Lots of positives as Arsenal progress to a Rennes showdown

by .

courtesy @allthatchas

Sorry for the late post, I had a client dinner last night then spent the night listening to a girlfriend coughing on the hour, every hour, for the whole night. In sickness and in health has its limits… she may have thought being sent home at 335am was harsh, but the reality is, I need to write for my internet friends and that’s what’s important.

The good news is I get to write about a positive result.

Was it a ‘performance’? Not really. But it was certainly a drastic improvement on last week’s abysmal first leg.

The manager made a wise decision allowing his players to jet off to wherever the fuck they wanted to over the weekend. The mental and physical recharge paid dividends. The players turned up. The intensity was where it should have been from the off. The team pressed, hustled and harried BATE from the off. The early goal came from Auba cutting the ball into the box, forcing an own goal.

The second two goals came from set pieces, the first from a powerful header from Mustafi, the second landed from Sokratis who played a second-half cameo and bullied his way to the third goal.

My main gripe is the same as always, we’re extremely dull moving the ball forward, we’re all about the cutbacks into the box, and we’re not particularly good at it. The movement in the box is poor, the crossing is drab and it just feels like we’re seeking to perfect a very boring approach to football. There’s not a lot of combination play, we’re averse to playing through the middle and we’re quite one-dimensional.

However, the run out was easy, there were lots of positives.

Matteo G was excellent again. He keeps the midfield ticking, always looking to make positive moves, driving the team on and operating as a sort of metronome for out player.

Mesut Ozil dropped an Ozil-ish performance. He had the most touches in the attacking third, he created a chance, and he looked mostly interested. Say what you want about him, but we are a more dangerous unit with him in the side. His movement, deft touches and the fear he sparks all helped us look a little more fluid in attack.

Will he make the starting 11 at the weekend? Who knows. But Southampton feels like a good rehabilitation game. They likely won’t cause as many issues at The Emirates, but they will be organised at the back. That said, it might be a game for Ramsey because of his energy. Either way, it’s clear that we’re a more interesting side when one of those two start. Iwobes had this to say on the subject.

“We know what Mesut is like because we see him in training every day. He’s world class. We scored three goals as a result of him playing. I know if I make a run he has the vision to find me. Hopefully, he can keep on playing.”

Say what you will about the Nigerian, this sort of comment is exactly how players think. They don’t care about salary, they don’t care about body language, they care about going to war with the best soldiers on the frontline. Maybe a war analogy isn’t helpful, but he’s certainly the type of in-game secret weapon that can make things happen. We know what Ozil can be, it’s down to the manager to make it work… even if it means swallowing a bit of pride.

Also, if the alternative is ‘put it all through Kola’, the battle equivalent of a bow and arrow versus an ICBM, then I’ll take Mesut or Ramsey and worry about upgrading in the close season. I guess maybe that’s half of the problem, if there’s a one-dimensional system of chance creation, it greatly reduces the impact you can have with a player who is there to offer up unpredictability with his movement and vision.

Additional pieces of positive news: We kept a clean sheet. Unreal scenes.

Sokratis is back in the mixer, so hopefully we won’t have to rely on Mustafi too often (though I fear he’s preferred to Kos).

We drew Rennes in the next round. No joke people, I’ve followed them fairly extensively this season. They’re a really fun side, they are bold moving forward, they boast a lot of powerful fast players who can cause problems and they have Hatem Ben Arfa, a talent who can do some serious damage when he’s focused. The counter-attacking French team will come with a plan and they’ll want to show off Ligue 1 as a real player. Ultimately, we’ll have too much quality for them, but at least it’ll be a fun game and we’ll get to see Sarr in the flesh.

Finally, pass the fucking sick bucket on the Alex Hleb love-in. A great player, helped us get to the Champions League final, but he ditched us at the first chance and took his services to Barca. I’m not bothered about it, but I think Arsenal fans are getting a bit embarrassing when we’re slobbering over a player who binned us off in his prime.

Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments. x

199 Responses to “Lots of positives as Arsenal progress to a Rennes showdown”

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  1. jwl

    “… then spent the night listening to a girlfriend coughing on the hour …. ”

    How many girlfriends do you got, Pedro?

  2. jwl

    I don’t mind that Hleb left for Barca, Wenger was mismanaging players for long time and I have no anger towards players who wanted away from manager’s incompetence.

  3. Jim Lahey

    “but I think Arsenal fans are getting a bit embarrassing when we’re slobbering over a player who binned us off in his prime.”

    Aaron Ramsey???!

  4. Upstate Gooner

    Stryz with a clean sweep. What is the world coming to? Here’s looking at you, DM. You did dedicate top 4 trophy to me once but somebody beat you to it that day so I’m expecting another one.

  5. Chitom

    Kolasinac is more of a T-34 ( crude and blunt but quick )rather than a bow and arrow.
    Ozil – an ICBM?
    Those things are just as effective in rain and sleet as in perfect weather conditions.
    Ozil is more like the M-16 , sophisticated and elegant looking but easily jamming in shitty conditions.

  6. qna

    I think Guen could do with the rest. Maybe start Torreira and bring on Guen as needed. I’d start Ozil too. He should have a point to prove. We need to give him the chance to lead us home to 4th. He might not have that in his locker but we have to see. I do think we need to play Ramsey. But not sure where. Xhaka shores us up next to Torreira. But if we are going to get maximum points at home against a team that’s hard to break down then maybe it’s time to unleash a Torreira-Ramsey pivot.

  7. Marko

    Emery tried to sell Kimpembe when he joined PSG as he wanted a seasoned centre back to compete with Silva and Marquinhos and replace David Luiz

    Any evidence of that? Because there’s plenty of evidence of Emery trusting him and trying to replace Silva with Kimpembe. Like most of the things you say you just say it without anything to back it up and anything that counters your argument is conveniently because management forced him to do it. You are as false and disingenuous as they come.

    LoCelsi joined PSG as a precocious 10. Emery tried to convert him into a 6. He can play as 8, but definitely not as a 6. He was the wrong man, at the wrong club at the wrong time. He never had a chance to displace Neymar and his conversion was an unmitigated disaster

    You’re all over the place on this one. Number 10 number 8 number 6 and Lo Celso was unable to displace Neymar who plays in a different position and it’s Neymar. Brilliance from the guru. He was properly used by Emery and made 40+ appearences under Emery but yeah unmitigated disaster.

    Tomas Tuchel has already introduced more youngsters to the first team.

    He’s given debuts to Dagbo, Diaby and Bernede. Emery gave debuts to Nsoki, Adli, Kone, Callegeri, Lo Celso and Timothy Weah. But yeah guru alright. Listen you got referenced in a post and it’s gone straight to your head mate you’re not in the know and much of anything you do know is basic and the rest half truths or bullshit.

    let’s not rewrite history that Emery played a lot of youngsters.
    Even in the Sevilla example mentioned, those players are 24~27 players hardly starting their career.

    Let’s not indeed. Gave debuts to a young Sergio Rico, Moreno, Cotan, Cristoforo, Kondogbia at 20, signed Kolodziejczak at 22, Deulofeu and Suarez both at 20. Just a quick basic look shows you’re talking bollox as per. I don’t even know why I bother.

    For the guru

  8. Marko

    we’re averse to playing through the middle and we’re quite one-dimensional.

    Isn’t that one dimensional? We used to do that almost exclusively and it was boring as fuck

  9. qna

    Spurs-Rennes-United-Rennes in the space of 12 days. This is usually the period that we get dumped out of contention. Will be interesting to see if we can stay alive this time.

    Must, must, must grab the next 6 points at home.

  10. Marko

    Excuse me but how am I being snarky? How can you ban someone for snark? I’m just saying some truthful things I found on the internet. Quick question though Pedro before I get put in moderation for nothing but is Cesc Appeal also in moderation? I was just wondering cause he’s one of the good ones

  11. qna

    So first leg away and return fixture at home should benefit us too. I’m guessing Emery will go ultra defensive in the first leg and try to score on the counter. Could be ugly on LG after the first leg. Myself included 🙂

  12. Dan Ahern

    Didn’t Emery say BATE would be a 2-leg job? Fuckin’ BATE! I think you’re right to suspect a very defensive 1st leg, qna. Especially since UEFA has flipped the fixtures and put it in France.

  13. Marko

    Pedro respectfully in all the years of going here it’s only recently that you’ve got a bit quick with the threat of banning or a bit short with criticisms of what’s been said. It’s weird considering that it was to be expected. I imagine age has something to do with it. Hey you’re in your mid twenties you let things slide but now you’re mid thirties and annoyed all the time. I get it

  14. qna

    Dan. Yep. Not sure that was wise. It might make a bit more sense away to Rennes than it did at BATE. Especially as he’ll have Ben Arfa up for the game of his life to take his revenge on Emery. He might want to sacrifice a striker just to follow Hatem around all night 😉

  15. Pedro

    Marko, we were far more aggressive about the tone of the comments at the start which is why it thrived.

    I have never accepted character assassinations, but I might have missed them

  16. Valentin


    Emery gave to Nsoki and Adli a single appearance in the league at the end of meaningless game. Hardly championing them.

    The fact that he persisted with the failed experiment of converting LoCelso into a defensive midfielder does not make it a success. Tuchel had one look at him as a defensive midfielder and shipped him out. Converting Eboue from fullback to right midfield was an unmitigated disaster, yet Wenger continued for a long time.

    Sergio Rico benefitted from the fact that the two senior goalkeepers were injured at the same time. That was no grand plan to introduce him he was literally just the last man standing. Just sheer luck for the player.

    Kondogbia had two years of first team at Lens.
    Deulofeu had already 25 appearance for the Everton first team before he joined Sevilla on loan.
    Timothée Kolodjziejczak was already a starter for Nice for two years before he joined Sevilla.

    Praising Emery because he gave his appearance to Moreno may not be the best defense of Emery ability to judge talent.

    I don’t know enough of the rest to pass judgement.

  17. Charlie George

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate PedRo on his record high comments count accumulation he alluded to earlier in the week…

    Secondly ,I will excuse him – (because of his late last night shenanigans ) – but todays post is definitely lacklustre and luke warm by his impeccable standards.

    There were actually no positives last night…. if any one thinks there are ( inc PedRo- they need to lie down in a darkened room and revalue that thought)..

    Wengers Arsenal beat last night’s rabble 6
    zip- last year at home…. lets lay it on the line here – it was garbage,-last night – an OG and two set piece headers…. NO OPEN PLAY GOAL scored – over two legs against a Team not even trying, is a unique achievement….

    Positive- my arse!

  18. Upstate Gooner

    Spot on. Yesterday’s game was nothing to write home about. An own goal, and two headers, one of which was extremely fortunate because the keeper completely missed the ball after he came out. It’s funny how a lot of people praised Guendo and bashed Ozil once again when most apps (FotMob is my fav) showed average rating of 7.2 for Guendouzi, and 7.7 for our “useless” German. Go figure.

  19. Charlie George

    Update Goon

    This club of ours in crisis.
    We do not need cheerleaders, we need Arsenal fans to demand more…. be honest and scrutinize
    If fans are happy with Emery…..ARSENAL FC are in permanent decline….
    I don’t think they mean harm…
    But they are foot soldiers….
    Upstate- I think you are sergeant major material…..

  20. Nelson

    Emery should ask Auba to study video of Aguero’s play, how he exchanges passes with David Silva, De Bruyne, etc. Auba is too static inside the box. He is always standing next to a CB. It appears that he is only waiting for Kola’s cutback. Laca is more mobile than him.

  21. Receding Hairline

    Thought Ozil was supposed to create the chances and eliminate the cutbacks or is he in the team for touches now, Emery benched his cut back machine Kola, to allow Monreal combine with Iwobi, Ozil provide for Mkhi and Auba….nothing wrong with the lineup our final ball was lacking as it has been for a while now and we no longer have much individual brilliance

  22. Marko

    let’s not rewrite history that Emery played a lot of youngsters.
    Even in the Sevilla example

    That’s what you said. Gave debuts to Rico, Cotan, Moreno, Cristoforo and brought in 20 year old Kondogbia, 22 year old Kolodjziejczak, 20 year olds Deulofeu and Suarez. You met with facts that dispute your doesn’t play youngsters tripe and you still continue it. Gave significant game time to Kimpembe but you say he wanted to sell him, gave significant game time to Lo Celso but played him as a DM instead of a winger apparently which is noteworthy for some reason. And gave debuts to more young players than Tuchel though you said that Tuchel did which in itself is ridiculous considering he’s there just the one season to Emery’s two. Basically you’re wrong on so many things but yet you keep on going. You’ve got gumption I’ll give you that

  23. Graham62

    Charlie George

    Your passion at highlighting how shite we are is just incredible.

    Every post follows the same day theme. Emery is crap, Arsenal are crap and the club is in crisis.

    Tell me, where have you been hiding away all these years when the club was slowly being ground into the dust by a regime that basixally didn’t give a toss and was happy in making us into a laughing stock?

    Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot, Arsene looked sophisticated in a suit and we played pretty Football.


  24. Receding Hairline

    Iwobi says he likes Ozil in the team, same thing sokratis said, but isn’t Ozil supposed to eliminate the cutbacks and drive play through the middle, he passes to full backs more often than any playmaker I know.

    I know the touches look good and all but if Ozil is the player most Arsenal fans think he is we would have torn BATE to shreds, one stupid own goal and two corners didn’t point to having ” one of the best in the world”

  25. bennydevito

    Good post Pedro,

    I hope Ozil starts against Southampton too this weekend.

    I have to say in the 2nd half though he was pretty anonymous.

    But, like Pierre says the team plays with more confidence with him in the team and we kept a clean sheet.

    Long may it continue.

  26. Pedro

    RH, you just have to take a big fat L on this one.

    We won 3-0. Ozil had a good game. He was a great outlet for MG and Xhaka. Iwobi stated what was absolutely clear… players prefer to play with great players, and Ozil is one of them.

  27. Marc

    I really can’t face hours of Ozil is / Ozil isn’t.

    Could everyone agree a couple of things? It’ll be interesting to see if anyone argues!

    1) Ozil was OK last night but we were playing – what third rate team? Before we go crazy let’s see him do something more in a match against tougher opposition.

    2) Even those who are very anti Ozil would have no issue if he had a blinder between now and the end of the season getting us into the CL. Whether you think that’s a given or as likely as a scouser being a decent human being is irrelevant – If we make top 4 with Ozil being a major contributor either means he’s earning his salary or will be easier to sell.

  28. Marc


    Easy tiger!

    I’m good had a job interview yesterday for an interesting role – won’t know for a week or so if I’ve a second but feedback so far has been positive. I’ve got beef stroganoff lined up for dinner tonight, Veal wrapped in Parma ham with sage and a Marsala reduction tomorrow. I’m at the match Sunday and the sun will be shining for a beer in the Tolly’s beer garden.

    Life ain’t bad!

  29. Pedro

    Sounds like YOU are feeling sexy.

    That is an elite meal.

    Sounds good on the job… the wait is always horrible!

    We beating Southampton at the weekend? Or an Ozil and Rambo joint disasterclass incoming?

  30. bennydevito


    For what it’s worth I don’t think any of your comments have been snarky whatsoever.

    Why should Valentin be allowed to peddle falsehood as fact?

    Just like Charlie George the biased agenda stinks and needs challenging every step of the way.

    Charlie George,

    How you can keep criticising Emery the way you do when you defended Wenger on here till his dying days makes your comments null and void.

    Absolute charlatan.

    May I remind you again:

    Emery has won more than Wenger at the start of their Arsenal careers.

    Emery has won more European trophies than Arsenal have in their whole history.

    With each comment you make you make yourself look more and more stupid.

  31. azed

    “Why should Valentin be allowed to peddle falsehood as fact?”

    He rolls with the popular kids so he can say or do what he likes…

  32. Marc


    I enjoy a bit of cooking but most things aren’t that difficult – the veal is piss easy and it’s knicker snapping good. Only issue is your girl friend would think you’re either proposing or have something really bad to confess to!

    As for Southampton – should be a fairly straightforward win, wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Ramsey or Ozil start. The interesting match will be Utd – Liverpool. Liverpool lose and it’s advantage City, we could easily be 4th come 4ish.

  33. Marc


    I missed off a few cold beers tonight and tomorrow or does that go without saying?

    Burnley spank the Spud’s and it’ll be fucking bliss!

  34. Marc


    Away from home definety – at home it should be pretty straight forward.

    You should also bear in mind that I will blame you if my weekend gets fucked up now.

  35. bennydevito

    Solskjaer saying he will let Sir Alex do the team talk against Liverpool.

    As my Manc mate has been telling me Fergie has been involved heavily in Solskjaer’s revolution.

  36. Marc


    You’re over in Ireland right? I used to work for an Irish company, used to love coming over to the factories for sales meetings or bringing over clients. Ireland grows some really good beef!

  37. bennydevito

    So who was it saying FFP means nothing?

    Chelsea with a 2 window transfer ban.

    gambon on Twitter:

    Chelsea banned for 2 windows, Spurs with no money. If we dont invest heavily this summer im done with this club. Huge chance to get back to number 1 in London over the next 2 years.

    Great point gambon, agree 100%. Does this mean they can’t sell Hazard?

  38. Upstate Gooner

    “As for Southampton – should be a fairly straightforward win,”

    Didn’t we lose to them not too long ago? Conceded 3 headers, if I’m not mistaken. As long as Mustafi and Kosc are in the back, we’re gonna be leaking goals to teams like Soton like crazy. Arsenal – making shite teams look like world beaters since 2018.

  39. Charlie George


    “”””:I think Mike Phelan’s been a major part as well. One of those guy’s whose a genuine force behind the scenes.””””

    So why are you so against our own ‘Mike Phelan ‘ in the form of Keown, Lehmann, Adams being a genuine force behind our scenes.?

    But No – you are in enthrall of a total loser like Emery…..who has nothing to do with Arsenal.

    If Arsenal employed Coco The Clown – I would argue- you and some others would make a case for him to be suitable for the Arsenal job…..
    (Sheep like..)
    Clowns everywhere Arsenal 2019..

  40. Marc


    “So why are you so against our own ‘Mike Phelan ‘ in the form of Keown, Lehmann, Adams being a genuine force behind our scenes.?”

    1) When have I ever argued against that?

    2) What the fuck is Steve Bould?

    You really are a fucking clown of epic proportions. Is it true you are from South Africa?

  41. bennydevito


    Emery has nothing to do with Arsenal?

    What a bizarre statement. The ramblings of a mad man

    Wenger had nothing to do with Arsenal when he took over, remember?

    Emery has won more than Wenger when they both started at Arsenal.

    Emery has won more European trophies than Arsenal have in their whole history.

  42. bennydevito


    I see. But wasn’t that their clever way of circumventing FFP by stockpiling youngsters they can sell down the line?

    Either way we really need to make it pay this summer 100%.

  43. Marc

    Charlie George

    Emery has nothing to do with Arsenal – What do you have to do with Arsenal? Changing the TV channel doesn’t count – what make’s you such a fan who’s so much better or more informed than everyone else?

  44. Valentin


    Don’t let the facts stand in the way of your prejudice.

    There are numerous sites in which you can check how many games every players have played for PSG last season and this season in the league.
    Nsoki, Adli have 1 appearance each last year.
    This year Nsoki has already 13.
    Tuchel has introduced more youngsters in half a season than Emery did in 2. They have more minutes overall and more minute per individual (not just 1 player with all the minutes).

    LoCelso was never a winger.
    A 8 is not a winger but a central midfielder supposed to act as the link between the defensive midfielder and the attack.
    Arsenal used to have Coquelin as 6 and Cazorla as 8. Our main problem since Cazorla got knackered is that we have nobody who can do that role well. Guendouzi is the closest we have to replace him. Torreira is a 6 who is now asked to be more 8, because Xhaka is not very good with vertical passes. Good with long diagonal, but not with vertical pass slicing the opposition.

    Moreover LoCelso is the one player where I understood why Emery persisted with him. There is a good player there, however Neymar, DiMaria and even Draxler were better in his preferred position. He was brought as a future replacement for Pastore, but Neymar’s arrival wrecked that plan.

    You keep repeating the names of players who you alledge have been given their first appearance by Emery. However most of those names were already well established players. Players with two years experience in Ligue 1, 1 Year experience of EPL, or two years of La Liga can hardly be classified as discoveries.

    24~27 years old are not youngsters.

  45. bennydevito


    I would love Keown and Adams back here, but weirdly you criticise Bould for being here, bit of a contradiction.

    Why would we want Lehman back? Seaman yes, Lehman no thanks.

    The man was a liability as a goal keeper, running out like a headless chicken, nearly cost us our invincible season and cost us the Champions league final.

    Was a terrible goalkeeper.

  46. Marc

    Hmmm funny how CG disappears whenever he’s challenged. He’ll be back in a few hours to chuck out some more lies? Guy should work for Trump.

  47. Marko

    That is true Chelsea have their transfer ban from FIFA because of various signings they done.

    By the way absolutely agree with gambon there’s a huge opportunity this summer that we cannot afford to waste

  48. azed

    David Silva, Juan Mata, Paco Alcacer and Jordi Alba all played for Emery’s Valencia while under the age of 23, as did Alberto Moreno, Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu when the Spaniard was managing Sevilla.

    His remit changed somewhat when he was appointed PSG boss in 2016; the primary objective for any manager at the Parc des Princes is to win the Champions League, which makes the promotion of young players difficult. Nevertheless, Emery has still handed minutes to Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe in the French capital.

  49. Marc


    Can you imagine the mess CG would get himself in if we’d have had any Spanish backroom staff?

    He’s kisses Pedro’s arse but never mentions an issue with having Arteta as manager.

  50. bennydevito

    ValentinFebruary 22, 2019    20:10:11


    Don’t let the facts stand in the way of your prejudice.


    Coming from you Valentin, this is priceless.

    You claim Emery doesn’t like youngsters yet he has played Guendouzi, Iwobi, AMN, Torriera and holding all season.

    Guendouzi has said he’s grateful for Emery playing him so much and developing his game.

    But yes as you say; don’t let the facts stand in the way of your prejudice.


  51. Pedro

    Benny, Wenger blooded Iwobi, we spent £25m on Torreira, AMN is playing out of sheer necessity after all our right backs broke and Licht failed.

    MG, sure, he’s playing him, but again, we bought him because he was exceptional.

  52. Marc


    The big question is how interested / committed is Abramovich to Chelsea now.

    Someone I knew years ago who had a good understanding of what was going on in Russian at the time told me that Chelsea was a way of Abramovich having some pull in a major European city outside of Russia, just in case Putin ever turned on him.

    Since then he’s lost his UK visa and took Israeli citizenship. If I were him I’d look at F1 – major input all over the world but of course the downside is many of the teams are based in the UK.

  53. Marko

    Don’t let the facts stand in the way of your prejudice.

    What prejudice? Against liars? Sure.

    Tuchel has introduced more youngsters in half a season than Emery did in 2

    Yeah again you’re not getting you said he doesn’t play youngsters and yet he gave debuts to more youngsters than Tuchel. And now it’s Tuchel is giving them more minutes? Yeah no shit Sherlock it’s because they’re older now and because Emery gave them debuts in the first place. I believe Nsoki is getting more minutes this season because Newcastle tried to sign him up in the summer.

    LoCelso was never a winger.

    Never said he was you brought up something about him never dislodging Neymar.

    There is a good player there, however Neymar, DiMaria and even Draxler were better in his preferred position

    He doesn’t play in the same position as them. Lo Celso as I see it is a CM.

    You keep repeating the names of players who you alledge have been given their first appearance by Emery…. 24~27 years old are not youngsters.

    And you keep repeating this lie about him not using youngsters and or only being interested in older players and then keep repeating the same thing about Sevilla and I’m saying that he gave debuts and used plenty of young players at Sevilla. For some reason you still aren’t getting. Rico, Cotan, Moreno, Kolodjziejczak, Cristoforo, Deulofeu, Suarez and Kondogbia were all young players used by him while at Sevilla. So when you say that he didn’t use young players you are wrong

  54. Marc


    The youth thing is always a big question. I haven’t seen OGS play any youngsters who hadn’t already racked up a few matches.

    It’s unfair to pin that one on Emery just to muddy the waters.

  55. Pedro

    Marc, I’m not painting him into a corner. Just stating that he’s hardly rolling out Saka on the wing to see what might happen.

    ESR, Eddie, and Reiss all out on loan.

  56. Marko

    Marc any other time a transfer ban wouldn’t hurt them too much because like Real and Atletico they’d just spend a couple hundred million and make signings to last the ban but this ban could in fact hurt Chelsea massively purely because it coincides with a likely new manager coming in

  57. Marc


    As I said the youth thing is always difficult – put a player in too soon and you’ve chucked him in unfairly and cost us points.

    I don’t have an issue with putting players who are close to the first team out on loan, although I’m not sure who you mean by Eddie?

  58. Valentin


    You said Emery played those players. I am saying that he did not introduce them to the first team. In fact most had been brought by the DoF after extensive research after at least 1 year of first team somewhere else.

    For example, you keep mentioning Deulofeu, but Deulofeu had already spent 1 year playing first team football at Everton.

  59. Pedro

    Marc, don’t disagree.

    Would liked to have seen a bit more of Saka considering the width issue… and surely there’s a better right back solution than a centre mid?

  60. Marko

    It’s actually one of the easiest things to refute this whole Emery against youngsters thing. iwobi and AMN are on course to play more under him than Wenger and he gave debuts to Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and Medley. The only thing that you can argue with is maybe giving Nketiah more minutes or using Mavropanos more since his return from injury and that’s it. Everything else the loans (not really down to him) and the use of players like Saka (he’s not ready) there can be no criticism there for me

  61. Marc


    I reckon it could be Monday morning but my point was more along the lines of is Abramovich interested anymore? He won’t want to see the value of an asset drop off a cliff but there’s a world of difference between subsidising something with hundreds of millions and letting it just operate in a position of collecting a £100 million in TV money every year.

  62. Marko

    he’s hardly rolling out Saka on the wing to see what might happen.

    We are fighting for top 4 and the Europa League… where do you give him mins now? This late in the season and with people crying out for Ramsey, Suarez and Ozil to be playing more

  63. Marc


    I have no idea of who we have coming through the ranks at RB? One of the best things about an easy home run in the FA Cup is it gives a few of these kids a chance.

  64. Valentin

    Yes introducing young players is difficult, but let’s be honest Arsenal is skint.
    Our only chance is to use youngsters and sprinkle a few big money move. Otherwise we will end up with exactly our team. Expensive average mercenaries.
    Is Lichsteiner really worth the cost of his salary?
    Why not try Jordan Osei-tutu the U21 right back?

    Instead of Denis Suarez, why not give 20 minutes to Saka or Nkethia?

    Some will swim, some will just show that they are not ready or not good enough. At least we will have some kind of coherent squad.

    Same thing with Elneny, who clearly has no future at Arsenal, why not try Joe Willock?

    Giving 5 minutes at the end of a meaningless game where every body is just walking does not teach the coach or the player anything.

  65. Marko

    You said Emery played those players. I am saying that he did not introduce them to the first team. In fact most had been brought by the DoF after extensive research after at least 1 year of first team somewhere else.

    If they played for the Sevilla senior team then he did in fact introduce them to the senior team. Again I can only quote what it is that you said originally “let’s not rewrite history that Emery played a lot of youngsters.” that is what you said and you were wrong to say it. You continue to perpetuate a falsehood and it’s really a ridiculous thing to continue with when it’s so easy to disprove and also what manager doesn’t use young players? Honestly just stop

  66. azed

    “Is Lichsteiner really worth the cost of his salary?
    Why not try Jordan Osei-tutu the U21 right back?”

    AMN has always played there when fit. Are you saying Emery should ditch AMN?

  67. Marko

    We are literally fighting with Man United and Chelsea for the final champions league spot in the league and people want us to give more minutes to kids coming into March? He can do no right the way I see it. Absolutely not our season is too precarious to be taking chances on Osei Tutu or Saka at this stage

  68. Marc


    It’s too easy to say why didn’t the manager have X or Y on the bench to give half an hour to once we were 4 nil up when if we only had kids available when the game wasn’t going to plan – 1-1 with 10 minutes left you’d be the first to go mental on why wasn’t there someone who’s got experience or maybe played at the World Cup alongside Salah there to bring on.

  69. Marc

    OK I’m confused now – is the accusation that Emery won’t play young players who are purchased or young players who have been brought through the youth system?

  70. Pedro


    People are trying to take down Valentin’s point about young players by giving Emery credit for playing experienced youngsters or giving games to exceptional ones that have been purchased for a lot of money

  71. Pedro

    Marko, probably could have given some kids a run out against BATE away from home if he wanted to focus his first-teamers on the top 4 race? Players might have been more motivated.

  72. Nelson

    Pedro “Auba is one of the deadliest finishers in the league from inside the box. Not sure he needs lessons on movement”

    I don’t think I have expressed myself clearly. There are two ways of creating a scoring chance. Auba relies on the supply of a pass that he can run pass the defender and shoot. Of course, Auba is also an expert picking up a loose ball inside the box. For that, you are perfectly correct.
    What I want to say is that there is another way of creating a scoring chance. MC is expert in doing that. They play those double passes to free up an attacker. Auba never tries to exchange passes to free himself. All he does is get to the ball and shoot.

  73. Valentin


    AMN was injured, instead of Lichsteiner why not try the U21 right back.

    I am not advocating to have only youngsters on the bench, but one who we purposely use for the last 20 minutes of game.
    Currently Nkethia is the designed token youngster whom everybody know will not step foot on the grass.

  74. Marc


    I’d love to see a youth player given a chance ie in place of Lich when AMN was ill but can you imagine the response on here and in the media if the kid had made a mistake that cost us the match?

    Bringing youth players through is not easy. If anyone wants to compare managerial or club records just look at Mourinho or Chelsea.

  75. Marko

    Pedro we were 1 down from the first leg and were soundly criticized for it why take a chance. And besides you’re talking about 10 minutes here and there. Not a big deal. As for the Valentin stuff he claimed something was wrong about it and can’t seem to move on from it

  76. Charlie George

    “””” When have I ever argued against that?”””””

    With regards to old players doing The Mike Phelan role..

    And Thats good on you – and good to hear!

    So -Are you not alarmed then, last night not one Brit featured last night…??

    Surely when the Emery experiment inevitably goes up the spout- will that be the Time- we get some of out mighty Invincibles back at the club and leading us forward.

    How ( and Wenger deserves huge Criticism in this aspect too)…

    People like Adams , Bergkmap, Campbell, Lehmnan, Vieira, Henry, are not involved and Emery and his cronies are a is a total disgrace……And a major reason- there is So much angst around.

  77. Terraloon

    I wouldn’t get too excited about any advantage that Arsenal might gain from Chelsea’s two window transfer ban .
    First off they will almost certainly get the ban suspended be that by way of the appeal to FIFA or failing that to CAS. A ban may well happen but I personally doubt it will happen before summer 2020.
    Next the strong rumour is that four other PL clubs are subject to the exact same issues and from chatter one of those clubs is Arsenal the others being Man City Man Utd and Liverpool.

  78. Pedro

    Marc, that is the best question of the year… I’m going to have to unearth that bad boy. I think it’s the image on one of my whatsapp group names.

  79. Charlie George

    Every time The Guru posts we are witnessing Blogging Art.

    His knowledge is unrivalled
    His ego is non existent
    His passion for Arsenal and it’s future- is sincere and profound.
    He and PedRo are beacons in these dark days of Arsenal under Emery Raul!
    They know intuitively- for Arsenal to get better- these 2 have to GO!

  80. Marc


    So many points in your last post so I may miss out on some of them but:

    Couldn’t give a shit about lack of Brit’s – the usual argument is lack of English players – they are for the major part shit and all overrated. Everyone seems to have forgotten that during England’s amazing run to the World Cup semi’s we lost to Belgium and didn’t look even vaguely good in any match.

    Getting old players back to coach = if they’re good coaches great, Adam’s is a legend as a player but has coached / managed all over the place and been piss poor at all of them.

    Vieira and Campbell are learning their trade – if they make it then I’d love to see them come back to us – can you imagine Sol Campbell lead Arsenal to the title as manager – the Spud’s would go insane. As for the others Bergkamp will always have an issue with the no fly rule, Lehmann was here and was let go – was a nut case as a player maybe he’s the same on the coaching ground.

    Your arguments always seem to go back to “I don’t like Emery”.

    Where are you from?

  81. Valentin

    What I call a youngster is somebody who is young without the experience. Most of the players you mention were young but were already experienced. They all had at least 1 year of first team football.

    In the case you mentioned, he did not have a choice, he was told by the DoF, you don’t have a choice, there is nobody else.
    For example Sergio Rico was literally the last man standing. He was 3rd goalkeeper and the two senior goalkeepers were injured.

    I am complaining about the fact that there has been no planning to slowly integrate youngsters to the team.
    With Lacazette banned for the Europa League tie, if Aubameyang gets injured, we will have to rely on Nkethia a 19 years old who would have not played before with that team. Not a very appealing prospect.

  82. Charlie George

    “””:Couldn’t give a shit about lack of Brit’s – the usual argument is lack of English players – they are for the major part shit and all overrated. “”””

    What an absurd ,lazy ,statement…..

  83. Valentin


    That is exactly my point.
    There has been no planning to the integration of the youth team.
    Look at Saka, one minute praised to the tilt, the next back with the U18 and no hope of playing for the senior team this season.

    I blame both Emery and the team behind the scene for that.
    Why wait the last minute of the transfer window to loan players who then missed the German post winter break pre-season training?
    Why keep Nkethia as back up but not give him playing time, meaning that he might not be ready when we need him as emergency striker?

    Why put Denis Suarez on the Europa League at the expense of Mavrapanos, when it is clear that Koscielny cannot handle 2 games per week?Leaving the squad with only two fit CBs: Sokratis and Mustafi.

    Those may not be Emery’s fault, but as a manager you need to be able to anticipate those.
    We called out Wenger when he tried to spin Alexis Sanchez end of contract, I am doing the same with the current management team.

  84. azed

    ” if Aubameyang gets injured, we will have to rely on Nkethia a 19 years old who would have not played before with that team. Not a very appealing prospect.”

    Eddie has made 6 appearances in the first team this season. Two of them came in the Europa league.

    There’s are two very good strikers before him in the team and one average one in Danny Welbeck.

  85. azed

    Saka, Gilmour, Medley all got their debuts under Emery.

    You might as well tell Emery to sell the first team and play kids..

  86. Marc


    Kane – diving mong never won anything

    Alli – diving scum never won anything

    Walker – scum and not all that.

    Rose – vile cheating scum nothing special 28 years old with 23 caps

    Maguire – meh why’s he still at Leicester

    Rooney – scum sucking diving scouse cunt who should hang – I’d pay to watch – so would his wife.

    Holding – We’ll see but never done anything so be labelled as scum as of yet.

  87. Marko

    The guru just keeps on going. Youngsters classed as inexperienced and not eh young. Even if that was the case still Emery brought through youngsters. He both brought through youngsters and played youngsters that were signed. He did that at Sevilla and PSG and he’s doing that now at Arsenal. To deny it is to lie

  88. Valentin


    The rumour that I have heard is that Arsenal were investigated and given a pass and that the three teams most at risk were ManCity, Liverpool and Watford.
    Watford because the owners had hidden transfer between their clubs.

  89. Charlie George

    The G

    “”Why put Denis Suarez on the Europa League at the expense of Mavrapanos, when it is clear that Koscielny cannot handle 2 games per week?Leaving the squad with only two fit CBs: Sokratis and Mustafi”””

    Because Emery is protecting and entrenching his position and not working in the long term best interests of Arsenal FC.

    By choosing Suarez or Lich over The Young Greek lad – is a clear dereliction of his duty.
    It is an undeniable fact…

  90. Marko

    There has been no planning to the integration of the youth team.

    Simply not true. Loaning Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe to Hoffenheim and Leipzig is a plan. Introducing Saka, Medley and Gilmour this season is a plan.

  91. Valentin


    According to your criteria (and somebody did use that as an argument!) Playing a 160 millions Euro MBappe is giving youth a chance at PSG.
    Same thing with Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona.

    Those may be young, but they are experienced. 2 or 3 years of first team football. You can’t compare them with playing Nkethia with 0 minutes of EPL.

    Players can still be young, but be experienced.
    At 19, Fabregas was already a veteran. Kondogbia had already captained the Lens team and has two years of Ligue 1 when he joined Sevilla. There was no risk in playing him, just benefit. He was not a kid discovering the first team, but a young but established quality player.

  92. Marko

    Again for the umpteenth time I can only quote what you said originally again and I quote “let’s not rewrite history that Emery played a lot of youngsters.”. He did in fact…play alot of youngsters. You trying to redefine how one would class as a youngster or young doesn’t change the fact that YOU were WRONG to say it in the first place

  93. DaniAltos

    Did I miss something or does legrove seem to have the former sporting director of Psg who knows all about emery’s tenure there.Either that or this character’s daughter/son is Emery’s PA since his almeria days and leaks all the Emery secrets to him eg his massive hatred for young players and his massive insistence that banega/nzonsi come to arsenal