Iwobi The Destroyer the One Bright Spark in Dismal Day

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal took 3 points.

That is basically the best way to frame the victory. We are chasing top 4, we need to win points, we delivered the goods.

There were some positive performances. Alex Iwobi had a very good game, he scored a deflected volley after watching a Kola cross find him at the back stick. He nearly had goal of the weekend when he ripped a screamer into the top corner, only for the ref to disallow it dubiously for offside.

AMN racked up stats galore that on paper looked great, even though there were groans about how he played in general, and unfortunately some absolute children abusing him in his Insta-comments. He created the most chances, had the most successful passes in the final 1/3, made the most ball recoveries, most tackles… he wasn’t perfect, but he gave it a damn good go yesterday. Good for him, he’s a confidence player, he’s trying to find his feet in a team that’s playing badly and he’s playing out of position. I like the cut of his jib, Arsenal fans should lay off him.

Matteo G had a mixed bag in midfield. He certainly didn’t allow himself to get pushed around, in fact, he was being pretty spiteful to the Huddersfield players. I think he was seeking revenge for the pre-Xmas scrap. We’re in a situation now where our best midfielder is a 19 years old, who is outshining Torriera who looks very tired.

Mustafi was a disaster all afternoon. When does it become a safer bet to give one of the younger players a go? Where is Mavrapanos? What about Zech Medley?

  • Can you stay on your feet?
  • Can you pass?
  • Can you pay attention?

Meet those criteria and you have as good as chance as any at making that defence. Mustafi looks broken. Like a man who read his club wanted to sell him this summer. He’s done, pass the baton to someone who is focused.

Arsenal dropped another poor performance but won. The win is a great thing, but there does come a point when you have to start asking when the performances are going to land? People were saying that Ozil, Ramsey and Auba weren’t available… sure, not having Auba was a miss, but the other two? Please.

Unai Emery has vastly more resources available to him than the poor Huddersfield manager, yet it was they who seemed to play more interesting football for large chunks of yesterday. There was a point when they were absolutely hammering us for posession, maybe I could stretch that we were letting them play to conserve energy? Regardless, giving a bottom of the table team that much of the ball felt a touch emasculating. We’re 7 months into the campaign, we have no defined style of play, no preferred formation, our defence still hasn’t kept a clean sheet on the road and the football is dreadful.

I understand the arguments that it would be ideal to give the manager another £200m, I totally get that some people think there’s some miracle coming and that this all gets better after this summer, but I really have my doubts.

The team looks like it’s going backwards. We’re taking solace in the manager being within spitting distance of the top 4, but for me this is no different to the last 6 years of bumming around ‘nearly’ in contention without any visible direction of how we’re going to improve.

My big fear is that we’re going to give this man £100m in the summer. He’s going to likely spend that cash with no oversight from a sporting director. His taste in players at PSG outside the mega signings is pretty grim, his taste this January was Denis Suarez, Ever Banega, Ivan Perisic and Yannick Carrasco. That stinks as badly of Europa League as our football does on the pitch.

The warning signs are everywhere… we are not progressing by any success metric, the fans aren’t showing up in the ground, the players look lost, and the manager is eyeing up bland players to fix these issues in the summer. There are too many examples of managers turning things around in the first season to ignore. Lucian Favre has Dortmund top in February with the same amount of points accrued in the whole of last season. Leeds have dropped to second, but are 2 points off top after finishing 7th last season. Gerrard is closing the gap in Scotland in his rookie year with a squad that had huge turnover.

All of those managers are having an impact on the football and it’s fair to say are making big improvements under tougher conditions. This notion that is pushed around that Emery took over the worst squad of players since Harry left Pompey is not acceptable. There is plenty of talent in that squad, he has two of the most potent strikers in our history at his disposal, he’s elected to alienate Ramsey and Mesut, and he bolstered the defence with £70m worth of talent we’re largely happy with.

We can’t keep hiding behind Wenger for February performances when the whole point of Emery was that he was a world class coach who could pick up a depressed squad, develop our players and give it some serious style on the pitch.

3 points are a gift, but if ignore the consistent rank performances at your peril, they are an early warning siren that all is not well.

Things need to get better. We can’t keep getting outplayed by relegation fodder.

P.S. I see some people asking about Wenger and why he doesn’t have a job. I heard that he is having difficult time with some family issues, so it’s by choice he hasn’t rejoined the world of football.

716 Responses to “Iwobi The Destroyer the One Bright Spark in Dismal Day”

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  1. alexanderhenry

    Everyone seems to be laying into pedro today.

    This is partly due to his inconsistency but I think it’s a symptom of a wider malaise.

    Basically, I think all arsenal fans are feeling very nervous about the direction of the club at the moment.
    Before, there was Wenger. He divided opinion, but apart from fergie I can’t think of a manager in recent years who came to dominate a football club so completely.

    His obtuse and enigmatic manner, although endearing in the early years became infuriating in the latter years.
    Has there ever been a manager better at deflecting and clouding issues?
    Has there ever been so much specualation over a manager’s resources?
    Has there ever been so much gossip and debate over a manager’s future?

    They even had wenger in or out threads on other teams’ blogs.

    Now, there is no Wenger. He has left the building.
    Pedro along with many others expected the club to surge forward. A new dawn was breaking.-new manager, new ideas, new players, a DOF, Mislintat, an unshackled Gazidis free from wenger.

    Unfortunately so far, things , although far from disastrous appear distinctly samey.

  2. Champagne charlie

    Receding

    I’ve an itchy trigger finger, the deed is done. Fully expecting Senegalese officials to storm my house in the coming weeks, he’s petty like that.

  3. alexanderhenry

    ..and Gazidis and Mislintat have gone, which is odd and not particualrly encouraging whichever way you look at it.

  4. bennydevito

    Whatever did happen to QoS Pedro? Is she about on Twitter?

    You alright Pedro? You seem rattled tonight, try not to let it get to you, this is the best blog about bar none with the most active & diverse comments section out there. It’s not going to die off no way, people come & people go but we all come back. There’s just nothing like LeGrove & we all love it 100%.

    Nothing but utmost respect from me Pedro, anyway. Just wanted to say that.

  5. Pendrey

    AWN give the ball away an awful lot, possibly lacking confidence and wants to give the responsibility to someone else by getting rid of the ball.
    Iwobi? gee he has energy does ok when he does not have to think about it. One on one with the keeper, you know, you just know that he won’t score. Can tackle but often does not, poor positional sense, gave two goals to Man City.

  6. RodneyKing

    Pedro
    “Guns, I have contacts and ways into the club. I hear bits you don’t and it fuels my narrative. I’ve operated that way for years. I will be right on Emery, trust me.”

    Like you were right about the “snake oil salesman”? 😀 Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  7. englandsbest

    No agenda bias that I can see, other than we are all Arsenal fans. People take a view and justify it as best they can.

  8. Redtruth

    Let’s not forget Wenger managed Arsenal for an abnormal length of time.
    Subsequent managers are trying to replicate Man Utd’s success while Emery is trying to clear up Arsenal’s mess.

  9. Stephan Larose

    Iwobi got 9/10 for a poor volley that luckily got deflected into the goal. Apart from that he barely made a single good pass in the final third, completed zero take-ons, and all of his other shots, even from 5 yards out, missed the goal entirely. He was shambolic. If this is the best Emery can offer, while apparently dedicating most of his efforts towards destroying Arsenal’s most talented and expensive players and ensuring they never get into form or maintain any kind of resale value, Arsenal fans surely have to reconsider their poorly conceived campaign of reviling the most successful manager in their history. Emery’s plan is to have slow moving teenagers play the ball sideways for 90 “balanced’ minutes until the opposition collapses in boredom and surrenders goals out of sheer exasperation and desperation to avoid the pain of Emery’s stale, talent-averse, football rendering them catatonic or otherwise insensate. No manager can claim to have any legitimacy whatsoever while benching some of the top players in Europe because he doesn’t know how to use them–it just shows he doesn’t recognize top talent and can’t manage top players. Like putrid, self-entitled Arsenal fans, he thinks he doesn’t need to appreciate the players and reality he has, and can simply sabotage the club until they give him some miraculous 500 million to buy a team of top 1% players from every top club on the planet. Can’t wait to finish the season in 10th place playing Emery’s shambolic, no-top-players side-to-side almost-pressing no style football. This way we can keep losing to bottom half clubs, praise Guendouzi for helping us barely manage a win against the worst side in the Prem, and rate Iwobi 9/10 for screwing up every final pass he could have made in the entire game but scoring a fluke, poorly shot deflected volley. Our 9/10 are Man City’s 4/10. Thanks to all the delusional fucktards who chased all the talent and style out of the club. Get ready for 30 years of 10th place–if not relegation.

  10. Chitom

    Reading some of the comments makes one wonder whether certain posters have any clue whatsoever.

    Kalstrom loan deal was made when Arsenal needed strengthening because of injuries and suspensions to our midfield at a time when Arsenal were leading the league and had a great shot at the league title.
    The reason it was such a disaster was because Kalstrom was a bit player at a inferior club , playing in a inferior league and even if fit, most likely wouldn’t have helped much the Arsenal cause.

    The Suarez loan is more to do with finding out whether the player can be successful in this league without committing too much financially in the process.
    Both Ozil and Ramsey can easily contribute more to this squad than Suarez this very moment but both will be gone end of the season and Emery is playing the long game.

    Win lose or draw, Emery will be here next season.

  11. Pedro

    What’s people’s take on AMN and Kola dropping such bad pass completion stats?

    You think Huddersfield made a special effort to cut off their ability to transition the ball forward?

  12. Ishola70

    lo @ chelsea.

    Sarri just wants to have fun. He told everybody that at the start of the season.

    Win 5-0 one week lose 6-0 the next. “Fun” football.

    Over-run with the” regista” in their side. Anyone surprised?

    The ex-scummer Jenas was on the spot when he set the scene in the summer with Abramovich going up to Sarri.

    Abramovich: So what do you want? What player?

    Sarri: Give me over 50m for a holding midfielder.

    Abramovich: Err you do realise that we have Kante at the club a player that has been seen as the best holding midfielder in the league.

    Sarri: No matter. I want my Jorginho.

  13. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Mid

    Yeah still punting

    Won two bags in October … keeps me going…

    Good to see you back sir…

    Said in all honesty ,,,..

    Welcome back.

  14. Marko

    What’s people’s take on AMN and Kola dropping such bad pass completion stats?

    Both are simply not good enough. It was not really that surprising

  15. Redtruth

    “Kalstrom loan deal was made when Arsenal needed strengthening because of injuries and suspensions to our midfield at a time when Arsenal were leading the league and had a great shot at the league title.”

    This was the season when we lost 6-3, 5-1, 6-0….

  16. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pedro

    No one doubts yer

    But sometime you bang da drum to much for what it can’t be…

    It is what it is,…

    Keep going fella
    But we will take a while to work the schaklez of that silve4 haired robber …

  17. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Mid

    Apparently Eddie is involved…

    Playing himself akeem looking for his long lost son…

    Original was truly a classic. …
    Up there with trading places.

    Well wait n see

  18. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We should have got pep when he wanted to come 6 years ago

    Paid off the old twat n lumped on pep….

    The ordinal arteta

  19. Batistuta

    Piatek and the new Brazilian kid Paqueta doing the business for Milan tonight…. Very astute signings them too, amazing what having Leonardo and Maldini as part of the set up now can do….We badly lack that at Arsenal

  20. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    AMN has no rhythm playing at that level and has been tasked with various positions so I think much of that is him not appreciating space as well when he plays.

    Kolasinac is just a very average passer of the ball as I see it, better player without it looking to get in behind.

  21. bennydevito

    People should stop going on about Pedro & Gazidas – he got it wrong, who doesn’t get things wrong from time to time? But Pedro has put his hands up & owned it & hasn’t once tried to spin it any other way. He got invited in to Arsenal by Gazidas himself after a myriad of LeGrove posts slating him and asking questions of where Arsenal were going with Gazidas in charge, just like he is now, and had a personal chat with him about how things were going to go down with Gazidas at the helm and what he was going to put in place to take down the Wenger towers he had built up.

    Other than fucking off after hiring Emery, everything Gazidas said he was going to do he pretty much did so I don’t really see that Pedro got much wrong about Gazidas quite honestly.

    Not much point going on about it, it’s done.

    People need to remember that this is Pedro’s house. When you’re a guest in someone’s house you treat them with respect. You wipe your feet and take your shoes off and certainly don’t piss in the corner and shit all over the carpet.

    Like the landlord of a pub; he can call you a *unt but you can’t call him one. If you don’t like it you drink somewhere else.

    That’s the way I see it anyway.

  22. Batistuta

    Pedro

    Difference at the moment though is they’ve got actual football men, legends of the club as part of the set up not Sir Kepswicks or whatever his name is who hasn’t got a clue

  23. MidwestGun

    Rspc.. Thanks .. glad to hear your still taking chances.

    My take on AMN and Kola is that the majority of their bad passes seemed to be the final ball in around the box.. I remember Kola had two dismal cut back passes. So to me that makes me think it was lack of composure and of course the windows become tighter. And I actually agree with Champagne.. neither one has the ability to read the game like they should. Do no think either one should be more the a squad player used for backup. But unfortunately we need them for width in our play.. not many other choices.

  24. Marko

    Nice 1-0 Lyon – Les Aiglons’ home form holds once again – now 10 clean sheets this season, undoubtedly the Patrick Vieira effect; a defence transformed since Lucien Favre’s last campaign. OL couldn’t finish.

  25. Pedro

    Guns, I used CBD instead of painkillers when I broke my arm.

    I am an absolute convert. Though they just regulated it, right?

    CC, so we need to upgrade there as well this summer?

  26. Marko

    Potentially Grimaldo could be one of the best signings in the summer. Lad is top class. Was always assumed he’d go back to Barca as Alba’s replacement

  27. Chitom

    RedtruthFebruary 10, 2019 22:36:57
    ‘“Kalstrom loan deal was made when Arsenal needed strengthening because of injuries and suspensions to our midfield at a time when Arsenal were leading the league and had a great shot at the league title.”This was the season when we lost 6-3, 5-1, 6-0….’

    That’s right.

    That season, 2013/14, and the season Leicester won ,when Wenger only signed Cech from Chelsea , were two season that exemplified in the clearest terms possible Wenger’s ineptitude in squad building while sitting on a huge pile of money.

    Simply maddening.

  28. N'gambo

    The reason Wenger doesn’t have a job is because no-on wants him. An he doesn’t have ‘family problems’ because he doesn’t have a family – his wife left him.

  29. Valentin

    @azed,

    Sometimes manager request specific players. Sometimes management agree and buy so named players. If six month later manager realises that the player is shit and send him away, who do you blame? the player? the club president who signed the checked? or the manager who requested that player?
    You can’t absolve both Emery and Raul from the names linked with Arsenal.
    The same way you blame Wenger for the current players (Xhaka, Elneny, Kolasinac) at Arsenal, I can state that Emery requested players who flopped at PSG and that the list of players he has requested at Arsenal does not inspire confidence: Ever Banega, Nzonzi, Perisic.

    You also seem to think that Raul was not involved at all in bringing players at Barcelona before joining Arsenal. What was he doing then because he was not on guardening leave. It is not difficult to understand. Sometimes somebody initiates a deal, that person leave letting Somebody else to sign the actual contract. That new person may have absolutely nothing to do with the deal.
    The reverse can also be true. Not officially there, but already involved in deal before starting. Wenger signed officially for Arsenal when Viera signed for Arsenal. However I doubt that anybody would qualify Vieira as a Bruce Rioch’s signing.

  30. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    We need a left back for sure, and with Bellerins injury the need for a RB just escalated where before I’d have said we could do with a bandaid deputy type.

    Not a clue what Chambers is all about, be as well having him on hand for a body.

  31. Carts

    “Nigerian Guinness is elite. Prefer it to the Irish one”

    No lies

    Makes me chuckle how the exterior of the Nigerian Guinness bottle is alway dusty

  32. BacaryisGod

    Pedro-love the positive comments on Iwobi and AMN. They both have decision-making issues but that will improve as long as fans give them breathing room.

  33. Nelson

    Anyone read those Sarri OUT messages on the social media. Some appear to have been copy from those Wenger days. You may want to keep some of those just in case you may need them for ….

  34. Tony

    Bob N16, ES & Graham 62
    Good morning chaps.

    ES Looks like you were right not to worry about the French, I did not see a century record winning margin like that coming on what could have been a banana skin game.

    Ashton was the right call and Wilson and Curry are cementing their positions for the WC with almost freak of nature performances.

    Had we been more clinical in the 2nd half we could have scored over 60 points, but I think tiredness from the Irish game was creeping in, and to be honest it’s good to have things to continue to work on so that England peak at the right time: The WC.

    I don’t want to jinx anything and Wales will not roll over in Cardiff as the French did yesterday. All I’ll say is that England are playing far better rugby than Wales and have 2 weeks to improve further while recovering from their blistering game plans, bruised bodies and injuries.

    I said before the Irish game England’s kicking would need to be spectacular and it has been but not only from Farrell; May, Slade, Ashton and Elliot have also shown sublime skills.

    Gatland will be wondering how he can prepare Wales to defend those kicking tactics and the speedsters following them. Problem for Gatland and future England opponents is if they defend the rear spaces, it reduces their attacking options and numbers in the breakdown.

    Can’t wait for the Cardiff game if only I could say the same for Arsenal’s next game.

  35. gonsterous

    hahaha woke up and saw the chelsea result. So much for the posters kissing sarriballs arse. They do disappear quick.
    People questioning the suarez deal would be the same people complaining about not getting in a winger if we had got in a defender. We all know what arsenal were looking for, someone young, good and for 6 months with no obligation to buy because we don’t have the money. But people here expect us to buy the moon with a few quid.
    One point separates us from 4th, it was 3, now it’s 1. that’s a “good thing” , for people who can’t get their head around what I’m saying.

  36. China1

    Wow I predicted that Chelsea would end up turning the corner with sarri

    Long may I be wrong on this one.

    If anyone wants to see just how far our stock has fallen, just read carragher’s comments saying that sarri turned them into arsenal. This is so fucking painful to read and it cuts because it’s true lol

  37. Guns of SF

    China
    It was a true mauling. if City scores inside the first 5 mins, you get shell shocked. Then they score 1-2 more right when you are trying to get your feet and mind straight.
    by then its over.
    Liverpool do the same blitzkrieg want to bury you from the go.

  38. gonsterous

    Mick

    I wouldn’t worry too much about ole. he’s got some tough fixtures coming up. I’m more worried about us picking up points when it matters.

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Some rumours that Ole is going to get the job at United.

    That would be great. Means they don’t get Pochettino and if he does move it will be to La Liga most likely which means weakening Spurs and not strengthening any potential rival.

    Not convinced by Ole at all, that is a United team that finished 2nd last year, has had £700 Million spent on it and so far he’s only played Spurs in the EPL and that was a very fortunate/thank De Gea victory.

    Could work out well if he gets the job before a difficult run and United change their mind.

  40. Charlie George

    “””Not convinced by Ole at all,”””

    Says Cesc A –

    OGS who has won 10//11 and has beaten Spurs and Arsenal away and has them hurtling towards champions league football.

    But Cesc A is convinced by Emery, though!

  41. Graham62

    Tony

    To be honest, didn’t see much of the Rugby this weekend as I was clearing our attic out. How do we manage to accumulate so much junk?

    Saw the highlights and England looked impressive again. Wales will be tough but based on England’s last two performances, there should only be one winner.

    MC’s drubbing of Chelski was very impressive but still think Liverpool will nick it.

    As for us, not very impressive. Nvertheless, a wins a win. One point separating three teams for 4th. Would have taken that back in August.

    Hoping to go to the Southampton game next week. My first visit to the Emirates for more than 6 years.

  42. qna

    CG. Ironic. At what point Emery was 21/23 >>>> 10/12 and hurtling towards CL football.

    Bottom line is that both OGS and UE are new to their jobs. It will take some time to really evaluate them. OGS has no history to back him up, so it would be an unlikely story if he managed to continue on and have the success that United will be expecting. UE has got some history to draw on. It isn’t elite by any stretch, but he does have runs on the board.

    It could be worse – we could have got Sam Allardyce if some fans had their way (rolls eyes emoji).

  43. Valentin

    OGS won the league so he has some history behind him.
    Also he may not be the best manager, but he is the right fit there. Knows the club, the players, the mentality and has the backing of the supporters.
    And obviously the backing of the management. With the current result, as long as he does not behave like a petulant child or entitled brat behind the scene, then the job will be his.

  44. Tony

    Graham
    I find the City mauling of Chelsea amusing, too.

    I’ve been far too transient or nomadic (take your pick) to accumulate the preverbal junk people keep thinking they’ll find a use for it later and rarely do.

    I was talking to Mick Mills (REM) once at a US music charity event where he told me he was still in the same house he bought before the band’s real fame. I told him that was cool to keep life simple where he replied no not really because although the house looked the same from the road, he had extended the property enormously from the rear to keep his collections of various trinkets (his words) from the road (tours).

    Made me laugh at the time but we are doing exactly the same here adding another 110 square meters starting end of the month.

    As you spent a lot of time in the Middle East I thought you’d enjoy this movie if you haven’t already seen it: https://g.co/kgs/X5PcQY (A Private War)

    I’d love to get to a game – one of the few things I miss from the UK even though if I didn’t get many chances to go to an actual game, watching games in the pub was fun, but to be honest I’d hate to go to a game and witness something similar to the City & Huddlesfield game.

    Enjoy the Southampton game.

    Wales will give their all in Cardiff but as you say there should only be one winner and I see us winning by more than 2 tries.

  45. Bob N16

    Tony, another fantastic performance. The decision making and precision was world class. I had that thought about the flankers too, outstanding. Curry at 20 is ridiculous. Billy V isn’t even at his barnstorming best. We have runners who take it past the gain line all over the pitch and the tackling has the same positive intensity. If this level of performance is maintained the Welsh should be worried.

    Interesting after the game, Jones was asked about the success of the kicking into space behind the defensive line. He said that he imagined they would have to plan for the opposition negating that strategy for that but it would create opportunities elsewhere. Jones is on top form too.

  46. qna

    Valentin winning the league as a player means nothing in terms of being a head coach. I am not saying OGS wont succeed. He is doing a great job and he deserves to get another season to see if he can continue. But this is still his honeymoon period. A bit early to call.

  47. Markymark

    The most sensible comment all weekend was from Pepe when he said “People don’t understand how difficult the first year can be,” he said. “My first season here was difficult. People think if you buy players you can immediately come in and win but you need time. It just depends on the belief of the owners.”
    To remove Unai without the benefit of a summer window is IMO a travesty of justice

  48. Emiratesstroller

    Tony/Bob N16

    Fantastic performance by England. Tactically they were outstanding and the French were well beaten in all departments of the game.

    The main innovation was the kicking into space, which resulted in several tries.

    Whilst Wales are a competent side I do not think that they will beat England
    on current form.

  49. qna

    Pogba has scored 7 goals and 5 assists for OGS. If he can continue that form then OGS and United will continue to win and will be a force. They probably get rid of Lukaku and add a world class striker and they already have some very good attacking players. The United squad itself is very strong. It remains to be seen what kind of tactician OGS is, but it looks like he has got the man management side of things under control. Lets see how he handles it when they hit some speed bumps. As good as this squad is, they are a bunch of guys that downed tools and that is never a good thing to have in the back drop.

  50. Dark Hei

    BennyD

    Concur with you absolutely.

    Even during the WO vs AKB wars, I make it a point to be polite while in the house, despite Ped being the WO blogger and me with AKB in my DNA.

  51. Ishola70

    qna

    “As good as this squad is, they are a bunch of guys that downed tools and that is never a good thing to have in the back drop.”

    These Chelsea rent boys have downed tools plenty of times in the last few years.

    Hasn’t stopped the same players though winning league titles in between the downing.

  52. Bob N16

    Tony/ ES/ Graham,

    My Dad had a good mate who was Welsh. I remember in the mid 70s when I was just starting to watch the odd game, he was as smug as any Welshman can be about Wales beating England- admittedly it was a legendary Welsh team. So for my whole life, the one fixture I really want to see England win, is against the Welsh. Going to Cardiff is never straightforward but our form seems so good that the Welsh hopefully will struggle to manage. Here’s hoping….two weeks to wait.

  53. Ishola70

    Benny

    This blog would become very bland if we all become nodding dogs to Pedro.

    I am sure he doesn’t mind dissenting voices in fact he probably welcomes it.

    Stop licking his bum.

  54. Tony

    Bob – didn’t see any post match interviews as I had to get my 10 year old son to bed when the game finished here just gone midnight. It was a special privilege for him to stay up but he loves the England team and rugby like he does Arsenal, but like us he is completely underwhelmed by our games at the moment.

    Our kicking game isn’t an overnight tactic we’ve mostly been getting it wrong for a couple of years now.

    Glimpses of it were witnessed in Australia and now Jones has got it fine tuned.

    In current form we’d give the Kiwis a run for their money and they surely must be looking over their shoulders nervously.

    It’s a real problem for any opponent to defend against especially with our pace to and in the breakdown.

    Jones is a wily old character bordering on becoming a legend.

  55. Bob N16

    Dark Hei/ Benny,

    Agree completely. Pedro deserves respect. If you don’t like his line, make your point reasonably, otherwise go somewhere else.

  56. Emiratesstroller

    Having watched Man City outplay Chelsea and the reaction of their Manager
    I suspect that rather like Man Utd there is likely to be regime change very
    shortly. Abramovich is not someone who will allow the present situation to
    last very long even if it costs him once again a large compensation package.

    As for Arsenal I find Arsenal’s recent form disturbingly mediocre. If it was not
    for the goalscoring of Aubameyang [15] and Lacazette [10] we would be in relegation territory this season.

    Our defence leaks like a sieve and conceding a goal at the end of a game like
    we did on Saturday against a team who have struggled to score all season and
    have not done so in last 5 games tells you where we are.

    Whilst I appreciate that Emery would like to see Ozil offloaded he is not helping the club to achieve that outcome by not providing him with game time. As I have said many times this season you want to get Ozil playing well
    so that at least there is some motive for a club to come in and make an offer.

    What is happening at the moment is plain daft. No-one is going to pay £350K
    pw let alone a transfer fee for a player who is not playing.

    The way that the situation is being handled I can see Arsenal landing up having to spend £45 million over next two and a half years with Ozil sitting
    at home.

  57. Silverhawk

    If we win our next 2 games, we’ll be back in the top 4. Manchester united are playing Liverpool at home and Crystal palace away. I see them drawing both.

    Likewise Chelsea misses next match (capital one final) and have Tottenham at home. They likely draw that match too.

    One can hope tho.

  58. OleGunner

    This end to a blog post on A Cultured Left foot sums up my feelings currently:

    “If, after a summer of investing in the players, we’re still producing this kind of performance then there are genuine questions for the coach to answer but this season, with minimal investment in the squad? We’ll agree to disagree if you think sacking him is the answer.”

    Al the huffing and puffing from certain posters here is a quite over the top.
    But that’s just my humble opinion, we can all have one right?

  59. DaniAltos

    Mark my words,you heard it here first..if we do manage to get a top 4 spot or get in the champions league through Europa you will hear the anti-emery brigade led by ‘He who shall not be named’….say ‘well,our squad was good enough anyway’…or their famous ‘5 defensive players’ line….as if with Wenger we would be winning championships with this lot.Its trully shocking

  60. Ishola70

    China1
    “If anyone wants to see just how far our stock has fallen, just read carragher’s comments saying that sarri turned them into arsenal.”

    That indeed is a very cutting comment.

    Registas? I shit ’em. lol

    Xhaka no good for Arsenal. Jorginho no good for Chelsea.

    Sarri ultimately no good for Chelsea.

  61. Charlie George

    Monday morning and the Imperious Valentin nails it again.

    “””Knows the club, the players, the mentality and has the backing of the supporters.:””

    Arsenal can only move forward and unite the fan base when we get someone like Vieira/Arteta or Freddie L in our hot seat

    Arsenal/Chelsea/ Everton have all gone with the fancy foreign and oh so mediocre coaches

    All 3 will get sacked.
    All are inept
    All are so over rated
    All can’t believe their luck – they got their jobs in the first places.

    OGS showing that art of successful managing- is keeping it SIMPLE and getting your BEST players onside

  62. PinoyGooner

    Is it too early to talk about the final 12 games? Does Arsenal have relatively easier run-in than the rest chasing 3rd and 4th?

  63. qna

    Ishola. No doubt. I didn’t say that it would necessarily be a problem. Just saying its there in the back drop. If OGS continues then the fact that these United players downed tools wont be an issue. I am just saying that these players were completely unprofessional this year. They proved that by the way they have come out after Moron-ho’s sacking. It was beautiful to watch from outside, but I would be concerned if they were my teams players.

  64. qna

    Valentin: OGS showing that art of successful managing- is keeping it SIMPLE and getting your BEST players onside

    So no tactics are needed? Just pick the best 11 players every week? Wow. Why do we even need a coach? Lets just find the guy who wins fantasy football this year and hire him as our next manager.

    I can agree that man management is absolutely critical, but apart from that all I can say is I am glad you are not in charge.

  65. DaniAltos

    This whole bit is just nonsense. You name drop some poster simply because he fits in with your narrative and you continue to post Emery is behind our transfer business because it ties in nicely with the agenda. It’s not true and you are lying when you say that it is vendetta or not. We haven’t signed Banega. Suarez worked under Raul longer than Emery and Sven quite clearly brought in all those summer signings. Again when you say stuff like Emery is the foremost on our scouting or driving our transfer business you are wrong

    Spot on,just as he was wrong on Gazidis

  66. Pierre

    Stroller
    Our passing accuracy 71% v Huddersfield(79%)
    Possession percentage 45%…Huddersfield (55%)
    Shots on goal 9…Huddersfield( 16)

    Slightly concerning against the worse team in the league .

    Maybe the manager’s tactics are to surrender possession , give the ball away on a regular basis to lead the opposition into a false sense of security..

    The man’s a genius!

  67. Charlie George

    Qna
    So no tactics are needed?

    You only NEED tactics – when you play teams that are better than you!

    Otherwise – just get your BEST players on the pitch( especially attacking ones) when you play the lesser lights!

    Football is and always will be a simple game. Coaches like to make out it’s complicated- to justify their nonsensical coaching badges***and ridiculous wages !

    ***Clough, Fergie, Warnock and Sir Bob Robson and our Wenger never took coaching badges. They haven’t done too badly!

  68. Pierre

    Tony
    ” I was talking to Mick Mills (REM) once at a US music charity ,he had extended his property enormously from the rear to keep his collections of various trinkets (his words) from the road (tours).

    Yeah ,same with me , I was at a world ( not just US) music CHARITY event and PETER GABRIEL came over to talk to me about his house extension.

    I said , piss off Pete can’t you see I’m busy.

  69. Freddie Ljungberg

    Yes Pierre, the managers tactics is for our players to be shit passers of the ball and fold under any sort of pressure, in sone cases under 0 pressure, you’re a genius to have figured that out, you should work for SKY.

  70. Dark Hei

    Silver

    I am going to say that……….it might be better if we do 5th this year.

    The squad is not ready and I don’t think this super bland football is what Emery truly wants.

    If you do 4th, the expectation might be unrealistic.

    But the realistic target is just to win the 4th place trophy next season rather than to actually be competitive.

  71. DaniAltos

    Pierre 18 years ago Tottenham was shittier than us and promoted sides weren’t spending 100million per summer..the quality of the league has increased obviously….a 12 year old would know that

  72. DaniAltos

    “Read Valentin’s post”..no offence to Valentin but is he suddenly Legrove’s french correspondent?It seems everything he says about Emery’s time in France is the gospel truth according to some here,even Pedro himself my God…was he at Psg’s training ground daily?

  73. DaniAltos

    Pedro
    “Guns, I have contacts and ways into the club. I hear bits you don’t and it fuels my narrative. I’ve operated that way for years. I will be right on Emery, trust me.”..@alexandehenry these kinds of shoot downs are exactly why everyone is on Pedro’s case today…..

  74. Pierre

    DaniAltos
    “Pierre 18 years ago Tottenham was shittier than us and promoted sides weren’t spending 100million per summer..the quality of the league has increased obviously….a 12 year old would know that”

    I’m not quite sure what point you are trying to make …of course the league has improved .
    Are you saying that an improvement in the league is the reason why our passing accuracy is as low as 71% against the worst team in the league.

  75. Receding Hairline

    @ Dani

    Valentin’s in-law supports PSG so his word on Emery is law

    Telling they never told him one thing good he did for them, seeing as he won 7/10 available trophies for them

    Apparently his tenure was a 100% failure according to his in-law who has a season ticket. He is now the shinning light in the Emery out campaign.

    He alleged Emery filled PSG with his ex players but could only provide one name, a total invasion that.

  76. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    The real concern is that Arsenal are now such a mediocre team that there is no opposing club who do not believe that they have a realistic chance of beating us.

    That applied on Saturday where the stats demonstrate how poor we are.

  77. Receding Hairline

    The real concern is that Arsenal are now such a mediocre team that there is no opposing club who do not believe that they have a realistic chance of beating us.

    The best team in the land have already been defeated by Palace, Leicester and Newcastle this season, thought that was made the EPL such a tough league.

    Besides finishing fifth and sixth consecutively does not exactly inspire fear in the opposition on their own turf. Nor does being a team notoriously poor away from home

    Hudderfield were fighting for their lives, did you expect a tame game from them under a new manager??

  78. Dark Hei

    “What’s people’s take on AMN and Kola dropping such bad pass completion stats?”

    From what I see, Kola is unable to pass horizontally (right) because he has trouble opening up his body.

    I think it is a problem with agility rather than balance. Because he can do these incredible spin moves in the final 3rd.

    I don’t think it is something you can correct in the training ground because it feels part of him, perhaps due to injuries, I am not sure.

    He reminds me of Theo Walcott in a way, someone with poor technique and yet can be useful if used correctly.

  79. Valentin

    @qna,

    OGS won the Norwegian league twice with Molde.
    You are right that winning the league as a player is irrelevant to pre-judge his qualification as a manager.
    His time at Cardiff was poor, but he is a front foot kind of manager and managing a rear-guard action type of team did not suit him.
    The same way I would not trust some top coaches in a relegation dog fight, I would not trust Neil Warnock with a top team full of international.
    The coach has to fit the club.
    From an external view, I was just stating that OGS seem a good fit there. At least a better fit than Mourinho.

  80. China1

    As much as I don’t know whether ole G is the real deal, he does appear to be a real fit which is just as or more important

    Just like wengers invincibles. He didn’t be invincible by virtue of being the smartest tactician, making the best subs or this kind of thing. He made it by being the perfect personality to set a wonderfully talented and intelligent squad free to do what it could do without micromanaging. If you have mourinho the arsenal job in 03 we’d hve probably still won the league but Henry would’ve been drained of all that made him glorious by virtue of being heavily managed.

    Man U are now in this boat where they have a good handful of class players but they don’t fall into the category of player that is suited to micromanagement. Just look at Sanchez turning into a shell of his previous self along with several others

    Fit is just as important as ability in the end. Half of barca’s managers in recent times have been a bit underwhelming but they have had amazing squads and the managers haven’t stepped on their toes much so the trophies kept coming

    Genius tends to resent being micromanaged too much whereas less talented individuals tend to need and often prefer the help from upstairs

    Emery likes to be hands on. If he turns out to be a right fit or not remains to be seen but we failed badly under hands off since our squads of old were dismantled

  81. Dissenter

    Receding
    Huddersfield weren’t fighting for thier lives.
    Huddersfield didn’t have anything to lose, maybe players re trying to make . Point tot the new manager for the championship next season.

    It’s always difficult to play a team with nothing to lose.