‘Proud of you’ vision uninspiring and lacking accountability

by & filed under News Review.

via @t0wey (instagram)

The Arsenal joint leadership team dropped an impromptu exclusive with some of the hardest hitting journos in the game… I mean, kind of… I mean, they interviewed themselves.

The most choreographed tap dance since Michael Flatly swooned my mother with River Dance back in the day.

The piece drew applause from many people who were captivated by the vision.

Not me. Nor Matt from The AO.

The whole piece felt a bit wet.

TL;DR, the vision is ‘Making Arsenal fans proud’ and the execution is ‘the Arsenal way.’

A vision has to be measurable because ultimately, you have to be accountable for delivering results.

‘Proud of you’ is not measurable. It’s broad, extremely subjective, but it’s a crowd pleaser for fans that know no better. It’s a little bit like telling someone they do the dishes the best… a bit of flattery to cover-up a cop-out.

I am proud of Arsenal in the Community. They do incredible work across a broad range of categories. Unreal commitment. Is that mission complete? No way. I love the trimmings around the club and they remind me that I support a classy outfit, but ultimately, I’m in it for the football.

A vision needs to be more specific, and I’d have hoped for it to be more football oriented.

EXAMPLE

Vision: To be Premier League Champions inside 5 years

Strategy: Project Youth 3.0.

Details:

  • Arsenal become the number 1 destination for world-class talent between the ages of 17-23
  • We build our whole backroom team in service of identifying, training and elevating their talent.
  • We attract them by offering them good contracts that are heavily incentivised, combined with an elite platform to showcase their skills.
  • This is a 5 year plan. We’re going to be honest with the fans, but what we’ll promise in return is a footballing philosophy built around pace, power and explosive flair. Arsenal will be the most spectacular destination for attacking football in the world.
  • We’ll do this by hiring an innovative coach that believes in the vision. We’ll surround them with hand picked specialists, built to an American sporting model. We’ll hire the best of the best in every position in the club.

What did we get?

We’re going to promote kids, have tough conversations about contracts, buy smarter, and do things the Arsenal way.

They both said they want to win trophies, but there’s no timeframe. They both reeled off the Ivan-esque prose that it’s hard to win trophies, which again, felt like excuse padding. Also a bit weird to pump Emery and call the Europa his comfort blanket. If we’d been more aggressive about the league we’d have made top 4… the comfort blanket now has us in a roulette moment with Chelsea.

They said the owners are down with winning too.

“They are really passionate about how we can move the club forward, but also realistic. They know we’re not going to go from where we are to deliver our ambition overnight & know there’s going to be a whole load of work along the way to get there”

… delay, delay, delay. Arsenal are obsessed with things taking a long time, being difficult, harder to achieve than buying a loaf of bread. When you are communicating a plan like that, it shows you don’t fully believe in it. You’re already complaining. It’s tiresome.

Elon Musk sells the future like a hero. He over promises and under delivers every quarter… but you know what, the outrageous ambition he has shown has him sending spaceships to space and returning to land on a pad the side of a golf green. Did he set out to investors and say, ‘listen we want to have spaceships landing on these pads, but ultimately, it’s pretty tough getting a space permit, then there’s the recruitment thing, total nightmare, then there’s the budget, which can I just inform you is 5% of what Nasa spend.’

Fuck no. He was shooting for the literal stars, and if he fell short, at least he achieved something.

Overall, I was a bit flat coming away from it. There was no real substance. My only hope is they have something magic up their sleeves, but it doesn’t seem that way. For a piece that was recorded internally, they did a pretty uninspiring job of rallying the troops. What do the staff and players think? Are they on a wild ride? Are we going somewhere? Is there a mars shot going on here? I must have missed it.

This is my big issue with Arsenal. Our special sauce isn’t special, it’s just Heinz ketchup. There is nothing unique about having a desire to play young kids. There’s nothing unique about being financially prudent. We’re not the richest, we’re not the smartest, we’re not the most artful… so once again, we bumble into the summer with a manager that hasn’t really moved the needle guiding the vision of the club for the next two seasons.

Kind of bland, but really, exactly what I expected.

Arsenal, stasis through harmony.

571 Responses to “‘Proud of you’ vision uninspiring and lacking accountability”

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  1. Marc

    Receding

    I wonder where the leak came from – us to pave the ground for dropping him or Chelsea as a tactic to unsettle us. Either way it does demand a decision be made.

  2. Luteo Guenreira

    Howlin Ray’s in downtown is the spot these days for LA, it’s Nashville hot chicken. 2 hour lines though and no reservations. You can pre-order online, takes about a month.

  3. Marc

    Midwest

    Fuck sake Pedro’s charging me for it but not giving me the content.

    Bamford

    Your test comments are appearing – you’ve been doing those on and off for a couple of days.

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Marc

    What I mean is that levy tried all ways of reinventing spurs
    Project British yoot…
    different managers
    Nicking all of Southampton back room staff including poch… worked…

    He kept trying…

    We make a statement an that’s it…

  5. Marc

    RSPC

    Well I’d prefer to judge both clubs on what they do this summer. I think the Spud’s are in for a tough time. I have no idea what we’re going to do.

  6. azed

    “Can’t get a good pint of Guinness in London.”

    If you want good Guinness, you have to go to Lagos.

  7. salpardisenyc

    Gambon

    Used to lived round corner from The Cow, immense pint. As is the one at the Toucan in Soho. Wenger Eagle would think he was out in Dublin.

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Marc

    When spurs win it….
    Our ceiling will fall in…

    The irony never winning the league then going an win biggest cup around….

    Scary

  9. Guns of SF

    the entire cech thing is breaking news now
    Part of me says that he needs to sit out
    another says he seems like someone who has integrity enough to put that aside for the game and team

    It does make an uneasy feeling overall..

  10. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Sal

    I remembe4 when the toucan was a sandwich bar Calle as you like it….

    Mr serge

    He should be released straight away
    Go and promote his single…

  11. Marc

    RSPC

    We have a Champions League with two teams who haven’t won a league title for almost a combined 90 years. When they decided to expand the European Cup I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

    On the other hand I think Liverpool will win it. If they don’t serious questions have to be asked of Klopp that’d be what 7 or 8 consecutive finals lost?

  12. Dissenter

    It’s not unreasonable to expect that Cech would have told the Arsenal hierarchy that he is returning back to Chelsea.
    The man is a Chelsea legend and is returning back home. It is to be expected.
    The leak may benefit Emery because it makes it easier to start with Leno. If he starts with Cech and he makes a blunder then conspiracy theories will abound.

  13. Marc

    Dissenter

    It’s also bring a lot of avoidable aggro to Emery if he started him. Cech concedes 2 unstoppable goals and even then the conspiracy theories will linger.

  14. Dissenter

    Actually I once tried to get a job at the St James gate Brewery in Dublin.
    That would have made my resume forever.

  15. Marc

    RSPC

    Too much dinero involved. You’ve only got to look where our final is to wonder who made a brown paper envelope that big.

  16. salpardisenyc

    RSPC

    Too much IPA in this city, give me a freshly cleaned line pint of Radeburger Pilsner at the EAR Inn in Tribeca and i’m sailing.

    Problem is getting those Irish Gooners to clean the lines.

  17. Dissenter

    Emery has a knack of winning these EL finals and Sarri has a losers look about him.

    I hope Sarri does his thing as always.
    I think Ramsey will be effed up by Sarri if he leaves for Juventus

  18. Guns of SF

    Yea fellas
    It seems that he has no choice but to play it safe with Leno

    Hopefully Cech doesn’t go leaking training secrets to Chelsea.
    Damn this is just getting ugly

  19. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Sal

    That’s the trick of a good pub…

    Clean the pipes regularly…

    Local social club

    Shithole but the best pint around…

    Up in soho

    Tastes crap so people drink bottles…

    I’m off to nyc I. Sept will try out sticky’s …

    Oh an gotta have a Wendy’s burger,… or is that a no no

    Wax there 16months ago an got a cab ride to airport… went through queens .. some nice places .. driver said one side of street worth millions few blocks away not so much…

    Like everywhere I guess

  20. MidwestGun

    For me the biggest worry in EL final is Giroud … It would be just like him to have the game of his career against us. His EL form has been excellent and really he has the most incentive for them to play for. They already made top 4 and Loftus Cheek who has been their best player got injured in a stupid charity match.. so… yeah .. Giroud has biggest banter motivation. And Willian worries me some just because, he is crafty.

  21. Dissenter

    Cech is going to be sporting director?
    I though he was going back to some lesser role at goal keeoing coach or something?

    He’s already failed the first part of his job which would have been to leave Arsenl without incident.
    Emery has to handle this very quickly to prevent this story from derailing our preparations. You can’t have the sporting director-to-be of Chelsea goal keeping a crucial match against Chelsea. We would be stupid to let that happen.

    ..Actually Cech ought to withdraw from the Arsenal team immediately. He didn’t manage this announcement properly.

  22. Dissenter

    Midwest
    Koschielny knows Giroud very well. We should be fine unless Koschielny has he odd slip that he’s capable of.

  23. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Mid

    They may play without a striker ….

    Plus the tubby argie still there….

    An argie beat us in cup winners cup final in 1980 on pens….
    Sad night in herself.

  24. CG

    Dis

    “””I think Ramsey will be effed up by Sarri if he leaves for Juventus””””

    I think – you will be surprised

    Rambo always delivers.
    He is an incredibly resourceful footballer.
    So underrated.

    And he will be Chronically missed.
    When Emery is dismissed – it will be his defining legacy.

    The Ramsey Withdrawal was one of the most appalling things I have witnessed as a long standing AFC supporter. Arsenal do not treat their own with such CONTEMPT!

    Today’s call- not going to Baku without our Armenian is also another shameful indictment of the people currently in charge.
    Where is their backbone…?

    The day this bunch of leeches (Vinai/emery/Raul) leave – can not come quick enough for me.

    We must indeed get our own Zorc like figure.

    This scruffy mob- I would not want them working in the kitchens of McDonalds,TG Fridays or Jenny Burgers.

    Useless weasels- the lot of em…

  25. Guns of SF

    Keep Cech away from the team… this is BS
    Maybe Chelsea had some say in this being released as well to destabilize us ahead of the EL final

  26. Guns of SF

    Fuck Chelsea scum
    They are butt hurt over losing Loftus Cheek so they play games like this.

    Emery needs to get a handle on his Cech stuff asap. Dude trains with the first team, knows the tactics, shooting styles of Laca and PEA etc. All he has to do is make a call to his buds at Chelsea.

    How will we ever know?

    Poor timing just horrific

  27. MidwestGun

    Koschielny knows Giroud very well.
    _____
    True but I’m more worried about the opposite. Especially on set pieces. Giroud will be very familiar with how we set up to defend them.

  28. Nelson

    Just thinking about it, it’s good that Ramsey is not playing in the final. He could have given his future boss, Sarri, a favor. What a mess this could have turned out to be.

  29. Guns of SF

    Who leaked this?
    Cech or Chelsea or both?

    Anyway you look at it, it stinks and is unprofessional

  30. Marc

    We might be able to make this work for us. Chelsea running scared, trying to cheat / unsettle us etc.

    We should send someone round to nobble Hazard.

  31. bennydevito

    CG,

    Why do I only get the Motivator job part time?

    There’s a compliment in there somewhere I’m sure, lol!

  32. Guns of SF

    Lets unsettle Giroud. tell him we can bring him back or something.
    Olly is too nice. This would clearly mess with his head and heart

    Then again, that is just cruel… olly is a nice chap

    Anyhow, lets just beat their ass – this would make it feel even better

  33. MidwestGun

    It’s a must win… we have to play Leno. Cech can hold the trophy at the end and take a selfie. Leno will be here next season it’s momentum to build off of… he needs to play in pressure situation. For me it’s not much of a decision… which means we will probably play Cech.

  34. CG

    Nelson

    If Emery and Raul had not disgracefully and gratuitously pulled his contract.

    Ramsey would be fit by now and playing.
    But There is no way (rightly) he is busting a gut for these chancers.

    How we allow – people who have been at the club 5 mins to dictate what happens to long standing servants ( 10 years in Ramseys case ) illustrates the club is rotten to the core.

    And all because The Spanish Regime wanted the pathetic Suaraz ..
    Shameful.

  35. Marc

    Guns

    Right idea wrong method. Giroud got into trouble with his misses a couple of years ago for putting it about. Just line up a couple of pro’s with a hidden camera and then leak to the press and arrange for a gun to be at hand for his misses!

  36. salpardisenyc

    Chelsea bringing Cech back as sporting director with a transfer ban, that banter wasn’t lost on me.

  37. Marc

    sal

    I must admit I thought by now we’d be hearing stories about appealing to the court of arbitration etc but it’s been very quiet.

  38. Zimmie2652

    I’m not sure why anyone is shocked by the Cech news. It has been reported since January that he was going back to Chelski in some fashion. Cech is a pro, even if he plays, I highly doubt he would do anything to bugger it up intentionally.That said, I personally would not want him between the sticks. We’ve seen what concentration of a keeper can do too many times this season through De Gea alone, Karius last year and so on. Leno must play.

  39. salpardisenyc

    RSPC

    I’d def take the pass on a Wendy’s stop.
    Much better offering in City, try Shake Shack for that style.

    And the Ear Inn is a good day drinker with out door option.

  40. CG

    Bd.

    I did indeed only offer you a part- time position in my ‘Le Grove ‘ hypothetical management set up.

    You do have undoubted passion for The Arsenal. And its sincere.

    But you are too whimsical..
    You chop and change too much…..

    If you do become a fully fledged Emery and Raul and ‘now Vinai ‘out man – you ll get the position full time.

    Cant be fairer than that…

  41. MidwestGun

    Guns –

    Well, We could start placing bids for all their starters. About 10 mill under valuation then when it gets rejected we could add 1 pound. and resubmit the bid. Old time Wenger bantz.

  42. terraloon

    Marc

    From what I can gather they had 21 days to appeal from 8 May. Once an appeal is lodged, which I expect it to then they probably will request a stay of the two window sanction.
    I don’t know if you have seen this article but worth a read

    Chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee explains the decision to uphold the transfer ban
    In an interview in his native Sweden, Thomas Bodström – chariman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, talks about the decision to partly uphold the transfer ban. He says that they deliberated for several hours before making the decision, that they dealt with “very skillful lawyers” and he explains why they decided to permit Chelsea to register domestic players under the age of 16.
    FIFA announced, in the end of February, that Chelsea had been found guilty of violating the rules for signing players under the age of 18. The London club was banned from signing players over the course of two transfer windows, in the coming summer and in January 2020. They were also fined £460,000. The ruling followed a FIFA investigation of 92 under-aged players that Chelsea has signed over the years.
    Chelsea appealed the ruling to FIFA’s Appeal Committee, and were informed earlier this week that the ruling is upheld, but with one exception. Chelsea are – despite the transfer ban – permitted to register domestic players under the age of 16.
    A statement from FIFA said: “The ban on registering new players for two registration periods has been confirmed, with the following exception: the appeal committee believes that Chelsea’s wrongdoing consisted in not respecting the prohibition from internationally transferring or registering for the first time foreign minor players. In the committee’s opinion, imposing a ban on registering each and every minor would not be proportionate to the offence committed.
    “Consequently, the appeal committee decided that, as far as youth categories are concerned, the ban shall not cover the registration of minor players under the age of 16.”
    In an exclusive interview with the Swedish website Fotbollskanalen.se Thomas Bodström, chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, explains the proceedings and how they reached that rather discrepantoutcome. He starts by suggesting that it was not obvious that the transfer ban would be upheld.
    “No, I would not say so. We deliberated for several hours and were very thorough. It was a large number of players and many objections. We had to deal with very skillful lawyers and we negotiated for hours, he told the website.
    Bodström does not think it is harder to punish a club as big as Chelsea, and suggested that this type of clubs have bigger resources than smaller clubs in such cases.
    “I think it should be the same, but of course Chelsea have obviously bigger resources and can act according to them. They came with very skillful lawyers, and I am a lawyer myself, so it was an experience. But the rules are the same.”
    Bodström also explains why FIFA’s Appeal Committee chose to make an exception for Chelsea to sign players under the age of 16:
    “We upheld a big part of the ruling, but with an exception to British citizens. The ban is applicable to all international transfers to protect kids. But to protect the players who live in the Chelsea area they will have the opportunity to play. They should not be punished for this. Because then they would be affected by this in a harder way than others. Those who come from other places and are 16, 17, 18 years old can go to other clubs, but the domestic players maybe can’t, he said.
    Bodström continues:
    “The part about youth players is incredibly important. Of course there are many clubs who are serious, and Chelsea will be in the future, but the kids can get hurt if the clubs don’t follow the rules. There is a strong protection interest, because many players come from poor countries. They might not be able to return, and end up in a totally different environment in a foreign country. The rules must be followed.”
    Bodström cannot answer why FIFA did not decide to make the exception regarding domestic players in the first instance:
    “I’m only on this committee, so I can’t answer why. I only have an influence over the cases that I rule in and nothing else. But I do hope that this can become precedent. It is not the kids that should be punished, but the clubs”.
    Earlier clubs like Barcelona and Atlético Madrid have been on the receiving end of a transfer ban. Bodström says that it’s more usual with this kind of punishments than you might think, but it is rarely reported as much when it comes to smaller clubs.
    Following the ruling from the Appeal Committee Chelsea announced that they will appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS. A club statement reads:
    ‘The Club notes that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. However, the Club is very disappointed that the transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods was not overturned.
    ‘Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Appeal Committee. It acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).”
    Bodström believes that the ruling will be upheld, but he also states that he has his doubts.
    “CAS have ruled in different ways in the Spanish cases, but it is a big decision, so I fully understand that they have chosen to appeal to them”, he said.
    “I have detached myself from this, but of course I follow the matter. I think they will appeal immediately since the first window is already in the summer.”

  43. Dissenter

    Giroud looks so settled and happy at Chelsea.
    I think he knows that their fans approve of him a lot more that gooners did when he was with us.
    I have nightmares about Giroud scoring one of those specials he is capable off and celebrating like Adebayor.

  44. Valentin

    @Midwest,

    With Steve Bould pushed toward the exit door, I doubt that Giroud would know Emery’s new setup at set pieces both defending and attacking.

  45. Guns of SF

    Our set pieces suck. No need for prior knowledge.
    Teams just do what they want and score mostly

  46. salpardisenyc

    “Teams just do what they want and score mostly”

    Its almost as if Wenger never left. But he did and were still shit at defending, even with reinforcements and a year of perspective.

  47. Guns of SF

    We need to play with the same gusto and energy when we beat them at home in the league. Even more energy…

    and Leno must start

  48. Dissenter

    Exequiel Palacios being liked to Arsenal from River Plate.
    Looks like an exciting prospect. I’m sure the pizzaz people will like us to bring in someone like this.

  49. Pedro

    RSPC, I really like 5 Boroughs.

    I didn’t think NYC was going to be such a beer place, but they are hardcore… too much choice in every bar

  50. MidwestGun

    I mean they should all know Giroud is a near post run waiting to happen… but whether they like to jump on freekicks.. how high they can jump… .. what their reaction times are.. which shoulder to stay on… whom is likely to cover him on a set piece. . What the spacial relationship is between say Monreal and Koscielny when they defend. Even how to get in their headspace.. All things he will know.

    ‘Then again he might not start so…

  51. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “Giroud looks so settled and happy at Chelsea.”

    Obviously you have little understanding of what makes a footballer happy and settled.

    Giroud has started one league game this year and only 7 all season , scoring 2 league goals.

    Giroud is intelligent enough to know that scoring goals against vastly inferior Europa opposition means very little in the scheme of things….the bread and butter of the premier league is where he wants to play.

  52. CG

    Reading the UK press online….(this evening) this Azerbaijan fiasco is looking more tawdry, corrupt and dangerous as we speak.

    If a club like the mighty and decent Arsenal do not make a stand against such a barbaric regime ( The Azerbaijan Government) who will.?

    The pathetic weasel words from Vinai – shame all Arsenal fans all over the world.

    Its not too late -that we pull out.

    It could be the best thing we have done for a while.

    Indeed – it might even put the New Regime in a different light.

    This Baku BS started off in disgrace
    It will end in disgrace.

    We should not even dream to set one foot in the ghastly place.

  53. Pierre

    Guns of SF
    “our set pieces suck. No need for prior knowledge.
    Teams just do what they want and score mostly”

    wrong
    Actually, we had the best record from corners in the premiership defensively until our manager changed from zonal marking to man to man a couple of months ago.

    I’m sure there must be a logical explanation for this tactical change but I can’t think of one reason why he would change something that had been so successful.

  54. MidwestGun

    Almost all clubs use a combination of zonal marking in front of the Keeper to keep players off of him and man to man to coverage on their biggest threats.. its usually not one or the other .. if its all man to man then that would be unusual.

  55. Pierre

    Guns of SF
    “We need to play with the same gusto and energy when we beat them at home in the league. Even more energy…”

    the 2 most important words in your comment above are “at home” …

    The final is in effect an away game and if this season’s away performances are anything to go by , we won’t be playing with gusto or even more energy than the home win over chelsea.

    That’s not to say we cant/ won’t win …it’s a 50/50 game which in my opinion will probably be quite a tight game as both managers need the win for different reasons….Sarri( first trophy)…Emery ( champions league qualification)

  56. Pierre

    Midwest
    Having Torreira man marking 6 foot plus opponents ( as he has been doing recently) at corners is a tactic that is doomed to fail.

  57. Valentin

    Regarding Giroud, we need another striker with his characteristics: good in the air, can act as a pivot in tight game, won’t be bullied by physical defenders. Obviously not for every games, but against Watford, Wolves, Leicester, Brighton he would have offered a different type of threat to the opposition.

    I would not have minded if we had offerred him 1 year contract with an option to extend 1 more year based on measurable metrics while Nkethia go on loan.

    That would also have affected Chelsea with their inability to recruit any replacement. Even if they have Batman and Abraham to come back from Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

  58. Pierre

    Midwest
    I agree , Giroud will have knowledge of our defenders and he would know from training with Arsenal if he has the beating of players like Kosielny and Monreal .

    On the flip side ,our defenders may have a good understanding of girouds game

  59. Henry Root

    Giroud is actually keen to leave Chelsea to go back to France. He is disappointed by the lack of league action. He was much happier at Arsenal despite not starting in his latter years.
    He is only staying another season because Chelsea have exercised their option to keep him because of the potential transfer ban

  60. CG

    But The G

    Raul sold Giroud….and theo…( cheaply)
    Ousted Rambo,Welbeck and Chambers
    And Jettisoned Lehmann.

    While Chelsea are allegedly going forward with ex Chelsea stalwarts Lampard and Cech.

    Raul and Emery are trying to strip our Arsenal ID and replace with overseas,non descript cheap garbage.

    They are doing what’s best for them and their long time survival instincts…
    Not what’s in the best long term clubs interest.

  61. Pierre

    Valentin
    I would be totally against bringing back Giroud or buying a similar type of striker (unless he had explosive pace)

    Its our away form that needs addressing and I would be happy to see players like zaha or ziyech from Ajax come to Arsenal as I believe they would give us what we need to quickly turn defence into attack in our away games.

  62. Dissenter

    Pierre
    I think Giroud is semi-retired, same as our boy Ozil
    He’s won the world cup, what else is important in football?

  63. MidwestGun

    Midwest
    Having Torreira man marking 6 foot plus opponents ( as he has been doing recently) at corners is a tactic that is doomed to fail.

    Yes it would be but to be fair how many players are as short as him.. you can only hide him so many ways.. you cant use him as part of zone.. so you can only use him top of the box to man mark … other teams know that as well then you start switching off defenders and you get communication errors. As I’m not in practices I have no idea how they deal with it But Im not 100% convinced that is what they are telling him to do. Regardless.. being short is a liability no matter what you do. To me it looks more like the players are switched off. maybe tactical overload I don’t know.

  64. Dissenter

    Giroud was often understated for his very good foot ball control [some may scoff at this] and ability to make a good pass.

    We need a player like him who can help us play a different way.

  65. Valentin

    @Midwest,

    We have been using zonal marking for the last three years. For two years running we have had the best records at defending corners and other set pieces. As Arsenal is on average shorter than most EPL team, usually we did not make any proviso for specific players. The only players I remember us taking special precautions against were Peter Crouch and the Cardiff player Sean Morrison. And it was not so much as man marking them as blocking them and screening them to stop the opposition scoring from the second ball.

    About two months ago, Emery switched to a pure man marking system with disastrous results. Against Wolves, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Torreira ended up marking the opposition best header of the ball.

    The big decision for Emery is to stick to the new system or to revert to the old one. With the use of VAR during the final, for me, Man-Marking against Giroud, Zapacosta, David Luiz, is a recipe for penalty (with VAR) or goals conceded or both.

  66. Dissenter

    “The final is in effect an away game and if this season’s away performances are anything to go by , we won’t be playing with gusto or even more energy than the home win over chelsea.”

    The final is not an away game. Both teams are playing far away from their comfort zones. Awya game implies a hostile setting with home fans railing against us. Its one-off winner take all game in a stadium filled with Azbekhs who won’t give a shit.

  67. Dissenter

    “Having Torreira man marking 6 foot plus opponents ( as he has been doing recently) at corners is a tactic that is doomed to fail.”

    Mascherano used to do it successfully. I know he’s 3 inches taller than Torriera. He used to defend against players that were a lot taller. I think the timing of the job matters as much as owning the space for the header first.

  68. Valentin

    @Pierre,

    The problem is that we have only one way of playing and no players who could help with a different system. We lack height and physicality all over.

    Sometimes you need a different approach. I am not talking of bringing a beanpole and launching long balls to him at every game, but we need to be able to play long balls and make them stick against some teams like Wolves, Leicester, Watford that thrive on the counter-attacking and pressing the midfield.

    None of the U23 players have those characteristics, so unless we can suddenly improve our midfield to make that irrelevant, we need a way to cope against such systems. I see getting a tall striker for 1~2 years as a temporary term solution while we resolve our issue of height and physicality in the team overall and in midfield in particular.

  69. Dissenter

    Valentin
    Don’t you think having a tall striker go back to defend corners and set pieces will negate the capacity to launch fast breaks.
    We used to lack that when Giroud had to go back to help defend corner kicks.

  70. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    Except that Mascherano was playing for Barcelona before VAR. I vividly remember him grappling and wrestling opposition players to the floor with total impunity.

    If Torreira tries the same, the referee and his video assistant will signal yellow card and penalty.

  71. MidwestGun

    Most teams put 6 defenders in the box in a zone.. then the other 4 are assigned men.. or a post. not so much a zone but a combo..

    I agree man marking can be suicidal because of the inherit weaknesses in it being reactive to the player you are assigned and they can run pick’s on you. You can’t react to the ball as quick.. I would have to rewatch those specific games to see a change… I try to block those games out … I have a few recorded though.. but probably Napoli and games we did well in.

  72. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    Yes Giroud slowness was an issue for counter-attack, but he also compensated for the fact that our midfield is shorter than the average EPL midfield. We needed him to stop the ball at the first post.

    Having a slow striker is a problem on all part of the game, not just for counter-attack. However Arsenal has scored very few counter-attack goal this season anyway. Gone are the days of the quick, goal scored by Henry or Pires after an opposition corner.

    Nowadays, whenever we intercepted the ball on corners, if Özil or Ramsey (sometimes Mhikitarian) were not driving forward, the ball was recycled via a backward pass leaving the opposition time to get back into position.

    The main problem is that both Lacazette and Aubameyang are terrible headers of the ball. If at least one was good at that exercise, but on that front they are of no-use defensively or in attack. Strangely enough despite his smallish stature, Nkethia is quite a good header of the ball. He has a good leap timing.

  73. azed

    “About two months ago, Emery switched to a pure man marking system with disastrous results. Against Wolves, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Torreira ended up marking the opposition best header of the ball.”

    This is not true Valentin. Arsenal don’t do man marking, we still use a zonal system.

  74. Eric

    seems they’ve been listening to you Pedro!!!!!!! I hope you’ve seen what Vinai Venkatesham said 🙂 I am happy about this model moving forward

  75. Pierre

    Valentin
    In theory, having a physical striker up front to hold play up sounds good but in practice it never really worked when giroud was at Arsenal .

    Giroud never received any protection from the officials and he was usually stifled by defenders ( especially away from home) who used to climb all over him, rendering him ineffective , though I have to say that he was more than decent in the box as he had Ozil supplying him with the balls that he needed, whereas at chelsea he doesn’t receive the perfect delivery that Ozil invariably gave him.

  76. Valentin

    @azed,

    Go back and watch the games before stating something that is clearly incorrect.

    We used to play zonal, but for the last few games of the season we did not. Against Crystal Palace, Wolves, Brighton, Watford we were using a pure man marking system at corners.

    None of our talk CB were tasked to head the ball away at the first post.
    Emery was even questionned about it in one of his press conference and acknowledged the switch.

    Strangely enough after the switch of system at corners, at free-kicks we were using sometimes zonal sometimes pure man-marking. I remember Kolasinac having to go to the bench to get clarification on the system, because he kept being left with two players to mark against Crystal Palace. I think the decision was based whether it was a in or out free-kick.

  77. Pierre

    Azed
    Have a look how we set up now compared to earlier in the season , you will now see Torriera getting brushed aside by burly defenders as he struggles to contain his opponent.

  78. Valentin

    @Azed,

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

    I don’t remember for the other games, but the mismatch was also obvious.

    In those games, Guendouzi kept losing his man, either getting blocked away or simply reacting too slowly to clever movement.

  79. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “I think Giroud is semi-retired, same as our boy Ozil
    He’s won the world cup, what else is important in football?”

    Obviously Sarri doesn’t rate / trust giroud which is not Giroud’s fault …sometimes in football that’s what happens , a player is signed by a manager who then moves on and the new manager doesn’t see the positives in the player .

    Earlier today I was watching a piece about Ian Wright and how he felt unloved by Bruce Rioch so he put in a transfer request which luckily for Arsenal was turned down and Rioch was shown the door …It was a battle that Wright won.

    go back to Diego Costa and his running battle with his manager at Chelsea Conte…Costa lost that battle as the Chelsea hierarchy made the mistake of backing Conte , so Costa left the club and Chelsea haven’t been as effective since he left the club .

    So your comment of players being semi retired is a comment of ignorance as players like Giroud are proud footballers who want to play every match for their club but sometimes it is a new manager coming in who destroys that players confidence by freezing them out of the side which is no fault of the player.

  80. azed

    Pierre and Valentin

    We do Zonal marking on corners. Torriera is too short to be stationed in the zone so he’s job is to stop opponents from having a free into the danger area.

  81. azed

    On Corners, we usually have 4-5 players in the zone, 1 player marking the opponent that’s trying to block the keeper and the rest trying to stop players from making runs…

    Against Everton ,Valencia and Crystal Palace, we concede from the second ball because our player are marking space and not people.

  82. Dissenter

    Pierre and his Ozil-loving ways continue

    Valentin,
    I think you need to consider the fact that Torriera has not had a full pre-season with Arsenal. I expect that he will work on certain parts of his game in the gym that will make it difficult to brush him off.
    The defending player does not always have to win the headers. So long as he can time the jump to knock the other player off balance, the should be able to defend corners. VAR will work both ways. Macherano used to get fouls blown in his favor too because he used to time his jump so well. So long as Torriera keeps contesting for the corners, he will get better at it.
    The annoying part is when the defending player does not even contest for the ball. Iwobi has been guilt of shirking aerial contests as is Ozil. I recall one game against Liverpool three seasons ago when Ozil completely backed off challenging Skertel as he went to head the ball that got Liverpool a last minute equalizer.

  83. Tony

    Pedro
    “… again, referring to Gambon’s question, Dissenter. What do you do for a living, because you write like you’ve never worked in as much as a McDonald’s?”

    That’s really an injustice and insult to McDonald’s workers Pedro

    (Dissenter)
    “Since when did we start making personal disclosures here?
    You’ve been testy all day Pedro, throwing low blows around. Why would you want to know what I do for a living, so that people can use it a s cudgel like they did for Bamford?”

    Pot calling kettle black –

    Dissenter you’re one of the most testy posters here just look at your moniker.

    You and Bamford are like twins: both just love to her the sound of your voices on here regardless of any relevance of what you say on any given topic, which in your case is pretty much contrarian for the sake of it.

    The pair of you are just a notch above CG and you wonder why you both get binned? Then squeal like stuck pigs at the injustice and ignominy being banned from such an important part of your daily lives.

    Regardless of Pedro’s views this is his blog and, if nothing else, he should be given respect for his commitment and drive for giving us this platform to enjoy.

    Much of the time the pair of you are so dumb you can’t see when Pedro’s winding you up.

    Priceless muppets the pair of you!

    Bamford
    Your defense of Raul and Vinai only goes to prove Harvard was well and truly wasted on you. I wonder what the Harvard alumni would think of your irrational discourses on here if they read them?

    Seems you are completely clueless and agenda driven if you think Raul and Vinai are the right people to drive a £billion sports business to the success levels required on and off the pitch.

    A couple of sentences of lip service from them in a staged interview and you’re completely sold hook, line and sinker.

    I guess bullshit really does baffle brains in your case or the lack of them.

  84. Gonsterous

    Don’t get what learning English has got to do with a managers capabilities. Loads of managers don’t speak English when they first come to the prem. Hell even poch didn’t speak a lot of English when he came here. Yet people are getting in line to have a suk on his coCk.
    I still think if we add in a couple of youngsters we would need an experienced CAM to do the job that ozil is neglecting,unless we get a very good CM to do what Ramsey can but on a more consistent basis , then we could go for a young talented CAM.
    Also I’m kind of worried that a lot of the youngsters in the U23 don’t feel valued at arsenal and are looking to go elsewhere to play.

  85. Gonsterous

    People talking about their worst jobs, well let me pitch in, I worked for a recycling company for a a week, doing the dogs body job of separating trash and recyclable items while a crane loomed over head putting trash into a fire to generate fuel.
    This was in the middle of December with the temp at -10 C.
    Got paid 12 bucks an hour and it was dreadful.

  86. Gonsterous

    People talking about their worst jobs, well let me pitch in, I worked for a recycling company for a a week, doing the dogs body job of separating trash and recyclable items while a crane loomed over head putting trash into a fire to generate fuel.
    This was in the middle of December with the temp at -10 C.
    Got paid 12 bucks an hour and it was dreadful.
    .

  87. Graham62

    This blog is going downhill…….fast!

    From getting Wenger out at all costs, which all Arsenal supporters craved( yeh right!), we have become this very ignorant and pompous fanbase who feel we are still owed so much more. Silly me, what am I saying. This has been the case for years as the club was being systematically dismantled by a manager and regime that conned us all.

    As we prepare ourselves for the clubs most important game for years, some of us prefer to stick the knife into a manager that has had to deal with an infrastructure that was not fit for purpose and a squad of players set in concrete in regards to their mindsets and abilities to adapt to change.

    Arsenal fans have embarrassed me personally for a decade and now I find myself shaking my head in disbelief once again, as they take it a step further by ridiculing a man(Emery) who has achieved as much as we could have hoped for in such a short period.

    My opinions I know mean nothing in the greater scheme of things but in respect to this blog it seems that negativity and subjects based on total irrelevance are becoming the norm. What a strange lot we are.

    Arsenal fans continue to be the real joke in all of this.

  88. Tony

    Graham
    Emery is not being ridiculed by all, but questioned by some for his dismal end to the season and loss of CL placing.

    The real problems are from those running the club and obviously the owner.

    Emery is here for next season and we’ll see how that goes after the TW.

    If you think Suarez was a good choice by Emery then what can I say?

    We are in danger of a similar mismanagement with Raul and Emery locking up the power and control of the club to suit their agendas.

    There are no banners being flown anywhere, Graham or any sign of ‘Emery Out!” campaigns just sensible questions being raised as to whether Emery is the man to have us challenging again.

    For the time being we have a proven EL cup winning manager, but no real domestic league success on his CV other than PSG, which has been summed up by us being 5th in the league and in the EL cup final.

    Your gripe isn’t with the majority of Arsenal fans who you claim wrongly to be a constant source of embarrassment to you, but the management past and present and, of course, the owners.

    Emery is a product of both management and owners past and present – not the Arsenal fans who once again are being fed the company’s BS PR line ala Raul & Unai Jackanory interview and the tea lady who conducted the interview.

  89. China1

    I don’t doubt torreira’s ability, my concerns with him lie on his stamina

    It seems like last season he ran himself into the ground at 200% for the first third of the season, then totally ran out of puff and started picking up injuries

    It’s a big change from Italy the England and I don’t blame him, but I hope a combination of improved stamina and smarter use of the levels he has next season

    He can be massive for us, but for the entire second half of the season he looked jaded

  90. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    The reality is that the club has struggled at end of season for a variety of reasons and not entirely due to Emery.

    1. A disproportionate number of players have long term injuries i.e. Bellerin,
    Holding, Welbeck and Suarez. None have been available since January.

    2. Others are suffering short term injuries, suspensions or poor form.

    3. We have on our books 4 players who the manager understandably is reluctant to select, because they are not good enough to play in first team e.g.
    Lichsteiner, Jenkinson, Mavropanos and Elneny.

    4. There have been occasions when we have been scheduled to play four games in 10-12 days, which when your squad is down to 18 fit players presents
    a problem.

    5. Looking at the stats last night it is obvious that we have a defence which concedes far too many goals and a midfield which scores far too few goals
    and which is increasingly limited in creativity.

    The bottom line is that the team has ‘outperformed’ this season.

  91. CG

    Wonderful post Tony – full of clarity

    Unfortunately Graham is a very jaundiced chap.

    Eyes permanently bulging
    Mouth frothing
    Wenger hating and increasingly Emery admiring he cant mention a paragraph with castigating our most successful manager.

    Just compare the way-Chelsea have done their recent business -extending Giroud contract extension with no fuss and their recent Dortmund acquisition.

    Decisions made by their club executives for the betterment of the whole club.( ie overriding what Sarri may or may not want)

    Compare with our executives- who make decisions that are ultimately harmful to the club.

    Dumping Ramsey so they can sign Suarez.

    How ridiculous is that now looking …

    Surely if Chelsea extend Girouds contract
    Why did not Arsenal extend Welbecks…

  92. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pedro

    5 broughs
    Gets added

    Thank you.

    Where you watching in NY the game.

    Were off to Ron’s bar in Victoria sports bar ..

    TVs on both floors
    Good nose bag as well.

    Greenwoods victoria. London

  93. siddharth14

    Graham62

    While there is nothing wrong in what you have said, i do believe that the situation with Arsenal supporters is not as bad as you make out. With Wenger it was always a small part of supporters, at the start, who saw through his false narratives and weakness about 10 years back. It was only the last 2 seasons (under Wenger) when the tide really gathered momentum and the majority accepted that the King had to go. Even then we had supporters who would fall on the sword for Wenger and displayed annoying resilience. They still do!

    However, as regards to Emery, i believe only a handful of fans with unreal expectations want Emery out at this stage. Another lot are the ones who are not keen on Emery but are willing to give him second season.

    But asserting that Emery has achieved as much as we could have hoped for is incorrect. It’s easy to guess that Emery’s objective this season was to Finish in Top 4 or win the Europa league. We failed spectacularly on the first part when it was easily within our reach. But we are still in with a shout for Europa League. Win it and his objective is achieved. We then try to build on it.

    Lose the final and the club need to give a serious thought whether to continue the arsenal project with Emery. Especially now with Allegri available. We could entice him with a 5 year plan. And i’m sure you will also agree that Allegri carries greater pedigree than Emery. The landscape has changed for Mangers with big clubs going for young managers/ex- players with greater potential. Just look at Mourinho, he is still searching for a club. Perhaps, Allegri might have to tone down his demands regarding say massive budget or heavy recruitment.

    Alas, like you said it all comes down to the leadership at the helm. And sadly, we know what is going to happen.

    Cheers mate.

  94. Tony

    siddharth14
    Aptly put.

    You could class me as part of the ‘Another lot’; however, I agree that to lose the EL final should get Raul seriously looking at Allegri as the long term successor for Wenger.

    That said, I doubt Raul has anything on his mind other than self preservation, which I would imagine Allegri doesn’t fit into.

    We’ll see what happens next week.

  95. CG

    Tony

    “””That said, I doubt Raul has anything on his mind other than self preservation, “”

    Tony on fire today.
    Well observed,

    This charlatan has to go!
    We don’t have spivs at our club!