Emery’s statistical savaging

by .

Unai Emery is like one of those rich billionaire folk that falls off a boat in a hooker accident. The family are waiting for the major payouts only to find out the whole wealth game is a fucking charade.

Arsenal sit 19th in the league for pressing, almost twice as ineffective as the leaders (Leicester I think).

Data via @UtdArena


  • 8.30 – Manchester United (3rd)
  • 8.38 – Liverpool (4th)
  • 8.72 – Manchester City (5th)
  • 10.20 – Tottenham (9th)
  • 10.39 – Chelsea (10th)
  • 14.71 – Arsenal (19th)

That is some stat. But what does it mean? It’s hard to know, because really, what does Emery mean in general? Who is he? What does he stand for?

Some rumours are doing the rounds that the players say he doesn’t coach the press in training. Why would you take that approach in the Premier League? I thought he was a drill sergeant?

Could be worse though, he could be asking the players to press, but they’re not listening.

Whatever the deal, we’re absolutely awful without the ball moving forward and when we defend. Our transitions from deep, which you’d imagine he is coaching, are horrible, the players don’t know where to stand to create passing channels.

Sky Sports also ran a horrific set of numbers.

That is since Emery took over. Rumours are that the internal numbers the club has are even more depressing.

Fans went from, ‘give him time, it’ll come round’, to, ‘FUCK PULL THE  RIPCORD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.’

Truth is, we’re somewhere in the middle. We might not die, but it’s looking increasingly likely we’re going to sprain an ankle out here if he doesn’t stop the rot soon.

Thing is, none of this is new. It’s been happening since our 22 game unbeaten run when we ignored our eyes because, you know, victories do that to a man/woman/child. I think it’s fair to say that we all wanted to believe as well. We used to do it under Wenger, we’d win ugly 9 times in a row and convince us that the shitty underlying performances were ‘exactly what we’ve been missing’, then the correction would land.

There is a familiar tipping point for nearly all Arsenal fans: Xhaka.

As Aash said on the podcast, the saddest indictment of the weekend was listening to OUR CAPTAIN tell the press that Arsenal were scared. That is an abomination. You can’t read that in a postive light. There are serious issues on the pitch, but even bigger ones off it if that’s an acceptable line to roll out to 100m people. Unai Emery told us last season he wouldn’t let players behave like cowards… a year on, it’s looking like that’s par the course when the going gets tough.

Auba was caught leaving a club at 3am looking very dazed.

I don’t blame him.

His goals should have us top of the league. If our pragmatic manager was good enough to, you know, park a bus properly, we could feed off his elite finishing all the way to fourth. But things are so bad, we can’t even stop the flow of shots with 3 holding midfielders in the team.

I repeat: We can’t park a bus.

The odds on Emery leaving before Christmas are increasing. I was told it was unlikely, but I can’t see Arsenal sitting on their hands if things don’t improve drastically.

It’s interesting to strategise what the club does. I think Freddie would be tempting based on what Chelsea have done, but please, look at what Chelsea have done. I don’t think you can let Freddie pick up December misery. That’d be like throwing on a kid to chase a game in which you are being beasted. Lots of fans talking about Jose, I’ve flirted, but I have my sensible hat back on and it’d be a disaster. He’s toxic, he’d make it all about him, and I don’t think players care for him anymore. He’s mean and he’s been a disgrace to Arsenal over the years. I think the smarted move would be Allegri. An elite Sam Allardyce. Strengthen the defensive structure of the team and create a system that can feed our finishers. The saucy Italian is out of a job, it’d make a lot of sense. Let me know what you’d do should the best worst happen.

We have Frankfurt away from home on Thursday. The season isn’t over. We can use that competition to inject a bit of form into the legs. Well, not with the first team, that should be a reserves exhibition. Still, any victory would be an exciting one for me at the moment.

A performance is needed, I’ll talk more about what that looks like tomorrow.

See you in the comments. x

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575 Responses to “Emery’s statistical savaging”

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  1. Un na naai

    Just read Leno has been criticising the set up too and the spaces between forward midfield and defence

    Emery is a goner. The players want it
    The fans want it
    Just a matter of time now
    He’s a goner

  2. Normski

    Oh dear people trying to play the victim when they get called out.

    Shame on you Tony.

    Bojangles I haven’t commented on anything you’ve said. And why is that? Maybe you might be a normal reasonable poster? Or a kiss arse trying to make cyber friends? Who knows?

    You don’t think coaching is some made up word that doesnt have any meaning or nuance to a football team do you?

    You dont watch Arsenal games only if they get to a semi final do you?

    You dont find child abuse disgraceful?

    Tell me why me responding to the above points, that are ridiculous by the way, makes me a keyboard warrior for calling out the muppets that are posting them?

    It doesnt. So kindly fuck off and you do you.

  3. Guns of Hackney

    The most important decision Edu and Raul need to make now is Emery.

    We have to get rid now. Get Freddy in as caretaker for season and get the top dog, whoever that is, pre signed for next season.

    The players have already given up after 5 games. Just the 33 to go.

  4. Un na naai

    Why did we bring in pacy wingers only to revert to a diamond by the way!?

    When the usual suspects were saying we couldn’t play emery’s game because we had no wingers

    Well now we do. Only we don’t. Because he’s fucked them off for some abomination formation.

    I’d be happy with a diamond if our midfielders control the game
    If we have the personal and the tactical set up to do it
    If we had Scholes Cesc Lampard and Vieira.

    It doesn’t make any sense.
    Same as getting Suarez last January when we needed a defender and then not using him.

    Same as getting a promising dmf who is blinding for 5 months to drop him and then only use him as an attack dog to press the opposition defence.
    Which by the way leave big gaps to run at xakha who is then exposed and useless

    Once they get past him it’s the permed clown. How always comes out to meet trouble willingly.
    Kola will always be out of position so once they are free on our left side Sokratis tires to cover

    No wonder that poor cunt is making mistakes after such a solid 15 months for us
    Emery is failing these players.

  5. Un na naai

    I like Normski

    He makes valid points. Ruffles a few feathers.
    What’s the problem? It’s ok as long as it’s marko, joe and Freddie L?

  6. Normski


    Did the Thai bride thing hit a nerve? I was only making the point of people in glass houses and all that.

    Do I really have to be an old poster or maybe it’s the fact that you just overshare online with strangers way too much and that anyone reading the blog for 5 mins knows your life story?

    ‘gruelling but really enjoyable advanced abs 70 minute session this morning including warm up.’

    Exhibit A

  7. Bojangles

    And why the fuck do any of those things concern you if they are not directed at you?

    Don’t give me the Prince Valiant bullshit. You are the same as one or two other posters here who seem to take great pleasure in gangbanging.

    Anyway, I’ve said all I intend saying to you. Knock yourself out with abuse dude, you were born to it. Maybe one day we may see an opinion from your keyboard rather than the shit that’s coming from it currently.

  8. Guns of Hackney

    Norman, or is it Dirty Harry…coming to clean up Le Grove.

    Relax. Take it down a notch.

    Your cod psychology is this stuff of nightmares.

  9. Normski


    The guy is drowning, he hasn’t got a clue and he hasn’t got the luxury of having the best squad and the best players to essentially manage themselves (PSG) through games.

    Thought there’d be visible improvement after a full summer and a great window. There absolutely needed to be after our run in and no show in the Europa final but we’re looking even worse than we did in the run in.

    We’ll win nothing and find no consistency until the midfield balance is sorted. We can’t control it, we can’t dominate it physically or technically and its exposing the back four something chronic.

  10. Normski


    Its a blog you dumb fuck and Im responding to a post.

    Maybe close your mouth and stop your favorite posters jizz from spilling on your keyboard before worrying about mine.

    You do you yeah. Keep up that nodding dog act of yours and try get off the fence son, thats not an opinion its just being a sheep.

  11. Normski


    I have no argument with you. I heard your dad has a very specific set off skills but I will call you a cunt if and when required.

  12. Guns of Hackney


    You suggest that Bojangles is a nodding dog and allying with his favourite posters but two posts ago after receiving kudos from Un you say “cheers fella”…and then align with a poster that praised you.

    When you try and humiliate someone, and that’s what you’re doing, one must have consistency or you look like a big of a silly billy.

    Calm down a bit. It’s like you haven’t had access to a computer or online platform and have come out blasting. What did you do time for? Petty theft?

  13. Leftsidesanch

    Jheeze what is going on here today. I can take the ‘new’ tough guy to my boxing gym, that always seperates the men from the boys.

  14. Guns of Hackney


    I don’t have a beef with you either, but I’m not sure you can have an issue with Tony or Bojangles. I mean, there are some dicks on here but those two are not it.

    Look elsewhere and you’ll find some real prizes.

  15. Left testicle

    Yeah, well I had two Weetabix for breakfast, done 2 billion sit ups and will be flying my stealth bomber to Monaco later for a date with Margot Robbie this evening!

  16. Silverhawk

    As I said yesterday, this Normski fella is and old poster under a different username.

    Pedro of old would have banned him by now.

  17. Left testicle

    Tony should get a ban for the ‘a grueling but really enjoyable advanced abs 70 minute session this morning including warm up’ comment.

  18. Guns of Hackney

    Of course Norman is an old poster. He’s bringing things up only people who have been here before would remember.

    No reason to ban. No harm done except a village is one idiot short.

  19. Guns of Hackney


    Lolz. Yeah Tony showing off.

    I definitely think Le Grove needs a daily ‘what we did this morning’ session.

    Woke up. Damn.

    That’s mine.

  20. Guns of Hackney

    When AMN is calling the manager out, you know trouble is brewing. Of all the shite players we have, AMN to diss Emery takes bollocks.

  21. Normski

    I only get to use the communal computer 15 minutes a day on rec time.

    It’s compulsory to be hard or I’d be shivved in the real and the cyber world.

    Silvercock please? Banned for what exactly? Lighten up nancy boy it’s called taking the piss. I promise i wont get offended if you do the same.

  22. Graham62

    Although I am now very much “off the fence” with regards Unai Emery, I can’t believe there are still some posters on here standing up for Mr Ozil.

    He is not and never has been physically/mentally up to the task. More significantly, he remains a massive weight around the neck of Arsenal FC and Emery in particular.

    His general demeanor and attitude is, to put it mildly, a disgrace and,irrespective of his off field activities/antics and his own personal feelings towards Emery, I wish he was well away from the club.

    HOWEVER, there is no doubt that Emery has mismanaged the entire situation. To accommodate Ozil was a mistake. To mollycoddle Ozil was a mistake. To give Ozil what he wants, is also a mistake. Then again to ignore him and belittle him, as Emery has done, has also been a mistake. What a conundrum!

    Emery’s own demeanor is frustratingly complicated and very irritating, which confounds the issue. How though would you deal with Ozil if given the chance?

    Most would find it difficult, because for Mesut Ozil it’s all about himself and self preservation. For all the benefits of having him playing in the team, the disadvantages are far greater.

    He is and always has been a liability. The irony is that Emery will probably not last the season which means that Mesut will have the last laugh.

    Of course a top manager would have known what to do.

    Just ask Jose Mourinho.

  23. Graham62


    Tony is our resident travel/ expat expert and fitness guru

    His ott remarks on Fitness regimes/ his 100 square meter gym/ Health and Wellbeing advice and his super intelligent kids are fudging legendary.

    To be honest it’s a bonus having people like Tony on the blog.

    Don’t get too wound up.

  24. Valentin


    I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say with Mesut Özil and Jose Mourinho. Jose Mourinho was one of the club manager who successfully extracted the most of him.
    Telling Özil that he was the best while at the same time challenging him to improve. Jose is hardly the type to mollycoddle players. He is more used to discard players that do not follow his instructions yet found a place for him in a team full of talented players.

    What is clear is that Özil is likely to outlast Emery. He will then be his successor’s problem.

  25. Valentin

    Some of the commentators have a twisted view of the world.
    Thinking that calling out serial gaslighters and people spending more time insulting strangers than commenting on football is now trolling.
    Demanding people to be banned because they ask other posters to show respect to their fellow Arsenal supporters.

  26. Gentlebris

    This normski fella is really mad at the world. Extremely deprived and angry he seems. This is a blog, crazy fella, people have different opinions and people say things in disagreement but people don’t act as if they are ready to bomb a city like you do.

    And hey Tony you don’t mean it that Pierre stand in line behind his father-in-law for his wife sexual affection do you? Because that’s been rocking me all up with laughter. And pls tell this crazy guy that they don’t buy Thai brides, you marry them like you do the British ones.

    Hey Pierre Tony knows your wife loves you he was just winding you like you do others. Don’t take it as serious as warning people not to be Tony’s friend.

    It’s a lively Thursday morning here I must say.

    Hey Pedro another word from that crazy guy and off he goes. That guy can ruin your blog so fast. Not an order though even if it sounds like it😎😎😎😎😎😎

  27. Valentin

    Looks like AMN is starting to be fed up of having to play at right back.
    You know that Emery is in trouble if players like AMN are not directly challenging his tactics and their role under his stewardship.
    Between Aubameyang, AMN and Leno criticising the tactics, I wonder if there is a single player who agrees with Emery and his decision to stick to play from the back approach.

  28. Dissenter

    AMN is the last player that should come out and criticize any manager publicly.
    He’s a failed midfielder masquerading as a right back.
    A better manger would have ditched his sorry ass. I’ve never seen a young player be so lackadaisical, playing like he’s an about-to-retire woldie. That public comment shows him up like when he hugged the guy who purposefully hit him sent off at Leicester.
    He’s one of the first out of the door when a new manager shows up.

    That comment he made about Emery is just stupid, however true it may be. He shouldn’t be the one saying it. He’s benefitting from the largesse of a chaos manager.
    Just goes to show that Emery has lost it.

  29. Dissenter

    Iwobi was sold off for not being good enough, yet the likes of AMN are strutting about peacocks.
    He must be concusses from the battering that Gerard Deulofeu gave him.
    Jeez, he should get back to working in his game.

  30. raptora

    Dissenter: “I’ve never seen a young player be so lackadaisical, playing like he’s an about-to-retire woldie.”

    So true!

    AMN looks like bored, lazy and high at the same time. He’s been at the Arsenal since he was 6, so our coaches should have surely changed his laid-back approach to the game 10 years ago.

    He’s been developed at our club for 16 years now. How does he get away with switching off whenever he feels like it? We had Clichy before who had the habit of closing his eyes and not spotting the danger (tough memories in that B’ham game) but he was a busy defender as a whole. AMN looks drugged/dozy most of the time.

  31. Dissenter

    I laughed when I read your bragging about a ‘really enjoyable advanced abs 70 minute session this morning including warm up.’
    Who enjoys a 70 minute abs-session?
    Are you competing for Mr Thai or something?

  32. Dissenter

    ‘Looks like AMN is starting to be fed up of having to play at right back.’

    That’s why he should have been sold off. He’s a bad right back. We need a proper right back to compete with Bellerin.
    He’s part of the problem with the defense.

  33. HighburyLegend

    “I thought Xhaka was on maternity leave?”

    What ?? Already ?? WE NEED THE FUCKER BACK ASAP!!
    (nevermind, give the armband to Ozil…)

  34. Valentin


    I think that you mean well, but that mistaken for the situation of African footballers.
    Players like Koulibaly 😉 are more common than you think.
    Have a check on Senegal AFCON 2019 squad, you may get a big surprise.
    In that squad more are born and raised in France or raised in Europe from a very young age than players learning their trade in Africa.
    Even those that have been raised in Senegal, they mostly came from two academy Diambars and Generation Foot. Both are well funded school academy with very good pitches. Kids start at an early age. In fact Diambars that has been founded by Patrick Viera is a boarding school. Football is just one part of their activity.

    Out of that squad only 2~3 can be considered as having learn to play on African dirt.
    In today’s world, the idea that a poor kid from Africa is suddenly discovered and become a professional is becoming a myth.

  35. Champagne charlie

    Good day all

    Tony why on earth are you spending 70mins on your ab’s pal? That’s an inordinate amount of time for them, is it an accessory to another endeavour?

    You weren’t Twerk champion 1967 by chance?

  36. Un na naai


    Bellerin is hardly Thurman
    Plenty of gaps and mistakes in his game defensively
    Can’t cross
    Can’t really dribble
    Just push and run.

    He was looking better for a while last season under emery but we were winning then
    This is an arsenal low on confidence and all over the shop defensively

    My hopes are on tierney and holding and possibly chambers alongside him to tighten things up there

    The only time we haven’t conceded this season (while looking solid) is with chambers at centre half.
    Soon as we dropped him we went to shit

    That a mission

    I used to box out of earlsfied
    My cousin is pro
    Just lost the English title this year (was a robbery) but he’s getting a rematch downsouth.
    He was on the undercard for one of the Joshua fights 2 years ago at Wembley. I missed it due to work we had around 150 people there in total.

  37. Dissenter

    I take your point about Koulibaly.
    It’s true that African teams are looking to the diaspora to get talent so they scout black French players to,play for them. That’s started in the early 1980s and has taken life if it’s own now.
    I believe Nigeria has made overtures to Abraham at Chelsea already. At least 20 percent of the best talent in the Arsenal academy qualify to play for Nigeria.
    That said, it’s still common place for kids to play the game for the first time without shoes on dirt fields. The best talent are then siphoned off into for-profit academies and are out of country by late adolescence. I know because I spent part of my childhood in that culture with football.

  38. Dissenter

    ‘Really can’t blame AMN for his performances when he is played out of position. Expecting a central mid to excel at RB is crazy’

    That’s why he should have been sold. He’s not good enough to play as central midfielder and has not acquired much senior experience in that position..
    He’s a lousy right back who cannot defend to save his life.
    What’s the point of persisting with him. He’s the quintessential square peg in round hole, only the peg wasn’t even good enough to start with.

  39. Dissenter

    Unai na
    When I say we get a proper right back to ‘challenge’ Bellerin, I meant a RB to replace Bellerin.
    I’m not a fan of Bellerin, never been enamored of his defensive skills. Let’s seek a defensive minded one like Nacho Monreal, not another converted winger.

  40. Dissenter

    If Tony is spending 70 minutes on his abs, how long is he spending on working his gluteus Maximus?
    Just a thought
    Serious question, how long are you lot spending on your abs? Get those anterior abdominal muscles in good shape now.

  41. Un na naai

    “individual games, Emery has made decisions that have served to increase the stress placed on a defence that already looks to be suffering from PTSD. Playing Granit Xhaka at the base of a midfield diamond is a baffling decision, really. It means that Xhaka is left on his own to cover lots of ground in front of his defenders.

    We all know that Xhaka is a limited athlete and this is not a problem he can solve. So quite why the manager has opted to expose his flaws so badly by giving him the sole responsibility of protecting the defence is difficult to decipher. The continued delay in naming the Swiss club captain, while also setting him up to fail tactically provides further damning evidence of Emery’s muddled thinking.

    Lucas Torreira forged his reputation at club and international level by playing at the base of a midfield diamond. He has the energy and athleticism to cover that type of ground, yet Emery has opted not to start him at Anfield and Vicarage Road while deploying a system the Uruguayan is custom designed for.

    Diamond or no diamond, the truth is that it is too easy for opponents to advance the ball from the edge of their own area to the edge of Arsenal’s. A lot of the issue lies in Emery’s passive approach. Too often, when Arsenal get a foothold in a game, they sit off and invite pressure. The defence and midfield drop too deep and they allow themselves to be dominated.”

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying. He’s misusing Torreira

  42. TR7


    I think AMN should get a few opportunities at central midfield again to prove himself before a decision is taken on his future at Arsenal. If I were Emery I would give him a fair crack at CM position at least in Europa, FA and Carabao cup games. I am quite surprised we don’t have even one right back in our academy to play as a deputy to Bellerin.

  43. Un na naai

    Freddie L

    You see??? It’s not just me. They guy is choosing to misuse or not use Torreira at all whilst hanging xakha and our defence out to dry

    How can he not see that he is causing our troubles?
    It’s one thing not signing a dmf but tinyave one and not use him is fucking insane.

    Wednhave been better off keeping wenger and forcing him to let the suits handle the transfers.
    And force a defensive coach into him

    Or get another guy in
    We should NEVER have gone for emery

  44. Un na naai


    I’d say we get a better coach who can actually mould bellerin and AMN
    Emery is out of his depth. He’s really getting exposed now and he’s really exposing his players too. He’s putting them in their worst possible scenarios and expecting results

  45. Un na naai

    Tim stillman does a wonderful weekly tactical column and he knows his stuff
    Read it. He’s hammering emery and saying what my comrades having been saying since last year.

    Emery is creating our troubles

  46. Un na naai

    In their passiveness, Arsenal invite pressure and that usually means inviting shots on their goal. His Gunners side rarely dominate through possession or draw the sting from a game by keeping the ball in the opposition’s most intimate quarters. Put simply, they don’t stress opponents enough which in turn, encourages opponents to apply stress to them.

    This has created an economies of scale effect. Everyone knows that if they go behind against Arsenal, they can commit numbers forward without fear of leaving space in behind them. It’s not just that the team’s shots against numbers are high, their own shots on goal totals are consistently low. It is baffling that a squad so obviously frontloaded with talent is so often asked to adopt a conservative, stand-offish stance.

  47. Un na naai

    Michael Cox probably summed up this approach the best, “Entirely incapable of imposing their style upon the contest and regressed into a feeble, passive side: defensive without actually being able to defend.” This has led to poor game management and costly individual errors and the feeling that Arsenal’s five-star attackers are left to watch from an island while the midfield and defence retreat and invite bombardment.

  48. Dissenter

    Footballing history is filled with players switching positions.
    Honestly at this point, most of the senior playing minutes of AMN are in the LB position. It’s a bit disingenuous to keep referring to him as a central midfielder. It’s like calling Peter Schmeichel a striker because he scored a bicycle kick goal.
    AMN has referred to the wings as his ‘natural position’, that is why he should be judged on. He’s not going to make it in the central midfield imo.

  49. Ray in LA

    it’s a quote from Pochettino on Sp*rs 2-2 ‘loss’ at Olymiacos…

    “It’s not about tactics or quality players but the level of fight. You need to match the opponent in aggressivity, excitement, motivation. That is the first demand – you need to work. It’s not only the responsibility of one person; it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

    so true for his team last night and increasingly true for us

    I would add the second demand for us is for better tactics 🙂

  50. Cesc Appeal

    I also think AMN’s weaknesses are he’s bullied physically often, his concentration levels are appallingly bad, his decision making is equally bad and his passing is often pretty poor…that isn’t someone you want at CM.

    He is what he is, a player you probably keep in the squad because he can play RB, LB and in the midfield when you really need him to because of injuries/easy game rotation.

    I can’t wait for a team sheet without his name on it. His performance at the weekend was embarrassing, Delofeou didn’t even need to try. I know he’s said ‘my defending isn’t great’ but that doesn’t mean you don’t even try!

    Unrelated, but I really want to see Martinelli start tonight. I don’t want to see Nelson getting minutes again at the expense of Martinelli. If we play both, fine, but I don’t understand Martinelli not getting minutes. He looked the far superior player in preseason.

  51. Dissenter

    When I read the AMN comment, I thought most managers won’t forget that public dissing.
    The managers goes all out to shield them from blame when it was clear that shoddy individual performances like AMN’s are a big part of why we suck. What does the player benefitting from Emery-chaos do? … he glibly throws criticism at his manager.
    I too cannot wait to have the likes of AMN cleared out of the club. Any dribbling speedy winger will tear him to pieces.

  52. Un na naai


    No. It’s not clear
    AMN has had Mkhitaryan infront of him playing out of position
    No he has nobody in front of him

    We are playing xakha at the base of a diamond which is literally the worst place for him

    We have Torreira on the bench or playing further up when he should be there

    Ceballos is being used to mark the oppositions deep lying mid or having his role changed constantly

    The strikers are left up top alone and barely getting the ball

    This then is leaving massive gaps and putting pressure on the defence while we concede 100s of shots and the most in Europe’s top 5 leagues

    There is a stat out showing the exact same thing happened at Sevilla and how they were top for shots conceded while emery was there
    Same with Valencia

    How on earth can you keep claiming this is down to individuals when they are being fed to the sharks by emery?

    Do you actually watch the games dissenter? Do you see how disjointed the entire team is under a year of emery and £200m worth of new players whilst clearing out 70% or more of the squad wenger has?

  53. Bojangles

    Speaking of and. A couple of months back I noticed what seemed to be a lump around the stomach. When I later went to the doctor I mentioned this lump to her. She had me bend over the table so she could examine my stomach. A moment later she informed me it was my an. Please note that was ab singular.

  54. Cesc Appeal


    I think he will start.

    This actually isn’t that easy a game for the Europa League group stage and we need to find some rhythm, likely a strong starting team and then early substitutions if possible.

    I just don’t want to see Xhaka start. Certainly I would have Torreira at CDM but maybe even Chambers/Luiz at CDM with Holding and then Chambers/Luiz at CB and see how that works out. A big part of our shots faced problem is the complete lack of coverage from the midfield.

    I mean, it doesn’t help that by the time the opponent as already shot, gone out, goal kick, we’ve fucked up the goal kick, Xhaka is still chasing down the initial shot.


    I can’t wait not to see AMN and Kolasinac on the team sheet.

    AMN is a calamity of a player, performances like Everton away, Chelsea in the final, Watford last week etc are not that uncommon for him it’s just most teams aren’t good enough/playing well enough/us bad enough to punish us. His poor performances all stem from a total lack of concentration, intelligence and effort as well. Unforgivable.

  55. HighburyLegend

    There’s one important fact about tonight : Frankfurt players are butchers.

    But I’m sure Emery is aware of that fact… (lol)
    Let’s burn some candles and pray.

  56. Leftsidesanch

    Un my good friend who is a professional boxer is based there. What’s your cousins name? I”ll probably know him.

  57. Bamford10


    While AMN’s comments are implicitly a little critical of the manager, I think that aspect of his comments is being overblown. He clearly states that they ALL discussed the matter and that they ALL had some responsibility for the insistence on playing out of the back. While the instruction to play out of the back — or not — comes first and foremost from the manager, I don’t read AMN’s comments as “throwing the manager under the bus”. He’s saying that he’s frustrated they continued to play that way, that they all shared a little of the responsibility for this, and that they all discussed this together.

  58. Goobergooner

    CC this is very well said. From a few days ago, I’m a lagger just catching up.

    “If we were winning games under Emery the fuss would be so fucking minimal too, winning is a culture so foreign to Arsenal in recent years I think the purists (of which I’m def one) ought to really wind their neck in a bit until some calibration is done.”

  59. Marko

    AMN is the last player that should come out and criticize any manager publicly.

    It’s the most ridiculous thing you’ll read football wise all season. A player consistently shown to be totally and utterly out of his depth at this level publicly criticizing the manager stupid enough to play him. As for the played out of position nonsense I’m sick to my teeth of it especially given his clear limitations and his performances to date. I’m shocked though not completely shocked by certain people wanting to give him a go in CM. This is a player who under 3 managers probably only played CM a handful of times at best in fact 4 because I think for the under 21’s he’s RB too. Ipswich RM and for the last two Arsenal managers RB/RWB. Why is that? Why can’t all those managers see he’s this great CM prospect when a couple of people on Le-Grove can? Oh that’s right because he’s not

  60. Marko

    Fact is as well the club is aware of this issue but really botched trying to fix it the last two summers. Whether it was Sven bringing in Lichtsteiner or this past summer being continuously linked with Meunier it’s clear they don’t rate AMN and are just having to make do which is appalling management honestly.

    The hope is that if it’s Vieira he looks to bring in Atal or if it’s Nagelsmann he thinks about bringing Klostermann with him. Can’t wait.

  61. Ishola70

    Yeah AMN’s comments are being blown out of proportion.

    The more telling stuff that has come out of the club in the last week were the Auba and Sokratis jibes at Xhaka in relation to taking responsibility for your own individual performance.

    What happened here was that Emery excused Xhaka his error against Spurs and started to deflect to take the heat away from Xhaka by starting to focus on other aspects of the game against Spurs.

    Once Xhaka got the green light from Emery in regards being excused he too then decided to deflect away from his mistake against Spurs with his comment about the attack not taking their chances and if they did his mistake wouldn’t have mattered.

    The players may have understood Emery’s initial protection of Xhaka but what would have really annoyed them was the comments from Xhaka excusing himself as well after Emery’s protection of the player.

    One thing for a manager to a excuse a player. Totally different for the player himself to excuse himself and of course he only did this because of Emery’s prior excusing of him. Other players will see this as snide behaviour.

    As for AMN clearly not good enough as an individual player regardless of who is coach/manager. Too frequently lets himself down on one on one situations, decision making and as others have noted looks on valium far too often. The coaches can’t hold the players hand on the pitch. These players have to take some responsibility over their own individual performance.

  62. TR7

    Marko , I know a mere mention of AMN gets you all riled up but nobody has said he is a great CM prospect. All that has been said is he should be given a chance as CM in Europa league, FA cup games before we decide on his future. Why get angry assuming something has been said when it has not been said at all ?

  63. Marko

    All that has been said is he should be given a chance as CM

    Why though? Answer me this though given your general football wisdom and your impeccable predictions on all things football. Why should someone who puts in such abject performances at RB then be given opportunities in CM? Where’s the logic. Why should someone who 3/4 managers now think can’t play CM all of a sudden play CM. Why do you think he’s worth a shot in that position despite other managers not fancying him there?

  64. Guns of Hackney

    Torrier as libero or Xhaka or Luiz.

    That would be my defensive line up. Lots of forward movement and protection when needed.

    You’re welcome. Time for the sweeper to be brought back.

  65. Ishola70

    Xhaka’s comments after the Watford match were actually less damaging than his comments regarding the Spurs match.

    If the comment after the Watford match were seen as damaging at least Xhaka stated this in terms of the collective “we”. We were scared. His Spurs comment was divisive in comparison.

    In the last week we have had Emery throwing under the bus a younger player and Xhaka throwing under the bus the offense.

    Not good.

  66. Marko

    He may have played CM for the under 21’s but he’s only played 4 times and never completed 90 mins. Also according to transfermarket he has played 6 senior games (5 for Arsenal and 1 for Ipswich) over the course of his career amounting to about 280 mins. Compared to the 22 appearences at RB and the 44 appearences at RM. Doesn’t sound like a CM

  67. Un na naai


    I’d nit start Aubameyang tonight. Forget the rhythm
    We aren’t in a position to lose him or over play him.
    I’d got with Pepe and martinelli up top if he’s doing a front two again

  68. TR7


    Firstly I don’t think AMN should play RB. Does not look like he enjoys playing there despite it being his ‘natural’ position. Why should he get a crack at CM position ? In my view he has got the build,stamina and athleticism to press high up the pitch and build up the tempo of our game. On odd occasions he has shown he can pass the ball forward and carry it too. Our current midfield options are all a bit one paced -None of Xhaka, Guen and Willock can accelerate or play at a higher tempo than their usual tempo. Of course lack of focus and concentration is his biggest weakness but given the tools he has and the other midfield options we have, he deserves a crack at least in the games in which there is not much at stake.

  69. Ishola70


    Guendouzi may have been disappointing against Watford but to state he isn’t capable of high tempo is just wrong.

    Against Newcastle and Spurs his game was high tempo enough.

  70. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t want 2 up top.

    We’ve been desperate for a winger, finally got a great one and we’re playing him as an ST. No thanks.

    The reason we’re doing it as well is to add a body to midfield because we’ve got no control or balance there.

    I’m sick of us having to line up in a way that covers for our glaring weaknesses as opposed to trying to extract our best attributes.

    Xhaka can’t cover ground and none of our CM options are really balanced so we have to play an extra one and so we lose an attacking option.

    This is then made all the worse by having no full backs playing.

  71. Marko

    despite it being his ‘natural’ position.

    Who said it was his natural position?

    In my view he has got the build,stamina and athleticism to press high up the pitch and build up the tempo of our game.

    Press? Sounds like a defensive term sounds like something you might get a fullback doing so I wouldn’t assume that he can or would do that all of a sudden in CM. As for the tempo comment I can only disagree completely with that his technical ability and nonchalant attitude quite a bit of the time has him slowing down the play and passing backwards and sideways. Seems like an unnecessary project on a player not worth the effort. Better off spending that time trying to turn him into the midfielder he’s not instead giving it to Willock or Robbie Burton

  72. Marko

    Also I’d question AMN stamina. His inability to get back into position (he usually trots not runs) and his failure to close down attackers (looked very leggy against Deulofeu almost never attempted to stop a cross or shot) brings into question his stamina. He is big though and athletic. Not got good technical ability though which I’m lead to believe is a key component for a CM. Heavy touch sometimes a bad passer of the ball these are things that a CM needs to be good at. I basically think he’s a poor man’s Oxlade Chamberlain. I mean a really poor version honestly

  73. TR7


    In the Arsenal.com website link shared by Dissenter, something was said to the effect of ‘wing’ being his natural position.

    How is AMN technical ability any worse than say Willock ? Willock is more disciplined and sincere than AMN but he is not technically superior to him. As for press, AMN can press if he doesn’t have to bother all the time about leaving space behind him. Again who really knows whether he will succeed at CM but his attributes are slightly different from the ones currently playing in our midfield and for that reason he should get a few chances. Little to no downside but if it clicks we get better as a team.

  74. Un na naai


    Yeah. Thats him. They are well known on the circuits and that
    He was captain of GB squad
    Tri nation’s champ and theABA’s

    Who is your mate from earlsfield?

  75. Un na naai


    No I don’t either but he seems to like this shitty set up and I’d not want to risk Aubameyang in any set up
    We are going to qualify from this group whatever happens tonight so I’d keep them fresh as possible
    We need to be aiming for premier league wins
    The rest is secondary

  76. Ishola70

    I don’t think there is a need for AMN in midfield if Ceballos is going to be picked.

    There are very big question marks regarding AMN and his off the ball play and concentration and putting him central midfield isn’t going to solve the problems of Arsenal not being good enough off the ball in central midfield.

  77. Marko

    How is AMN technical ability any worse than say Willock ? Willock is more disciplined and sincere than AMN but he is not technically superior to him

    He absolutely is. His passing is already on par or better and he’s got better control despite being younger and playing less.

    As for press, AMN can press if he doesn’t have to bother all the time about leaving space behind him

    I must say this genuinely made me smile and I thank you for it. Honestly he neither presses nor bothers about the space left behind him.

    Again I don’t think he’s worth the effort at CM we’ve got far better prospects who deserve it more and who are actually CM’s than to try and make AMN work. I personally don’t get on the insistence of trying the lad again I can only assume it’s an English thing. Plus I’m a little surprised at your stance on this player TR7 he’s clearly not good enough and has had time to show he’s not good enough and it’s inevitable that he’ll be gone so why fight it? Substitute said player for a certain manager and I’m not so sure you’d be interested in more time. He’s a pretty dour player as well not exciting in the slightest

  78. Graham62


    Mourinho has spoken openly on the difficulties of managing Ozil at RM. “You can’t be too tough with him and you can’t be too lenient” . Yes, he got the best out of him because, at the time, Ozil believed he was at the greatest club in the world, with a winning mentality around him. The same can be said with his environment in the German national team.

    The thing is, as we all know, Ozil had set his heart at staying with RM. Deep down he never wanted to leave. He wanted to stay in Spain. Coming to Arsenal was not in his plans.

    On coming to Arsenal he encountered a completley different environment in which losing was tolerated and discipline was frowned upon. Consequently Ozil was allowed to float around in a comfort zone. Wenger was far too lenient with him, which was Wenger’s way.

    Emery has not dealt with things well BUT, if we’re totally honest about things, Ozil was already on a downward spiral long before Unai turned up.

    Ozil is supposedly a senior member of the team, who has always put himself first. His attitude to certain situations sucks. Sulking at being substituted, not encouraging or communicating to the younger players and showing total disdain and disrespect to the manager, even though it has been very clear to us all he does not deserve to be treated with leniency.

    Mourinho succeeded with Ozil because of the environment and infrastructure around him and also , significantly, because of a certain Mr CR7.

    At Arsenal, Emery needed Ozil to stand up and accept responsibility, because that’s what was needed. Unfortunately Ozil took himself far too seriously and the result has been utter carnage.

    As you highlight it will probably be Emery out the door before Ozil but it will still not stop Ozil from accepting zero responsibility for his crappy attitude and actions.

    That’s who he is.

  79. Ishola70

    AMN did show talent at some point.

    People liked the aspect of his play when he first came on the scene in that he looked like a player that could shift gears. Some of his play, good play looked effortless.

    But this aspect of him is now seen as a negative.

  80. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah that’s a fair point.

    I just want to see us looking tighter tonight, way too many gaps all over the pitch and too much grass between players when passing.

    This is especially a problem when you consider how error prone our players are.

    Especially when Bellerin and Tierney are back and sharp we should look to be quite tight in the middle and in attack and look to them to provide width in a similar way to Ajax. Of course Pepe etc will push out wide when needed, but I want to see Arsenal tight and secure, forcing the opposition to go wide and spread making it easier to dominate the middle and counter.

  81. Nelson

    The biggest problem of the team is transition from attack to defense. I watched the Pool’s transition play. They have one attacker or maximum one midfielder pressuring the ball carrier. The rest of the players move quickly back into a defensive shape. You can see a 4 5 1 formation being formed quickly.
    For us, we have three players trying to surround the ball carrier. Some other players are watching the play. All the opponent did is a long pass to the other side of the field. Suddenly, our defense is all open up. Then you’ll see our players doing a mad dash trying to recover.
    Our team has to speed up the transition if we want to improve our defense.

  82. china1

    Never underestimate the ability for football fans to be knee jerk

    Guen was getting plaudits as one of our top 3 players so far this season up until the Watford game.

    He plays poorly there and he’s a wastrel

    Go figure how that works

  83. Ivan


    Maybe playing 2-3 games in a row in primary formation would help.?

    Also training build up and ball recovery in primary system on training ground would help too….

  84. Un na naai


    How’s he doing? What’s his record?

    Yeah. Can’t disagree. Needs to be tighter
    Need to play Torreira as our sitting mid and get the combinations right in front of him.
    Unwed ourselves to the playing out and start restricting the space and if we are going to be counter attacking then to spring the traps properly rather than hit and hope

  85. Un na naai

    Fuck knows with emery. The most inconsistent guy I’ve witnessed.
    Anything could happen.
    New formations
    New tactics
    New line up regularly

  86. Danny

    17:55 kick off – WTF? Bad enough that we’re in this Mickey Mouse competition for a 3rd year in a row but now we’re starting at stupid times?
    Fuck this shit.

  87. Dissenter

    Regarding Guendouzi; the most consistent characteristic of young players is their inconsistency.
    We have a couple of young players in our midfield, we will live by the same sword that may eventually impale us.

  88. Un na naai


    Christ!! Good record
    He’ll be knocking on the door for a title shot soon
    Southern area then the GB.

    Kirk’s lost 2 in 14 I think. Few ko’s
    Not 100% on the numbers
    My brothers will know more.
    Was signed to Frank Warren and been on tv plenty but he quit Frank Warren cos he wasn’tgwttimg enough fights early on.
    He’s up there. Was offered a shot for the light heavy by burton but he wasn’t ready.

    He’s beat burton and agogo as amateurs though so they know what he’s about.

  89. raptora

    I came out with a good comparison re AMN. He’s a poor man’s Oxlade-Chamberlain. Slower, less focussed, worse shot, worse dribble, equal lack of defending and positional skills. Chambo is worth 35m and is a decent player no doubt, but AMN is nothing but a worse version of him.

    So let’s not kid ourselves that we got a high quality player in there that Emery/Wenger or whoever has played out of position and stopped him from developing his talent or something. Guy has a total lack of focus. You cannot be a pro football player if you are spacing/zoning out.

  90. Leftsidesanch


    Burtons a good fighter too so thats a good look for your cousin.

    Sometimes promoters take on too many ‘clients’ and can’t do the goods for all of them so that’s unfortunate in that case.