Test failed, what next?

by .

Well, we dreamed for a few weeks, didn’t we?

Our hopeful bid for top three came crashing down like the career of an MJ wedding singer… deep down, just like with the man in the mirror, we all knew something wasn’t right.

We’ve picked up 2 away wins in 12 games. Huddersfield and Blackpool. We haven’t kept an away clean sheet all season, and we’re the only team carrying that record. This is a giant hangover from the Wenger era and it’s very difficult to work out what to do about it.

Emery certainly didn’t help himself with his team selection. When you’re struggling on the road, starting Mo Elneny and Matteo G at the base of midfield isn’t inspiring or confidence building. He also opted to play Mikhi and Ozil together, something that’s rarely a sure thing. Hard to critique rotation when we’ve seen the impact of doing it badly, but that starting 11 was saw dust on toast levels of tasty.

Nothing really clicked. There was no intensity to our play, we looked very short on ideas and we really struggled with their aggressive pressing which held up all game. One of my pals mentioned that we lacked athleticism, hard to disagree. We simply didn’t look like a force out there, and more worrying, Everton knew we’d be like that.

The only goal of the game was a hodgepodge of calamities. Mustafi let Jagielka take a run on him from a long throw, the exSheffield United defender nodded the ball into the box, it bounced off Sokratis, Mustafi forgot Jagielka was behind him and the loose tap-in was never in doubt.

Emery changed things up in the second half immediately, bringing on Rambo and Auba… losing Kola and Elneny. At kickoff the Welshman mouthed, ‘play it forward, play it forward’, clearly noting the lack of a shot on target in the opening 45.

The second half did see an improvement moving forward, but we fell to pieces in midfield and at the back, allowing Everton to box us in, with no real answers. Thankfully it was just Everton, on another day, they’d have made more out of their 23 attempts on goal.

As for us… it’s hard to know where to look. We go from some truly encouraging performances, and big game wins… to abject, listless poverty football.

Is it the preparation?

Is it a motivation issue?

Is the away form like a festering fungal infection that can only truly be addressed when we have a massive clear out? Those players shouldn’t be struggling with the intensity of Everton. This problem is not technical, it’s all in the mind. It’s obviously disappointing that Emery has managed to make such huge strides for the big games, but can’t suss out a plan for middling teams away from home. Both are essentially problems borne of the same factors, seems odd that as we solve one, we drop off somewhere else.

Part of that might come down to pure experience. Matteo is a talented young player, but to expect him to boss a game next to Elneny is ambitious. Next year though… well, it could be different.

I think we saw again what we’ll miss with Aaron. He might be ill-disciplined at times, but he is an engine of football zest. He’s always pushing the game forward and he seemed to be the only player with any spark yesterday. Replacing him goes far beyond his running stats, we need to find a heartbeat and a big footballing personality.

The manager gambled on resting big players,  clearly in the name of preservation. I’m not sure I buy that it was about prioritizing the Europa League (though we might have to now). Laurent, Ramsey and Xhaka were all concerns and the manager rightly erred on the side of caution. However, I do think everyone looked at the lineup and knew we were in trouble.

Now we have a real uphill battle. Everton are the easiest of our away games, we have a rejuvenated Leicester, plus giant killers Wolves and Watford to deal with.

We also have to play a tough quarter-final against Napoli this week. No doubt the game with be high intensity and we’ll need to keep a clean sheet. That won’t happen with Mustafi in the side. The walking mistake seems to have ramped up his desire to give Arsenal fans heart palpitations at least 4 times a gameg. Sokratis also didn’t help himself picking up a two-gamet ban right at the wrong time.

It’s quite incredible how rollercoaster this season has been. It could still be absolutely epic… but it could also end up looking just as miserable as the year before.

… but at least it’ll be interesting.

Onwards and upwards!

376 Responses to “Test failed, what next?”

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  1. gambon

    Focus on the EL

    We’re not finishing top 4, we never were going to.

    We’re the 6th best team in the PL, who managed to sneak into 3rd by virtue of a helpful fixture list over the first 31 games.

  2. Danny

    Pedro, you didn’t mention Niles who was sooooo bad yesterday.
    Judging by yesterdays starting line up its obvious that Emery is going for the Europa League, he really has a hard on for that crap competition.

  3. Danny

    It’s weird that Emery believes he can win the Europa Cup but can’t get top 4. Why is he so scared of our final (incl. yesterdays) 7 games to the extent to just give up on them?

  4. Charlie George

    A very accurate post by the always erudite PedRo.
    And I thank him for it.

    “””Replacing him ( Ramsey) goes far beyond his running stats, we need to find a heartbeat and a big footballing personality.”””

    Is it not the fact . That the reason why Emery is jettisoning Ramsey is because he has big PERSONALITY and he want players devoid of personality?

    Emerys coaching ethos – is all about his tactics and tweaks. And stifling talent not blossoming it ..

    Players – like Ramsey – who play off the cuff and are slightly unorthodox-are the antithesis of what Emery wants. ( Eg Denis Suarez….)

    It is not his fault, in reality .
    He should have never got no where near the Arsenal job.
    Our ire – should turn to The Kroenkes who are oblivious to the fact – we have a dud in charge.

  5. Danny

    we have a dud in charge.
    ————
    We’re 4th in the 2nd week of April and in the quarter finals of the Europa League, wow some dud…..

  6. gambon

    “We’re 4th in the 2nd week of April”

    We’re going to finish 6th, no improvement from last season.

    We’re only 4th because of a kid fixture list that saw us play 17 home games in our first 31 games.

  7. El Gooner

    Danny – sorry? we should be happy at being 4th and in the quarter final of the Europa League?

    Am I missing something?

    Perhaps we can stop the short termism which follows a standard home win against Newcastle and concentrate on the underlying flaws which have been there all season.

  8. Valentin

    The reason why Elneny, Mhikitarian were playing and Lichsteiner was on the bench is clearly because of the Napoli game. However that is not the mistake, the mistake is not having properly bed young players earlier who could have taken their place.

    With Koscielny injured or reduced workload, and Mavrapanos ineligible for Europa League, today would have been the perfect time to keep Sokratis out of the yellow card danger zone. Now as Emery does not intend to play Mavrapanos in the premiership, we will have to play two games with Mustafi and Monreal as CB and/or hope that Koscielny can cope with three games in a short amount of time.

    The same with Elneny, if Willock had been introduced slowly, he would have made a much better Ramsey’s replacement than Elneny.
    If Jordan Osei-tutu has been tried beforehand, we could have played him a specialist U21 right-back/right wingback on Sunday and move AMN into central midfield.

    Emery should know by now that Mhikitarian can’t play on the left. If he wanted to give Iwobi a breather, why not play Nkethia there. Emery stopped Nkethia going on loan, but never gave him even a sniff of a chance/opportunities.

    I know that some coaches like to have a small squad. This is a great idea in principle with a very focus team. That works well if you are lucky injury wise and/or if the team plays in a single competition. With that approach when injuries bite, there is no fallback solution. The squad is stretched and overworked. The youngsters are not ready or at best unproven. You then have to rely on players who have already shown to be not up to the task. To me that ranks of bad squad management.

  9. Alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    ‘Is it the preparation?

    Is it a motivation issue?’

    It’s mainly a squad issue.

    We currently have about the 6th strongest squad in the league and we’re trying to finish 4th.
    This is possible but very difficult.

    Surely you agree with this though. Had the club freed up some cash this January it would have really helped.
    It chose not to.

    Moving forward, all the noises coming from arsenal HQ indicate a relatively low spend this summer.
    Add that to the loss of Ramsey for nothing and the fact that many senior players will be put out to pasture, and I’m not exactly jumping for joy when I think about the next transfer window.

    What should happen of course is the opposite: a cash injection.

  10. Danny

    El Gooner
    April 8, 2019 10:10:20
    ———————
    I didn’t say that, I was just stating that for Emery’s first season so far, it could be a lot worse.

  11. Paulinho

    We have barely any leaders in the team and too many who only feel emboldened once someone else takes the lead or we are in position of ascendency.

    Ramsey is the only one with balls home & away, and we’re are totally screwed next season if we don’t bring in some talent with the mentality to match it.

    This lack of leadership/confidence away from home primarily manifests itself in the team playing ten yards too far back in every position which means we can’t impose ourselves at all. Always reacting, never dictating.

  12. Nelson

    Pedro
    Watch the goal again. Both Mustafi and Sokratis moved up after the throw. It was that Kola who didn’t move and kept Jagielka on site. The ball bounced off Kola, who stood like a lamp pole on the left of the goal. The ball rolled back from left to right where Jagielka was.
    It wasn’t Mustafi’s fault. Defense is a team game. Every defender should be aware of the defensive line. I can’t believe you kill the wrong person.

  13. Dissenter

    Paulinho
    ‘This lack of leadership/confidence away from home primarily manifests itself in the team playing ten yards too far back in every position which means we can’t impose ourselves at all. Always reacting, never dictating’

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.
    Essentially Emery assigned the leadership role to Ozil yesterday
    He’s had the squad for 10 months and ought to know the players by now.

  14. Charlie George

    Emery( quite simply) wants a fourth Europa Cup to add to his CV. For the benefit of his next job prospects.

    Doing what is in the best interests of AFC is not his priority.

    As , I have said earlier. Its pointless – now regurgitating about Emerys palpable flaws- even The Sycophants ( they know who they are -on here) would have seen from yesterdays debacle- that our coach is sub standard for a major club- like ours.

    Our fury should be addressed to the owners- who are allowing Arsenal legends ( and winners) like Ramsey and Jens Lehman to exit – but the likes of Raul/Suarez/elneny/Lich to arrive.

    I have said from day 1- Emery was a shocking appointment.
    And after yesterdays horror show- unfortunately- I was proved right.

  15. Davey

    We deserved nothing but why could I spot the Digne’s foot over the line for the throw and none of the officials did?

  16. Words on a Blog

    Valentin,

    You make some very good points about Emery’s (failure) to manage to introduce young players over the course of the season, with the result that players like El Neney have to be relied upon, and Mikki being used on the left to manage players’ workloads.

    Others have made equally valid points about the team selection against Everton, even if we take into account the need to rotate.

    But we could have made the same points about Emery (failure to use young players, weird team selections) about many of the home matches, and we did well in those….

    But I’m still confused about why there is such a massive disparity between our home and away performances, and just how poor our away results have been over the course of the season. Everything else has improved, home results, and results against Top 6 sides, etc, but the away performances are just as bad as Wenger’s final season, and worse than most of even the late Wenger era.

    Regardless of whether he obeys Pierre’s instructions and plays Ozil or not, whether he plays Ramsey/auba/Lacaor not, plays 3-4-3, 3-4-2-1, 4–3-1-2 or whatever, regardless of which particular player or formation is selected, we play poorly when we’re away.

    Equally, the reverse is true when we’re at home..

    I don’t get it.

  17. Charlie George

    Davey

    “””but why could I spot the Digne’s foot over the line for the throw and none of the officials did?”””

    you can spot that minute detail. But you dont notice that emery picked a shocking line up.
    and we have not kept a clean sheet away from home all season.

    I put you- in The Sycophants group.

  18. Dissenter

    Our away form is indeed relegation quality.
    That’s an indictment of Emery. He acknowledged his bafflement when interviewed yesterday after the game.

  19. Charlie George

    Words

    Our home form was exceptional last season.
    Our away from was chronic -last season- it had to improve- regardless who was in charge,

    there has been no improvement.

    Delusion

  20. Davey

    Oh I spotted the shit line up CG and as I say deserved nothing but his foot was clearly over the line and at a throw on that is all the linesman has to do- watch for a foul throw just saying FFS!

  21. Graham62

    My gut says that we won’t qualify for CL through finishing top 4.

    Our real hope is winning the EL but even then can’t see us sustaining constant high levels over five games.

    Watford, Leicester, Wolves and Burnley will give us major problems unless Emery changes his methods.
    We are crap at sitting back( always have been), so I feel our best form of defence is to attack.

    Ozil is not strong enough mentally and physically to play the defensive game. If Emery is to play him we have to open the games up more.

    We all know he will always be a liability but, if we are to utilise his talent, we have to take risks.

    Napoli is a 50/50 one for me. Need to secure a two goal advantage in the first leg if we are to progress.

  22. Dissenter

    The officiating was particularly bad yesterday. The ref was aptly named.
    All the 50-50s were called for the home side.

  23. T

    If there were a pair of sol-kolo, per-kozzer or even socratis-kozzer yesterday they would have destriyed calvert-levin in 10 minutes and bent the whole everton team into peases…

    Interesting to see if the club manages to move on the weak bits next summer and replace them with stronger players

  24. Dissenter

    CG
    Nothing sycophantic about anyone saying that the goal should have been nullified on the basis of the foul throw.
    NBC contacted the PGMOL during the game and they acknowledged that Digne’s foot was clearly over the line constituting a foil throw..
    The goal should not have stood….and the assistant should not have missed it. That was his only responsibility at that moment- monitor the throw in.

    Davey is providing you objective factual information.

  25. Graham62

    In battle( from previous post).

    I lived and worked in the Middle East for 16 years between 1984-2001.

    Respect and adhere to the laws, rules and regulations and beliefs. That’s what it’s all about.

    We need “draconian” laws in this country to counter the upsurge in scum that is consuming our society. Crime is on the up because we have minimalistic law and order.

    Bring back CP I say.

    Why not?

  26. Valentin

    @Word,

    I don’t think that this is a mental block. To me it looks like the managers (Wenger had the same blind spot) create the problem by their initial team selection.
    When we play at home, Emery tends to go for a more dynamic team. When we play away he goes for a more conservative/defensive team.
    However most of the time it has the exact opposite effect. The defensive team plays so much deeper that we can’t create any attack, so we are constantly defending. In the end we concede.

    Özil had to go between the CB to fetch the ball when he should be receiving the ball 30 yards further up to be effective. Without Ramsey we miss a central midfield player who can run forward with the ball and create space for our attacking players. It is clear that Emery have seen the same current flaw in Guendouzi game as he was instructed to receive the ball much further up than usual. No more being mugged near the penalty box and conceding a goal from a non existent or non signaled foul on him.
    That is why I was advocating if we have money to go for NDombele of Lyon.

    The second aspect is that we only have one proper dribbler in our squad Iwobi. He is the only one who cause problem to defense on a 1v1 basis. Everybody else is a passer of the ball. Against a compact well drilled defense that is not good enough, variety enough. Despite what the haters may say, even when he plays badly Iwobi is useful because he creates uncertainty in the opposition defense.

    The team is unbalanced because we need a proper defensive left back, one more dribbler right winger and one No8.

  27. Words on a Blog

    Graham,

    I think you’re right – since we’re particularly shit at sitting back and playing defensive football away from home,Emery needs to take a gung-ho, high risk attacking approach in terms of tactics, formation and personnel.

    Against Man C, Liverpool, etc, we would be exposed and heavily defeated.

    But maybe, just maybe, it could work against arguably second order teams like Watford and Leicester.

    I’m not particularly hopeful, but to date everything else has failed…..

  28. Words on a Blog

    Valentin,

    Good points, reinforce (much more precisely) my hope that Emery adopts a less conservative approach away from home…..

  29. Graham62

    Davey

    AMN does foul throws 75% of the time. Doesn’t have both hands behind the head on many occasions.

    To add insult to injury, he acts brain dead when he takes a throw-in. Needs to be taught the fundamentals.

    Petty to blame the linesman for yesterday’s goal.

  30. Valentin

    I also believe that our away form hoodoo becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
    We are not a very good defensive team, yet away that the tactic we use. So we are under the kosh, so manager set us up even more defensive, which does not suit us at all, so we are even worse.

    In view of our points tally and the fact most of our remaining games are away, at one point Emery will have to make the decision to go for it.
    Attack the second tier teams in their own back garden instead of trying to contain them.

  31. Words on a Blog

    Valentin,

    “…at one point, Emery will have to make the decision to go for it.
    Attack the second tier teams in their own back garden instead of trying to contain the.”

    I think we’re now at that point.

  32. Graham62

    Can anyone explain to me why so many of our players, especially the younger ones, lack basic footballing intelligence?

    AMN, Iwobi, Bellerin, Eddie etc etc all seem to play as if they’ve been programmed by a six year old. No disrespect to any six year olds reading this.

    Is it the grounding and training methods or is it we just pick out the thickest youngsters and say “yes, we can fix them”.

    Can someone explain please.

  33. Valentin

    @Graham,

    I would say that is exactly the other way around. Most of our players have football intelligence buy are stiffled by some tactics that expose their Flaws.

    Bellerin was asked to play very high as a right back. That left a huge gap behind him that the opposition exploited. Until Emery decided to switch to 3 at the back to compensate that.

    Iwobi is a dribbler, but in order to be effective he needs to know where the attackers will to be to release a good ball. He now has a good understanding with Kolasinac. Same happen with Kolasinac, in 3-4-2-1 our main striker will attack the middle of the goal for the cut back. In a 3-4-1-2, Aubameyang at the First post Lacazette at the second and Özil in the middle. Before it was a shamble where we had two or three players converging toward the same point.

    AMN is an enigma to me. As a youngster he was a quick right winger creating havoc in the defense. He has been converted in a more responsible/defensive player. But that has also blunted most of attacking strength.

    Nkethia has not been given enough opportunities at that level to pass judgement on him.

  34. Graham62

    Valentin

    Still need convincing.

    Your defining “football intelligence” as what exactly?

    The ability to control the wall and look good, or the abilty to think on your feet?

    Good footballers(sportsmen) do both.

    Where did our lot go wrong?

    Dare I say it?

  35. Leedsgunner

    This savage knee jerk criticism has to stop especially of our youngsters. The commentary on AMN is ridiculous, especially when he has done well in the context of the season as a whole. Ainsley had a bad day at the office. I can forgive him that.

    In contrast, Mustafi is bad for the office. For a supposed seasoned professional World Cup winner he is woefully inadequate. Criticism of him is not knee jerk… more like long suffering.

    P.lease Snr. Emery get rid of him.

  36. Pierre

    It is becoming increasingly difficult for teams away from home to play their football.
    Manchester city are the one side who look comfortable away from home , I put that down to the fear factor , similar to what Barcelona had for all those years.
    Teams are afraid to press them as they believe they will be taken apart so most teams tend to stand off of them and sit deep which in turn gives city possession , consequently they do not get involved in physical battles.

    As we have seen with Arsenal, Chelsea,Tottenham, United and at times Liverpool , they do not possess the fear factor .
    Teams know that on a good day they can get at these teams in their home games, the crowd and home players easily influence the weak referees in the prem.
    50/50 decision hardly ever go in the favour of the away team.

    When the top teams are at home it all swings the other way , the lower teams cannot get away with the physical ,bullying type of tactics as the home crowd are immediately on the back of the ref to penalise the offenders and of course , the weak refs oblige …….why , because it makes their life easier.

    How do Arsenal obtain the fear factor , it is not something that happens overnight.

    With Arsenal they are the bottom rung of the ladder , city are on the top , first we have to start winning games , we need to find an effective counter attacking system that puts doubts into the opponents head.

    At the moment there are no doubts , teams know they can press without consequence and that is what we need to change ..that is the managers job to work out and at the moment he is failing miserably to come up with a solution.

  37. Graham62

    Walcott and The Ox were prime examples. Even Ramsey, Wilshere and Jenkinson have had their moments. All brain dead to a degree and programmed to do the most stupid of things.

    Christ, even Mertesacker got cloned and he was supposed to be an Einstein.

    I know, we all make mistakes. The thing is, at Arsenal FC, it all came so naturally.

    Why was this?

  38. Chris

    Last time I looked we were still 4th in the table, and yet some are claiming that we will definitely finish 6th and that Emery was the wrong apppointment when they are still games to play and win in the league and the Europa.

    One defeat away against a team with the best home record outside the top 6 equals a full blown crisis I guess.

    Of course there are questions to be asked of the coach and the team but the over the top spiel from the usual morons is really wearing thin.

  39. Graham62

    Leeds

    No “knee jerk reaction”.

    Just pointing out some fundamental flaws in our clubs teaching methods.

    “Goodness me, he’s only twenty, don’t criticise”

    If you can’t take a throw-in at twenty one years of age, you’ve got problems.

  40. Graham62

    Take him to one side and say to him –

    ” look son, there’s a couple of things we need to work on”

    It’s called development.

  41. Leedsgunner

    We need to bring in our legends of the game more, this I agree with. Why aren’t we bringing in Henry and Bergkamp to teach our youngsters and to pass on their know how? Especially when they are unemployed and unattached? Madness.

  42. Davey

    Graham62
    April 8, 2019 11:04:57

    Davey

    AMN does foul throws 75% of the time. Doesn’t have both hands behind the head on many occasions.

    To add insult to injury, he acts brain dead when he takes a throw-in. Needs to be taught the fundamentals.

    Petty to blame the linesman for yesterday’s goal.

    Sorry not sure where I blamed the linesman incompetence for yesterdays goal just a factual statement- calm down

  43. S Asoa

    Reading all above posts, of course Pedro was to the point.
    Just a thought
    It won’t cost , because he is a true Gunner
    Valentin could be an excellent Director of Football. If it is Kroenke choice he might even cull the frisky underling like they do the bull put to yoke

  44. Vintage Gun

    “It is becoming increasingly difficult for teams away from home to play their football.
    Manchester city are the one side who look comfortable away from home , I put that down to the fear factor , similar to what Barcelona had for all those years.
    Teams are afraid to press them as they believe they will be taken apart so most teams tend to stand off of them and sit deep which in turn gives city possession , consequently they do not get involved in physical battles.”

    Food for thought…

  45. Charlie George

    in agreement Leedsgunner

    How refreshing for the fans and players alike- if the likes of Henry and Bergkamp were called in time to time – to inspire and coach the players.

    We know that wont happen.
    Emery and his cronies- want full control.

    I don’t blame them- I and you would do the same.

    Absolute folly that we chose them

    The first thing emery did was sack Jens Lehmamn remember ,but re-instate the pathetic Steve Bould .

    Everything about Arsenal 2019 smacks of mediocrity.
    And for that the Kroenkes should shoulder the blame. 100%

  46. Redtruth

    Premier leage away table
    GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
    1 Liverpool 17 11 5 1 29 10 +19 38
    2 Tottenham 17 11 0 6 33 21 +12 33
    3 Manchester City 15 10 2 3 28 9 +19 32

    Pierre talking a load of bollox as per usual.

    The table clearly shows Liverpool have more points away from.home followed by Spurs with Man City down.in third spot.

  47. Dream10

    When you don’t have Ramsey and Xhaka midfield, you need attackers who can create their own opportunities with limited support. For the last five years, our attackers don’t get shots on goal Lacazette, Alexis, Aubameyang have done minimal work away from home to a top 10 side. They all perform like stars at the Emirates. Van Persie, Walcott and even Giroud have been more effective away in difficult.

    Aubameyang is much better away than Lacazette as he can create chance because of his movement. I like Lacazette, but he is physically limited. Can’t be an elite attacker.

    Emery trying to play for a low scoring match when we can’t sit back and absorb pressure is not a smart move. Doesn’t bode well for the next 13 months.

  48. silentstan

    criticising the line up with omission of facts. typical of you. Torr suspended, Ramsey recovering frfom groin doctors saying not fit to start, xhaka injured. SO WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WOULD BE IN MIDFIELD. Plus Koscielny HOlding Bellerininjured, Aubam had fever in week,

    IT WASNT ROTATION IT WAS NEEDS MUST

  49. Pierre

    Ruth
    Tottenham do have one point more but they have played 2 away games more and they still have to go to city so the differential will probably be approx ten points in city’s favour .
    As for liverpool I said ” and at times ,liverpool” and again, liverpool have played 2 away games more though earlier in the season they did possess the fear factor but not so much recently ….hence the comment “at times”.

    I hope this isn’t too difficult for you to comprehend ruth.

  50. James.wood

    Koscielny injured and playing a Lesley King type role
    Holding injured.
    Mavropanos not even in the squad which in it’s self is very worrying.

    Socratis / Mustafi complete liabilities.
    And yet in the last window we never even got one loan signing in.?
    If this costs us a top 4 position or denies us in the Europa.

    Then that’s on a blinkered Emery.?

  51. Graham62

    Davy

    Just highlighting the fact that many rules are overlooked in games. Be it throw-ins, offsides, a GK moving off the line in penalties, players encroaching into the area before the penalties are struck etc

    Some see it as a conspiracy against Arsenal.

    I don’t.

    Sorry if I came across a bit aggressively.

  52. Micheal

    Here’s a thought: As we enter a crucial period of figures, we have Kos injured/uncertain, Sokratis suspended for two games, Holding injured and Mavro not considered good enough.

    On the assumption Emery sticks with three at the back we will start games with a back line of Lichsteiner or Elneny, Mustafi and Monreal or Xkaha (if fit). That is before any further injuries or suspensions.

    The likes of Saha, Deeney and Vardy must be looking forward to it.

  53. Nelson

    Pierre has a point. Our bad away form is not only down to us but also down to our opponents. They pressed us harder and the Ref is also influenced by the fans. They got most of the 50/50 calls. Instead of trying harder to play our game, our players sort the easier route and complain to the Ref. It is not going to work.
    Of course playing Elneny and Guen as the two holding midfielders is a disaster. Furthermore, Mikki and Ozil shouldn’t play together. They need a strong character like Ramsey or Iwobi to play along side them to be effective.
    Personally, I don’t advise to go toe to toe in the remaining away games. Our players can’t take the heat to fight it out. I would rather we park the bus. Our two strikers move back into our midfield and help out the pressing. Once we got the ball, we’ll go for counter. Under a difficult environment, it is easier to play like that.

  54. SpainishDave

    Teams are not afraid of us when we play away, because our build up is slow and predictable.
    We no longer break quickly on the counter, we pass sideways and backwards to frequently, pocession doesn’t always win games.
    Emery has got it wrong many times now, no second chances in the EPL.

  55. Graham62

    “Lacazette is physically limited”

    I beg to differ.

    Takes two or three defenders to hold him down. Can turn on a sixpence. Good close control. He needs instant service though.

    Someone like Fabregas would have sussed him out.

  56. DC

    If our CBs could distribute the ball better, and occasionally dribble through the lines, we would not be so easily pinned back. Without good ball playing central defenders, everyone else on the field looks weaker.

  57. Nelson

    @Spainish
    “We no longer break quickly on the counter, we pass sideways and backwards to frequently, pocession doesn’t always win games.”

    Yesterday, we had 53% procession and our team looked shit. What I am suggesting is that for the remaining away games, once we lose the ball, we’ll all move back and keep a defensive formation. That includes the two strikers. We let them have the ball. Once we got the ball, their whole half is empty. We can break quickly.

  58. Dissenter

    Graham62
    “Petty to blame the linesman for yesterday’s goal.”

    Why not spend some time googling the laws of the game about foul throws?

    PGMOL acknowledged that the goal should not have stood…and here you are talking about pettiness.

  59. Dissenter

    People here tend to minimize the burden of coaching.
    Ian Wright may have been a good striker in his days but that doesn’t necessarily translate to being a good coach for strikers.
    Ian Wright chose the comfortable pathway of cushy sofas in TV studios rather than spend days sitting on hard benches and toiling in the rain trying to help players.

    He’s the last person you want around a young striker ‘teaching”. Not so say he can’t utter a few words of advice from time to time. He is not a coach.

    It’s the same for teaching in general. Not everyone makes a good teacher.

  60. Charlie George

    Dissenter,

    Graham is correct

    you are being pedantic and petty,

    We deserved to get beat,End of!
    in fact- we were beat – an hour before the game – when the teams were announced,

    We should have gone there like last season – when we battered them for 5!
    instead – the likes of you are hiding behind the PGMOL rule book
    .

  61. London gunner

    The race for top four isn’t over till the fat lady sings. We fucked up against everton but we are still in the fight.

    If we can reach another gear do or die mentality.

    Two wins away and one draw and a win against Burnley and brighton at home sees us in 4th maybe even third.

    We need to play both auba and laca agaknst wolves watfprd and lecister amd look to outscore them on the counter. We have the goals in this team we have the firepower.

  62. Danny

    We have the goals in this team we have the firepower.
    ——————
    Yeah we saw that yesterday………

  63. Nelson

    Yesterday, Auba played 45 minutes and hardly touched the ball. We still played this ball procession style. The two CB’s passing between themselves. Then, the two midfielders also making those little passes until they lost the ball. What is the purpose of doing all that. Look what Everton did. They kept sending those high balls to their strikers. Our defense was so open. They had 23 shots on goal, while we had 53% possession rate. Did our coaching stuff watched the game?

  64. G

    is Mavrapanos injured at mo, i know he was earlier but can’t understand why he’s not getting any minutes

  65. Un battle angel

    Jamie

    Haha
    Who cares what you think?? I don’t need your approval dick head. Free holidays on my Amex from now on. Don’t be jel. Not my fault I rack up them points.

    Graham

    What like rape victims needing 4 male witnesses or homosexuality being illegal?
    Those laws deserve no respect.
    You can’t compare being gay or raped to being the perpetrator of knife crime.

  66. Alex James

    Some of our refs are useless but to my mind a lot of the problems lie with the line runners. There are real dunces amongst them. Hopefully, VAR will make them largely superfluous. Ask Neil Warnock!

  67. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers, good post Pedro, love the Christian Bale photo analogy!

    Charlie George,

    We all know your feelings towards and about Emery but the notion that Emery is only thinking of himself and doesn’t have Arsenal’s best interests as his priority is absolutely ludicrous.

    Just stop it.

    As for Emery being a shocking appointment, may I ask you if you were equally shocked and as vocal about it when Wenger was appointed?

    A manager who was referred to as Arsene Who? Because nobody had heard of him?

    A manager who at the time of his appointment had won far less as a manager than Emery has at his appointment?

    No. I suspect not.

    Sp stop with the agenda as it was boring before your ban and is boring again now you’re back.

  68. Dissenter

    CG
    We deserved to get beaten, just not from that goal.

    Saying that the goal should not have stood is not tantamount to disputing the fact that we didn’t play well.
    That still doesn’t take away from the fact that the goal should not have stood. It was an obvious foul throw…no ifs, ands or buts. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE STOOD.
    Leno kept the score line respectable for us and Everton were wasteful in the final third. We were crap and deserved whatever came our way so long as it was legitimate.

    Digne made the first throw-in about the 7th minute…it was a foul throw in ——–the assistant missed it
    Digne then repeated the same foul throw-in routine …the assistant again missed it.
    People scorn at players that make foul throw ins because it is one of the easiest tasks a player ought to master. The same for officials.
    Your Emery hatred is telling at the moment.

  69. foreverinourshadows

    I’m hoping Watford will take the pedal of the gas and worry about not getting injured for their cup final, with Leicester and Burnley hitting form, I can not see where we can get points away from home. Mustafi is an accident waiting to happen and it does, we really need some strong defenders in the Summer to buy or it will be the same next season, if we get fourth or even win the EL, for the mess Wenger left us in, Unai has done well and will need the money to take us forward

  70. Charlie George

    bd
    hope all is well

    I am moving beyond castigating the clueless emery ( we are on course- for shipping in more goals away from home this season- than last – i might add) to focusing the blame on the invisible Kroenkes- and their inertia.

    I have noticed since my ‘harsh’ banishment- the Pro-emery faction have become very muted. Even invisible,

    they know- and have seen enough – by now -he is , quite simply – not good enough for us .

    its the kroenkes – that are to blame.
    they are the ones – who dictate policy.

    Making observations about the inadequacies about emery is now a redundant pastime.
    We all know that,

    i just happened to know last August,

  71. Dissenter

    Gerard Deulofeu showed how to respond to being dropped from the starting eleven

    I just wish we had players with that kind of character
    A player is binned for long, then gets a chance to prove the manager wrong and comes back as a limp dick.

  72. Charlie George

    Dissenter

    “”Your Emery hatred is telling at the moment.””

    I dont hate him.
    I just don’t rate him

    Why do you hate the fact- that I do not rate our manager?

  73. Dissenter

    CG
    There’s a difference between “not rating” and just plain hatred
    Not rating someone still tries to acknowledge objective information like knowing a foul throw occurs when the player throwing the ball in crosses the touchline with his foot.

    Some of your writing here are emblematic of wild lurching rantings.

  74. Graham62

    Dissenter

    I get where you’re coming from but what I’m trying to say is that there are so many basics not adhered to when it comes to applying the rules of the game.

    Un battle

    Not disputing there are some things that are very very wrong. The thing is, when it comes to abiding to certain rules and the law in general, we could apply far tougher punishment here in the UK to deter crime.

    Basically if you’re a scumbag here in the UK, there’s not enough of a deterrent to stop you in your tracks

    Wouldn’t you agree.

  75. bennydevito

    silentstanApril 8, 2019    12:40:37

    criticising the line up with omission of facts. typical of you. Torr suspended, Ramsey recovering frfom groin doctors saying not fit to start, xhaka injured. SO WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WOULD BE IN MIDFIELD. Plus Koscielny HOlding Bellerininjured, Aubam had fever in week,

    IT WASNT ROTATION IT WAS NEEDS MUST

    >>>>

    Well said Silent Stan, spot on.

  76. Charlie George

    Dissenter

    But you have never uttered one sentence of criticism- when our previous manager is/was subjected to real hatred. And oodles of it.

    How many bad decisions did Wengers Arsenal teams endure?

    not one- as far as i can see. Have you said to another poster- “your hatred to Wenger blah, blah, blah)

    you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

  77. Un battle angel

    Graham

    Yes. I would say some of our policing is far too lax as are our attitudes to border control and deportation and other things. Stop and search being aborted.

    It all starts with the break up of the family and incentivising single parent households. From there you get angry teenagers with no fathers figures who run amok, their slapper mother’s cant and won’t conrtol them, neither will teachers or police. Then you have the current crime epidemic.

  78. Dissenter

    CG
    “But you have never uttered one sentence of criticism- when our previous manager is/was subjected to real hatred. And oodles of it.How many bad decisions did Wengers Arsenal teams endure?”

    …oh, I see
    Another case of Wenger bereavement syndrome
    I thought it was about Arsenal.

  79. Graham62

    CG

    I think it comes across in your communications.

    It seems you expected miracles after Wenger, even after years of regression.

    Emery will be judged seasons end. If he lands us top 4, we should all be happy.

    That won’t happen though.

  80. Charlie George

    I wanted Wenger to leave
    he stayed too long,

    I just wanted a better coach than emery- as his replacement

    And the truth to be told, So did every contributor on here.
    ( and every Arsenal fan in the world)

    Its hardly a contrarian view- I hold

  81. Dan Ahern

    We definitely have a motivation issue, but the real problem, rightly or wrongly, was prioritising our EL fixture. Everton are not great but they’re not the sort of team you can waltz over with El Guenny.

  82. Charlie George

    Dissenter

    My emery ranting days are over

    ill leave that to the others.

    my Arsenal antennae- predicts in the next few weeks – if yesterday was anything to go by- there will be plenty of emery rantings forthcoming.

  83. Rambo Ramsey

    Auba and Laca are both powderpuff. Sorry to say, shite finisher he may be but Giroud used to make way more impact in game than these two.

  84. Un battle angel

    Rambo

    Giroud was better than aubameyang for me. His goal to mins ration was better than Ian Wright also.

  85. Samesong

    Guys, Arsenal blog… keep it football.

    Pedro now you say keep it football, so your ok with people abusing other peoples faiths?

  86. Un battle angel

    Same

    Eh?? How did I go overboard? I’ve agreed with both you and graham. How is that overboard? Because I criticised archaic laws?

  87. lari03

    I hope the summer clear out we had been dreaming of does happen. We desperately need to rid ourselves of some players,

  88. Samesong

    Don

    You have to battle your own demons mate, I can’t help you or wish to even debate with you. I’m sure face to face your a very respectable geezer. I think your frustated at the world and need a platform to voice your frustations on le grove. That’s cool with me.

  89. Un battle angel

    Samesong

    Nope you’ve got me all wrong. My life is good personally. I just call it how I see it.

  90. jwl

    For past 5-8 years, we signed players who were happy to be overpaid to play half assed football. When club traded Sanchez to manure, the club were briefing against him, saying Sanchez was antagonize other players with his work effort, desire to win.

    Instead of keeping Sanchez, and buying a couple more like him, we got rid of only player in squad with fire in his belly and we are left with middling players who don’t seem to care whether we win or lose because they collect big paycheques regardless of result.

    MidwestGun was arguing other day that these are Emery players now and while I agree up to a point, the players are Wenger purchases and he was not at all focused on buying proper players to build squad. Only Jesus can turn water into wine, Emery does not have much of chance of transforming soft players into world beaters.

  91. Samesong

    I think yesterday comment by a certain poster was bang out of order Pedro! and this has lead to Don going down the warpath.

    Charlie G shit and Pitbull shit are watered down compared to some other posters.

    I’m not asking for bans btw. However I will speak up!

  92. Un battle angel

    Samesong
    1. I’m not don
    2. I’m certainly not on the war path.

    Wind your neck in. Do you think homosexuality should be illegal? Me neither.

  93. Graham62

    Pedro

    Sometimes it’s refreshing to hear other posters perspectives on life, other than Football related matters.

    Surely occasional discussions on other topics, as long as it’s not ott, adds to the spice on Le-grove.

  94. bennydevito

    Charlie George,

    Fair enough, fair points.

    I don’t think your ban was harsh as Pedro needs to strike a balance between posters like yourself who inflame debate and keep the comments section busy, against pissing too many people off forcing them away.

    Things did get boring in here without you about and I can only put it down to Stockholm syndrome that I actually did miss your presence despite the fact I do find some of the stuff you post incredibly infuriating! But, if you can keep your criticism objective omitting the negative national stereotyping I will avoid being personally insulting to you.

    As for Emery, I stand by my opinion that we should wait until the season has ended before calling for his dismissal, but if we do end up finishing 6th and not winning the yoghurt pot coupled with signing Suarez permanently, and signing players like Benega and other ageing ex Emery players whilst not integrating our loanees into the first team squad I will be calling for Emery’s departure too believe me.

    Welcome back.

  95. bennydevito

    Everton’s goal was NOT a foul throw. They analysed it on MOTD and stated the rules being as long as part of his foot is touching the line it doesn’t matter if the front of his foot is over the line, a bit like the whole of the ball being over the whole of the line to be a goal.

    Digne’s heel was touching the line therefore it wasn’t a foul throw.

  96. Mr B

    I’m strangely optimistic about our CL chances after a detailed briefing with Mary Jane.

    We gotta get over this away hoodoo asap.

  97. Guns of SF

    Pedro, no one is questioning your quality work with LG nor did I ask you ” Pedro, do you hate Muslims”

    I asked you what your thoughts were about a poster coming on LG, and posting that rubbish.

    Check the comments from yesterday if you haven’t already.

    Perhaps a more proactive step would be to add this number 6 to the “Rules”:

    We started this site for Arsenal fans fed up with abuse they got from other blogs, we were determined to have a site where you can have an opinion, not get one.

    1) If you don’t agree with another blogger, say so but don’t swear at him and don’t accuse him of supporting someone else.

    2) We take the time to write the blog, if you don’t like what we write go to Arsenal.com, you’ll be happier.

    3) We don’t subscribe to the ‘Arsene knows’ camp, it’s our team, we’ll have our opinion and so will our Grovers.

    4) Swearing is not big and it’s not clever, if however you feel it helps your comment, then feel fucking free, we don’t give a rats arse.

    5) Derogatory comments about ones race, faith, culture, country of origin, gender, or sexual identity will not be tolerated and will result in a ban from LG.

    If you’re happy with that, welcome aboard, if not, then don’t bother.

    Anyhow, just my 2 cents… hoping that will make some positive change.

  98. Charlie George

    I for one – would like to see PedRo to leave that advertising circus behind.

    That is not a proper job for a man of his abilities and resourcefulness.

    We need PedRo on the Arsenal payroll
    – liaising with the board and being a conduit to the fans.

    Have we got that type of department.??
    I know Liverpool have something akin to this.

    Our PR department is nonexistent. And a disgrace.

    PedRo – can I be so bold- you put it to the club.( your services)

    You certainly would advised them against the Emery appointment- I am sure.

  99. Samesong

    I for one – would like to see PedRo to leave that advertising circus behind.

    erm you going to pay his bills?

  100. Guns of Hackney

    Perhaps this is a hangover from Wenger or perhaps that’s a ship that has FUCKING SAILED. Stop blaming Arsene for this clusterfuck. Too easy. How come managers come and go at other clubs and work with the same players and get results? And before you idiots jump in with the “AKB” garbage…no. I was and still am an Arsene out chap. But, enough is enough…if emery (a professional and highly paid football manager) can’t shake the past and implement even basic football principles, then fuck him.

    Our defence is utter pants. Emery bought Leno, Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Torrier and Guedenzi to combat an already awful defence. It’s still shit.

    He’s let probably out best (and that’s saying something) midfielder leave on a free. Moron. Aaron is not the best by any means but he’s not totally terrible.

    Although our attack has scored goals…we’re still really powderpuff. Lacazette can’t lead a line and neither can Auba. Play both or find another way. Laca was terrible yesterday and looked drunk. Auba may as well have not even bothered getting changed.

    Ozil? WHAT!!!!
    Mikki? WHAT!!!!

    This is not Wenger’s fault. Emery is shit and is not good enough to get this club moving forward.

    Sack him in May and hire in someone who can make a statement with this club.

  101. Micheal

    “I for one – would like to see PedRo to leave that advertising circus behind. We need PedRo on the Arsenal payroll – liaising with the board and being a conduit to the fans.”

    If CG carries on with his lunacy we may need to set up Crowd Funding to pay for his padded cell.

  102. MidwestGun

    We currently have about the 6th strongest squad in the league and we’re trying to finish 4th.
    This is possible but very difficult.
    __________
    Still agree with Alexander Henry here.. What our away form exposes is the fact we don’t have a talented enough defensive group of players. In order for us to be effective even at home we have to play 3 cb’s and 2 defensive minded holding midfielders and with wingbacks essentially we have 7 defensive players at times. This renders our attack useless as we have a hole in the center of the park. Asking Ozil to boss this area by himself never works as you saw him trying to come deeper and deeper to receive the ball. To get our attack on track we had to switch to 4 at the back and bring on Ramsey who knows how to get forward. Immediately we created chances. Actually Ramsey missed a volley he normally makes. However when we switched to 4 at the back we were getting ripped apart and Leno saved us many times.. Emery is struggling to find that balance because he has to cover our limitations in player personnel. Elneny was never going to be able to help because sideways 5 yard passes don’t help when you are pinned in your own end from high block pressure. Elneny is a holdover from Tiki Taki possession play which we favored under AW.

    What we learned is Miki is useless for the most part other then a late sub..when we are chasing the game. Elneny is useless in the current setup and we need defensive players badly that don’t suck.. Mustafi, Monreal, Kola, AMN, Kos, and even Papa although I love his attitude are not talented enough to get us to where we want to be.

    So bottom line.. we need to spend to get better.

  103. Nelson

    This is from theshortfuse:” It was a day to forget for Sead Kolasinac. Uncharacteristically, he provided little going forward, and Everton’s goal falls mostly on him. Off a long throw and a flick, the ball came to him inside the Arsenal six yard box. His reaction touch put the ball back across the face, straight to Phil Jagielka, who he had initially kept onside.”

  104. Rambo Ramsey

    When are you lot gonna get it?

    Arsenal are finished, a perma 4th-6th place club for the foreseeable.

    Glory days aren’t coming back any time soon