Unai Emery dropped a very detailed press conference with Elmundo.
He covered many areas and spoke in vivid colour about the league, his troubles, and a little of what he’s trying to do at Arsenal. The hot talking point seems to be his vision of being a chameleon team.
‘It depends. I want us to be a chameleon team, able to play in possession, in static attack against close opponents, or to counterattack. For the first, Özil comes very well, which has the virtue of discovering spaces. For the second, Aubameyang. To the extent that we are able to combine it, we will grow.‘
You can take this one of two ways.
The first way, he’s adopting a Jose Mourinho like approach to the game, nullify the opponent’s strengths and attack from there.
The second way, he could be trying to adopt an NFL like approach where he can be tactically nimble as a game goes on. Pep G has players that are smart enough to switch formations during a game without losing shape or effectiveness.
I think we might be dreaming if we think he’s talking about the second based on what we’ve seen this season. If we’re honest, part of the reason the football is so drab is because he’s a manager more concerned with the other team than building out a distinct style of football of his own. PSG players complained of that, and there were leaks a couple of months ago from Arsenal to that effect.
I think when you read through the interview, you do get the impression that the chip on his shoulder comes from feeling inadequate in the elite of football. He’s constantly having to explain the PSG flop, or why he does things that look small time. This line was interesting.
‘I like to know what others do, how they train and how they relate, and I take what I think of each one, be Guardiola or Mourinho.’
His thirst for knowledge is a compelling asset, but when you’re chasing a vision that mish-mashes the IP of others, you kind of end up with no IP. I think it’s very hard to be the best if you don’t have your own unique vision of how the game should be played. You’re constantly chasing progress by looking at what others are doing. Think what you like about Sarri, but he has a vision of what he wants to do, year 1 is laying the foundations, year two we should expect to see the fruits.
I don’t know what’s coming in year two for Emery.
He’s the ultimate response to Wenger. We’ve gone from a puritanical artist, happy to accept failure if it’s in the name of beauty… to a hardcore pragmatist, who is happy to throw the middle-finger to the doubters if the results stick.
‘I do not promise titles, I promise to compete.’
Except… at Arsenal, it’s not really about the results.
‘At Arsenal, I have the feeling, for the first time, of winning to build, not to survive. I feel the respect towards me even when we lose, but I want that the defeats hurt more, because it is a step to improve competitively. I want the mourning to lose be greater than two hours.’
We’re building a pragmatism machine that didn’t do the job in the league, and the success of the season is weighing on a coin toss on Wednesday.
‘But we were close’ is Gazidis talk (Milan finished 5th lolololol).
When you add this sort of chatter up, with the buzzy, but ultimately non-commital vision set by Raul and Vinai, you start to build a picture of a machine that’s not really geared to make a rapid ascent up the progression curve.
That’s why I’m finding it difficult to understand why any Arsenal fan would accept losing to Chelsea if it meant Spurs lost at the weekend.
Worry about your own house. If Spurs win the Champions League, good for them. We’ve had plenty of chances. If the dice rolls that way, so be it. The reality is, this Europa game is integral to our 5 year plan. We need to bring in elite players this summer, if we have to do it on a budget, it’s Banega on toast, washed down with a glass of BANG AVERAGE. There is no circumstance in which losing the final is acceptable.
So let’s not start acting like cucks. A European trophy is on the line. You should never want your own team to lose… unless it’s like, some sort of technicality in the group stages… or it could see Spurs relegated. Positive losing is the only way I can accept it, and not winning a trophy is never positive losing.
Emery on a budget would add 3 years of misery to our Arsenal lives.
Let’s not go down that path, even if it is just a hypothetical.
P.S. Emery anti-Brexit.
‘We already know what nationalism is. Crises give wings. I am Basque, I know what I am talking about, and I am comfortable as Basque and Spanish. When there are problems, people tend to be enrooted, to defend the inside. Personally, I think we have to open borders, not close them, and when you go outside, you have to make an effort to enter into another culture.’
Someone chuck a milkshake at him!