Guest Post: A trip to Holloway Road

by & filed under News Review.

This is the final instalment of Jonathan Blaustein’s guest post series. Please give him a big fat follow on the Twitter @JBlauPhoto

I was in North London a couple of weeks ago, staying just off the Holloway Road.

I hadn’t been back in 6 years, and the neighbourhood had certainly gentrified.

The London Metropolitan University put up a bunch of high-rise dorm buildings, since last I was there.

Shiny and modern, for sure.

I was walking along the Holloway Road, on a Tuesday morning, trying to figure out which lane led to the Emirates Stadium, as I’d only ever found it accidentally.

When I hit the first major crossroads, I looked to the left, but the road was curved, so I couldn’t see very far, and anyway, I didn’t see a stadium-top.

I was headed to buy some merch for myself and the kids, and when I looked across the street, those fancy new buildings caught my eye.

So much so that I raised my new iPhone to take a photograph.

As I went to snap the photo, a nice middle-aged Englishwoman walking behind me stopped, looked at the image on my screen, looked up, saw the buildings, and then said, “That’s a lovely photograph! So great of you to notice it. That’s really art!”

Of course that began a conversation, as I accompanied her to her office at the college in a building up the block.

I continued Southeast on the Holloway Road, trying to find the damn stadium.

I passed one intersection, because I couldn’t see it, and took the next one instead.

Finally, I saw signs, and followed them, dejected, as we seemed to walking just back where I came from.

(And I was in a time crunch as well.)

Sure enough, I finally saw the stadium gleaming in the London morning sun, and realized it was exactly where I’d just been.

I’d gone out of my way, and essentially walked in a circle, to get back to where I started. Only by the time I got there, I was annoyed, rather than excited.

Did I go into the Arsenal store anyway?

Yes, yes I did.

I bought things from the bargain bin, if you’re wondering, because all the cool new clothes were branded with the new marketing slogan “Kings of London.”

Kings of London.


Kings of London?

Are you fucking kidding me?

By what possible metric are Arsenal the best team in town? Let’s be honest.

Right now, we’re #3.

I know it. You know it.

And so do all the players who are going to sign for new teams this summer.

What kind of player, or better yet, what actual player will want to sign on for the Unai Emery era, if they’re also being recruited by City, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Tottenham?

Who would choose Arsenal over those teams, to join the Emery experiment, now that we’ll be in the Europa League for the 3rd consecutive year, and we just pulled a massive double-choke in the Premier and Europa Leagues.

So we’re clear, I’ve written a column here all year long. I was consistent. Let’s give Emery a year and see what he produces. Maybe his chokes at PSG were a thing of the past.

Maybe we were getting a bruised-but-still-high-end-talent who’s ready for redemption?

Like a Pre-Liverpool Klopp?

That was wishful thinking for a best case scenario, to mix my business jargon. And now, in early June, it has been proven farcical.

I know there were a few small green shoots this year, like beating Chelsea, Tottenham and ManU, and drawing with Liverpool.

And I guess PEA co-won the Golden Boot, and Laca emerged as awesome.

Guendouzi was fun, and Torriera had a few proper runs.

But now that I’ve gone through the pretense of looking at both sides, I’m here to say that if I were in charge of Arsenal, I’d be firing Unai Emery.


If Stan and Josh, much less Raul, want anyone to believe that accountability has returned to Arsenal, you can’t keep on a coach who oversaw that type of collapse.

Not after Late-Wenger.

Say this for the old man, at least he bagged those 3 FA Cups.

To choke as badly as Arsenal did at the end of the season, (not to mention PEA’s penalty choke against Tottenham,) will stain Unai Emery’s credibility forever.

He’s tarnished goods, for absolute certain, and his ceiling for greatness was likely limited to begin with.

Really, who was banging for “Emeryball” before he was hired?

Coach was a last-second panic hire by Gazidis, to get us out of the Europa League.

And it didn’t work.

So now, rather than wasting more time trying to slowly walk back the soft comfort that Wenger created, it’s time for a new, fresh, hard-working, grinder of a coach with a dynamic offensive AND defensive philosophy.

Someone the players will go to war for.

If I sound a lot like Pedro, it’s because I agree with him completely.

Sweep the decks.

Start over before you walk too many blocks in the wrong direction.

Because the truth is, when that lady interrupted me on the Holloway Road?

I was 150 meters from the stadium, and my camera was set to video.

I never got that photograph, and I walked right past the stadium, because I got distracted by a cute and comfortable little moment.

It seemed harmless at the time, but it cost me twenty minutes of wasted walking.

That’s what this year felt like, now that it’s done.

A fucking waste, with no trophies.

Start over, and do it right this time, before we’re looking at Everton and Watford and Wolves thinking, “Wow, how did they get ahead of us? We’ll have to work pretty hard to make sure we qualify for the Europa League again.”

That’s the cold truth.

We need our own Sean McVay.

And we need him now.

Remember to follow @JBlauPhoto!

656 Responses to “Guest Post: A trip to Holloway Road”

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  1. MrT

    Very well said. Emery seems like a fart you just have to let out real quick cos if you worry about stinking up the place and leave it for too long you just might shit yourself when reality forces you to let it out.

  2. jwl

    Firing our head coach this summer is pointless because we bring in new guy who needs a season to learn about squad and English football, so another wasted season.

    Number one problem with Arsenal is our listless squad who are used to being overpaid to play half assed football. Clear out a bunch of our squad, bring in athletic guys who give 100% for entire season and Arsenal will start to look like proper team again.

  3. Major_Jeneral

    Apparently we need changes as it relates to the wage structure… The youth academy needs a revamp too.

  4. gambon

    We could easily get Upamecano

    Hes probably on £20k per week.

    Pretty much any professional in any industry anywhere in the world would be extremely keen to talk to an employer if they are offering a pay rise from £1m to £4m pa to do the same job.

    Not to mention any non-German would probably be keen to swap the Bundesliga for the PL

  5. Globalgunner

    Ozil is leaving by hook or crook. one way or the other. . Kos, Mustafi, Monreal. Thats at least 10 goals weve saved from conceding next season. Now if we could possibly shift Xhaka and AMN. That would be another 10 saved.

  6. Rich

    The last thing we need is a perpetual production line of coaches who don’t have time to work, or lay any foundations.

    I’m all for accountability, but these are largely the same players who failed last year and the season before, time to purge our overpaid squad and back Emery in building a more balanced squad.

    Emery publicly asked for wingers in January, saying “I need wingers”

    He’s twice suggested investing heavily in defenders

    And he’s twice stated that technique without physicality in the PL is useless.

    The board now need to back our coaches with the resources they need

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Where are Liverpool going to play him? Are they dropping Mane or Salah? Playing one of the three as a ST next season and dropping Firmino?

    Is someone being sold no one knows about?

    To me Liverpool need a ST and a CAM/wide playmaker type. Someone like Brandt would have done for them.

    Pepe seems like strengthening one of their already strongest areas. For £71 Million as well.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    The comparisons to NFL have to stop.

    In coaching it just isn’t the same.

    In the ‘transfer market’ it just isn’t the same.

    Just stop.

  9. gambon

    Liverpool have basically no cover in case on injury / rotation.

    They have a tiny squad.

    Buying Pepe means they can rotate Mane, Salah, Firminho and Pepe.

    All 4 can play when they want to play 4-2-3-1

    In that regard Pepe is an upgrade on the swiss midget.

  10. Champagne Charlie

    Nice post, enjoyed the visualisation aspect of you bumbling along the streets of London, and feel the analysis is spot on.

    Emery doesn’t feel “right”, and as such it’s hard to suggest spending more time with him will be of benefit.

    Wouldn’t it be grand if we had an idea of ourselves and sought to put the right structural pieces in place to properly make an assault on our future? Yes, yes it would. But we didn’t, and doesn’t look like we will in the immediate.

    I said last summer after the window closed that we had “limped into our new era”. A year later and I think we’re still limping.

    Yes, the squad and the players make a huge difference to a clubs fortunes in any given season. But, it’s so so much easier to have the back room structure in place, and a manager in charge who can truly be a beacon for the playing staff. There’s an undeniable sense of a glass ceiling with Emery, so even if we knock the transfers out the park there’s a nagging doubt about when we’ll see that limit reached.

  11. Dissenter

    ‘Liverpool have basically no cover in case on injury / rotation.”

    You got that right.
    That’s why they tried to sign Fekir last summer. Pepe just fill the space Fekir was supposed to occupy in the squad.
    They will most likely sell Shaqiri

  12. Up 4 grabs now

    Next time your trying to visit the emirates might I suggest finsbury Park or arsenal Station. How do you not find the emirates?

    So Pedro got you to guest write the post so he doesn’t have to take the flak today.
    Are you sure he didn’t write it and put your name on it?
    Blame emery for aubas missed penalty. Blame him for xhaka giving the ball away and him and mustafi giving penalties away every other game.

    Also we are number three in London at the moment club wise. So players won’t come?
    But if the Chelsea ban goes through and the spuds are skint we might be the only London option? Plus we have wages to spare!
    It’s not all doom and gloom!

  13. Marc

    There have been rumour about Salah to Madrid. I know Liverpool have just won the CL but a £71 million player so you can rotate a bit seems a bit much.

  14. KAY Boss

    Liverpool fancy getting the best scoring wide players in their team than buying an established striker.
    Won’t anyone take a punt on Icardi?
    I hope we get our business done early. Tired of reading links to every talent out there.

  15. Nelson

    I remember reading a post from Benny after he watched an away game. He has noticed that some players did not respect Emery on the sideline. That was during the collapse at the business end. This is something that really worries me. It seems that some players don’t trust Emery and his ever changing formations. He seems to be proud of this so called “chameleon team”. Would the players buy into that even if they are not confused?
    For his own sake and for Arsenal, I hope he’ll use this TW to build a team with an identity. He should communicate this clearly to the players. Of course, the identity will allow minor modification if we play against a top 6 team or a weaker team. I trust that Emery is experienced enough to achieve this.

  16. Up 4 grabs now

    It pains me to say it, but the bindippers don’t need to strengthen attack wise. They only lost the league because they didn’t beat city. They lost the league by a point and one the champions league.

    They would be better looking at a Milner replacement and some long term positions. They also have chamberlain to fit in attack wise who missed the season, why go for pepe.

  17. Marc


    This “players” won’t come to Arsenal is bollocks. How did the Spud’s ever sign a player for the 20 odd years we were in the CL and they weren’t.

  18. gambon


    Their CL run earned them over £100m

    They dont exactly have a squad full of weaknesses.

    Pepe may be the only player they sign.

    We spent £70m last season. If we can do it, then Liverpool can do it.

  19. gambon

    “It pains me to say it, but the bindippers don’t need to strengthen attack wise. They only lost the league because they didn’t beat city.”

    They scored 6 goals less than Liverpool, and had 14 less xG

    Also, they are massively reliant on their 2 wide players, who scored 44 of their 89 goals.

    A wide attacking player is probably the most important signing they can make.

  20. Pierre

    I think he was using a bit of artistic licence , not sure if it was meant literally, if it was then one would think , that as an Arsenal supporter ,he would /should know where the Emirates is…

  21. Dissenter

    No manger takes the same squad to the next season. That is no one except Wenger.
    Players won’t play better unless there’s competition for the starting spots.

  22. Marc


    The Poch was lucky we fucked up – they were a whisker away from missing out on top 4. With the stadium debt that would’ve been a serious problem.

  23. Dissenter

    The problems is more than Emery.
    The entire organization stinks from top down
    Tevez was disposed off speedily by City the moment he publicly defied Mancini
    Klopp famously disposed of Mamadou Sakou for chuckling during a team huddle at the airport on the way to pre-season in the states.
    Arsenal as an organization should not even be debating whether Ozil returns next season after the moonwalk he did in Baku. The fact that we are still contemplating whether he was be hre ior not says everything about Arsenal as a club.
    The so called Arsenal values are cowardice and small minded conservatism when bold changes are required.

  24. gambon

    “Pochettino’s done alright with same squad two seasons running.”

    Yeah, but you kind of feel that they are in danger of falling out of the top 4.

    What Klopps doing makes a lot of sense.

    Liverpool have a great squad, but there is scope to improve.

    They dont need 5-6-7 players, just one or two that can make a difference.

    I also think they want to play Salah more centrally as often as they can.

  25. Marc


    I’m not saying Liverpool can’t afford to spend £70 million of course they can but I’m not sure they can afford to spend £70 million for a back up player. Would that player be happy with being back up? My main point was if it is true (massive if) then maybe it means someone is leaving.

  26. Dissenter

    “Pochettino’s done alright with same squad two seasons running.”

    Yes…”done alright”, relying on the opposition folding in the last four games?
    ‘Done alright’ losing 13 games a season?

    Do you really think Poch told Mr Levy to not buy any outfield player because he couldn’t find anyone better that his current players?
    Were we building a stadium with huge overruns in the summer of 2015?

  27. salpardisenyc

    Regarding Poch this is clearly the summer they invest, made some coin being in the finale i’d imagine big swathe of it will all go back into squad along with section of whatever they make from sells.

    Levy will obviously keep some for the bank.

  28. Marc


    Small problem with you point – neither Tevez or Sakou were on £350 grand a week.

    No one who isn’t a moron either wants Ozil to stay or thinks he should. The debate is how do we get rid of him.

  29. gambon

    Why are you saying “back up” player.

    Pepe isnt going to sit on the bench 50 times.

    With PL, CL and cups there are up to 60 games per season.

    With 3 wide players taking up 2 spots, thats 40 starts each for each player.

    Makes perfect sense.

  30. salpardisenyc

    Klopp buying Pepe is genius, reinvesting in high quality at his age and adding goals.
    What an option to add to that attack.

  31. Marc


    Because out of the 3 wide players 2 of them will be first pick, the other guy will be back up. He may get games but it doesn’t change who the main guys will be.

  32. Micheal

    I agree with demand for a “clean sweep” – up to a point. The point being please define clean sweep.
    It is ok to suggrst wholesale sacking of the staff like Rual or Emery. But is the owner free of all responsibility and excluded ?

  33. gambon

    Rumours we are bidding £50m for Anderson and Praet.

    Have to say, im really not too sure about these guys.

    Anderson looks a great passer, but doesnt look to be pacy at all.

    Praet just looks a nothing player to me. Good on the ball, does everything fairly well, but no significant skill set at all.

  34. Cesc Appeal

    ‘And precisely how are you going to remove Kroenke?’


    Players you can get rid of, managers you can get rid of.

    Discussing Kroenke is a bit pointless. Arsenal would have to start depreciating as an asset massively first.

    I’d rather live in the realms of reality and realize Kroenke will let us spend whatever we’ve got so lets try to make Arsenal as great as possible with what Arsenal have.

    Arsenal can be a great side off their own steam.

    The problem is diabolically bad decision making that has occurred over the last 7 years.

    If Kroenke is a penny pincher, he’s literally the worst one I’ve ever seen.

  35. Rich robbins

    Yes, finally a column I love, agree with, and wholeheartedly support. We need dramatic change. Mediocrity seems to be wrapped under financial responsibility. Write off ozil…….move on…..after blowing it on Ramsey…….invest in young players and BUY a defense! Well said

  36. WengerEagle

    Neymar’s had a rough old week fucking hell, injured and out of the only Copa America[while in his prime] that he is likely to play in Brazil for playing in a meaningless friendly against Qatar a week out and has a crazy broad determined to ruin his life via these accusations and TV appearances/leaked videos.

  37. azed


    “Praet is an incredibly depressing link, hope there’s absolutely no truth to it.”

    Having you seen him play or are you judging based on the fact that he isn’t a “big” name?

  38. Receding Hairline

    Gambon and pace is an issue in this league, a defender with no recovery pace will struggle in the premiership let alone playing the way Emery sets up to press up the pitch ….if he has no pace how is he better than Chambers??

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Don’t like the idea of Praet, I’m more excited by the idea of the club going for players like Saliba, Palacios, Claude Maurice etc.

  40. Marc


    We’d have a much better chance of selling him if he wold a) shut the fuck up b) avoid playing football over the summer.

  41. Biggles

    I could totally see Salah being moved centrally and Firmino being the one displaced.

    That said, Milner is the most difficult to replace I reckon. That level of elite ironing is hard to find.

  42. WengerEagle


    Not on a weekly basis or anything obviously, I’ve watched Sampdoria the odd time and he’s never really stood out, decent player keeps things ticking over but isn’t bringing much in the way of dynamism or superior technique.

    Toreirra outshone him and he’s had some serious struggles over here himself.

    What do you like about Praet?

  43. Receding Hairline

    Praet has scored four league goals in all his time in Sampdoria, not exactly a master of assists either nor is he a master dribbler ala Hleb.

    I would prefer the Trossard to him, at least he can find the back of the net from midfield

  44. Valentin

    Liverpool did not have cover to play in the same style, but they had players to play in a different system. Divock Origi, Daniel Sturbridge, Shaquiri have qualities that Firmino, Mane, Salah do not have.

    We do not have the players to play a more physical game. None of our strikers are good at holding play with their back toward goal. They are also not very good at heading the ball.

    So either we overwhelm the opposition and win quite easily or we are stuck and can’t score.

  45. azed


    I know nothing about Praet except his numbers don’t look amazing but I have never seen him play.

    Am i excited about him, no.

  46. WengerEagle

    Liverpool definitely need to strengthen with an attacker or two.

    They have been incredibly fortunate these past two years that Salah, Mane and Firmino have played virtually every competitive match.

    All it would take is one of the three to get a long-term injury to cripple their goal-count, especially Salah.

    As has been said already they’ve just touching up the great squad that they’ve built at this stage, the near-perfect scenario. Only a player or two away from wrestling the title off of City.

  47. gambon

    Praet just looks pretty average.

    Doesnt really do anything well.

    Is he supposed to replace Ramsey? He averages 1.7 goals per season.
    Is he supposed to replace Ozil? He barely creates anything.

    Players like Zielinski or Tielemans would be interesting as they have stand out qualities.

    Its not like Praet is a youngster with a high ceiling.

  48. Valentin

    I worry that we will successfully get rid of Xhaka and replace him with an inferior clone. Slow ponderous, not really aware of his surrounding who falter under pressure.
    None of the central midfielders we are linked with excite me. Most look good in slower league, but even there they seem to lack dynanysm, energy, physicality and bite to really dominate. Similar level of performance in the EPL and we would be in trouble against Wolves, Leicester, Watford, West Ham.

  49. Champagne Charlie

    “As an aside i don’t think “doesn’t feel right” is enough reasons for sacking a manager“

    I was giving an appraisal in response to today’s poster. The ‘feeling’ is as such because of numerous elements that have been explained chapter and verse.

    You’ve dismissed all of those as reasons too so not really sure what you’re standing to gain making comments like the above.

    We only managed 4 points from 18 to miss top 4, then got absolutely embarrassed in a Europa Cup final 4-1 against a side already qualified for the CL. The feeling that Emery isn’t good enough has quite obvious grounding.

  50. CG

    Great post from our Guest.
    (And I off course thank him for it.)

    It’s a post Dripping in common sense and accurate, hard hitting analysis.

    But unfortunately common sense and analysing are not in Raul and Vinais repertoire.

    Self Preservation is their Game….from now on.
    They have nailed their colors to Emery.

    We have seen them in their Full Glory.
    That in -house interview will never be erased..

    Their arrogance, hubris, smugness and complacency won’t be forgotten or forgiven.

    They have given us:
    Nightmare on Emery Street season 1

    They are now working on their sequel:
    Nightmare on Emery Street season 2

    One just hope its Freddie Ljundberg that saves us instead of Freddie Krueger.

    But a season from Hell awaits us all.
    It is indeed a Nightmare ..

  51. Receding Hairline

    Spanish journalist Alvaro Montero has been talking to Sky Sports News about Real Madrid’s summer transfer activity, starting with their reported move for Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen.

    “There’s a big problem in Real Madrid right now. Of course, Eden Hazard was Real Madrid’s, Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez’s goal for his sixth season after three years.

    “But there’s a huge problem with Eriksen, because Eriksen is the kind of player like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, that Real Madrid sporting director Jose Angel Sanchez and Florentino Perez like, but not Zidane.

    “Zidane’s goal for the next season, as it was three years ago, is Paul Pogba. The thing is, Eriksen seems to be cheaper and seems to be a better fit for Real Madrid for their kind of playing.

    “If I had to bet right now, I would say Eriksen is easier for Real Madrid to get because Florentino Perez wants him. It’s easier for Real Madrid to negotiate with Tottenham and Daniel Levy, and pay those 90-100m euros.”

    90-100m Euros for Eriksen…what’s wrong with this game

  52. WengerEagle

    Just a quick reminder that Christian Benteke has made 1 Belgium NT appearance since 2016 and has scored a whopping 4 PL goals in his last 47 apps.

    IIRC, a certain somebody on here was a superfan of his a while ago proclaiming him to be an up and coming world class CF? Better than that shyster Kane. :]

  53. WengerEagle

    Not mad on Zielinski, prefer Allan to him if we’re raiding Napoli.

    Much more powerful CM presence and has a better all-round skill-set even if Zielinski scores more goals.

  54. Receding Hairline

    “To choke as badly as Arsenal did at the end of the season, (not to mention PEA’s penalty choke against Tottenham,) will stain Unai Emery’s credibility forever.”

    A 55m pound striker missing a dying minute penalty stains the coach credibility forever …..yea right

    A for the end of season choke, in case you did not notice all three teams had horrible ends to the league season which resulted in a table ending 72,71,70…very few really to chose between them. The idea that the manager on 70 points has his credibility stained forever because of it is fanciful

  55. Receding Hairline

    “”Start over, and do it right this time, before we’re looking at Everton and Watford and Wolves thinking, “Wow, how did they get ahead of us? We’ll have to work pretty hard to make sure we qualify for the Europa League again.””

    If Emery did not fall behind any of these three clubs in his first season in England, i pretty much doubt they are coming anywhere near him in his second.

    He is far more intelligent than some of you are willing to give him credit for.

    So this is just fear mongering

  56. Receding Hairline

    “Not mad on Zielinski, prefer Allan to him if we’re raiding Napoli.”

    PSG have a hard on for Allan. We aren’t competing with that lot both in terms of fees and wages

  57. WengerEagle

    Eriksen is one of those perennial midfielders that is ever present in the upper quality category but is short of elite.

    Don’t really see what he adds to Real Madrid that they desperately crave as of right now. He’s a similar kind of player to James Rodriguez, excellent end product and set-piece delivery as well as a brilliant football brain but is too one-paced and predictable in his movements, unable to take it past players and dribble vertically.

    Which is where Pogba excels in, so can see why Zidane would be more interested to sign the Frenchman given his indifference to James.

  58. Champagne Charlie

    “If Emery did not fall behind any of these three clubs in his first season in England, i pretty much doubt they are coming anywhere near him in his second.“

    Based on what?

  59. Receding Hairline

    “Which is where Pogba excels in, so can see why Zidane would be more interested to sign the Frenchman given his indifference to James.”

    Why did ask Bayern not to take up the option of a permanent purchase?? Does he have eyes for another club or did he feel the Bayern rejection coming then decided to reject them first

  60. WengerEagle


    Surprised to hear that. While I like him and he’s a very good player, he isn’t going to be bridging the gap to Europe’s best midfield. They spent a lot of money already on Paredes who’s average enough and they’re also bringing in Herrera from United on a free.

    Outside of Veratti, they lack a world class CM. Bizarre oversight given they have 3 of the top 10-20 forwards on the planet and 2 of the top 5.

  61. Champagne Charlie


    Just curious as to your logic, because I wonder if it’s consistent with o you compare Emery to Poch and the like.

  62. Receding Hairline

    “Just curious as to your logic, because I wonder if it’s consistent with o you compare Emery to Poch and the like.”

    I don’t compare Emery to anyone let alone Poch who i think is being placed on a pedestal he hasn’t yet earned.

    Emery is a good coach and i am basing my assertion we will be better next season based on that. Last season was his first season in this country not his 22nd. A man of his intelligence is bound to have learnt a lot from that experience

  63. Graham62


    What a load of bollocks!!!( excuse my English).

    This post has been set up for CG and Pierre. They live for things like this.

    Jonathan Blaustein has obviously been living on another planet these past few years.

    You could walk down the Holloway Road in 2010 and come up with a similar storyline.

    How the fudge can Arsenal be considered the best team in London when we haven’t won anything for so long .

    “A fudging waste with no trophies”

    The agenda now seems to be get Emery out asap.

    Very disappointing post.

  64. WengerEagle


    He fell out hard with Kovac from what I recall. He had a top class season last year when they won the league, up their as their best player but he never saw eye to eye with Kovac and has struggled this season to adapt to his system.

    My guess is Kovac like Zidane isn’t a huge fan of James’ static movement and over-reliance to be pandered to in the form of having the team built around him. He prefers livewires out wide like Gnabry and Coman to give them much more threat on the break.

    James comes across as a bit of a diva as well when things aren’t going his way, he’s basically Cristiano Ronaldo in South America and is a huge star. He’s thrown a couple of hissy fits to the media bitching about Kovac.

    And unfortunately for him, Kovac’s really strong end to the season ensures he’s there to stay after being on the ropes around Christmas time.

    Still a stupidly talented player, he’ll land a big club somewhere. Just needs the right environment to thrive.

  65. salpardisenyc


    Lot of smoke, summer started with Isco definitely being in the side next season w/ ZZ praising him but the embers are burning. Echoes Ozil’s summer move here, the dominos are being moved, we shall see.

  66. WengerEagle

    Bale’s out of there for sure. Shadow of the player he was in his earlier RM days.

    Where he ends up I haven’t a clue due to his gargantuan wages.

  67. Champagne Charlie


    Sounds eminently hopeful rather than basing it on any prior evidence.

    ‘He’s good so he’ll learn’, very presumptive stuff.

    What’s the remit next season for him according to you? You’ve had this season to spoonfeed the excuses left and right, so you must be able to come up with a baseline expectation for next season?

  68. WengerEagle

    Re Herrera, looks as if there’s no credible sources confirming the PSG move so it probably is just hot air.

    As to why they would possibly want him? They seem to have a blindspot for CM and are severely lacking bodies in there. Herrera is a solid player, could do a job for their second string in Cup games and for a third of the Ligue 1 matches that they basically take off.

  69. azed

    There are lots of over paid players for which teams do not see their value any more especially in the number 10 role.

    Ozil, James Rodriquez, Coutinho, Mhkitaryan are players who are not wanted by their current employers but due to their wages, no one else can afford them.

  70. WengerEagle

    Wow, only 88m?

    Amazing deal for Real Madrid when you look at what Barcelona paid for Coutinho.

    He’s only 28 as well, still has 3-4 prime seasons left in him.

  71. WengerEagle


    I would have said for definite that Isco and Marcelo were being sold after being frozen out all season but Zidane loves both players and imo will get them back to playing at their best next season, in Marcelo’s case that is the best attacking LB in world football by a mile.

    Hazard and Jovic confirmed, along with Vinicius looking menacing this season and coming on leaps they are only a couple more signings away from being a force once again next season.

  72. Receding Hairline

    Eagle i like James as a player. don’t care for all the other baggage though. Honestly i was surprised Zidane had no time for him yet seems to have a lot of time for Isco.

  73. Luteo Guenreira

    Isco being shown the door ala Ozil a few years back? Does that mean we will sign Isco? And then his eyes will turn googly and he’ll shit the bed for the next 5 years?

    I hate these speculative periods. Can’t wait for the actual moves to be made and we can see what we’re working with.

    Hated the post but one thing is certain, Emery is no Sean McVay. Managers like that don’t grow on trees though.

  74. Graham62

    Oh now you want frigging change!

    This blog is becoming a launching pad for all those who sucked up to Wenger for all those years.

    OK, Emery and the players cocked up at the end of the season but look at the facts before throwing the kitchen sink at him.

    An absolute disgrace that fans who sat back for years gloating in absolute nothingness because it looked pretty(no it frigging didn’t), are now pointing fingers at Emery because it doesn’t feel right.

    Oh look, what a surprise , CG is drooling over the post.

    Scaremongering at its best.

  75. Champagne Charlie


    I’m sure there’s some heavy add-ons, think that’s 88mil basic and probably 15 mil league, 15 mil CL bonus stuff.

    They were asking for near 150 weren’t they? It’s good value regardless, he’s unreal.

    45 mil is now ‘half as good as Hazard’ in this window. Should be fun lol

  76. MidwestGun

    As far as the post goes… I agree there needs to be more accountability to losing a final that was very winnable.. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sacking the manager though… although to be fair I wouldn’t mind it… depending on who we replaced him with.. honestly Emery is biding his time in my opinion.

    But it also could be getting rid of all the useless fuckers on our roster … eating up payroll and producing very little.. and that seems to be the route the club are going down.. If we moved out Ozil, Xhaka, Miki and Mustafi and replace some of our old broken down warriors like Monreal and Kos.. I would be ok with that..

    And we would look much better as a squad. How the Club handles this tw will say a lot about what the vision is for the future. And If Edu is our DOF … then I hope the Neymarless Brazil gets bounced out of the Copa and Edu gets his azz over to the Emirates. Would be nice for just once to have our house in order.

  77. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Liverpool.are favourites to sign Nicolas Pépé for 70m pounds. Another attacking weapon that can play with their front three.
    Also, a possible replacement if Liverpool sell one of Salah/Mané in 2020.

    Herrera is not a top player, but he’s useful as he will do the running for stars like Pogba or Coutinho if he joins PSG. Hammer throwers/bleep test merchants have their purpose.

  78. Receding Hairline

    Sounds eminently hopeful rather than basing it on any prior evidence.

    I guess prior evidence being the Valencia and Sevilla league table u will soon come up with if this conversation goes any further.

    You base the future off the past….good for you.

    As for what my expectations are for next season that’s a bit premature, let’s see what he does with the squad first or should we just go off what happened last season with no consideration to the proposed squad overhaul.

    And that ends my Emery talk with you today

  79. Receding Hairline

    “I hate these speculative periods. Can’t wait for the actual moves to be made and we can see what we’re working with.”

    You and me both

    Some punk even paraded himself as Xhaka’s cousin yesterday talking about an Inter transfer only to tell everyone he was making stuff up and wasn’t related to Xhaka this morning.

  80. WengerEagle


    Agree on Herrera, they ought to be looking at bringing in a marquee player too though because their CM for elite European standards is bog average.

    Yeah Liverpool are a scary proposition when you look at how young the majority of the squad are, no aging players really aside from the timeless James Milner who still rolls out of bed and tops their fitness tests.

    If they add Pepe it allows them to rotate and possibly move Salah more centrally, he also adds plenty of goals and spark. Bruno Fernandes has come out and said that he prefers Liverpool and Klopp to Citeh and Pep too, basically has issued a come and get me plea to them. If there’s one thing that they somewhat lack it’s goals from midfield.

    Bruno scored 31 goals in all comps so safe to say he’ll alleviate this small issue, could be the difference between a league title when you consider they were bailed out by Mane on a few too many occasions for comfort and lost the PL on draws and firing blanks when the front 3 dipped didn’t show up.

  81. WengerEagle


    He’s the best player in the PL and a top 10 player in Europe no question.

    I’d say that he’ll be worth every penny that they spent on him. Still think that they need to add another goalscorer though, possibly the only criticism that you can put to Hazard. For a player of his ability, he should be scoring more.

    He has the ability to score 25-30 goals a season and this was his only season at Chelsea where he cracked 20.

  82. Graham62


    What did Mr Wenger “teach us” these past ten years?

    How to make regression look sexy?

    How to make excuses?

    How to fudge up on a consistent basis?

    How to embarrass us all time and time again?

    How to bugger up our finances?

    How to change a philosophy that had worked?

    I could give you list of 100 different things that Wenger taught us.

  83. gambon

    So the CIES have got another player value correct.

    They’ve been spot on with Hazard, Jovic, Schulz and Thorgan Hazard, yet I keep hearing how they have all our player values wrong.

  84. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Yeah adding two goal scorers is what Liverpool need. Still think they have a better shot of making a third CL final rather than winning the league.

    I’m expecting Isco to join City this summer.
    David Silva struggled for long stretches of the season and who knows if De Bruyne will stay healthy. Guardiola won’t take.any chances

  85. Graham62

    Emery didn’t build the house, he’s just trying to make it liveable once again.

    Anyway, back to the cricket.

  86. Bamford10


    “We only managed 4 points from 18 to miss top 4, then got absolutely embarrassed in a Europa Cup final 4-1 against a side already qualified for the CL. The feeling that Emery isn’t good enough has quite obvious grounding.”

    Except you’ve never demonstrated that any of the above was the result of the manager’s inadequacies (as opposed to the squad’s inadequacies).

    Further, we lost to Chelsea as we did because they were a much better team with much better players, not because of the manager.

    And this points also to why we finished fifth rather than higher: the teams above us had better squads, better players.

  87. Pierre

    “PedroWhat a load of bollocks!!!( excuse my English).”

    no need to get your knickers in a twist …it doesn’t make it bollocks just because you don’t agree with it.

    I actually found the post to be very fair in its appraisal of the present situation .

    You’re in a little bit of a muddle at the moment aren’t you as deep down you know that Emery is not the right man for the job but because of you obsession with Arsene Wenger , you just can’t commit either way ….flip flopping I think they call it these days I do believe.

  88. alexanderhenry

    Changing the manager would be the wrong move.
    What Arsenal needs is better players.

    The current squad is not good enough to make top four.

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Kroenke won’t do the sensible thing and at least temporarily break from the self sustaining model. In other words, we won’t spend big this summer. It is also the reason why a genuinely ‘elite’ coach wouldn’t take the arsenal job.

    There is no new coach equipped with a magic wand to coach the current side into the top four, and there are no new mega signings coming this summer.

    The club will stick with Emery for another season at least and if there’s any positive , he’ll – at the very least- implement a large scale clear out, replacing players such as Xhaka, ozil, Mhikki etc with young, promising players.

    Year zero at arsenal fc.

  89. CG


    “””Isco has so many elite headline possibilities.””””

    And none of them will involve Emery and his Clipboards- that is for sure. .

    And any other Iscos potentially out there.

    They will all run a mile from him…..

    Only the demented,injured ,and bankrupt player need apply…..


    (You really need therapy.. )
    Get to The Doc man…..

  90. Bamford10


    “I worry that we will successfully get rid of Xhaka and replace him with an inferior clone. Slow ponderous …”

    One, can you please explain why anyone would determine Xhaka wasn’t good enough and sell him, but then turn around and sign an inferior clone of this same player? Please explain why anyone would do that & how this is reasonable concern to have.

    Two, what players are we being linked with that strike you as inferior clones of Xhaka? Do tell.

  91. David Smith

    Putting Freddie there looks like a shot across the bows aimed at Emery to me,
    He will be given some time to improve things, and if he does, great, but if not, a message not to get too comfortable like his predecessor

  92. TR7

    Real could not have signed a better player than Hazard for 88M. Great piece of business. He is twice the player Coutinho is who is little more than a dead ball player.

  93. salparadisenyc


    “because they were a much better team with much better players,”

    Flawed narrative we split the points with Chelsea in the league each winning a game, finished 2 points back in the league is there a better barometer of a teams qualities than that?

    Emery bottled the end of the season underestimating a few sides notably Palace at home with a terrible lineup and he’ll have to bear the brunt of that. Along will getting mauled in the final with ill preparation.

  94. Receding Hairline

    “Interviewed by the local media last night, Edu Gaspar has taken responsibility for allowing Neymar’s father to enter the dressing room: “I was watching the game from the tribune and was informed that Neymar’s father was near the locker room. Obviously I authorised it. For him to have his father close in a time like this. I authorised Neymar’s father to enter the locker room to accompany the athlete.” (via Globo Esporte).

    The quotes didn’t go down well with journalists who are more critical about the national team. ESPN’s Mauro Cezar Pereira went heavy on Gaspar, recalling the time when the coordinator protected Neymar by saying ‘it’s hard to be him’.

    “The CBF president should not be there. There it’s the technical staff, doctors, players, professionals who are directly connected to that context,” Mauro Cezar said on ESPN Brasil.

    “Obviously he [Neymar’s father] shouldn’t be there. This is what? A mess. Who is the boss of this thing? Edu Gaspar? Edu Gaspar is going to Arsenal? My condolences, Arsenal.”

    “It’s not easy being Neymar?’ That’s Edu Gaspar. That’s Tite, the coach. These guys are subservient, bow to Neymar, to the father of Neymar, whoever it is. This situation is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”

    Someone in Brazil isn’t too impressed by Edu.

    Everyone has their views on things be it coaching appointments or player purchases, not everything comes together all at once and not everyone will be pleased at your work or lack of it as the case may be.

  95. Bamford10


    You never answered: how many new first-XI players do we need to add in order to be a legitimate top four team next season? You laughed at the idea that we need 5-6 new first-XI players — as some of us here think — but you never stated how many you think we need, nor did you identify which current players are good enough for a top-four-finishing Arsenal XI.

    Interested in others’ answers to these questions as well.

  96. Jamie

    CIES values Xhaka at between 50-70m euros! Same with Iwobi!! Ozil at 15-20m, Mkhi same. At the low end, that’s £110m for all four players. Sell, sell, sell!

    How anyone imagines we’ll be moving Mkhi or Ozil for anything more than a handshake and a smile I just don’t know.. If any of the 4 go for those prices, I’m a CIES convert!

  97. Receding Hairline

    Carl Jenkinson, Mohammed Elneny and Mavropranos those are the three names that started the famous Palace game that were not regular starters , the game Emery supposedly underestimated palace.

    Jenkinson and Mavro only lasted 45 mins, Elneny 68. These are players paid weekly to play for Arsenal football club. If they cannot be trusted at home against Palace when can we play them??

  98. Valentin

    Jenkinson against Zaha and/or Andros Townsend.
    Mavrapanos against Benteke.
    And you wonder why people think that Emery under estimated Crystal Palace.

  99. Pierre

    “Further, we lost to Chelsea as we did because they were a much better team with much better players, not because of the manager.”

    We actually best Chelsea quite comfortably a few months back…was that down to the players or the manager …..who knows.

    I would say the final was a game that could easily gone either way , I think we were marginally better in the first half , on another day could have had a penalty which would have changed the whole complexion of the game.

    Arsenal’s and the manager’s mistake is that we started chasing the game when we conceded the first goal . We should have stuck to our game plan but we allowed the game to become too open which suits Chelsea more than us .

    Consequently, a 2nd goal always looked on the cards and when it arrived ,the wheels fell off . Our discipline positionally was all over the place .

    I would say that Emery should be culpable for our 2nd half performance, unless the players on the pitch decided to do their own thing , which I doubt.

    So, I wouldn’t say we lost because of the manager though I honestly believe that Sarri set his team up better .He kept to his footballing philosophy , he allowed Hazard the freedom of the park ( a wise move) and he kept to the system he has used all season .

  100. Valentin


    People make mistakes. They rarely do it deliberately.
    We bought Xhaka because he looked good. It turns out that he was unsuited for the pace and aggression of the EPL. We loaned Suarez and same thing it turns out that he lacked the physicality to thrive in the EPL.
    When I looked at the names we are linked, none of them scream dynamism, physical holder of the ball, breaker of lines. They look like Xhaka Lite. Tidy players in slower league. Perfect in Italy and/or Spain completely unsuited to the EPL.

  101. Receding Hairline

    Valentin you always said Mavropranos should be used and now you are saying he should not have been used against a striker that hadn’t scored for almost a year?? Wonder when he can be used then.

    “Jenkinson against Zaha and/or Andros Townsend”….did they both play on the right wing?? Someone signed him here and placed him on a never ending contract, he should be played.

    “And you wonder why people think that Emery under estimated Crystal Palace.”

    Yes i do, you cannot advocate overplaying and then frown at squad rotation, you are basically speaking out both sides of your mouth

  102. Bamford10


    “Flawed narrative”

    Really? So Chelsea weren’t a better team with better players? Yeah, sorry, but that they were a better team with better players is a bit obvious. We got the result we got against them earlier in the season b/c of Emery’s excellent tactical plan for that match and because Chelsea were still figuring Sarri’s system out, not because our squad was equal to theirs.

    “notably Palace at home with a terrible lineup”

    Really. Tell me: who played in that match that shouldn’t have played? And who should’ve played in these players’ places instead? When answering this, however, be sure to look at who was unavailable for that match for this or that reason along with who was rested for that match for this or that reason.

    “getting mauled in the final with ill preparation”

    Right, ill preparation. What evidence do you have to support the claim that Emery did not prepare the team properly for that match? Please do not simply point to the scoreline; that in itself is not evidence of “ill preparation” as any number of factors could have led to the 4-1 result, including Chelsea simply being a better team with better players. To support your claim, you need to cite specific things you saw that reflected a clear lack of preparation, planning or organization.

    Genuinely interested to hear replies to all of the above.

  103. Receding Hairline

    “Receding defending the indefensibly quite poorly there.”

    If you cannot beat palace at home with just three players rotated in to the starting eleven then maybe you don’t have a squad , yes squad is the operative word not first eleven, good enough for top four

  104. Words on a Blog


    €50-70m for Iwobi?

    I’ve been one of his defenders on here, but what are they smoking over there at CIES?

    I’m beginning to wonder whether CIES is funded by football agents.

  105. TR7


    I have said it before as well but I want to reiterate that I have really enjoyed your posts this season. Except for your sometimes overzealous defense of Ozil, your analysis of our games has been spot on.

  106. Bamford10


    “was that down to the players or the manager …..who knows”

    You’re joking, right? That we won that match because we went with a smart 4-4-2 diamond with Ramsey man-marking Jorginho has been discussed by pretty much every observer on the planet.

  107. Wasi

    The Emery-out posts have to stop and we have to give the guy at least one more year.Because unless the hierarchy changes or something drastic happens EMERY IS GOING TO BE OUR COACH FOR THE NEXT SEASON.So instead of talking about how he piss his pants at the tail end of the season and cleen sweeps we should be supporting the man.He took a team that needed serious ramifications.He took in players that har become too comfortable in the previous regime.And say what you will about EMERY,THE MAN GAVE US HOPE.We actually beleived that we were going to finish in the top 4 and win the Europa league.Can we say the same about the last year, definitely not.We always thought Atletico would prove too hard for us in the EL and well the PL top 4 race was already over 4,5 matchdays before the season ended.Emery shat the bed in the final stretch because most of his players were unfit at the tail end.They haver played under a manager who demanded such high efforts in training as well as matchdays.I think we are the top of the chart in the PL running stats and nearly every player has commented on emery’s training intensity and the hard work being done on the training ground.Just look at Xhaka.He is an extremely fit sportsman who looks after his body very well.Last 2 seasons he had nearly played every PL minute as well as his country’s games and never got injured.But this season near about march even Xhaka was dealing with an injury.This year was new pastures for our players. They were ACTUALLY TRAINING and putting in a shift in the matchdays.In the 22 game run we scored a lot of lat goals because of putting in a real shift even as the match came to its closing stages.The players were working harder.And they WERE DOING THAT FOR EMERY. Next season i bet emery wouldn’t use the dame training methods at the start of the season.Because he will have learnt from his mistakes.He is now acclimated to the PL.He wont play a young and hapless midfield even against relegation fodder.He will have more emery players and less wenger players.He wont have mustafi.So instead of bitching about lets get behind EMERY.Give him one more seasons and lets go from there.

  108. Receding Hairline

    “getting mauled in the final with ill preparation”

    During the game one of Emery’s biggest critics came on here to commend the team for what he termed a brilliant first half. We then conceded thanks to Koscielny’s lack of awareness, then the response was quite good until AMN lost the ball attempting to dribble out the back, the got lazy and nudged Ozil over, the game was pretty much done and dusted then.

    We all watched the game so don’t patronize us

  109. Pedro

    Talk of the world of observers/consensus in one breath… then celebrate the line up against Palace in the next.

    Very amusing.

  110. Luteo Guenreira


    You are doing that thing again where you are dismissing a valid opinion in a huff simply cause you can’t wrap your head around it. Plenty people feel otherwise. The head to head meetings with Chelsea, the table at the end of the season, we had a golden boot winner etc can easily be considered by a lot of people, even if not by you, to be things that show the gap between Arsenal and Chelsea isn’t as cavernous as you make it sound to be. Tone it down, the cumulative quality of a squad is an objective thing and nothing to get your panties in a twist over.

  111. Pedro

    Pierre, I will echo the sentiments of TR7.

    You saw the light this year in a big way. Ozil fanboying aside.

  112. Bamford10

    Can anyone imagine our having Willian but leaving him on the bench? Yeah, Arsenal had just as much talent as Chelsea. What a joke. We had a Kante in midfield, did we? We had a Hazard in attack? We had two Spanish national team fullbacks (or equivalent)? Again, what a joke.

  113. MidwestGun

    Pedro –
    Yeah too bad Pierre decided to ignore the last 10 years before that… he only sees things when it suits his purpose. And continues to attack everyone who could see that Wenger was finished. He can take his “Le Grovellers” type comments and shove it up his azz as far as I’m concerned. Biggest hypocrite on here besides CG.

  114. Bamford10


    Sorry, but the position you’re describing as equally reasonable — our XI was just as good as Chelsea’s — isn’t actually reasonable. I realize you might disagree, which is fine. We’ll agree to disagree.

  115. gambon

    I love the way people are trying to make out Emery is in no way to blame, which is amusing considering how we ended the season:

    – Lost 5 of our last 10 games
    – Conceded 12 in our last 7 games
    – Conceded 3 or more in 4 of those 5 losses
    – Humiliated in a final

    When you bring a new manager in, the immediate results arent overly important, its the progress thats important.

    How a manager finishes a season tells you a lot more about what you can expect going forward.

    The fact is that Emery has absolutely tanked as the season came to a close.

    He absolutely fucked the domestic cups by playing his first team and putting more mileage into their legs, when he realistically should have let both cups go. We arent in a position where winning a league cup is going to help, we desperately need to get back into the top 4.

    He allowed his obsession with the EL to ruin our league season. Prioritising a competition where we were always going to have to beat Chelsea away from home at some point. I called it back last May that we would lose in the EL the second we faced Chelsea, yet Emery just couldnt see it, because its the only competition where he doesnt feel like hes out of his depth.

    If you arent worried about the outcome of last season, you should certainly be worried about the progress.

    We ended the season looking like we will finish 10th-15th next season.

    With a new manager, 11 months, 200+ training sessions and £70m spent, you would expect to be a better team in May 2019 than August 2018 – that is definitely not the case.

  116. Pedro

    Midwest, I only just got into bourbon… are you going to refuse let me drink at the bar because I ran the #BourbonOut campaign for ten years?