Emery’s season on a precipice

by & filed under News Review.

It’s been very interesting watching the back and forth on Emery over the past few days.

I am just a mediator these days.

A deliverer of the facts.

One of my friends told me I needed to be nicer to Emery, so I will be.

He’s taken on a hard job. The squad had too many drossy players left in it. He’s made improvements.

The interesting thing with the improvements, is they aren’t as data-driven as they were a few weeks ago.

The man thing he’s addressed this year is competitiveness in the big games.

He’s also shown that he can outthink big managers.

Our tactics aren’t always great but be fair, there are tactics, which is a huge advancement at Arsenal.

The interesting thing to look at for me is the flip of coin that’s going on with how to look at the season.

If you compare Emery’s season to the penultimate season of Wenger, things look very similar. Now, I compare him to that season because it was Wenger’s second worse season ever. Comparing to last season is a softball. Also, the season I’m comparing to earned Wenger a new deal, his last earned him a red card.

We are already two goals worse off from a defensive standpoint.

We have to score 9 goals to be offensively better.

We have to win all three games to match the points total.

Add to that: Our defensive xG maps almost perfectly to what we’ve achieved… we are as bad as it looks. There’s no luck involved.

Look at our attack, and we have been ruthlessly efficient. Literally the best conversion rate we’ve ever had. That is going to be hard to sustain.

Then look at our away record and we’ve kept one clean sheet all season.

The flip side of this is you could say we should only be comparing Emery to last season. Sure, things are better than the year the squad basically gave up on Wenger. Let’s be a bit more ambitious than that.

The other valid argument Emery backers can have is this:

NONE OF IT MATTERS IF WE MAKE TOP 4 OR WIN EUROPA.

… and that’s the rub of it. Exactly what I said when everyone was crowing about points a few weeks ago. It’s all irrelevant if you don’t meet your objective.

We can still make top 4 in the Premier League. That would be epic. I would dance partially clothed in the street if that happened.

We have a very good chance of beating Valencia. Then it’s a roll of the dice in a final against two sides I’d fancy us against.

So when assessing Emery, you have to decide what you think is greatness.

Tangible improvements to tactics, defence or attack.

Or just STFU we qualified for the big boy European trophy.

It’s going to be a very interesting scorecard come the end of the season… and to be clear, I think it’s a blend of both. If he makes the Champions League, he deserves all the love we can give him. If he doesn’t, I think we’ll have an uphill battle next season, because £45m is getting us nowhere.

Arsenal and Emery are perched on the precipice. Another chance at relevancy… or a further decline into the pit of mediocrity.

Chelsea, United and Spurs will not stand still. This is our chance. We have to make something of our last 3 Premier League games and we have to do something special in the Europa.

Huge month ahead, strap in. x

356 Responses to “Emery’s season on a precipice”

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  1. Leftsidesanch

    What a clearance, thought Spurs were going to be jammy as usual.

    Great start to the weekend, until those wankers ruin it tomorrow.

  2. Danny

    I so want to laugh at the Scum but we’ve so fucked it up lately that I don’t think it makes any difference.

  3. Kay

    Oh yeah discredit Emery as much as possible.

    Yet the mighty Klopp and the man with god particle in his tit Fraudiola did fuck all in thier 1st season.

    I am totally disappointed with Emery on the last 2 games but he still has an opportunity to redeem himself. Lets see.

    This season finale is going to put all supporters from the teams fighting for top 4 in nervous breakdown.. Roller coaster!#!?

  4. Champagne Charlie

    Marc

    Yea sorry, football doesn’t work as a spreadsheet no matter how you try and manipulate it to do so.

    There’s no “equal” comparison because the variables still at play are too different to truly reflect matters. But it pretty clear to anyone that if you’re going to compare managers over the duration of a season you should do so where the managers have all been there from the start of the season. That’s basic.

    I don’t care overly about points tallies either, it’s another metric that can often be used to oversimplify matters in favour of one thing or another. Context is important, 75 points isn’t a staple return that proves X or Y. There’s too much fluctuation season on season for that.

  5. Ishola70

    This continual whinging from the Wenger lovers.

    Spurs and Chelsea are more than vulnerable as are Arsenal and they are all in the shake up for these top 4 places.

    Wenger left the club as a Europa League club, the summer signings were Europa League signings yet still the Wenger lovers expect much, much more in his first season.

    What Emery needs to do is bring in a few more of his own defensive signings and get rid of those that played under Wenger.

    I saw on here that another Wenger lover had him down as one of the top ten coaches in world football. ffs he is retired. get off his cock.

  6. Mark

    Let’s hope the weekend stays good. Love that goal line clearance. Only saw the last 20 mins but that Frederik’s guy ( defender) played well from what little I saw.

  7. Marc

    Kay

    “This season finale is going to put all supporters from the teams fighting for top 4 in nervous breakdown”

    I think it’s too late in my case!

  8. bnsb

    West Ham defended well, in fact excellent, never giving up on threat of attack. Should have and could have scored more than 1

  9. Danny

    Yeah it was an amazing goal line clearance, if only more defenders had put in a shift against the Scum after the 85th minute this season, they’d have 15 – 20 points less.

  10. Nelson

    Son looked tire today. He disappeared in the second half. You need a big squad to fight on both front. MC and Pool are the two teams that can go all the way. Spuds has to play Ajex on Tuesday. Ajex’s game was cancelled this weekend. Poch was crying unfair.

    Our team is also over extended. I have a bad feeling for tomorrow’s game.

  11. Marc

    CC

    Can we agree that you will not take a balanced view on Emery no matter what he does? Also that anything other teams or managers do will always be good and anything Arsenal do post Wenger will always be terrible?

    Because beyond that I can’t see what you want?

  12. Batistuta

    Always liked Issa Diop from early in the season when i watched him and still very young too. Also love Declan Rice, not a luxury player but very hardworking .

    Spurs still have Bournemouth and Everton
    Chelsea play Watford and Leicester
    Untied have Cardiff and Huddersfield

    We really need not drop any points especially tomorrow, reckon we draw there and pick up 6 more points against Brighton and Burnley and we should be alright

  13. Marc

    Nelson

    I thought Eriksen looked knackered as well. I didn’t know Ajax’s match had been cancelled – great news. The last time the Poch had a meltdown the Spud’s picked up 1 point from 15!

    Let’s hope history repeats itself results wise.

  14. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    Issa Diop was part of the Toulouse defense available last summer. We dithered for weeks to buy the Turkish Dortmund player who ended up at Leicester.
    Same thing with his partner who has been bought during winter transfer window for less than 3 millions by Barcelona.

    French football academies are now producing a lot of great young hungry footballers. Our recruitment staff should really look at the market. Same thing with the German market.

  15. Champagne Charlie

    Marc

    No we can agree that’s your view of things, hence why any comment is met with a response in kind.

    There’s always balance, but when we’re miles off the pace I’m always going to defer to what isn’t being done that needs to be, and where the faults lie.

    If we won the league I’d talk about our home record being the foundation for it, but when we’re languishing as we are with poor performance indicators as we have, I’ll offer a view as to what’s caused them and what needs addressing. It’s really basic

  16. bennydevito

    Mark,

    Thanks! Yes I’m recovering. The Wolves fans couldn’t actually believe it and were as shocked as I was at being 3 nil up at half time. Fair play to them though and I had to give it to them; the atmosphere they created even though it was only 31,000 was absolutely incredible, our players looked visibly shat themselves but the Wolves players were really charged up.

    We really need the Emirates to be like that and it really should be considering it’s twice the size.

  17. Kay

    Don’t worry Mark. Cheer up!!

    Having a faint hope that we will somehow make it to the top 4.
    I think we will know our fate come tomorrow.

  18. Words on a Blog

    Fantastic score-line, as spurs lose their first match at The Expensive Toilet Bowl

    Great news, in the short term.

    This season, it really looks like Manchester City and Liverpool are several cuts above Spurs, Arsenal, Man U and Arsenal, with all 4 of the latter teams getting regularly beaten in the last 5-10 matches of the season

    It feels like the gap in class and consistency between Liverpool/Man C and teams 3-6 is much bigger than the gap between Teams 3-6 and the rest.

    That’s a real worry for next season, regardless of who our manager is, as I expect Wolves and Leicester in particular, to strengthen their squads.

  19. Danny

    We’d surely be above Spurs had Aubameyang not missed that damn penalty.
    —————————-
    Wrong. We’d have 68 and they would have 69.
    Now if we’d stuffed fuckin’ Palace, Wolves, Everton etc etc

  20. Ishola70

    Issa Diop had high ratings for discipline and concentration as a kid at Toulouse.

    Mustafi has low negative ratings for exactly the same mental attributes and is a so-called seasoned pro.

  21. Leftsidesanch

    Marc,

    If Chelsea pull off a win I think that’s that, they haven’t beaten a top 6 side away from home this year so hopefully that continues.

    I’m worried about tomorrows game v Leicester. As it stands I’m not going to watch lol it will just ruin my mood for the day.

  22. Marc

    CC

    Sorry but you expect Arsenal to be challenging for the title this season?

    Any rational supporter would say that expectation doesn’t even get close to being realistic.

    This is going to be about steps, first one is stopping the downward trend which has been achieved, step 2 is getting CL football – is still possible but we should have had that as good as sown up.

    After those we begin to build for a genuine challenge. If you think it was going to be a magic wand job then you need to reset your expectation. This is going to take several years.

  23. Nelson

    Red “Ozil needs to be dropped”

    The problem is Ramsey is injured. Mikki and Iwobi are even worse. Not only they didn’t produce, they gave the ball away. It is depressing. We need players who have heart to play away games.

  24. Marc

    Leftside

    I’ve had a word with the football Gods. Explained I’ve got a serious weekend of televised sport on the go – Spud match today (went the right way), Us tomorrow followed by the Grand Prix and then ManU vs Chelsea. I’m cooking Veal scallopini piccata tonight (first attempt at this one) and I’m doing a roast chicken and piece of gammon tomorrow.

    If we don’t get a win it’ll fuck the whole weekend up and after the last couple of weeks I deserve a good result!

  25. Leftsidesanch

    The veal dish sounds glorious, hope it turns out fine. If we can beat Leicester I reckon that we’ll be able to push through, or at least not lose.

    We could worse than allowing some of our youngsters to feature. Mikki and Ozil are too limp and lightweight for me.

  26. Marc

    Leftside

    On a serious note – a win tomorrow and I think we’ll win our other 2 league matches. After that it comes down to what Chelsea do, we draw tomorrow and ManU win and all 3 teams are on 67 points.

  27. Marc

    gons

    Well Madrid have gone for now but the way OGS is doing at ManU Mrs Poch might be house hunting in Manchester come Christmas.

  28. Bamford10

    Champagne

    “Care to explain why we’re 9th in the away form league behind Watford, Leicester and Palace?”

    Well, one, I was replying to your comment that City “impose their game” away from home, so my point was that we lack the quality City possess, not that we lack the quality of a Watford or Palace.

    As for Watford or Palace having better away records than us, you would have us believe that this is primarily a matter of Emery’s tactics, not a matter of squad quality or of the mental toughness, steel or character in the squad.

    The first point to make in reply to this is: have you made an argument in support of this claim? Have you discussed Emery’s approach in this or that match versus what his approach might have been or should have been? Have you discussed what his away approach has been, in general, versus what it should have been? I don’t think you have. If you want to persuade people that it’s primarily a tactical problem, you should probably do that.

    Secondly, I would like to point out two things: (i) squad quality is not merely a matter of technical quality, it’s also a matter of athletic quality; (ii) whether a manager can adopt a particular tactical approach depends a little on the kinds of players he has in his squad.

    To the first point, we may have more technical quality than a Watford or Palace, e.g., Ozil, Mkhitaryan or Xhaka may have more technical quality than their counterparts in those teams, but they may have more athleticism, and it may be this athleticism that is getting them better results away. They may also have more character, be more mentally tough, more steely than we are, and this plus their greater athleticism is getting them better results.

    To the second point, in order to play a sit-deep-and-counterattack-at-rapid-fire-pace — a tactic used well by Wolves and others, a tactic Emery has not really turned to away from him — you need to have certain kinds of players, players, one, who are willing to concede 65% possession, play a ton of defense, track, tackle, and two, who are capable of attacking quickly, who have pace and quickness and athleticism.

    Do we have a team of such players? Does such an approach fit the players we have? Maybe, maybe not. In some cases, yes, in other cases, no. I’ll leave better answers to this question to others.

    Bottom line, however, is this: you’re a million miles from having shown that our problems away from home are primarily tactical.

  29. Redtruth

    Danny
    “Wrong. We’d have 68 and they would have 69.
    Now if we’d stuffed fuckin’ Palace, Wolves, Everton etc etc”

    It’s not about numbers, the blow of losing would have affected Spurs going into the next few games…..doughnut.

  30. HighburyLegend

    Spuds don’t care about their loss today, they know that our players are pussies and will screw up the end of the season.
    (And if they are pussies, it’s Emery’s fault of course… lol)

  31. Valentin

    Even if ManUtd beat or draw with Chelsea, we will need two victories and a draw to secure 4th place.
    I am not sure that right now we have the consistency to do it.

  32. Moray

    That’s fucking brilliant. New stadium pricks. Could be none of us get any more points this season. A win for us this weekend could make things very interesting indeed.

  33. HighburyLegend

    @Marc : I think that when you had been wengerized for so many years, that can only came back to haunt you at the worst time possible.

  34. Valentin

    @Bamford,

    If a manager does not have the players to use his preferred tactic, then he has to develop a tactic that fits his players. He can also use some youth team players to play his preferred tactic.

    Emery is doing neither. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and hoping for a different result.

  35. China1

    The situation with emery is clearly grey rather than black or white. I dunno why people have to pin their colors to a mast

    He inherited the worst squad in the top 6. One that had zero confidence, no wingers, dubious CMs and a shocking defense coming off the back of their worst season in decades

    He got it back to about where it was 2 years ago – ie not that good but demonstrably better than before and with some areas of obvious improvement (some big game results and improvements in bellerin, holding, xhaka, amn, maybe iwobi). He also turned us into a less predictable team than we’ve been for decades

    On the other hand his team selection has been mixed. He hasn’t managed to get the max out of Ramsey or ozil over the total course of the season. He keeps playing mustafi. He has failed to make us look defensively decent, even though we’ve spent most of the season missing between two and four of our best defenders so he does deserve *a little* leniency on that part

    I’d give him a 7/10 so far. Progress but unspectacular. If he can’t nick a CL spot of the EL he will have failed this season. If he does then he needs to solidify what he’s done and get 10 more points next season

  36. Mark

    He’s kept us in the match .
    Michael Oliver what a Cunt ! Books AMN for his 1st foul total nothing challenge.

    I fucking hate that rat faced weasel cheating Cunt!

  37. Mark

    Iwobi can’t shoot it score for shit. Hardly ever strikes the ball cleanly with power and precision. No confidence in front of goal.
    Mhiki Just shit .