4 areas of improvement that will guarantee trophies

by & filed under News Review.

I’ve spent the last year getting hammered by you lot in the comments section for my rational disdain for our manager, now things are clicking for people, I’m being told that I have not had a consistent view on Emery. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Someone was so angry they called me a melon shagger. Even our trolls are Waitrose levels of middle-class.

‘Pedro, you’re the sort of guy that secures the bottom button on a waistcoat. I bet you take Aldi’s ‘wine of the month’ to dinner parties and start a conversation piece about how the sommelier game is one giant margin driven ruse. You probably think Barolo plays as a wingback for Brescia, you ingrate bespawler’

I’ve had it with the internet.

I watched the horror show of Watford back again. I liken it to clicking a Whatsapp group chat video from your mates that are builders. Always deeply regrettable.

A few things stood out that could be fairly quick fixes.

Topline, massively oversimplified, but here goes.

Speed:

We are very slow. Did you own a Nintendo Wii with the tennis game back in the day? Did you ever give it to your Grandma to have a crack? When I watch us play out the back, that’s what we look like. We take an age to set up perfectly. Then we missile the control pad into the Baccarat Crystal and Bronze D’Ore Chandelier. Amirite, trolls?!

We transition the ball in a very one dimensional way. It’s almost too choreographed to work. We have good players, so the system will always create goals, but I’m not we’re optimising our approach. This squad, with the right system, should be delivering 90 goals.

We need more urgency in our build-up, we need to move the ball with more purpose, and we need to mix things up so it’s not easy to counter.

Variety:

We are easy to set up against because we do the same thing over and over. We shit the bed in the first half when Matteo lost the ball from one of those new-age goal kicks. Then we repeated the feat in the second half when Sokratis couldn’t even find a player on the edge of the box.

We are practising a new approach in-game and it feels like a brand new endeavour every time we try it. When Pep came to City, his ways looked clunky, 4 months in and it looked amazing. We are a year in, we’ve signed two ball-playing centre backs, we have a sweeper keeper and we have midfielders who should be able to create space and turn under pressure. The approach has never looked worse. I am not against new ideas unless those ideas are costing us goals and making us look like utter fustylugs.

Part of the reason it looks so bad is we do it over and over. We need to mix things up when they’re not working. Cleverly spoke to James Olley at The Standard and basically said they knew how we’d play, but they were shocked that when we’d been sussed, we didn’t change.

Structure:

Norwich are the hot thing at the minute. Who knows if their success will last. What we do know is they have a philosophy and a vision of what they want to do. Their passing out the back was brilliant at the weekend. They beat City’s press really well and they moved the ball at pace. They had a midfield that sat in front of the ball. Players dropped deeper in the box. Everyone knew their role. They play like a new Premier League team, and sadly, they are currently playing the way I suspect Emery would like to.

A few differences. Arsenal offered no midfield protection to the back 4 at the weekend. Xhaka was supposed to be the pivot, but he was all over the place. Matteo and Ceballos were not being led, they careened up the pitch, or panicked and dropped deep into the backline.

Where was our captain instructing them to occupy the space in front of the defence? How did management and the senior players not address the blitzkrieg of shots that showered our goal? It’s staggering how bad the on-pitch management was on Sunday.

Pressing:

When I first wrote about Emery’s hiring in two widely panned posts (day 1 / day 2)… now both classics, I wrote this pearler.

‘He’s a manager who makes players go to war for him, and I’m telling you, we’ll see a massive improvement in the effort, attitude, and footballing output.’

This felt true, especially during the first 4 months. The players ran further and appeared to have grown some balls.

Where has that gone? Our players look lethargic and we do very little pressing. I thought that was a speciality of his? Our players seem to be letting bad things happen to them. Watford was a disaster, we let them get at us and we collapsed. No leadership, very little fight and a capitulation.  These are Emery’s players now, how they behave on the pitch is down to him, because if players weren’t up his standard, he’d have them out by now.

We need to get back to working harder, running further and being a menace on the press.

I’m not saying I have all the answers here, but I am pretty certain if he sorted the above we’d win the league.

Let me know what you think in the comments, melon shaggers. xx

P.S. Help a fellow gooner.

459 Responses to “4 areas of improvement that will guarantee trophies”

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  1. Valentin

    People keep repeating the tired excuse giving the benefit of the doubt and if you didn’t you are an AKB.
    Would you give Sam Allardyce or David Moyes the benefit of the doubt if tomorrow one of them was to replace Emery?
    Or would you say from the appointment that it is a mistake?

    People were so happy to see the back of Wenger, that they lost all sense of judgement. A quick look on the forum of his previous clubs would have reveal some serious issues with him. A repeated lack of success/progress in leagues with all his clubs bar PSG. And at PSG he finished runners up despite having the biggest budget.
    We hired the Spanish version of David Moyes. That was an avoidable mistake.

  2. Gentlebris

    ‘I very much doubt fans want us to lose games to force Emery out, Bojangles.’

    Whatever takes us forward is welcomed by me. We continue this
    embarrassing lukewarmness under Emery and miss top 4 eventually or we lose a couple games in a row, Emery gets shown the door and the new guy gets us top 4. Which would you prefer?

  3. Valentin

    Most people who want Emery out don’t want Arsenal to lose more games because it will be making it even more difficult for his successor to achieve top 4. We want Raul and Edu to be decisive.

    What I find very difficult to stomach is the sheer hypocrisy of some who were publicly wanting to lose games under Wenger to speed up his demise.

  4. Gentlebris

    ‘Most people who want Emery out don’t want Arsenal to lose more games because it will be making it even more difficult for his successor to achieve top 4. We want Raul and Edu to be decisive.’

    Unless the results get seriously ugly, Raul can’t act, he doesn’t have such power. If Emery wins some lose some he will not be fired, Raul will have to wait until Emery fails the top 4 target before he could have a genuine reason for firing him. Only the owner could say ‘fuck this is not the football I want my team to play’ and fire a manager and we know we don’t have an owner who is emotionally invested.

    And to think Raul and Unai are pals!

  5. Tony

    Valentin
    “What I find very difficult to stomach is the sheer hypocrisy of some who were publicly wanting to lose games under Wenger to speed up his demise.”

    Then you are not as smart as you think you are if you don’t understand the difference between Wenger‘s protests and Emery’s.

    It was always thought here – rightly or wrongly – that if Emery wasn’t achieving his KPIs /targets, he would be fired.

    Accountability is supposed to be in place after it was exiled by Wenger for 22 years.

    So we wait to see what Raul & Edu are made of.

    Emery isn’t going to miraculously be free of errors/flaws in his plans or be able to impose a winning attitude on the squad now or in the future.

    You’ll find, Valentin that fans expect Emery to lose more games rather than want him to lose them.

  6. Gentlebris

    GOH,

    If we had played as woefully as we did against Watford and got a result, trust me, the EKBs would shout you down here if you tried to point out the play was poor.

    The results dictate the moods, if we win against Frankfurt, Villa, Forest and got a draw against United, people would begin to believe Emery is back on top of things…. until he fails when it matters and land us in Europa again.

    See it gives me joy to win every game, after the game against Liverpool I felt so terrible, so terrible it would be hard to understand that a person could feel that way just because his team lost a football game.

    But we have to forget the small moments now and keep the big picture in sight.

    Arsenal would begin to go down the drain more heavily than can be imagined if we remain in the Europa beyond this season.