The King of Europa moves troops onto the #BattleOfBaku

by & filed under News Review.

via @Arsenal Instagram

Well, like a breakfast beer, last night certainly took the edge off of a horrible week. Unai Emery is famous for his aptitude in the Europa League and the man once again delivered a sort of masterclass type thing for the fans.

Short report:

  • We scored 4 goals from 5 shots on target
  • Defended badly
  • Won

Do we need to go any deeper?

Maybe. 

Last night was the only response to the awful end of season run. The manager knew that, you could he was feeling the heat, he looked like he’d just been The Guardian had found a lightly homophobic tweet from 2003 they were running with in Sunday’s. Could have just been the sunshine, but he’s Spanish, those guys eat heat for breakfast.

The performance was nervy. I suspect even if that were the invincibles, they’d have been feeling the same pressure. Spurs and Liverpool defied footballing history with two outrageous wins, sure, Valencia are hopeless, but the Champions League certainly gave them a huge shot of belief… the early goal probaly helped that feel a little more real.

We dug out a result. Our strikers, all £120m of them, delivered the goods. They love playing together, they make magic out of nothing and last night they put Valencia to the sword.

I keep coming back to it, but I find the critique of Auba utterly baffling. 29 goals and people still completely misunderstand his game and the blatant value he brings. He doesn’t rely on pace, he’s a team player, he works like a lunatic and he’s the out and out fox-in-the-box Wenger wanted back in 2000. I love him.

‘He misses chances’ is such a moronic whinge. PEAK Thierry would have the most shots on target and the most off. Auba and Lacazette have been lethal this season. Their conversion rate has kept us from sliding into abject mediocrity. So it proved again last night.

Mesut was back to his imperious worst. He’s like the fat kid in PE faking lung cancer to land a pass. At one point he managed to plod back into an accidental defensive situation, the pass was struck and he shirked. He’s really not into the Emery regime, which is a real shame, because he‘s the most gifted player we own. The real kick was Iwobi and Mikhi were benched in favor of the German. Dortmund and Everton calling this summer you would hope.

The defence was shambolic. No structure, communication or understanding of the task at hand. Amazing we are still bemoaning these issues at this stage of the season. Another two goals shipped against a pub team.

I’m just thankful they had no real power. Like Napoli, they were featherweight and lacked true quality. 

We won’t be afforded that luxury against Chelsea. Well, we might. Our London counterparts stumbled to a penalty shootout win over a fun Frankfurt side that punched above their weight.

The Europa final this season is a scene. Two Enlgish teams in utter disarray made the final. The Premier League finally made moves on Europe. A London Derby in Baku and 2nd vs 4th. All it took was an upgrade on our coaching talent to make it happen.

Now it’s a coin toss, who knows. When it comes to Emery in Europa, never write him off… this is his iron throne.

… I know I touched on it again, but I really hope the 4 team English final thing isn’t allowed to devolve into a money thing.

The last decade has absolutely been dominated by the Spanish. 7 of the winners, Spanish. They’ve had 9 finalists. 2 all Spanish finalists. Their teams spend a shit ton of money, break laws, dodge tax have execs in prison because of it. Barca and Madrid have had the best players of the last decade. Now it’s England’s turn. Fuck anyone who tells us things have to change because the big boys can’t hack it because the Premier League organised itself better, more democratically and is now winning hard.

If Europeans find it boring, fuck them, no one cares.

Right, see you in the comments. x

941 Responses to “The King of Europa moves troops onto the #BattleOfBaku”

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  1. Valentin

    I have said before, a lot of our defensive issues stems from our midfield. Not dynamic enough and easily bullied off the ball. Torreira compensate his lack of power by extra dynanism, but he can’t at the same also compensate for Xhaka lack of mobility and lack of of ability to quickly release the ball forward when put under pressure. He is good, but he is not in the same league than Kante in term of VO2 Max. Not a lot of athletes are.

    If we buy a strong powerful dynamic midfielder who can pass forward a lot of our issues will disappear. A player like Moussa Dembele in his Fulham physical pomp would be perfect for us.

  2. Samesong

    Let’s break up the technical waffle from Valentin for a minute cause it’s as boring AF I really hope that you are a coach!

    Quick question people if Klopp doesn’t win the CL will that be considered a failure? Opinions please.

  3. Un na naai

    Stroller

    You don’t need to be tall but it doesn’t hurt does it? Rather a good bigun than a good little’un.
    Successful shirt centre halves are the exception rather than the rule

  4. Marko

    Against Crystal Palace Torreira was marking Scott Dann. Against Brighton Torreira was marking Glenn Murray.

    That’s not by design usually it’s the opposition moving their best headers onto people they can target. Actually we’re very good at defending set plays this season

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Same

    Yes

    That’s the gig he was brought in for,,

    I have seen Liverpool dominance in the 70s n 80s.. the longer they fail the better.

    But who will be better 5han him ?

    Maybe gerrard. In two seasons ?

  6. Freddie Ljungberg

    Valentin

    For the first time I agree fully with you.

    N’dombele would be great of course but he’s probably out of our price range already.

    Doucoure would be my choice, prem proven, good age, and not overly expensive.
    With a base of Torreira – Doucoure we could even possibly carry the dead weight of Ozil without suffering too much if we can’t get rid of him.

  7. Ishola70

    Samesong

    “Quick question people if Klopp doesn’t win the CL will that be considered a failure? ”

    Yes of course.

    Liverpool will be clear favourites to beat Spurs in the final and rightly so.

  8. S Asoa

    Trequartista

    I will make it simple to understand. Means 3/4. But is in association with a false nine. Makes it almost 10.
    Therefore in terms of the Continentals it is a midfielder more of an striker.

    See
    You’ll didn’t miss Bamford and his language skills.

  9. MGooner

    So we will have 45 million to spend, just 5 less than Brighton last year.

    I guess with player sales, it will go up a bit.

    But our ambitions must be tempered. If we can stay in 5th, 6th place next year, it will be great.

  10. Marko

    Mgooner I don’t think anyone knows our budget for the summer just yet. Certainly not the media. I’ve been hearing posters make sense with 30 million then it became 40 million then 45 million then 50 million to give some other publication leeway and then you had Ornstein in an interview talk of around 100 million. No one knows. I’d say no champions league it’ll be more or less the same as last season and make champions league it’ll be more or less 100 million or thereabouts

  11. vickingz

    Reports say we are looking to hand auba 250,000/week deal when he’s still having 2 years left on his current contract. Do we ever learn?

  12. MGooner

    In the state where we are, 50 or 100 would not make a lot of difference to where we end in the table next year Marko 😉

    Good players cost money these days. As example we were waxing lyrical about Torrerra when he came. True hes good, but not good ebogh for a top 4 side in the PL imo.

  13. Samesong

    Good players cost money these days. As example we were waxing lyrical about Torrerra when he came. True hes good, but not good ebogh for a top 4 side in the PL imo.

    I see what you mean and I have thought that also, however he’s never played in the premier league before. I’m willing to be patient to see how he does in his second season.

    Imo we could do with a ball playing centre back. As there has been plenty of times this season where Mustafi and Sok have tried to play out of the back but technically they are poor.

    Someone in the mould of that left centre back that plays at city. Or a stones type

    Oh yeah we can’t afford one.

  14. TR7

    Glorious failure in both the league and Champions league for Klopp/Liverpool looks very much on the cards. My hunch is Spurs will lift the CL trophy, had the same hunch about them in semi-final.

  15. Moray

    It may be wishful thinking but I can’t see Spuds winning the CL. There is such a GAP between them and Liverpool at the moment. What makes it dangerous is potential blowback for Liverpool after today’s results and the fact that Liverpool’s obvious tendency to up their game in European competition is nullified by playing a British club.

  16. Moray

    “Reports say we are looking to hand auba 250,000/week deal when he’s still having 2 years left on his current contract. Do we ever learn?”

    We’ve been making stupid decisions for decades now and I don’t see it stopping any time soon, at least until some governance is put in place at the TOP of the club.

  17. Champagne Charlie

    “VO2 max. That’s another one I’ve never heard before“

    Perhaps it’s worth learning some new things from folk instead of dismissing them because of your own ignorance. Just a thought.

  18. Valentin

    @Marko,

    Do you even follow sport at all?
    VO2 Max is commonly used measure in all sports. It represents the maximal amount of oxygen a person can utilise during intense exercise.
    It is mostly used for endurance sports like cycling, distance running. Midfielders tend to cover more distance but will have less high intensity sprints than strikers.
    During test in France, his VO2 Max was so high, the Claire Fontaine medical staff initially thought that the machine was incorrectly calibrated. He has to redo the test. Because the test is quite quite strenuous, they wanted to redo the test the following day, but he offered to redo it in the afternoon. That’s why some of the teammates nicknamed him 3 lungs.
    He literally can run more distance than most people at regular steady pace before fatigue sets in and force them to stop.

  19. Radio Raheem

    I think our transfer strategy will be a continuation of last summer’s. We’ll get one or two aging or experienced pros on the cheapish or free, a substantial part of our budget will be spent on decent value early 20s player and speculative punt on a teenager with promise.

    Pointless dreaming of 50, 60….million type players.

    Is Perisic free this summer? Herrera is.

  20. Champagne Charlie

    Raheem

    My thoughts exactly, some of the names being offered up are pie in the sky if you ask me. Unless the club takes a drastic turn in how they operate the Maguires, Fekirs, Pepes of the world aren’t for us.

    Well they could be, if we’re agreed that it’ll be one or two players tops coming in and not the half dozen “overhaul” expected/wanted by most. Pure championship manager stuff if you’re thinking both can marry together.

    It should be 5x smart 20 mil signings, go again, then add the stardust. How can there be this talk of patience plus the idea we can recruit half a dozen 40-60 mil players? Lol

  21. Nelson

    Just think about it. Arsenal is in London and has a large worldwide fan base. It attracts a lot of tourists. It has a large stadium and is charging the highest ticket price in the country. It has a much larger sponsorship deal than those mid-table teams. And they can spend more in the transfer market than us. What have we done?

  22. TR7

    Radio

    Spot on. If we don’t qualify for CL, I don’t see.us spending upwards of £50M. I am not sure why are we discussing the likes of Coutinho, Pepe, Maguire etc. I think Herrera is a decent player. I wouldn’t mind us signing him.

  23. Radio Raheem

    A bit of realism helps I think. Still wouldn’t stop me enjoying the season.

    I don’t think qualifying for the CL will impact our budget much as well. Amy Lawrence was saying in her recent piece that we’re set to announce huge losses. Unlike many pretenders she might some inside info.

    I’d be surprised if we signed more than 3 players (if the only first team departures are Ramsey and Cech).

  24. Nelson

    Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal, Elneny, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Iwobi, Aubameyang

    Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Nketiah, Lacazette

  25. TR7

    ‘Amy Lawrence was saying in her recent piece that we’re set to announce huge losses. Unlike many pretenders she might some inside info.’

    Not a surprise. Perfunctory reading of last year financials will tell you we are set for a huge financial loss this year.

  26. Nelson

    No wonder the Christmas messages from the owner was saving in all departments. Just imagine. We saved a few $$ on toilet papers and wasted a few millions on Suarez’s loan. That’s how Arsenal operates.

  27. Dream10

    Mavropanos anchoring the back four and Willock making runs into the box to support the main man Aubameyang? Lovely.

  28. Graham62

    Nelson

    “What have we done?”

    Simple really, the club has been allowed to drift and stagnate for over a decade.

    Too many excuses along with gross negligence of duties by our hierarchy, have put us in this position.

    On top of this, our weak fanbase failed to act sooner.

  29. Dream10

    Can’t believe Aubameyang is playing today.
    He’s our most important player. Young Eddie should have got the #9 shirt for at least 70 minutes today

  30. TheLegendaryDB10

    And here we are for our penultimate game of the season (I’m including our EL final ofc!).

    I really would like to see The Arsenal win today. Show that they are proud of wearing our shirt. Is that too much to ask?