Emery’s future: The balancing act

by .

Oh come on people, I’m starting Monday morning on a HIGH.

Arsenal turned around a one goal deficit twice against Aston Villa with 10 men.

You can’t knock that, you really can’t. That’s finding a next level that feels very much born of last seasons 22 game unbeaten run.

Matteo G was an absolute monster. I’ve always been a fan of his, but I was unsure what his special sauce was. We’re starting to see that. He’s a leader. He drives games forward, he makes elite passes, he’s a beast when he wants to be, he’s a goal threat… he’s the player other players more senior than him look to for answers.

He is captain elect.

To slip back into misery for a second, we were predictably dross in the first half. Our midfield was there to be bypassed, there was no real leadership from our captain, and our defence was typically ponderous. We went a goal down to McGinn, he ghosted in after a ball bypassed about 6 players, his grazed touch easily sailed past Leno.

To make matters worse, AMN, who complained midweek about playing as a right-back made a stupid challenge for his second bookable offence and found himself taking an early shower. It was dim, but honestly, this right back experiment has been awful and it’s clear the player hates it so much he’s willing to break plates in a dishwashing disaster just to rid himself of the burden.

The second half saw Calum C introduced for Saka (who was good). With 10 men, we still looked a threat, but Villa were probing. We won a penalty, Matteo powering into the box, forcing Engel to shove him to the ground. Auba let Pepe take the penalty, the largely impressive Ivorian slotted it calmly down the middle for his first goal.

You’d have hoped Arsenal would hold their nerve, but we didn’t, we let Villa in, before attempting another embarrassing short goal-kick that saw a poor touch from Calum eventually lead to a Wesley goal. We’re such a mess on the pitch, that sort of carry-on is inexcusable.

Emery pushed the nuclear button and subbed his captain and Ceballos off on 72 for LT and Willock. It was an inspired decision. He invited athleticism and hunger onto the pitch and it created an entirely different vibe, even with one less man.

We clawed our way back on 81. Matteo fed a teasing ball to the back post, Chambers didn’t do well with his first attempt, but he poked a looping shot over the keeper at his second go and made it count. Superb work, and the perfect remedy for his earlier mistake.

The second goal came from an incisive Auba freekick. He really is worth his weight in gold, his experience in front of goal is absolutely invaluable to us at the minute. As someone said on the Twitter website, he’s a success key, when he’s in your side, you always have a chance.

The players celebrated the win like we’d just won the World Cup. I could be petty about the levels here, but to be honest, after the last few weeks, it’s nice to know they still care.


Granit Xhaka:

The team were booed off at halftime, Granit was booed off as a sub. Terrible. Awful. I hate to see it. But really, I don’t. He’s not our captain. He’s a joke. He is the single worst decision Emery makes each week without fail. I don’t care that it’s not nice, I don’t care that Arsenal class seems to generally be geared around beta males celebrating mediocre ideas and hearting cute Wenger allegories on Twitter, the reality is, Xhaka is a poor player and we need him to take gardening leave.

Bellerin would be a better captain… so would Matteo.


Emery has a weird thing with hierarchy in his squad. Everyone could see that Saka was a better prospect than Reiss, but Reiss starts. We’re opting for Xhaka in our midfield despite three years of average. Let’s just call a rabona a rabona… our best midfield is Willock, LT and Matteo. It lacks experience, it’ll have bad days, but that’s the most explosive we can be. Emery needs to wake up to this. We need hunger, pace, power and output. Those three made a statement today in a short space of time, let them have a crack at United. Could it be a worse idea than 31 shots against Watford or getting shoved around by Villa for an hour?

Unai Emery:

I’ve been getting a mixed bag of messages on the manager from people that know. Some think he could be in danger. He’s clearly not connecting with the players, his ideas are average and though the table is telling a story… the story is a fucking lie. The table lies all the time, and if you think where we are now is a true reflection of what we can be, we’re OVER.

Others that I speak to say there is no chance of him leaving.

The rationale? He’s where he needs to be. The table is all that matters to Raul and Edu. The gut feel amongst a lot of people is this: We’re a better shade of shite when you look at the others. United are a mess, Chelsea are not a worry until next year, Spurs are having problems, and Leicester is a mirage.

The leadership team just want top 4 and they’re going to gamble that those around us are so bad, Emery will come out where he needs to be.

Hard to argue the logic.

We have a lot of easy games coming up, if Emery can shake things up, we will no doubt be in a threatening position when December lands. If we’re within spitting distance, he’ll keep his job. I think he’ll comfortably be in the mixer by then, because we have a lot of very, very good players.

Today’s turnaround was in spite of him… not because of him. I know that sounds petulant, but I think most get what I mean. Emery spent most of the second half rooted to that bench, twitching out like someone had dropped 2Gs of MD in his WKD at a Carl Cox Space reunion. That is not a good look. He has fear in his eyes, but I think the players are good enough to work around him, just like they did at PSG in season two when he basically gave up.

That doesn’t mean the inevitable fail won’t happen

… but that will only last so long, sustaining it until May is a longshot. But the club is risk-averse, Raul was a big part of Emery’s hiring, and things aren’t bad enough on paper yet to make a move.

I can see the rationale, but for me, the sooner we move him on the better. Skanking your way to 4th is not progressive. Betting your future on an average manager with conservative ideas will not take you to the promised land. The longterm damage a top 4 Emery will do to Arsenal is unthinkable, but there’s every chance it’ll happen.

That said, don’t underestimate Spurs and their ability to bounce back. Chelsea has a lot of good players, I think you’ll see a strong finish from them. United are a disaster, but they have good players, so a clever caretaker could be a threat.

I will celebrate the win today. I am very excited by the players we have but I cannot abide by this manager. He’s rank average and the win cannot disguise the performance, the decisions, or the consistency of bland we’ve seen over a season and 7 games.

On reflection, if the brief to replace Arsene was a pragmatist that could improve the defence, we really should have hired Conte. If that’s still the brief, then we should look at Allegri who now has a good grasp of English. Rip the plaster now… because no amount of tinkering will save us in January.

We won’t though… and that worries me.

See you in the comments.


797 Responses to “Emery’s future: The balancing act”

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  1. DM


    All good thanks. The little ‘un has started sleeping through the night in the last week or so, so PRAAAYING she keeps that up! But she’s so cute 🙂 Hope you’re well. Sorry about the tr4phy 😉

  2. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Xhaka stinks the place out like a 6 week old kipper stuck behind a radiator. I am hoping the top brass in the posh seats heard the boos as he was substituted, not good on many levels. Defence is still always one slip away from disaster, how long has this been going on? Years and still no sign of it improving, I had hoped Sokratis would be the answer but have given up on that.

  3. EdTheRed

    – Hello Stan, it’s XXX from London.
    – Whaddya want?
    – Well, increasing number of fans on social media wants Emery to be sacked.
    – Where is Arsenal on the table?
    – 4th.
    – What about that European thing competition?
    – They won their toughest game away from home on Thursday night 3:0
    – (line goes flat)
    – Hello? Stan? Stan? Hello?…Josh?

    btw good post Pedro, that’s why I like reding your blog. You don’t play this silly ‘holding a grudge’ game. Emery might or might not be the answer, but to waste precious energy on rooting for manager to get sacked instead of focusing it on supporting this extremely talented squad of players is just deeply misguided.

    Arsenal showed in the second half what this team is capable of. If we can play like that in following games for at least 45-60 minutes we should be allright.

    Also, huge credit goes to players and manager for that second half performance.

    This is the home game against Villa in 01/02 title winning season. If I was cynical bastard I would have said defence was shit and we only won because of players individual talents.


  4. Jacky

    United are a mess, Chelsea are not a worry until next year, Spurs are having problems, and Leicester is a mirage.

    The leadership team just want top4 and they’re going to gamble thatthose around us are so bad, Emery will come out where he needs to be.

    Hard to argue the logic.

    Remember they tried that last season and failed. If they have learnt, they’ll sack Emery by January

  5. TBone

    Emery has not improved us and the unbeaten streak last season was full of performances like yesterday. We are not playing well and when it comes to crunch time we’ll collapse – just like last season. Best thing the club could do is nip it in the bud and bring in someone who knows what the fuck he’s doing.

  6. DigitalBob

    Agreed Pedro, Chelski will be a second half of the season threat which is why its vital we pick up as many points now and before Christmas.

    Poch may also recover or head over to Utd if/when Ole gets the boot. So the stench of Spurs still lingers around the 3rd/4th place trophy.

    Either way we need to put distance between all 3 in the first 19 games.

    Xhaka should realise now he has taken over from Mustafi as public enemy number 1, just leave bro, its the best thing for all parties.

  7. Ishola70

    It was always questionable why fans turned on Mustafi before Xhaka.

    Sure they are both hindrances and headaches for the team and the sooner they leave the club the better but if anything since both were signed in that now infamous summer transfer window Xhaka has actually over time proved the bigger problem for the team.

  8. T

    I wonder.. why isnt auba our captain? He is the best player. He is super reliable. And on the pitch he takes the game every time by the horns. He is even the right age ffs 😀

  9. Leedsgunner

    We have such low standards. If our manager had a vision and a plan we should be shooting for the title not just 4th place.

    All of Raul’s good work in the summer is being undone by Emery’s constant bumbling.

  10. Emiratesstroller


    I have said already my piece about our defence in posts on previous thread.

    We need a complete rebuild. My view is that we should select when completely fit Bellerin, Holding and Tierney plus Torreira. They cannot be worse than those who have been selected since December when our defence went down the tubes.

    The last slot should be allocated to either Chambers or Mustafi. I think that
    Mustafi might play better alongside Bellerin and Holding than he did alongside Maitland-Niles and Koscielny or Sokratis.

    Longterm we need to invest in a commanding and world class Centre Back who rather like Van Dijk or Kompany is a team leader and will solidify our
    defence. Whatever transfer budget might become available should be invested in such a player at whatever cost.

  11. Graham62


    I agree, Chelski will be in the mix for top 4.

    Infact, if you include ourselves, Leicester, Spuds, MU(maybe) and even West Ham, it’s going to be an interesting season.

    Liverpool will win the league comfortably from MC, as I feel City will be found out away from home more than Liverpool.

    Bottom half teams will take more points of the top half teams, which will make for a very competitive next few months.

  12. Danny

    I’m trying to remember a match whereby we’ve been behind, had a player sent off but came back to win the game.

  13. Leftsidesanch

    West Ham were always my dark horse from their business over the summer and their mostly smart additions last year. They are less heralded than Leicester of course.

    There are 6 teams outside of Man City and L’Pool fighting for the remaining spots in the top 6. We need to develop some consistency as we really need to get back into the CL next year.

  14. Leftsidesanch

    ‘I’m trying to remember a match whereby we’ve been behind, had a player sent off but came back to win the game.

    We did against Bolton in 2007 or 8, I’m sure there was another one too much earlier though.

  15. Pierre

    Whatever one thinks about Emery and our style of football, one could say that the games this season keep you on the edge of your seat.

    If I was going to a game of football , would I rather watch city win 8-0 or watch Arsenal win 3-2 after coming back from behind with ten men

    It would be The Arsenal game , all day long..

    I think we are all going to have to accept that under Emery, this is how it will be and try and enjoy the ride .

    If the manager is showing no concern about the team defensively then why should we .
    He’s not going to change , it’s like we are watching schoolboy football .

    Balance, shape , discipline, composure , intelligence are not in Emery’s vocabulary.
    No wonder one of his players accused him of not being a coach.
    Anyone who has played previously under Mourinho and played in the highly disciplined German side would recognise that what we are seeing is a manager seriously out of his depth.

    When Emery said he would rather win a game of football 5-4 than 1-0 , he is staying true to his word .

    As I said ,we may as well all enjoy the ride whole ot lasts as it will soon be over .

  16. Rich

    Neither Allegri or Mourinho have any type of form with developing youth.

    We have a young squad where developing young players is a necessity.

    Last season we finished poorly, but ultimately our final position was inline with where we currently are as a club.

    This season, no amount of coaching is going to push us any higher than competing for 3rd 4th.

    We’re a club in transition, transitions take time, no need to panic just yet, lets see where we are once Pepe+Ceballos settle, and we get Bellerin, Tierney, Holding back up to speed, and we build some cohesion in the middle of the park.

  17. Leedsgunner

    If we lose to Man United next week this result will mean absolutely nothing.

    If we want this result to actually count for something we need to start beating teams, especially those above us in the table.

  18. Northbanker

    We should all be writing to Raul and Edu to make a decision and get rid of the bumbling blind fool before he ruins us

    We have never had player prospects looking so good but all of this is being undone at a rate of knots as long as we keep the Clown

    Do either of them have a Twitter feed?

  19. Graham62

    Maybe we can find a place for Mustafi.

    Sorry too much coffee already this morning.


    I played Rugby at High( Comprehensive)School and at PE College. As I was fast, always played out on the wing.

    Love the game to bits and find the whole package of the Rugby WC so much more appealing than the Football WC.

    Probably my favourite sporting event.

  20. Graham62

    Was it Guendouzi who won it for us yesterday or was it all down to Emery’s tactical judgement and decision making.

    Answers on a postcard please.

  21. Champagne charlie


    Not sure where you’re getting the idea of “love” for Xhaka, I said you can chop and change the players at will and the same garbage performances will take the floor. Because it’s nothing more than fanciful to think the ‘secret’ we’re simply not unlocking is starting your fave midfield trio.

    The issue is very much the team not being coached to perform any type of tactic well. As you were with your own views on who should start, I’ll have mine. A couple of months down the line we can revisit the idea.

  22. Gentlebris

    Good work, Pedro.

    But about Chelsea:

    Chelsea surprisingly have a very good team which has been unlucky until now. They played good football yesterday and Liverpool tired against them. They created enough chances to win the game but unfortunately for them they didn’t even get a point.
    But you can be sure, Chelsea will make top 4. They will.

    The team involved in the dog fight are ManU, Spurds and Arsenal. I don’t think Leicester threatens the equation. Leicester will fade along the line.


    You can forget about ManU, they are deader than dapanji.

    The fight for 4th is in North London. The bottlers and us. May the better team win.

  23. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    I agree 100%. Rugby World Cup much more interesting than its Football counterpart.

    Teams like Fiji, Tonga and Samoa the minnows of the sport are far more competitive than similar teams in Football.

    Also they seem to deal with VAR much better.

    So far the rugby has been pretty good to watch and I am sure will get better.

  24. Leedsgunner


    Remember when Rashford made his EPL debut against us and turned us over? When we play against Man United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, and City, we are not right mentally. We expect to lose.

  25. Wiscogunner

    Interesting to see you point out Calcum’s poor touch for their second goal, but completely leave out how MatG stood 5 yds off McGuinn and watched him as he ran in to convert the cross. Sure he brought us back into the game, but it was Matteo’s atrocious marking/defending that allowed Villa’s first.
    And come on man, AMN second yellow was soft as f%*#. He slid in and won the ball by a mile and the Villa player more stepped on him. That’s not even a foul from him imo.
    And did you really suggest he attempted to sabotage his position at right back just so he wouldn’t have to play there anymore?? That’s thick as hell dude, and not in a good way.

  26. Spanishdave

    Any good manager would not have Xhaka on the pitch or as Captain it is so stupid.
    His attitude stinks, he is a poor player and as we all know too slow for the EPL.
    Yet Emery either can’t see it or hasn’t the balls to drop him. With this attitude Emery must go.
    He doesn’t have any idea about his first team line up or team structure.surely Edu and Raul can see it.
    Why waste time hoping things will get better, it’s delusional to wait.

  27. Bankz

    The hunger shown by the players yesterday was admirable.
    That was the 9th time in 27 yrs a team losing with a man down have come from behind to win the game in the premier league

  28. Leedsgunner

    Ask yourself, if Emery was let go today who would be sad in seeing his departure? Xhaka, Luiz, Sokratis… anyone else?

    At the moment, the team seems completely directionless and rudderless.

    At the moment, Freddie Ljungberg leaving would have more of a detrimental effect on the whole squad than Emery.

  29. siddharth14

    Nice post but a touch of depressing tone regarding Emery to be honest. There is no way the management can justify continuing with Emery just because we manage to achieve top 4 and that too because teams around us are floundering. If Raul and Edu are content with Top 4 then sure let Emery complete his tenure. But to even think about giving Emery a new deal is gross incompetence and should never happen.

    Also, we need to be careful when the words, ‘an easier run-in’ are mentioned. Because this is exactly the sort of run-in we had towards the end of the last season and we all know how glorious it turned out to be. I suspect, it is going to be the same thing this time. Emery is going to over analyze and ultimately damage Arsenal even more in doing so.

    However, I think we need to accept that barring a complete meltdown and Arsenal being about 12 to 15 points off a Top 4 spot, Emery’s position is relatively safe. The club have to play this on a stealth though. Even if they decide not to renew Emery, they cannot have talk leaking into the press about a new manager. There should be no distractions in our top 4 objective.

    One thing is for sure. This is going to be roller coaster………….

  30. Champagne charlie


    Thought it noted him staying until May ie end of the season, not beyond it?

    If he gets an extension that’ll be 2 steps forward and 3 back from leadership at the club.

  31. Un na naai

    “We have a lot of easy games coming up, if Emery can shake things up, we will no doubt be in a threatening position when December lands. If we’re within spitting distance, he’ll keep his job. I think he’ll comfortably be in the mixer by then, because we have a lot of very, very good players.”


    Ok maybe o misread this. I took it to mean he may keep his job behind May

    “I can see the rationale, but for me, the sooner we move him on the better. Skanking your way to 4th is not progressive. Betting your future on an average manager with conservative ideas will not take you to the promised land. The longterm damage a top 4 Emery will do to Arsenal is unthinkable, but there’s every chance it’ll happen.”

    Then this
    And at the end. “No amount of tinkering will save us in January. We won’t though (Rip the plaster) and that’s what worries me”

    Maybe I’m reading into it too much but I’m taking this as, if he achieves top 4 then he gets his third year

    And fuck that for a laugh.

  32. Davey

    Pleased with the result, for me the problem lies with 2 shit centre halfs and plodding holding player any team would struggle with that as your triangle/spine.
    I would like to see Grant Hacker dropped and put Luiz as the holder and bring back Holding at centre half.

  33. Northbanker

    What are Raul and Edu doing now? Their job should be more than managing the summer
    In particular look at Edu’s brief as much as it is a clear distinct role and not simply Raul’s no2

    He is supposed to be totally immersed intThe first team other than selection

    So what is he doing while Emery is failing so badly?

  34. Pierre

    Emery staying beyond may is a possibility if his luck holds and manages to finish top 4.

    It’s a difficult decision for the match going fans.
    Yesterday they were ten minutes away from crusifying the manager , the abuse that would have come his way would have been deafening.

    However, his players saved his skin and he lives to fight another day .

    He is walking a tightrope , that’s for sure.

  35. Un na naai

    North banker

    I’m hoping they are planning a coup in June.
    Allegri or someone to come in on a two year and put some defensive coaching into this team
    It’s unbelievable how long afc has gone without proper defensive coaching

  36. Un na naai


    Playing Luiz at the base of a diamond isn’t much different to his current role anyways
    Except he will have a bit more freedom on the ball. Why not. Either himself or Chambers are worth a try there but I’d also like to put chambers alongside holding at centre half and see how they got on with bell and tierney either side

    Luiz in front with Torreira and Guendouzi

    If not Luiz then willock and move Torreira back

  37. Un na naai

    Then the sending off. I know people have said Maitland-Niles slid in and thus gave the referee a decision to make, but he won the ball, and if anything it’s Taylor’s studs that catch him. I think it was a very harsh second yellow, but then it’s not a surprise when it’s Jon Moss in charge. He ambles about the pitch like a beer-bellied manatee with a whistle. He looks markedly unfit and often he’s miles away from play and the decisions he’s supposed to be adjudicating. For me, we were hard done by, but perhaps without the red card this game might not have gone the way it did.

    This from arseblog

    AMN won the ball. Shitty refereeing as I stated yesterday
    So many dopey bell ends let the shit biased commentary Male uo their mind’s rather than making a decision based on why they see

  38. Pierre

    “Tony’s had his feathers ruffled this morning.”

    He’s showing his true colours…he doesn’t fool me with his ass licking.

    He follows the crowd.

    If the majority want Wenger out …he wants wenger out
    If the majority want Emery to stay , he want Emery to stay .
    If the majority want Emery to leave , he wants Emery to leave .

    Can read him like a book , he always sides with the majority .

    Give him his due , it seems to work though, but occasionally the masks slips.

  39. Champagne charlie


    As I say, offer him an extension and watch any faith or hope I have for the leadership dissipate into nothing. He’s toilet, and still gets far too big a pass on here with guys to busy trying to bring their PlayStation potentially to reality.

    If a genuine discussion about our approach in nearly every game this season reared its head not one person could argue FOR Emery, it’s abject. I’m now reduced to hoping for more moments during matches where the quality tells, the random great passes, insane predation of Auba etc. Because we ain’t bossing shit.


    Looking forward to seeing Tierney integrated, and more so after a recent interview where he seems to be the most normal lad going. Into Gerry Cinnamon, thinks Mamma Mia movies are brilliant, loves Chinese food, and wears a black Adidas tracksuit everyday 😂 he’s the anti-Bellerin. Think he’s going to do well for us. He tucks his shirt in too so there’s a little throwback as well.

  40. Davey

    Xhaka is the root of our problems to give him the armband was a terrible decision, the guy has a wand of a left peg but that is it, can’t run or tackle not great for a midfielder

  41. Billp79

    We need 3 people to anchor the back
    Maybe 1 and a shield in mid
    If Emery doesn’t pick those pieces up in January
    I say give him his marching orders

  42. China1

    I think it’s a challenge to get guen to play his best for whole games which I’m very excitedly hoping we can overcome as when he’s good he’s *really* good.

    When he’s not great he tends to be very quiet as in the first half. If we can unlock those second half performances on the regular and from early in games then we will have one hell of a player

    He needs nurturing and enabling. Exactly the kind of player we need to be investing our energy and attention in helping.

    I must admit I think willock also may have what it takes. The jury is still out and he’s still inconsistent but he has some wonderful attributes. He needs handling with kid gloves and we need to see if we can get him to the next level like guen. If both of those two come good at arsenal they will be a massive coup for the club.

    Saka as well is very much worth watching. There’s a lot to be hopeful about with our academy right now. How about Eddie at Leeds as well?

    Now if saliba is the real deal next season we could have several exceptional young players around which we supplement quality and experience and we will be laughing

  43. Un na naai


    That’s exactly it. PlayStation PhDs but clearly not much real life experience of the actual game.
    The fact that so many were going along with the commentary on AMNs tackle yesterday is testament. They aren’t assessing what they see but reshaping reality to suit their narrow view of football.

    And yes. Thats precisely how i feel during game time. Hoping for a loose ball to fall to Aubameyang or one of the players to pull something from the hat
    As Pedro says, it’s in spite of him we won yesterday.

    The sending off was already being utilised as his free pass for yesterday
    At home
    To newly promoted villa. A week after being humiliated by Watford.
    Doesn’t matter what he offers up tactically, we are the same disjointed entity. Right arms and legs operating independently from each other. No cohesion. No synchronicity.

    If there is one word to describe us since emery took over it’s RANDOM. Everything just happens randomly.

  44. Un na naai

    When we should be in tandem

    Yeah Tiny has been off the boil lately. Snippy fucker looking for a bitch off on line. Must be taking lessons form marko and Freddie L

    Maybe he should sign up with mums.net.

  45. Champagne charlie


    Stat popped up yesterday that Emery has faced 7 newly promoted sides since taking over. Grand total of 0 clean sheets in those 7.

    That’s our project, taking the game down and up to the relevant opposition, we compete with everyone no matter how good or shit. That’s what happens when you don’t have a Northern star to strive for. You become your surroundings, can up it against Napoli, then it’s dross vs Watford and Villa. Emeryball in a nutshell, that’s why cup competitions are his currency.

  46. Un na naai


    Yeah I’m already quite taken with his old fashioned attitude. High praise too from a self confessed blue nose!! 😝

  47. Un na naai

    Cc yeah saw that. Not a surprise

    The one that’s got me are his first 43 vs Big Weng’s last 43

    Irrefutable proof that he was a step backwards. He’s only got to focus on the team. Wenger was running an entire club and still out performed him in his worst season. Even his moray ardent supporters gave up on him in the end only for us to go to emery and have to endure 2-3 seasons of abject football as you say

  48. Davey

    Are we the only club in the PL without a back up right back? Surely we have a decent one in the youth’s at least someone who knows the position and CC ain’t up to it

  49. Un na naai

    But – and you knew there was a but coming – a lot of that yesterday was really bad. Had we not pulled a second half rabbit out of the hat, we might well have been witnessing Emery’s last game. Going by the reaction of people around me in the stadium yesterday, and talking to people afterwards, patience is wearing really thin. That first half was really poor, conceding just after scoring, and the general lethargy with which we play has to be a concern.

    Don’t worry CG if you’re reading

    I’ll do it for you

  50. Champagne charlie


    Yea bringing in someone new to reproduce the same level seen at the very lowest ebb, for 43 matches no less, is just about as clear a marker as there is.

    Still, watch the usual suspects clamour for another signing in Jan and dismiss the influence of an actual top manager who could be gotten for half the price of a new centre half. Been so long since we’ve seen the benefits of a top coach that folk think players are dispensable window to window.

  51. HighburyLegend

    “Matteo G was an absolute monster. ”

    And he did just like Mustardi for the first Villa goal : watching the ball passing by without doing anything.

  52. Wasi

    Emery the tinker man tinkering again. How can you start Ozil at Vicarage road in a defensive setup and then bench him againts

  53. Nelson


    Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa was only the ninth occasion in Premier League history a team has won a match after receiving a red card while losing – three of those wins have been by Arsenal (also v Derby in 1997 and Bolton in 2008).

  54. Un na naai


    Well just look at the superior organisation of teams much much lower than us. If you bring just that element to our current side we improve dramatically and our attack has more freedom to immediately express itself

    We are a top heavy team apparently
    Yet to see the attacking riches dominate a match under emery this season

  55. Leedsgunner

    Against Nottingham Forest I would play…

    Mustafi — Chambers –Mavropanos — Kolasinac

    Subs: Burton, Saka, Leno, Holding, Bellerin, Tierney, Greenwood

    We need to give Guendouzi, Aubameyang, Willock and Ceballos a rest because we need them desperately against Man United.

    In the EPL we need to stop choosing Xhaka because the central midfield doesn’t work with him in it. Stop choosing him.

    Luiz and Sokratis pairing is not working. We need to find another CB pairing quick… perhaps Chambers and Holding is worth a go.

  56. Foreverinyourshadows

    Two nil down against Bolton, Diaby gets sent off, and we won 3-2, I remember coming out of the ground singing we only had ten men, ten men. We were lucky yesterday, defensive frailties for every one to see, Sokratis almost ruining it for us, he did give it his best,. Emery is not the right man for us, it was the players who won the it not his tactics as no one knows what they are. Luis would be suited playing in Xhaka’s position as once again he proved how useless he really is. Emery defending him only highlights he is wrong and needs to drop him. Niles once again showed he is no defender. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insane, that quote suits Emery to the bone

  57. Champagne charlie


    Spot on, I think Brenda is another average manager but he’s brought the basics to Leicester in terms of organisation and pressing. He’d have us looking twice the side and that’s saying something.

  58. Wasi

    Emery the tinker man tinkering again. How can you start Ozil at Vicarage road in a defensive setup and then bench him against Villa at Home where we are going to have more of the ball.
    Player remarks
    Leno- Did what he had to do. Not at fault for any of the goals.
    Ainsley stoned niles- name says it all
    Sok- His lack of athleticism coming to the fore and the pointless drama which has markedly increased this season is embarassing
    Luiz- Againt directly at fault for a goal.
    Kola- Worked hard in offense and defence. He just lacks the defensive intelligence to defend and composure in the attacking third to attack. Will always be an average player imo.
    Xhaka- The booing says it all. Needs to be sold and we can invest those funds somewhere else possibly CB.
    Guen-MoM .Has the makings of a leader. Potential to be world class, needs to play with mote concentration.
    Ceballos- Like I said yesterday can only have 2 types of games 1-world class 2-Worthless. Yesterday was the latter
    Saka- Our best player in the first half . Unfortunate to be subbed off. His crossing is deadly and his confidence is scary. Real prospect. Deserves to start against Manu next weekend.
    Auba-His best friend may be Arsenal’s best player but auba is the one whos our most important. He would easily slot in the first 11 of Psg, madrid, athletico, juve . All CL contenders. We are very very fortunate to have him.
    Pepe- Very positive. After the goal his confidence seemed to go up a notch. The overhead kick attempt says it all.
    Calum- Made a mistake made up for it. Deserves a chance at CB. But will probably will have to play RB until Heccy B returns as Amn might have picked up an injury.
    Joe-Extremly positive. Can be an extraordinary impact sub. Drives at opponents and is tidy in the final third.
    Torreira- Has added an extra element of attacking threat to his game. Works hard.Scraps and snaps until he wins the ball back. Absolutely deserves to start against Manu.

    We are playing drab football. We want to be protagonists but most of our goals this season have come in counter attacks, fast breaks and individual quality. We dont have anyone to knit the midfield and the attack. Ceballs should be doing that but he is busy roaming all around the pitch. We have someone who can do that but the tinker man completely refuses to play him. Maybe he’s just giving him proper rest for the Nottingham game.
    I will hold my decision on Emery until late November when Bellerin, Tierney and Holding should all be in the starting 11. Though i doubt its going to be a positive one. If we can convince Allegri/ Nagelsmann to join us come new year i would happily give Emery the boot unless of course he completely does a 180 , drops Xhaka, defines an identity of play, Instills a defensive structure into the side, Make us the protagonists like he promised , and Learns to speak proper English. UnLiKEly.

  59. Bamford10

    If Emery gets his formation and selections right going forward — i.e., no Xhaka, no AMN, no Ozil — there is no reason, barring disaster, to replace him this season. If he insists on starting Xhaka, however, he needs to be shown the door.

    Stick with the 4-5-1, start non-calamitous players, build chemistry within a given system and among the starters, continue to develop the younger players, continue to build a foundation for the future. Sign a useful, athletic CM in January. Finish top four. That should be the program.

    Emery is not the man for us beyond May, IMO. However, barring disaster, and barring his starting Xhaka, AMN or Ozil regularly, there is no reason to replace him mid-season.

    We’re top four, the team is reasonably well-organized week to week, the players work hard for one another and the team shows good spirit. I realize people want a “saucier” manager — I look forward to this prospect as well — but one should be reasonable. This is a process.

  60. HighburyLegend

    I really can’t see us bringing more than 1 point from Old Toilet, because – as our beloved Captain would say, we are “scared”.

    And of course out there it’s even worst… lol

  61. Wasi

    Id say Holding is primed to start the Forest game. And as Emery has stated Xhaka is very important to the team so he probably wont start here.
    Why is he so important? Well he trains hard and shows commitment and professionalism in training. Drab .

  62. Gentlebris

    The Spanish chef is naming his captains after the Forest game. Interesting that he’s now cornered.
    If he names Xhaka as number one captain that would be ‘fuck you’ to the fans. If he doesn’t, that would be ‘i wash my hands off you’ to Xhaka.

    Over to our £6m a year plumber.

  63. Cesc Appeal

    The collective despair when Xhaka starts at Old Trafford.

    As has been suggested our midfield should be made up from 3 of Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos.

    With Holding, Bellerin and Tierney returning we actually have a chance to start to build momentum and good feeling in the squad. Even more so if Saka continues to develop.

    If he continues to select Xhaka we’re making life unnecessarily difficult for ourselves.

    Over the next 2 weeks we should phase out Xhaka, AMN, Kolasinac and one of of the current CBs.

    I just have a feeling Emery is going to be the type to look at the name of a player, amplify their limited good traits to ridiculous levels and ignore their massively damaging negatives to the team. I don’t see what he seems to see with Xhaka, what it is he thinks he’s doing well.

  64. HighburyLegend

    “The collective despair when Xhaka starts at Old Trafford.”

    Oh but he will wear the armband at old toilet, be sure of that.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    Bellerin, Holding, Luiz/Chambers, Tierney
    —–Willock/Ceballos, Guendouzi
    ———Pepe, Lacazette, Auba

    That could actually be a decent team.

    Adding Xhaka is like when you were a kid and effects and traits would be added playing a video game. Add Xhaka -20% to team speed -20% to work rate, traits added holes in midfield, lack of coverage, deep block.

  66. Leedsgunner


    Under normal circumstances I would start Holding in the League Cup game but I desperately do not want to see Sokratis and Luiz start for us against Man Utd as a pairing. I can see either of them drawing a penalty or sending sent off at Old Trafford.

    I would love to see Holding start in Man Utd… I think he has the character to step up to the big occasion and keep his partner in check.

  67. Champagne charlie


    Yea I don’t rate Brenda, but I’m saying even he has a grasp over the fundamentals we lack. He’d be better than Emery, that’s the painful admission from my POV.

  68. Cesc Appeal

    I wonder if Bellerin will be added a lot faster than he would have been.

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see him play against Forest.

    Likely Holding plays the full 90.

    They get almost a week off to the United fixture the following Monday.

  69. Leedsgunner

    Who plays the RB and LB for the U23s? Could they make the step up for the League Cup? It would be a terrible shame for Bellerin and Tierney to be rushed back so they re-injure themselves so close to full recovery.

  70. TR7

    A fully fit Arsenal team is the 3rd best team in the league on paper.


    Bellerin Holding Chambers Tierney

    Ceballos Guen Torreira

    Pepe Auba Laca

  71. Valentin

    Hopefully against Nottingham forest, we may have a combination of Holding and Mavrapanos in the center. With both Tierney and Bellerin as fullback.
    Clearly Willock-Torreira in midfield. I hope that Guendouzi will be rested for ManUtd.
    Aubameyang should be kept in cotton wool until next Monday evening.
    We may see Pepe moved to the center with Nelson and Martinelli given a run-out.

  72. Leedsgunner

    If Emery does not trust Özil at home against a newly promoted team — when is he going to be trusted?

    If Emery was going to freeze Özil out like this he should have sold loaned him out in the summer. Say what you want about Özil, this is not good man management on Emery’s part. He overplays Xhaka… and he definitely underplays Özil in my opinion.

  73. Nelson

    For me, the most important thing is for the coaching staff to instill discipline in the team. The players have to be aware of it throughout the game.
    – One FB should always stays behind to form a three men back line.
    – When one CM (Guen) bombs forwards, the other CM should stay close to Xhaka (knowing too well Emery will play him).
    – The two wingers should stay close to the sideline during buildup. Only when one winger has advanced the ball forwards and ready to cross, the other winger can move in to support the striker. (Yesterday, Saka wants to play 2nd striker a lot of time).
    – When building up from the back, give the ball to Luiz as much as possible. His long pass can open up a defense.

  74. Pierre

    For me , I’m hoping that Emery keeps Ozil out of the starting line up , the more he is out the more it highlights our lack of intelligence, composure , patience and tactical awareness on the pitch.

    That’s 2 weeks on the bounce that the manager has escaped just as the noose was tightening around his neck.

    Guendouzi has his faults but his will to win is second to none, he is brave on the ball and accepts responsibility. He stood up to be counted and at such a young age .

    Today , he is the flavour of the day , next week he will probably be cast as the fall guy by those same fans .

    For me , he could go on to be as influential have some of Arsenal’s greatest midfielders.

    I’m just reading that Arsenal’s winner should have been disallowed if VAR was doing its job properly , plus VAR should have awarded a penalty for the sokratis deliberate hand ball.

    The old saying of ” if you cant be good ,be lucky ” certainly applies to our manager.

  75. Moe

    Ceballos was piss poor yesterday, but as usual Xhaka takes the cake. What a total fuckin waste of money. A 19 yr old does more in 20mins than this useless lump. “Spraying passes” my ass.
    I hope he ends up getting Emery fired and the next manager sells him. That would be the perfect ending. I agree with the earlier comment that Mustafi offers more than Xhaka, which is the ultimate indictment.

  76. Aasim

    Emery is absolutely average and the single biggest reason for the current performance (or lackof). He doesn’t extrude confidence, is fidgety and to make it a lot worse, has a massive communication issue. Most leaders are brilliant communicators. Emery, as is evident from his pressers, is horrible at explaining his thought process and presenting his ideas. And due to his lack of confidence and self-belief, whatever he presents, sounds and feels uninteresting and uninspiring. And managing elite talent is all about inspiration. I agree that he will always hover around mediocrity and is incapable of inspiring arsenal to the next level. I feel his lack of self-belief is also evident in his unwillingness to stick by a system or a group of players as his first 11.

  77. Dolomite

    In Defence Of Xhaka

    Contrary to popular public opinion I actually think the blame attributed to Xhaka is unfair and myopic, given that the entire structure and pattern of Arsenals play is not only unbalanced and extremely random but also one that doesnt play to the strengths of each individual rather to Emery’s weak and uninspiring ‘protagonist’ approach.

    We all know Xhaka cannot tackle or track back effectively so why play him in a position AND system that requires him to do that?

    Xhakas best attributes are accurate cross field distribution and set pieces along with the occassional tactical foul (sometimes in the wrong areas of the pitch – COSTLY)

    Emery persists in using him as a deep lying playmaker yet prefers triangular wing play and possession based counters, jobs he is absolutely rubbish at.

    Xhaka at best should be an option against a non pressing side , using his distribution to spring pacy counter attacks bypassing the midfield from the heart of defence, not a starter when we have no defined style of play apart from using the pace and skill of our forward line.

    If at all he does use Xhaka, then its imperative that he plays Torreira and Guendozi beside him with one permanently SITTING in midfield while the other goes forward. With this comes the inevitable non use of players like Ozil or Ceballos because the midfield will be far to open and susceptible to attack.

    In my opinion this is all on Emery and his poor tactics and understanding of his players capabilities than Xhaka being poor. He looks a completely different player for Switzerland.

  78. Valentin


    Jordi Osei-tutu was the U23 right back, but he is currently in loan at Vfl Bochum a second division German club. He had a few appearances, but lately it seems that he has been moved to right midfield rather than right fullback.
    None of the U23 fullback currently at the club have either the athleticism or ability to deputise at fullback for the senior team. It would be like sending lambs to fight wolves. Not a good move.

  79. Cesc Appeal


    They tried. He won’t go and no one is going to pay the £350 000 a week. Same with Mustafi, they were offered around and no one wants them. Shocking, I know.

    Emery and the club are exactly right, he can play in the League Cup and Europa League but even away games against Gwgudbjdgueendjd FC are too much for him.

    He’s just like Xhaka, you can’t put him in because it affects the team around him. His negatives mean we lose speed, work rate, pressing and compactness. It basically means the wingers either side of him need to do more and the midfielder behind him, each needs to give 20% more in the game.

    Same for Xhaka with the CMs and CBs around him.

    We have to stop playing these kinds of players who need their hand’s held.

  80. Alexanderhenry

    Haven’t posted on here for a while.
    I thought I’d see how things panned out but I’m none the wiser after the first batch of games

    Overall, I think this will be an untypical season for a lot of clubs.

    Man city and Liverpool are nailed on winners and runners up but everyone else?
    -who knows. Spurs, man utd and chelsea all have significant problems in their squads and Leicester and West ham look potentially threatening.

    Arsenal look pretty shit a lot of the time but we’re currently in 4th place– the club’s holy grail.
    We could finish anywhere between 3rd and 8th this season.

  81. Leedsgunner

    You know your central defence partnership is full of s**** when one entertains the thought of introducing Mustafi back into the fold out of sheer desperation.

  82. Nelson

    Yesterday, Villa decided to sit back and defend the lead in the 2nd half. It gave Arsenal time and space to attack. Guen took advantage of the situation. Against a team like Watford, he won’t be looking so good.

  83. Bamford10


    That’s not a terrible XI, and you might be right that that is the third best XI on paper — maybe — but Emery can’t be judged relative to that XI until he actually has that XI available to him. Until then, he can only be criticized for not starting the players he does in fact have available to him or for starting players that clearly should no longer be in the XI.

  84. Guns of Hackney

    Good post. Goodness gracious me…I’ve run out of words to describe Emery. So I’ll go with the blunt tool one: he’s fucking coma
    inducing. Dire. Get this SOB out now.

  85. Edu me a favour

    I realise that emery isn’t about to throw xhaka under the bus , but , you can’t come out and talk about how Important he is to the team when you’ve sat there and watched him rack up error after error and concede endless free kicks , and cost us points. If he sides with xhaka he’s going to completely lose the fan base and dare I say it , the dressing room …

  86. Leedsgunner

    I put it to you he’s already lost the dressing room.

    Players will try to put a brave face on it, but they aren’t stupid… the manager’s favourites like Xhaka will be ostracised despite the support of the manager unless they start putting in the performances.

  87. Chris

    Got to agree about Matteo, I love this guy. And there is so much more to come from him also, he has to be a part of a dynamic, modern midfield if we are to step up a level. He is still going to have bad days now and then but people need to keep faith with him.

    I think he can be a massive part of our midfield for the next decade.

  88. Graham62


    A very honourable defence of Granit Xhaka..

    Irrespective of his weaknesses and attributes, for me though it all boils down to one thing.

    His lack of self awareness and in particular his immature reactions to the game around him.

    It’s called taking responsibility.

    One things for sure, he is not leadership material.

  89. Cesc Appeal



    As much as I think Mislintat turned out to be just a massive hipster fetish we do have to thank him for Guendouzi.

    £6 Million from Lorient and he looks as if he could be special.

  90. Words on a Blog

    Until Guendouzi and Auba took the game by the scruff of the neck the mood in the stadium yesterday was very sullen, and for the first time (at least in my hearing) very anti-Emery. Once again we started off as open as hell, and as relaxed as a beach club in Barbados.

    It’s been said many, many times, but Xhaka cannot and must not play as a CDM. He was immobile, sleepy when we didn’t have possession and ponderous when we did. Either play him (occasionally) further up or better still don’t play him at all.

    Really not sure how this is gonna go. The opportunity to make top 4 is better than last year but we are just way too inconsistent and ponderous..

    ..I also disagree with Pedro that Leicester is a “mirage”. I watched their game against Spurs and I thought they looked very solid, with a good mix between old-Leicester style long balls into the channels or in behind for Vardy and passages of rapid short passing exchanges which sliced through the Spuds very effectively.

  91. Chris

    I can understand where people are coming from when they say that by taking Xhaka out of the team, what he does do needs to be replaced equal or better, but I feel to look at it just that way is wrong.

    The game changed yesterday when we put on two far more athletic and dynamic players. That has to be what we do going forwards. Have better and more suitable players on the pitch and our chances of success are increased, even in spite of poor tactical choices by Emery, one could say this was illustrated yesterday.

    There is no room for Xhaka in this and any future Arsenal line up and Emery has to be bold and drop him.

  92. Words on a Blog

    If (and it is a very big if) we manage to play with the intensity we had yesterday when we were down to 10 men, top4 is a given, but we are just as likely to play with the casual, opponent-friendly approach of the first 40 minutes…

  93. Dolomite

    Totally agree about him not being suited to wearing the armband Graham


    Emery made him captain, and the blame is entirely his if he cant find a better leader in the team.

  94. Words on a Blog

    I’m totally puzzled by Emery’s contrasting treatment of Ozil and Xhaka.

    Both are senior players. Both arguably lack athleticism and bottle when the chips are down, so their use should be restricted.

    Ozil is dropped very, very frequently. Xhaka is never dropped.

    What gives?

  95. Cesc Appeal


    He looks a real prospect.

    Also as you’re saying when you take Xhaka out you don’t need to find someone who can play the deep possession role you just change the nature of your midfield for the better.

    Instead of a deep midfield that tries to give Xhaka time and space on the ball and allows him to not move around a lot because…well because he can’t, you change it to a dynamic, fast paced, tenacious midfield.

    Drop Xhaka into Liverpool’s midfield taking out one of their players and what happens? It would change for the worse and basically dent their entire approach. A few nice cross field balls to Mane and Salah occasionally does not make up for the fact there tempo is gone, their press from midfield is gone and because Xhaka is playing 2 feet away from Van Dijk constantly there is no midfield coverage for the defence.

  96. bennydevito

    Abternoon Grovers,

    good post Pedro.

    We definitely won that match in spite of Emery. Going forward starting at Utd our midfield 3 should be Torreira, Willock and Guendouzi with Ozil, Ceballos and Xhaka on the bench. Chambers at right back too.

    Xhaka is such a passenger and it’s almost like playing with 10 men with him in the side but Emery can’t see it.

    I think if we’re in the top 4 come Christmas then Emery will see out the season and depending on if we get top 4 or not will decide if Emery gets the 3rd year. For me personally even if we do get top 4 Emery should go because him running the ship in the CL doesn’t bare thinking about.

    I was keen on Allegri but not so much now after reading the opinions of the Juve match goers who couldn’t wait to see the back of him, doesn’t fill me with confidence.

    Not sure who I want outside of Vieira tbh.

    Un nai

    “Irrefutable proof that he was a step backwards. He’s only got to focus on the team. Wenger was running an entire club and still out performed him in his worst season. ”


    Hmmm, that’s a very big stretch. It’s not Top Trumps so the only stats that matter are the league table.

    Wenger’s last – 6th – 63pts – 12pts from 4th – 37pts from 1st.

    Emery’s first – 5th – 70pts – 1pt from 4th – 28pts from 1st.

    Whatever way you want to spin it with top Trump stats and XG abcdefg etc, the only stat that matters is the league table.

    Emery is bad, we all know that but Wenger’s last few years were awful. Glad he’s gone.

    Agree about AMN though, never a yellow.

  97. Words on a Blog

    I think a key lesson for Emery is that if he wants Arsenal to “be protagonists” and “play with intensity” he cannot have a chillaxing Granit in the middle of the field.

  98. Left testicle

    I’m not defending Xhaka – he shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team but his attitude is miles ahead of Ozil’s.

  99. HighburyLegend

    “United really are a grotesque club”

    Arsenal, as usual, will probably help them to restore their pride a bit.

  100. Receding Hairline

    Will i give Emery a new contract if he makes top four?


    If he does make top four i think the decision makers should consider it job done and move hum on. He isn’t really quite clear on what he is trying to build and that lack of decisiveness is why we play the way we do.

  101. Pierre

    Yeah ozil’s attitude on the bench is woeful isnt it.

    Actually xhaka had a very decent first half, aubameyang (who I like) gave the ball away close to ten times in the first half and was the main instigator of our problems in the first half with his sloppy passing.

    Too many on here have preconceived ideas of what they think is happening on the pitch and how a player is playing, but in reality can be the total opposite.

  102. Champagne charlie

    “I was keen on Allegri but not so much now after reading the opinions of the Juve match goers who couldn’t wait to see the back of him, doesn’t fill me with confidence”

    Lol, because Arsenal fans are in the same position as Juve ones…

    5 league titles, numerous cups, CL finals. They were doing the business and could gripe about minutiae and elite first world football problems.

    We’re battling Watford and Villa for superiority over 90 mins and some fans are dismissing managers of that standard on branding? How out of touch can it get?

  103. HillWood

    Emery may or may not get Champions League next season but I for one don’t want Arsenal just making up the numbers again.
    If we are in it we need to make a serious attempt to win it
    I don’t see Emery being the man for the job

  104. Valentin


    Last season there were rumours that we were after Çağlar Söyüncü who ended up at Leicester.

    Any truth that Mislintat wanted us to go after Çağlar Söyüncü but that Raul decided to first go after Sokratis. Of course once the deal with Sokratis was made, we did not had enough left to go for his younger teammate.

    That would make sense as Çağlar Söyüncü can play on either side of the defense, but like Koscielny tend to prefer the left side. Sokratis does not strike me as a Mislintat type of deals.

  105. Pierre

    The referee may have actually done Arsenal a favour yesterday with the dubious red card.

    It fired up the Arsenal players and just as importantly ,the arsenal fans.

    The Arsenal fans are always more vocal when they feel they are hard done by.
    They become the extra man on the pitch, they contest every decision and the players respond to that .

  106. RodneyKing

    I certainly would have loved Conte at Arsenal ahead of everyone else. He would have hit the ground running. But I’m not sure he would have been able to work wonders with our defence without changing its personnel.

    Inter’s defence looked average for the most part against the mighty Spartans of Prague midweek in Europe. I’m sure Conte knows he needs better players, just like it was the case at Chelsea where he openly complained that he wasn’t getting the required support from the club. We all know how things turned out over there.

    Elite coaches need elite players. End of. I’ll change my mind when Guardiola signs up (and persists) with a player like Xhaka. He’s currently playing Otamendi because he has no choice.

  107. Receding Hairline

    “Sokratis does not strike me as a Mislintat type of deals.”

    What exactly ties Raul with Sokratis?

    Mislintat took Sokratis to Dortmund and Brought him to Arsenal. That he wanted to add Caglar does not mean he did not rubber stamp the deal for Sokratis who was clearly his player, you are doing the good Sven bad Raul bit again.

  108. Receding Hairline

    “Greece international Sokratis becomes the second player the Gunners have signed from Dortmund in the last year after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined for a club record fee in the January transfer window .

    The 29-year-old is an experienced centre-back who shares the same agent as compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos, another player scouted and signed by Arsenal’s new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat at the turn of the year. ”

    “Mislintat maintains a close relationship with senior figures at Dortmund, where he spent over a decade as their chief scout, and played an influential part in Arsenal’s January signings of Mavropanos, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the latter being another ex-Dortmund player whom the German knows well”

    Chris Wheatley (Goal.com)

  109. Receding Hairline

    “Sokratis, who is 29 and had one year left on his contract in Germany, has made 79 appearances for Greece and had played for Dortmund since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. He previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan and is likely to go straight into Emery’s starting team. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will also be the third player who worked previously with Arsenal’s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Dortmund.”

    The Guardian

    Raul had NOTHING to do with the wrestler ending up at Arsenal

    I do hope he steps in though and makes Emery stop considering him as first choice, he is an atrocious footballer who has no place in the modern game

  110. Ishola70

    “He looks a completely different player for Switzerland.”

    Not true.

    He may look not quite as shit for Switzerland but his weaknesses playing for them still come through as well.

    Enough yellow cards for holding the player for Switzerland which again highlights how he can struggle off the ball.

    And there have been wtf moments for him playing for Switzerland. You must have missed the Portugal game with videos put around of Xhaka forgetting where the ball was and Portugal scoring from that.

    He looks less shit for Switzerland because many internationals are less fast and physical than your average EPL match. He happens to be playing in the EPL for Arsenal so it makes your post a bit of a waste of time fella.

  111. salparadisenyc

    Who cares who made the signings, Mislintat or Raul both did / are doing good work overall. The manager has enough at this stage to select a proper starting XI without excuse.

  112. Ishola70

    As others have alluded to manager needs to drop Xhaka, Sokratis and AMN from the first team.

    Chambers I heard had an error in the 2nd half that led to a Villa goal but is forgiven because he notched a goal later. Shouldn’t work like that. Defender should be judged on his play in relation to goals against not goals for. Mustafi used to notch a few goals frpm corners. Didn’t save him. As said before Chambers isn’t going to be this big saviour for the defence that plenty of posters are implying.

    I can only think that Emery’s dropping of players such as Mustafi or Ozil but not dropping Xhaka is primarily down to attitude. So you can fuck up all day in Emery’s team but as long as you show a good attitude around the club you are good to go to be continued getting picked. Ozil and Mustafi as well as being not good enough for the team on the pitch must have shown some bad attitude off it as well.

  113. Wasi

    Ozil and Xhaka are very similar type of players. They have their positives and their negatives. They need the team to be built around them for them to flourish. The 2 of them cant play together and that is painfully clear. Who would you want to start.

    Xhaka is supposedly a control tower(havent seen that this season in a single match) , a good passer, a leader , someone who shows commitment in training . His cons include being born slow, championship level agility, less IQ, giving away penalties, conceding yellows after being spun at halfway line, ability to phase out of the match when carrying out his defensive duties , scared to ask for the ball in pressure situations, takes jibes at better teammates , rash decision making and positioning sense of an U23 player and a complete worthlessness in the final third. I might have missed out a few here forgive me for that.

    Ozil adds guile and creativity unmatched in the squad, is an efficient dribbler, rarely gives up the ball, Helps in playing out of the back, brings a sense of calmness in possession, can take out whole defences with clever dummies and flicks
    His cons include being slow and lazy out of possession, not showing passion(because of his shy nature), not tracking back to help out the defense on a regular basis, being anonymous in big. matches.

    Ozils pros far outweigh the cons imo whereas in Xhaka’s case the cons far outweigh the good. But Emery keeps playing Xhaka only thanks to his attitude. I wont argue with that. You need to have players who will show good commitment in training and be an example for others. But you also cant keep ignoring the fact that just because a player does that you can let him keep costing us games. And its very possible to fit in Ozil if we remove Xhaka from the starting 11. Maybe not in tough away games but benching him against Villa is maddening. Maybe Its just a case that Emery cant manage big players. Its like he wants to be the boss and to do that he must overthrow the other boss.There is no other option. You just freeze him out. He couldn’t handle Neymar . He cant handle Ozil. Give him Banega , Nzonzi and Xhaka and he will be happy.

  114. China1

    If emery lasts until the end of the season and gets top 4 then okay he didn’t fail this season – but we don’t have to and shouldn’t be giving him a new contract

    Scraping the bare minimum is how you get a C+ in your test. It’s not how you earn a scholarship at Harvard.

    I can tolerate a messy season that drags us into the CL but if arsenal are that soft to have such basic criteria for contract renewal then the owners clearly still aren’t fussed about the doing anything better than that

    Top 4 is a basic, minimum means to an end. Not a trophy and not to be celebrated. It’s the bare minimum of passable and with this squad and with our rivals looking off the pace we have even less excuse than usual.

    Either sack him sooner rather than later and get in a manager you think can do big things for us or if you think he’ll get top 4, let him try and if he does say thanks and good luck with the rest of your career

  115. Marko

    Chambers: “I am very pleased. I hold my hand up to their second goal so I had to put things right. We stuck in there and worked hard and deserved it in the end.”

    Chambers doing something Xhaka would never do which is acknowledge a mistake.

  116. Marko

    we should look at Allegri who now has a good grasp of English.

    His English is okay. T
    Again this is a common theme so again I can only assume that Pedro is now vehemently against the likes of Nagelsmann who can’t speak English. Shame that

  117. China1

    Ozil is a footballing genius but a lazy overpaid soft bellied cunt

    Xhaka is just a fucking terrible footballer with one good but not very useful attribute that contributes nothing of substance to our game

    It says a lot that these are our two captains and yet xhaka gets bood by his own fans for being utter wank and ozil is lower in the pecking order than some of our teenagers LOL

    that’s such an embarrassing indictment of those two

  118. Receding Hairline

    “Who cares who made the signings, Mislintat or Raul both did / are doing good work overall. The manager has enough at this stage to select a proper starting XI without excuse.”

    Most posts on here have a history, that one about Sven wanting Caglar and Raul opting for Sokratis being one of them. It had to be debunked because i know what the poster was up to.

    Nothing to do with Emery having the tools or not, we have enough in our squad to do well this season provided some player stop getting free passes for atrocious performances

  119. China1

    If Auba hadnt banged in that free kick xhaka would’ve been making sly digs about his lack of goals the vapid little shit

  120. Spanishdave

    The fact that Emery defended Xhaka and said he was improving is a lie and asking the crowd to be nice to him is beyond belief.
    He should have said his performance was not up to what is expected and changes will be made, that would at least be true full and earn respect.
    Edu and Raul have to act and properly manage the situation by cautioning him.

  121. Marko

    Any truth that Mislintat wanted us to go after Çağlar Söyüncü but that Raul decided to first go after Sokratis…Sokratis does not strike me as a Mislintat type of deals.

    I suppose he wasn’t to blame for Lichtsteiner either. I know it goes against the god like admiration that Sven Mislintat gets around here but he was totally behind the Sokratis signing it’s plainly obvious. That’s twice he’s signed him. Could have gone for Issa Diop and even Caglar the previous summer as well as targeted a RB like Ricardo Pereira but instead he went for Lichtsteiner and Sokratis. That was his idea of adding experience and a winning mentality. Guendouzi aside his recruitment was shocking for us