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.
- We scored 4 goals from 5 shots on target
- Defended badly
Do we need to go any deeper?
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