Emery struggles to motivate a performance, again

by .

I watched the Arsenal game in New Orleans in a great bar call Finn McCool’s. I am very hungover right now. So bear with me kids.

We’re now into October and Unai Emery has only managed one decent performance this season, that was against a Championship side.

On the face of it, you can boldly look at the on-paper situ and say that we’re sitting in 4th, we’re ahead of two of our main rivals in the race for top 4, and we’re excited about some of the kids.

Or you could be a miserable but realistic person and realize that there are only 3 points between 4th and 11th, our main rivals are in deep transition / we’ve not taken advantage of their woes, and the kids are the only exciting thing because the rest of the squad hasn’t really shown up.

At the core of our problems is our beta manager. Unai Emery went to Old Trafford, a team West Ham bossed, and played with fear again. His midfield lacked ambition, he basically rolled with three holding midfielders, opting to push LT into a more advanced position he really can’t play. Xhaka is Xhaka, you know what you’re going to get and it’s always a different variant of beige. We all love Matteo, but he can’t do it all himself. I really felt for the attack, Auba was dropping into our own penalty box at times to create for the forward players. Petit summer up the side he picked.

‘It sends negative signals by picking 3 defensive midfielders against a team there for the taking’

We went a goal down, there were 9 Arsenal players behind the ball when McTominay fizzed a shot that Xhaka ducked. It was quite startling to be down to a side that’s been so inept this season, but not surprising, we give wind to any club in any sort of crisis. Xhaka ducking a header? Not shocking.

We clawed one back in VAR circumstances. Saka slipped Aub into the box with a lovely first-time pass, the finish was an arrogant little dink, but the linesman called it offside. VAR overturned the decision. De Gea looked like he’d broken the unwritten rule… play on regardless of what you see with you eyes and hear with your ears. The VAR ruled the goal legitimate.

Saka was the one bright spot in a game of darkness. He’s electric, he moves the ball with purpose, he’s extremely bright and he delivers. If we’d spent £80m on him this summer, we’d all be purring right now. What a bright future this guy has.

The rest of the game was pretty grim to watch. The manager tried to spice up our attack with the introduction of  Ceballos. I’m not sure it heavily altered the dynamic, though it did give us a bit more purpose.

We chased the win late on by bringing Reiss Nelson on for the dismal Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian superstar looked utterly lost once again. He has some lovely flashes, but he has no clue what he’s doing in the Emery system. He’s a lost his sparkle, he needs a goal, I also think he needs a hug, the guy looks very, very miserable.

1-1 was a fair result, but once again, it was a poor one given the context. What made it worse was the glee on Emery’s face, like he’d just taken Sevilla to Barca and nicked a point. It’s so meek.

I’m no fan of Mesut Ozil, but in a game as bad as that, he’d be handy to open up opportunities. The manager named him in his 5 captains, then dropped him from the squad. What does that say about your emotional intelligence as a coach? How do your rationalise that sort of thing? What does that message look like to the other players? It’s farsical considering how little magic was on show yesterday. As someone comically said yesterday, Emery would prefer to play a defensive midfielder as a #10.

Long and short of it. We couldn’t take advantage of Spurs when they were in freefall. We couldn’t take advantage of an OGS mess. We’re in 4th place, sure, but the reality is we’re not playing like a top 4 team and the hangover from last season has carried through. We are a very average team. Some fans aren’t paying attention to the performances becasue they don’t think the table lies. I have news for you, the table always lies, if you didn’t learn that last season during our 22 game unbeaten streak, I feel for you. Emery hasn’t moved us forward, he doesn’t know how to build a defensive structure, his approach to attack is painfully one-dimensional, and worst of all… the players don’t look like they enjoy playing his system.

We’re holding out for Tierney and Hector to save Emery’s vision, the same way many fans were holding onto the idea that buying wide players would make his style tick. It’s fantasy stuff. We were supposed to be hiring in a magician who could work with the tools he was given, we got a one-dimensional manager with less tricks up his sleeve than Wenger. The only thing that’s flexible is his indecision. The only thing that’s visionary is the belief that there’s a good player somewhere in the world of Xhaka. The only thing exciting are the moments of individual magic some of our talent can pull off inspite of the manager.

We hired in asset stripper, the asset he’s selling off is footballing joy and he’s utterly ruthless at it. Unai Emery doesn’t want to have a specific style. He just wants to crawl through each game and take the points any way he can. It’s like watching a mid-table team bar fight after 12 beers. He’s a bad pragmatist, he doesn’t believe in anything, so we’re always going to look confused. We get by at the moment because we have good players, or more to the point, we have an Auba.

That’s not a sustainable model. It didn’t work last season, I have my doubts it will this year. The only thing we’re hopeful of is that Chelsea, Spurs and United continue to be works of transition. That’s such a miserable outlook considering how good some of the talent is.

… but this is us for the forseeable. I can’t see the club doing anything unless things go really badly, we’re just going to aim for 4th and hope the manager finds some sort of rhythm.

A disappointing result, but par the course for Emery.

 

474 Responses to “Emery struggles to motivate a performance, again”

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  1. Leftsidesanch

    Pepe as admitted by himself earlier is lacking in confidence, he is at one of the worst places for a struggling player with the ‘fans’ already on his back. I hope that he gets game time on Thursday so he can play his way into form.

  2. Champagne charlie

    Standard protocol under Unai.

    Instead of aspiring to a level and then being mindful of the oppositions strengths on a per game basis, we are utterly fixated by who we play and mimic the level facing us….to a point.

    Dire against dire sides, better against better ones, still a crap shoot per 90. Cup manager supreme.

  3. Ashwin Gunner

    Yesterday’s match was hard to watch. I was sitting in a bar full of United supporters. It was not fun. the game was utterly boring.

    Emery is an idiot. He doesnt know his players. He has no idea whom to play where. Leno saved the day otherwise it would had been Wenger era all over again.

    Pepe doesnt look like a 72 mil player.

  4. bennydevito

    From the last post:

    bennydevitoOctober 1, 2019    14:50:31

    I don’t think Xhaka had that bad of a game last night and I’ve watched the duck over and over again and to be fair when taking the Sokratis deflection into account he has to be given the benefit of the doubt.

    The usual reaction when ducking a ball to the face is to turn your head to the side and lean back.

    Xhaka put his head down and forward and if not for the deflection he probably would have headed it clear.

    It’s hard to say for definite because slow motion can tend to make things look worse and my initial reaction in real time was he ducked, but after taking into account the deflection and the usual reaction to turn away and back not down and forward makes it hard to say really.

    Even Roy Keane said as much in his analysis of the situation.

    It’s a tough one really and deflects from the real problem of yet again a bad starting lineup and bad subs. I even feel Pierre could be right and Ozil should have played for his set piece deliveries and forward passing. Wouldn’t have been any worse than Xhaka and Torreira last night.

    End of the day Emery has us playing too negative and just isn’t dynamic enough for us. I’d like to see Ljungberg take the reigns for the rest of the season and I dare say we’d be playing much better and be getting the most out of Pepe.

  5. Ashwin Gunner

    Xhaka ducking the ball is definitely unacceptable.

    What is a bigger crime that he is in the playing 11. I couldnt believe Emery Withdrew LT instead of Xhaka.

  6. bennydevito

    Champagne charlieOctober 1, 2019    14:36:32

    Windolene

    ‘Definite upgrade’ to a tune of no CL football despite investment in the squad and having Aubameyang for a whole season vs half of one.

    What a guy.

    >>>>>

    Bucks Fizz contrary,

    Still did better than Wenger. 5th 70pts > 6th 63pts.

  7. Ashwin Gunner

    Last time we won at Old Trafford was when George Bush was the President of United States.

    Let that Sink in.

  8. Champagne charlie

    Windolene

    Not because he’s a better manager, because he had a better squad, and Aubameyang for the whole season where Wenger had him since Jan.

    A desperate reach to claim Emery better.

  9. bennydevito

    Raptora,

    Emery’s first 50 games – won more than any manager in Arsenal’s history.

    We could do this all day long.

    Emery still has to go.

  10. Ashwin Gunner

    “Wenger had to go.
    Emery has to go.
    What’s the problem?”

    Problem is the fact that Wenger had to go 12 years late, during which time fans have accepted mediocrity.

  11. Freddie Ljungberg

    How are Spurs, Man u and Chelsea teams in transition and we’re not?

    Spurs has had more or less the same squad for ages with only a couple of ins and outs per year, one of the most stable teams in the league.

    Man u is in a 6 year never ending transition because they keep buying shite players, completely self inflicted.

    Chelsea have had 1 transfer window where they couldn’t buy anyone, Bohoo it’s not like they haven’t got a coupe of squads full of some the best talent in Europe out on loan.

    Us:

    2 stop gap CBs, second choice fullbacks. 3 starters injured and hasn’t played yet.

    Xhaka is shite and needs to be sent to siberia asap, huuuge mistake playing him in any PL match bar injuries.

    Willock, youth, first season will be inconsistent

    Guen, youth, second season will be inconsistent

    Torreira, fuck knows what’s up there.

    Ceballos, first season, adapting slowly, inconsistent

    Saka, Nelson, youth, first season will be inconsistent

    Pepe, first season, has to adapt but hasn’t at all yet.

    Overall the squad has a lot more positives than last year or 2 years ago, instead of aging players on their last legs or inconsistent, overpaid, average layers we now have a lot of players in the start of their career that will only get better.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean we will start seeing better result immediately but the future (with some additions) looks far brighter no matter who the manager is.

  12. Thank you and goodnight.

    I still think Emery will be gone before Xmas. Palace and West ham with Hodges and pellegrini put United to the sword. Don’t tell me palace’s squad is better or even West ham’s. Both of those managers would get more out of this team.

  13. Ashwin Gunner

    Freddie

    Problem is not with the squad. Raul and Edu have made some very good moves in the market. Our squad is perfect for top 4, Sadly our manager is not. Emery at best is a manager of mid table team. Give him a team like Everton he will flourish.

  14. Danny

    In the first half Saka (our best player) was giving Young a really hard time down the left eventually resulting in a yellow. So do we continue this in the 2nd half? No of course not, El-Dicko decides to attack down the right. Stupid dumb cunt.
    As for Pepe and Ceballos, what a waste of fuckin’ money.

  15. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ashwin

    Yes, we have done a great job so far with transitioning the squad, although the job is far from done.

    My point is that we have a lot of young players that are going to be inconsistent while they learn on the job like Guen, Willock, Saka, Nelson.

    Add to that the players like Ceballos and Pepe who clearly hasn’t adapted yet and we end up with a squad full of potential but not a consistent output, yet.

    I don’t care if Emery is sacked tomorrow, if he keeps playing Xhaka he deserves it, but I don’t see that changing how fast Pepe and Ceballos adapts to a faster more physical league, and it doesn’t iron out the ups and downs you get with almost every young player.

  16. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers,

    Good post Pedro,

    I’ve been refreshing the site since 9am to try and play the trophy game then my Son’s school rang to discuss a few things and you drop the post.

    Grrrr!

    Tbh I’m not sure whether Xhaka ducked or not as posted above. Watched it last night over and over and I think his reaction suggests he was going for the ball.

    I think Ozil could have made a difference last night.

    Love Guendouzi but he’s so slow. He needs pace next to him to compliment his game.

    As per Emery got it all wrong. It’s painful to watch and oh so predictable.

    I think Chelsea and Spurs could easily finish above us and like I said last season when we lost at Leicester they could be a serious threat to top 4. Got roundly criticised for that but look how things are now even though they’ve lost Maguire.

  17. raptora

    tyag,
    they count the home games where United have been half decent. And when you think about it, VOILA –> it’s normal to be better in the home games compared to when you play away.

    I will quote myself:

    “The so-called Home teams stay in the EPL. The Away teams win the EPL.”

    Are these guys not aware that City and Pool make the bunch of their points difference compared to the rest in their away games?

    We were 3rd in the Home table last season 8 pts behind Pool, 9 pts behind City (45 to 53 and 54). We were 8th in the Away table – 19 pts behind both teams (25 to 44).

    In City’s record breaking seasons and Wenger’s last in charge, we were just 3 pts behind City in the Home table (47 to 50), and the massive 34 pts behind them in the Away table (16 !!!!!!! to 50).

    Suddenly, because manure got 2 flukey, undeserved HOME wins vs Chelsea and Leicester, we are supposed to think that manure are a strong team or what?! The foxes are the benchmark now. We should be happy with a point vs the worst side United has ever fielded in the EPL. And we were the 2nd best team for most of the game.

  18. Danny

    Forgetting the table for the moment and lets compare our first 7 matches to last seasons final 7 matches – can’t complain there plus we’ve only lost once this season.
    We’re currently on a 6 game unbeaten run in all competitions!

  19. Mics

    I feel bad for Pepe. Long time premier league players are struggling to figure out what Emery wants—how is Pepe supposed to acclimatize to a much rougher league when nobody on the team seems on the same page as the manager, bar Xhaka.

  20. Ashwin Gunner

    Freddie

    Accept every word you say. The buck stops at manager. How fast he can groom young players depends on how much confidence he induces into them. Playing them out of position is not going to do any good. His team selection is very very weird. Wenger spoiled careers of alot of players by playing them out of position.

    A very good manager can make all these young players great players and our transition phase can get over. This seems to be the longest transition period recorded since the Big Bang

  21. Ashwin Gunner

    “Brendan Rodgers has done a good job at Leicester. I’d rather him than Emery all day long. Fuck I’d even give Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe a go before Emery”

    Back in 2016 (I think), werent we linked with some assistant coach from Real Madrid. Cant remember his name.
    Is he still available?

  22. raptora

    Ashwin Gunner,
    If you are talking about Paul Clement he was sacked in each of his 3 managerial jobs – Derby, Swansea and Reading. Bad results in addition to “boring” and “negative” football.

  23. salpardisenyc

    Emery’s been mediocre from the start, if he was an F1 driver he’d decelerate out of every corner trying to not dent the rig and save the tires with the race on the line. His creative hub is packed with non creatives opting for a ‘safer’ more defensive approach with an eye on physical size opposed to movement. Yet our defense still lacks, whilst our bolstered attack is getting very little in terms of service or love from his team selection. We still have zero footballing identity, look proper mid table mediocre when opportunities arise like yesterday. A game we could and should of used to push on and up the table.

    Raul has to be watching and running the calculations, clearly has much riding on this season. The fabled triumvirate bottled the hire from from the start, at a certain point you realize that water won’t turn to wine and its time to move on.

    Hope were reaching that point, stale Arsenal just isn’t right.

  24. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ashwin

    The youths need game time to develop, they are getting that, but we have to take the negative with the positive with them. He’s showing plenty of confidence in them in playing them but nothing beats experience when it comes to adapting from a new league or stepping up from u23 football.

    Long transition period? It’s been 1 season and 7 games, and we needed to change pretty much the whole squad ( – laca, Auba, Bellerin, Holding) from when the dinosaur was in charge. This was always going to be a 3-5 year project with the squad. If more of our youth players steps up consistently then maybe shave a year or so off that.

  25. UTarse

    So Emery did what most if not all Arsenal fans feared and that was wrong selection, formation, tactics etc.

    I’m absolutely sure of it that Raul and Edu are in contingency planning mode already and will be “readying” short term and fixed term replacements. I have no insiders to corroborate this gut feeling / hope….

    Time is up for this manager, we play with no belief whatsoever that we will win these games.

    Surely there aren’t many fans out there that believe this guy needs more time ?!

  26. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ashwin

    only AMN is played out of position and he’s not good enough to play anywhere else for us.

    Agree on the team selections, I can see his reasoning behind it, experience, not having too many rookies on at the same time etc but he’s dead wrong in persisting with Xhaka.
    Last season the choices were more limited but no excuses now. Same when we have our 3 missing defenders back, they need to play whenever fit.

  27. TheBayingMob

    Phil McNulty doesn’t hold back on the beeb’s website in the dreadful showing from yesterday …

    “In the context of a meaningful Premier League title challenge, this was the sporting equivalent of two bald men fighting over a comb”

    Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal: ‘A great rivalry drowned in a downpour of mediocrity’ – BBC Sport

  28. Guns of Hackney

    Nought more to say really. The game was awful. To pay for that must have been tough to take for either sides supporters…let alone the divs from Arsenal travelling up for that.

    Emery was never the right guy. He was bad at PSG and won a trophy no one else fancied. He’s a top eight manager max.

    This has to be it for him. Let’s hope the bosses have realised the mistake and will act ASAP.

    Pepe is shit. Once again we’re being sold the french ligue lie. This clown looks so out of place, I’ll put him in that same legendary situation where that player was found out to be some lad plucked from the street and masqueraded as George Weah’s cousin or something.

    £72m should get you a match winner. Period. This bloke couldn’t strike a match, let alone win one.

    Embarrassing.

    Arsenal are a total drag as a club. Really, a non entity like a buzzing fly around your birthday cake.

    Yuck.

  29. Grouvillegooner

    Three points:
    Am I the only one but this business of clasping your hands behind your back when defending is never going to help to block crosses and shots. Much better to be well balanced and defend your body parts even at the risk of a penalty or two over the whole season.
    Just hope that Chambers and Holding get a go together before the end of this month.
    Agree entirely with all the moans about Emery he just does not seem to be able to choose the right players or develop any pattern of play, but we still need to give him the whole season.

  30. TheBayingMob

    “ but we still need to give him the whole season.”

    Why exactly?

    I haven’t got any respect for the desperate pleas of “the manager needs time”, it’s all complete bollocks.

    He’s had plenty of time to date and it’s going Wenger very quickly.

    The whole premise of managers needing years upon years to work comes from pundits and voices within the game (i.e. career alcoholics and gamblers!!) , is proven cruelly wrong by history and is simply about people in the game desperately bluffing their way through complete incompetence.

    He doesn’t need and isn’t owed anything. He’s extremely well paid. If he’s tanking, fire him, admit your mistakes, embrace the consequences and choose the right guy to correct the ship! And don’t take 12 years about it per Wenger.

  31. Kamp

    Ask yourselves if United were at our place last night.
    Imagine they took a point and we’re siting in 4th after already playing us, pool and spuds…and with three of their likely 4 defensive starters still to come back…

    They’d sound a lot happier than we do right now.

    I think we are being harsh. Emery still has it all to prove but at the moment we have to get behind him and the team.

    4th place with the defence to improve and Laca to come back. I’d have taken This at the start of the season

  32. Rich robbins

    Wrong selection once again. Xhaka is a waste, and never learns. Emery seems fearful with no push for strength. There seems to be no rhythm no tempo, until way late. It is great to see the kids. But we need a manager badly.

  33. WengerEagle

    Be happy to give him more time if we weren’t a year into the future looking worse than this time last year…

    As good as Zinedine Ramsey was (lol) I think that the crux of it lies a little deeper than his departure, perma-crock that he was.

  34. Ashwin Gunner

    Raptora

    yea. it is Paul Clement.

    Freddie

    i said Long transition period if you consider Wenger years. I think since 2007 Wenger has been feeding us, “Youth projects”, “British Core project”, and what not.

    Also, he plays LT and Xhaka out of position. LT should be playing as DM and Xhaka should be playing cards outside emirates.

  35. UK bubbler

    A decisive club would be looking for a new manager this summer if not sooner. This really is our Bruce rioch moment. Not saying another Wenger is round the corner, but this guy just doesn’t get it.

    As mentioned already the team just looks lacklustre and passionless. I am also a little worried about Pepe to doesn’t seem to be enjoying his football, maybe he wished he was elsewhere. Bottom line this needs to be Emery last season

  36. Jim Lahey

    On Emery;

    I think like most on here, I hoped that he would bring some form of stability to the club in the sense of making us difficult to beat and laying down clear foundations for us to progress upon. I just don’t think he has done it. One thing I will say is that he has stripped the club of A LOT of crap that had been floating around for years, and the squad looks better than it has in years, still some of the Wenger era players hanging in there like Xhaka, Mustafi and Ozil, but hopefully those are on the outs too.

    We are not stable however, I personally can’t see a game plan. There seems to be no purpose in our play and we are every but as poor at the back as we were under Wenger. And can we talk about the quality of football? Its so poor and boring to watch.

    Emery has done some good, stripped a lot of the fat and has brought in some very good players. We now just need a manager who is capable of taking the team forward.

    Liverpool and City are untouchable at the moment, but after that the rest are pretty trash we have the means to be hitting that 3rd place position with ease. Just need someone to make it happen.

  37. Jim Lahey

    Bernd Leno
    Héctor Bellerín
    Kieran Tierney
    Dani Ceballos
    Alexandre Lacazette
    Lucas Torreira
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Rob Holding
    Nicolas Pépé
    Matteo Guendouzi

    These are all quality players, imagine what a manager like Pep could get out of them?

  38. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    Leicester and Wolves with the better XI’s too don’t forget. Factor that in with our apparent chronic need for the return of Welbeck and you’ll need a PhD or two to figure out how that works.

  39. Leftsidesanch

    ‘Leicester and Wolves with the better XI’s too don’t forget

    Smells like a Dissenter type comment, Diss just about thinks everyone is better than Arsenal.

  40. Dissenter

    Leftside
    “Smells like a Dissenter type comment, Diss just about thinks everyone is better than Arsenal.”

    Not true my man
    I specifically said Leicester, not ‘everyone”
    Their squad is every bit as good as ours this season. Last season their starting 11 was better than ours.
    That’s all I said regarding this.

  41. China1

    As of a week ago, Leno had the highest shots faced and highest save percentage of any keeper in the PL dating back since the start of last season

    Whilst it’s lovely to have a keeper who wins us points on the regular, that we need a keeper to save that many shots and we still struggle to win points says how off the pace we are

  42. Leftsidesanch

    On that day we played them Dissenter I recall about 7 players in our team that I would be happy to see the back of.

    Looking at their ‘best’ 11 this season, I don’t think that it’s as good as ours. They have better understanding and play better as a team than we do. That much I’ll give you.

  43. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    You have expressed accurately the situation under Emery.

    He sets up the team to “defend” in away games even against moderate opposition.

    Let’s be honest Man Utd are a very average side with very limited goal scoring options this season particularly with Rashford not fully fit. They were there to be beaten by a more ambitious game plan.

    Arsenal have two creative attacking midfield players on the books in Ozil and
    Ceballos and neither is starting in away games.

    Players like Guendouzi, Xhaka and Torreira are hard working midfielders, but
    not suited to the more offensive role and have very limited creativity.

    If you are going to play 4-3-3 formation then realistically you should have only
    one solid defensive midfielder in the team plus Guendouzi providing the energy around the pitch. However, the absence of a creative player in that department limits what we are doing offensively.

    A lot of posters are critical of Xhaka and to a lesser extent Torreira. If they are
    not considered good enough then we need to replace them, but realistically
    it is ridiculous having two defensive midfielders in a team when you have
    just three midfield options.

    Personally I would hope that we play on Thursday Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding and Tierney in defence, because I still feel that may be our best long term solution in that department.

    Another matter which has really not been discussed since last night’s game is
    that Leno and presumably the coaching staff have finally got the message that
    he is not suited to a short passing game. He started in this mode, but looked
    uncomfortable and then resorted to kicking upfield.

    Personally I hope that he continues in that vein.

  44. Paulinho

    Welbeck was a big loss whenever he was injured and always played well when fit. Brought a lot to the side, and was always more involved in away games than forwards that were better finishers but could disappear for long periods.

    It’s funny, posters slating as him not being a player worth discussing (when injured) are the same ones that were lavishing praise on what he brought to the side when he was fit.

    Short memories eh.

  45. Guns of Hackney

    Baying mob

    That’s the lad. What a clusterfuck that was. Hilarious and I think it’s happened again with Pepe.

  46. EdTheRed

    I’ve said last week it’s not that important to win at OT, but it is important to go there with a clear intent to win. There was no intent from Arsenal to win that game whatsoever. Conclusion – Emery IS a coward. Good news – he won’t be at Arsenal next season.

  47. Wasi

    No matter what is said Xhaka didnt duck out. It was a clear deflection and Sok was the one at fault. That Doesn’t mean Xhaka wasnt poor again. He was and its getting embarassing. Needs to be shippes out.

    Emery makes Ozil captain and then leaves him out of the squad which has limited creativity as is .What does it say to the players and the staff? Emery’s exceptionally poor man and game management coming to the fore again. Utter idoticy.

    Chambers was good.

    What is up with Emery’s conferences . He is literally saying the same thing after every game.
    No Matter what the question is his answer is the same. And also lets not forget his defense of Xhaka too.

  48. Nelson

    Club Brugge plays a good counter attacking game. They have a guy hiding close to the sideline. The defender sends the ball along the sideline for him to run onto.

  49. salparadisenyc

    Don’t recall anyone lavishing praise on Welbeck when he arrived. Maybe excited for the unfulfilled potential that seemed attainable within our set up at tim which might I add is still yet to be fulfilled but never fawning with excitement.

    The idea his not being available last season was one of the reasons for our collapse is hilarious banter.

  50. þorkell einarsson

    We need a more dynamic midfield,ceballos is as lost as Pepe, why not play
    Willock and AM Niles in a forward midf.. and bring Martinelli while Laca
    is injured ..? I like Chambers spirit and confidence.. Emery has no cajones
    and is obviously scared ..

  51. Marko

    That Emmanuel Dennis fella just seems like a luckier version of Welbeck. Both goals scuffed into the back of the net

  52. Paulinho

    “Don’t recall anyone lavishing praise on Welbeck when he arrived.”

    When he was fit, I didn’t say when he arrived.

    You can go back to the F.A Cup final against Chelsea in 2016 and various other periods where he actually strung a few games together and he always contributed in a positive fashion and he was praised for it. Don’t remember him going long spells without goals either.

    When we only needed a little push to get that one or two points to get into Europe, having someone with his quality could’ve easily got us over the line.

    Anyway, no one said he was particularly key either. Ramsey was the key man, and Bellerin, Holding, Welbeck as a trio added up to a significant loss.

  53. RodneyKing

    “Or you could be a miserable but realistic person and realize that there are only 3 points between 4th and 11th, our main rivals are in deep transition / we’ve not taken advantage of their woes…”

    Many pundits and fans of other clubs think that Arsenal are deep in transition too. Chelsea may be in a worse position than us considering their ban plus a new manager coming in.

    Leicester, some would argue, have a more settled, if not better, squad.

    As for ManU, one may ask, how deep is their own transition? How long has it been? Were some of their fans deluded to think that they should have beaten “this Arsenal side”?

  54. Marko

    Arsenal are absolutely in transition. 5th to 6th to 5th still conceding a tonne of goals and slowly addressing a squad that went years not being properly addressed.

    I was thinking recently about truly how stupid the Arsenal fanbase is that we go to places like Old Trafford and Anfield and we’re expected to win or in the case of Anfield go for it and compete. I don’t think people realize that we’re still a work in progress and it’s going to be a battle a chore in fact to get top 4. Irrespective of how bad some rivals seem to be we’re still a bit shit

  55. Carts

    Not sure what Emery’s trying to implement but it’s clear as day that whatever it is isn’t getting across to the team.

  56. London gunner

    Pedro

    A request my old china plate.

    Can you add a poll to le grove based on grovers views on emery.

    I personally can’t see him lasting another season. He tinkers wayy too much like the extreme of Wenger but not in a positive way. Always chopping and changing tactics, however, what he doesnt change is xhaka whose dreadful.

    I could forgive emery for not winning every game if we played coherent football with good attacking synergy and chemistry, but we can’t see that.

    I am beginning to think that if we didn’t have auba or laca we would be mid table with emery.

    He hasn’t shown me evidence of doing more with less or punchijg6above his weight. Ive yet to see and consistent tactical aptitude.

    I still think he should be given till the end of the season, but it’s going to take a drastic change and improvement not just in results but in the style we play to reverse my opinion of him.

  57. London gunner

    Marko

    Juat because emery kinda sucks doesn’t mean wenger didn’t. Even if emery ends up flopping at Arsenal we still very much made the right decision in getting rid of Wenger.

    Wenger was like the posion whilst Emery is just an ineffective treatment. He didnt cause the rot and isn’t to blame for a lot of what is taking place and the context we find ourself as a club, but it doesn’t mean he is absolvable from his own mistakes.

    The good news is we are unlikely to continue with any dud managers now. Wenger was the litmus test the one who broke the duct. I personally don’t give a shit of wr swap managers out like Chelsea as long we win trophies

  58. Receding Hairline

    Courtouis getting subbed at half time is a new low for him. He has been a horrible signing but that’s what happens when you fix what’s not broken. Navas was an excellent goalie for Real.

  59. Paulinho

    “I am beginning to think that if we didn’t have auba or laca we would be mid table with emery.”

    Well our current team is without them is mid-table so yeah, mid-table is probably where we would be.

  60. London gunner

    Paulinho

    Are team without auba and laca is the sixth best team in the league at worst 7th best. Not mid table.

  61. Marko

    Marko, Anfield is one thing but OT come on, United are a poor side.

    Bob a very good point but the flip side to that is we’re not that much better, have a poor away record for the last number of YEARS especially there. Not won since 06 and I think sky said something like we’ve only won 3 or 4 times since the premier league began. With that in mind one must temper any expectations of Arsenal away from home.

  62. Paulinho

    London – Leicester, Wolves, West Ham, Everton all have equally as good if not better squads.

    Not one single impartial observer would choose our midfield/attacking midfield over West Ham and Leicester. Ditto defence.

    When we get Tierney and Bellerin playing we can talk about possibly having a right to finish above them.

  63. HillWood

    People seem to have big expectations with Bellerin
    Can’t see it myself especially with El Dick at the The helm

  64. London gunner

    Paulinho

    Players like guen, torreria, holding, saka, martinelle, leno,willock, ceballos are far better than the teams you mentioned.

    Pepe on paper is as well.

    Bar tielman, vardy and kaspar.

    Everton are shite btw.

  65. Paulinho

    London – I don’t know, I think I might take Ricardo over AMN, and Maddison, Anderson, Lanzini over Willock and Martinelli.

    Controversial I know.

  66. London gunner

    Lanzini is all flash no delivery this issue has plagued his career. You get those players who are technically brilliant but just can’t make an impact.

    Maddison is pretty good, but I dont think he has a higher ceiling then willock and martinelle.

    AMN is gash though. You are right there bud.

  67. azed

    “Guardiola also praised forward Riyad Mahrez, who scored against Shakhtar Donetsk and also in the win at Everton.

    “He’s been so decisive, clinical,” said the City boss. “Defensively his commitment is higher this season and offensively every time he has the ball you have a feeling he is going to create something.”

    Just posed that for Pierre who thinks it’s an abomination for Ozil to have defensive duties.

  68. Champagne charlie

    “London – Leicester, Wolves, West Ham, Everton all have equally as good if not better squads.“

    Good grief..

  69. Marko

    Bayern gonna be shopping for a new DM soon if Tolisso is anything to go by. Need a long term Javi Martinez replacement

  70. Un na naai

    Pedro

    You smashed it with this post
    Just so many truth bombs

    You’re right. We were told he needed wingers to bring out his style and ethos
    He is an asset stripper. He tearing the joy from Arsenal piece by piece every day and turning us into a shit version of Mourinho’s Chelsea
    A duller, weaker, loser’s edition

  71. terraloon

    “I am beginning to think that if we didn’t have auba or laca we would be mid table with emery.”
    Well our current team is without them is mid-table so yeah, mid-table is probably where we would be.

    Ok it’s only a few games in but it’s pretty obvious that City and Liverpool are going to to occupy the top two positions.So what about the other hopefuls

    Arsenal.Ok I get it that we haven’t yet seen Tierney and people are expecting Holding and Bellerin to return and pick up where they left off but their rehabilitation isn’t going to end anytime soon even if they are physically fit enough to be considered for the first team squad.Far too much rests on PEAs shoulders he has to be wrapped in cotton wool but there isn’t anyone and that included Lacazette who will replace his goals.
    The midfield is woefully weak and once teams work out things I fear the worse. I don’t see any improvement from last season nor do I see that bar Saka any of the youngsters are close to PL standard.

    Spurs I can’t but help feel will possibly hit some form however when Kane has his annual period out it will be interesting. They probably will have enough to get top 4 again but they aren’t improving indeed for me there are clear signs of regression if the lose Pochettino then all bets are off.

    Over at Chelsea they were being talked about as definitely dropping out of the top 4. That could of course happen but whereas pre season I would have put money on that outcome having watched a few of their games the speed of Lampard’s rebuild is a significant and the emergence of Tomori, Abraham and Mount shows why academy products need a year out on loan as part of their development. Add to that when Rudiger and Kante eventually return they will a far more solid unit.

    Leicester have done well but lose Vardys goals either through him picking up an injury or loss of form then I don’t see where their goals are going to come from add that their squad lacks depth then come the very busy December period I see them hitting a wall

    Utd are all over the place. They have some very average squad players others who cost huge sums look so out of sorts you have to question what’s going on and when you consider the non replacement of Lukaku as criminal although highly amusing

  72. RodneyKing

    Ederson is probably the best ball-kicking keeper in world football. I wonder how much of that is down to Pep’s genius.

  73. bennydevito

    Man city players don’t look happy trudging off at half time. Bernardo Silva and Mahrez having words with each other, Aguero looks pissed off.

  74. terraloon

    Spurs treading water. Will have regained a bit of energy in the break but the burnt far too much energy in the first twenty minutes.
    Hopefully will end 3-4 gap. Fingers crossed

  75. Graham62

    Nelson

    We’re an island.

    Weather fronts from every direction.

    Rain is a part of our culture.

    Where are you based

  76. HighburyLegend

    Next summer, to really start on (re)building on fresh basis : Emery, Zhaka, Mustardi, Ozil OUT.
    And if Edu and Raul aren’t able to see that those changes are necessary, they will be free to get the fuck out, them too.

  77. Un na naai

    Rt

    I guess you’ll agree then that Henry, Lehman and Almunia let wenger down in the 06 final?
    Or that Nelson vivas let us down at Leeds in 99 and cost us the title?
    And vieira, bergkamp Dixon and keown let us down in the 99 cup semi final?

    Was it the players fault in 07/08 when gallas acted the cunt and sat in the semi circle?

    This should be good….

  78. Un na naai

    HL

    Mustafi and ozil aren’t getting any game time. And when selected this season they’ve actually been better than the player selected in their position

    Mustafi has been better than David Luiz and ozil has been better than Ceballos
    So too has willock actual

    Freddie, Hairline, I’m looking at you. Both going on like Ceballos was Jesus incarnate.
    He’s been very underwhelming wouldn’t you agree? Outplayed by two teenagers thus far

  79. Majesticgooner

    When you watch teams like Bayern going forward, you see what is lacking with us, no penetration, just individual brilliance by mostly Aubameyang.

  80. RodneyKing

    @Majestic We haven’t been a proper football side for a few years now.

    Have you forgotten how Bayern schooled us 2 : 10 on aggregate?