Europa League to preview the FULL Emery vision

by .

First on the agenda today. Jonathan Walters, a paragon of footballing virtue, has forced me into retracting my view on Granit Xhaka. I can criticise the man for many things, but calling it a duck after a deflection is probably TOO far.

I’m sorry Granit, I really am. Forgive me, let me be the spare key to your heart.

Arsenal are rocking another game tomorrow, there were some unfounded rumours that Kieran Tierney had had a major setback, absolutely not true, he is going to land a start in the EuroPUB League (lololol), with Bellerin the other side. That’s awesome. It’s the last piece in the ‘if Emery had this, we’d be winning the league’ jigsaw. Bring it on.

To be honest, I kind of find that competition a little bit of a release. It’s like playing football with the year below when you were young, we’re going to be totally dominant, we’ll see an electric game of Emeryball, only to find ourselves crying into a pork pie this weekend when it all comes undone.

Talking of coming undone, Spurs dropped the most humiliating defeat in ENGLISH EUROPEAN FOOTBALL HISTORY last night. Quite the achievement. They lost 7-2 AT HOME to Bayern Munich. Serge Gnabry picked up a whopping FOUR goals, then tweeted out that North London IS RED. What a boy.

Attention quickly turned to Tony Pulis who was actually on Sky and said that he thought it a minor miracle that he is where he is. I know we all banter the shit kicker, but ultimately, he wasn’t leaving elite talent on the bench to be a dick. He claimed he could rarely get the player fit.

This is another reason Arsene Wenger should be facing some sort of FIFA Panel for high crimes against Arsenal. First crime, sending a direct pacey winger that is short on loan to West Brom, a team that play percentage balls to the big lad up top. HOW IS SERGE A GOOD MATCH HERE (Ben Knapper now in charge of sensible loan decisions).

Secondly, big shout out to Ivan who elected NOT to give Serge a new deal before he went away with the national team for the Olympics. You could say he was being careful with the pennies, but let’s be real here, this is a CEO who sanctioned £52k a week for Nik B, a 5 year deal for Abou Diaby, and seriously allowed Arsene to sign a player with a broken back.

Serge always looked reasonably talented when he played for us, appreciate he might have been a bit off the boil, but wow… Bayern noticed he was good.

We’ve lost Jeff, Malen and Gnabry to free transfers… and Aaron Ramsey.

Retention policy simply has to improve moving forward.

… went off on a rant there, it’s over for Poch, right? Whatever went on at Spurs this summer has rocked his standing in the club. He might recover in the league, but beyond this season? He’s off, surely?

SHORT POST today. I’ll be back tomorrow. See you in the comments.


883 Responses to “Europa League to preview the FULL Emery vision”

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  1. Just Another Customer

    ah yeah Willock put him as the one of the prospects that should be played in and out through the season – we actually have dynamic central midfielders considering so no need to resort to our El Capitano Xhacaca

    still considering Ozil because despite his wage just want to see another manager that can actually utilise him

  2. WengerEagle

    Seen Italians getting praised on here earlier, they do have a very good group coming through like the Dutch after a rough few years post Pirlo.

    Chiesa for me is easily the pick of the bunch, guy is an incredible talent. Ran Juventus and Milan ragged in his last couple of Serie A matches and has formed a great partnership up top with Ribery.

    Packs plenty of pace and running power, immense dribbling ability, an eye for goal and a consistent end product. Really headstrong lad too for a 21 year old, tends to play better the bigger the stage.

  3. WengerEagle

    2 more goals for our old boy Donyell Malen tonight, 11 goals in 10 matches this season for him.

    Be interesting to see just how big he blows up, Gnabry’s explosion is hard enough to take.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Watching the highlights and it really does highlight just how effective Tierney is.

    He looks fit and up to speed, I’d start him on Sunday. Not the toughest of fixtures to make your first EPL start with.

    You just know though Xhaka, Kolasinac, Sokratis etc will all be back.

  5. WengerEagle


    I remember you highlighting just how crucial Tierney was for a signing in the summer and the full-back position as a whole, credit to you think most of us underestimated the significant dimension it would add to our offensive game.

  6. Guns of SF

    I honestly thought when I saw Guen and Auba
    WTF is emery doing

    Now i am really thinking that he might be getting a glimpse of a new lineup.
    It was much better ….

  7. Just Another Customer

    what’s that young Italian striker lad at Monaco that kind of hyped before? Pellegri?

    Donnaruma/Perin as goalkeepers

    Rugani the defender we’ve been linked with before

    yeah just like Netherlands they have just gone through the generation cycle footballing nations like them won’t be gone just like that they will qualify and make scenes at major tournaments soon

  8. raptora

    Emery most definitely has the squad to finish in 3rd. That’s why going to Manure and stop attacking so we can get a point to that laughable united team, they couldn’t achieve a shot on target today – zilch! it pisses me off that we didn’t go there to win at OT for once having the much better side.

    Will he extract the maximum of this team though? Hell no. Guy send Auba and Guen to play in a game that was over in every shape and form. What kind of a retard you have to be to risk your whole season in a game that you are leading by 4 goals and cruising?!?!?!?!?!??!

    He just keeps making the most braindead, cringeworthy, zero logic decisions. Like giving Xhaka the armband and like playing AMN and Sokratis when you have Chambers up and ready since day 1 when you got your only EPL clean sheet in the season so far. Like playing from the back vs Watford when they are pressing you right on the edge of the penalty box. Like when he decided to play 3 CM/CDMs in Xhaka, Torreira, Guen at home vs Spuds in order to be solid defensively yet conceded 2 goals in 1 half. It wasn’t until he played Ceballos that we equalized. Like when he played Mkhitaryan less than 1 day before he left the club. Like when he decided that a point to Old Trafford is perfectly alright vs a gash united team that still somehow dominated us. Like when he decided to sub in Auba and Guen at 4:0 score…

    Guy is clueless. You can see it from the moon.

  9. Just Another Customer

    yeah the best way to gain some chemistry is to play actual matches against actual opponents but you’re still correct in being worried about the risk of injury considering that guy who lunged into Martinelli

    4-nil up with like 10 minutes to go sounds logical from his point of view

  10. Cesc Appeal


    He’s been great, tenacious on both sides of the ball and his crossing is so impressive.

    Still cautious with him as we have to see what he’s like in the EPL especially with a run of games. But his attitude, stamina, work rate and tenacity suggest he should have no problems.

    The amount of chances he creates with Auba in the box really is something to be excited about!

    I agree with you on Bellerin. I think it was you and me on here in the summer championing Meunier when we were linked with him for this very reason.

    Have to give Bellerin time but a big worry for me was whether he would come back anywhere near the player he was…which was quite hit and miss anyway. Still, even not quite at his former level he should offer way more than Chambers of AMN in that role.

  11. raptora

    Or Atal although he just dribbles so so waaaay too much and maybe it would be counterproductive with Pepe in the team. Quality player for sure though.

  12. Just Another Customer

    the frustration here comes from his inability from him to learn from his experiments

    yeah okay experiment as long as you can fine tune and work your way through there

    but what we get is almost 2 months into the the 2nd season and he’s still cluelessly experimenting

    that’s why his boast of video analysis is laughable

    like that kid who works hard but not smartly work hard

  13. Just Another Customer

    *work your way from there

    like have a base and vision on what you want to do and what you want to achieve with your experimentation

    if not it’s just trying things out just for the sake of it

  14. raptora

    Wonder if someone has but I would assume they haven’t. Why didn’t Emery or Ljungberg tell Pepe to keep it simple for now, just spread the ball around, looknfor the easy play, wait around and inside the box for an easy finish or try to find 1v1s where you could try to take your opponent on. But keep it simple. Pass, move, pass, get in position, score. He’s trying to slalom between 3-4 people on the regular. Like what?! Play simple, get a good understanding of your teammates and build from then on. Literally half or more of the balls that reach him he either dribbles and loses the ball or dribbles and shoots from an impossible position.

  15. Graham62


    You are totally correct.

    There are no logical explanations.

    All your points are valid.

    Bringing on Auba and Guendouzi. What the fudge was he thinking?

  16. Batistuta


    Problem with the Italians and it’s discussed a lot over here too is whether they can do the business outside Italy, i love Chiesa, too good for Florentine I’m afraid.

    Speaking of, been keeping an eye on Milencovic for Florentina too, dude is huge and can tackle, almost a Vidic look like in the way he plays, definitely another the scouts have to keep an eye on as an option

  17. Marc

    As things stand:

    1) Bar some sort of major, massive change in what he’s doing Emery’s gone in the summer whether we make top 4 or not – Sanllehi has already proved he doesn’t fuck about. Bigger question is does Sanllehi pull the trigger earlier if Emery continues as he is.

    2) We now have a club management setup that is seriously geared up to take us forward. (And I don’t mean the first team coach for the usual contrary idiots – I shouldn’t have to say that but on here you just know that I do)

    3) We have a group of young players who have massive potential. Those that don’t make it will generate good funds to be spent elsewhere, those that do look like they’ll have real quality.

    4) With the above in mind we need the fans to keep some perspective. Tierney looks a real find – we’ve got a match on Sunday and then 2 weeks with an International break let’s ease him into the first team as much as we all want him in ASAP. That also applies to Holding and Bellerin as well as some of the young players.

    5) If it needs to be said again Xhaka is not cut out for the PL. It’s got nothing to do with manager’s, formations, the weather or astrology. He’d probably look good in Serie A but in the PL he look’s like a milk float on an F1 grid.

  18. Leedsgunner

    Good win…

    Confirming to me more than ever that Emery is a cup manager. He is more positive and attack minded than he is in the league.

    Why, oh why doesn’t he play a team with this adventurous spirit in the league? Had he gone to Old Trafford with a similar style, we could have won all three points!

    As welcome as these victories are, the truth is, if he doesn’t win the competition it means nothing.

    Highly reckless as well in playing Aubameyang and Guendouzi on… why?

    What would he have done if they became injured?!

  19. Luteo Guenreira

    Hindsight it 20/20 but should have spend that £72m on a defender, would have been better off. The young players were clearly ready for a shot in the attacking positions. Saka and Martinelli have both looked worth their weight in gold compared to Pepe.

  20. Batistuta

    Probably going to get punished with the

    Xhaka-Sokratis axis of evil in the starting 11 again on Sunday….Almost like Emery literally doesn’t learn or doesn’t really care what we think or he actually does believe that those 2 are better than the options we have in those positions which is just such a shame.

    You can see that even though not perfect, you feel more safer with Torreira-Willock-Ceballos or Torreira-Guendozi- Willock/Ceballos.

    Should also be Chambers-Luiz-Holding-Tierney at the back but I’m certain Kolasinac will be drafted back in there as will Xhaka and as will Sokratis…Such a shame

  21. Luteo Guenreira

    Playing Auba and Guen at that point in a match like today is indefensible. Coaches and managers have gotten fired for a lot less. There was literally no reason for it at all, stupidest thing I may have seen from Emery thus far. Just awful management. If either got hurt in their pointless cameos….I can’t even finish this sentence, it does my head in it’s so stupid.

  22. Pierre

    Have to say, .Martinelli has surprised me, he has a lot more about him than I gave him credit for.

    Important to not get too carried away with tonight’s result and performance as it impossible to judge the level of Leige.

    They are 2nd in the Belguim league so are obviously not that bad , maybe it was the intensity of our game all over the pitch that they couldn’t handle.

    Martinelli certainly does give the team energy from the front and that seems to spark the rest of the team.

    You will never see that level of intensity from Aubameyang and that may be a conundrum for the manager….does he go with a kid who leads from the front but has no experience of top level football , or does he stick with Aubameyang who will give you goals but not the work rate or intensity of Martinelli.

    The time and space that Martinelli was afforded tonight will not be evident in the premier league that’s for sure but I have to say his movement in around the box was superb tonight so I would imagine that he will be used from the bench.

    A Very good performance, though in the context of the premier league , means nothing as the physicality of the prem is what sets it apart .

    I’m sure the fans would love to see the team play with this amount of freedom and positively in the coming weeks ….

    Bournemouth will be an entirely different proposition at the weekend.

  23. Leedsgunner

    I can tell you now if Emery had results like this in the league he would have a lot more backing from the fans…

    The back four he played tonight should be the defence he should be playing in the league!!!

  24. Marc


    Agree Martinelli looks a real talent but we do need to remember he’s 18 and still pretty raw.


    Well once Tierney and Bellerin are fully fit they’ll be guaranteed first choice and I’ll bet you a cold beer on a warm day Holding will be as well. As for Mustafi – no way. You need to ask why a player like Sok who was a reasonable if not spectacular player at Dortmund looks like he’s playing with PTSD – It’s because our CB’s are too exposed and given no protection. You could put Adam’s, Keown or Campbell behind Xhaka and they’d end up the same.

  25. Nelson


    Happy to read your post again. I always value your opinion.

    I am still busy with the live blog. I am one of the few here still hoping that Emery can get his Emeryball working. I am still of the opinion that once Tierney and Bellerin are fully fit, we’ll see the fruit of what Emery was planning all along.

  26. Carts

    Needed one more goal from arsenal to have won an additional £150 tonight.

    All is well thanks to chicarito, Malen, Immobile and Martinelli for scoring Anytime 🙂

    As Cesc said, Emery will revert to his nonsense this weekend with Chaka coming in to stink up the gaff

  27. Just Another Customer

    are you implying Papa become too protective thus the shenanigans with all the Graeco-Roman wrestling moves?

  28. Distant legrover

    Emery sees Guardiola doing a bunch of tinkerings and winning so he thought “I will be a tinkerman too”. And it worked too, sort of. 3 Europa league titles, 1 title with PSG and a few cups. Except his football lacks regular pattern and fluency and it leaves the fans pulling out their hair all season long. And the fans and players pretty much always get tired of him.
    Pssss! Emery, stop being a Guardiola lite or copy cat, be an Emery.

  29. Distant legrover

    If Emery was just doing the basics and not overcomplicating things to show he’s so cool and smart, I have no doubt that we’ll clinch third and not have to worry about the might of Leicester titty.

  30. Emiratesstroller

    We have currently three very promising youngsters on our books in Martinelli,
    Willock and Saka who are most definitely justifying a place in the first team squad and there will be plenty of opportunities for them to play this season.

    However, the reality is that they will have up and down form and for the time
    being they are “squad players” rather than guaranteed a regular place in the starting X1 for EPL games.

    That should be their expectation this season.

    What is however clear to me is that the performance of tonight’s team is not
    significantly lower than the team, which turned out on Monday. Also I note
    that the defence which has played in three cup games has yet to concede a

    I have made the case over last two weeks that the back line selected tonight
    could well be starting players in EPL by the end of this month.

  31. Marc


    I agree I think he’s over thinking things and then managing to confuse both himself and the players.

    A degree of unpredictability is good but when it’s confusing your own players? Time to chill out and keep it simple.

  32. Marc


    Agree 100% on the young players – we’re all thrilled that they’re doing well but the way our fans pivot we cant’ have them turning on them for a dip in form.

    On the defence Tierney and Bellerin were always going to be first choice when fit and Holding is good competition if others are performing.

    I still maintain one of the problems isn’t how poor Luiz and Sok have been – and they have been poor. It’s down to the lack of protection by midfield, neither are warrior CB’s but they also aren’t as bad as their performances this season. Fix the DM and it’ll help the defence. We seem to manage to instil mass hysteria in any CB we bring in but when they’re facing a crazy number of shots against every game it’s not a surprise.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    On a separate issue I think that Ozil’s career at Arsenal is now over. It is inevitable that he will be offloaded in January in similar fashion to Sanchez
    at Man Utd.

    Arsenal will no doubt take a substantial financial hit when he leaves and could
    well land up covering a portion of his wages.

    However, if he does leave Arsenal will need to find a replacement because our
    midfield resources are fairly thin.

  34. Distant legrover


    Exactly! Surely when you see something isn’t working and is having the opposite effect, shouldn’t you drop it and maybe try something else ? That’s how I know he’s not Elite.

  35. Marc


    How many appearances has Ozil made this season or last? Just don’t see him being missed that much.

    My guess is he’ll go to the US – it might suit him.

  36. Valentin

    I genuinely don’t get the hype about Donnarumma. Every time I have seen play, he dropped at least one clanger. Sometimes that cost his team the points or qualification. He looks good on camera, because he makes routine stop look like world class stop.
    I would take a goalkeeper less showy, but more efficient. Also I find his distribution as bas as the one from Pickford. In my book, Kicking the ball far out is not good distribution.
    Tonight Emilio Martinez for example was great at distributing the ball. Pretend to go short to one of the CB, spots the unmarked midfielder and chips to him. Catches the ball, launch it quickly to the winger. See that the team is not setup after a counter-attack, held to the ball to give time to Ceballos and Willock to get back into position.

  37. Marc


    You don’t even need to drop it, at least take a look at why it isn’t working and adjust.

    Some things are good ideas.

    Some things are good ideas that didn’t work because the application wasn’t right.

    Some things are good ideas that didn’t work because of unseen complications.

    Some things seemed a good idea at the time but clearly won’t work in practice / hindsight.

    Being able to sort out versions 2 – 4 and put in the required solutions is what these guys are paid for.

    Emery seems to be regressing.

  38. Valentin


    Numerous people have made the same point. A lot of our defensive problems stems from our midfield. Our organisation and our personnel is wrong.
    In the EPL, you can’t afford to have 2 central midfielder facing 3 central midfielders. The midfield can’t intercept, block the runners because at least one is always free. The issue is compounded if two of those 3 are bigger, faster on the ball than our two.
    Tonight, we had a proper dynamic midfield. But also on the wing both Nelson and AMN did a good defensive job. Maybe Martinelli incessant pressing from the front was infectious, but the entire team pressed collectively. Arsenal retrieved the ball high up more in one game than we have done in all our EPL games.

  39. Marc


    I know I keep going back to Xhaka but I just think he unbalances the midfield and either slows every thing down or pulls our own players out of position because they are trying to cover for him.

    We currently have 4 options for 3 places in midfield – Torreira, Guendozi, Willock and Ceballos. That allows us to play either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with a spare.

    The problem with that is an injury leaves us light and they are all young / inexperienced or at least in the PL.

    It’s still better than standing in the stadium and making jokes about when Xhaka will make his major fuck up prior to kick off.

  40. Marc

    “I think that you are confusing the Italian goalkeeper with Bananarama the girl band.”

    Could be worse I could confuse which of them I want to sleep with!

  41. Distant legrover


    Yeah I pretty much agree with that. Here’s to hoping that he adjust especially now that we got Tierney, Holding, Bellerin back though bcuz I want to live, I won’t hold my breath.

    Also I know Ozil has his issues (who doesnt) but isn’t Emery going too far with him ? Maybe the club wants to frustrate him out of the club ?

  42. Cesc Appeal

    That is basically it, Xhaka is a CDM who plays CB basically because he has no mobility and he knows it. When he does venture forward he’s easily turned/bypassed and he usually sticks out an arm to try and grab his opponent who can basically skip away from him.

    He sits ridiculously deep to avoid this and also so that he has far more time on the ball when he receives it.

    This means the other CM player(s) is either covering a ridiculous amount of ground doing his own CM duties and also Xhaka’s who is more CDM/CB, or they are sitting ridiculously deep as well to try to stay with their supposed midfield partner.

    Either way it creates a massive hole in our midfield which is the single biggest reason we face so many shots on target. The opponents can gather the ball and they have time and space to approach our box building momentum as they go.

    It also means there’s a giant disconnect between defence and attack which is something all Arsenal fans feel.

    It really is so incredibly simple that it is baffling Emery cannot/will not see it. Especially because his contract has 8-9 months to run.

  43. Bojangles

    Nice to come here and see some intelligent discussion going on instead of the incessant school ground arguments of recent times.

  44. Marc


    I think Emery was on thin ice to perform and he’s crashed through it already this season.

    Xhaka seems to be this super massive black hole sucking the life out of our mid field. The best thing that could happen for Emery now is for Xhaka to get an injury that keeps him out for 3-4 months as the improvement would be so obvious no one could miss it.

    With Sanllehi supposedly being a fan of Enrique and him being out of work Emery could find himself getting the bullet come Christmas.

    Really ironic when you consider I’ve had OGS in front of the firing squad, fag in mouth and blindfolded for months now and the Poch seemly desperate to get out of the Spud’s. Emery could be the fist of them to go!

  45. Marc

    “Nice to come here and see some intelligent discussion going on instead of the incessant school ground arguments of recent times.”

    What cunt said that?

  46. Valentin


    I think that Leno is decent, but he is not world class. His distribution is poor. To be honest, I didn’t understood why we paid so much for him when Alban Lafont was available for less than half the fee.
    In the system Emery wants to play Martinez seems a better fit. Better distribution, better organiser, more vocal, quicker restart. Maybe Emery see things in training that we don’t. Or maybe he does not want to change the hierarchy and cause instability when Leno just been named No1.

  47. Cesc Appeal


    I cannot understand Emery’s obsession with Xhaka.

    He so easily saw through Ozil and is being brilliantly brutal with him, but with Xhaka he just doesn’t see it.

    He has qualities, certainly, but even those don’t justify inclusion. His possession ability is matched or surpassed by Guendouzi often and Dani Ceballos even more so and both of those are far more mobile and offer far more work.

    He’s very similar to Ozil in that way, although I will always defend Xhaka from a total comparison by saying he does not have the appalling attitude the giant pussy has, I don’t believe Xhaka wants to be shit or is happy being shit it’s just that he is in the EPL. But it’s ture they both have some positives but they are so one dimensional and their failings so glaring they warp the entire team.

    It’s getting to the stage now where I look forward to Thursday nights and actually dread EPL fixtures! Merit based selection seems to go out the window of a weekend.

    I said I thought the selection of Xhaka as captain and the fact that means he plays every EPL game will be the end for Emery and I stand by it.

  48. Valentin


    I agree with the fact that Xhaka does not suit Emery high energy, high pressing plan. He unbalance the entire midfield.
    However Emery should also shoulder responsibility. Not only to continuously play Xhaka but also Instead of setting up a midfield to hide his flaws, he explicitly chose a system that amplify all his negative traits and negate his positive ones.
    Instead of buying Pepe, we should have bought a dominant dynamic CM to play with Guendouzi and Willock/Torreira. The entire dynamic of the team would have changed for the positive.

  49. Marc


    As I’ve said I think Emery’s fucked himself and is already out the door – it’s just whether it’s a case of next summer or sooner.

    On the other hand I don’t see a team or manager in the PL that could set up a system that would suit Xhaka and still be successful.

    He’s not a bad player but he’s not fit for use in the PL.

  50. Distant legrover


    From what you described Martinez is the better player lol. And I just really hate the fact that Leno is not a vocal keeper. Like being vocal is uncool to him or something. Leno should be a model not a keeper.

  51. Bojangles

    Leno is a good stopper but as has been said his distribution is not as good as Martinez. He also has a few problems with high balls into the box. Mind you Martinez had a couple of hairy moments last night too. I think Martinez is is more suited to the way Emery wants to play and he seems better as sizing up a situation and acting accordingly as opposed to Leno who follows Emery’s script until told otherwise.

  52. Distant legrover

    Cesc Appeal

    That is what I don’t get about Emery. Surely If Ozil is a bad fit for this team then so is Xhaka ? Yet our genius coach treats one like cancer and the other like a favourite son.

  53. Marc

    You could make an argument (I’m not but just making the point) that if you’re going to have a liability in the team the further up field they are the better.

    At least they’re are more players to mop up the mess.

    Of course not playing any of Xhaka, Mustafi or Ozil just seems a simply solution to me. Unfortunately for Emery 2 out of 3 won’t cut it.

  54. China1

    Martinelli looks like one hell of a player

    The accuracy of his shooting, quality of his crosses and his pace set him aside as having huge potential. We’ve only seen him a couple of times but he’s done absolutely everything you can ask for and more with the chances he’s had.

    Very exciting player

  55. Distant legrover


    Yes he’s so good with his head . I watched that first goal over and over bcuz I couldn’t believe how accurate he is with his head. I hear Ronaldo is his role model, he’s on to something .

  56. DivineSherlock

    Someone needa to tell Emery once our defenders are fit , that David Luiz has experience playing at DM . A midfield of David Luiz , Torreria and Willock/Ceballos is good as any . Luiz also has good passing range , better than Xhaka at interceptions and reading the game. Not Slow as a snail.

  57. qna

    Really loving the state of Arsenal’s resurrection at the moment. Still an incredibly long way to go, but for years I have seen no light at the end of the tunnel. But now it feels like you can once again playstation trade your way to a competitive team again.

    My big question is who should get credit for the way this young 2nd string team is playing. Because it really is something that we should look to build our entire future on. There seems to be such chalk and cheese in the way the younger team has played compared to when the skipper plays.

    So is it Emery that is tapping into something and we are starting to see some fruits. Or is what we saw last night Ljungberg. I’d love to know and if anybody can point me to an article that discusses this with analysis it would be much appreciated.

    My feeling has been that Emery’s flaws are too great. Persisting with Xhaka and making him captain just seems too ridiculous. On the other hand, if he is responsible for what we saw last night then maybe he is worth persisting with. Maybe what he is cooking underneath is actually something pretty special. On the other hand, if what we are seeing is the work of Freddie Ljungberg come through then maybe we have our next manager already. Forget about signing a cheque book manager from Juventus. I want to see a guy that can get us playing sexy football with these kids that we now have on our list. For the first time since the RVP/Fabregas days I can finally see some top notch quality in kids like Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Tierney, Willock, Guen, Holding.

    So my question is who is the main person responsible for getting these kids to gel together so brilliantly. Is it Emery, Ljungberg or just a couple of freak performances against some very poor teams. Time will tell, but boy am I excited to see so much light at the end of the tunnel.

  58. Dark Hei


    I think those are instructions from the top to Emery.

    Last season he was playing the senior squad for the Europa League.

  59. shaun ellis

    I still maintain one of the problems isn’t how poor Luiz and Sok have been – and they have been poor. It’s down to the lack of protection by midfield, neither are warrior CB’s but they also aren’t as bad as their performances this season. Fix the DM and it’ll help the defence. We seem to manage to instil mass hysteria in any CB we bring in but when they’re facing a crazy number of shots against every game it’s not a surprise.

    the above is what is so concerning , is Emery really supposed to be a good coach , can’t one of his team say to him or at least point out the damage being caused . But hey Emery has already proved he is a mid table prem manager at best to anyone with a brain .I think Raul has a plan but really think he will let muppet finish the two season contract he has whilst he puts the rest of the pieces in place .Like you I don’t actually think Xahka is that bad but the f1 milk float thingy is spot on lol……………………….lol and a more brutal analogy could probably be used as the situation is that bad but hey let’s look on the bright side we are all looking forward to playing City lol………………lol with muppet and Xhaka pulling the strings …..I am even worried about leicester

    I don’t think you can say the team used in the cup games haven’t conceded a goal so they are a good defense as the opposition is poor and of no comparison to what you will face in the prem. So far it is like mid tabled championship stuff .There is a reason why the defense and midfield look better balanced .

    finally some one on hear talking sense

    “Xhaka seems to be this super massive black hole sucking the life out of our mid field. The best thing that could happen for Emery now is for Xhaka to get an injury that keeps him out for 3-4 months as the improvement would be so obvious no one could miss it.”

    completely agree and that is the main reason that muppet has to go …..the first goal Martenelli scored the Muppet turns round to Xhaka and gives him the love eyes and shakes his hand ….

  60. Leedsgunner

    This is why I don’t understand Emery.

    In the cup competitions his teams are given a midfield fit for purpose which connects seamlessly with the attack. In the EPL he insists on a midfield which is completely out of sync with his attackers.

    I’m not necessarily saying he needed to play the same players but imagine if he adopted the same mindset when we played Watford and Man United… we could have taken all three points.

  61. qna

    Dark. Maybe the instructions are from the top. But even if that’s the case, I am hoping that it’s not just pure luck that you throw the kids in and you get such beauty as a result.

    I am wondering if this is Freddie. He has been working with most of these kids up until this year. If it’s him that has them playing to such a level at a reasonably big stage then there is something there I think.

    I am just wondering if Freddie might be the guy that we’ve been looking for as our next manager. I’m not writing off Emery completely, but I have my doubts. But it may be also ridiculous that Freddie is the answer at this stage of his managerial career. Lots of talk about Arteta. I wasn’t a fan and wouldn’t have supported Freddie at that time either. But if the proof of the pudding is in the eating and last night was Freddie’s pudding then I think it goes a long way to show that he might have what it takes to be our next senior manager that can take this group of players to the next step of our evolution back to becoming a power house of English football.

    Don’t want a guy that can’t take us from point A to B without making use of the talent that we already have on our list.

  62. shaun ellis

    Most people think it is Freddy and that is why most people want Emery to get the chop ASAP ,it is not just the way Emery speaks ,the way he looks or his constant shitty team selection lol……………….lol .would much prefer someone like Freddy to be given a chance .Freddy has passion and express’s that on the touch line but Emer always has that look like he has a really awkwardly shaped object stuck up his ass

  63. Leedsgunner

    Again, in the Europa league Emery on the whole makes good decisions about leaders like designating Bellerin as captain (although I personally didn’t agree with leaving out Özil altogether).

    Why does he insist on Xhaka only he knows.

  64. Bojangles

    I won’t argue on the quality of opposition in general but it seems a bit arrogant suggesting that Eintracht are of lesser quality than the three teams currently in the relegation zone in the PL. As you know we struggled against all three but our second team kept Eintracht scoreless in our victory over them.

  65. Chris

    Lots to be happy about last night. Martinelli, Tierney and Willock especially. We are seeing elements of an exciting future that reminds me very much of 2006/97. I think this class will achieve a higher grade!

    Let’s hope we see surprise in the selection on Sunday, bring it on.

  66. Graham62

    One thing occurred in last nights game that clearly highlighted why Unai Emery should not be in charge at the club.

    Bringing on both Guendouzi and Aubamayang, when your 4-0 up and cruising, was a mindblowingly stupid decision in so many ways. Auba for christs sake!

    Our two most valuable assets(Lacazette excluded) should not have been anywhere near that game last night. The possibility of picking up injuries/resting them for Sunday, should have been at the the forefront of our managers thinking.

    If our owner was football savvy, he would have terminated Emery’s contract there and then. It was just so fudging ridiculous and would even get into Wenger’s top ten of worst ever football related decisions.

    Frigging clueless!

  67. Leedsgunner


    Agree wholeheartedly about Bellerin and Tierney gives the whole team more width and mobility.

    My point about the back four is that without Granit in the side even Mustafi looks half decent because he is getting more protection from his midfield.

  68. China1

    Yeah you don’t wanna get too sucked in with Ronaldo comparisons as it will lead to disappointment, but he has that similar height and general build and has twice now scored excellent headers which no one else in our squad would be doing anything useful with

    Once could’ve been a fluke but twice suggests he is really serious about his heading technique which is great. Too many players think they are this or that archetype and needn’t also be good at other attributes. Just because you’re not a classic n9 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be quality in the air when you do win an aerial duel.

    Just like it pisses me off when defenders and keepers are often poor passers or struggle on the ball. There’s really no excuse for how someone can come through professional football academies and have a long career in high or top level football without being great on the ball and at passing. This should be absolutely bare minimum to be a professional surely

    Apparently not…

  69. China1

    Bringing on Auba when we’re smashing a lub team is the dumbest thing ever

    Mind blowingly stupid

    Emery is clueless

  70. Graham62

    It’s like deciding to race your Bugatti Veyron in a stock car race, knowing that you haven’t renewed your car insurance or road tax.


    Should be sacked.

  71. Gentlebris

    ‘Have to say, .Martinelli has surprised me, he has a lot more about him than I gave him credit for.’

    Thank goodness! I had been terrified that you would see another huge deflection and a ball going into the net from Martinelli’s shoulder.

  72. shaun

    Freddy does not have the required experience but the timing now could be key.The blind man analogy may have been a little strong but if you just take out Xhaka for even a month and see how the current team shapes up put Torriea back as the defensive Mid then play guendouzi ceballos or willock as the midfield three and you have a good chance and let freddy do his thing until we get a big boy in .We start supplying the front three and we are only going to score more as we are pretty blessed in attack with the youngers and Pepe + Tierney at the back …..manu are toilet , the spuds could be in trouble , we can take chelsea , City and pool are already gone that leaves us , Muppet was in third last season with six games to go all against lower table opposition and he fffed it so yes I think a reasonable manager should be able to get this team into the top four

  73. Gentlebris

    What can we do with Pepe?

    £72m is too big an amount.

    But then Martinelli is worth £72m already.

    You win some and lose some ugh?

  74. Leftsidesanch

    Auba and Guen coming on was very senseless.

    I’ve been saying that Emery hasn’t got a clue. He speaks incoherently and makes very dim decisions. I’m quietly confident that he’s not here May 2020.

  75. Graham62

    Sky Sports: Ozil

    Those stats don’t lie.

    Since 14/15 season it’s been a progressive decline.

    The writing has been on the wall for 4 years.

    Can’t blame Emery for this one.

    Sorry Pierre.

  76. Leedsgunner

    “Other players are more deserving.”

    Emery on Özil… but this is exactly the same reason why Xhaka shouldn’t play. Emery contradicts and undermines himself every time he plays Xhaka relentlessly.

  77. Leftsidesanch

    Emery’s faith in Xhaka is stubborn blindness also. The positive attributes he has do not outweigh his negatives, not even close. He is the biggest hindrance to the side.

  78. Pierre

    Why anyone would quote Emery to prove a point is beyond me.
    The man has always talked a load of gibberish and always will.

    I suppose you and he would get on quite well , talking nonsense comes easy to both of you.

  79. Graham62

    As I said Pierre, his only logical decision.

    I know, one out of a thousand is not a good success rate.

    Oh well.

  80. Pierre

    I’m happy to be proved wrong about Martinelli.
    I hadn’t seen anything of him before he came to Arsenal so my original thoughts were just first impressions.

    I think expectations will have to be tempered somewhat until he has played against a half decent side but his energy and enthusiasm is infectious and could go some way to bringing back the feel good factor to the club.

  81. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal are a long way short of being the finished article, but I do believe that
    we do have the basic ingredients to produce a decent team/squad.

    I have seen enough yesterday to know that Bellerin and Tierney should be
    our first choice full backs. They know when to attack and also more importantly when to defend and track back. They do not leave our centre
    backs exposed.

    Holding and Mustafi have played together in last two Cup Games and we have
    not conceded a goal. Mustafi does make from time to time silly mistakes, but
    with the right partner I think that he is better than Sokratis. He is more
    mobile with better recovery.

    The midfield remains a problem, but I think that Torreira, Ceballos and Willock are a decent combination for Cup Games. Whether they can reproduce those performances in EPL is debatable. They lack perhaps the
    physicality required to play there. Nevertheless I do like Willock and I think
    that he has the potential to be the best midfielder at the club.

    Our forward resources are potentially the best we have had since the era of
    Henry and Bergkamp. The problem there within the next couple of years is how to keep them all satisfied. Martinelli in particular looks exceptional on the evidence of the first two games played.

    My personal view is that we are perhaps two players short of what is required
    to finish in top 4 in EPL specifically top class Centre Back and Central Midfielder.

  82. Pierre

    Torreira didn’t have a particularly good game , especially first half his distribution was very poor.

    He looked as though his confidence had gone .
    2nd half he kept it very simple and just played 5 yard balls to his nearest team mate to reduce the errors.

    I cant see Torreira starting at the weekend.

    Personally, I would like to see the same midfield as we played v Burnley in a 4-2-3-1 with willock and Guendouzi in centre mid and Ceballos as the CAM.

    Tierney looks the part , great delivery but again let’s wait until he plays against a half decent side, though I’m sure he is capable of playing at a much higher level .

    Home games v Forest and Liege were the perfect games for the kids and players coming back from injury to get a run out.

    Were forest and Liege that poor or did Arsenal make them look that bad …

  83. Valentin

    I see more influence of Freddie on yesterday’s game. A lot more organisation, a lot more rational setup. For example we restarted the second half with a prepared set piece.
    A side way pass then a back for a long arrow pass to the onrushing Nelson on the left. That nearly worked.
    The fact that the players knew what they had to to and where to run is not something that I have seen in EPL game.

  84. Leedsgunner

    It’s obvious that Freddie has an eye for management if this is the result after he has been working with many of these youngsters for just a season as U23 manager last year.

    I’m glad he’s an assistant manager at the club.

    It’s probably rose tinted glasses but to be honest he inspires more confidence than Emery that’s for sure. Is he ready for a step up to full management? Probably not but it won’t be long.

    I can see a European or a championship side coming in for him if he continues to work well.

  85. Valentin

    As both Torreira and Ceballos completed 90 minutes, it looks like our midfield will be Xhaka Guendouzi and maybe Willock on Sunday.
    So now I’m Lacazette absence, Saka is now an automatic starter. Make you wonder why he was not given moreminutes last season when it was obvious he was the standout talent in the academy.

  86. Edu me a favour

    We can all see the outcome of no xhaka in the team – but my question is , why those players last night voted for him to be captain? Surely they can see how much better they are when he is nowhere near them

    Special mention for Mustafi – no he didn’t have balon dor performance , I’m not getting ahead of myself , but now the pressure is off somewhat , the guy isn’t as bad as usual – he looks a lot more comfortable than sok and Luiz at the moment , and then you have to ask yourself 2 questions , would Frankfurt and Liège be able to beat the likes of Watford ? I think Frankfurt certainly would – and Would our young europa team have spanked Man U opponents AZ Alkmaar and Astana ? I think we would have – What I’m getting at here is , I don’t think we can necessarily play down these victories, and some individual performances, because we have seen our first 11 struggle against the same level of team in the league, and they do exist in the prem

  87. Dissenter

    It’s amazing how our circumstances can change so drastically in one year
    Last season, there was a dearth of wide players, now we have a glut and the manager will get migraines trying to pick one from several good options.
    Most will agree that Saka and Martinelli are special option, Reiss Nelson is a functional option, in his own right.

    I think we have a situation where our club record signing may be BLOCKING the path of our two promising young players.
    Pepe will deservedly gets special treatment because of his high transfer cost. He doesn’t merit a higher place on the pecking order based on his performances. If Martinelli can adjust so quickly, an 18 year old Brazilian, new to Europe speaking only Portuguese, what excuses can a 24 yr old French man have.
    Pepe needs to get his act together before the inevitable happens; merit will overtake the expediency of him getting picked because he cost so much?

  88. Dissenter

    How are you doing?
    I think you deserve some special mention about some of these youth.
    You stuck your neck out last season to urge the manager to play Willock and Xhaka more.
    In retrospect, you did have a good points. Who knows where we should have ended up? You see how Ozil disappears once hungry competition shows up and Xhaka looks even worse now.

  89. Leedsgunner

    Torreira won’t start because Emery doesn’t rate him.

    Emery is a weak manager. If he didn’t want him he should’ve sold him to bring in the players he did want. We could have achieved a decent price for him in the summer which could have been useful in bringing in a new defensive midfielder/defender.

    Back to banging the wall with the sledgehammer that is Granit Xhaka, making our midfield completely impotent just to prove a point… only for Emery to spend another game defending him.

    Never seen a manager utilise a system so full of freedom in midweek only to tie himself so willingly in knots in the league on the weekend.

  90. Edu me a favour

    Also forgot to mention Reiss nelson – looked more like the nelson we’ve all heard about – take ons and dribbles , maybe someone had word with him told him to calm down and play his game , looked a different player last light to anything we’ve seen so far – again , yes it’s a lower level opponent , but for a guy that many have said looks scared out there , that fear seemed to have been lifted , so I’m finding it har Sri play it down , especially when you consider Pepe came on and looked exactly like the Pepe we’ve seen so far ( I do think he’ll come good tho so I’m not getting on his back , he needs time )

  91. HillWood

    Martinelli looks a class player
    He looked like a thoroughbred race horse when chasing down defenders up front on his own
    Hope Emery can find a way of playing him and Aubameyang together
    If Tierney can stay injury free will be a big asset
    We have great potential with the players on show last night
    Is Emery the man to fit it all together?

  92. Edu me a favour

    2019 and my phone corrects ‘hard to ‘ into ‘har Sri’ – like wtf ? When would I ever have typed that , iphone ? When !?

  93. China1

    Arsenal are an elite CB and an elite DM from having a good enough squad to break 85 points.

    I really pray that holding gets moved into the first team and delivers, then we can push Luiz into DM and overnight we’d not only have an improved defense but a greatly improved DM which would be so useful.

    We’d also have two mop heads playing alongside each other in DM which would be jokes to watch

  94. China1

    Reiss Nelson was written off far too quickly. He didn’t play well for all of two games and saka did so has rightly leapfrogged him in the pecking order, but anyone who expected a kid of his age to be consistently quality from day 1 was having a laugh

    Just like saka who has really impressed but will probably run into a poor run of form sooner or later and the same people will be writing him off too

    Just as happens every week with guen where he’s either one of our better players or he’s useless because he didn’t play that well for one match

    People need to remember you don’t become awesome or shit within a week. Your average performance level over extended periods of time are what you should be mainly judged on

  95. Un na naai


    Not under emery we aren’t (breaking 85 points)
    One thing is for sure though, we need holding, bellerin and Tierney starting in the league ASAP. Preferably with chambers beside Holding

  96. China1

    Seriously this squad is easily the third best in the league imo



    Chambers can cover CB, RB and DM
    Kolasinac for LB or LWF
    Willock CM
    Ozil if you fancy some flair at home against a shit team
    Saka and martinelli to come on late wide or up front against tired legs to beat people , create and score

    It really is a good lineup when you have everyone fit and you kick Xhaka out

  97. China1


    Yeah we’re not doing it with this manager but the squad is nearly there

    And I also would be open minded about chambers with holding but will reserve judgment til I’ve seen it for a few games

    What I do think is that sok started this season horribly tho so I won’t be complaining at all if emery dropped him for chambers.

    Or he could play holding and Luiz with chambers at DM

    We already have the players to be good at CB and decent at DM there’s just no willingness from the manager to drop his favourite DM…

  98. Valentin


    Thanks for the positive comment. I am assuming that you meant Saka as a young player rather than Xhaka. 😉

    As I have said before that crop of academy players is talented, but also hard workers. What Raul should have done is forced Emery to attend some of the U21 games. Not knowing of the players should not be a valid excuse.

    I know that some headcoach never attend reserve and youth games, but most of the best do. They want to know who is coming up. Even Mourinho hardly renowned for giving youth a chance attended some of Chelsea and ManUtd U21 games.

    What will condemn Emery is his refusal to take risk on players. By being too cautious he is digging his own grave. He refused to play Saka and Willock last season. This season because of injury and also because the number seniors players has been reduced (Elneny, Mhkitaryan, …) He is forces to play them more.

    However he is still refusing to bench undeserving senior players (bar the personal animosity between himself and Özil). Everybody can see that Xhaka and Pepe’s performance do not warrant them to be automatic starter.
    Willock and Ceballos are more deserving of a place in central midfield than Xhaka is. Martinelli would offer more than Pepe currently does. The most annoying thing with Pepe is not his poor end product (because lack of confidence can do that), but his lack of movement and defensive work. Even if you lack confidence you should be able to help out the right back. He doesn’t. He is reverting to his pre Bielsa and Galthier coaching period a static player who relies too much on tricks with his left foot.

  99. Un na naai


    Sok beside holding will be a lot stinger than sok beside Luiz
    Also, this new formation he’s been playing basically removes our midfield and opens our defence to midfield and wide runners into the box

  100. Emiratesstroller

    As I have posted several times the team we put out yesterday is well suited to playing in Cup games, which are generally “more open matches”

    Whether they can replicate it in more physical EPL games is debatable.Nevertheless I do think that the backline is better than what we are
    selecting currently for League games.

    What I have omitted in my posts is that Maitland-Niles is now well behind in
    potential the talent of the other youngsters in our squad. Playing him on the
    wing yesterday did not show more improvement. He is avery average player.

  101. Un na naai

    It’s frightening to think that martinelli, Saka and willock are just finding their feet.
    Same with chambers, holding, Guendouzi and Tierney.

    If Pepe can get going we are going to have some devastating options to choose from
    Still not convinced on Nelson myself and obviously there is a long way to go for all of these lads but on what we’ve seen so far it’s very exciting that arsenal have so many potentially world class prospects

  102. Un na naai


    I remember the same shit being said about parlour until he turned 24 in the double winning season and off he went
    It doesn’t always happen right away.
    You wrote odd holding and chambers 2-3 years ago and they are now proving your wrong.
    Patience is most certainly a virtue when developing young players.

  103. Rambo Ramsey

    “Arsenal are an elite CB and an elite DM from having a good enough squad to break 85 points.”

    I’ll have some of that Chinese weed you’re having

  104. Rambo Ramsey

    Oh here we go. Usual suspects losing their mind over a handful of decent performances by a young player.

    When will you learn?

  105. G8

    Auba only played 10 minutes
    Guen 15
    I think Emery was trying to experiment formation with both Auba and Martinelle .
    No big deal for me..
    The opposition allowed that as they are not that physical and hence injury was highly unlikely.

    Kids did very well , hopefully Emery can see the light re xhaka

  106. Valentin

    Just read a stats that without Aubameyang’s goals, the Gunners would be in a lowly 19th place in the Premier League.
    Taking into account that even a mediocre striker would have score one or two goals, it is clear that without Aubameyang we are a mid table team.
    That is not sustainable to rely so much on a single player.

  107. Dissenter

    Auba shouldn’t have been in the match day squad yesterday, talk less of being brought on when the game was already won.
    Emery makes these bone-headed decisions too often

  108. Left testicle

    That’s a silly stat. If you take the top scorer out of any team they would drop down the table. Who’s to say that if the top scorer is replaced with another player they wouldn’t score more or the style of play might change and the goals would be shared around.

  109. Peckobill

    It makes you shudder to think some clowns on here said we should sell Auba back in the summer , we would be deep in the shit right now if we had . Idiots like that got no business commenting on football .

  110. Jamie

    “Without our main £50m striker banging in goals, we’d get relegated.”

    Sweet logic. Without our keeper, we’d concede 13 goals a game.

    Why didn’t we ignore RVP’s or Alexis’ goals to show our ‘true position’ in the league without their contribution? Relegation form too probably.

    Now we have a striker putting up huge numbers again and some complain we’re too dependent on his goals. Maybe he should score fewer to keep the supporters happy.

    Auba shouldn’t have been on the pitch yesterday. Emery continues to make baffling decisions.

    Great game yesterday though. Thrilled for the young players who continue to do the business against lower opposition. Just what they need to build confidence.

    Martinelli is a revelation. Super find. Looks streets ahead of Nketiah and seems more versatile across the front line.

  111. Carts

    There’s something about Willock that I really like.

    He’s floating between somewhere between an 8 & 10: sort of like a hybrid

    I’m genuinely keen on him being a starter

  112. salparadisenyc

    Totally agree with you Carts on Willock very exciting player.

    Our best 3 man MF at moment is Willock with either Guen or Ceballos and Torreira.