What can I say?
It wasn’t meant to be this way. They went 3-0 down, they were away from home, it was over.
Now it’s a final, it’s a toss of a coin. It doesn’t really matter what we do in Europa League now, it’s been overshadowed.
Pochettino again demonstrated how technical skill can be overcome by great coaching. They looked second class at times during the game, but they never gave up and they overcame all the odds to drive home a winner in the 95th minute.
Gutting to watch, but that my friends is what a saucy coach looks like.
Back onto our problems.
I saw a headline of ‘Emery needs time, cash and patience’… I’ve read that headline before. In fact, I seem to remember 10 years of it. Let’s get one thing straight, all of those elements are justified if you see improvement on the pitch, they are a reward for doing a good job. We’re not seeing that, so though everyone loves to think the ‘rational’ thing to do is to give time… the reality is, a year in almost any corporate job is enough time to judge someone.
If you can’t demonstrate objective improvements in that time, you’re finished. If you spend £70m and things go backwards, you should have to refund part of your salary. People who have to tell you what the rational thing to do is generally don’t have a good argument… otherwise it’d be a simple counter to tell you why things aren’t working.
Throwing money at a manager who signed Suarez when he was starting Mustafi and Xhaka isn’t rational. Even crazier when you consider how hard he pushed for NZonzi and Banega. Absolving a man of his coaching responsibilities when they were hired as a head coach is farsical. Claiming fatigue as a mitigating circumstance when it’s the job of the manager to manage players workload is beyond ignorant and shows a total lack of understanding for the modern game. Tactics, motivation, organisation, starting 11s, communications… all the job of the manager. If you can’t get this right in year one, I’m telling you, it won’t solve in year two.
This season Arsenal have allowed 50 goals (11th most), have allowed 485 shots for 10th most and allowed 50.2 non penalty xG which is 10th best. Last year Arsenal allowed 51 goals for 13th most, allowed 422 shots for sixth fewest and conceded 44.2 non penalty xG which was sixth best.
To me these stats are damning. It is obvious that Arsenal don’t have stellar defensive talent, but with pretty much the same talent (maybe even less as Arsenal bought a starting center back, goal keeper and defensive midfielder in the summer), Arsenal were a better defensive team last season than this.
The rational argument is the one that uses data.
The only data point that might matter is if Emery wins the Europa League… but that’s one good data point in a crowd of so many awful ones that absolutely point to Arsenal being on a downward spiral, with a manager who has very little pedigree for greatness.
We’ll ride out another season with him because our technical director won’t start until July 7th, which again points to a footballing deafness and a lack of urgency when it comes to Raul. We’d basically be writing off next season, and we risk blowing more bad money on unsuitable players. Roll in the news that KSE hasn’t assigned budgets for next year… and… well, it’s a total shambles. Though I have to say, I find that bit of info a bit weird, because we’ve been leaking £40m to the press since November.
Tonight we go away to Valencia. I was pretty sure we’d ride out this game until I sat through two Champions League games that were pretty much finished. That said, it would be kind of cool if English clubs dominated both finals.
I love how there are rumblings that this might cause calls for a super league because the Premier League is now so dominant. Europe can get fucked, we’ve spent 10 years watching their teams dominate proceedings, now Madrid and Barca are being elbowed out, we’re supposed to be concerned by British HEROICS? No way… let’s ride it out. Messi and Ronaldo are coming to an end, it’s time for a new power shift.
Can’t wait… just a shame we’ll be nowhere near the proper glory.
See you in the comments. x