Well, the good news is no team in the top 6 really fancies the Champions League next season. United and Chelsea shared a point, leaving the run into Europe in the hands of someone else’s fuck up, but at least it’s not over for us.
Chelsea has to play Watford at home then Leicester away, apparently two VERY tough teams.
However, United has Cardiff and Huddersfield. 6 points even OGS shouldn’t struggle for.
We have to go away to Burnley and we have Brighton at home. Can you see us clocking in two wins? I’m struggling, but hey, crazier things have happened.
The reality is this: Emery always wanted to win the Europa League.
That’s his thing. He doesn’t seem to care much for the top 4 race. Maybe hard trophies mean more to him than faux ones. I honestly find it baffling, his best chance was winning at home to Palace… and by flunking that, he set the wheels in motion for a Premier League car crash.
What is totally amazing to me is that he came into Arsenal with a very aggressive PR push on his legendary video analysis. I’d like to know what’s going on in those sessions. We have played three different formations in three games. None has given us anything remotely interesting. We dominated possession against Wolves and played right into their counter-attacking hype. We gifted Leicester a whole games worth of space just in front of our box when they had Vardy’s pace to release, with Tielemans and Maddison free to pick us apart. He must have noticed that Palace are absolute beasts, so he opted for MG (19) and ME (not good) in the centre of midfield with Jenks and Mustafi in the same side.
We’ve lost 4 of the last 5 games… and we only beat Watford because Deeney took a card and Leno had a worldie.
The only game we’ve reserved any sauce for has been Napoli.
The trophy we’re most interested in is the Europa League where we’ll have to beat Chelsea in a coin toss of a match in Baku. I’m not sure whether I fancy us based on current form, I have to say. The only thing tipping it our way is Emery is a master of this cup and Sarri has never won a trophy. Chelsea have been getting better though, I don’t think it’ll be a cake walk.
This season is on a knife edge. It could go gloriously, and we could sneak into the Champions League and everyone will completely forget about the season we’ve just had. Or it could all go to shite and the narrative that will carry is that there was no way any other manager could have helped those players rise to the occasion.
I can’t have that, no one can say the team isn’t good enough for top 4 now. That is an unacceptable opinion. We are 4 points from 3rd with 2 games to go. We are 2 points from 4th. As I’ve maintained all season, we are more than good enough to make that position ours, and the reason we might not make it has a lot to do with poor judgment.
One clean sheet away from home in an entire season is an abomination. You are doing something wrong to carry a record like that. It’s also not the first time Emery has had an issue like this, he didn’t win a single game away from home in his final season at Sevilla.
I had people writing stories about my identity complaints back in October.
‘It’s too early, give him time’
We’re in April and the football is so drab. We have nice moments in spits and spurts, but there’s so little joy in the way we play, even when we have a good game.
We’re finishing the season in a bigger mess than we started. It is very difficult to explain that away. We should be watching a better brand of football. The defence should be much stronger. We should be pressing in a disciplined fashion. We should be fighting every minute of every game. His early season manifesto of ideas should be bearing fruit.
That’s not happening.
We’re scared. We give teams like Leicester so much respect that they savage us. We are not the protagonists. We’re not even being pragmatic. The Leicester game was just out and out fear. We couldn’t even park the bus. I will repeat this, I have never seen an Arsenal player point to the clock 1 minute before halftime to sooth his teammates… against Leicester! We are defending terribly, on for conceding 50+ goals. Everton, Leicester, Palace, Wolves and Newcastle have conceded less.
Factor in some of our baffling moves with rotation… like playing away at BATE and Rennes with very strong first teams and losing… and then opting for incredibly weak teams against Palace and Everton and losing. We even played Aaron Ramsey at Blackpool in the FA Cup away, and Vorskla, not great preservation for an injury prone player. None of these decisions sit particularly well with me.
The sad thing is I like Emery. I hear he’s incredibly focused on winning behind the scenes. He’s trying to be the fans manager. He’s trying to implement new ideas, flexible formations, and he wants to protect the players. He made us a force in some of the big games, but that underdog spirit he used to eek results out of those games seems to have crept into the mentality when we play midtable teams. Our away form has singled us out as weak and we’ve had no answer for it.
… but it’s all about Europa for the manager, and if he succeeds, we’ll forget the realities of what’s actually going on, but that won’t halt the march to mediocrity I’m afraid. The next level will not be found under this regime. Question is, how long will it take Raul to suss it out?