Well hello my darlings.
What’s new? Not much. Mesut Ozil has been ‘rested’ for the Frankfurt match. This is Emery.
“We are playing a lot of matches and I want to use different players, and also have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad for [Frankfurt],” Emery said.
“We are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played, and I decided who the players are who can be the best for tomorrow, and also the players not, and those are Sokratis and Mesut.”
You could be kind and suggest that he’s taking the precocious German out the firing line of German fans who might STILL take offence to the Erdogan press disaster, but that would suggest that Germans are unforgiving humans… which I cannot say I believe.
You could also say that this is Emery playing it sensibly, resting a ‘top’ player.
Or maybe we could call a spade a spade and simply accept that the German is a bit-part player he can’t rely on.
There’s a quite extraordinary article on Sky Sports that compared Wenger’s last 43 games to Emery’s first 43. If you accept that 25% of Wenger’s final games he was fired (ish), then you accept that that season was his worst EVER, then these numbers really make grim reading for the ‘give him time’ crowd.
Remember, Emery has spent £200m. He’s drained the Arsenal coffers for next season. Below is what we’re dealing with.
Factor in we’ve conceded the most shots in Europe, our defence has a worse xG against than Newcastle, and the football is utterly dross… you have to ask yourself, what are we buying with Emery?
He’s not an innovator. He has no brand. He cannot implement ideas that help meet his publicly shared objectives. He can’t communicate. He’s a one-trick pony, and everyone has sussed him.
Still, I would say this: It’s not going to last past this season.
There are patterns commonly associated with managers that are on the out, and many of them are happening a month into the season.
Players aren’t playing to their full capacity, this is dripping through the stats. The level of mistakes in our game are so far out of the ordinary, you have to conclude that it’s a kind of downing of tools. We are 19th for pressing intensity, that can’t be a tactical choice.
Also, these are expensive athletes that are at the higher end of talent. Mistakes often point to a lack of motivation, but more pointedly, a system that doesn’t protect against them, and a group of players that aren’t confident in what they are being asked to do. Do not fall into the trap of thinking mistakes are acts of god. They are not.
Additionally, say what you will about Arsene Wenger, the man ran a tight press ship. No leaks, ever. Part of that was due to the fact the players knew they couldn’t out him, so leaking was a pointless endeavour, part of that was he was an institution like Ferguson.
Unai Emery has Auba and Xhaka criticising each other and the system. He has AMN complaining about passing out the back. He has leaks about the lack of pressing in training. He has Alan Smith getting whispers about the players not understanding what the fuck they are doing.
Arsenal is not a happy camp. I heard that last season was not Arsenal class behind the scenes, it was not good. There was a pop of excitement about the freshness of the system this season, but that has all evaporated since. It is not a great place to be again. The vibes aren’t good and the omens are ominous.
Do I think Emery will be gone before Christmas? I think there’s a chance. I also think there’s a more likely happening… a 10 game unbeaten run and a stay of execution. The same thing happened last season. Rest assured though, he won’t see it through, things will go south. I think the players will see to that at some point. David Luiz is a trojan horse, clearly connected to Edu, divisive and a guy that has seen off bigger names. Emery is a little fish to him.
The big mistake that I think is coming is Jose Mourinho. The club is more than capable of inviting hell into the backroom. That would be the biggest disaster we could enable, unless Josh wants to handover another £200m in the first window. Jose is a destroyer, not a builder. He will not shop in Aldi, because he’s a Harrods kind of guy. He will make Arsenal in his name, and that name is dated and tarnished.
… this is the sort of panic hire I thought we’d end up making if Emery didn’t work. I specifically wrote about this eventuality. I am worried I will be right. The Arsenal leadership structure is very close to following the path of United. We have the Spanish David Moyes, I pray we don’t double down with another disastrous move. Trouble is, Mourinho is intuitive, it’s safe, it feels logical… but it is not.
Young, innovative and visionary is what we need… Nagelsmann.
Anyway, I digress. We’re about to play in the Europa League. I want to see energetic young players showing the first team what they’re doing wrong.
Leno, Martinez, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Luiz, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Ceballos, Pepe, Nelson, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli.
Get me Saka on the wing. Someone tweeted me he’s definitely starting. I hope so. We need a really confident performance from him.
We need a hero, I think it’s him.
See you in the comments.