Emery DESTROYS Valencia

by & filed under News Review.

via @Arsenal Instagram LOVE THESE TWO

Another Europa night, another devastating pummelling of a prestige team.

The big man in charge, Sir Unai Emery, inflicted defeat over Valencia in a pretty poor match at The Emirates.

Unai opted for what some thought was an attacking formation, with some thinking it was defensive. I thought it looked like a 3-5-2 at home, with 7 defensive players on the pitch, with a view to keeping a clean sheet for the second leg. Others thought it looked like a wrecking machine with two strikers and Ozil free to create havoc.

Havoc we created. The opening 20 minutes were straight out of the dustbin. Matteo and Xhaka were all over the place, the defence was getting pulled every which way and there was no intensity to our play. We even managed to concede from a setpiece (which is pretty rare), a long ball to the back post was nodded back into the mixer, Xhaka was nowhere and he was beaten to ball by Diakhaby who headed home.

The Swiss really isn’t fit for purpose… it makes me so sad that when he has a few ok games and all the usual suspects revert back to him being peak-Gilberto when it comes to football enigmas. He’s not. He’s bang average. There is nothing smart in the long-form editorial suck up pieces that lambast social media obsessed millennials who just don’t understand the beautiful game because they can’t see the beauty in Xhaka. Football fans are OBSESSED with other fans who celebrate shit players in militant fashion because it’s so bizarre, you worry you truly are missing something. You’re not. You weren’t with Senderos. You weren’t with Denilson. You’re not with Xhaka. Move on.

Up the other end, 7 minutes later, Lacazette played a perfectly weighted ball to Auba, he cut back and gave his buddy the gift of an open goal from ten yards. What a gentleman. I love those two. If they had a child, it’d be one helluva striker… would probs dress nice too.

7 minutes later, Xhaka showed why the usual suspects menace themselves to bedroom posters of his radar maps. He whipped a beautiful first-time diagonal ball into the box, Lacazette made a yard on his centre back and headed into the ground, the keeper claimed the ball didn’t cross the line but the refs watch buzzed… techhhhhhnology wins again. Xhaka… what a cross, I really think if you ignore the OTT critique of Xhaka, there’s a great player in there, I guess some people just don’t get it.

The second half just didn’t feel particularly smart. We were chasing the third goal and leaving Laurent Kos and Sokratis completely exposed on the counter. It was really tough to watch, Cech kept us in the tie when he denied Kevin Gameiro with a great block. Kos nursed an injury for as long as he could before limping off, we really have to pray he’s going to be ok. That block where he threw his head at a foot late on was something else.

Late on, Kola found Auba at the back post on a tight angle, the ball was struck awkwardly but crept in at the near post. A real shame most fans had gone home by that point. A sad indictment of the fans? The drab football? The Europa League? Who knows.

3-1. That’ll do nicely. £100m worth of strikers to the rescue. Another example of how dependent we are on superhuman finishing.

There’s no point in analysing the game too much. The football was awful, we looked a mess, but we did the job. We’ll shithouse ourselves to the final and then it’s a coin toss… and there’s no manager that knows this trophy as well as Unai.

Whatever my thoughts on his long-term future, watching him twitching out on the sidelines shows how much passion he has for the project. When that third goal landed at the end, he lost his damn mind. It’s great to see. He’s a hard worker, a trophy in his first season would be epic, it’d be even better if we didn’t have to play Chelsea.

Also… does a cup final count as an away game? Answers in the comments.

I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s see if we can go away from home and not concede 3 goals… not as easy as one would think.

Right, see you in the comments you total meltbags xx

878 Responses to “Emery DESTROYS Valencia”

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  1. HighburyLegend

    “Where would Arsenal be without Lacazette and Aubameyang?”

    Question from Sky Sports.
    Answer : probably in a battle to avoid relegation.

  2. lari03

    Well, you could be forgiven, if you think every Europa league game is a home game, because we are so poor, and seem to have found our level,

  3. Danny

    Will be interesting who he picks against Brighton, I reckon it’ll be mostly reserve players.
    Emery has proved that he’s only been interested in this Thursday night cup, not because winning puts us in the Champions League but simply because he enjoys winning it and knows how to motivate his players to do it. We’ll go all out for attack next Thursday to get an away goal as quick as possible.
    Is this ok for Arsenal to have a new manager who only cares about winning the Europa League or should we have a manager who wants to aim higher?

  4. HighburyLegend

    “Aim higher ??”
    With the squad that wenger has put in place ?? Hilarious, indeed…

  5. Pierre

    Tactically,I find Emery very similar to Wenger…they are both willing to leave the midfield very open which I find particularly frustrating .
    Sarri is a similar type of manager whereas pochettino, klopp and Pep like control in the middle.

    I have always believed that the 2 central midfielders are the most important part of the team , they can control the game offensively and defensively if they are positionally aware.

    Petit and Vieira were the perfect combination as they created a perfect barrier for the defence , were technically very good and worked very well in tandem with eachother.

    Without control in the middle of the park the team play becomes erratic and incohesive.
    With control in the middle it enables the offensive players to concentrate on what they do best ,creating and scoring.

    Torreira is a very good defensive centre mid but not so good box to box as he doesn’t possess the energy and power to play such a role…Ramsey for a few games recently started to adapt himself to how a centre midfield should play , Guendouzi doesn’t yet have the discipline to play the role.
    He is only 19 so fans shouldn’t be over critical of him , hopefully with maturity he will understand the role better.

    So for me , Emery needs to get the balance right in the centre midfield area for us to improve as a team.

  6. HighburyLegend

    As facetious as Pedro’s post is, you can clearly feel that he can’t wait for Emery being sacked.
    (lol ?)

  7. Danny

    Highbury
    LegendMay 3, 2019 09:17:37
    ———————–
    Fair enough but there’s no reason we shouldn’t have nailed down 3rd and be on course to win the Europe Cup, even that would show more ambition than what he’s done this season.

  8. Dark Hei

    Pierre

    Tactically Emery is as far from Wenger as you can imagine.

    I don’t think Emery is better or worse, just extremely different.

    Both of them view the game and pursue very different objectives within the game itself.

    Its like Jon Jones vs Khabib.

  9. Leftsidesanch

    Throwing the Brighton game would be ignorant at this stage, you never know how how results will fall on the last game of the season so you need to take each game as it comes.

    There’s only potentially 4 bloody games left for crying out loud.

    From Brighton at home, to a hopefully safe Burnley away v Valencia and potentially Chelsea away in the EL final I know which ones I’d prefer anyway.

  10. Pierre

    Dark Hei
    They are not so far apart as you may think .

    They both regard the defensive side of the game as of secondary importance and they both appear to be content in having an open midfield.

    The main difference in their philosophy is Emery prefers workers and Wenger has always gone for high technical ability though some would say that some of his more recent signings have not reach that level …which I tend to agree..

    Emery’s football is more bland but again , the last couple of seasons under Wenger have been nothing to write home about…

    Tactically I’m struggling to see a lot of difference other than get the ball to Kolasinac to whip the ball across ….defensively we are as open as ever.

  11. Danny

    Throwing the Brighton game would be ignorant at this stage,
    ———————–
    Expect to see Jenkinson, Elneny, Nketiah etc on Sunday.

  12. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Personally I have no problem including Xhaka in my starting X1 BUT we need
    to play him alongside other Midfield Players who will compensate for his deficiencies.

    Guendouzi runs around like a rabbit but there is frankly not a lot of substance
    to what he actually does on the pitch. Personally I don’t think that he is a major
    upgrade on some of the talent which we have got in our youth programme. On
    the other hand at £9 million he is good enough as a squad player.

    Personally I don’t understand why we don’t play Torreira in starting lineup. He
    is a much better fit with Xhaka, because defensively he is much more solid.

    What Arsenal does need at the moment is a “Creative Attacking Midfielder”
    to replace both Ramsey and Ozil. If you find the right player then we can play
    a 4-3-3 formation.

    That pre-supposes that Arsenal can invest properly in our defence, which has been problematic for a long time.

    The third forward should be a winger. Many posters suggest that we need to
    buy such a player, but I am not personally convinced about that argument. Nelson is a goalscoring winger who may be inexperienced, but hopefully will
    be challenging for a starting place in next couple of years and by all accounts
    Saka at 17 looks like one of the best players coming through the Academy in
    a very long time.

    So I would personally prioritise our transfer budget where it is needed in short term and that is in CB,LB and AMF positions. Those three positions will cost
    more than any net budget and sales that the club may secure this summer.

    If neither Nelson nor Saka make the grade then of course we can and should
    start looking for a winger at some future date.

    However we look at the club’s current squad the problems are not going to be
    solved overnight. It is going to take at least 3 seasons to do so providing that
    we make solid and selective transfer decisions and promotions in the meantime.

  13. HighburyLegend

    “Expect to see Jenkinson, Elneny, Nketiah etc on Sunday.”

    As long as YOU are not there…

  14. Leftsidesanch

    I don’t expect to see them, I’m not sure why your so convinced that he will do that either.

  15. Pierre

    Leftsidesanch
    Agree ..play the best possible side .

    Monreal to replace Kosielny
    Torreira to replace Guendouzi.
    Leno to replace Cech.
    And a decision to be made on who to replace AMN if he is suspended.

  16. siddharth14

    What is a sad indictment right now, is that we are regularly struggling to create chances. If it had not been for Auba and Laca last night, we might be discussing the next manager right now.

    I think it’s no coincidence that our offensive play has gone downhill since the loss of form of our two strikers. It will be really interesting to see the contribution of both in terms of assists during our 22 game unbeaten run.

    Our midfield looks sunday league and has been since our defeat at Everton. There is no way to improve it with the available personnel. So, why don’t we try Kolasinac or Mustafi in the midfield. It’s not like we are keeping possession in the midfield and attack right now. Kolasinac or Mustafi would at least give us some much needed strength in the middle.

    P.S No insults for the above opinion please… 😉

  17. Emerytes

    Think the super human finishing point is a bit forgetful. Lacazette also missed two really easy chances that he should have scored and the goals scored every striker should do. It wasn’t particularly good finishing, it was open goals/free headers

  18. Danny

    Leftsidesanch
    May 3, 2019 09:59:24
    I don’t expect to see them, I’m not sure why your so convinced that he will do that either.
    ———————————-
    Simply because Emery couldn’t give a shit about getting top 4.
    We do, he doesn’t.

  19. siddharth14

    Danny

    I’m sure every incoming Manager (Emery included) would value themselves guiding the team to a top four finish after taking over a squad finishing 6th. I know, Emery does not fill us with confidence with regards to where and how we want Arsenal to be. But to suggest that he doesn’t give a shit about finishing in Top 4 is absolutely wrong.

  20. Danny

    If you lot reckon after our last 5 league matches that Emery wants top 4 then I’ll have whatever you’re all trippin’ on.
    We all saw his passion last night, his desire, his wanting to win, where the fuck was that against Everton, Palace etc?

  21. Jamie

    Mustafi in midfield?!!! Get him in the bin; it’s where he belongs.

    He can’t pass, can’t defend, has poor positional awareness.. just no.

  22. Dark Hei

    Jamie

    Play Mustafi as striker, but mix it in as one of Brighton’s defenders.

    Somehow they will then concede.

  23. China1

    I’m sure mustafi is a lovely bloke but he belongs dumped in the sea…metaphorically speaking of course…

  24. HighburyLegend

    “I doubt that Mustafi could be worse as a striker than as a defender.”

    That’s better!! lol

  25. Jamie

    Now that I think about it, the further way Mustafi is from out goal, the less likely we are to concede. Playing him up front might help us keep clean sheets..

    He’ll pick up a bunch of clumsy yellows smashing into their goalie and trying to undress their central defenders though, obviously.

  26. Sam

    I don’t usually comment on here but I read the posts most days….

    Anyone else notice the lack of reaction from Steve Bould when the 3rd goal went in? The rest of the coaching staff went nuts and he just starred across the pitch. Does he have a future come the summer?

  27. edthered

    We are close to playing our first European Final in 13 years, 25 years after we last won European Trophy (therefore never under Wenger) and Danny is questioning direction we’re taking, or something. Have to question Danny’s motivation for writing such silly statements.

  28. HighburyLegend

    “Manchester United are prepared to pay half of Alexis Sanchez’s mammoth £26m salary to secure him a move this summer.”

    lol

  29. Danny

    edthered
    May 3, 2019 11:06:21
    We are close to playing our first European Final in 13 years, 25 years after we last won European Trophy (therefore never under Wenger) and Danny is questioning direction we’re taking, or something. Have to question Danny’s motivation for writing such silly statements.
    ——————————————
    I didn’t question shit. Learn to read.

    HighburyLegend
    May 3, 2019 11:18:48
    He’s just another member of the “Emery Out Brigade”.
    ————————–
    I’ve never said “Emery Out” you stupid wanker.

  30. London gunner

    League is not over.

    Chelsea have watford and Leicester I think they will get a win and a draw and finish on 72 points.

    We have brighton and burnley two wins and we finish on 72 and comes between goal difference with us and chelsea.

  31. Nelson

    I think Emery is doing the best he can with the players available to him. The defense is weak and Kos is old and tired. AMN and Kola are better as wing backs. Therefore, playing 3 CBs with wing back suits the players. As for midfield, ideally, he would like to have Xhaka and Ramsey. Xhaka is slow and immobile. He can only play as a deep lying midfielder. He thought Guen is closer to replace Ramsey. But Guen is no Ramsey. Not only he is weak defensively. He can’t control the game upfield. With Torr, at least the defense is much more solid. As for attack, Emery came up with this split striker system to play his two strikers together. Ozil/Mikki will be responsible to link up between midfield and attack.

    I don’t think this is Emery’s preferred system. If he has wingers and good defenders, he’ll play one striker and a flat back four. The procurement this Summer will tell us how Emery wants to play next season.

  32. Rainman

    “The Swiss really isn’t fit for purpose… it makes me so sad that when he has a few ok games and all the usual suspects revert back to him being peak-Gilberto when it comes to football enigmas. He’s not. He’s bang average. ”

    Then

    “I really think if you ignore the OTT critique of Xhaka, there’s a great player in there, I guess some people just don’t get it.”

    lol, I see what you did there Pedro

  33. Bamford10

    Danny

    You’re getting shit because your comment was a little silly. Emery obviously wants to compete for both top four and the Europa League; he’s not deliberately blowing off PL matches. The players may be getting more up for Valencia at home in the Europa than they are for Leicester or Watford away in the PL, but not because Emery is telling them to do so.

    Some people are also underestimating how good a Leicester or Watford are, especially at home, and especially against our somewhat hamstrung and inadequate first 13-14 players.

  34. Bamford10

    Dani

    To answer your question from the previous, it’s because certain people here can be a bit petty, unfair and unfriendly at times. It’s also because I have accumulated a few “haters” in my time here. Cheers.

  35. Danny

    Emery obviously wants to compete for both top four and the Europa League
    ————————————
    Why obviously?
    Our last 5 league games prove otherwise.
    Forget about it.

  36. Dissenter

    What does the assistant next to the goal line do?
    I ask because that second goal was like one foot behind the goal line. It shouldn’t even have been a controversy.
    The damn official should have immediately indicated to the referee that it was a goal.

  37. Dissenter

    Pierre
    ‘Tactically,I find Emery very similar to Wenger…they are both willing to leave the midfield very open which I find particularly frustrating .
    Sarri is a similar type of manager whereas pochettino, klopp and Pep like control in the middle’

    Emery too likes to control the midfield but he has to rely on the shite midfielders left for him. We don’t have any midfielder that can control the pace or tempo of a game, not one.

  38. Bamford10

    Nelson

    I think there’s a chance they viewed this entire first season as a kind of trial for the existing squad. When you look at the riches (in terms of quality) Emery enjoyed at PSG, especially at wide attacking positions, it’s hard to believe he would be satisfied with so little quality in this squad. I wonder if he/they did a minimum in the summer and in January in part because of financial realities but in part because the plan was to use this first season to assess where things really stand personnel-wise, who should stay, who should go, what we need, what we don’t need.

  39. Bamford10

    Danny

    Right, but “Emery doesn’t give a shit about top four” isn’t a reasonable explanation for those results. There are several better and more plausible explanations.

  40. Dissenter

    What’s the use of Ozil when he’s shit in a crucial home game against substandard opposition.
    He’s shit at home. He’s shit away. It’s friday so he’s just sucked another 350k from the club.

  41. Bamford10

    Pedro

    No, I don’t. One, because I’m not really “patronizing”. It’s true that I have been a bit of a dick here and there at times, but that’s true of 50% of the guys here. Two, because there are other factors at work.

    Not a big deal.

  42. Pedro

    Bamford, calling people silly is partronising.

    Then going on to explain how two teams, that are 8th and 10th are actually very good sides… despite the league table indicating that over the course of a year, they’re mid-table sides, is not a good way to counter ‘silly’ views.

  43. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Further, as for tone, have you taken a good look at your own tone on here when dealing with people who disagree with you? Like with Dissenter the other night? Well beyond “patronizing”. All of the following — “condescending”, “arrogant”, “dismissive” and “aristocratic” — would aptly describe it.

    Again, not a big deal, though.

  44. Pedro

    Bamford, I created this blog as a platform for people to agree with me, if you don’t understand this by now, maybe you’re a bit silly?

  45. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Except that his take — “Emery doesn’t give a duck about finishing top four” — is silly. That is absolutely correct word for it. And did you see how others replied to it? A lot less friendlier than I did.

    As for your “mid-table” point, this is sophistry. The PL has improved a great deal; teams 7-12 might be “mid-table” by definition, but they are not lacking in quality. In their own way, all of these teams are good and difficult to beat, especisliy at home. This is borne out by how much difficulty they have given other top six teams. And everyone who has been watching the PL carefully — and who doesn’t have an anti-Emery agenda — knows this.

  46. azed

    Pierre

    With Xhaka, Torriera, Elneny, Guendozi and Ramsey as your midfielders, you its almost impossible to get the right balance.

    There’s no pace or strength and very limited mobility in two of them.

  47. Champagne Charlie

    Banford

    You’ve got huge issues with engagement and debate, you’re incapable of doing any without feeling threatened intellectually when argued against. The evidence is stunning.

    Also, the levels of narcissism are something else. You rehashed neymargate for the 37373th time yesterday because you’re incapable of taking any needle. There’s a reason your hero dressed you down as he did, should lead to some introspective thinking, but I’ve learned it won’t.

    Even now with Pedro you’re posturing and saying this absurd idea about you having “haters” is not down to your manner of interactions, but other factors….. riiight. Because you’re so special compared to all here? Clearly not.

  48. Vintage Gun

    I agree with Bamford on this.

    Wolves, Leicster and Watford away are tricky fixtures. Simple as. For example at home Wolves have beaten ManYoo twice, Us, got a result against Man City and that’s just off the top of my head.

    I’m disappointed when we lose to theses teams but by no means are the three points “Easy” away to those teams.

  49. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “Emery too likes to control the midfield but he has to rely on the shite midfielders left for him. We don’t have any midfielder that can control the pace or tempo of a game, not one.”

    I’m not sure that Guendouzi and Torreira were left for him ..plus He seems reluctant to play Torriera which I find slightly strange.

    He could have played the more disciplined( this season) Ramsey but chose to have him on the bench more often than he played him which again, I found slightly strange .

    As for Emery wanting to control the midfield, playing Guendouzi at the moment is not an option as his confidence is shot to pieces which asks to be affecting all parts of his game…passing ,tackling ,positional play , decision making to name but a few .

  50. Pedro

    Bamford, the Premier League didn’t get strong just this season. The league goes in waves. Emery totally flunked Watford, Palace and Wolves because of average management, poor team selection and bad organisation. I think it was pretty clear from his Palace line up where he thought the best chance of top 4 was.

    Watford, Leicester and Wolves are no different to the Southampton, Stoke and West Hams of a few years ago. Average teams that smell fear.

  51. Pedro

    As for the Emery agenda… as long as it’s evidence-based, it’s fair.

    His success this season now boils down to top 4, or winning a trophy.

    If he does neither, it’s hard to justify him staying on.

  52. Dissenter

    Pierre
    Keep writing your brand of balderdash
    Emery has had only one season to rectify the midfield, Wenger had more than enough.
    We don’t have none that can control that tempo of a game, until we do, it is what it is.

  53. Champagne Charlie

    The table doesn’t lie.

    That’s something stated annually and there’s truth in that. You can coin the mid table teams better than mid table teams of a decade ago but in relative terms (the most important factor) they’re mid table teams compared to Arsenal

    Also, nobody is bemoaning a loss, losses happen regardless of how annoying at times.

    We lost 3 in a row. Except we didn’t just lose 3 in a row, we were completely mauled 3 times in a row and conceded three goals every game with fuck all response. To come out at call any of them decent teams as means of softening that period is asinine.

  54. Danny

    I think it was pretty clear from his Palace line up where he thought the best chance of top 4 was.
    ————————————–
    Pedro
    Thanks

  55. Dissenter

    Pedro
    You realize that you’re just as guilty of patronizing people, like you did to Cesc Appeal when asked to prove your absurd double-training claim.

    It’s your blog so you’re always right, it sometimes seems

  56. Pierre

    Azed
    “With Xhaka, Torriera, Elneny, Guendozi and Ramsey as your midfielders, you its almost impossible to get the right balance.There’s no pace or strength and very limited mobility in two of them.”

    The most important aspects of a centre midfielder ‘s game is not strength , pace of mobility( though it would help) , it is being able to read the game , positional awareness , anticipation and sensing danger…

    Gilberto did not have strength ,pace or mobility but his reading of the game was exceptional .
    Claude Makelele superb in midfield…again ,it was his reading of the game that made him special.

  57. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “If he does neither, it’s hard to justify him staying on.”

    Unless, of course, it’s determined that he was working with a less than top-four caliber squad, that he did a reasonably good job with what he had, and that he has a reasonably good vision for the team’s near future.

    In that case, the men in charge would/will probably keep him on for another year.

    That you believe the above three things are not the case does not make it so.

  58. Champagne Charlie

    Dissenter

    Pedro wasn’t lambasting Banford for being patronising. He was saying it’s the reason he has apparent “haters”, given Banford was intent such people decide to be that way on a whim.

  59. CG

    Scanning the papers from my boutique London hotel this morning- who in their right mind- thought next seasons away kit would be acceptable?

    Secondly- in this current climate- with regards to environmentalism- who thought it was wise to litter the N5 area with 60 000 plastic bags last night?

    if we can not get these important ‘little’ decisions right- we most certainly will not get the ‘bigger’ ones too. ( ie recruitment and hires, etc)

    A good morning to you all and sincere thanks to PedRo- for his excellent recent posts by the way.

  60. Bamford10

    “I think it was pretty clear from his Palace line up where he thought the best chance of top 4 was.”

    Please tell us who he should have played instead. Be specific. Show us the XI he deployed vs. the XI he should have deployed.

    You won’t be able to do this, because the truth is he had very few other options. The above is actually a good example of the shallowness and superficiality of some of the arguments made against Emery.

  61. Bamford10

    Charlie

    “they’re mid table teams compared to Arsenal”

    Right, and in some years 7 is closer to 6 than in previous years. In some years, depending on any number of variables — injuries, home vs. away, fatigue, etc. — 11 is closer to 5 or 6 in previous years. Sometimes they’re even better than them.

    As has been explained ad nauseam now, Leicester City’s XI was better than ours on Sunday. You can point to the table all you like, you can repeat “mid-table” all you like, it won’t change this basic fact.

  62. Alan

    ” I really think if you ignore the OTT critique of Xhaka, there’s a great player in there, I guess some people just don’t get it”

    Haha, nicely played sir!

  63. Un Na naai

    Pedro

    I do think there is a point to analysing the game and I dont think we were that horrible.

    One thing i noticed was that we played though the middle and what a difference!! Variety is the spice and all
    If the opposition expect you to just play in the wing backs and have them pop a cut back across then we are easy to defend against
    Last night laca and auba ran off the defenders giving ozil and xakha someone to aim for and how it worked

    We need much more of this. We ha e two of the best and fastest strikers in the league/Europe and a one time assist machine behind them. If we okay to their strengths we could be devastating

  64. HighburyLegend

    “It’s your blog so you’re always right, it sometimes seems”

    No answer… just a coincidence ??
    (lol)

  65. Un Na naai

    Bamford

    The 11 he deployed against palace should have been enough to win the game regardless. Or at the very least, not lose it. You’re fighting a losing battle here but 10/10 for persistence

  66. Pedro

    Un, 2-1 up and exposing your shaky backline to a counter wasn’t smart.

    The game was poor… but, we won, so who cares?

  67. Champagne Charlie

    “As has been explained ad nauseam now, Leicester City’s XI was better than ours on Sunday. You can point to the table all you like, you can repeat “mid-table” all you like, it won’t change this basic fact.“

    I’ll steal something from your above retort to Pedro:

    “That you believe the above three things are not the case does not make it so.”

    I think this works here given you’re rather obvious attempts to turn opinion into fact. Leicester have a better XI than Arsenal by your own view, not by fact.

    If you want to tread the line of fact then consider why that same side are 15 points inferior to Arsenal. That’s not mince dependent as a handful of points could be argued. They’re miles off us even at our low ebb.

  68. Ishola70

    Pierre

    “The most important aspects of a centre midfielder ‘s game is not strength , pace of mobility( though it would help) , it is being able to read the game , positional awareness , anticipation and sensing danger…”

    Ok so tell us how does Xhaka fair in these essential elements of a midfielder you list? The player that is the current hub of this side.

    tbh with Xhaka sometimes I feel sorry for him. Yes there are times that he switches off defensively and it looks awful because it looks like he is not trying at all but more times than this he is sensing danger, he is aware but he just gets done by the opponent time and time again because of his physical limitations. In many cases it’s not about him being awful positionally. He just gets done one on one and this being in close proximity to the opponent. Last night was a prime example. He was busting a gut to try to cut out a run by the opponent but the player just did him and Xhaka conceded a freekick in a dangerous area.

    So when you state pace and mobility is not essential in Xhaka’s case it’s a huge handicap for him.

  69. Pierre

    Dissenter
    What part is balderdash…

    Ramsey on the bench more than on the pitch .
    Guendouzi ‘s confidence at a low ebb.
    Torreira on the bench more often than not….I believe that he is our best defensive/ holding midfielder as he proved many times earlier in the season .

    As you know , Emery decided to play him as a box to box midfielder and his game unravelled along with Arsenal’s season up until the Bate defeat.

    Play him where he is most comfortable ,sitting in front of the defence , putting in tackles ,closing down the spaces , intercepting passes ….that’s what he does best , his positional play and reading of the game sitting in front of the defence is the best we have.

  70. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Exchange Auba and Laca with the strikers from any of those teams and they would comfortably be in 3rd now. They are our only saving grace. Facts.

  71. Un Na naai

    Bamford

    Oh you’re such a victim. If you’re so keen to be liked on Le grove then maybe dont be such a pompous condescending arse hole constantly, swiftly followed by your cry baby antics

    It’s a little pathetic….

  72. Danny

    Started against C.Palace with Mavropanos, Jenkinson, Guendouzi and Elneny.
    Talk about stating the bleeding obvious!

  73. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    Putting the word “facts” after an opinion doesn’t morph it into one mate.

    Give Arsenal Aguero, Sane, VVD and we’d be mustard. Fax.

    It’s a dumb assertion because none of the clubs below can afford the talent of Auba and Laca without disrupting their side.

  74. kc

    What do you know the Anti Arsenal blog Le Grove wants another manager out. Shocker. Lame ass half interested wannabe journos like little Peter boy have to rely on this type of nonsense to stay relevant. They’d rather be right about Emery than see Arsenal succeed. Fake Ass Plastic Gooners.

  75. Ishola70

    Guys

    Leicester are where they are because they don’t score enough goals over the course of a season. Same with Wolves but I think with them they are set up to be more defensive minded with the Portuguese in charge of them.

    Even though Leicester scored three goals against Arsenal you could see that their offensive play was a bit samey and they had similar style players as their main offensive weapons. During the course of a whole season this lack of variation can be a handicap to them in scoring those goals.

    I thought folks had realised that Arsenal are in the mix for 4th because they have a good strike force in Auba and Laca.

  76. Bamford10

    Sokratis last night:

    “I hear everyone speaks about the system, the manager. The manager tries every day to give the best to us, to the team. We want to to play in the Champions League. This is the point, our manager & the staff behind him help us every day [to do that].”

    Sounds like the big, bad Greek believes in Emery.

  77. Bamford10

    Lacazette last night:

    “We want to win the Europa League to go straight to the Champions League but also to win a trophy. We want to finish in the top 4 in the Premier League & if we can go to Baku [for the Europa League final], it will be special.”

    Seems the team wants both top four and the EL trophy.

  78. salparadisenyc

    Until Emery sees the sack then the big bad Greek will publicly believe in the next man standing. How the game works.

  79. Leedsgunner

    Even if we didn’t win against Crystal Palace, Everton, Wolves and Leicester, if we had an team attention span longer than a goldfish we should have been able to keep 4 clean sheets. We’re not talking about a run in of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Man City are we?

    Next season, that should be our goal, to try to keep as much clean sheets as possible…

  80. Champagne Charlie

    Lol it’s funny when Banford copy and pasted quotes he likes. Should see him when there’s one he doesn’t like….

  81. Pierre

    Ishola
    Xhaka has his limitations , it’s his speed of thought defensively and when he receives the ball with his back to goal which Is his main problem .
    He doesn’t anticipate danger which makes him a liability.
    If you have no pace ( like xhaka) you have to be positionally ( and technically)perfect as he has no pace to recover the situation.

    A good centre midfielder has the game in front of him , and his instinct will 9 times out of ten have him in the right position…

  82. Freddie Ljungberg

    Knew the facts part would trigger you CC, lol.

    our attack would be mostly fixed then yes, our midfield and fullback situation would still be pants though.

    they can’t afford it? A couple of teams below us spend more in transfers than we do, how long do you think we can keep above them if that continues?

  83. Bamford10

    Pedro

    I haven’t seen your (or any other Emery critic’s reply) to my point at 12:40:41. Show us the XI he should have selected.

  84. Ishola70

    Leeds

    I think the problem in conceding goals is that the team mope and lose it if they do not get on the score sheet before the opponent does along with these players who are a hindrance defensively.

    If a team can hold Arsenal at home and not concede in the first half Arsenal can collapse defensively at any time.

    I think it’s in the genes for a long time.

  85. Bamford10

    Pedro

    You also have not responded to my point at 12:38:30. Is it possible the men who run the club will think those things — and not what you think — even if Emery doesn’t get CL football? Is this feasible?

  86. Danny

    Pedro
    May 3, 2019 13:00:57
    Bamford, how many players called Wenger a cunt in the press during the season?
    —————————–
    THIS
    That’s why we come to Le Grove everyday!

  87. DaniAltos

    Mesut Özil on Unai Emery: “I think he is doing really good work. When you look at the team, you can see that we have developed. For a new coach, in a new country & at a new club, where it’s perhaps a different culture than you are used to, you have to let those things develop.”

  88. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    You’ve got an odd idea of what someone triggered looks like.

    I don’t much care for speculating alternate realities. Do you think any of the teams you mentioned are taking over Arsenal in the foreseeable?

    If you do there’s a white jacket and a quiet room waiting.

  89. DaniAltos

    Özil on Emery: “He brings us forward & I hope he will continue to get better in the coming years. It’s like with Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool – over time he has been able to make them successful gradually & hopefully Unai Emery can do the same [at Arsenal].”

  90. Ishola70

    No I can’t agree Pierre re Xhaka.

    Time and time again he gets done by the opponent in a ten yard race.

    He is near enough to the opponent which means he has sensed the danger and positionally is ok but because he is such a slouch physically he gets toasted by the opponent and not even greyhound opponents.

    Of course he does switch off and doesn’t sense danger and is in poor positions defensively but more times he just gets caught out because he is simply too slow.

  91. DaniAltos

    Even Ozil the most hated player by Emery according to Legrove armchair experts thinks Emery should be cut some slack.

  92. Un Na naai

    Pedro

    Yeah I wouldn’t disagree with that but I wouldn’t say we were horrible but more to the point we looked sharper going forward because the strikers played off the shoulder

    Or is it just me?

  93. Bamford10

    Dani

    Exactly. Ozil is also supposed to be the epicenter of the anti-Emery player rebellion.

    Absolutely absurd narrative at work among some on here at times.

  94. Marko

    Manchester United, via intermediaries, have recently made contact for Lyon striker Moussa Dembélé; Atletico Madrid have also approached, whilst Arsenal continue to scout heavily, according to L’Équipe

    Also Bayern want Werner and Dortmund are interested in Brandt

  95. Champagne Charlie

    Breaking news:

    Player backs club, manager, teammates, in media sound bite.

    It’s a nice break from the norm I’ll give you that, given all the players that come out and slated Wenger these past few years.

  96. Ishola70

    Dembele would be a good signing but in United’s case they need some good defenders brought in.

  97. Chris

    To be fair Bamford was right to call out Danny, who was talking complete shite about Emery not caring about top four.

    I guess Klopp didn’t care about winning the CL because he played Wijnaldum up front.

  98. Marko

    If he does neither, it’s hard to justify him staying on.

    I’m not sure when they started looking for Arsene Wenger’s replacement that the mandate was champions league inside one season or else. Whoever the manager was. That sounds like wishful thinking on your part Pedro.

  99. Danny

    Ok Chris, Emery really cares about getting top 4, in fact he cares so much that he wont start with Mavropanos, Jenkinson, Guendouzi and Elneny against Brighton.
    Feel better now?
    Do me a favour……

  100. Chitom

    Playing fully fit and rested mid table teams on three days rest isn’t a “tricky” prospect these days and if that game happens to be away Arsenal aren’t even favorite to win.
    Throw in a handful of injuries to key players and it becomes even more difficult.

    None of this is to explain or talk up Emery but some people on here really need a reality check. This isn’t 2006 when Arsenal bench could’ve started for every PL club outside of top four.

    But then again fatigue is overrated and Wenger never bought anyone who wasn’t top quality so disregard the first part of my comment .

  101. Pierre

    Ozil playing the game …very sensible .

    There’s a possible cup final on the horizon and I believe he would like to be a part of it.

    He managed to restrain himself from showing his displeasure at being substituted last night , gave Emery the high five but inside he was probably seething..

    There are some very gullible people on Le Grove if they truly believe that Ozil holds Emery in such high esteem.

  102. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ok CC, still put in the facts for your sake and you predictably couldn’t let it slide. You do love a pointless argument.

    If we continue spending less than the teams below us for a couple of seasons more I can’t see us holding on to our top 6 status, it’s close enough already.

    Sadly it’s not an alternate reality that if we switched 2 players with the 7-12th placed teams they would be better than us. 2 players.

    It’s disgraceful and now hopefully with your daddy Wenger out of the club we can correct the wage bill and get players in that are actually worth what they’re paid. Should have happened 5 years ago if it was going to happen quickly before too much damage was done, now it will take longer.

  103. Jonathan Rosin

    Missed the first 20 minutes of the game. I thought both teams were shiite. Our boys at least seemed to threaten with some pace after Mikhi came in (a pleasant surprise). Kos continies to be heroic…what a warrior. Sead fkn horrible. Laca so wasteful but I do love the guy (sometimes). Emery strikes me as too cerebral without the emotional connection to his team (a la Pep or Jurgen post their games). So fkn depressing watching our continued demise.

  104. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pierre

    since when does Pail have the stamina to play 90 minutes regularly, or even occasionally. He was absolutely done after 75 minutes yesterday and silently praying for a sub, his prayers got answered, why would he complain?

  105. SpainishDave

    So it’s an easy ride in Valencia next week.
    They win 2-0 they are through, oh we let in 3 goals in our last three away games.
    We are getting ahead of ourselves .

  106. Receding Hairline

    I can see Charlie is back in full Bamford bullying mode. Including supporting all sorts of ridiculous opinions as long as they reflect poorly on the manager.

    Good for him.

    Save a little energy for next season, Emery will still be here.

    Wonder why Carlo Ancelloti isn’t doing too great at Napoli, better squad, weaker league, I thought many on here believed he would be doing better than Emery if appointed

  107. salpardisenyc

    Valencia is by no mean sealed in my mind, still work to do. As Dave stated a 2-0 sees us out, it will be an interesting test.

    Regardless of opinions on Emery it would be a decent return getting this side into a European final on first season in. Club has no real history with this competition in past 15 years under current format barring last season where we went out to Simeone by not finding net in that Madrid semi final 2nd leg loss.

    In past 5 years or so we’ve seen United, Liverpool and Chelsea make the final with 2 of them winning thus back dooring into UCL. Seems quite possible we add our names to that list.

  108. Champagne Charlie

    LOk CC, still put in the facts for your sake and you predictably couldn’t let it slide. You do love a pointless argument.“

    I replied because you addressed me with a comment. But apparently I love a pointless argument, makes sense.

    So when you addressed me by name I shouldn’t respond? How does it work in your head exactly?

    Disagreeing with a premise = loving a pointless argument.

  109. Champagne Charlie

    “I can see Charlie is back in full Bamford bullying mode. Including supporting all sorts of ridiculous opinions as long as they reflect poorly on the manager.“

    Ahh bullying again, good stuff. Nothing to do with his pathetic attempted smear last night out of the blue. Oh you missed that? Yep, don’t worry, it’s just me here bullying as per, don’t bat an eye.