Emery delivers masterclass in tactical unpredictability

by & filed under News Review.

Via @Arsenal Instagram (amazing pic)

Unai Emery went balls to the wall with an outrageous line-up. He played all his best players, his two best strikers, he opted to play with one defensive midfielder (Xhaka oh my), he left Mustafi on the bench, he punished Matteo, and he took the game to OGS.

He made so many good decisions that were incredibly bold considering how bad the team was against Rennes. Playing Ozil was a masterstroke. If he played well, Emery looked the healer, if he’d tanked, he had a big fat ‘I told you so’ up his sleeve. Ramsey was inspired after being rested last week, he kept Paul Pogba under lock and key all night with a highly impactful performance. Starting Xhaka at the base of midfield on his own looked like the move of a mentalist, but boy did he have an excellent game.

Everywhere you looked, there were things to smile about.

The first half was all about catching United off guard. They surely weren’t expecting us to go so hard at them. We blitzed the first 35 minutes with free-flowing attacking football. Ozil had United off balance out right or wherever he decided to drift. We didn’t give De Gea much to worry about, hitting the target once, but the chances we created were good. The opener was interesting to say the least, Xhaka ripped a shot from 25 yards out and somehow managed to send the keeper the wrong way. My view was it was shite keeping, most seem to think it was a knuckleball like strike out the Mesut Ozil stubbed-strike-into-the-ground drawer. Either way, it gave us an edge.

We rode our luck, no doubt. Lukaku hit the bar from 4 yards, one of two times United pounded the woodwork. There were some scares, but Leno stood up to every challenge sent his way. He made an incredible save when he was one vs one with Lukaku, his German engineered wrists up to the challenge.

The second half narrative looked like Arsenal had swapped tactics with OGS. We let United have the ball and watched them do next to nothing in possession. They played double the passes we did in the second half, and only managed two shots on target. Arsenal waited patiently to strike. Our moment came when Lacazette was shoved over by Fred in the box.

Auba, a man who has come under outrageous criticism this week, boldly stepped up and sent De Gea to the left as he stroked the ball down the middle. Good fucking job son. I despise the critique Auba receives. This tweet from YankeeGunner and the article sums up what he does perfectly.

He’s an outrageous striker and I love that The Ringer calls out his next level ability to position himself better than almost anyone to score. Being in the right place is the real sixth sense. He has it. People need to lay off him.

After the second goal went in, Arsenal set out to frustrate. OGS had no answer. No one could get a foot on the game, United started to play dirty, Ashley Young putting in a standard ankle breaker on Kos, but we were more than a match for them.

OGS lost his first Premier League game after an inspired run.

Unai Emery showed his big game teeth in the race for top 4.

Conclusion

It was a masterclass from Emery. Everything rolled his way. He picked a brave 11, he focused the team after an awful loss midweek and he delivered the most important 3 points of 2019. On another day, we might have lost, but I’ve spent too many hours complaining about big games we’ve dominated but lost to shit-housery to get nitty gritty about how things might have been. Reality is, you beat who is put in front of you, we did that, so fu*k the details for today.

Bernd Leno was immense. He dropped another low-key (yep, I say that sometimes) MoM performance. He’s really come into his own of late. He was focused, brave and sharp all game. That leg he threw out for the Lukaku chance was unbelievable. He’s found his hands and his feet. We look to have finally solved our keeping issues. We have someone who can win us points. Finally. #ThanksSven

Aaron Ramsey showed why Juventus want him over there. He made EIGHT tackles yesterday. He covered so much ground, he kept Pogba in frustrated mode all day and he was absolutely committed to the cause. A brilliant run out. You do wonder if Emery misjudged the talents of the Welshman a little early. It stings to see him leaving, but at least Suarez looks a little like him and had some nice touches and a cute run.

Sokratis looked like he was heading into trouble again after a 37th minute yellow card, but he held it together and put in a monster performance. I love him. I am part of his cult. Pass me the Koolaid, I don’t care about the consequences (P.S. I’d LOVE to know what he lent over and said to Pogba when he was whining on the floor).

Also, another worthy call out is for AMN. He had a great game on the right. He stretched United when he needed to, and he defended far better than I’ve seen him do in the past. He made 4 tackles and 5 interceptions. A much sharper game from him, even more impressive when you remember he’s a centre mid. Out on the left, Kola was a pure man beast again, he even rolled over and did a vomit just because that’s a REAL MAN for you. He made 11 ball recoveries, he worked up and down that wing all day, and he whipped in some really dangerous balls.

Lacazette was a machine. His twinkle toes confused United all day. He should have done better in front of goal to make it 3, but his threat was pervasive all day. I really love him. Such a brilliant character to have at the club.

Granit Xhaka had an inspired evening sitting at the base. He sprayed balls around all afternoon like a human pitch sprinkler, he stayed focused and interjected fearlessly in defence when needed. Koscielny played on with a gashed leg to stop Mustafi entering the field of play, bravo, bravo. Mesut Ozil created a whopping 4 chances in a big game. Monreal was excellent as always. So much goodness everywhere.

The notion that these players are not good enough to make the top 4 has been well and truly obliterated. The only real question Emery has to answer is one of focus. He seems more than capable of motivating his players for the big games, but can he rally the players against Watford, Leicester and Wolves when we play them away from home? If he can’t, days like today mean very little.

I’ve seen a lot of fans citing the above as a de facto sign that Emery is doing a great job. Out of the 16 teams viably listed, 11 are either mapping to what they did last year or doing better. That’s 69% of the league tracking to last season or making progress, even Sarri who we all think should be sacked, is 7.5% better off. Numbers need context and you need more than one data point to make a case. For me, the height of our ambitions this year can’t be whether Emery did better than Wenger in a nose-dive season where the players downed tools in February and did even worse when he quit in April.

I think the step forward we’ll be celebrating is the big game mentality. We’re competitive in an area we failed for the whole of the banter years. There’s now a belief system in place. Emery creates excitement on the days the fans really care about. He even tried to say as much in the pregame interview when he said, ‘attack… the fans… big balance… performance… yes and thank you.’ This big game platform will give him breathing space to build on the defence and the other aspects that have been lacking this season.

Additionally, if he makes third and puts Spurs in the Europa League, I will put my disdain for face tattoos to one side and have Emery Ultra artfully etched under my eye… for I will be one. Again, a true progress point is the final league position. 3rd would be immense, a true reason to celebrate. Let’s not lower ourselves to Spursy fist bumps for a high points 5th.

Right now, the momentum is with Arsenal. Spurs choked this weekend to Southampton and they go away to Liverpool and City. OGS is hopefully about to deal with a big xG correction. Chelsea scrambled a poor point against Wolves late on at home. 3rd is within reach. We just need to see more of today’s focus, vs the mess that was Rennes. We need today’s mindset in every single game until the end of the season.

Advantage Unai, let’s see if he can push it through. x

P.S. I think I speak for anyone that reads the blog when I say the scenes in the Midlands derby were beyond despicable. Watching a grown man run onto the pitch and hit a kid for no other reason outside football rivalry was beyond disgusting. Not just that, how embarrassing must it be to have a run up on someone who isn’t looking and still not land your punch. He’s lucky the Villa players didn’t give him a deserved beating. A cowardly move that thankfully saw Jack get up unharmed and bang in the winner. What a top lad. Fuck the thugs.

After seeing that, it was especially disappointing to see an Arsenal fan run onto the pitch. It’s not appropriate. Especially with knife crime as it is in the city at the minute. Unless you’re going pitch invade naked, do everyone a favour and stay in your seat. Eat your foie gras on Poilâne-style sourdough bread like everyone else and leave the party drugs to the kids you absolute melts.

That’s me done, see you in hell (the comments). xxx

411 Responses to “Emery delivers masterclass in tactical unpredictability”

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  1. salpardisenyc

    Un Battle

    I’ve met supporters abroad way more inspired than many in the ground, Mid fucking West is one of em.

  2. MidwestGun

    The managerial carousel this summer should be intriguing . Real Madrid going backwards to go forwards? not sure that ever works.. trying to think of an example.. I suppose Pep would be successful if he went back to one of his old jobs. Idk.

  3. Un Battle Angel

    Dissenter

    There are arsenal fans in space are there? And I’m blathering???

    Yes dissenter I know how our American arsenal fans relate to arsenal beating Manchester United last night because I saw it and am still witnessing it. It’s just not in your bones man. Fairly evident. You look at arsenal through a prism of rationality when the emotion of such occasions should drown out your rationale. Quite telling

    Marko

    Haha. Ok bright spark. Everyone else is stupid. Except the quantum physicist letter pusher.

    Again very telling that you opt to question the intelligence of others so frequently. Would indicate a specific insecurity on your part.

    Are you watching maaaaarkoooo

  4. Marko

    We can basically leave out the prospect of Reiss Nelson as an option next season. He’s only been playing regularly for 5 mins and he’s already got disciplinary issues.

  5. Luteo Guenreira

    Un

    To be fair many many posters have displayed that their intelligence needs to be questioned, constantly.

    For example, you just kinda stated you feel all American fans will have the same reaction to this win? Highly, highly stupid rhetoric. Needs to be questioned. But that’s a job for someone else.

    Bamford is probably writing an essay as we speak.

  6. Dissenter

    Un na
    “There are arsenal fans in space are there? And I’m blathering??”
    Your idiocy is revealing and sarcasm is lost on you.

    No you don’t know how American Arsenal fans feel because you’re not one. Same way I wouldn’t assume I know how you feel.
    Grow up and stop your acting like a left over meatloaf
    “battle angel” really, did a little child chose your moniker?

  7. Upstate Gooner

    Mustafi/Iwobi on the bench, Ozil/Ramsey started the game. We won pretty convincingly. Coincidence? I think not. Xhaka had a rare good game which helped. Going forward I’d like to see Torreira/Rambo partnership in midfield. And where was Mikhi, by the way?

  8. Dream10

    Upstate

    Mkhitaryan had a back issue.
    Torreira has struggled since we lost to Spurs in the league cup. Ramsey, Xhaka, Guendouzi all better in 2019.

  9. Un Battle Angel

    Luteo

    I’m saying American fans will never have the same affection for arsenal or the same connection to arsenal for obvious reasons.

    In the same way I won’t have the same affection for the New York yankees or the LA rams.

    It would be stupid to deny this

  10. Valentin

    @Upstate Gionee,

    Mhikitarian was injured/sick. He did not train on Friday or at least he was not in any of the official training pictures.
    He is said that he should be available before Thursday march. With Lacazette and Sokratis banned, we need him to score.

  11. Dissenter

    Un na
    Still shitting blood?, surely your rectal blood loss must be causing some delirious state.
    No one can be as stupid as you, I really hope this is a reversible state with 1-2 pints of whole blood transfused into you very quickly.
    Want me to call an ambulance for you?

  12. Valentin

    Anybody knows a site where we could see the players injured for every club by type of injuries?
    It seems that we are the only club with players with back spasms.
    Maybe they need to take yoga or better warm stretch.

  13. Receding Hairline

    “Receding and Dissenter going absolutely berserk, ganging up on anyone who dare criticize Emery.”

    Nonsense

    “I don’t remember Ozil creating 4 chances. And definitely no clear cut chances.”

    Glad to know i am not alone, have been straining my memory to remember one good chance he created

  14. Valentin

    Zidane just confirmed officially as new Real Madrid coach.
    I wonder if he has received now the assurance about transfer budget that Fiorentino Perez refused to give last summer.

    So Mauricio Pochettino option are now reduced to a possible ManUtd.

  15. Valentin

    Thanks, but they just give current injuries.
    I want to know historical data to see if we are in line with the other clubs regarding back injury.

    Back injury may sometimes be caused by players not properly stretching during their warm-up. I remember Wenger having a go at Paul Merson and Ray Parlour because they did not take the exercise seriously. Ray Parlour adapted to the demand of professional footballer, Merson chose to chase the money and a easy life with relegated Middleborough.

  16. Dissenter

    Valentin
    Physioroom.com can track whats you’re referring to season by season

    I heard Lee Dixon say yesterday that the Emirates stadium pitch was a hard as a rock, which should be because it’s heated.
    The back strains could be from running all day on a hard pitch.
    I just wonder what the training pitches are like.

  17. Dissenter

    azed
    Yes. going back doesn’t seem to end well.

    I’m sure he wont go back unless it’s on his own terms.

  18. Marko

    Don it’s funny your stance on an American and the possible connection they have for Arsenal giving that you are from Britain and the way you go on about Trump and American politics would suggest you have personal stake in their affairs. A deep seeded connection perhaps. But that can’t be right you’re from across the pond.

  19. Dissenter

    Second time this season a club had gone back to re-hire a recently fired manager.
    It just shows that there aren’t that many quality managers on the market.
    The chasm between big name managers and caretakers-coaches like Scolari or Henry is vast

  20. Luteo Guenreira

    Well my post above was in reference to a proud statement from Un about place of birth being so important and why Arsenal is his and his only because his parents happened to shag near London. It was so dumb it apparently got ethered.

  21. salpardisenyc

    ZZ leaked conditions:

    1) Total control over the team
    2) Sell the players he does not want
    3) Marcelo & Isco are not for sale
    4) Neymar will not be bought
    5) James doesn’t return
    6) try to sign Mbappé

  22. Dissenter

    Midwest
    We have gone past the point of proving our fan-ness to dolts like the Un na.
    No point putting up videos. He will call it fake news

  23. Guns of Hackney

    1/3 a bottle of Sainsbury’s mulled wine and a triple shot of genuine Mescal and orange juice. That’s got to be alcoholism, right?

  24. MidwestGun

    That’s got to be alcoholism, right?
    ______________
    Guns – the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem… I’m still waiting for first step… but Congrats sounds like you have made a breakthrough.

  25. Guns of Hackney

    Midwest

    The truth is since baby was born, I’ve been getting so much better at drinking. I think the added responsibility has made me a more conscious alcoholic.

    Jokes.

  26. Guns of Hackney

    The blog of love.

    I think that’s a different site. That’s the one I use regularly every night while pleasuring myself to pictures of Emery.

  27. salpardisenyc

    Key to fatherhood is starting the day w/ something light, say Irish Coffee and building from there.

    You listening DM?

  28. Graham62

    Un Battle Angel

    What a load of tosh and so disrespectful.

    I wonder how many of those traditionalists you so treasure, got up after 35 minutes to get in line for a pint and then returned to their seats 5 mins after the break. A fair few I imagine.

    Being a fan has nothing to do with a tribal allegiance to your club.

    Pathetic.

  29. MidwestGun

    Only managers I can think of had some success same club second bite.. Fabio Capello… maybe…. And Mourinho. Be interesting to see how ZZ does. Emery has an Ozil problem… ZZ has a Bale Problem… swap? joking… mostly.

  30. Dissenter

    Midwest
    Even when returnee managers get some successes, it stil doesn’t end well because the sane reasons why they left initially will resurface.

    Madrid need to change Florentino Pérez, the club president.
    He’s running that club like a maniacal dictator. He even ruined Spain’s faint world cup chances with his bad management.

  31. Un Battle Angel

    Graham

    Er, suck my balls. My view is my view. And I stand by it. Not saying you can’t support arsenal in your own way wherever your from.
    I just refuse to believe you can truly bond with a spirting franchise half way across the world and if you can then it’s rare. There’s no way anyone who isn’t living in London can truly get a feel for the footballing culture. The banter at work. The rivalry and the tribalism we share.
    It’s like trying to pretend that seeing rangers beat Celtic really means something to me. Only Glaswegians and northern Irish will truly appreciate that.

    By the looks of it dissenter and the rest just didn’t get that sense of elation from the win yesterday that we got.

    So suck my baaaaaalls

  32. Un Battle Angel

    Marko

    You’re right. I don’t have a dog in that fight directly but what happens there affects here. He’s helping to expose the far leftist culture that’s deep routed on both sides of the pond. A big point of attack. Along with Bannon and a few other choice names helping to rid us of the scourge afflicting the minds of so many impressionable young fools.

    I’m not claiming to care for or understand American culture as much as an American but I do admire their passion and patriotism.

  33. jwl

    Dissenter, MidwestGun –

    I remember when I first started to follow football over twenty years ago and in Italy, which was top league at time, there were numerous managers who were on second or third spell as coach of same club.

    I remember thinking it was like carousel in Italy for managers but now teams are moving away from hiring same fella multiple times.

    ZZ is going to be tested, how good are his managerial skills, because without Ronaldo, Madrid are completely different team.

  34. Pierre

    The main difference between Leno and Cech is Leno’s speed off of his line .

    He is also a braver keeper than Cech in that he will go in where it hurts .

    There were a few occasions at the weekend where I think we may have conceded if Cech was in goal and on each occasion he thwarted Lukaku.

    In the first half Lukaku brushed Monreal aside and was in on goal , Leno was out at his feet blocking the shot .
    2nd half Lukaku would have been clean through but for Leno’s speed and anticipation off his line when he came out of his area by 10/15 yards.
    Leno also was out at speed when the ball was fed through to Lukaku 10 yards out but Leno closed down the angle before he could get his shot away.

    He is not as good as cech in the air but overall he is an improvement.

  35. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    Yes Florentino Perez run RM as His own personal kingdom, I think that is the result of the system. Exactly the same thing happens at Barcelona.
    Socios got swayed by a big oil snake candidate who promise them the earth. As long as he deliver some trophy nobody really look at how that was achieved or whether this is sustainable.
    France has an official legal regulator for sport clubs. Every professional clubs have to present their numbers for audit months before the start of the league. If the number do not add up, they can ban club from recruiting and in extreme case they can impose relégations.
    It is not a perfect system as it still allow rich sugar daddy to pervert the competition, but at least you don’t have a club without a home (Coventry), owing taxes to the government (Barcelona, RM, …), Not been able to pay their own staff (Bolton, …).
    Initially when he was still just at UEFA, Michel Platini supported the idea of a European financial supervisor. But then after meeting Sarkozy and the Qatar Emir who wanted to buy PSG, his son got a lucrative job with Qatar and the idea was ditched. I wonder why…
    If every club had to be run on its resources alone, then it would be a lot more equalitarian. Maybe not to the level of US Sport Franchise, but at least Well run clubs would still have a chance to challenge the superiority of well established clubs.

  36. Un Battle Angel

    Leno is really looking good now
    He’s made me eat my words. I really didn’t think he had the personality for the prem.

    What a pleasant surprise

  37. MidwestGun

    Jwl-
    Yep.. with all theses Spanish connections… I wouldn’t be opposed to skimming off some cast aways.. Although unfortunately Isco wont be one of them.. I miss Santi Carzola… not gonna lie. We haven’t had proper replacement. CM who can dribble in tights spaces and score a goal when needed. Iwobi not exactly doing it for me.. although I think he is good enough for many matchups.. decent squad player.

  38. Valentin

    @Pierre,

    I wholeheartedly agree that Leno has been a massive improvement on Cech. My doubt were two folds.
    I had misgiving about his ability to handle the much more physicality of the league. In short, will he be able to handle the rough play at crosses and corners. He has adapted and I don’t remember a game where he made a mistake because he did not go full steam ahead.
    My second objection was about his concentration. He was well known to regularly make big howlers. With Arsenal being a better team, he would have even less to do so the risk of stupid lapses of concentration increased. However he has not made any such mistakes.

    He has been a breeze of fresh air as a sweeper keeper especially when compared to Cech who is too static and rooted to his line. Also his distribution foot kicking while not to the level of the ManCity goalkeeper is top notch.
    On Sunday there was a moment when he charged out of his box, and just took the ball and then make a very good pass in the channel for our attacker to chase.

  39. Marko

    There’s no way anyone who isn’t living in London can truly get a feel for the footballing culture. The banter at work. The rivalry and the tribalism we share…Only Glaswegians and northern Irish will truly appreciate that.

    You do realize that northern Ireland isn’t in Scotland right? So it’s a question of distance is it? If you’re from London to you get it but if you’re further you don’t get it? Doesn’t explain Scotland and Northern Ireland sharing the same passion for the old firm. Makes sense everyway you look at it

  40. Pierre

    I can see iwobi and Guendouzi ( possibly also Torreira) taking a back seat for the remainder of the season.
    I can see Saurez getting more and more game time as the season progresses.
    I can see Ozil and Ramsey being regular starters .
    I can see us having a strong end to the season .

    First we have to beat Rennes with Ozil , Ramsey and Saurez playing important roles. If we are eliminated with them in the team then Emery is prone to panic with team selections and looks for a scapegoat and so far this season Ozil and Ramsey have been top of the list.

    Qualification on Thursday will settle everything down and Emery will have learnt to trust Ozil ,Saurez and Ramsey for the big, important games .

    I fear there is no way back for them if we are eliminated.

  41. Words on a Blog

    “Un Battle Angel” (weird moniker by the way, although I guess I can’t speak).

    I’m a North Londoner.

    I go to the home matches.

    I’m pretty sure that MidWest, Receding, Dissenter, and many, many others on this blog, who live far, far away and may not have much of a connection with North London are more avid gunners than me.

    “Suck my balls?”

    Jesus, grow up and get a life.

  42. Marko

    He’s helping to expose the far leftist culture that’s deep routed on both sides of the pond. A big point of attack. Along with Bannon and a few other choice names helping to rid us of the scourge afflicting the minds of so many impressionable young fools.

    You can’t possibly know what it is you’re talking about though Don you live too far away to truly understand the topics that you’re trying to speak about. You don’t get it

  43. Valentin

    @Midwest,

    Guendouzi is lacking two things to be a great midfielder.
    He does not know how to use his body to shield the ball from his opponents. Because he does not shield properly he is inviting them to have a bite at him. With a lenient referee he is likely to lose the ball after being at the receiving bend of what he will perceive to a foul against him. He need to add that physicality and nastiness to his game. At Feyenord, RVP learned to play in what is nicknamed the cage. Guendouzi needs to have every day for a full season of 20 minutes of him against two opposition midfielders and try to retain possession and pass forward. Or 2 v 3.

    The second aspect of his game he needs to work on is his end product near the penalty box. His shooting is atrocious and with some improvement he should be able to contribute at least 4~8 goals a season. Again training session dedicated to that aspect is the only way to improve.

  44. azed

    “I can see Saurez getting more and more game time as the season progresses.”

    Is Pierre warming up to Dennis Suarez??

  45. salpardisenyc

    Nothing worse than fandom dick measuring.

    I say come one, come all and why wouldn’t you? It’s the Arsenal ffs.

  46. Marko

    I can’t see Suarez getting much game time because I don’t think we’re interested in making him permanent. I think it’s obvious we only want him for a short term loan

  47. Graham62

    I was born in Chester. Never lived in London, although my father was a Hackney lad. Mother was a Scots lass.
    Lived and worked overseas for twenty years. Started supporting Arsenal in 1968, at the age of six. Understand about the rivalries and tribalist attitudes. Was a part of the Highbury culture between 1974-1984. Have seen enough about life to realise that getting into a heated discussion on a blog is not really worth the effort, especially when you’re dealing with such ignorant small minded individuals.

  48. Dissenter

    “By the looks of it dissenter and the rest just didn’t get that sense of elation from the win yesterday that we got. So suck my baaaaaalls”

    Given that your balls are so tiny, it would be like a blue whale trying to suck on tic tacs

  49. Pierre

    Marko
    “I can’t see Suarez getting much game time because I don’t think we’re interested in making him permanent. I think it’s obvious we only want him for a short term loan”

    You’re not making sense.

    What difference does it make it it is permanent or short term , if he gives us a different option and is better than iwobi then surely Emery should use him.

  50. HillWood

    “. Have seen enough about life to realise that getting into a heated discussion on a blog is not really worth the effort, especially when you’re dealing with such ignorant small minded individuals.”

    Says Graham 62 while getting himself involved in said discussion Lol

  51. Luteo Guenreira

    You can’t possibly know what it is you’re talking about though Don you live too far away to truly understand the topics that you’re trying to speak about. You don’t get it

    Is this right here the type of banter I’m missing at work?

  52. Dissenter

    Pierre
    Dont lump in Ramsey with Ozil.
    Ramsey has not been calling in sick like Ozil.
    That said Ozil has a very good game on Sunday and the Emirates crowd gave a rouysing ovation when he was subbed on

    I agree that we looked better with him against a good side
    Ozil starting will work, provided Mykhi isn’t playing and the rest of the team is ready to put in that extra 5% to compensate for his lack of physicality.
    Also Guendouzi isn’t experienced enough to cover for Ozil so he may have to be saved for when Ozil is pulled off in the 65th minute.
    I would start with Ramsey and Ozil and sub them off at 65-70 mins for any Mykhi and Guendouzi…or vice versa.
    Auba or Lac is pulled off for Suarez or Iwobi around 70 mins.

  53. Emiratesstroller

    It will be interesting to see which midfield players will remain at Arsenal in the summer transfer window.

    We know already that Ramsey will be leaving. Elneny is also surplus to requirements, because his game time is virtually non existent when it comes
    to EPL.

    There are also clear signs that Ozil and Mkhitaryan might be offloaded if
    we can sell them in the summer window. Based on policy decisions announced recently both players should go since their current contracts expire in June 2021 and the club has announced that no player should stay
    at club if their contracts are not renewed two years before expiry date. Both
    players contracts expire in 2021.

    Suarez is on loan and I have doubts whether Arsenal would sign this player
    for £18 million considering our limited budget.

    This would leave just 4 midfield players on books in Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Maitland-Niles.

    There might be also the option of Chambers returning to club. He has been
    apparently playing quite well as a Defensive midfielder and is still 24. We
    know that he is versatile and his contract expires in 2022. He might be considered cover for Torreira/Xhaka in DMF role or Bellerin at RB.

  54. Samesong

    Last week I came into work with that glory glory man united song….

    Today the place was like an morgue I was like to the lads where’s that song you were playing can’t hear it. Cunts

  55. Nelson

    I don’t think Emery will play 3 CB’s. It is too defensive against a weaker side. He will go with his favorite 4 2 3 1 formation.

  56. salpardisenyc

    Upcoming weekend of rest with Wolves in FA cup its gotta be as full strength as we can go.

    I suspect back four, Sokratis out, Kox gashed up going to be makeshift defense.
    Balls out attack.

  57. China1

    ET it’s exceptionally unlikely that we would lose 5 CMs in a single window

    El neny and Ramsey are nailed on. Suarez presumably but not 100% clear.

    I doubt having lost 2 or 3 that both of ozil and mikki would be let go, especially if both of them finish the season reasonably well

  58. Un Battle Angel

    Whipped you bitches up a storm last night I see. Sorry but I had to go live my life. Being a London born arsenal supporter and drenched in that culture and all. Don’t be jel……

  59. China1

    The biggest scourge of politics is the tribalism that people have gotten sucked into

    Politics has become as polarized as sport where people pick a team and that’s it. They’ll defend their team to the hilt and everything the opposition say is wrong, evil or fake news

    What’s most concerning is that people have allowed themselves to get sucked into it.

    For example no serious Christian could possibly be happy with Trump considering his cheating and lying. Would Jesus have voted for him? FUCKING NO. He represents so many of the wrongs which people claim to be against, yet he’s a republican by name so that’s fine if you wear the same colors.

    Obama also get let off for being a shocking president in terms of civil liberties protections and broke most of his campaign promises and vision for change in exchange for more of the same from Bush era with the exception of Obamacare. But hey he was a cool guy and a good orator, so Democrats wouldn’t hear a bad word said of him lol

    Think about how ridiculous it is that people pledge their loyalty to a political party. One that represents dozens upon dozens of positions. What are the odds that anyone actually agrees with more than 75% of them without being strongly against the remaining 25%?

    In the UK right now it’s literally embarrassing that people will shit on either particular party exclusively when the Tories are overseeing an era which is one of the biggest shambles in modern British history. They nearly broke up the UK, then the way we have handled brexit is literally making us a laughing stock of the world, if that doesn’t end well (very possibly) then you can expect the scots to resume a push for independence again. Meanwhile there’s scandal after scandal in government (failing grayling the latest in a very long line) and May is constantly being challenged by her own party.

    This should be labour’s big moment to easily walk back into power but they are in a complete shambles as well.

    How anyone can defend either of these right now is beyond belief. It’s as tribalistic and devoid of reason as supporting a football club. The difference is football is just a sport and it’s for fun.

  60. China1

    With trump being such a dumbass and embarrassment the democrats should be having a field day but then you see some of the absolute nonsense getting a push in that party like AOC and some of the hilarious bs she comes out with, people claiming to be Native American because their blood is 1/32nd Native, Pelosi using shut downs as a tool, Amazon getting turned away from New York based on a complete lack of understanding about economics and it’s no wonder that the republicans are still in power

    Politics on both sides of the pond right now is a fucking disgraceful race to the bottom with both teams commuting own goal after own goal but people can’t smell the cheese and still defend/attack said parties to the hilt based on some weird sense of loyalty

  61. China1

    When people say either party in either country is doing a good job right now it sounds exactly like when wenger said it’s ideal to see Sanchez and ozil falling into the last year of the contract.

    It beggars belief

  62. China1

    Choosing between either major party in either country right now is like choosing who you want to be the next arsenal manager out of Alan pardew and Sam Allardyce

    By all means have a preference but be self aware that your pick is still total wank at least

  63. DivineSherlock

    China1

    Mate , this politics thing right now is worldwide phenomenon now. What you’ve said is what is happening right now in India too , people blindly believing in everything their political parties they are aligned to says . Extreme situation.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    I agree that it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will offload 5 Central/Attacking
    Midfield players, but applying the new contract formula, which Arsenal have
    announced that players will not be allowed to remain at club in final two years
    of contract unless renewed then one has to ask questions about future of both
    Ozil and Mkhitaryan whose current contracts expire in 2021.

    The reality is that both players are now 30+ and on wages, which no other club
    in Europe would pay based on their current performance.

    The only way that I see Ozil being shifted out of the club will be if Arsenal are
    taking a huge hit on his salary. The cost of remaining two years is £36 million.

  65. Trask

    ES

    The two year thing is most likely for players in their 20s who still have a resale value that the club would rather exploit and not for players in their 30s whose contract can be allowed to run down.

    I see no reason why we cannot offload all, including Miki and Ozil, the club needs to make drastic changes, although Miki could be kept I guess.

    Ozil though has got to be sold in my opinion. Otherwise, this club ain’t going nowhere anytime soon,as his wages are not in line with his performances, as for where he would be sold to, the MLS is there to welcome him, we take a hit so what. I would also be looking at Auba too, try to get some money back. the loss of his pace would not be as detrimental if we get wingers who have it in spades.

    Montreal signing a new contract does not fill me with the confidence that we will get a new LB, except Lola is flogged, which I do not see TBH. That is still gonna be a weak area next season.

  66. GuNZ

    By The Fates, I haven’t posted on here for a while but am several G & Ts to the wind so why the heck not?

    I have to confess that Unai looks more attractive after a few spirits. He really doesn’t do it for me in that photo where he looks like an ugly undead with a good gel job in a coffin, but I did like that post-Man U. grin of triumph, I have to say.

    Top 4? Fuck, I hope so, but we’re going to need a few other results to go our way.

  67. DivineSherlock

    I would love for Top4 + St. Totteringham day to happen. That would be hilarious. Plus a Europa League victory over Chelsea blocking them from entering CL.

  68. GuNZ

    Do you know, I have now been an Arsenal fan for 57 years. Of course, I don’t remember the first few because of that frontal-lobey memory thingy or whatever it is – but I always felt drawn to the old-fashioned barber shop poles and nose-bleeds on the snow, so I guess that means something. 57 fucking years . . . fuck me . . . time for another G & T. May the deity of your choice bless you, Pedro.

  69. Sanmi

    China
    Jesus would have voted for trump considering the alternative is child killing democrats. It’s a matter of lesser evil. An adulterer is better than a murderer.
    Btw, Jesus learnt to seperate politics from religion.

  70. jasongms

    “alternative is child killing democrats.”

    Wow!! How about you add paedophiles while you’re at it…

    As Chomsky would say the Republican party is the Most Dangerous Organization in Human History, mind you, its members aren’t that far behind, disgusting repulsive deniers and incapable of the rudimentary human empathy.

  71. jasongms

    the fact that Republican voters go out of their way to vote against their better interests validates the above statement