Charles Watts spent some time inspecting the faces of the Arsenal exec team. Pen and pad in his hand this is what he saw.
Fahmy shook his head over and over again, Vekatesham slumped in his chair while an ashen-faced Sanllehi soon headed for the exit. This was not the result anyone had been expecting.
The vision that has been set out from the top brass has been clear. Champions League football is a must and winning the Europa League is arguably Arsenal’s best route back into Europe’s elite competition.
I mean, they’re not exactly going to be doing cartwheels and I’m not sure how much we can read into this, but it’s mildly interesting to know that the Emery frustration goes deeper than just a few fans in the ground and on the internet. Can’t remember Ivan Gazidis giving away this much emotion in 10 years.
It’ll be very interesting to see what the club do in the summer. Emery wasn’t given any money in January, no one really knows why, but it’s clear we can’t be broke. Maybe the club wanted to see what Emery was going to do with the squad, after all, he not only promised improvements to the fans in press conferences, he had a legendary PowerPoint presentation that he’ll no doubt be held to.
I would hazard a guess, but I would imagine coaching featured quite high on the short term objectives. Remember how keen he was to invite the press to watch his sessions? The club made quite a fuss about the job title being Head Coach, not Manager.
This is why the people claiming that a lack of identity doesn’t matter don’t understand what they’re saying. If your team stands for nothing, it means there’s no belief system in place. It means the players have no north star. It means you have nothing to fall back on when things slip. It results in confusing bland football that is no doubt a bore to play. Think about it, what is Emery trying to achieve? Fluid possession-based football like City? Heavy metal? Electric counter-attacking? Or just finding Kola on the overlap?
The biggest worry I have is the fans asking for more time and money seem to forget that he moved to a club that was a title-winning operation with some of the most exquisite players in the world playing for it and he tanked the first season. He had to bring in Neymar and Mbappe whilst counting on the simultaneous destruction of Monaco in the transfer market to win the league in his second season. He tanked twice in the Champions League, he couldn’t foster a collective and then he was let go at the end of the season because the players didn’t respect him.
That brings me onto my next topic of conversation, Mesut Ozil.
‘When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.’ 🙏🏼 || #DennisBergkamp pic.twitter.com/kKM8kDhm8T
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) February 15, 2019
Mesut Ozil making a huge power play, whipping his base into a frenzy of ‘OZIL WE LIVE 4 U, EMRY DIE’, with the above pearler.
Now, it’s clear that I’m not a huge fan of the German. It’s also clear that he doesn’t really have any love for Arsenal unless it’s the love a 22-year-old beauty queen has for her 72-year-old billionaire lover. This is straight up manipulation of the media and it’s caused a right old stink on the internet.
It was a cynical move. It is clearly designed to disrupt Emery’s season that is tanking. It is supposed to be seen by the players who are no doubt wondering why they’re being asked to struggle away without support from the start names.
I thought this comment from Sal neatly summed up the debacle.
Emery came in with a supposed dossier on each player having done the research, knowing full well his highest paid player was Mesut Ozil, his attributes, weakness’s and knowledge he’d have to utilize him in some manner.
That plan didn’t consist of freezing Ozil out of every competition hoping to shift him in the next transfer window, value having plummeted to rock bottom.
We all know Ozil’s limitations we’ve beat them dead on here since 2013, there many. But don’t tell me he would not of added something to the shit show on display in Belarus. Don’t tell me Lacazette wouldn’t of welcomed him into the side, arms open. Emery put Arsenal behind his Ozil agenda.
More bizarre with Ramsay not traveling.
Now have open ware fare on the social between Ozil’s team and Emery.
As funny as it is, thats a sad indictment of his handling of Mesut Ozil, total mismanagement.
Emery is the unpopular kid standing his ground by taking the ball home. It’s an inability to be empathetic. It’s a character flaw in the Emery machine. This piece from GFFN on Thomas Tuchel gets under the skin of the problem and spells out that what we are seeing is not a one-off, it’s part of broader pattern of damaging behaviour.
“There is no success without a real relationship with the players”. Right from the start, he has been making pain-staking efforts to create strong bonds with his players. For example, he went to meet Neymar before the Brazilian left for the World Cup. “That’s the great difference between him and Emery”, surmises Canal + pundit Eric Carrière. “The Spaniard saw players as “X”, like tools he could use to win. It is the opposite for Tuchel. For him players are human beings, with a name, a personality, a sensibility and proper characteristics”.
And to whom you must show affection through a little hug, a little text message or some extra holiday time. “His management relies on benevolence, which doesn’t exclude authority and discipline, just like Rabiot and Mbappé experienced after being late at the pre-Classique speech and therefore sent on the bench at the Vélodrome,” says Carrière. “The strength of this manager is his ability to unite. Today, if a player doesn’t feel the kindness or thinks it is fake, he won’t fight for you. And you can tell that it is not fake with Tuchel. It is way easier to win trophies with such a team… Emery was a good tactician but didn’t have this ability”.
This is football. You are only as good as the talent you have at your disposal. Currently, Arsenal is trying to chase Champions League through the Europa League back door and top 4. We are desperately struggling for creativity because our two outlets are AMN and Kola. Would any manager in the world not at least try and build bridges with one of the most sublime creative talents in the world, even if he is lazy? Would you not try and work out a system that could protect against his weaknesses in some way? Could you not put your pride to one side to make some magic happen?
It’s even crazier that he can’t find a way to utilise Aaron Ramsey. The guy has his flaws, but effort and intensity has never been an issue. He can also score goals, run with the ball, open space and create. Yet we’re leaving him to rot on the bench? Make a mistake with one star player and I might be able to forgive, but to do it with two of them, when they’re both fit, as results and performances tank… well, it’s just negligent.
In allowing these problems to fester Emery has lost control of the media narrative. He’s allowed Mesut Ozil to play the victim with the fans, and no doubt his treatment in the face of a creative crisis will have the players asking questions. The worst part of all of this is the argument is affecting our ability to compete. We’ve struggled against Cardiff, Huddersfield and lost to BATE. We haven’t delivered a performance since Spurs in December. Things are in decline.
Emery needs a rethink. He needs to leave his ego at the Colney gates. He needs to show leadership.
See you in the comments.