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. Dark Hei

    Danny S

    Tony is right. Such an “inquest” happens because Emery wants to get his players to “reflect”.

    I.E. He blames them and he wants them to look at themselves.

    Not his training.

    Not his coaching instructions.

    And if there is a real inquest, it wouldn’t be made public, dropping conveniently to some click bait papers.

  2. Receding Hairline

    Dark Hei and what’s wrong with making a squad look at themselves?

    Are you saying our squad gave everything they had and were only let down by bad coaching?

    That’s an interesting take if so

  3. Danny S

    Who said Emery isn’t blaming himself? Has he said as much? Maybe he wants to get his players and staff opinions on every level. Maybe he wants every side of the coin.
    And maybe, he made it public because he reads public opinion and sees a load of knee jerk hot heads calling for him to be sacked and he wants to show them he gives a shit and he’s exploring every avenue in an attempt to source the issues and improve them.

    Or maybe he’s just a shit manager who hasn’t turned us into Man City in a season and he needs to go.

  4. London gunner

    Reading the transfer news seems pretty dire stuff.

    Really will be scraping the barrel with 40 million.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    Actually incorrect.

    Emery is also assessing stats to see if his fitness sessions are having an adverse effect on matches and whether he needs to change training in the day(s) before a game.

    But a lot of these players need to look at themselves.

    Too often they are allowed to hide.

    Considering the bitches we have in this team I think it’s a great idea to ask ‘what do you think went wrong then?’

    A great teaching technique is asking students to critique their own and others work and tell you. If they can see errors and areas of improvement it’s better than a teacher pointing them out everytime.

    An inquest is much better than Wengers fucking ‘we’re close’ and ‘mental quality’ statements every June.

  6. Valentin

    There is nothing wrong in having an inquest into the cause of failure but normally it is not lead by the person who was in charge of the failed project.

    Subordinates are unlikely to tell Emery to his face ‘you shat the bed with your tactics and personnel changes’. Same thing if they believe that his pet Spanish assistant is responsible.

    Under good leadership, somebody independent should investigate and then report the conclusion of the investigation to Raul. To Raul and not Emery. Raul should then transmit the relevant part of the dossier to Emery.

    The reason is that otherwise it looks like the reason can only come from the players and other departments but not from Emery and his staff. Also such investigation may reveal systemic issues between department. For example, If the report show that the players were tired, but the reason is that Emery has systematically overruled the conditioning team because his own guy disagree with them. Then Raul would need to have a proper conversation with Emery and the head of the conditioning team to make sure that there is a better relationship between them.

  7. Valentin

    From the mail link posted earlier.

    “The former Paris Saint Germain boss has spoken publicly about how much demands from his players during training sessions – and Emery may look to adapt the intensity of certain sessions to ensure his players stay fresh, while there remains concerns about an apparent mental fragility of his squad.”

    Seems like somebody is now acknowledging that maybe he should have listen to the conditioning team in that regard. The EPL is different from the other major leagues in that it is not only a lot more physical but it also does not have a winter break.

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I wonder what the product Pedro was advertising on the shoot….

    Next day rushes of …..
    Toothpaste ?
    Magazines ?

    What do you reckon it was …
    Pedro I’m sure you will give the winner done sort of prize ? Yeah if we guess right.. a mention in the blog ???

  9. Goobergooner

    I’ll tell you why I don’t want to sack Emery this summer, because I don’t think there is any way in which he has made this team his own; and I don’t want to be like city, Chelsea or man U just chopping and changing manager because other teams were just as good as them for a season.

    I know in hindsight that sounds stupid, as for them changing managers it has brought success. But if we really want this self sustaining success, we need to at least have a few seasons to build and and to keep a manager in for a time period long enough to actually show us what he can do.

    Arsenal have been bottlers for a lot fucking longer than Emery’s first season (and yes I agree this season was bottled!), But just think the Leicester winning season. Absolutely disgraceful.

    The structure at the club has been a joke for years and now when things are trying to be turned around we are just throwing our toys out of the pram because the revolution wasn’t what we all expected.

    I am all for not extending Emery’s contract if this coming season isn’t progress, but apart from our mediocre players (bar a few) staying the same, we have changed a whole backroom, surely that must mean the whole club is finding its feet again not just the squad.

    I’m disappointed how the season finished. But I am not going to say Emery can’t do better next season. I think he can.

  10. Receding Hairline

    ” I do worry that Emery needed to ask anyway at all.”

    Please shed more light on the worry part

    Is a football coach all knowing?? isn’t this a team game? Is he supposed to draw his own conclusions and stubbornly stick to it??

    Some of you are hard to shift once you have it in for someone

  11. Graham62

    Imo, the fact we came away from the season empty handed will help Emery.

    Now he knows those players he can trust and wants to keep and those that are surplus to requirements.

    Last season he had to follow a script and make do and then try and adjust accordingly.

    It will be interesting to see what materialises over the coming weeks, not only with regards player movement but also the support Emery gets from the owner/board.

    Let’s see what happens.

  12. HighburyLegend

    “and I don’t want to be like city, Chelsea or man U just chopping and changing manager because other teams were just as good as them for a season. ”

    In other words, you are far more advised than the likes of Pedro, CG, Guns Of Hackney, and so many others…

  13. Dark Hei


    Hey, he is clueless, but as I mentioned, he wasn’t being mean or cynical.

    Everyone knows why we flunked. Our football lack coherency and we relied too much on our strikers beating the odds.

    And unlike the early part of the season, we couldn’t tough it out as our fitness dropped and we lost that bit of luck.

    I don’t think our players, bar Ozil, weren’t motivated or didn’t squeeze themselves hard enough. I think they truly gave what they could.

  14. TitsMcGee

    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.”

    Anyone with non-Arsenal tinted sunglasses knows it.

    The rot started about 6-8 years ago andI’m afraid it’ll only get worse before it gets better. I haven’t thrown Emery into the “definitely not going to work” bin yet but it’s not looking like he’s the one.

    This was always going to happen though, it was wishful to think that the very next manager was going to come in and stop the rot(unless it was a Pep etc). Arsenal should have started the “healing” process about 5-6 years ago. They instead indulged a greedy man and a delusional fan base.

  15. Graham62


    I’m fine thanks, except for the weather.

    Your post was much needed.

    The last few days have proven to be a bit of a bind on here, with so much negativity directed at Emery.

    I know my harping back to Wenger infuriates so many on here, which I feel is not a bad thing, but when you move into a house that has been run down and neglected for over a decade, you know that a quick fix is nigh near impossible.

    You get the drift.

  16. Graham62


    Not enough posted on here about our “delusional fan base” or as I now like to call them “the chips on shoulder brigade”

  17. Goobergooner

    Hahaha I love the ‘post Wenger’ Wenger banter, as it riles people up so much. Good for a laugh that’s for sure and mostly true 😂

    Also I’m in Melbourne, weather is just as shit haha.

    But yeah since the final it’s been a bit sour around the club. As it should be. Absolute shit fest haha.
    But maybe I’m just more optimistic about the next few seasons and can take more shit as long as the approach is from a different perspective (aka not Wenger’s alone).

  18. Receding Hairline

    “I don’t think our players, bar Ozil, weren’t motivated or didn’t squeeze themselves hard enough. I think they truly gave what they could.”

    That you believe this is what’s actually worrying,

    “Everyone knows why we flunked. Our football lack coherency and we relied too much on our strikers beating the odds.”

    Who else was scoring regularly?? Most of you spent the season calling for two strikers on the pitch, we ended the season playing two up font and fat good it did us

  19. Goobergooner

    Pretty much my sentiments tits. Just too late of a change to expect more immediate success.

    I was actually stoked we had a shot at top 4 right til the end and were in the final

  20. siddharth14


    Well written and optimistic post.

    Yes, we are trying to put in place a structure but things like accountability and transparency do not take time to be demonstrated in public. The fact that Raul or Vinai or Josh still haven’t come with a public statement in support of Emery speaks volumes about the men at the top and the club as whole.

    Think about it, just a simple statement of support towards Emery will go a long way in addressing the dissent towards him.

  21. Goobergooner

    When your midfield maestro is xhaka you’re not going to score more than the odd long bomb from that area of the pitch. Fuck even Wilshere was more prolific

  22. siddharth14

    Dark Hei
    “I don’t think our players, bar Ozil, weren’t motivated or didn’t squeeze themselves hard enough. I think they truly gave what they could.”

    You just had lunch with Wenger or what ?

  23. Goobergooner


    I feel that the statement of support is somewhat there in their shitty interview.

    What I do agree with is that the owner and top executives aren’t what we need

  24. Dark Hei


    In other words, Emery’s football tactics, strategies and coaching are largely sound and it was the players that screwed it all up because they are Wenger’s snow flakes. And those new players recruited contacted the same malaise by being around Ozil.

    Hey, if that is what you think, I can understand why you are persevering with Emery.

    Clean out the entire playing squad. Don’t forget to fumigate the changing rooms.

  25. Dark Hei


    You didn’t know? I am have an exclusive to his next book.

    It is a fluffy and rosy take on his tenure.

  26. Receding Hairline

    “Hey, if that is what you think, I can understand why you are persevering with Emery.”

    You clearly have me mixed up with someone else, i am just a poster on le grove not the man in charge of hiring and firing at Arsenal.

    That i chose to give a manager an extra season before declaring him “hopeless” and “average” is something i am entitled as you are entitled to your sack him now stance

    That you believe that giving their absolute bests our player cannot manage home wins against Brighton and Palace is worrying, you do not need a master technician as coach to beat these teams if you do your jobs.

    I wonder whose tactics were responsible for the 21 wins in the league this season or were the players ignoring the manager then?? What has been responsible for our collapse at different stages of the season over the past 6-8 years??

  27. Dark Hei


    Personally, I think it was a combination of luck and trust in the manager that got the players through for the first 22 games.

    I don’t know what happened, but I think the players and the manager lost some spark midway through the season.

    That for me is the reason for the collapse.

    And you are right. I don’t get to “sack” Emery. Honestly, it is easy for me to sprout this shit exactly because I don’t need to sack him.

    If I had to sack, him, my big headache would be to ask Stan for some cash to get him on his way. Then I would have to find a replacement. Far easier to stick with him if Stan doesn’t give a shit.

  28. James.wood

    Professional footballers by trade or not.
    They are now on such high wages winning or losing
    the incentive to give 100% every game becomes less.
    They are going to be paid anyway a BARKING Coach
    when things are not going well will make no difference
    they are still going to be paid,
    Do you think the Goldfish is bothered if he plays or not.?

    Perhaps wage structures should be totally redesigned
    there are crap players on such high wages.
    Win bonuses etc should be more extensive make the players want to win
    the times I have seen sides just going through the motions Arsenal
    Under Wenger are prime candidates and this is slipping back in under Emery
    Same players same result .

  29. siddharth14


    That is very true but at which club do we get to witness such wimp performances on regular basis. Arsenal are champions elite when it comes to lack of desire and grit.

    I can understand such performances under Wenger’s last couple of seasons but Emery in his first season ? It’s not like we have an old squad with players approaching the end of their careers. Surely, it’s in the best interest of every player to put in a decent effort irrespective of the tactics. A lot of players obviously see themselves leaving to other clubs in a year or two.

    This is precisely, why i refuse to blame the players entirely for our struggles. Logically, i can only think of the players not being convinced by Emery or being overwhelmed with the tactics.

  30. Marc

    “Think about it, just a simple statement of support towards Emery will go a long way in addressing the dissent towards him.”

    This kind of comment shows the naivety displayed by some posters on here. How many times are managers given the dreaded “show of support” by the chairman only to be sacked a week later, it’s got to the stage where the act is almost part of the dismissal process. A few vocal posters on a blog is not enough “dissent” to get on anyone’s radar at the club.

  31. Dissenter

    Emery had the gall and audacity to play certain players contracted by Arsenal in a home game against Palace.
    It didn’t go well but the team recovered after adjustments and we were on top until another contracted player decided to have a brain fart and gift Zaha with a goal on a platter.
    For these reasons, Emery must go.

  32. James.wood

    Your comment “ surely it’s in the interest of every player to give his best
    with the view of moving on in a season or two”.
    Sorry can’t agree with that players like The Goldfish will suck the life blood out of a team as long as they retain their 350,000 a week they will have no ambition to move on their goal has been achieved.
    There are plenty of players who find themselves very comfortable whether
    They play or not ( Jenkinson comes to mind)

  33. Dissenter

    Can you imagine Emery took am risk to rest players and rotate with senior players that Arsenal have contracted.
    They knock him for that and then knock him from overplaying.

    They knock him for even seeking feedback from his players. As if that stops the director of football from doing his own interviews. The club will already have the players inputs through their agents anyways.
    We ought to just sack him and appoint a new manager.

  34. siddharth14


    That was purely my comment and i don’t think any other poster has called for Emery to to be publicly backed.

    As regards, to the act being almost part of the dismissal process; i don’t remember that happening at Arsenal in the last 10 years when people were starting to witness the fall of Arsenal under Wenger. It is naive to reference other clubs when our own club is the antithesis of the norm.

    Lastly, do you honestly believe that almost all supporters or fans who regularly go to games are convinced by Emery or Arsenal under the present scenario ? What happens if Arsenal are sitting 8th at the end of 10 games ? No doubt, it would be only some added vocal posters on the blog….

  35. Freddie Ljungberg

    People still going on about the Palace game?

    Check how many of those rotations were forced by injuries, suspensions and fatigue before you keep bleating on and on about it. Or you can keep ignoring the facts if that suits your agenda better.

  36. Bamford10


    The point is that most supporters think (lEmery is a competent, hard-working guy who did a pretty good job with an inadequate bunch and that he definitely deserves another season.

    As for an expression of support, Raul and Vinai explicitly stated in their last interview that they are very happy with Emery and wouldn’t change a thing.

  37. CG

    I see The Loosers are out in force- in full entrenched mode.

    Backing this Looser Emery.
    ( no wonder they cant see his inadequacies- they clearly have their own to navigate on a daily basis)**

    Emery- the man who has failed everywhere he has been ( except the Wretched Loosers Cup) fails again in his first season at Arsenal.

    If Arsenal pull out any tough fixtures early on next season.

    Do not be surprised for Drubbings.
    Juicy ones….

    When will the fine people on here- realise the players dont Rate him.
    Nor Respect him
    Nor like him.

    We have lost 5/10 ( including a 4-1 final hammering in HIS tournament).

    Its unsalvergable.
    He is head Coach in name only.

    Tick Tock and a very good afternoon.

    ** with the greatest respect.

  38. Champagne Charlie


    Oh so Emery was just taking necessary risks as a manager with “contracted players”, so what’s the fuss?

    You’re the most contrarian poster going.

    Imagine trying to argue that a manager making poor decision after poor decision shouldn’t be critiqued because he was merely taking risks with club employees 😂😂

  39. CG


    “”””As for an expression of support, Raul and Vinai explicitly stated in their last interview that they are very happy with Emery and wouldn’t change a thing.”””

    And we must never Forget their Words.
    They are even more culpable than useless Unai.

  40. Bamford10


    What were all of these many “poor decisions”? Please list some of them. Also, please tell us the XI he should have deployed against Palace & why. If you can’t do these things, your criticism is nothing more than empty hot air.

  41. Valentin

    I don’t think that the Emery Out Brigade is the minority. The Emery Knows Best are just the most vocal in their support.

    Even if the EOB was the minority, that does not mean that they would be wrong. The Wenger Out Brigade was initially in the minority before it became evident to everybody that by refusing to change he was impairing Arsenal. In the end he was removed from his post for the good of the club.

    I have no doubt that bar a miracle Emery will not be in charge of Arsenal at the beginning of the season 2020-2021. Why prolonging the agony?

  42. Dissenter

    Emery rotated key players with contracted Arsenal players who have trained with the squad all season.
    What’s so contrarian about that. You’re the one who always maintained the squad was good enough.
    You must consider yourself part of a rapid fire-quick response anti-Emery squad on legrove because you’re quick to rebut any post that’s remotely balanced about the manager.

  43. Bamford10


    Seven more points than the previous season, one place higher in the table, eleven points closer to fourth and our rivals.

    That’s improvement.

    This ship was never going to be turned around in one season, and your commentary reads like someone who is a little unhinged.

  44. Dissenter

    Whats the risk in playing Jenkinson against Palace at home?
    Shouldn’t that be a routine rotation given that the squad is good enough is you’ve followed the railings of agenda-Charlie all season?

  45. Champagne Charlie


    Your ridiculous assertion completely overlooks squad management and assumes all players are ready and able for the task at hand. Clearly not the case.

    A lot of the younger players never got appropriate minutes through the season to garner a start, other players were overloaded, but above all that we never had any tactical acumen in the home stretch, we looked bereft of ideas and totally exposed to each teams attacks.

    That in itself flips on its head the idea Emery prepares on a game by game basis, given that’s not arguable it’s pretty clear his performance as manager was dire coming home. You’re desperately trying to diminish the responsibility of the manager by stating he took risks (alluding to us wanting that from a manager) with contracted players (alluding to them supposedly being ready and able).

    It’s this really contrived nature of rewriting the end of the season that’s pretty intolerable. We capitulated, and any manager in that position would be heavily criticised for being unable to…..manage…the situation and navigate his team through. So boringly obvious to anyone that’s followed football for quarter of an hour.

  46. CG


    Dont kid a kidder.
    Dont be delusional.
    Be honest with Yourself, man

    He is hopeless.
    He is problem creator not a problem solver.

    He cant communicate
    He is a bore
    He is uncharismatic
    He has appalling teeth.( No excuse nowadays-Excellent cosmetic dentistry in Cape Town and cheaper than mainland Europe)

    He has a track record of Failure.
    He will Fail at Arsenal
    Because that’s Unai Emerys MO

    Truth Hurts…

  47. Bamford10


    One, that the Emery-out brigade is a tiny minority is an obvious fact. Two, I’d point to AST polls, or supporter polls, or Twitter polls, but none have even been run because no one regards this as a serious question.

  48. Dissenter

    Maybe we should appoint the all knowing Valentin as assistant to the footballing director.
    I’ve never seen anyone make so major deductions from perusing the daily star. Most people read the daily star for laughs, Not so much Valentin.
    -One day the story is that Meunier hates Emery so much that he reported him to the PSG hierarchy.
    -The moment the story broke that Emery had been trying to convince Meunier to come to Arsenal, Valentin conveniently broke the new story…oh Emery and Meunier did make up after all.

  49. Bamford10


    “Shouldn’t that be a routine rotation given that the squad is good enough … ?”

    You might have been alluding to this, but let’s recall that Charlie is one of those (few) who has been arguing that the squad was good enough this season.

    Then turns around and criticizes Emery for using that squad.

    Now arguing that a Jenkinson should have been played more. Hilarious.

  50. Dissenter

    Individual errors from the same BS players cost us in 3 in 3 of the last 4 games.
    Leicester away- AMN’s casual loss of the ball and stood reaction to recover it. He then went on to hug the guy who got him sent off before trudging off the field.
    Crystal Palace at home- whatever you think of the starting selection. The game was being redeemed after the half tie adjustments. Ozil equalized and was having the game of his life. We were all over palace and we on course to win the game until Mustafi showed up…individual error.
    Brighton at home; the story of Mykhi that cannot complete a routine 2-yard pss and Xhaka who is irredeemably stupid. …individual error.

    You obviously don’t believe in individual errors or players that aren’t good enough..
    Based in your flawed world view , Pep should have kept his geriatric full backs and just bettered them.

  51. CG

    The Emery Backers would have a lot more credence to their arguments- if Emery had a track record of success previously.
    He has not.

    He has failed before
    He failed this season
    He will fail until his inevitable sacking.

    10000000% certain – he will be gone by the turn of the year.

    5 defeats out of 10 = relegation form.


  52. Bamford10


    Well, he might be replaced next summer. No doubt. But if we finish with seven more points next season than we did this season and a place higher in the table, he will have secured us CL football and and he will have helped us to rebuild and refashion ourselves after the debacle that was Wenger’s last few years. And that’s his only remit at moment.

  53. HighburyLegend

    CG, why don’t you just buy the club ?? At least we wouldn’t have to deal with you on Le Grove anymore…

  54. Danny S


    Are you ok? Your ramblings are genuinely concerning.

    I’m not sure how you think you are coming across but it certainly isn’t coherent.

  55. CG

    High Leg

    Answer The Question, dear boy.

    Its straightforward enough

    The whole of Le Grove is waiting ….

  56. Graham62


    “Looser” and “10000000%”……………!!

    Thanks for the lesson.

    Oh yeh and buy the way, we get it!

    If he’s gone by the end of the year, so be it.

    Somehow though, I don’t think that will happen.

    Do you like cricket?

  57. Champagne Charlie


    We were demolished at Leicester, we had the least possession in the first half in PL history and didn’t create a thing. The fact you’re trying to put that game down to an error is laughable.

    Also, football games are littered with errors and micro-errors. An error doesn’t account for us conceding 9 goals in 3 games. That’s setup and management. That’s lineup and selection.

    What you’re doing is going to embarrassing lengths to absolve Emery. It’s the classic ‘this little thing had such a profound impact’ routine to detract from the reality that our bed was covered in shit come end of season.

  58. Receding Hairline

    “I have no doubt that bar a miracle Emery will not be in charge of Arsenal at the beginning of the season 2020-2021. Why prolonging the agony?”

    What agony really?? A season that ended two points off third place and a cup final??

    What miracle..a title win?? Yea right

    A top four finish?? not really a miracle seeing as he was two points off third in his first season … what exactly are you on about?

    The only vocal emery outers are wenger loyalist doing what they think is payback and some who have been convinced we are one special sauce manager away from being the best team in Europe

  59. Graham62


    “If I was in charge of Arsenal” I would have sacked Wenger ten years back and then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    Don’t you agree?

  60. Receding Hairline

    If our standards were so lofty as a club Wenger would have been sacked 10 years ago

    Now his most vocal supporters, even one that has listed him as the man to lead the rebuild, want Emery out after one season, yes one season.

    And they have their xG and xGa’s to back it up…

  61. Gentlebris

    Anybody has information about Ozil and Xhaka?

    Not a chance you convince me this team moves forward carrying those liabilities.

  62. Graham62

    Actually, after much deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s important to have someone like CG on here.

    It’s like flicking through the TV channels. Eventually you’ll come across a rerun of “Wile E Coyote and The Road Runner”

    Just keep at it CG, you’ll catch us out one day.

  63. up 4 grabs now

    Anybody has information about Ozil and Xhaka?

    yes there bloody awful and you forgot mustafi as well.

  64. up 4 grabs now

    after watching England defend last night CG are you still wanting Gareth Southgate to replace emery?

  65. Valentin


    You keep making those snarky dig at people and when they retort you complain about it.
    You should learn to disagree with people without resorting to cheap tactic. That say more about you and not in a positive way than the subject of your dig.

  66. Receding Hairline

    “Those links make sense considering Andersen’s biggest asset is his long-range passing ability from the back, with the Denmark international’s raking diagonal passes out to the flanks from both feet very much a feature of Sampdoria’s build-up play last season. Andersen’s ability to distribute the ball effectively over distance is highlighted by the fact that Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic was the only outfield player to complete more accurate long passes (229) than the Sampdoria defender (188) in Serie A last season, according to Whoscored. Considering his tendency to launch long balls forward, Andersen’s overall pass accuracy rate of 88.8% is impressive. That percentage was the highest in Sampdoria’s squad last season for any player with more than five appearances.”

    Interesting take on Andersen

    After my misgivings i decided to read up on the two players and see what their strengths are

  67. Receding Hairline

    “In terms of actual defending, Andersen relishes one-on-one duels, although he does have a tendency to get too tight to opposition forwards resulting in fouls given against him, similarly to Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopolous. Last season, he was booked seven times in the league. For a defender with a 6’4 frame, Andersen is also not as dominant in the air as you might expect either, as he won 75/139 (53%) of his aerial duels last season. In contrast, the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi, who incidentally made his name at Sampdoria, won 123/185 (66%) in the Premier League.”

    Now the negatives

  68. Bamford10

    Still can’t identify or discuss any specific mistakes, still can’t identify or discuss any of these many alleged errors. Still speaking in empty generalities. Like I said, nothing but empty hot air.

  69. Valentin


    Having 7 more points does not guarantee that we will be finishing in the top 4. Other teams may improve by more than us.

    ManUtd has decided to correct their recruitment mistakes. They are going with young hungry English players with potential. Players who see playing for ManUtd as an objective not as a stepping stone.

    Chelsea will be forced to use their loanees. Some of them may reveal themselves to be quite good. They and ManCity have had the best academy system for quite a few years now. However Chelsea never gave them any opportunities. The ban may be a blessing in disguise for them.

  70. Receding Hairline

    “Although Andersen could tighten up certain aspects of his game, he reads the game well, has an excellent passing range and possesses good physical attributes for a Premier League central defender. At 23, he should only improve playing in a better team with regular exposure to a higher quality league.”

    Now with a little positive

  71. matt foley

    there are very good reasons to think that emery isn’t that great and should go, even now. personally, i don’t think there’s much to be gained from changing now, but it’s a rational position given some analysis beyond the points improvement and proximity to fourth place, especially when chelsea and spurs had collapses of their own, which makes the race closer than it probably ‘should’ have been.

    7amkickoff does a quality work on this

    emery had at least some influence over the 70m we spent, and had a full preseason. we fluked the 22 game unbeaten run because our conversion rate for xg was abnormally high. we weren’t creating more chances. we reverted to mean and nosedived. in fact, the form was midtable at best. and actually, many of our stats are at all time premier league lows (or highs depending) as in creating less and conceding more. the additional points – the ‘improvement’ – were from relegation teams and came during the unbeaten run.

  72. Receding Hairline

    “Praet’s manager in each of his three seasons in Italy, AC Milan’s rumoured next appointment Marco Giampaolo, has utilised the Belgian in a deep-lying playmaker role on the right side of his default 4-3-1-2 system, therefore restricting his freedom to break forward. Although his underlying statistics of two goals and three assists in 34 Serie A appearances last season do not particularly jump out, Praet did rank top for chances created (39) and dribbles completed (37) in Sampdoria’s squad, highlighting both his playmaking abilities and good close control. A neat and tidy midfield player, it isn’t hard to see why Praet earned a trial at Arsenal during the Wenger era nearly a decade ago while his fruitful partnership alongside Lucas Torreira in Sampdoria’s engine room for two consecutive campaigns is perhaps a factor behind their renewed interest under Emery.”

    A little on Praet

  73. Bamford10


    Two things: one, I don’t know why you haven’t noticed this yet, but no one uses the @ convention here. You can drop it. Just type the poster’s name.

    Two, if anyone is guilty of trafficking in snide remarks rather than arguments, it’s Pedro, gambon and Champagne. No one else here is even close.

  74. Receding Hairline

    One thing you are consistent with Valentin is your faith in “academy football”.

    You seem to believe hunger and youth are all the ingredients you need to build a winning squad, experience and actual ability matters very little to you.

  75. Bamford10


    That’s why I said “and one place higher in the table”. I wasn’t assuming the one necessarily means the other.


    Right, but if Spurs and Chelsea —teams with better players and good managers — both had their own “collapses,” doesn’t that suggest that our “collapse” might have an explanation other than “the manager isn’t good enough” or “the manager doesn’t know what he’s doing”? Yes, it does.

  76. Gentlebris

    Let’s face it.

    What you get with an elite manager is priceless, and for club to hire one shows ambition.

    You don’t think a club will go for Pep if they are not intending to win.
    So when a club goes for an elite manager, that alone mean the fans can trust in the process.

    But when you hire a manager sacked elsewhere for poor performance and he bottled a job in his first season here, given that Arsenal was already a joke under Wenger, any serious supporter should feel uncomfortable immediately with the situation.

    If we had hired an elite manager and this happens, that’s when we can sit back and vote for our elite manager to be given a chance to actually assemble his team and go again.

    As it stands, you wouldn’t blame a guy if he thinks Emery will fail again. And if that should be the case, then too bad for Arsenal. Because the hierarchy will now begin to do next season what they should be doing as I write, hence, another season wasted.

  77. Champagne Charlie

    “Two things: one, I don’t know why you haven’t noticed this yet, but no one uses the @ convention here. You can drop it. Just type the poster’s name“

    Imagine being this sort of a person. No wonder this absolute fruit gets banned and bombards Twitter.

  78. Gentlebris

    ‘yes there bloody awful and you forgot mustafi as well.’

    I can’t understand why I kind of like Mustafi, he’s an error producing machine I know.
    But his physicality seems to win me.

    Good offer, we sell.

  79. Receding Hairline


    The issue of “failure” at a former job is a bit subjective

    Emery was hired by PSG with the sole aim of progress in the champions league. they really didn’t care for anything more, PSG had a possible ten competitions they could have won under Emery, they won seven of those.

    You mentioned Pep, will you also call him a failure for failing to win the champions league at Bayern??

  80. Receding Hairline

    “Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly prepared to pay €25 million (£22 million) to sign Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen.

    Tuttomercatoweb claim the 2019 Champions League finalists are ready to act on their long-standing interest in the player, after north London rivals Arsenal saw a bid rejected for the player.”

  81. gunnermjj

    It is my fucking annoying colleague’s last day today, never has there been such a consensus that someone had been so unbearable and made everyone question pastures new…and it gave me an idea…

    Arsenal should sign Troy Deeney!

    Sit Troy & Mesut down and explain to Mesut that Troy is not going to leave his side for the next two years. We will pay Troy Deeney £1,000 for every time he shouts “where are you’re fucking Cojones!” at Mesut Ozil.

    Early forecasts predict Troy will be the highest paid “footballer” of all time. Troy is to record each shout of Cojones! to be live streamed on

    They will train together (separately from the squad), bunk together, sit together on the coach and on the subs bench. The club will rent the house next door to Mesut for Troy to live in, who will have a loud speaker all night, similar for any holidays. When Mesut is playing Fortnite Troy will break in and smash every TV in the house with his blockhead.

    Ozil will beg to be released or deemed insane (contract voided) within a week, at which point we tell Troy to go play with the traffic.

  82. Pedro

    Bamford, if you continue to incite trouble, you will be binned. I literally have people texting me about some of the nonsense you’ve been bringing to the blog.

    Address your shocking tone and behave.

  83. CG


    “If I was in charge of Arsenal” I would have sacked Wenger ten years back and then we wouldn’t be in this mess.Don’t you agree?

    I would put him in charge as Dof and Tech Director tomorrow

    And appoint Patrick Vieria as head coach.

    If anyone thinks Wengers Arsenal race has been Run……I would think again.

    These clowns currently in charge will see to it.

    Who is Josh going to call – when Raul and Vinai are ousted….?

    Wenger is waiting….
    Wenger wants Arsenal….
    A reunion is far from improbable.**

    An Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal will always be Box Office.

    ** Graham – if this does happen.
    Please seek medical and psychiatric treatment urgently….

  84. Guns of Hackney

    £130m for a 28 year old. No.

    Real Madrid has been a graveyard for players over the years and I suspect that Hazard will also fall foul of Real’s ability to chew and spit out players.

    At 28 he will have to hit the ground running, so no time to adjust to a new country, language and playing style. Not to mention the crowd…this is a crowd that booed Ronaldo after the man had scored 400 goals for them.

    I do not doubt Hazard’s ability – he’s a wonderful footballer but I can’t help thinking that Chelsea will do better out of this than Madrid.

  85. Receding Hairline

    Let it go Bamford

    Pick your battles

    “Two things: one, I don’t know why you haven’t noticed this yet, but no one uses the @ convention here. You can drop it. Just type the poster’s name.”

    The above was very unnecessary and one of the reasons you have issues here

    Some posters here enjoy your posts. why not just concentrate on exchanges with them and avoid the confrontations

    You cannot come on Pedro’s blog and accuse him of snide remarks, it’s his blog.

  86. Biggles

    I’m wondering if Bamford had a post deleted or something. Because “empty hot air” seems rather less offensive than an awful lot of other stuff. Maybe Pedro has compared IP addresses and Bamford has another account…

  87. gambon

    Bamford has to be one of the saddest individuals in this world.

    Just so angry at everyone for not agreeing with his views.

    A few weeks ago he was tweeting me at about 9am, which mustve been 4am his time to pull me u on stuff he doesnt agree with.

    Mental. Absolutely mental.

  88. Guns of Hackney

    Can anyone fill me in on why Bamford has replaced me as public enemy No.1?

    Was Dissenter disgusted?

  89. Words on a Blog

    So far, over at Arsenal FC:

    No announcement of Emery’s sacking has been made.
    No existing players have been sold or transferred.
    No new players have been acquired.
    Lots and lots of questionable reports about player departures and acquisitions.
    complacent inertia, as usual.

    Meanwhile, over at Le Grove CS (Comments Section)

    Raging disputes over whether Emery has to go.
    Raging disputes over which players need to go.
    Raging disputes over the interpretation of statistics
    Raging disputes over the quality of rumoured incomings.
    Muted disputes over rumoured outgoings.
    Insults and snarky comments, as usual.

  90. Guns of Hackney

    Woah…I am so offended by Gambon’s heinous comment.

    Where’s Dissenter when you need an over the top reaction to some words?

    Still, better than discussing our stupid football club.

  91. Words on a Blog


    Not a criticism of the blog, more of a compare and contrast between the urgency of tone here relative to the apparent (lack of) urgency at the club.

    Thought I’m sure Raoul is working very hard.

  92. Biggles


    Whisky certainly makes being an Arsenal fan more tolerable.

    I’ve found that whilst I do love my Islay single malts (peatier the better, Ardbeg Supernova remains my all time favourite) they are harder to drink vast quantities of. A nice blend like Monkey Shoulder is definitely the one for watching an Arsenal game…

  93. Graham62

    England Football supporters abroad and England ignorants abroad, are all one of the same.

    Total fudging embarrassment and it’s time it stopped.

    These folk should be rounded up, named and shamed, passports cancelled for 5 years and banned from attending all future sporting/social events………..anywhere.

    I include the “binge drinking / stag and hen party brigades” in this.

    Learn to respect? Unfortunately, this lot will never learn.

    Imbeciles, the lot of them.

  94. Gentlebris

    Danny S.
    ‘What ‘elite manager’ would you have appointed?’

    When the job became available, the media threw up names. Emery was hardly mentioned. That tells you something.

    And if the situation became so drunk, and it was strictly between Emery and Arteta.
    Then Arteta.

    Emery was known, not elite. Arsenal was a chance for him to prove he could be among. So far, chance bottled.

    But Arteta.

    Imagine if Barca didn’t have the gut to throw Pep in those years back.
    Barca was the only one who should trust Pep, not Bayern, not Madrid; because it was one of their own, and they did. They trusted the never tested inexperienced unknown guy, look what we have today.

    It was our role to trust our own never tested inexperienced unknown guy, but no, Gazidis had not enough ball to see it through.

    Imagine Pep ducking out of City at some point, and Arteta is left with the job and the guy blows!

    ‘And we almost sign him” sobs again.

    Emery profile promised nothing, an unknown guy promises everything or nothing, but you will have your shot at ‘everything’ if you dare.


    Yes physicality…. running around, heading the ball and making himself obvious. Or how do you define physicality? Biting off opponent’s ear?

  95. Graham62

    Another thing.

    How come so many people can find time to get off work to attend all these things?

    Self employed? Rich? Income support? Disability allowance?

    What is it?

  96. Jamie

    Biggles –

    ” they [Islay malts] are harder to drink vast quantities of”

    I accept your challenge!

    I haven’t tried the Ardbeg Supernova, but if I see a bottle, I’ll grab one. Truth be told, I’m old school. I look for specific age statements on bottles (>18). Far too many single malts aren’t age-specific these days, and are given silly names instead. It’ll be years before the distilleries replenish their aged stocks. Clearly, I’m being too snobby and should give non-age-statement whiskies a try.

    p.s. I’m all about the peat too. And smoke. I’m a member of the Whisky Society, and when you choose a nip from the menu there, they’re ‘unbranded’, so you never know specifically what you’re drinking, only the region from where it was distilled. I had a nip of peaty whisky there once that literally smelt like a cow field. It was absolutely incredible.

  97. þorkell einarsson

    When talking about young talent at Arsenal, lets not forget about
    Krystian Bielik who is on loan at Charlton ..

  98. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers,

    I read a report in the daily mail the other day that stated Wenger didn’t want Mustafi and thought he wasn’t good enough defensively and that Gazidas overruled him.

    If true I hold high hopes that he will sign for Milan and that we may even recoup the whole £35m.

    Let’s hope so.

  99. bennydevito

    Joke Friday.

    The Left are anti fascist.

    Never seen such a bunch of rabid out of control hooligan thugs in all my life.

    Sorry, football only but really needed to get that off my chest.

  100. Gentlebris

    It’s just a group of aliases talking on a football blog. Not that person A can actually take a dagger to person B at some point.

    So re Bamford, I don’t understand.

    And really, what makes this place interesting to me is the pepper in some of the lines.

    But is Pedro’s blog, Pedro’s rules.

  101. Biggles


    I can’t speak for all named whiskies, but certainly the Ardbeg ones are picked for a particular flavour profile that is less age dependent and more barrel dependent. Supernova has more than twice the peat levels of say a regular Ardbeg 10 year old. They’ve done a couple of re-releases of it at this point. Definitely a niche flavour, can also highly recommend Uigeadail and Corryvreckan, both of which are bit easier. My last unopened bottle of Supernova is one of the original 2009 bottles. Thought about saving it for the birth of the first born, but hanging on to it for us to win the Champion’s League.

  102. matt foley


    Right, but if Spurs and Chelsea —teams with better players and good managers — both had their own “collapses,” doesn’t that suggest that our “collapse” might have an explanation other than “the manager isn’t good enough” or “the manager doesn’t know what he’s doing”? Yes, it does.

    i said ‘collapses of their own’, which, while true, wasn’t especially important because the whole point of the article was not that we had collapse, as such, but that we were pretty bad all year, and it was papered over by the unbeaten run.

    the streak was actually an aberration in which we were scoring more goals than we should have been. in short, our creativity was down, but we were still scoring.

    this was unsustainable, and we eventually crashed to earth.

    emery’s plan, probably from the beginning, was to fix our leaky defense by sacrificing our offensive chance creation etc. by implementing a system that succeeded in only doing one of those things (and i hope you know which).

    most of the stats other than ‘closeness’ to rivals were as bad or worse than last year. some are record-level bad, like the concession of goals and big chances, especially relative to our own. and like i said already, the points we improved by can be said to have come from relegation clubs that we did a little better against during the unbeaten/lucky streak.

    as to your other point, spurs and chelsea collapsed for their own reasons. you seem to be suggesting that their ‘unlikeness’ to us implies that we can draw some conclusion from that.

    it doesn’t really matter why they collapsed.

    i’m disputing the implication, that we are somehow better because they were also bad – on the surface it appears as though we’re closer to our (lowest) goal.

    however, just to address your argument, are chelsea and spurs are so unlike us that they couldn’t suffer from the same problem? i could easily argue that their managers may have been at least partly responsible for their season-ending performances. maybe the managers were not really all that great after all, were unused to the league, didn’t get along with the players, were focused on winning something big.

    and just to reiterate, i don’t think i would make the decision to be rid of emery now. he’s not the only problem, but we’re comparing this year to last year, different manager, a lot of the same players, maybe even some improvement in terms of player quality. once you start digging deeper than points and 5th place, things are actually much starker than it would seem, and a lot of that is simply down to the system we were playing.

    hopefully, he figures it out this summer and next season.

  103. Elmo

    If we’re really in for the two lads from Sampdoria, what does it say about us that we’re looking to the 9th best team in Italy for the quality to improve our first XI?

    Or are Sampdoria to us what Southampton were to Liverpool?

  104. gambon

    Think Carrasco could be a great signing, but im not exactly sure about it.

    Wouldnt have been on my list

    Looks like it might be happening.

    Certainly gives us something we really dont have. Will be up there with Zaha as the best dribbler in the PL

  105. Graham62


    Don’t believe everything you read.

    In any case, what did Wenger know about defence?


  106. Graham62

    Just been to see my son and his fiancé in their nice new flat.

    Has a framed poster of Alexis Sanchez in the hallway.

    Good on him.

  107. Guns of Brixton

    Was rejecting the very notion of us gettimg Carrasco back in January.

    Thru him in the same boat as Perisic and Denis suraez.

    I assumed then we would at least get 4th with UCL footie guaranteed.

    Now, we are in a rock and a hard place I would snatch him up in an instant 😂😂😂

    I would prefer Zaha tho.

  108. Cesc Appeal

    I agree that Carrasco is either going to look like a genius move or he’s going to be totally off it in which case the EPL is the worst thing that could happen to him

  109. Marc

    Too many on here manage to be both hypocrites and snobs regarding bringing players we are linked to. One minute we should be looking for bargain’s in the lower leagues, the next someone playing for a mid table team in one of the top 5 divisions in Europe is us bringing in no hopers.

    I won’t even go into the ones who think we can promote the entire youth team to get us top 4.

  110. Champagne Charlie


    Yea it’s a risky one, but that’s what we need to do in our position so can only hope the variable due diligence has been done on him.

    Personally I hold a reservation of his physical adaptation to the league week in, week out. He’s technical as you like, but looks powder puff whenever I’ve watched him. Also the attitude to him top level Euro footy at 24/25 is worrying.

    But he’s a 60 mil player if it works.