TOP 4 BACK IN OUR HANDS, but can we keep it safe?

by .

I am still super angry about the result at the weekend. Those goals are so embarrassing. What a bloody mess.

There is 100% understanding over here that the manager had to rotate, but there are a few caveats that I can say with SUPREME retroactive confidence.

Firstly, I don’t understand why the manager has only cottoned onto rotation at this point in the season. We’re throwing players into the mix that are average start with, but we’re playing them with hardly any games in their legs. Wenger used to do this same. He’d keep players on the bench until they were needed when he’d crashed players in Feb and the players coming in would feel unloved and rusty and often pick up new injuries (Tommy V in his last season).

Lesson here is that next season, he has to make sure that every single player in his squad is capable of contributing positively. A wage bill of £220m should ensure that. We’re not Stoke… if there are bad players in the squad, bin them off. If there are very green players, put them out on loan (I know we’ve done a lot of that this year). If they won’t leave, pay them off like we did with Denilson.

The second lesson for me is this… give the kids a chance, especially in positions where historically, young players have done well. Full backs, wing backs and wide positions up top seem perfect testing grounds for young players who aren’t scared to have a go. Emery has done a great job with AMN this season and to a lesser degree the mighty Matteo. I’d love to see him give some game time to players like ESR, Willock, Reiss and Eddie next season. If they aren’t good enough, loan them and populate the bench with people that can do the job.

There is no third lesson… if you sign up to my Patreon there might be… or you might just be putting money into a pot for no reason. YOUR CHOICE.

CHELSEA DREW TO BURNLEY. The top 4 race is unreal. We are STILL on for it, with the path literally in our own nicely moisturised hands (Aesop, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm as you’re asking). That’s great news, it gives us another crack at having a great season.

Nobody wants it… what a mess!

Wolves come tomorrow. They aren’t in great form. They’ve only won two from 6. There was a giant-killing with United, but I wouldn’t read too much into that. They are there for the taking, but we absolutely have to do something to deal with their outrageous counter-attack… like, not including Mustafi, Elneny and Jenkinson would be a start.

The manager thinks it’s all about the battle.

“But it’s a good moment to try to do all we can, with intelligence. We need to be clear, we need to play with heart but above all being clear in our minds.

“They are going to push a lot tomorrow. I worked one thing here very quickly. We are playing against all of the teams and they want to battle us, fighting and playing with a big motivation.

“One is the motivation in the table for each player and one is the motivation against Arsenal. Every team wants to battle us because they respect us and also because it’s important to try to win against us.”

Motivation shouldn’t be a problem, dealing with their aggression might be. But we have to want to be in the mixer here. Europa League is a far tougher CL proposition because we’ll have to beat Chelsea.  The league is our greatest chance to cap this season well. Spurs could still drop points because they’ll be captivated by the Champions League, and no one else is a sure bet.

I am so desperate for us to prove our mettle tomorrow night… we are good enough, I don’t know why people keep debating that point, it’s all about refocusing and going hard at them.

Finally, before I go. A bit of a kindness ask. Luke, top Gooner lad (good looking boy in the photo below), lost his life recently (read here). His uncle, Dominic, is raising money for East Anglian Air Ambulance as they airlifted his son to the hospital and did a great job. I think you should NOT put currency into my Patreon, and instead add some money to the fund which is a whopping £22k. It’s a great cause and it would mean a lot to me and his uncle.

Gooners, we all look after each other, right? Thank you in advance for your generosity!


255 Responses to “TOP 4 BACK IN OUR HANDS, but can we keep it safe?”

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  1. Victorious

    Do we have an massive issue with people who can’t count on here? We are 3 points behind the Spud’s”

    4points tiger

    And you were having a go at folks not getting to grasp with numbers… Lol ok

  2. Dissenter

    You’ve started with your Spuds praise again

    “;manager of outstanding ability” …never won a damn thing

  3. Marc


    Cardiff have Fulham away (easiest of the fixtures) then Palace at home and ManU away.

    Brighton are 3 points in front and have a goal difference that’s 13 better.

    Even if Cardiff beat Fulham both could lose their remaining other matches and it’s would to goal difference.

    It’s going to be really tight my preference would be Brighton beating Newcastle and Fulham beating Cardiff would be game over.

  4. Un Na naai


    Eh? I didn’t offer to fight you!!! Haha.
    Just thought I’d wind you up
    A bit after your yappy, small dog syndrome session.

    Yes I think it’s pathetic to be counting on spurs to lose when we had third place in our grasp and the easiest run in of all 4 sides chasing the last two CL spots.
    We should be nearly home and dry.

  5. Guns of SF

    3 wins and we are Europa league winners and qualify for CL

    3 Wins

    We go guns blazing from here on out… every game to make sure we get top 4, via both ways…

    We can beat Chelsea in a cup final….

  6. Marc


    Typo but fair point – my point however is still fair. You can’t call us useless and then call the Spud’s amazing when there’s such a fine margin in it.

  7. Charlie George


    Winning is not the only criteria- although very important
    It’s how you improve your organisation.( club)

    Poch has made Spurs bigger than Arsenal in a few seasons of outstanding work….

    (Fergie rates him so highly.)

    We need to fight fire with fire.

    VIERIA VIERIA VIEIRA VIERIA VIEIRA- might just start making his life uncomfortable again.

    Because he is a warrior
    A footballing Titan
    An Arsenal Icon
    It’s his time.

  8. Marc


    “We should be nearly home and dry.”

    Now that I agree with. Score the pen and get the results we should against Everton and Palace and it’s a 9 point reversal against the Spud’s.

  9. Dissenter

    Un na
    Would you rather be WRONG about Emery and have Arsenal do well or be Right and have Arsenal fail?

    I ask because you come across as very very negative about Emery, like you;’re just waiting for the shit to hit the fan before you bring out the pompoms.

  10. Un Na naai

    You can call the spuds whatever you want but compare of you will that they spent nothing this summer and are still above us, and in the champions league semi final after coming through Dortmund, inter, Barca, Man City and probably Ajax on their way to the final where they will lose to Liverpool.
    This without their best player for a large portion of the season and their second best player for chunks of it.

    Emery should already have us half on holiday in the league games. We should be 6 points further ahead than we are, minimum

  11. Champagne Charlie


    Yea, that’s your inconsistency rearing it’s head again. Spurs ‘rely on either Erikson or Son to shoot from distance’ to get wins, despite Kane being their perennial match winner.

    Meanwhile it’s fine that our tactic all season has been aimless cutbacks from the fullbacks, because some banal first season nonsense.

    Our Cm is shit? Emery bought 2/4 that play there and you worship the one of the others, so that’s an odd one given your all out defence of Unai.

  12. Un Na naai


    Do you really think I’m the type of fella who cares what other posters thinks?
    You’re barking up the wrong tree here…

  13. Dissenter

    Besides their game at home against city, United can set Chelsea back by beatiung them
    They haveHuddersfield away and Cardiff at home to end it.

    Our fixtures are more difficult in my opinion.

  14. Champagne Charlie

    “Dissenter mate you’re having a bit of a mare tonight.“

    I started ignoring after he proclaimed Mitrovic to be top 6 quality. He’s having a Banfordism

  15. Upstate Gooner

    “We go guns blazing from here on out… every game to make sure we get top 4.”

    Should’ve started with “guns blazing” on Sunday. It’s still within our grasp but we need to win at least 3 out of the remaining 4 games, and it’ll be tough with Wolves and Leicester away. I don’t think Spurs are gonna slip up again but hopefully Chelsea and ManU will.

  16. Un Na naai


    Obviously I’d rather he did well and we win. You never see me cheer an arsenal loss. Not under any manager.
    I think he’s done ok but every time we turn a corner he seems to make some weird decisions and pulls the rug from under our progression. Palace and Everton being a prime example. Our Xmas blip being another. Southampton Brighton and West Ham was it?

  17. Victorious

    Yh Marc, think today was it, any chance of finishing above spuds is over and out..

    Painful to admit because a fortnight ago we were odds on for 3rd with seemingly easier fixtures and a tiring spuds team going deep into the CL

    Just have to hope for a result tmao to remain in contention for 4th,

    I know Emery is a EL specialist but still wouldn’t looked good on him to having chucked his eggs in that basket ends up losing out to Valencia or chavs

  18. WengerEagle

    You really would rather be essentially 3 points behind with 4 matches left to play and 2 of those are against Man City and Chelsea?

    Bit of a stretch don’t you think…

  19. WengerEagle


    I actually like Mitrovic but he’s your classic mid-table CF.

    Bit of a lump too, I prefer my strikers to be mobile and capable of interchanging with the wide players.

  20. Dissenter

    “I started ignoring after he proclaimed Mitrovic to be top 6 quality. He’s having a Banfordism”

    That’s a blatant untruth and you used to be better than that.
    I mentioned Mitrovich as option for “THIRD STRIKER” i.e the Welbeck spot on the squad. I mentioned to because the conversation was who’s good enough for Arsenal among the relegated teams.
    I knew it was controversial when I wrote it and you don’t have to twist is to express your dissent.

  21. WengerEagle

    Fulham are pretty much fucked, none of their big money signings will want to play in the Championship not to mention that they are likely all on obscene wages for lower league football.

    So Fulham will be desperate to get them off the books, teams will lowball the shit out of them.

    They’ll have to throw a car-boot sale and look how that turned out for Stoke.

  22. Dissenter

    Would you take Mitrovich for that third [back-up] striker role i.e someone to give us an option to play long balls to and cross into the box, if need be?

  23. Paulinho

    Charlie – We didn’t have any reliance on Kolasinac’s cut backs when Ramsey played against Napoli, United, or Newcastle, so that should give you a clue on importance of personnel, also in a few years time maybe Iwobi will be replaced by someone that can cut in and shoot, and not rely on the full back to give him some relevance in the final third.

  24. Dissenter

    I’m tempted to still give Jean Michel Seri a chance. There has to be a reason why Barca almost signed him. Funny enough it was Sanlehi that was doing the negotiations.
    Mitrovich and Sere are the ones that I think Arsenal should consider in a firesale to add to the squAd.

    Most people would have said neither Wijnaldum nor Robertson was good enough to be starting for a team competing for the league title.

  25. Paulinho

    The Mitrovic love-in is bizarre. So average yet he always spoken of as some shining light in the Fulham squad.

  26. Dissenter

    OGS is milking that SAF nostalgic sentiment way too much
    It’s reached the point where it’s just makes one cringe.

  27. Champagne Charlie


    Don’t be slimy, you coined Mitrovic top 6 quality.

    3rd choice striker doesn’t exist, what size of squad do you think clubs operate with? Welbz is our 3rd choice striker by virtue of the fact he also operates as an option on the flanks.

    Mitrovic is a CF, that’s it. So he can operate for us solely as 3rd choice behind Auba and Laca? Such a daft concept.

  28. Victorious

    Whatever happened to Nketiah?

    Has he been that bad?

    Seems to have gone the route of Akpom,Afobe..etc

    Can’t remember the last time our academy produced a decent forward

  29. Dissenter

    3rd choice striker does exist; 3rd on the pecking order, that what’s Welbeck was for us.
    3rd striker is the one that comes from the bench when the opposition is paying 9 behind the ball and are crowding out the center.
    When I mentioned Mitrovich, that’s what it was about. I specially mentioned it, prefacing the comment with “don’t laugh at this”.
    You know what you did. the opinion was controversial enough and didn’t need an extras from you.

  30. Dissenter

    Do you think it makes sense to have a striker with zero league goals as back-up to Laca and Auba?
    Does Nkettiah fill you with any confidence? , forget the sentiments for one second.

  31. London gunner

    I fucking hate spurs combination of lucky jammy cunts but possessing match winning players.

    I can really see them winning the cl without kane. Eriksen ali or son or lucas moura to score a wonder striker

  32. WengerEagle


    No I wouldn’t take him as 3rd choice CF, as others have said he’s not versatile enough. Prefer Welbeck who probably needs replacing himself.

    Even shite as Origi is he runs those channels and puts in real leg work when given a chance for Liverpool.

  33. WengerEagle

    Don’t see Spurs or Ajax winning the Final, would back Barcelona or Liverpool to deal with them given their experience at this level.

    Have a feeling that Liverpool will upset Barca.

  34. London gunner

    “Tottenham’s main tactic is to get Eriksson or Son 25 yards from goal, feign to shoot with their right, and then shift the ball and strike with their left. Rinse, repeat. Eventually it works.”

    This is exactly what we miss. Not one player can strike the ball well. Especially are strikers who scuff shots and rarely scofe from distance. Add to that the complete lack of pace and then the utter lack of dribbling ability.

    We really do have a dog shit squad. I think people on here really don’t undertand how bad it is. The only top 6 team without any pace or dribbiling wingers. Only team with a useless cam who can no longer make any assists. A CM that is composed of unready 19 year old and a cm whose having his best season but has been dogshit for us for most of time xhaka. A defence that basically has a gaping hole in left back position and the worst cb in the league playing large number of games.

    Above all as a unit devoid of dribbling, speed, shooting prowess, creativity.

    We are dire.

  35. Champagne Charlie


    How about you don’t try and regulate what I have to say about an opinion I find ridiculous?

    Mitrovic barely shines for Fulham and you carved him out as top 6 quality.

    Welbeck isn’t our 3rd choice striker only, it’s not a defined role, it’s a matter of competence from a flexible player the same way Sterling plays centrally for City on occasion.

    Mitrovic doesn’t get into any of the top 6 clubs under any guise you wish to present. He’s simply nowhere near good enough, doubling down on this one is comical.

  36. London gunner


    I just think spurs have thar extra match winning level with some of the players.

    On paper liverpool and barca should be beating them, but then spurs can flip the script and score a 30 yard belter.

  37. DaveB666

    Unai got it wrong against Palace – 4th place is probably the best we can hope for. Though would we have taken this position – potential top 4, Europa League, at the start of the season. Look at Manure under Moyes. What the past few matches have shown is the poor squad players Wenger has paid far too much money for. This summer wherever we end up needs Emery and the management to clear out and replace with hungry players. Sad to lose Rambo – I love the way he has fought for the shirt all season (and good luck to him with his massive new Juve contract) unlike that cry baby Sanchez – so glad he has been the biggest transfer failure in Premier league history! Lets beat Wolves tomorrow boys – COYG!

  38. Valentin

    Shooting ability is something you can improve on. Sterling used to be ridiculed for the way he stroke the ball. Now everybody agrees that he is precise and measured and nearly never rushed or lashed at the ball.

    Wenger used to stop players from long range shootin as too wasteful. The Ox being an example of that. Instead he should have hire a shooting coach. Shooting from afar is a good way to unblock compact well drilled defense. Even if you miss, next time the defense has to try get to block your attempt potentially creating space. Plus you may be lucky and score goal with a long shot.

  39. Bamford10


    You left out one of the other good reasons to shoot from distance: it often produces second chances. A good hard low strike to one of the corners often forces a keeper to parry the shot and this often results in chances for other attacking players in and around the box.

    Care to tell us more, though, about how Nketiah should be starting over Aubameyang and out on the left? That was an interesting take.

    Or more about how Unai Emery — despite being at the club since July and starting Willock in the League Cup — might be less aware of Joe Willock than you are? That too was an interesting take.

  40. Valentin


    Yes, a shot not parried away from the penalty box offer opportunities, however my point is that it is a weapon that we do not use enough. Xhaka our primary shooter tend to kick and hope rather shoot at 75% and hit the target. Wenger coached that out of our players. Spurs keep scoring goals like that not by chance.

    I have already answered that insinuation regarding Willock. My previous comment was in response to a comment stating that Emery was not aware of Willock because it was his first year at Arsenal. I thought that was ridiculous and that if he was unaware of Willock, he should attend U23 game to familiarise with him.

    My opinion on Aubameyang is that on the left he is wasted. Against Crystal Palace, he started on the left, before switching to the right with the introduction of Iwobi before finally moving to a central position when we settled on 4-4-2, in fact more like a 4-2-4.

    If Emery wanted to give Iwobi a breather, it make more sense to play somebody who can actually participate to the overall play on the left. When understudy to Akpom, Nkethia did play some game left winger. So the role is not new to him. I also happen to think that his hold-up play is much better than Aubameyang. Aubameyang strength is his movement in the penalty box.

    Let me repeat myself. I am not stating that Nkethia is better than Aubameyang, Just that he is a better fit to the system and role that Emery wanted to play an attacking left midfielder.

  41. Valentin


    I also notice that in your zeal to defend Emery, you ignore my post on the shambolic change of defensive system on corners.

    You can’t blame Wenger, Gazidis or Kroenke on that one. Emery over-thought that one again and that lead to Crystal Palace last goal that had been coming all game.

  42. gonsterous

    giroud .??
    mitrovich ???

    I don’t think le grove can criticize the club for buying players when they are recommending utter shits. The same people will be asking us to sign el neny if he was playing for fulham.

  43. Steveyg87

    Still reeling a bit and trying to get my head around Emery trying to justify our performance this past weekend. A couple of things I took away from the game. Mustafi and elneny both need to be flogged off no questions asked, geundozi needs to spend a season on loan with a team in the mould of palace to gain maturity, our entire midfield is a shambles and serious investment is required, our build up play through the middle is non existant. And after two stellar performances against us, surely we must be in for zaha this summer? We simply do not have an answer when we come up against him

  44. Bamford10


    “Just that [Nkeitah] is a better fit to the system and role that Emery wanted to play an attacking left midfielder.”

    Except that he isn’t this either. He isn’t good enough to start, and he wouldn’t be especially good as an “attacking left midfielder”.

  45. Graham62

    If Nketiah is good enough, he would be playing.

    The love in for this kid when he first broke on the scene was way ott.

    What I’ve seen of him he definitely lacks that Va Va Voom.

  46. Valentin


    Some have used the same argument that Emery did not start Ramsey and Özil because they were not good enough. They are now main cogs in his plan. Opinions can change when faced with reality.

    Still no comment on the change of defensive system.

  47. englandsbest


    I am impressed by your idiosyncratic approach to football tactix, and persuaded that you are right on the ball.

    However, Emery is sorely hampered by a deficient squad (in the main, inherited from Wenger) and financially limited by bottom line policy (as we saw in Jan window.)

    All in all, all things considered, he is making a pretty good stab at it.

  48. HighburyLegend

    “not including Mustafi, Elneny and Jenkinson would be a start.”

    lol Pedro, not including Mustafi would be enough for me!!

  49. Valentin


    I know that recruitment is not Emery remit, but he wanted Suarez who was clearly not the solution to our problem. We needed a dribbling winger able to unlock defense by his direct running. That is not the type of player Suarez is. He said so himself in his welcome interview for The fact that Arsenal insisted on the removal of the automatic buying clause can only mean that the management was not convinced. Not the right player for Arsenal or not the right price. If the deal does not feel right, it is most likely not right. Then why do it.

    There were players who without being world class would have been a better fit. For example Paul-George Ntep is currently locked in a dispute with his club Wolfsburg. I am pretty sure that the offer of a 6 months loan would have been accepted by both his club and the player. All three parties involved would have benefitted. Ntep would be reviving his career. Wolfsburg would have a player in the shop window to increase his values. Arsenal would have a player to unlock defense.

  50. London gunner

    Mustafi is awful what makes it worse is his reaction afyer his blunders always furious with other players but never himself.

    He kept blaming leno against Palace when Leno has been probably the best player after ramsey.

  51. Valentin

    I don’t particularly like Sarri, but charging him for reacting to be heckled and insulted by member of Burnley coaching staff is beyond the pale.

    I may be wrong, but there is no announcement of Burnley being charged for insulting him “Shitty Italian” and other niceties.

    The FA are really showing themselves to be fully incompetent or full of little englander blazers who still call xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic insults banter.

  52. Biggles

    It’s just dawned on me (being a bit slow here) that we could see Arsenal v Chelsea and Spurs v Liverpool as the finals to the two European competitions. Quite a showing for the Premier League if that happens, especially if it’s City that win the league…

    Also, three of them are London teams. Damn. C’mon Millwall, you’re letting the place down.

    As for the talk of third strikers etc, my main concern would be aerial ability, for when we have loads of possession but can’t break anybody down and need to just lump balls into the box. That Ronaldo fella seems semi-good in the air… but the last time we signed an old guy from Juve it kinda didn’t really work out.

  53. Nelson

    For me, I would like to think Emery for giving me still a lot of games to look forward to this time of the year. When Emery was hired, who would have thought that our team can fight for the top 4. Who would have thought that our team can be so competitive vs the other top 6 teams in the PL:
    2 – 0 and 2 – 2 vs Manure
    4 – 2 and 1 – 1 vs Spuds
    2 – 0 vs Chelsea
    1 – 1 vs Pool
    With the three long term injures and Ramsey’s recently injury, our squad becomes so thin that some of our players at hitting the red zone. I hope that we have enough to defeat Valencia. We then have a two weeks rest. With a healthy Ramsey I have confidence we can beat Chelsea in the final.

  54. englandsbest


    I’ll take your word on Ntep, he would have been a good loan.

    But as I recall Emery was told there was no money available, not for transfers, not for expensive loan fees. I have little doubt there were offers – with Ntep and others – that he was unable to take.

    As for Suarez, maybe he was a gesture intended to show that the manager had not been entirely abandoned. It could be merely a repeat of another Jan window when Wenger signed a crippled Dane

    The difference is that Wenger was happy to string us along.

  55. Un Na naai

    We have been competing for a top four place for the last 25 years
    None of the current top 6 can say that. Not one.

  56. Bamford10


    “Some have used the same argument that Emery did not start Ramsey and Özil because they were not good enough.”

    What are you talking about, mate? One, are you seriously comparing Nketiah to Ozil or Ramsey? They have nothing in common. The former is a 19-year-old who has shown little to nothing at the senior level; the latter are accomplished professionals who have done massive things at the senior level. The former literally has nothing in common with the latter.

    Two, while both Ozil and Ramsey come in for criticism here for various reasons, no one here is so dense as to suggest that either was left out of the XI because he wasn’t “good enough” in some general sense. Whatever their deficiencies, both are very, very good footballers. Whether Nkeitah is even close to their level remains to be seen.

  57. Bamford10


    You’re also misrepresenting your comments about Willock. You are the one who suggested that Emery is less aware of his young players than he should be. Not someone else. You are the one who said that Willock is “tearing it up” with the U-23’s, that he could have helped us against Crystal Palace and that Emery should know this. You quipped that if Emery isn’t more aware of Willock, he should begin watching the u-23 matches.

    These comments, as I said then, are ridiculous. Emery has started Willock this season and is obviously well-aware of him. If Willock wasn’t in the squad against Crystal Palace, this is because Emery doesn’t think he’s good enough, not because Emery is less aware of him than he should be. The notion that “Valentin” has a better sense of what Willock could bring to the first team than Unai Emery does is ridiculous.

  58. Nelson


    When Emery was hired, our team was in a downward trend. We were going from 4 to 5 to 6. We had 63 points while the 4th place Liverpool had 75 points.

  59. Un Na naai


    But he was well aware of Ramsey and Özil in his impressive dossier before dropping them and being forced to reinstate them after a clear mistake. He is well aware of Mustafi yet persists with him.
    What you seem to be insinuating is that emery cannot make mistakes or mis evaluate a player and his capabilities.

  60. Valentin

    The thing is I am not sure that Raul was looking at the right kind of loan. If you have no money, you don’t look for star players. They are expensive and rarely works. When was the last time a mid season loan from a big club worked?

    You look for players with a checkered past who are ready to rebound. Players people were talking about a few years ago, who got lost for whatever reasons (injuries, characters, marriage breakdown, …) but have found their appetite for the game back. Those players tend to cheaper, but riskier. However if you do your homework well, the rewards is much greater.

    We got Bergkamp, Overmars, Kanu, Henry, Viera on that basis. With the exception of DB10, none were big names when they joined us.

    If you look in the mid tier teams in Ligue 1 and Bundesliga, you’ll find a lot of players who could have helped us at a fraction of the cost Suarez cost us. Players with the physicality to be a success in the premiership straight and the right amount of hunger/desire.
    La Liga and the Italian leagues will not provide us with that. Most players from those leagues need six to nine months to acclimate.

  61. Bamford10


    As for your question about how we defended corners, I haven’t had time to re-watch the match highlights so as to take a closer look at this. However, please note that I am not on some defend-Unai-Emery-against-criticism-team, so I don’t spend my time trying to reply to every criticism leveled at him. Neither I nor anyone else here is obligated to respond to this point of yours. I am a member, however, of the question-nonsense-said-here-team, so this is why I have questioned your comments re Nketiah and Willock.


  62. Bamford10


    “What you seem to be insinuating is that emery cannot make mistakes or mis evaluate a player and his capabilities.”

    No, actually, I’m not implying that in the least.

  63. Valentin


    Nowhere in my comments am I comparing Nkethia and Ramsey. I just stating that Emery is not infallible in his judgement of players. He was wrong on Özil and Ramsey, so he could also be wrong on Nkethia.

    Emery is a cautious manager in term of personnel. Unlike Ferguson, Pochettino, LvG, he will nearly always prefer the experienced but mediocre player over the untested, but potentially brilliant young player. It took him half a season before accepting that Lichsteiner was way past it for the Premiership.

    Sarri had the same blindspots until the threat to be sacked by management forced him to play Callum Hudson-Odoi.

    Wenger was the opposite end of the spectrum, persisting in giving chances to some youth players who clearly did not deserved it. The Hoyte brothers come to mind.

  64. Bamford10


    “We have been competing for a top four place for the last 25 years. None of the current top 6 can say that.”

    Wenger went ten years without contending for a title. Not one of the other big clubs had as woeful a record as this in that time. Every one of them contended for or won a title in that ten-year period.

    The game passed him by. He became stuck in his ways, stuck in unwinning, wrongheaded and unproductive ideas. Wenger wasn’t good enough in his second ten years; get over it.

  65. Bamford10


    “He was wrong on Özil and Ramsey, so he could also be wrong on Nkethia.”

    Except this is a massive over-simplification of the matter and is wrong. And you were in fact comparing the situation of Nketiah to that of Ozil and Ramsey.

  66. Freddie Ljungberg


    I know you think you know everything and is always right but some basic reading comprehension would probably help. Just a friendly tip.

  67. Nelson

    Now I am really worry. Emery thinks that Mustafi can still improve things tactically and his decision making. Didn’t Emery know that you can never change someone’s character on the training ground. Mustafi needs to reborn to stop those brain dead mistakes. Emery also said that Mustafi needs cover to play as CB. I can feel for Emery. He doesn’t have players to rotate. He still needs Mustafi in the remaining games.

  68. HighburyLegend

    @Nelson : far, very far from being enough for most of Le Grovers.
    (they know who they are)

    “We have been competing for a top four place for the last 25 years”
    Including the last 2 seasons of wenger’s era, of course… (lol)

  69. Valentin

    I clearly remember that when we beat Leicester on the last minute with a Wellbeck goal, everybody thought that we were destined to win the league.
    Same thing in 2009, until some Brummy thug broke Eduardo’s leg.
    So we did compete in the last ten year. Just twice not enough.
    Liverpool competed once before this season until Gerrard’s slip.

  70. Alex James

    Bring back George Graham. At least we didn’t concede stupid goals, other than Gus Caesar’s never to be forgotten imbecilic moment against Luton. Seriously, while I was glad to see the back of Wenger, our defensive frailties under UE have not improved at all. Meanwhile, the luck Spurs are enjoying continues. I wish some of it would rub off on us. We shall need it in abundance for the rest of the season, including against Valencia, who are a level above Napoli.

  71. Marc


    “Emery thinks that Mustafi can still improve things tactically and his decision making”

    No he doesn’t and Mustafi will be sold I the summer but in the meantime we may have to use him. Coming out and tearing the guy to pieces will not help our objectives unless of course those objectives are to a) want to see Emery fail b ) think it’ll be good for squad moral to destroy someone in public.

  72. HighburyLegend

    “unless of course those objectives are to a) want to see Emery fail”

    Pedro, Pierre, Vicuntious, gambon, GoH, CG, where are you guys ??

  73. Danny

    I clearly remember that when we beat Leicester on the last minute with a Wellbeck goal, everybody thought that we were destined to win the league.
    Same thing in 2009, until some Brummy thug broke Eduardo’s leg.
    Who thought we were destined to win the league back then? There was still something like 14 games to go.
    Eduardo leg break was in February 2008 not 2009.

  74. S Asoa

    Kindly disregard the lessons in grammar and composition.
    Just say on your tips . We welcome your insights in the game, even when you are calling out the warts on the face, which, anyway is putting things bluntly. Few do.

  75. China1

    Lol how on earth is welbeck not 3rd choice striker????

    What weird logic is this just because he can play on the wings as well

    After auba and laca he’s next in line to be CF. He’s absolutely established third choice for us (presuming he’s fit)

    The only reason he got any games this season is because he can play on the wing as well and we have zero wingers. If he couldn’t he’d be like nketiah waiting for auba and laca to both get injured

  76. Pierre

    Emery had to swallow his pride after the Bate defeat regarding Ozil , who ( along with with Ramsey) got our season back on track .

    And despite Ozil again being our best player on the pitch this weekend , Emery will again leave him out of the tonight in the misguided belief that we are a better football team without ozil.

    He played Ozil (and Mhkitaryan)away to Everton in wide positions which shows Emery’s lack of tactical nous and lack of understanding of a players best position .
    It is possible that he will make the same mistake tonight.

    An example of this was Emery’s use of Ramsey who was playing his best football of the season in centre midfield and then decides to play him at CAM when he has 2 players in Ozil and Mhkitaryan who have a better understanding of the position .

    Emery tries to be too clever for his own good in his team selections, he always seems to be looking at the next game instead of choosing his best side for the immediate game ahead.

  77. China1

    We don’t have to use mustafi. It’s a choice and it’s brought a grand total of zero benefit to our season

    I don’t care if he has to play a rookie there. Mustafi is a 3/10 defender playing in a 7/10 team. If we don’t even have a 4/10 defender in our youth ranks then we need to burn the academy down because it’s useless

  78. englandsbest

    I am one of those who remember Gus Caesar as a good footballer, a player who was let down time after time by a full-ack who fancied himself as George Best.

    The over-lapping full-back ploy is out-dated, an invitation for a sneaky counterpunch, as we saw on a regular basis with Wenger – unless the LB happened to be Ashley C.

  79. China1

    The problem with Suarez wasn’t his price, it was that he didn’t come close to solving any problems even on paper

    He’s like our 5th choice CM and in a squad with zero wingers can’t even get time on the wings.

    Like there’s almost no realistic scenario where Suarez makes a significant contribution

    CB on the other hand is another story because even a 5/10 CB would be an upgrade on mustafi. He’s one of the worst CBs of any major top league and has been for years

    You don’t need to get in koulibali to improve on mustafi. Even the most average of PL CBs would have done better vs palace at the weekend and we might be at least 1 point better off for it

    I support emery and I’m happy with his work overall but keeping mustafi in the team and whomever was responsible for the Suarez deal has made mistakes

    I like to think we’ll still end the season well and I’ll be happy enough but I’ll still call a spade a spade.

  80. S Asoa

    Regarding high hopes of Emery clearing out Mustafi, this is his quote
    “ Mustafi is a very good centre back. He has the habit — doing a tackle and going to ground.

    ‘He can win one, two, three, four, but if he loses one he is the picture and if he concedes a goal he is the big picture.

    ‘I have spoken to him, “You can improve and you need to work hard, you have a big quality for a centre back”.

    For playing down the fans indignation maybe. But Emery has a weakness in defensive tactics. Very big flaw likely. Otherwise he would not have a “ complex” about handing over defensive duties to Bould to coach. Maybe a fear of getting caught after results must be driving the paranoia.