries will be Emery’s way out.
    Our old defence has not been dealt with , they look slow and clueless now, just ball watching throughout the game.
    Another false dawn.

  51. Graham62


    This may not be “Emery’s side” but it is his job to ingrain fundamental tactical systems into a group of players that requires minimal brain matter.

    “Clear the fudging ball, this is MC !!” would be a starter.

  52. Danny

    –it was emery who played Rob Holding in 3 games in 6 day
    So his injury had nothing to do with Rashford crippling him, no of course not, its all Emerys fault…….

  53. Dissenter

    The funniest part of the first goal was seeing Mustafi stuck in ninman’s land.
    He was so far a way from the line, you had to wonder if this guy is a professional footballer.

    No manager can coach stupid out of the likes of Mustafi
    Germany would have lost that 2014 WC final had he not been injured early.

  54. gambon

    Have to say, I still have no idea what Emery is trying to do. I dont think he does either.

    I think hes a long way out of his depth, completely lost.

    You see it all the time. New person comes to work in your team, has big ideas and talks a good game, then gets completely swamped and overawed and is gone 3 months later.

    People keep saying “he needs time”

    But time for what? We’re not seeing any process, any progress, any overall plan.

    Ive said all along he should be given 2 years, but only if there is progress.

    If you give me 2 years to build a house, 6 months later you would at least expect the foundations to be put in.

    We have no foundations.

    He keeps changing formation, he keeps playing 2 CFs despite neither of them being good at anything other than scoring goals. He plays utter shit like Iwobi at the expense of better players. The defence is not getting better. We are taking less and less shots as the season wears on.

    Its a complete mess.

  55. Charlie George


    I do not deny they are not muscle injuries,

    But there is evidence a plenty. (PedRo- is rightly always highlighting the importance of medical science in the modern game) that overplaying and/ or rushing players back WILL INCREASE the likelihood of ACLs occurring.

    Do you dispute this?

    emery and his gang have to take the responsibility for the Holding and Bellerin injuries!

    (they are exempt from any criticism, mind from the Welbeck one though )

  56. Charlie George

    graham 62

    Cant dispute any of your logic. Its accurate.

    remember us fans do not listen or take notice of the what comes out of emerys mouth.If we do not – the players will not either.

  57. Bergkamp63

    Proper Charlie,

    Yes, I do dispute this,

    No Manager can legislate for impact injuries, stop talking out of your backside !

  58. Champagne charlie

    “If you give me 2 years to build a house, 6 months later you would at least expect the foundations to be put in.We have no foundations.“

    Sums it up perfectly.

    Spot on with the article Pedro, I voiced the same concern with reference to Newcastle’s game and how they organised to deliver more shots and less chances conceded with half the ball we had vs City. It’s a coaching thing is what it highlights, the players aren’t being coached well enough. Period.

    Really frustrating season this is turning into, all the optimism of last April or so has vanished because we’re totally incapable of pointing in a particular direction as a football club so the fans understand where we want to be. I’ve no clue what the goals are, what the future is attempting to look like, and Emery hasn’t the personality or stature it would appear to be a beacon for the club. Just looks like he’s calmly saying “no, no, it’s ok don’t worry we’re working” time after time. Shouldn’t the fruits of this work be clear enough at this point?

  59. vickingz

    @ RH, u seem to have completely missed my point or you mistook me for another poster. To start with, i’m not sure I ever wrote anything for or against spurs on this platform and secondly, you said it took pep 400m to assemble city but you didn’t state how much it took rianeri to assemble the Leicester side that won epl couple of seasons ago. If it’s all about paying heavily on players, then where is the excellency of being a good coach? Where’s the excellency of raising players? Emery opted for an “accident waiting to happen” lichsteiner and you say it’s about spending heavily? Emery played two potent strikers who both had zero shot on goal throughout the entire game and you say it’s because we haven’t spent heavily? I hate to sound rude but I think i’m gonna suggest you clean your lenses. Nobody here on legrove would have played lichsteiner yesterday. Does it mean we have no RWB or a player to fill that void in our reserve team? It’s because we didn’t buy a £50M RB I guess.

  60. Charlie George


    “”Now Emery is to blame for Holding and Bellerin’s ACLs?????””

    he is culpable in both.

    (100% in Rob Holdings case
    (80% in Hector Bellerins case)

    he is also destroying AMN career- by constantly playing him out of position.

  61. shaun

    I find this all a bit funny really .I just don’t get why we are not sorting out the defense it just doesn’t make sense .a blind man can see KOS is done , mustatffi was never good enough , soc is to slow, holding is young average and injured , bellarin injured for a year ,litch well litch is litch maybe we should just line up the rest of the defenders and shoot them and then maybe then they will think maybe we need to recruit some defenders

  62. gambon


    I dont care where we finish this season, although any manager should be expected to make a concrete improvement.

    What we all wanted to see was a direction of travel, and signs that the next few seasons would show improvement. We havent seen that at all.

    Attacking – we are no better than we were last season. We are actually taking less shots per game than we ever have in the PL. We are not taking shots from better locations. We have scored a few more goals, but as a result of the above thats almost certainly down to luck.

    Defending – our defence is worse than ever, theres no doubt about that. We’re conceding more goals than ever in the PL. We’re conceding more shots than we ever have. Teams are able to cut us open with a simple diagonal ball in almost every game, and Emery cant seem to stop it. In the big games we have conceded an alarming number of shots on goal.

    Style of football – we arent very good in possession. We have high possession against sht teams, then completely give up possession against the better teams. We arent very good on the break. Emery said over and over about pressing, something we’ve done in about 3 games all season. We seem to have a system that completely lacks fluency, where our full backs are the main attacking threat, and where we are pretty much wide open for 90 minutes. Any system that has the FBs as the main threat is unbelievably flawed and just a non starter,

    Formations – the endless changes in formation is getting ridiculous. Its like Emery is doing his PHd in football formations and doing his research. To be 7 months in, 35 games in and constantly changing things from week to week is ridiculous. The fact we are going to break the record for HT substitutions and our horrendous first half record suggests he doesnt know how to set the team up after 7 months of daily training sessions.

  63. Alexanderhenry


    You’re raining down blows on poor old Emery.

    He’s the wrong target though.
    To quote you:

    ‘Arsenal under new leadership looks exactly the same as the old Arsenal.’

    Which is what I predicted post wenger.

    That’s because the club has the same ownership.

  64. Charlie George

    “”So his injury had nothing to do with Rashford crippling him, no of course not, its all Emerys fault……””

    Danny- indeed- it was a robust challenge from Rashford on Holding.

    But Players who are overplayed and remember Holding had also just come back from a 10 round flight from The Ukraine ARE more likely to succumb to these types of injuries.
    that is undeniable fact.

    i think its called The Red Zone!

  65. Nelson

    What bugged me most is what the board did during the last TW. We have just lost Bellerin. We all expected the club to sign another FB to help the team to fight for a top4 spot. What we heard was that we have already enough defenders. We can’t accommodate all of them when they are all healthy. Instead the club tried to sign three forwards on loan. This reminded me of exactly the same beaushit when Wenger said that it is a good situation to have Sanchez entering his final year unsigned. They are treating the fans like fools. It is really irresponsible to think that Licht and Mustafi are good enough to fight for a top4 spot.
    I like yesterday’s tactic in the first half. The formation was solid. We didn’t give up those over the top chances. We were beaten simply because our right side defense was there but was totally outclassed. The whole team suffered.

  66. JamesH

    Emery is a complete joke as a few wise old heads predicted last summer and got hammered by those on here who write a lot but with little substance.

    We are going backwards and you might as well play Carefree Cech in goal if you play Iwobi and Lichtsteiner on the right.

  67. Dissenter

    ‘“”Now Emery is to blame for Holding and Bellerin’s ACLs?????”
    ”he is culpable in both.(100% in Rob Holdings case
    (80% in Hector Bellerins case)he is also destroying AMN career- by constantly playing him out of position’

    Pedro has let his wild dogs run amok
    This Charlie George character is actually issuing percentages

  68. Charlie George

    Bellerin’s career might not be in jeopardy had the Arsenal management team -bought a right back ,(they could trust in the summer – not Lichtensteiner) enabling hector’s work load to be lighter.

    Raul has been in his post a year.
    No right back – or indeed left back has been purchased.

    Man City/Spurs/Liverpool all are well stocked in the full back position.
    they , can rotate the players too.

    In the prem- the full backs are the most important players on the pitch!

  69. Champagne charlie


    Totally agree, and I stated as much back in the summer.

    I didn’t/don’t determine us finishing 5th/4th as “improvement” just by virtue of a better finish, Arsenal needed stripping to the foundations and recalibration so I gave this season up as far as mandating targets like those. (Obviously a Cl place is a financial goal and we’d sooner be there than not).

    Before the usual lot jump on that in some heroic spin attempt, I’ll make it crystal clear: I would be happy with us finishing 6th if over the course of the season I saw an evolution into a new managerial philosophy, being competitive in the top 6 games, a clear new chapter being started for the club much akin to a factory reset.

    We are 5 points better off this time last season and that’s given some on here the fuel to talk about us having “progressed” or Emery being “better” than what Wenger offered. Personally find that utter nonsense and a better case could be made for us having Auba from the start of this season vs January last season.

    We’ve not made inroads across a plethora of areas on the football side. The biggest criticism is very simple, this is the same stuff being offered up as a washed up Wenger :/

  70. Graham62


    Yes, same ownership, but that has nothing to do with some of the things we are seeing on the field of play.

    I can defend Emery for many of the things that are out of his control(and there are many) but I will not defend him for things that he could have sorted out from day one.

    I wanted Wenger out big time, but at the same time I expected someone to come in and point the ship in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, it seems we got Captain Pugwash.

  71. azed

    People who say they wouldn’t have played Lichsteiner and Mustafi should please tell us who they would have played instead of those two.

    Please don’t say Jenkinson.

  72. Bamford10


    One, as bad as Jenkinson is, he has pace and would have been a better choice than Lictsteiner.

    Two, we never should have been playing 4-4-2 in the first place. It should have been three CB’s — Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal — with two wingbacks (Jenkinson & Kolasinac) responsible for marking their wide attacking players. This would have made us more solid defensively in general, more solid through the center, and more solid on the wings.

    He was also wrong to play both CFs without a real CAM. No link between the midfield and the forward line. Really dumb.

    Emery got it wrong — badly wrong.

  73. WengerEagle

    gambon has it in a nutshell with that last post, I had the same conversation with CC funnily enough in the summer and said basically the same thing.

    We’re not playing any better than we were last season on the ball, we’re getting beaten the same way in the matches vs the top 6, off the ball we are going backwards, Emery still doesn’t have a clue of his best XI in February.

    And this is beyond looking at the conventional yardstick of league finish and Cup performance of which we’ve been knocked out of both by Spurs and United at home, and we’re on course to finish in 6th once again.

    Last season was so bad under AW that even the most ardent supporters that backed him gave up the ghost and called for change. We’re on pace to finish in the same league position only a few points better off with a worse GD.

    I’ll say it again, what case can be put forward at this stage that we are any better under Emery than we were under a hapless version of AW?

  74. Champagne charlie

    “I’ll say it again, what case can be put forward at this stage that we are any better under Emery than we were under a hapless version of AW?“

    I was told the fact we’re 5 points better off after 25 games is irrefutable evidence we’re better under Emery.

    Call me unconvinced…

  75. Bamford10

    And btw, even if you think Lichtsteiner was a better choice than Jenkinson, we still would’ve been better off with three CB’s, because in that set-up the RCB can support the wingback (here, Lichtsteiner) better than the CB can in a four-back set-up.

  76. WengerEagle


    Just checked, last season we lost 11 of 19 away PL matches, drew 4 and won 4.

    Even in the bad AW years that’s an anomaly, literally relegation form away from the Emirates.

    And we’re on course to finish off a whole… 8 points better off. Progress.

  77. Dissenter

    wenher eagle, gambon & Charlie Champagne
    I’m sure you will all get your wishes fulfilled in May 2020.’
    Consider Emery to be a transitional manager .

  78. Bamford10

    One thing that might be useful to people here is abandoning the all-too-simple dichotomy put forward by some in which Emery is either (i) a great manager who knows exactly what he is doing or (ii) a shit manager who hasn’t a clue what he is doing.

    The truth is more complicated than that.

    Emery is clearly a good manager. You don’t accomplish the things he has accomplished without being a good manager. However, that doesn’t mean he’s capable of solving the riddle that is Arsenal in 2018-19. This is a lot more complicated than some people imagine, and a great deal more goes into seeing the way forward and managing a team than some seem to think.

    Thus, it is perfectly reasonable to say that Emery is a good manager but that he may not be quite up to this particular task. There is no contradiction there.

  79. Champagne charlie


    Considering the “wishes” are to see Arsenal get put on a clear course of improvement with an unquestionably competent modern manager addressing the issues of the squad and recent negative trends….

    I’d question why they’re being chalked up as the wishes of 3 posters.

    What exactly are your wishes? To stay mum and pretend we’re about to hit a sharp up curve of improvement?

  80. WengerEagle

    ‘Thus, it is perfectly reasonable to say that Emery is a good manager but that he may not be quite up to this particular task. There is no contradiction there.’

    This pretty much where I’m at. Not saying that he’s not a good manager, he is but is the man to return Arsenal to their former glory and have us back in the mix at the top?

    Not for me.

  81. englandsbest


    I am going to find every excuse I can for Emery because, heaven knows, he came into a dreadful situation. There is no quick or easy solution, whoever the manager might be. And furthermore he has done better than most sensible fans expected.

    To answer your comment directly: yes, hoofing the ball upfield can be the safest way of dealing with a dangerous situation. But that runs contrary to what Emery is trying to teach. So his emphasis is to discourage such behaviour, to inculcate his more sophisticated methodology, and that takes time.

    Iwobi is learning. When he becomes comfortable with the system, he will have the confidence to adapt to circumstances, and when needed hoof the ball upfield.

    As for Liechsteiner, he is 35 and running out of steam.

  82. Pierre

    Has anyone else lost interest in these games that we are trailing(and inevitably lost) as we look completely devoid of ideas .

    It is getting to the point where I start flicking over to the golf as I’m getting bored with the match as it looks a foregone conclusion .

    Southampton, Totenham, Liverpool,West ham, United ,City and the Brighton draw have all fizzled out.
    Arsenal used to be a big draw for sky and BT , if we carry on this way they will not want to put us on tv which will be another lose of revenue.

  83. Charlie George

    “Emery is clearly a good manager.”

    Bamford – I dispute that

    I would put him in the average category- one notch below good.

    “”And if I’m not mistaken, didn’t Sevilla’s 2015/16 under Emery read 19 La Liga matches away from home, 0 wins/9 draws/10 defeats?””

    That startling stat from Wenger Eagle in conjunction – with emery never beating Pep in his 12 attempts- illustrate you are far too generous with you appraisal!

  84. Receding Hairline

    “Over the last five years, Arsenal haven’t managed to win even a single away game against their five closest rivals – Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool. During the same course, they have played these teams a combined total of twenty-three times, drawing seven, and losing sixteen!”

    Nice of Pierre to pretend what happened yesterday is something he isn’t used to. You can switch over to wrestling if it so pleases you during the game

  85. Receding Hairline

    Emery should have made better use of the squad available to him yesterday.

    He said yesterday’s game was a chance for us to show how far we have come as a team before the match. We ended up delivering a disaster class. So whoever wants to insult and abuse him today can feel free to do so. He did himself zero favors yesterday, he looked lost and devoid of ideas. And i think its about time he stops saying we need to improve until we actually improve.

  86. WengerEagle

    ‘Iwobi is learning. When he becomes comfortable with the system, he will have the confidence to adapt to circumstances, and when needed hoof the ball upfield.’

    Wheeling out the same old tired excuses and hiding behind youth.

    Jadon Sancho is 4 years younger, Dembele is 1 year younger, M’Bappe is 2.5 years younger, Kingsley Coman is the same age.

    Iwobi has basically been a 1st teamer for 3-4 years now and he looks no better a player than he did in 2016.

  87. peanuts&monkeys

    lack of self belief. yesss! almost all in this arsenal team is unsure, insecure, meek, timid, self-doubting except LENO. undoubtedly, LENO was Arsenal’s best player.
    every other player is playing 3 times worse than their actual capabilities.

    wrote this few days back as well – Enery has to find a way to raise the confidence level of the players. something is very very wrong.

  88. Pierre

    “. And i think its about time he stops saying we need to improve until we actually improve”

    If we actually improve then he won’t have to say we need to improve will he

  89. gunnershabz

    to be honest, I do like emery is a good gentleman and I think he does his tactics session but the players he has just lose focus

    but again with our foundation where is it gone?

    man u with OGS have an identity of speedy counter attacks and strong defence and keeper

    arsenal, we are all over the shop

  90. Leftsidesanch

    “Has anyone else lost interest in these games that we are trailing(and inevitably lost) as we look completely devoid of ideas ”

    We’ve looked this way for a very long time in these kind of games, but I don’t recall you dissenting has as much before. I think that’s where you’ll find its hard to take you serious. Lots of others have reservations and have made good measured points. The difference is, when it was poor under Wenger they wanted change, and they’re not confident we’re headed in the right direction under Emery which is fair enough.

    When it was poor under Wenger you made every excuse for him, but now you want change..

  91. Receding Hairline

    While we are it i think the club needs to reduce the training pics coming out of the club weekly. I mean no other club have pictures of their players laughing and hugging on the training pitch weekly.

    Things have not gone on as we all hoped and i get the despair. But what i will not go along with is the pretense we have good players and a bad manager, that is a naked lie.

  92. peanuts&monkeys

    Ppl, just imagine how hard we all would have come down on the manager if it was still Wenger’s Arsenal that was dishing out these performances. once you reckon that, you will realize how poor Unai Emery’s Arsenal is really being.

  93. China1

    What has iwobi learned in the last 3 years?

    His end product is the same. His decision making is the same. His goals and assist numbers are hardly stellar.

    What is he learning? This is a genuine question. He’s no longer a kid. If he’s going to be a real player he needs to be 20% better than he is but where is that progress coming from aside a handful of games in September?

  94. peanuts&monkeys

    are those junior players on the Arsenal bench even worse than Iwobi and Xhaka? if so, why do we have them at all?

    and, that talented prick AMN? when will he ever deliver? what the f&*^ motivates him if not playing alongside Kos, Cech and Auba?

  95. Batistuta

    Jim lahey

    There’s been an influx of very weird posters here since Wenger left, almost like bots with the way they comment

  96. Leftsidesanch

    We are subpar in attack, we’re taking the least amount of shots in games this season that in the past 15 years, we can’t move the ball in the final third effectively and we aren’t taking players on. I’m not sure what style of play we’re supposed to be playing.

    It’s telling that Ozil who has been in and out of the side all season has created more chances for his team mates than every other player bar Xhaka this season. People have pointed out his defensive weaknesses but I’d rather have him in the side at this point because he’s more likely to create something than anyone else on the pitch.

    I’m not even a fan of Ozil in 2019 but if he pulled that silly move that Iwobi did resulting in a goal in 48 seconds he would have been dropped.

  97. China1

    Iwobi is an athlete the same way welbeck was an athlete

    Both of these two would have likely had far higher ceilings using their heights and athleticism at track and field type sports rather than football where they lack the intelligence needed to succeed at this level

  98. Batistuta

    Would rather chunk 40 quid at Romagnoli and add in Ozil as a sweetener before touching Lascelles. I mean we have enough average as it is already, what’s wrong with this club.

    Unless we’re giving Newcastle Mustafi in exchange, can’t believe someone authorized we spend 35 million of him

  99. Paulinho

    Emery has three less points than Guardiola in his first 25 premier league games.

    Not bad, and a reminder to stop fixating on definitive style or philosophy. Our team, with two limited sharp shooters up front and number sixes in midfield, is never going to flow or be smooth in the same way as a Guardiola team. It’s a mish-mash of a squad, so no surprise we are seeing mish-mash performances. Also, expecting linear improvement during a season with our injuries, shit players continuing to be shit, and new players settling in, is a bit daft. It will be the end of this season or start of next when Emery should be imprinting more of his traits on the side, as new players settle in and we rid the squad of players with one foot out. Even, then with Raul controlling transfers my enthusiasm for gradual development is dwindling rapidly.

  100. WengerEagle

    Online PC brigade have their pitchforks out for Souness now do they?

    Of course he would have said the same thing to a male pundit, he’s a grumpy prick and it’s a weird term that I’ve never personally heard of in all of my years watching football.

  101. Batistuta

    Again and I’m not asking because I’m taking any sides as I’m just about fed up with Emery’s stupid line-ups lately but seriously though, What manager worth his salt would want to come here with all the financial issues and the poor and unbalanced state of our squad? Or is the new guy going to be thrown 70 million at and told to turn Mustafi and Xhaka into Maldini and Gattuso

  102. Receding Hairline

    “Emery has three less points than Guardiola in his first 25 premier league games.”

    Interesting to see what the comeback to this would be.

    Ok i one cares about where we finish apparently, they just want to see the foundation completed or something like that

  103. Chris

    Up until now I have been happy to back Emery given all circumstances he walked into but I was really disappointed with how we played yesterday, especially in the 2nd half.

    You do have to consider we were up against one of the best teams in the world missing a lot of our first choice back line, but then the set up of the team didn’t seem right and the general performance was flat.

    As far as being a bad manager, that’s harsh. I think we are beginning to see ourselves why he isn’t absolutely top notch so the truth is somewhere in between. A bad manager doesn’t win 3 consecutive Europa League titles.

    We are still in that competition and in touching distance in the top four so he needs backing at the very least until we have no chance of winning either. The summer the club needs to take a long hard look at itself again and decide how it wants to achieve its recently stated aims.

    I think what we need to be wary of is allowing negativity to engulf the club as it did the last half of 17/18, with the AFTV people and the banners on planes etc. It is places like here and Twitter where the small beginnings of these things grow. (I’m not having a pop at the blog here btw) and people who are easily influenced begin their plans for protests etc.

    People may scoff and say this won’t happen again but the same was said about Wenger and although his time was clearly up he didn’t deserve all the vitriol he was showered with. It would be sad if we gained a club reputation as hounding out managers and that wouldn’t help us in the future. So while there is genuine tangibles to say Emery isn’t going to be the man Arsenal need long term I think we should be backing him until it is no longer possible for the team to achieve anything this season.


  104. Batistuta


    If we’re going British, I’d chuck the money at Maguire instead and give them El-Neny as good measure since they seem to have a hard on for him, there’s just so many other better defenders out there than Jamal freaking Lascelles, i mean if we’re trying not to look too far, we could do Ake at Bournemouth or Christensen who can’t buy a game at Chelsea due to the cluelessnesss of their coach

  105. Champagne charlie

    “Emery has three less points than Guardiola in his first 25 premier league games.“

    And didn’t 74 points make top 4 for a decade until it didn’t one season? Points is a rubbish metric of comparison, there’s far too many contributing factors.

    What was clear under Guardiola in those 25 matches (more like 5 matches) was the direction and style HIS team played with. Then you could see who was fit for purpose and what he was missing in terms of players to fulfill his philosophy. Something that shouldn’t be overlooked for points as you’re suggesting.

    Same when Klopp took over at Liverpool, Poch at Spurs. All their points are going to be much of a muchness after 25 games, but if Emery has an impact comparable to any of them I’ll be astounded.

  106. Receding Hairline

    Batistuta but will all these players you just mentioned come with Rafa??

    He is the gold standard for defensive play right now….he is fashionable now. Performing miracles at Newcastle i am told.

  107. Paulinho

    “Online PC brigade have their pitchforks out for Souness now do they?”

    Yep, they’ve had them out for a while. He was a bit silly to pick Scott up on her terminology when it was the argument that was silly. Teams sit deep against City, do they really? Colour me shocked.

  108. Pierre

    “Makes you wonder what Iwobi can do that Saka can’t”

    Run and look busy

    “It’s telling that Ozil who has been in and out of the side all season has created more chances for his team mates than every other player bar Xhaka this season”

    Well pointed out , until I see proof in our results and performances that we are better without Ozil then I will continue to fight his corner on Le Grove.

    Plus Saka has something special about him which I hope Emery is seeing , I’m talking about skill ,the ability to beat a man, to find half a yard of space for the cross , composure..

  109. Champagne charlie


    I was joking, Lascelles is a good athlete and is a bit Winston Reid-like of West Ham in years gone by. We should certainly be striving for better.