A final on a platter, will we eat from it?

by .

Oh COME ON, I have to shake out of this. YOU have to shake out of this. We have to pull through this together.

It’s just football. It doesn’t matter what the others do. We’re not going to be the obsessed bitter ex from down the road.

Arsenal head to the MIGHTY Valencia tonight. The Spaniards ripped 5 goals in a single half at the weekend against a team that sounds like a dodgy shot of tequila, Huesca.

We really shouldn’t have that much of a problem against the Spaniards this evening, the problem is we’ve been ugly on the road and we unfortunately don’t have the team metronome that was Aaron Ramsey.

Now we’ve fucked the business end of the season there’s no reason we can’t play all of our players, unless there’s some mega redzoning going on on. Tonight, we must play our best hand which should at the very least be enough to stay level for the first half.

We don’t need to be the protagonists this evening, we simply need to keep a clean sheet. All we need to do is replicate our GIANT performance in Napoli and we’re in.

Thinking back to that last game, it’s quite amazing how across both legs we stuck to a game plan… if anything, it was all a bit boring in the second leg.


I’ll take boring, like the slow drawl of Alan Shearer reading the back of a cereal packet, or putting furniture together with a Spurs ‘nearly did it’ highlight reel lightly buzzing the background. I don’t need exciting. We just need the final, then we can truly go for it.

After the last two games we’ve watched in the Champions League, it’s hard to take anything for granted. These stats by the BBC make for grim reading if you’re a fatalist today.

  • No team has lost the first leg of a Uefa Cup/Europa League semi-final by two or more goals and gone through since Espanyol did it against Club Brugge in 1988.
  • In total, five of the previous 28 teams to lose the first leg of a Uefa Cup/Europa League semi-final by two or more goals have ended up progressing.
  • Including finals, Arsenal manager Unai Emery has won his past 18 Europa League knockout ties, last being eliminated from the competition in the 2011-12 semi-finals -with Valencia.
  • Arsenal have never lost a European tie in which they won the first leg by two or more goals, progressing from all 27 previously.

So many records there to be broken.

Unai is talking about the trophy like you’d talk about an unsightly frocked beast in an old pub in the suburbs back in the day…

“It’s an attractive title and it’s getting more attractive,”

Yes it is Unai, after 5 pints of Ye Olde Battering, the Europa is looking like a young Kate Moss right now. He needs the trophy, the fans need the final, we all need a little whisky chaser of something to get us through the potential horror show gearing up in June.

“I first competed for this title when it was still the Uefa Cup and was a lesser title than it is now.

“It has grown and I have seen that shift. Giving teams a Champions League place through the Europa League is a fair reward and it’s a title they all want to win.

“It’s an important title for those teams not in the Champions League – and for some who drop into it as a second chance, like Valencia did this season.”

I think if there’s any critique about Unai this season, it’s that he chased personal glory of being the Europa mega title holder over just doing what was sensible in the league. We know he loves this cup, we know he wants to be the most titled guy in history… just like Wenger wanted to beat Alex Fergurson for tenure.

Well, now we’re in a space where this isn’t a bonus, it is an absolute MUST.

No Champions League is a disaster for our finances, but it’s also a disaster for his reputation with the fans. We didn’t just drop out of contention, we plunged out of the sky with all 4 engines on fire against weaker opposition.

This is his way out for most fans… again, it’s a single data point of glory, as a single point of data it’s positive but clouds little… but it’d certainly plaster over the doom of the reality and it’d make whatever goes on with ***** a little easier to digest.

The final is on a platter. Are we going to be greedy and eat directly from it like some sort of dirty wilding, or will the team have public buffet fear like me and my siblings because of years of being hounded by our father for being fat c*nts if we took from the tray? Let’s hope not. Buffet PTSD isn’t cool and I’ll chuck myself out of a window if we lose this tonight.

Excuse me? That is a horrible thing to say. You’d miss me if I were dead.

BIG GAME, let’s see you ALL in the comments.


1,275 Responses to “A final on a platter, will we eat from it?”

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  1. Pedro

    Marko, let’s not flat earth soft tissue injuries. This blog was the leading voice in injury prevention pre-Shad. Most muscle injuries are seen as preventable by the experts, hamstrings absolutely.

  2. bennydevito


    I still am. And I’ve explained why, I just think the arguments being used against him don’t stand up, are very deliberately unfair and extremely ott.

    But I still think he’s a good coach a nice guy who tries hard, I just don’t think he has that X factor or special sauce that Klopp and Poch do have. I’m not disputing both Klopp and Poch haven’t done amazing jobs, they have, I’m just disputing the metrics being used against Emery and above all the oy fair argument would be to give Emery the same time and money net or no net that Klopp and Poch have had.

    How do any of us really know what Emery would do for Arsenal with 5 years and beat £500m to spend? We don’t, it is all opinion is what I’m trying to say. I just find posters like CG and CC especially contradictory, prejudiced, agenda driven and completely irrational considering they were huge Wenger enablers and never dissected Wenger after a good 8 years of ineptitude the way they have been Emery after only 4 months in the bloody season!

    As you know I was very much judge him in May but we’ve got there now and I agree with you about our defence and playing style, and I see very little point in hoping on more time more money when Klopp and Poch and Pep are leaving us further and further behind.

    I’ve also seen enough of the dynamic between Pep and Arteta to come to the conclusion that Pep delegates a lot of the in game tactics and coaching to Arteta and I want that at Arsenal now, not in 2, 3 or 5 years time.

    Fair enough isn’t it?

    I’m just trying to be fair, objective and reasonable and I don’t like the way CC goes at everyone in his patronising know it all way. I don’t like people like that and I will always stand up to them.

  3. Sid


    Sure, he should have rotated with elneny!

    On the hamstring injuries being preventable bit, sure they are, if you sit in the sidelines and do nothing.

    Here is a little snippet on hamstring injuries:

    “Why is it common in football? Hamstring strains are common in football due to the nature of the game, which requires players to rapidly change pace at frequent intervals during a match. Most hamstring issues occur when players are sprinting – an activity which sees more tension present in the muscles.”

    So maybe we should just wrap him in cotton wool and mail in the weekly cheque?

    Some players are injury prone, that’s the truth of it, no amount of managing will change it much, Diaby would get injured after 2 kicks of the ball, there was no managing to be had there.

    By all means, you have the right to your opinion on emery but don’t come up with inane arguments to drum it up. Like your crystal palace team selection rant that Benny has brought up frequently.

    By the way, you think Arteta is gonna grow the balls to take up an actual managerial job next season or would he still be arranging cones for pep?

  4. Marko

    let’s not flat earth soft tissue injuries

    I’m just asking if you’re trying to blame Aaron Ramsey’s injury on Emery mate

  5. Pedro

    Sid, Emery pulled the Ramsey contract in Septemeber and tried to sell him in January. He wanted him gone. He broke him in a little over half a season.

    … and yes, cotton wool is the approach you use. Have you ever met anyone in high performance football? Have you ever spoken to anyone who works in football? Are you telling me things based on your feelings about something you haven’t investigate.

    My guess after seeing that quote is yes.

    Marko, the management of players workload is on Emery. If they are fatigued, that is on him. It’s not a debate.

    Benny, you don’t like the facts being used against Emery, but you want him gone. With you.

  6. Champagne Charlie


    “and I don’t like the way CC goes at everyone in his patronising know it all way. I don’t like people like that and I will always stand up to them.“

    Also Benny:

    “No it isn’t because Emery has only had 1 season whereas Klopp’s had 4 and Poch 5.It’s not that difficult to understand is it?”

    “I’ve completely proved you wrong and outwitted you with your own arguments. It’s all there for everyone to see.”

    “Everyone here can go through what you’ve written and what I’ve written in response and see my arguments are 100% sound and factual whereas yours are the comical ones all over the place contradicting yourself as per usual”

  7. Dissenter

    “Sid, Emery pulled the Ramsey contract in Septemeber and tried to sell him in January. He wanted him gone. He broke him in a little over half a season.”

    I know better than to ask you for any scintilla of evidence about these loaded accusations.

    Maybe he didn’t play Ramsey because his head wasn’t right after the collapse of the contract. It’s plausible that the player was pissed off…and rightly so.
    He broke him? … by giving him match-time?
    People went crazy when Emery played Everton with Guen and El-chicken-neny. He was trying to rest Rasmey.
    He is damned when he does and damned when he doesnt.

    It will do you good to at least admit to a smidgen of uncertainty about the veracity when you write these things.

  8. Dissenter

    We have seen enough of Ramsey now to all admit that he is and injury prone player.
    I’m sure he won’t have to play as much in Juventus since they have a nice pool of central midfielders. He was our go-to guy this season.
    Had Ramsey been fit we would have qualified in the top-4 very easily. That’s how important he was.

  9. Pedro

    Dissenter, expose my sources and evidence to a man who can’t accept the literal facts on Emery?


    I could take you space and you’d still be telling me the earth was flat.

  10. Pedro

    Dissenter, he was dropped out of the squad in September when emery decided he didn’t like him.

    Europa boy. Facts.

  11. Chitom

    “I love the idea that Emery’s relevant body of work as a manager isn’t what someone should look at when considering him as a manager for the task at Arsenal.”


    “I don’t recall many fans buzzing at getting top four, same outcome as winning the EL….”

    CC , you do realize winning the EL carries about 40m in prize money don’t you.
    I mean for someone to bemoan letting Ramsey walk away on a free the way you have, to shrug off 40 m plus bonus is quite rich.

    Also, I would argue that Emery’s body of work was exactly what ultimately tipped the scales for his hire.
    99% of pundits, journos, and even bookies saw Arsenal finish outside of top four, but they did give us a good chance of winning the EL.

  12. Sid

    I sleep with Megan fox
    This GOT season is not a damp squib
    Sky is green

    Apparently all it takes in this day and age is to write ‘fact’ next to something to turn it into one.

  13. Champagne Charlie


    Not the premise being argued though was it?

    Did we celebrate merely attaining CL football under Wenger? No. Because ambitions went beyond that, the sort that Emery’s body of work shows no signs of achieving.

    So you think Emery was hired because of his EL penchant? Ok, well I look forward to him winning it for us, meeting his requirement, then being replaced by someone capable of making us competitive again in the league. Glad we agree

  14. Pedro


    I’m not sure Raul, Sven and Ivan sat around watching the greatest presentation on earth looking for the manager to go one game further in the Europa League.

    They hired a coach to improve us. Across every metric, he has us in worse shape (Bar EL).

    Did the pundits expect that?

  15. Joe

    No CC you’re the one who’s tied in knots.

    Valencia has probably 1/10th the budget of arsenal.

    We aren’t in the same league.

    Valenica isn’t buying aubu , laca or paying ozil 300 k a week or wasting 35 m on xhaka and mustafi.

    We are in a completely different league to them and emery will get a lot more resources at arsenal than he ever did there

    And when he did have resources he every trophy at PSG bar the one league when Monaco had a 95 point season.

    We are not Valencia. We are the fucking Arsenal

  16. Joe


    When other managers are spending our total spend on one player (vvD etc) then yes I would give him another TW and funds. But then I can also see the shit show wenger left us in. Can Kroenke?

    But you’re right why look at Klopp’s 500m. Emery spent 70m and may win just as many trophies in his first season as Klopp has in 4 years at Liverpool( if they both win cup finals).

  17. Champagne Charlie


    Again, cheers for the insight. So we’re not like Valencia, but let’s use Emery’s time at PSG to bolster his credentials for what he’ll deliver at Arsenal?

    Because Arsenal and PSG have all the similarities, all of them.

  18. Pedro

    Joe, so the way you’d assess a manager is literally look at a good manager, see what they spent and give it to them?

    And the only way you assess performance is trophies?

  19. Marko

    Pedro that is a ridiculous thing to say frankly embarrassing in fact.

    Here is a link to Ramsey’s injury history.


    Has you can see he’s had 14 muscular injuries while at Arsenal 7 hamstring injuries alone accounting for 200+ days. It basically illustrates that surprise surprise Aaron gets a lot of injuries of the muscular variety he’s quite injury prone. A manager can’t be blamed for that.

    Here is some detailed stats of his game time this season.


    In this you will find that he has in fact completed 90 mins once in the league and once in Europe since the turn of the year surprisingly. He was also given 45 mins and 68 mins either side of the Napoli games. The month prior in March we only played 4 games that month him 270 minutes total. February even less.

    Basically my point is that the sheer implication that he was overplayed or overworked is frankly laughable. It’s more agenda driven nonsense. It’s also hilarious that he can be both criticized for ostracizing Ramsey and overworking him.

  20. Champagne Charlie


    I’m done for the night but I’ll leave you, and anyone else, with a question that you’ll hopefully answer honestly.

    Given the assumption you don’t want Arsenal in the EL the next two seasons, is it fair to say our ambitions aren’t to win the EL over the next three seasons? I’m assuming yes to this.

    Ok so here it is…

    If you cast aside Emery’s EL wizardry, what’s his defining achievement as a manager that makes you think he’s the guy to take us from B back to A?

  21. bennydevito


    I’ve agreed that our defence hasn’t improved and that our playing style is suffering, I just don’t agree with the unfactual points others are making that don’t make sense or add up so I’m not really sure what you’re saying.

  22. Marko

    the sort that Emery’s body of work shows no signs of achieving.

    After one season no doubt. Klopp’s first full season they finished 4th no sign of being capable of challenging for the title. Let’s be honest it wasn’t until last summer and 160 million that they had some expectations about them. Poch’s first full season 5th obviously no sign of them being capable of mounting any title challenge. My point is that any expectations or perceived ambitions weren’t met in the first season these guys were afforded time. And yet Emery is expected by some to show that he is capable of challenging for major honours inside his first season or he isn’t afforded more time. Again I don’t think that’s his mandate for his first season at all.

  23. bennydevito


    You’re now saying we can’t use Emery’s previous career achievements as a gauge on future success at Arsenal so considering he’s not been at Arsenal for 1 season what can we use?

    Klopp finished 8th in his 1st season at Liverpool minus 8 premier league games and 4th in his first full season so once Emery’s been at Arsenal the same amount of time we can use that yes?

  24. Marko

    Worth noting as well whoever takes over for Emery will not be expected to show that he is capable of winning major honours in his first season. The assumption is that he’ll be get time to show that capability

  25. Pedro

    Marko, when it comes down to it, your opinions are based on searching the internet for things you think map back to your ill-informed views. I actually speak to people that work in and around elite sport on a regular basis. That’s why the blog is interesting and tracks well with the reality of what’s going on.

    Your argument for managing fitness is two links to a public website. If we’re hunting out what is believable, why would anyone side with what you think is ridiculous?

  26. bennydevito


    Not really sure what you’re trying to do by quoting my comments that are literally destroying your arguments.

    Also if you can hear the sound of your tongue on glass that would explain your inability to grasp how stupid you are and you better get yourself off to the Drs because unless you’re a dog why on earth would you lick a window?

  27. Chitom

    Chitom, I’m not sure Raul, Sven and Ivan sat around watching the greatest presentation on earth looking for the manager to go one game further in the Europa League.They hired a coach to improve us. Across every metric, he has us in worse shape (Bar EL).Did the pundits expect that?

    That one further thingy happens to be a European trophy which most observers rank third most prestigious after League title and CL.

    Yes , I too am disappointed with the lack of progress across almost all metrics but vis a vis top six, the only difference is Im not scouring around for bs statistics to pile on the way you do.
    Case in point, Ramsey’s involvement in games you deemed unnecessary and or reckless.
    “ why did he put minutes and travel on him for the following games”
    Sporting A
    Vorskla A
    Blackpool A
    Why wasn’t he rotated more intelligently?”

    The Sporting A ( 10/25) was sandwiched between Leicester H ( 10/22)and CP A (10/28) . Ramsey played 10minutes against Leicester and 12 against CP.

    The Vorskla A ( 11/29) was sandwiched between Bournemouth A (11/25) where Ramsey played 8 minutes, and Spurs H ( 12/2) , Ramsey played 45 minutes.

    The Blackpool away (1/5) was sandwiched between Fulham H ( 1/1) for 15 minutes and WHam A( 1/12) for 31 minutes.

    Any objective observer will look at Ramsey’s minutes in these game and conclude he was being rotated intelligently and if he couldn’t handle this sort of work load then perhaps letting him go on a free wasnt such a bad thing.

    I would call it grasping at straws on your part but that would be disservice to people who grasp at straws.

  28. bennydevito

    What’s Joe said that warrants going in the bin? Citing Klopp spending £500m and that Emery could win 1 trophy inside 1 season vs Klopp winning 1 in 4?

  29. Marko

    I actually speak to people that work in and around elite sport on a regular basis

    Isn’t that convenient. Whether what I show is public or not is irelevent it shows mins played days injured whatever. You have from what I can tell nothing to show for your opinion that the manager overplayed Ramsey to the point that he got injured. As for my ill informed views mate you’ve been on the warpath all season long with this agenda driven biased nonsense you’re rarely objective you allow misinformation and the occasional falsehoods be said around here cause it fits in nicely with the tone that you got going on these days. Which is of course your right. You are well entitled to run this place down as you see fit. Just expect once in a while push back against the occasional ridiculous nonsense that you’re trying to pass off. For example known injury prone player who’s been used sparingly since the turn of the year gets injured stretching for a ball a half hour into a game and you blame the manager you don’t like.

  30. Marko

    Sporting A
    Vorskla A
    Blackpool A

    Those games mentioned were in October November and January. What relevance does it have to an injury in April?

  31. Un na naai

    Up all night on here, don’t you have mail to deliver in a few hours?

    Joe binned again
    Joe out

  32. bennydevito

    Un nai,

    Lol! Didn’t see that. In that case fair enough. Abuse the punters but not the landlord.

  33. Tony

    Watched the game this morning and the extra time and penalties of Chelsea’s game.

    What a great night for our long suffering away fans to remember.

    So we have a 50/50 final in Baku.

    Does that change my thinking about the season? Not at all.

    It just raises more questions about Emery regarding his many managerial and motivational deficiencies.

    Emery is going to get a 2nd season, so no point pointing out his short comings in full here; they will be glaringly evident again next season because Emery is only a proven cup team/competition manager – not a competent enough for the long haul through any league, and especially the PL if you look at Charlie’s stats for Emery and Emery’s first season with us.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here – Valancia would be a mid table team in the PL. Porous defense against any decent attackers with a soft midfield and average front line.

    Chelsea will be much tougher opposition in the final, but with it being a single leg final who knows what can happen?

    At least we have salvaged some pride re the Spuds reaching the CL final, which I expect Liverpool to win, especially if City wins the PL.

    Beating Chelsea will be a real kick in the teeth for Wenger who couldn’t win a European trophy if his life depended on it, especially if emery does it in his first season.

    After the state Wenger left our club in there will be a small measure of poetic justice knowing that Wenger’s ego will take a solid hit.

    The biggest upside to winning the EL cup is, of course, the additional income we drastically need to rebuild the squad because there is bound to be at least one humiliation for us to endure next season in the CL. Also the point of not playing Thursday games will be a bonus.

    If we achieve glory in Baku then we are a better proposition and more attractive to players we want to acquire be it young gifted prospects or seasoned pros.

    Let’s face it we played a more direct game last night and Ozil was once again: anonymous, but we are stuck with him.

    Without Laca and Auba we would be around 10th in the league and nowhere near the final. To sell either in the summer would be pure madness.

    Winning the EL cup also has its negative points where Raul and Emery will cover themselves in glory and paper over the gaping cracks with Stan and the boy wonder: Josh.

    Not hard to do given their money-minded myopic views of Arsenal and English football.

    Stan will see that his investment is secure for another season with the club’s sponsors and the self sufficient mode rolling on.

    Raul will spin for all his worth that Edu is the 2nd coming Johan Cruyff and Emery has only lit the blue touch papers with the real fireworks going off through next season.

    When the inevitable damp squib happens next season, because Emery just isn’t good enough, Raul will throw one or both under the bus further pulling the proverbial wool over Stan’s already blinkered bottom-line eyes.

    Raul will remind Stan that the bulk of the dross no one wants to buy will be out of contract at the end of next season or soon after where £10s of millions are going to be saved further distancing Stan’s need to invest his own money and maybe even help to pay for Usmanov’s shares.

    I am far from convinced that Emery could take us to being genuine challengers for the CL & PL titles even if we had an owner fully invested in the club’s success and a very savvy and proven CEO from a sporting background.

    I certainly wouldn’t trust Emery with a vast war chest.

    The reality is Emery will find Raul to be his eventual Brutus and that Emery’s managerial disabilities as highlighted this season will not disappear next season.

    So for me, I’ll cherish winning the EL Cup (if we can) and then wait for the eventaul emotional roller coaster to begin next season that won’t be much different to this season.

    The optics are far from good for our immediate future as I’m sure the summer TW will prove.

  34. Receding Hairline

    This body of work talk is ridiculous

    Harry Redknapp took spurs to the Champions league quarterfinals

    In his first season Pochettino didn’t finish in the top four and finished on 64 points.

    Let me ask what other manager has outperformed Emery at Valencia since he left? Three successive top 3 finishes.

    Yes his league form at sevilla was bad yet something still got him the PSG job.

    Everything Pochettino has done at Spurs he has no history of doing, mid table team finishes mid table at Southampton isn’t really a miracle. Nor is mid table side espanyol finishing bottom mid table and bottom half under him.

    Newly promoted side Almeria finishing 7th is actually more impressive, they were duly relegated once Emery left.

  35. Graham62

    Savouring the fact we have reached a “meaningful” final, for the first time in 13 years.

    Thank Christ for Auba and Lacazette.

    Fancy us against Chelski in a one off.

    If we had played Frankfurt( who deserved to win last night) the pressure would have been on us big time.

    Today is about Arsenal FC, not doubts about Emery.

  36. kristoman

    I’m not 11 mate, also I don’t see a EL win as anything more than a bacon saver so apologies for not doing somersaults.
    I don’t recall many fans buzzing at getting top 4, same outcome as the EL legends trophy. It’s something we desperately need, not what we want. Unless you’ve reimagined our level to match Everton. I’ll continue to aim a touch higher if it’s good all the same.

    Jesus H Christ
    Charles, you never aimed higher than 4th and Europa league trophy when Wenger was in charge. in fact I remembered you wanting us to win it by all means. praising Wenger to the high heavens for this fit only for him to crash out at semis.

    yeah i expect my binning by talking to legrove favourite.

  37. Just Another Customer

    No matter what it will be deadwood out deadwood in again by the look of the previous purchases.

  38. Ishola70

    We saw in this match that Monreal is indeed past his best.

    He got caught out on his heels and not aware enough for both Valencia goals.

    No great concern going forward as he is gone in the summer but maybe a concern in the final in Baku.

  39. Pierre

    “Savouring the fact we have reached a “meaningful” final, for the first time in 13 years.”

    last year you was calling it a meaningless trophy , what’s changed.?

    We also reached a meaningful final last season in which the competition was much harder in Chelsea and Man city…

    I am of the opinion that it is a great achievement to win any of the 5 trophies so well done to Emery to get us to the final , a performance to enjoy , thanks mainly, as you say Graham to our exceptional strikers that many on here think we should offload.
    Some are even of the opinion that Giroud is a better option than Aubamayang.

    I think last night’s performance from Aubamayang and Lacazette have proved that they are big game players .

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Wow great result last night.What a pleasant surprise!!!

    After so many poor performances recently in EPL who would have expected yesterday’s performance?

    Aubameyang and Lacazette were brilliant and destroyed Valencia and whatever the outcome this season we need to REBUILD Arsenal around these two players.

    What I learned from yesterday and the previous games against Napoli is that
    Arsenal have the potency to win one off games as we have seen all season. We
    have not only performed well in Europa Cup, but also in games against Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd.

    The problem has been all season that we cannot maintain consistency and performance, because frankly we don’t have the depth of squad and the quality
    in defence and midfield to produce the levels we see week in and week out
    from Liverpool and Man City.

    Despite yesterday’s outcome we have serious deficiencies in our Defence and
    Midfield and until those are resolved we are not going to perform in EPL.

    I have said all season that Arsenal need to concentrate in transfer market in
    bringing in at least 2 quality defenders and 1 top player in midfield. The owner
    and board NEED to go an extra mile and make the resources available to ensure that we do manage that.

    Buying three quality players in CB,LB and CMF will improve the solidity of the
    team and provide a platform.

    I have maintained all season that buying a winger in current market is unrealistic, because we do not have the budget to do so. Also there is some
    evidence that Arsenal have some talented raw youngsters such as Nelson and
    Saka who could develop into top class wingers.

    Okay they may not be the finished article, but if you go out and buy a winger
    costing £70 million you will be stunting those two young players prospects at
    the club.

    What we do know is that Arsenal are substandard in defence and the players
    on our books such as Mustafi, Koscielny, Sokratis, Monreal and Lichsteiner are not going to improve whatever is the tactical planning and coaching, which we provide. These players are beyond redemption.

    From my point of view the club needs to be systematic in their transfer business this summer and provide at least £100 million budget to bring in
    the quality players I highlighted above.

    This may not allow us to compete in short term with Man City and Liverpool,
    but at least start the process of recovery.

  41. Frank Mc

    Didn’t some flat liner think that Vardy was better than Auba & Laca? Some absolute pearlers quoted on here….

  42. loyika

    Lol @ Grovers.

    Being in the Europa final is great and we should want to win it as its a trophy at the end of the day and thats what being a football team is ultimately about, winning things for your fan base.

    However lets not pretend that Emery is the man to get us anywhere beyond this…he isn’t.

    He is a “Cup Specialist” which ironically Wenger became in the end, only difference is that Emery’s special saice is in the Europa while Arsene’s was restricted to domestic cups having not being able to do enough to get beyond the line in the 2 european finals he led the team to (Europa and UCL).

    The novelty here is that we haven’t an European record as a club to boast about and so winning the ELC (though not a big deal in the scheme of things in world football) would be a big deal for us right now and it will also get us back in the UCL and more funds for the manager to play around with.

    He will get 1 more season (maybe 2) regardless, lets just hope he knuckles down to the challenges ahead of him and pushes us as far as he can.

    Do I honestly believe he has that bit of extra to take us forward….No! But he will be given his chance. In the end it will be up to him to decide to take it.

    I hope we win the ELC (as its a trophy) but if we get turned over by the Chavs the season can be put down as a disappointing one.

    Unless finishing 5th/6th (unless Spurs do them and lose over the weekend and we have a miracle against Burnley and pip them) and getting to the ELC final is now seen as success!? If peeps blasted Wenger and anyone that called that an ok season in the past now change their tune to refer to that as an ok season now it would beggar belief and just proves that everyone has their own agendas to push regardless.

    I hope Unai will seize this opporrunity that presents itself for him… He might not get many more.

  43. Gonsterous

    Come what may, I’m glad we are in the final. Chelsea next and it’s a fairly 50/50 game with Sarri and Emery both trying to end their first season on a high.
    If Wenger was at the helm I believe he would have tried for both the 3rd spot and the EL and may have come short on the EL as he was always a man who prioritized the PL, and over playing his team.

    Emery on the other hand seems to have prioritized the EL especially since he plays mustafi in the league and not in the EL.
    The players also look less motivated to win games or show up during the PL.
    I hope for his sake he bet on the right horse, because we are out of the race for the CL spot.
    Lose the EL and it will be a disaster first season, win.it and not only does he make history, he has a stepping stone to greater things next season, especially since he can improve our standing.
    Only time will tell (as always).

  44. Pierre

    “Let’s face it we played a more direct game last night and Ozil was once again: anonymous, but we are stuck with him.”

    Yes Ozil was generally quiet during the game ( due to us pumping long balls up to our strikers) , he only touched the ball once in the first 20 minutes.

    Howevern, there was a marked improvement in our game once Ozil became involved in the game .
    We controlled the game from the 20 minutes mark thanks to Aubamayang ‘s excellent strike and Ozil’s ability to retain possession and pass to a team mate .
    A 100% pass completion rate in a game of this importance should not be regarded as ” anonymous”.

    I understand the reason for his substitution though I was surprised that Mhkitaryan wasn’t deployed to protect AMN but luckily Valencia for some reason decided not to attack down our left in the 2 nd half ,unlike the first half where they liked very dangerous going forward.

  45. Tony

    Your post would be perfect if we had football success orientated owners and senior management who would find a manager to realise their combined vision for the club.

    We don’t where the current suitors’ visions are either money or agenda (money & power) driven.

    We have an inconsistent manager who doesn’t learn by his mistakes and over thinks his tactics.

    As I said before Emery has moments of genius but more periods of mediocrity and error ridden poor judgement with a real lack of man management skills and as a motivator.

    As both Loyika and I posted Emery is a cup specialist and will probably keep us in Europe mostly EL rather than CL.

    Fortunately we have a rugby world cup to distract us from the TW failings we are bound to realise.

  46. Batistuta

    Le grove is probably the only place on the internet space I’ve visited since we got into out first European final since god knows how long that is full of people sneering at a European trophy, one we haven’t won since Alan Smith. Place is a very weird place I’ll give you that filled with people who only care about being right or having a reason to moan….

    Well done to Emery and the players, now let’s bring that long awaited European trophy home and relax and watch Liverpool beat the scum

  47. Batistuta

    Oh and if the only trophies you care about are the league and champions league, the you’re probably supporting the wrong club as we don’t have ambitious enough owners and Arsenal fans can’t do jack about it so you better temper your expectations and enjoy what you get, moaning all day on the internet won’t suddenly make the Kroenke family more ambitious with us

  48. Ishola70

    “Place is a very weird place I’ll give you that filled with people who only care about being right or having a reason to moan….”

    Poster a couple up was obviously a big Wenger fan.

    You get this. They accuse others of having an agenda but are transparent in the way they talk themselves.

  49. Batistuta

    I mean it’s not like we have some sort of European heritage to talk up really and this is sports, whether it’s Wenger or Emery or Mourinho, as fans, the only thing we care about is winning trophies, the millionaires can sort themselves out

  50. Thank you and goodnight.


    For years myself and many on here mocked the europa league. I’d be a bit of a hypocrit now to suddenly pretend the europa league is something special. It isn’t. So much so, that to jazz it up a bit they allowed teams who fucked up in the CL to participate in the later stages after being booted out CL. So sorry if I’m not doing cartwheels but it’s not a big thing to me. Years of mismanagement from kroenke and wenger have really left me feeling a bit bleurghhh about Arsenal these days. I will always love them, but right now with the clowns we have running our club I just see the europa as a bit of luck the club needs to get some fans off their back and a couple more years of breathing space to fuck over the fans and the club even more.

  51. Samesong


    A good intelligent / fit left back is key to the system Emery plays if he is going to use wingbacks. Kolasinac for me is very inconsistent. His passing is very erratic at times and defensively! Was he even ever taught to defend lol.

    Anyway I’ll be over the moon if we beat Chelsea in the final or in any sort of competition, even if it’s a friendly.

    They have always got on my nerves as swarmy fans that think their shit don’t stink.

    No one not mentioned Loftus Cheek but he can be key for them in the final.

  52. Arsnil

    Strikers pulled us out last nght. Midfield were never closing down properly and the amount of times that valencia got in behind our two full backs was far too easy.
    A bigger concern for me though would be keeper clearances. All the really good sides now play out from the back using their keeper as an extra man. With Cech its just a hopeful hoof down the field. Worse is the fact that because his legs seem to have gone these punts can often be very wayward. If Cheslea have a strength it is that they are strong n the air at the back. So going to the final it may really restrict the amount of possesion that we get. I would certainly be stumping for Leno on the night but Emery will never do that.

  53. Ishola70

    This reserve keeper to start cup competitions was started by Wenger.

    Also the multiple captains.

    These are a few things Emery can cut but has decided not to thus far.

  54. Emiratesstroller


    Sorry I have to disagree. The problem is not the Manager, but the culture that has existed at the club over the last decade. You are not going to teach defenders new tricks if they are not listening to you and are going “guns ho up” the pitch and are constantly out of position.

    What we have learned this season that Arsenal can occasionally produce a
    decent result but our squad lacks the consistency and depth to maintain performance in EPL.

    Incidentally Tony there is a most interesting article in today’s Telegraph by
    Daniel Schofield which analyses the revolution at Saracens. The club brought
    in as technical director Ventner who was just two years at club. He was ruthless and a hatchet man who culled the squad kicking out 15 players including some international celebrities.

    He built a squad which McCall in the decade subsequently has turned into world beaters. He identifies what is needed to become consistent “winners”.

    Ventner identified the weaknesses of professional rugby as being fear of failure, fear of being dropped and fear of cancellation of contract.

    What the club developed was treating its players well, building a team spirit,
    training exceptionally hard and fighting for the shirt. They never discussed
    winning games or titles.

    Moreover it is well known that the players at Saracens get on very well with
    each other. There is camaraderie and less concern about how much a player

    These are perhaps lessons that Arsenal can learn. When you watched last night’s game the most important feature for me apart from result was the
    performance of both Aubameyang and Lacazette and more importantly how
    much they like each other and get on well together.

    That is something that the club needs to build on.

  55. Back2Highbury

    If we play AMN in the final, Hazard going to rip him apart. We will loose badly if Emery does not focus on our defence.