All eyes on Emery’s tactics

by .

courtesy @allthatchas

The final hurrah of Nacho Monreal sadly will NOT be scoring a 32-yard screamer against Spurs tomorrow. The Spanish left back will instead be heading back to sunnier climes, choosing Real Sociedad to see out his career.

I think I speak for most Arsenal fans… no… ALL Arsenal fans, even you @BREXITGOONER1 (my dad), when I say: Bit of an odd one, this.

We’re banking on Kola learning how to defend, and we’re putting a lot of chips on Tierney  1) Adapting to the league like VVD 2) Breezing past his fitness challenges of the last year.

Still, it is what it is. Nacho is getting on a bit and his hamstrings and body parts will all be a touch more brittle than in the past. I’d imagine he’s at that age when you grunt when you pick up a slipper and he’s at that age when the slipper is probably his. He’s also probably wearing those slippers to the newspaper shop as well. Age is a bitch, but damn, we’ll do it in M&S levels of comfort.

I get the logic behind not having 3 left backs as well, we can’t keep pumping money into the ether. I just thought that if anyone set a great example for professionalism at the club, it was Nacho. He never let us down. He was a true warrior. He was an excellent player.

I remember about 5 years ago, Arsenal let a bunch of us interview him. His English was a bit broken and he was asked a question about what he thought we needed.

‘Someone who can score more than 20 goals a season regularly’, then his agent whispered something to him and he backtracked as hard as his words would allow. We went off the record so as not to cause a stir. But today, I’m causing a stir because Giroud is at Chelsea and who really cares this far out?

Manchester United drew with Southampton today. A great start to a big weekend for Arsenal. Only thing that’s bothering me there is that OGS is going to end up getting sacked before Christmas if he doesn’t pick things up a little. Would love him to have the whole season. Give him a chance, Ed.

The news coming out of the Spurs camp is delightful. Poch is unhappy. His team is disrupted. He has four players angling for an exit, names like Aurier, Eriksen, Vertonghen and Toby. Their squad is finally picking up injuries, there should be no Ndombele, Dier or right back tomorrow. The press were asking if he’d leave this week.

Spurs are there for the taking.

My hope is that Emery can avoid being timid in this game. I don’t want to see us lined up with a deep block on the edge of our box. I don’t want to see us persisting with playing out the back if it looks like Spurs have that sussed. I don’t want us playing for a quick counter-attack at home.

We have the tools in our squad to play to win. Spurs are in a bit of a hole, if we gift them too much respect, we’ll make it hard for ourselves. When confidence is shaken, strike hard and strike first. Test their collective resolve.

I talk like Spurs are totally shite, chances are they’ll turn up because of the magnitude of the game. I just hope we’re positive. Emery plays with too much fear and indecision in big games. I hope that’s just Liverpool jitters… because the fans are not going to gift him a 50/50 split on tomorrow regardless of what he does tactically. It’s a must-win against a team that finished 1 point ahead of us last season.

Win this, and we’re telling the league that we’re here for the top 3 this year, lose, and you’ll start to worry if Emery has the beans to push the squad forward this season.

Our underlying stats have been poor this season. You only have to take a cursory looks across the numbers sites to see that we’re not in great shape. This from Statsbomb.

‘It’s well known that shot rates tend to increase as matches progress, so even when you see a 30-plus shot beatdown, most of the time, the shots get racked up in the second half. And that’s true here. Only four times in 2018-19 did a team reach the half time point having allowed 15 or more shots.’

That number above is quite staggering to read when you’re setting up to stifle attempts at your goal. Add to that, Arsenal has turned the ball over in their own half more than any other team in the league, and you can see a problem brewing. I say brewing because Liverp0ol was a particularly bad execution of what could be passed off as a new strategy against a new rule (I am reaching so badly for the Emeryista here).

A pal in my ArsenalMensSupport chat groups pointed out, Arsenal’s lack of expenditure at the back this summer points to a club not taking defence particularly seriously. The statistics early on this season point, mapped against last, point to a manager not capable of creating a defensive structure that can serve an elite team.

I don’t know what the exact solve is, but my amateur thoughts have led me to this:

  1. Be less predictable. If you play out the back every time, you make it easy to set up against. Being dedicated to an idea is commendable, but if it’s not working, mix things up. It shouldn’t take 80mins for a keeper to go long once. Even mix up the variety of how you do it. You can play from the back and have a more vertical approach.
  2. Do it faster. If you are slow and methodical at moving it out the back, you let teams reset, which again, makes it easy to play against you.
  3. Stop playing staff that are prone to being targeted. Xhaka is well known to be awful when put under pressure. Stop playing him.

Let’s see what Emery has in store tomorrow. He’s a tactically flexible coach, he needs to think a little deeper about what he wants from his defence this year. Hopefully, there’s a simple solution he can adopt.

In other news, Elneny is off to Turkey. Nice guy, about as useful to the squad as a motivational bus driver. Mustafi did not leave, an absolutely disgraceful indictment on his passion for the game. I really hope Emery doesn’t start using him. Keep him frozen out. Mesut Ozil also didn’t leave, he’ll be a bit part this season until he moves on to DC. Say what you will about the German, he’s at least useful.

Finally, listen to our pre-Spurs pod.

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1,818 Responses to “All eyes on Emery’s tactics”

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  1. Leftsidesanch

    I agree, Mustafi is a weasal happy to pick up his wages. Hopefully with Holding, Chambers and Luiz, Sok we don’t see any of him at all in any meaningful games this year.

  2. Luteo Guenreira

    I hope Pedro’s dad gets a boost in his followers from this LG shout out.

    Son v AMN is a worry. Defense is always a worry. But you have to expect Arsenal to turn up for this one. 3-1, Auba with a hat trick to make up for last season’s penalty miss!

  3. Guns of SF

    4-3-3 and lets blast them away
    Son is an asshole- need to keep him in check
    Moura also dangerous

    All nasty trolls

  4. Marko

    ‘Someone who can score more than 20 goals a season regularly’, then his agent whispered something to him and he backtracked as hard as his words would allow.

    Openly criticizing Wenger a big no no.

    Sad to see him go an excellent player over the years. Must be said though of the three LB’s he was always going to be the one to depart and most importantly it’s what he wanted and deserved. We should be okay luckily after the international break Tierney should be back

  5. MGooner

    Why dont we play 3 at the back? Luiz, Sok and Chambers. Kola and AMN on the wings.

    Then Ceballos deep lying midfield with Torreirra and Gwen. front 3, Pepe, Laca Auba.

    If Torreita and Gwen stabilise the midfield enough, we could even play Ozil in place of Ceballos.

  6. NJ Gooner

    Squad player.

    What’s the best formation for tomorrow? I keep seeing the pundits suggesting we leave out Ceballos in a 3-5-2 that includes Xhaka. That is worrying because it will leave Erickson in space in front of the defense. Thoughts?

  7. Un na naai


    You wanna have a pop about me shitting blood two years ago then the floor is yours.
    Water off my back.
    Was a bit distasteful before though when it quite possibly could have been serious

  8. Words on a Blog


    Not sure if it’s me or you who is hallucinating, but-if you add Leno to your formation you end up with 12 players….

  9. N5

    Dissenter sorry for late reply. I know I read a lot about Dybala being moved on, but he is such quality that I just don’t get why they would. If the only reason is not having a position for him whilst Ronaldo’s in the team then play him on the right. He’s a better out there than Cuadrado and although Bernadeschi looks promising, he’s above him and anything else in that team too.Is Ronaldo/Dybala an issue in the way Benzema/Ronaldo were an issue?

  10. Luteo Guenreira


    So not shitting blood anymore? Good on you. Smart of you to stop letting your buddies ram you there for all their stag celebrations.

  11. Dissenter

    “Mesut Ozil also didn’t leave, he’ll be a bit part this season until he moves on to DC. Say what you will about the German, he’s at least useful.”

    That last live of “Say what you will about the German, he’s at least useful”
    was to ward off Pierre’s predictable protestations and aggressive defense of Ozil..
    I have to admit that you are indeed skillful.

  12. Luteo Guenreira

    Would be amazing if Sheffield United can pull back another goal. They’ve threatened a bit these last few minutes.

  13. N5

    How does Roman get rid of Frank. That would test the supporters resolve. I don’t think they could do a Maureen on Lamps without some backlash. The fans will give him more time and consideration (I’d imagine) than any other manager.

  14. Dissenter

    Chelsea have some bad fockers though
    Kovacic and Batsuayi are really comical options to have in a team with youngsters

  15. WengerEagle

    Still early days for Lampard N5 but they sure are shipping way too many goals.

    4 goals conceded in two home matches against promoted opposition after giving away 4 at OT is piss poor.

  16. N5

    I know WE, I was just thinking longer term. If in Jan they were still pulling results like this then the owner would usually get twitchy. I just don’t think he’ll be able to behave that way with Fat Frank.

    It’s pure speculation on my part though.

  17. Luteo Guenreira


    My fanciful prediction was 3-1 with an Auba brace. With some actual consideration for the match it will probably be something closer to a 4-3 goal fest.

    My real concern is that Arsenal over the first 3 matches have not put together a single goal yet from a cohesive string of passes. Not an indictment on anyone, the squad is short I get that. Doesn’t change that fact that it’s true though, and until they start playing some actual football I’m not gonna be convinced they will be able to get the goals they need if they fall behind.

    Scoring first will be imperative in my opinion.

  18. Ishola70

    lol Zouma is on crack.

    Crack attack. Zouma’s on a crack attack. Crack. Crack. Crack.

    Why don’t you leave that shit alone.

  19. Un na naai

    Think it was related to heartburn tablets. Stopped taking them and it’s been sweet logs ever since.

    Thanks for the concern though chaps
    I’m truly touched.

  20. Guns of Hackney

    Emery’s tactics: lame.
    Monreal: who?

    When a team has been shite for a decade, those a little less than shite shine through…Nacho, alas, was one of those. Pedestrian. Didn’t make waves, nor create earthquakes, he just was.

    Good lad. Won’t make the almanac.

  21. Dissenter

    Kevin Friend was supposed to let play continue rather than blow so quickly.
    Had he not blown his whistle, VAR would have ruled out a Grealish dive and the Villa goal should have stood.

  22. Receding Hairline

    This season we are supposed to finish as the third best team, the real test is how close to City and Liverpool we finish not top four.

    We have a good team, they have deficiencies but every team has one. This is the season for Emery to show what he is made of or take a walk.

  23. MGooner

    @ Words on a Blog

    Thanks for pointing this out and waking me up 😉 I have been looking after a litter of 4 kitten for 2 days, tough job.

    My fear is that tomorrow, they’ll target Luiz and AMN in defence and Xhaka in the middle. If they do that, they will lock up our play completely.

    When we were a better team, other players would read the tactics well during the game and step up. But this team has too many weak links.

    We need a player like Parlour/Milner in the middle. MAybe not the best technically but you can go to war with them.

  24. Receding Hairline

    Long season ahead for United and Chelsea. Apparently Lampard was promised time to build his team but if they keep shipping late goals anything can happen..lots of experienced gaffers out of work

  25. Dissenter

    Lampard ought to have kept Luis just for the leadership.
    I think Abrahmovich keeps him no matter what because he’s proven that he honors promises made to certain legends like Petr Cec.

  26. Valentin

    ‘Someone who can score more than 20 goals a season regularly’, then his agent whispered something to him and he backtracked as hard as his words would allow.
    Openly criticizing Wenger a big no no.

    Nothing to do with openly criticising Wenger, more like not throwing your teammates under the bus. Remember the tantrum Olivier Giroud threw when Henry castigated him on Sky Sport. Despite Henry poor attempt at an apology, he lost his job as youth team attack coach. Wenger telling him, you cannot be a coach here at Arsenal during the week, and throwing comments like that on the weekend on TV.

  27. Leftsidesanch

    Leicester go to Old Trafford after the international break. Could be a banana skin if United don’t buck up their ideas.

    Some United fans arguing that Leicester have the more premium squad nowadays too.

  28. Un na naai

    WengerEagleAugust 31, 2019 17:13:52
    16 year old lad just equalised for Barcelona against Osasuna, name is Fati.

    Could make some great chants with a name like that

  29. Receding Hairline

    Dissenter he kept Azpiculueta for his leadership and he has been crap. Luiz had run ins with Lampard as team mates,him leaving was best.

    @Left now is not a good time for United to face Leicester, a counter attacking team who watched Palace win at old Trafford, they will be pumped up.

  30. Leftsidesanch

    Yep, can see Leicester getting something that game Receding.

    Ole has misplaced faith in Lingard and Rashford who have both been inadequate for some time now.

  31. TR7


    ‘At least Emery does tactics unlike Wenget.’

    Can’t remember a game that Emery won us using tactics. Rather his poor tactics have cost us games we should have won.

  32. MGooner

    Chav owner played his cards nicely – the fans will be patient with Lamps.

    He’ll appoint a new gaffer who will operate without ban issues next year.

  33. Words on a Blog


    Don’t worry we’ve all been there!

    Yeah, they’ll target Luiz and AMN. Hope Xhaka doesn’t play, but if he does, then he’ll be targeted too.

    Don’t know why, but as ever I don’t feel especially optimistic tomorrow, even with all the rumblings coming out of the Spuds’ camp. First trip to the Emirates this season – I missed the Burnley match as I was away….

  34. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Agree on the Nacho comments, he was a reliable team player with a good attitude, scored a few great goals for us too. Wishing him and his slippers fun in the sun with Real Sociedad

  35. raptora

    Facts so far using the simplistic yet logical thought process that each top 6 team playing at home to another top 6 team is expected 3 points for the home team, and every game of a top 6 team vs a non top 6 team is expected 3 points is as follows:

    Arsenal have won 6 out of expected 6 points. right on par –
    W (A) Newcastle, W (H) Burnley, L (A) Pool;

    Chelsea have won 5 out of expected 9 points. -4 points off par –
    L (A) Manure , D (H) Leicester, W (A) Norwich, D (H) Sheffield U;

    Manure have won 5 out of expected 12 points. -7 points off par
    W (H) Chelsea, D (A) Wolves, L (H) Palace, D (A) Soton;

    Spuds have won 4 out of expected 6 points. -2 points off par
    W (H) Villa, D (A) ManCity, L (H) Newcastle.

    A win tomorrow and we’ll be many points ahead of the competition this early in the season.

  36. Batistuta

    Should absolutely be finishing at the barest minimum 3rd this season, said it all along our direct rivals don’t have good enough squads and early days results indicate just that, if we are not at least 6/7/8 points of 5th by Late November/ Early December, I’d not be averse to a change in manager. Absolutely can’t do another season in the Europa league.

  37. Dissenter

    “Alexander-Arnold best right back in league.”

    There are many who wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you had stated that “Alexander-Arnold best right back in world”
    Such is his quality these days

  38. bennydevito

    Bleeding from the butt is no joke.

    My nephew who at 32 and 9 yrs my junior was bleeding from his ass from 18 to 28 and kept getting fobbed off with IBS and piles. It wasn’t until he suffered a severe hemorrhage at 28 and rushed to A&E and they stuck a camera up his ass that they discovered his bowel was riddled with hundreds of cancerous polyps.

    It’s spread all over his body now and there’s nothing left to cut away. He’s now in palliative care and under the care of Dorothy House. He has a 3 yr old daughter.

  39. Un na naai

    These cunts are crazy
    Die antwood from safa
    They was on that film. Chappie. Which I actually thought was quite underrated. Really liked that film
    Was like a cross between short circuit (Johnny no5-in Indian accent ) and robocop

    Incidentally I find the bird quite hot. She’s a bit ratty but it’s the gear she wears. Guilty pleasure. Little bit of chav lovin’

  40. Un na naai


    Fuck!! Sorry man, that’s awful.

    Poor little thing. No daddy. I couldn’t bear the thought of my little ones growing up without a dad.

    Fucking nhs did the same shit to my grandmother. Told her she had plurecy? Pluracy? And she had lung cancer.

  41. Dissenter

    This Liverpool team is on the process of doing something truly remarkable.
    They’ve just picked up from where they stopped last season. Now it’s 13 consecutive league wins.
    It will take city performing at the level of last season to thwart ‘Pool.

  42. karim

    Reine Adélaïde’s Lyon got the opener but an early red card put Koscielny’s Bordeaux back into the game. 1/1 final score
    Both played rather well

  43. Akilan

    Genuinely hope United take points off Leicester at OT. Leicester with Brenda could pose a serious threat to top 4. They have top 4 quality all over the pitch. Also Vardy looks like he’ll replicate his title winning form.

    There is no serious weak link in their team. Brenda can motivate and he’s a decent coach TBH. They don’t have the distraction of European football as well.

  44. salparadisenyc

    Chelsea and tub Frank fully appreciating the void Hazard has left, dude carried this side.

    Imagine if Wenger pulled him to the side instead of being gazumped by Chelsea. We win the title instead of a Vardy party I’d wager, amongst other things.

    N5 you sexy bitch, back in the fold!

  45. bennydevito

    Thanks guys,

    It’s ok, we’ve all come to terms with it. He’s been battling it for 6 years now and has lasted much longer than expected and it even stopped spreading and some tumours shrunk thanks to cannabis oils, but due to going undiagnosed for over 10 yrs it’s just a matter of time now. 2 to 3 yrs if lucky.

    Moral of the story is get yourself checked pronto if you’re bleeding out on the regular. Trouble is he led a really unhealthy lifestyle; rampant pisshead and a diet of bacon and sausages etc. It’s why I’ve given up meat and alcohol myself now for the last 3 years.

    He’s a massive gooner too and Arsenal sent him a signed squad photo and other bits a couple of years ago.

  46. Batistuta

    Dortmund and their inconsistency might give Bayern yet another league title. Hoping Leipzig can keep up their good start to the season

  47. Batistuta

    Lyon typically start well winning at Monaco and then start dropping points to stupid teams.

    Jaysus Giampolo is such a bore of a manager here in Milan, team looks lost in whatever the fuck he’s trying to do

  48. Marko

    if we are not at least 6/7/8 points of 5th by Late November/ Early December, I’d not be averse to a change in manager.


    Big lol on Dortmund and Barcelona’s results today

  49. Batistuta

    Also from the earlier discussion, big fat LOL to anyone who thinks Inter are knocking off Juventus this season because of Conte and Lukaku. Won’t happen unless by some magic reason they get Alexis Sanchez balling again. They’ll beat the teams below Torino at home and it’s that away form they’d need to do something about.

  50. WengerEagle

    Barca will soon have Messi, Suarez and Neymar as the front 3 again so doubt they’ll be losing any sleep over dropping points away to Osasuna and Bilbao tbh.

    Not like Real Madrid have started the season on fire themselves.

  51. Batistuta


    Meant we should by that time have put a good gap between us and 5th by that time of the season. We have better squads than the rest of the chasing pack. Best of the rest if you will.

    Glad barca drew even though they fucked up my ACCA today. Rooting for Athletico this season

  52. WengerEagle

    I’d sooner fancy Dortmund to go on a CL run to the Final then win the Bundesliga, no chance they’ll best Bayern over 34 matches seeing as how they failed to do so last season and Bayern have brought in some real quality this summer.

    Lowkey fancy Leipzig to finish runners up.

  53. Batistuta

    Bruno Fernandez has started the season on fire over in Portugal by the way, he’d have been quite something had United got him. Such a weird transfer window they had over there.

    Also who was the last English export that did well over here in Italy? Smalling joining the banter that is going to be Roma this season

  54. Marko

    Sarri’s so fucking weird. Absolutely loves the hole off Higuain it’s unreal. To the point that he’d happily sell Dybala too. Oh and he’s got Can, Bentacur and Rabiot and still picks Khedira and Matuidi. Ramsey injured is a shocker btw

  55. Batistuta

    It’s all in the away form for most of the 2-4 teams in leagues such as Germany, France, Italy.

    They’d easily win most home games but when they have to go away with all the atmosphere e.t.c that’s where the Bayern and Juventus just use to steam roll the league

  56. WengerEagle


    Looks to be no way back for him at PSG and Barca apparently are offering 150m plus players, would be cutting off your nose to spite your face if they declined Barca out of pride.

    I see it getting done. Barca never even wanted to sell him in the first place and it’s pretty much common knowledge that he wants to return there.

  57. Un na naai


    I’m sorry all the same. I know old Irish blokes that have smoked, eat steak and drank whisky their whole lives and never a bother. It’s unfair to select a young father.

  58. Marko

    Meant we should by that time have put a good gap between us and 5th by that time of the season

    So if we’re not 6-8 points ahead of 5ft by November December you’d bip the manager? You do know we could be more ahead by November December and still finish 5th.

  59. Wasi

    Liverpool are a beast. Klopp’s system is a beast . Their 3 midfielders arent world class alone but you put them together in a klopp system and their midfield becomes world class. Also Andy is a beast too. Probably even better than TAA. Matip has stepped up his game. Complete team this one. Gonna be a good battle with City if Liverpool first 11 dont suffer major injuries.

  60. Batistuta


    It’s super weirs the whole Neymar- Barca- PSG triumvirate. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake the whole thing is settled in the next 48hours. Wouldn’t the deal also hinge on Dembele agreeing to move to Paris?

  61. Wasi

    “Bruno Fernandez has started the season on fire over in Portugal by the way, he’d have been quite something had United got him. Such a weird transfer window they had over there”
    Though I do like him as a player i dont really know if we would do as well in the PL. Doesnt really stand out in the international matches. He might turn out good in the PL but it would be risk if someone gets him for 60m+. Spu*s wanted him couldn’t agree a pricw with Sporting.

  62. WengerEagle


    Dembele would start in a front 3 for the only elite French club along with his mate M’Bappe as opposed to being a sometimes starter at Barca now that they have Griezmann too.

    Would be surprised if he wasn’t remotely interested in a move there.

  63. WengerEagle

    For all the hype about Napoli in Italy, we really did show them to be fairly ordinary over the 2 EL legs last season.

    Expect Juventus to put them to the sword if they are in any way on their game tonight.

  64. Batistuta


    It’s just weird stuff to be honest, was a quiet one with all parties involved quietly agreeing to the deal, can’t say there were issues of unhappiness or anything on the side of Cancelo as he’d made that RB position his own

  65. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Nah. Looking forward to a comfortable Carlo Ancelotti victory. Let’s go.

    Yep. PSG is the right move for Ousmane. Mbappé has called him throughout the summer telling him to come. Tuchel loves him as well. He’ll get minutes on both wings. Less pressure and he can build up his fitness. He’s just another talented player in Spain.

  66. Dissenter

    I think you’;re failing to account for the effect of Sarri on Juventus.
    Yea, I think Inter are going to give Juventus a run, such is my admiration of Conte.

    It’s not just Juve, it’s Sarri’s Juve

  67. Marko

    Juve going to walk yet another league title this season. Literally doesn’t take much for them to be 2 up against a supposed title rival

  68. Dissenter

    I too won’t be interested in moving just to please Neymar.
    I hope Neymar delivers because he has cost Barca a lot more than money. Literally sent executives to jail and scrambled their transfer policy.

  69. WengerEagle


    Suppose Pep was a decisive factor, no contest between him and Sarri. You’d imagine he’s earning much better money too and Pep probably promised him CL football in rotation with Walker, plus he’s a good few years younger and their future RB.

    Still an odd one from a playing POV though because Juventus are such an elite outfit and he was one of the first names on the teamsheet.

  70. Akilan

    If Laporte’s injury is serious, City have a serious problem. Sane is out for the season I think but they have better players in his position and they don’t even bat an eyelid.

    Laporte is City’s best CB by far. Stones is a rich man’s Chambers. Otamendi is Otamendi. They can’t fix their CB situation from within. Laporte is no VVD but he’s just as important to City.

    Liverpool just became the favorites in my book if Laporte’s injury is long term. Dude was stretchered off.

  71. WengerEagle

    Yeah was a 19 year old footballer/Brazilian kid’s fault some fundamentally corrupt suits got hit with a lawsuit wasn’t it?

    He’s already delivered for Barcelona, there’s more pressure on Griezmann I’d argue.

  72. Dissenter

    “I thought Conte was going to take Inter to the title?”

    Yes, I believe I said the combination of Conte at Inter and Sarri leading Juventus, is advantage Inter.

    You obviously disagree, why not just say that rather than beat around the bush?

  73. Marko

    I’m not sure Kyle Walker is seen as the best RB in the premier league. Pep certainly must have doubts if he was willing to pay 60 million total for Cancelo

  74. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    My guy Carlo needs to buy a CM or two. The type that play behind the ball. They let Diawara join Roma in the Manolas swap.