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. Mr Serge

    Pedro being Greek I have read sokratis lips a few times this season it’s funny as hell whist he says to others

  2. Dream10

    Quality from Ramsey yesterday. Not sure we win that match if Torreira started instead. He sacrificed going forward and put in an excellent defensive shift

  3. Mr Serge

    Last week when Mustafi screwed up Sokratis grabbed his face and said what was that you malaga he is a Spartan

  4. JDavey

    Top post Pedders, to me being 25% better off than last season is a pretty good indication of decent improvement. Especially with a good set of remaining fixtures and key defensive options being ruled out for such a long time this year.

    Get in the champions league and back this manager and I honestly believe we could really compete again.

  5. TitsMcGee

    Definitely had a stroke of luck as match could have easily ended 3-3 on another day but that happens in football and I’ll gladly take 3 points.

    12 points better than same point last season with essentially the same players speaks volumes for me. Yes other factors go into it but we are more competitive in the bigger games and that is all you can ask for in year 1. Hopefully we continue to see improvement.

  6. TheBoyCornelius

    Great performance and result yesterday. I love it when we show up and are there to be counted, not roll over and have our bellies tickled. Emery has no qualms about calling on the dark arts and has an on field sargent in Papa to see the shithousing gets done. Kolasinac don’t take no shit either…

  7. TheBoyCornelius

    Emery made big calls on the lineup and tactics too. Great to see he is brave enough to make those calls, knowing it could have went tits up, especially after what went wrong in Rennes.

  8. Graham62

    Kola is becoming a key player.

    Nice to have someone in the team that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

  9. Emiratesstroller

    PEDRO

    Interesting report that Josh Kroenke came to yesterday’s game and arranged a
    90 minute Meeting with members of Arsenal Supporters Club and Season Ticket Holders.

    Apparently the meeting was full and frank about how the club will be run in future.

    The article suggests also that Monchi is coming to Arsenal as Technical Director and will be signing three year contract at £2.5 million per annum.

    On the top of transfers and contracts it is suggested that Arsenal need to be
    more clever than in past. They will buy players who add good value rather
    than cost mega transfer fees.

    Also no player will be allowed to stay at club if he does not sign a new contract at least 2 years before its expiration.

    I think that the owners have most definitely a clear view about how the club
    should be run in the future

  10. JDavey

    Thomas

    Emery is rebuilding from the shitshow that Wenger left us in, so top four in his first season would be a very good way to start.

  11. JDavey

    In the long run, top four year in year out (whilst trying to compete for the title), and winning a cup and/or being a decent threat in the CL should be our objectives. For now, give the manager a chance, he doesn’t have a magic wand.

  12. Valentin

    Emery is at last learning that Arsenal is better on the front foot, but without leaving us exposed to counter-attack.

    Our wingbacks were important in neutralising any threat on the outside. Defensively AMN was immense during the second half. Quick, pacy and resolute, neither Rashford nor Martial did go past him.

    One disappointing thing is the fact we did not scored from Kolasinac crosses. Lacazette fluffed his early line. For a goal scorer, Aubameyang never attack the center of the penalty box where most poachers score. He tends to favour the second post, which does not look that effective.

    Credit due to Emery who did not made the mistake of making defensive substitutions. At Arsenal they never worked. They give momentum to the opposition and players tend to retreat further toward their own goal

    Nkethia showed in less than 10 minutes, why he is rated so highly. He may be skinny, but he is stronger than he looks. Also his holding-up play and ability to draw fouls should make him a valuable player when we are defending a narrow lead.

  13. DM

    Morning guys! You may have noticed I haven’t been around for a few days – there is a reason for this… On Thursday night my wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter 😀 (our first child). So it may take a while for me to be able to claim my tr4phies again, but don’t worry, they will be mine eventually! In the meantime, at least there;s another Gooner in the world 🙂

  14. Valentin

    Last season Arsenal had the second best home record in the league, the big let down was our away form. Any improvement on the horror away show would lead to a massive uplift.

    The big question is whether the other teams will also improve.
    Spurs are now victim of their small squad getting knackered after a World Cup year. They are collapsing and with difficult fixtures ahead. They will miss Champion’s league football.
    ManUtd have still momentum, and I think will get 3rd place.
    Chelsea is the most likely to win the Europa League. However I think that they will draw too many games to get top 4 in the league.

    Next season I expect a transfer ban for Chelsea. ManCity will have to either accept a transfer band or be expelled from the Champion’s league.
    That could really create an opening for Arsenal.

  15. DM

    Thanks JDavey!

    Pedro, really good post today!

    One moment I loved in the game, just before that pic of Laca and Auba… when Laca got up after the pen had been given, I’m pretty sure I saw him straight away shout “AUBA!!”. He knew this was a big moment for him and he was backing him 100%. It’s so nice to see a genuine partnership (/bromance) like this, not just something for the cameras.

    Re the pitch-invading idiots, I think there should be a cross-sport agreement that anyone doing these sorts of things gets banned from EVER going to ANY stadium for ANY sport ANYWHERE in the world. Surely that’d stop all but the complete and utter nutters (who you will never stop, no matter what). Would 10 seconds of “fame” really be worth never going to watch any sporting event ever again??

  16. Valentin

    @DM,

    Congratulations to you and your wife.
    Be careful what you post, not so long ago I was accused of over sharing by some angry troll.

  17. DM

    Thanks Valentin! I hear you… but trolls be trollin’! I would never post any details but I think to say we had a baby is fair enough. But can never please em all! 🙂

  18. Words on a Blog

    DM congrats on your baby girl and hope to see you competing for the Top 4 trophy when you manage to get some sleep!

  19. Words on a Blog

    One of the major things that a lot of people (including me) have criticised Emery for has been the absence of a discernible pattern of play or “football philosophy”.

    And it has to be said, when things ain’t working, Arsenal do look all over the place.

    But at the same time, the constant adaptation of tactics, systems and personnel does have the advantage of giving opposing managers and players an “unpredictability headache” and does often put our opponents on the back foot.

    It used to be treaty easy for our opponents to prepare against Wenger’s Arsenal.

    It certainly ain’t the case now.

  20. Receding Hairline

    I don’t get this call for a discernible pattern of play..what does that show exactly?? That we are elite??

    What is wrong with preparing for matches with the oppositions strengths in mind rather than playing each game the same way, we have tried the imposing our style of play on everyone thing and it did not do us much good did it??

  21. Arse&Nose©

    We’ve shown our teeth in big games this season, fighting for every ball and pressing with intensity. Emery has definitely made a difference to our attitude for these games.

  22. Little Mozart

    Congrats DM, I’ll enjoy being papa especially those nights they decide u ain’t gonna close yo eyes!! Happy for you

  23. Danny

    The problem is still our away form. Against the other top 6 teams this season we’ve taken 2 points out of 15 and that just isn’t good enough.

  24. Words on a Blog

    Receding – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an “adaptive” approach where we play with our opponents strengths and weaknesses in mind and/or keep them guessing with changes in tactics and personnel.

    It’s partly that, after years of Wenger one-strategy-fits all approach, we’ve been conditioned to expect an obvious, discernible style.

    And to be fair, the really elite/top teams (Barça, Man C, and now Liverpool) do have a pretty clear style of play

  25. GoonerDave

    Security failed – these people should never have the opportunity to run onto the pitch. Certainly the dope who attacked Grealish should be charged with assault. Not sure the second offender deserves the same punishment.
    Agree with the article, fair dues to Grealish for scoring the goal afterwards.

  26. Graham62

    Words on a Blog

    “It used to be really easy for our opponents to prepare against Wenger’s Arsenal”

    Understatement of the day/week/year/decade…….ah, what the heck, century!!

  27. China1

    Sokratis is legit

    He’s a good player and also a bit of a rabid psycho which is ideal for a CB lol

    Now kos is back to his best and plays the part of a ‘cultured warrior’ alongside him so we have two battlers now, one with class and the other with aggression. It’s a very nice balance

    Monreal adds calmness and consistency and we’re just a quality rb away from looking surprisingly good at the back

    Bellerin is good enough but does drop one major clanger per game. A younger monreal clone out on the right and we’d be set

    I’ll probably change my time again after a horror show against trash opposition, but it feels like kos and monreal both have another year in them at this level.

    I would be looking to hold on to them right now

  28. Kronkees wallet

    Thomas..you’re a wenger-loving jerk…. Emery is a proper manager/tactician…Wenger was a dopey fraud….got success through the George Graham players, and the players subsequently given the format handed down by those players…

  29. gunnershabz

    congrats DM

    I am hoping to be a Papa soon, the mrs is due very soon

    I did tell her don’t bother going into labour yesterday evening

    she did give me one hell of a look

  30. Graham62

    DM

    Many congratulations. Savour every moment.

    The guy who ran on at St Andrews deserves the harshest of punishments.

    The Emirates moron lifetime ban.

    Worrying signs these past few months.

  31. Words on a Blog

    As someone who goes to pretty much every home match, one thing I never get anymore is that sinking feeling of “oh God, here we go again!”

    These days, it’s more like, “what the hell has Emery got up his sleeve this time?”

    Sometimes what he has up his sleeve is a damp squib. At other times, it’s pretty effective.

    But I have to say, the new feeling is pretty refreshing.

    Now if only we can get the away performances to match……

  32. Receding Hairline

    “And to be fair, the really elite/top teams (Barça, Man C, and now Liverpool) do have a pretty clear style of play”

    If you call give it to Messi a pattern of play, Even Liverpool have had to tweak theirs, they no longer go full heavy metal cos it leaves them open at the back. Man City yes i concede they do have a discernible pattern although they can also play a few different systems, and most importantly have spent a small countries GDP to build it.

  33. Dissenter

    DM
    Safe to say, you won’t be taking part in that top-4 competition anymore ‘cos you baby will keep you occupied.
    Congrats…hope you get triplets next time.

  34. Graham62

    No! no! no!…………..I won’t have it. Wenger was not “a dopey fraud”.

    He was an absolute genius😜😂

  35. Dissenter

    Emery should continue to switch up the pattern of play as he deems if.
    He’s figured out that Arsenal fans are easily bored and are seeking special sauce.
    The Wengerized players were deprived of proper tactical management for so long. This approach helps them to catch up on those skill sets.
    Come next season, it will be easier to switch up during games because the players will be familiar with the managers tactics.

  36. HighburyLegend

    @Jamie Carragher: “Yes, I think they [Man Utd] were unlucky. I don’t think it was a penalty.”

    An ex- Scouser who feels sorry for Manure.
    You can’t invent stuff like that.

  37. Receding Hairline

    Gary Neville noted the Emery tweak that re-balanced the contest in the second half: “They were going punch for punch the first 10 minutes of the second half and you thought ‘it’s like basketball, this’. It was 3v3 at one end with [Mesut] Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang.

    “There was a point when Emery said ‘right, we’re going to concede here’ and he stepped those three back a touch towards the midfield. They became a bit more compact and then they started to counter-attack. It was a subtle switch but allowed the attacking players to do the damage – and they did do the damage.”

  38. Nelson

    The game against Spuds is something we can build on when we play the remaining away games. Don’t worry, in Wenger we trust. Ops, typo.

  39. Words on a Blog

    Receding – I think there’s a bit more to Barça’s style than “give it to Messi”.

    Still it will be interesting to see how effective their “philosophy” is when
    messi eventually retires….I don’t think anyone will be surprised if they suffer a Christiano-Real style slump when he goes

  40. Pierre

    Receding Hairline
    ““There was a point when Emery said ‘right, we’re going to concede here’ and he stepped those three back a touch towards the midfield. They became a bit more compact and then they started to counter-attack. It was a subtle switch but allowed the attacking players to do the damage – and they did do the damage.”

    It doesn’t make one a tactical genius for doing something so simple as the above .let’s not get carried away here.

    I sometimes think that some are so desperate to find proof(a sign) that Emery is the messiah that we are moving into ” the life of Brian” territory.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka9mfZbTFbk

  41. Leedsgunner

    I was brought up not to revel in the misfortune of others but I cannot tell a lie, it was brilliant this morning at the gym to have all the Manchester United fans avoid me.😂 😂 😂

  42. Receding Hairline

    “It doesn’t make one a tactical genius for doing something so simple as the above .let’s not get carried away here.”

    No one used the word Genius so why are you getting hot under the collar

  43. Valentin

    There is a difference between a philosophy and a tactic.
    Sarri got find out, because he has one tactic that everybody knows now how to nullify. Neutralise Jorginho and they are impotent and rely on the individual brilliance of Eden Hazard to score.

    OGS has a philosophy. Play high octane, vertical direct to the goal with Pogba used a quarterback sending long pass over the top ton defenders..
    Klopp completely changed tactics and philosophy. Gone are the gegen-pressing as it has two main flaws. Firstly It leaves you open to quick counter-attack. Secondly it mentally and physically drains players. In Germany with their long winter break, he was able to recharge players. Here in UK, past Christmas teams are in recovery management mode.

    Guardiola has a philosophy but multiple tactics. His constant tinkering of his team system to adjust both to what is currently happening has been a constant if him.

    The main advantage of having a defined philosophy is that players have a good comprehension of what is required of them even when tactic changes. They have also better fall-back reflex when a tactic is floundering.

    Also Emery has changed his philosophy. From initially high pressure with slow build from the back, we have now moved to a much more vertical game. Leno is now making a lot more long crossfield pass than Cech did in the first few games. We still favour the flanks, but with Özil and Mhikitarian back in we are now also playing through the middle. We have also ditched the ultra high line of the beginning of the season.

  44. Leedsgunner

    Congrats DM!

    Fatherhood is brilliant… especially when your cocky 10 year Man United supporting son tells you he’s so confident that Man United will win that he suggests that he’ll be your slave for the day if Arsenal win.

    If Man United won, I agreed to take him out for meal at a place of his choosing.

    I think I’ll still take him out for a meal but make him wear one of my old Arsenal shirts for the day.

    😂 😂 😂

  45. Words on a Blog

    Valentin – so I guess with Emery we are now at the phase of multiple tactics, emerging philosophy…..

  46. Arse&Nose©

    To come out of Spurs away and Man Utd at home with 4 points is way beyond the predictions pundits made on us a few weeks back; according to most, we were in for a thrashing from both teams.

  47. Arse&Nose©

    My only negative is that the more I see of Lacazette, the more I think we should sell him and invest in a more flexible wide forward.

    He works hard, but takes far too many touches, slows down counter attacks and tries to do it all on his own. Our fluidity up front would benefit from a player who is quicker to look up and release the pass or shot.

  48. Receding Hairline

    “To come out of Spurs away and Man Utd at home with 4 points is way beyond the predictions pundits made on us a few weeks back; according to most, we were in for a thrashing from both teams.”

    I for one didn’t predict that and was left pleasantly surprised. I thought we were going to lose badly yesterday, we ended up with a clean sheet.

  49. Pierre

    Valentin
    “Also Emery has changed his philosophy. From initially high pressure with slow build from the back, we have now moved to a much more vertical game. Leno is now making a lot more long crossfield pass than Cech did in the first few games. We still favour the flanks, but with Özil and Mhikitarian back in we are now also playing through the middle. We have also ditched the ultra high line of the beginning of the season.”

    Well said ..our attacking play had become too predictable over the last 3 months . The ball inside the full back for kolasinac is a good and effective option but now we have a lot more options going forward.

    The strength of this Arsenal team is in our forward play so I think it is vital that we play to our strengths in our remaining away games .
    Emery has a lot of good options offensively , I feel we need to take the game to the opposition away from home , since Southampton away we have been abysmal away from home .

    10 games …lost 6 drawn 2.won 2 and our wins were against Blackpool and Huddersfield.

    It obviously needs a tactical change , playing with only 3 offensive players during this period has not worked plus our defence has not looked secure.

    It is always my belief that away from home we need players who can take care of the ball , this takes pressure off the defence , it silences the home fans and saves energy ..

    We have been poor in possession away from home since the Southampton game.

  50. Valentin

    @Receding,

    Except that Gary Neville is wrong. He assumed that it was a conscious decision, when I believe that it was a natural reaction to the tweaks that OGS did.

    Paul Pogba was moved from the left side to a more central higher position. That meant that Ramsey and Özil position who were clearly tasked to stay in his vicinity, suddenly had a much lower position. In the stand we could clearly see Özil asking Aubameyang and Lacazette to come deeper so that the distance between the line were kept the same.
    OGS tweaks resulted in less pressing simply because it became too risky. In one or two occasions, they went behind our midfield and we got saved by last ditch tackles by AMN and Kolasinac.
    I expected the introduction of Martial to have an impact, but by sitting lower, Özil and Ramsey were able to cut most passes to him. AMN was then also sitting deeper and Martial pace was less an issue. Our Back 3 was really a back 5 during most of the second half. Whenever Martial was able to go pass AMN, we blocked the inside pass and one of our CB was able to deal with him. We got a certain number of turn over because we outnumbered him.

  51. Words on a Blog

    Pierre – somewhat surprised, but I totally agree with your analysis.

    A little more attacking adventurousness, supported by players who can keep possession, would be a welcome tactical change in away games.

  52. gonsterous

    I’m still on a high after that win, was on a low last weekend so maybe it’s not the best thing for my health 🙂 (fk it, no one lives forever )

  53. Leedsgunner

    Man United started to believe in their own hype and became complacent—- we buckled down and did what we should have done from the beginning of the season… we attacked together as a team and defended together as a team.

    Plus we wanted it more.

    Well done Arsenal.

  54. Valentin

    @Word,

    Exactly, Emery has finally learned that the high pressing game, slow build from the back does not work in the premiership.

    If we are slow to build from the back, we run the risk of players committing mistakes while under pressure. There is a reason why out of the top teams Arsenal has the conceded the most from individual mistakes. We were taking too many risk and our players do not have the dancing feet of a Cazorla, About Diaby, Silva to extricate themselves from tight situation. With lenient referees letting team kick Arsenal that was always a dangerous tactic to use.

    Gegen-pressing is also now gone as a philosophy. We now press much more like ManCity try to press for 7 seconds to retrieve the ball, then retreat.
    The only time when we receive the pressing is against lowly opponent and their CBs. Most of the time it is done on his own by Lacazette.

    It is just a shame that it took half a season to come to realise things that were evident from the start.

  55. Pedro

    DM,

    Massive congratulations to you and your wife. I hope you shouted FIRST when she arrived and called her Thierry!

    Big love from Le Grove, all the best to you wife x

  56. Thomas

    Kronkees walletMarch 11, 2019 11:11:16
    Thomas..you’re a wenger-loving jerk…

    ___________

    Lol no i’m not. He’s a loser. Doesn’t mean Emery is the right man for the job.

  57. Pedro

    Very good points raised about Emery mixing up how we play. A lot more football going through the middle of late.

    Wow, isn’t the comments section pleasant today?

    DM should have a child every week.

  58. JDavey

    A&N

    Surely not sell laca pls, he’s the one who makes things happen up there. He works his socks off and fights for every 50/50 ball.

    Never mind selling him we need to add quality in wide areas with him and quality in defensive areas so he doesn’t have to carry the team as much.

  59. JDavey

    Why do people want emery to fail on here, he’s got us into a decent position and we’re competing against the top sides. Not much more any manager in the world could have done in his first season, after taking over such a mess.

  60. Guns of Hackney

    Cool your jets everyone.

    While this was a very good result against a team on the up, it brings once again into question why we have so many ‘bad’ days? Consistency will win you a lot more games than the up and down BS arsenal put everyone through…it proves we don’t have the stomach or ability or concentration to win the big prizes. Is it any coincidence that we became an FA cup winning machine under Wenger? Short format, gaps between games…it really suits us.

    One game in isolation doesn’t make Emery a good…Rennes was a joke as was quite a few games this season.

    Emery is so like Wenger it’s unbelievable actually. Both limited but both capable of pulling off the the odd result here and there.

    Good win though but these days beating united isn’t like it used to be.

  61. JDavey

    Fucking hell who would of guessed GoH would still be all negative after a performance and result like yesterday’s.

  62. Leftsidesanch

    You want us to be miserable all the time? Why shouldn’t we be happy? Supporting Arsenal isn’t mandatory – if your going to do it and can’t take pleasure in beating an old rival in a relatively high stakes game why bother.

    Congrats to DM and wife, fantastic news.

  63. Leftsidesanch

    Fucking hell who would of guessed GoH would still be all negative after a performance and result like yesterday’s.

    Everyone, when you got a role to play it doesn’t matter what happens, you can’t shake the character/persona.

  64. Pierre

    Except for the 3 goals we conceded when we were down to ten men v Rennes , our defence has started to look more compact .

    Bate 3-0, Southampton 2-0, Bournemouth 5-1, Tottenham 1-1 and United 2-0 .

    2 goals conceded in those 5 games, scoring 13 is a noticeable improvement at the back.
    Changing back to the 4-2-3-1 system during this period has had its obvious benefits though Emery changed back to wing backs for the United game and it worked well.
    I am hoping that the manager predominately plays the 4-2-3-1 system until the end of the season ..
    The only disadvantage with that system is it negates the threat of Kolasinac going forward when he plays as a wing back.

  65. Guns of Hackney

    JDavey

    It’s not negative. It’s fact.

    Beating united means nothing unless it actually means something at the end of the season. If this result means arsenal get their coveted fourth spot, great. If we fall short…who gives a flying one?

    Anyway, if beating united means it keeps emery in a job…I’d rather united walloped us.

  66. Leftsidesanch

    Lol no i’m not. He’s a loser. Doesn’t mean Emery is the right man for the job.

    He probably isn’t in the long term but what does it matter to you, aren’t you on record as not being a Arsenal fan?

  67. Paulinho

    As I said after the Rennes game, the hysterics have to stop after every freakish game in Europe. Anyone with any objectivity at all can see Emery is doing a good job, and the United game is another we can add onto the others as matches Emery has managed better than Wenger.

    The squad rotation is another thing he has managed very well. He was doing an even more superb job of it when Welbeck and Holding were fit, and I actually fancied us for a title tilt as a result, but the injuries put paid to that. One of Wenger’s biggest flaws in his final years was not adapting to a squad game, and the increased numbers. He much preferred working with a smaller squad. Now we have a freshness and vitality about us at a time of the season we usually look leggy and lethargic.

  68. DivineSherlock

    Going forward , I think replacing Ramsey will be key this summer. We need someone who can be a no.10 or no.8 . Ramsey was immense last night .

  69. JDavey

    GoH

    Did you honestly our new manager whoever it may of been, to take us to challenging from the league from where Wenger left us.

    If you did then you’re delusional, he is doing a decent job in only his first year, no?

  70. Guns of Hackney

    JDavey

    He made a shite defence worse, mate. And it was pretty shit before. That takes skill.

    If he fails to get fourth…he’s failed. Just like Wenger.

    Fact.

  71. JDavey

    Having been without Kosc, Bellerin and holding for long spells we were never going to be the strongest at the back this season. Plus as we all know we’re better on the front foot anyway.

    As for failing if we don’t get fourth, maybe. But we haven’t failed as of yet, we’re on track to do it with the most favourable fixtures.

  72. Pierre

    Sherlock
    “Going forward , I think replacing Ramsey will be key this summer. We need someone who can be a no.10 or no.8 . Ramsey was immense last night .”

    Ramsey didn’t really play as a ten or eight yesterday , his principle job was to sit alongside xhaka and protect the defence with occasionally supporting the attack from deep.
    I don’t believe we need to sign a replacement ,Smith rowe or Willock should be given a chance to prove themselves.

    Good to see that Ramsey managed to restrain himself from continually making runs into the opposition box and remained disciplined throughout to the benefit of the team .

  73. Receding Hairline

    How we have missed Welbz and Holding …two players who were playing very well before going down, add Bellerin to the list and it becomes clear we have had to make do and yet here we are still with our objectives in sight and some are going to extreme lengths to avoid giving the manager credit

    “Not the man for the long term” who cares, lets face the short term first and restore respectability back to this football club, in case you haven’t noticed we have been a joke

  74. gunnershabz

    I am hoping now with man u loss they may start to come down a peg or two

    but I do think we need to really improve that away record, maybe the players think they can turn up and do them over

    I think arsenal scored too early against rennes and they thought “this will be a breeze”

    we really need to come out of the blocks on Thursday, similar to BATE

    get those two goals before half time and they will be all over the place

    hopefully we can play a similar side against them like the man u game

  75. Paulinho

    “eight yesterday , his principle job was to sit alongside xhaka and protect the defence with occasionally supporting the attack from deep”

    So number eight then.

  76. Receding Hairline

    We need to replace Ramsey. enough with all this clamor for youth based on nothing, go out there and get an established midfielder to come in and do a job.

    Send the kids to Germany if need be, thought we learnt something from the OTT Nelson hype earlier in the season

  77. jwl

    I have not given a flying fcuk about Arsenal results for at least five years, win lose or draw we all knew with Wenger it would all go tits up at some point in season, but this year is different.

    Draw against Spuds last week really affected my mood for first time in I don’t remember how long and win this weekend against manure was awesome.

    I know Emery not everyone’s cup of tea but he doing everything we wanted of a manager. A bunch of players have improved under his guidance, young players are being given a chance and we now have manager who thinks about how to counteract opposing team’s strengths.

    And congratulations to DM, who’s life will never be same again.

  78. Guns of Hackney

    Sad that fourth is the ultimate goal for a club of this stature and scale.

    Basically the equivalent of a promoted team hoping they don’t get relegated.

    Ambitions.

  79. gunnershabz

    Receding Hairline

    “How we have missed Welbz and Holding …two players who were playing very well before going down, add Bellerin to the list and it becomes clear we have had to make do and yet here we are still with our objectives in sight and some are going to extreme lengths to avoid giving the manager credit

    “Not the man for the long term” who cares, lets face the short term first and restore respectability back to this football club, in case you haven’t noticed we have been a joke”

    I do think welbeck is a good squad player we have certainly missed. his pace and power up front was needed against rennes for example and he can hold it up better then Auba. Welbeck finishing just lets him down but he was in good form actually before the injury and I think he was our Europa league main striker in the group stages

    Holding, I have high hopes for… if he can learn from sokritis then we have a brilliant player at the club

  80. Davey

    Guns of Hackney
    March 11, 2019 12:58:22

    Sad that fourth is the ultimate goal for a club of this stature and scale.

    Basically the equivalent of a promoted team hoping they don’t get relegated.

    Ambitions.

    You really are a miserable man GOH

  81. Pedro

    Paulinho, he was doing a bad job when he played Holding 3 times in a week and he blew up, he was also running the freshness game poorly as he had to amend his training schedule.

    It also wasn’t hysterics midweek. He’d lost to BATE and Rennes.

    Who didn’t know he’d turn it on against United? The win was great. I’m more worried about Watford, everton, Leicester and Wolves away. That’s the real test. Motivation against the ok teams.

  82. gunnershabz

    Paulinho

    I think with Matteo G, he may need some time out of the team. maybe he can come back from the international break fresh and ready again

    Lucas T will start on Thursday

  83. Paulinho

    “Send the kids to Germany if need be, thought we learnt something from the OTT Nelson hype earlier in the season”

    Yep, what a shocker that he has done the square sum of nothing since September.

    Send him to the Championship and see if he gets a game there for one of the lower placed sides.

  84. Receding Hairline

    “It also wasn’t hysterics midweek. He’d lost to BATE and Rennes.”

    We won the BATE tie 3-1 on aggregate, there really was zero need for hysterics with regards to that tie, that result was celebrated on here by the Emery out crew like 1-0 away to BATE was the most shameful result this club has ever had.

    The Rennes game yes he made baffling calls and very poor subs and has left us with a mountain to climb.

  85. Paulinho

    Pedro – But you can’t see how stupid it is swaying wildly from one side to another off the back of individual results, and wilfully ignoring the circumstances in those games?

    It’s much better to judge in batches or blocks of games. When you do that you see Emery is doing a very good job.

    Ebbs and flows happen. There seems to be this obsession with literal linear improvement to the point where I can’t tell if half the fan base is on wind-up.

  86. Paulinho

    Agree about Holding. Slightly Wengerish playing one time too many.

    Bu he was rotating Monreal and Kolasinac well as wing-backs. Unfortunately Holding’s injury and Monreal being injured screwed that up.

    Welbeck and Iwobi were being rotated very effectively as well. Ditto Auba and Laca.

  87. SpainishDave

    We have got five away games left, and this will be a big challenge for the team to achieve top 4.
    If Rennes score a goal we have to score 4 to win the tie, so we have some big asks to get into Europe next year.
    Can Emery do it?

  88. Nelson

    Valentin “slow build from the back does not work in the premiership.”

    MC is doing exactly that. They have a group of players, including the GK, who can pass the ball among themselves from the back to the front.

  89. Graham62

    GOH

    Sitting having my lunch and nearly chocked on my chip butty.

    “Emery is so like Wenger it’s unbelievable actually”

    Really?

    Your perceptions are so negative and miserable.

    You do realise that even the urinals were malfunctioning at the AFC. That’s right, every single facet of our club was in need of attention.

  90. Guns of Hackney

    G62

    They are very similar but that’s a detriment to Emery. Wenger was brilliant and then went bad…Emery hasn’t been good yet.

    Look closely and the similarities are unusual. Poor results where there shouldn’t be any. Check. Motivation problems. Yes. Inconsistent. Oh yes. Odd tactical choices. Ummm…yes.

    Shambolic defeats. Yes.

    Have you ever seen emery and Arsene is the same room?

  91. Graham62

    Whether Emery is the solution or not doesn’t really concern me.

    The fact that the virus has finally been eradicated is far more important.

  92. Mr Serge

    More than happy to translate Sokratis for you guys he is hilarious the other day when I think it was Xhaka got a bit annoyed over something and Soks was trying to calm him he put his fingers together and said child let me deal with him leave him to me lol

  93. Pedro

    Paulinho, I don’t really want to argue the merits of Emery today, because that win was so fucking immense I’m still buzzing right now.

    He has a tremendously tough run in, if he can meander that and take top 4, he’ll get no lip from me this summer… unless we replace Ramsey with a Banega and Nzonzi double swoop.

  94. Marc

    GOH is either a Spud / Chelsea troll or just a plain old wind up merchant.

    Either way he’s full of shit and should be ignored.

  95. Dissenter

    Valentin,
    “Exactly, Emery has finally learned that the high pressing game, slow build from the back does not work in the premiership.”
    You assuming that Emery has abandoned this approach…and you’re dead wrong.

    The manager was taking over a tactically naive team that was bereft of nuance.
    He has to teach the squad how to play ion different ways
    When Poch and Klopp took over their respective clubs, they too had their teams pressing because they wanted to imbibe the culture of commitment on and off the ball. Both sides still play a pressing game albeit in a more sophisticated way.

    You’re trying to run this narrative of Emery had a a magical conversion moment like the biblical Paul of Tarsus.
    Have you considered that this was always part of his grand plan…because that’s what managers everywhere do. They start with high octane to weed out the lazy ones and then proceed to more sophisticated aspects of tactics. If you can’t deal with grade one ….you don t proceed to grade two.

    You too have excellent carpentry skills, it seems

  96. Guns of Hackney

    Marc

    Pack it in. Do you honestly think I would post on an Arsenal site if I wasn’t a fan?

    It was a win. Period. Move on.

    It’s all about what the next and the one after brings.

    I look at the big picture, not the fast rewards.