Will Emery push the ‘attack’ button?

by & filed under News Review.

courtesy @allthatchas

Unai Emery has started taking press conferences to the same levels Arsene Wenger did towards the end, they’re almost not worth paying attention to.

We want to find balance.

We want to control games.

We want to defend.

It’s a little harder to fathom the true message due to the language issues, but the manager to his credit seems mostly uninterested in what outsiders think of him.

The most interesting part was his messaging was around the captains’ armband.

The vote gives me this information and the teammates decided that vote gives him confidence. Now the big thing is that we are going to work individually and collectively to be strong, and to show our supporters our way and how we can be strong with every player and our captains. I have big confidence and trust in every player, the captain and not the captain, because I think now in the dressing room we have a very big spirit.

Translation: The players voted for it so stfu.

Fair play, he made democracy work to give him a cover, if the players say so, who are we to argue?

The manager alluded to the slow start this season being down to messy transfer window. In fairness to him, that is an acceptable excuse. In the post WE BOUGHT PLAYERS hedonism, we quickly forgot that two weeks before fans were posting videos of themselves lambasting the club for inaction and selfishness. Playing devils EKB here, Raul didn’t bring the milkshake to the yard early enough. Emery could also say that some of the player exits were late and out of his hands. Monreal would have made a difference to the leadership struggles and the lack of a leftback. Mikhi might… I mean… he… Emery didn’t want him axed.

The allusions would hold more weight if our grim performances didn’t closely ape what we saw in the backend of last season, but hey, let’s roll with what the manager thinks and look for the positives.

We’re heading into a much simpler set of games. They’re not easy, but they are a lot more do-able than some of the challenges we’ve faced up to over the last 10 games.

What we are all hoping for today is this: Emery has realised he has good enough players to offer up a more protagonistic approach to the game.

> Attack with vigour.

Bournemouth sit 1 point behind us in 11th place. Statistically, they are having a poor season in the same way we are. They’ve been extremely open, racking up an average of 16.9 shots per game… not as bad as us, with 18. On the attacking front, they average 10.7 shots a game, with a very low 4.3 on target. They’ve actually managed 1 more goal than us, but boast the same goal difference as us with +1.

In short, they’re playing like a team that’s going to find themselves in a relegation battle this season. I mean, from an xG standpoint, so are we. We’re 15th for xPts so far this season, they’re 19th. The main difference for Arsenal is we have great players, we’ve played some tough teams on paper, we’re about to hit an easy run. Bournemouth’s correction could spell trouble.

Based on the above and the 2.5 good performances we’ve seen over the last week, it would be nice to expect a walk in the park, but we know the manager will level in with some changes that’ll make things difficult for himself. Xhaka is the captain so he’ll start, Matteo is a leader amongst men, and the coach has shown a reticence to play Ceballos or Willock, so we could see LT back in. 3 holding midfielders starting in slightly incorrect positions has been the story of our bad games this season, I truly hope someone has pointed that out in the video analysis room.

That said, even with our blandest midfield on show, I have my doubts a team that doesn’t press will give us too many problems. Xhaka with space is a different beast, so are most of our players, could even be a good chance for Ceballos to find his sea-legs.

I think most of the joy we’ll be having tomorrow is in the final third – if Emery can find the right balance to release his speed demons. This should be a day for Pepe to shine. I’d love to see Saka back out on the right starting again, he’s been electric in every game, I see no reason to rest him.

There’s also the added the deliciousness of Martinelli. The manager had mixed feelings on his true position (of course he would).

‘In pre-season he played in different positions, above all he preferred to play as a left-winger but he can also play as a right-winger.’

‘I’m using him as a striker because he played there in Brazil. It’s not the best position for him but the first thing in his mind is to help us.’

Emery has finally stumbled into a happy mistake if he thinks striker isn’t the lads best position, but either way, it’s great to know the player is so versatile. Dividing up the season on the left between him and Saka/Reiss is exciting… being the back-up to Pepe also makes sense. In the meantime, if Arsenal go 3-0 up at halftime, take Auba off and put him through the middle.

I’m trying to work out who Martinellis is like as a player. He has elements on Robin Van Persie about him. The Dutchman was so arrogant at Feyenoord in his early days that he’d pinch freekicks from senior players. They have similar no-nonsense attitudes on the pitch and there seems a definite desire to strike from distance and dance with the ball. Robin also had a stint out wide in his early days for Holland. Dare I say… I think some of his footwork has a touch of Bobby P about it. He’s obviously not flatfooted, but he’s light on his feet and can deliver a ball.

Cannot wait for him to discover Nando’s, dial-in hookers and Celta Vigo on loan…

Just kidding, this kid looks the real deal. Let’s hope Emery trusts him in the big games.

Right, that’s me done.

Tell me who you think Gabriel is like and I’ll tell you that you are a LIAR.

See you in the comments. x

545 Responses to “Will Emery push the ‘attack’ button?”

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  1. DaleDaGooner

    Makes Emery drab 1-0 at the Emirates fun. City lost at Etihad, doubt they can get back , Pool will loose but City does not have it in them this season

  2. Bamford10

    Cesc

    Agreed. Good post. It’s maddening. Let’s hope Xhaka gets a suspension or goes on maternity leave and then loses his place simply because he has been out for a time. That looks our only hope at the moment.

  3. WengerEagle

    3 points today but not much else positive to take away from it, fortunate to win.

    Good time for international break, hopefully have Tierney and Bellerin going forwards now as fullbacks.

    Pepe also needs a couple of weeks away from the scrutiny and to work on his rediscovering his ability to play football. Resembles a slower and more predictable Gervinho atm.

  4. EdTheRed

    Can someone explain to me how can clueless clown Emery be only a point behind absolutely magnificent duo of Pep/Arteta? WTF is going on?

  5. salparadisenyc

    Take the three points but we looked pretty mid table there once Bormouth gave less respect as others have said.

  6. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    Yep.. pretty much…. ugly to watch too.. I’m all for giving Freddie L . the temp manager position to finish out the season and then get a new one going forward next season with a new look team. At least Freddie has a pulse on the youth .. and wont feel obligated to play the vets. I know it wont happen though as long as we are hanging around 4th place.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    You need a player you can put in CDM who just owns it so you can allow players like Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, whoever to be slightly more forward thinking.

    Right now anyone playing with Xhaka knows they have to hold his hand because he’s basically a slightly more advanced CB who passes to a decent standard.

    If he was the Pirlo/Alonso type midfield orchestrator we thought we were getting it might be worth his glaring issues, but he offers us nothing.

  8. Ishola70

    China1
    “Did guen get MOTM again? I suspect he may have got that as many times for arsenal this season already as Xhaka has in his entire arsenal career to date”

    It’s embarrassing really that a 20yo kid is continually outshining a senior player.

  9. Un na naai

    several yesterday. You need to read more carefully.

    Bamford

    Yeah like the time you blamed wenger for cup defeats that happened in 1993 on wenger and then made out you hadn’t read the comment properly while claiming you’re a quick reader? Instead of just admitting you have severely limited knowledge of arsenal pre 2008.
    Hahahaha

    Glass houses and throwing stones springs to mind old chap

  10. EdTheRed

    Can someone explain to me how can clueless clown Emery be only a point behind absolutely magnificent duo of Pep/Arteta? WTF is going on? Any expert opinions?

  11. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    They beat Besiktas late on too their midweek in Istanbul which is a hostile environment to say the least. Also went to Torino and beat them in Turin to qualify in first place. Another tough place to go.

    Strange that Adama Traore isn’t picked every week, guy is a force of nature.

  12. Radio Raheem

    Liverpool sneaking wins like it’s April. City will reel them in I’m sure, didn’t they lose 3 or 4 last season?

    To be 3rd with a GD of 2 is clearly unsustainable but with shit like the spuds we’ll still finish top 4. Emery has to go if we still look this unconvincing come the end of the season, irrespective of a top 4 finish.

  13. S Asoa

    EdTheRed
    Watch their matches . Even Wenger’s earlier matches gave satisfaction to watch.
    Also note that the gap is reducing between teams.
    With such a pretty good squad, Emery should do better.

  14. Un na naai

    Agreed. Good post. It’s maddening. Let’s hope Xhaka gets a suspension or goes on maternity leave and then loses his place simply because he has been out for a time. That looks our only hope at the moment.

    Lol
    Bamford
    But it’s not his fault
    He was left a shitty squad wasn’t he?

  15. China1

    At least chambers was defensively solid. Saka was mixed but had good periods, especially not long before he came off.

    We also didn’t play out from the back too much when under pressure and when we did the players weren’t usually as deep which is good

    Meanwhile why oh why oh why are we unable to create any chances? Seriously we just get so few genuine scoring opportunities.

    Outside of the actual goal I can only think of that one chance where Auba hit the post. It’s mad how hard we find it to unlock teams p

  16. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    I just don’t get what Emery sees in Xhaka.

    Even when he talks his positives it’s little to do with his ability. It’s usually a voice in the changing rooms, early for training, good human, collect fines etc very little about his football merit.

    The world can see adding Xhaka is like adding a hangover to the team. Baffling Emery cannot.

  17. WengerEagle

    Aubameyang is a world class goalscorer, he’s as good a penalty box striker as you’ll find.

    But his ability to gel the play together, sync with midfielders, beat players 1 vs 1, create chances for himself and play with his back to goal are all ordinary to poor.

    It’s why he’s playing here in his prime and not at an elite European club. Having said that, more than happy to have him as he carries us with his goals most of the time.

  18. Paulinho

    “Aubameyang his touch at times is so frustrating.”

    Part of the reason we are a struggle to watch. Dreadful at combining.

  19. Bamford10

    Don

    “He was left a shitty squad wasn’t he?”

    Yes, last season’s squad was shit, relatively speaking.

  20. Marko

    Guardiola must need to spend another £200 Million, nothing for it. Just doesn’t have the players.

    Sounds about right. Him and Poch not their fault they need signings and better players.

    On us though we’re simply not playing good enough attacking football. International break coming up is going to be a good one for us to get some players back and involved and to rest one or two others.

    But he has to see the hindrance that Xhaka is to the team and address it. If he had a fraction of the misguided faith he has in Xhaka for Torreira we’d be going places.

  21. WengerEagle

    If Pool beat City at Anfield it’ll open up a 10 point gap [presuming they both win their matches beforehand], pretty hard to see them gift that away considering it’ll be in early November rather than March so the pressure won’t be as intense.

    All it takes is for one of the front 3 to go down or VVD at the back and they’re a different team mind.

  22. Nelson

    Anyway, we’ll have Tierney and Holding after the interlu and probably Bellerin also. The team will look much better. Chambers played very good defensively.

    Laca may also come back soon. Today, we played like a midtable team. Let’s see how the team performs once we have all our players back before we criticize Emery. He is not going to change his system.

  23. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    I don’t get it.. either.. Xhaka Not the kind of player you live or die by… best thing that could happen is he gets suspended or paternity leave drags on. And he can’t get back in the side. Very Wenger-like though that Emery would have to be forced to play the correct lineup due to injured and missing players. I was hoping to move on from that.

  24. salparadisenyc

    On the positive going into another useless international break w/ a victory critical considering the scum dropped. Was utterly convinced we’d concede in the second half with Sokratis out there.

    Chambers motm for me, imagine that.

    Until Emery’s able to address his blind spots we’ll struggle with most league opposition and be absolutely punished in the bigger matches.

  25. Hitman

    That second half was so dire. No control of the game.
    AFCB should have won that if they took chances.

    Either player inexperienced trio of Guendouzi. and Ceballos& Willock and see how that develops over the season.
    Or buy 2 midfielders. Personally I’d stick Chambers in there.
    LT & Xhaxa just not good enough for Prem. Team will not kick on if they keep on being selected.

  26. PieAFC

    Absolute drab game. But we won.

    I could pick so many faults in the performance, but 3 points is 3 points.

    Didn’t even look like hitting any rhythm. 3 games this week, didn’t lose.

    Just gonna saviour this boring football train at this moment in time while results go our way. Emery isn’t gonna change his approach any time soon.

  27. Bamford10

    Cesc

    He probably sees most, if not all, of the bad things that we see; the problem is he sees Xhaka as “a vocal leader,” a guy who plays “with his heart on his sleeve,” a player of “blood and guts”. This is all bullshit, of course, but it’s for these reasons that Emery thinks Xhaka is necessary to the XI. He’s the guy screaming when they huddle in a circle. Further, he has the players’ vote, in which they unfortunately affirmed this stupid fucking view.

  28. Marko

    Strange that Adama Traore isn’t picked every week, guy is a force of nature.

    Oh my God are you serious that guy is a one trick pony. He’s so fucking wank it’s unreal. Had to check his age 23 it seems like he’s been a prospect forever. Jota far superior

  29. TR7

    Pool squandered a lead of 7 points last season within 3 months didn’t they ? Still a lot of football left to be played for City to catch up.

  30. HighburyLegend

    “Let’s see how the team performs once we have all our players back before we criticize Emery”
    Nelson, thanks for the laughs, but you must understand that the spanish wenger will play the players you are referring to only in the cups.

  31. Un na naai

    Bamford
    So what’s the difference this season? Pepe, Ceballos and Luiz haven’t made much of an impact

    Anyone who’s looked good in the league was already here.

    Also. Our rivals have all improved squad wise bar Chelsea and they have gone backwards. Meaning the squad we had last year was capable of more than he got out of them. He threw the last 6 games of the season vs mediocre sides

    So Bamford. Let me ask you just one question. Simple yes or no answer.

    Was our squad good enough to be Leicester or wolves or palace in the final run in?

  32. Pierre

    CC
    2nd half was basically Arsenal sitting back trying to counter attack ( not very well) , Bournemouth had a number of chances and half chances that they failed to take.

    Pick of our players were probably Chambers, Ceballos and the 2 centre halfs though Saka did ok without any real service.

    I would say that we probably tired after the break due to the effort we put into our pressing game in the first half.

    2nd half ,no real pressing, just Bournemouth trying to break us down and Arsenal settling for the 1-0 from about the hour mark.

    Anyways, it was 3 points , 3rd in the league, and a clean sheet …they are the positives along with the fact that we worked hard and ran hard and were more disciplined , though we lacked real quality and was wasteful in the final 3rd of the pitch.

    I don’t think anyone can criticise xhaka today as he had a very tidy game all round, it was players like Pepe, Guendouzi and Aubameyang who were wasteful in possession…

  33. China1

    Actually we would’ve come third even with those crappy results if Auba scores that late pen against spurs

    We had an awful team but still should’ve come third by the end one way or another

  34. Un na naai

    CescHe probably sees most, if not all, of the bad things that we see; the problem is he sees Xhaka as “a vocal leader,

    Ha
    Really? Then why did he play the high line for so long with a slow defence? Why did he try to force cech to play out?
    Why did he continue with the ridiculous attempts to pass out from the back this season costing us points in the process?

    Why did he not play chambers at rb sooner?
    Why does he continue with Torreira further up the field rather than shielding?
    Why does he continue with Xakha as last man back?
    Why does he expose defence by pulling our two cm’s (In front of Xakha) wide?
    Why can he not get

    Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Ceballos, Martinelli, Saka and Willock to form any sort of attacking force? Most managers would kill for half that selection of attacking players

    Why does he select ozil and Xakha as captains?
    Why are the players complaining that he’s confusing them?

    If he sees all this and it’s costing us then why isn’t he doing anything about it? He’s paid £6m a year to act and produce performances. Which he’s failing at. Miserably

  35. Wenker-wanger

    Sack the useless tosser…..3rd place with Xhaka playing…. I mean come on ……a manager that wins games without conceding…..rubbish hopeless manager…bring back Magoo Wenger!

  36. Guns of Hackney

    Souness looks like he had a promise from a liar.

    If Jamie Redknapp’s legs get any wider, he’ll literally fold backwards. Cunt. Orange cockney cunt. Danny Dyer of football.

  37. Redtruth

    We’d be slaughtered by Emery’z detractors had we lost at home to Wolves.
    Fortunately for Guardiola he has bought himself some time with the majority still behind him.

  38. Un na naai

    Hill wood

    Don’t wast a good wish on something so trivial

    Point your positive energy towards emery leaving

  39. DUIFG

    Twitter comment spot on Pedro, people in the stadium saying its fine winning ugly. It’s better than losing but again we created FUCK All almost all match. The problems start in the mid, it has to change.

    Pepe catching flak, nobody passes to him. We didn’t look any better when he came off, this Granit problem is huge. Emery wants to play guen but they are like sludge together

  40. Un na naai

    RedtruthOctober 6, 2019 16:31:26
    We’d be slaughtered by Emery’z detractors had we lost at home to Wolves.

    Truth
    Yeah that’s the majority of the fan base at this point. Begs the question who you consider “we” are?

  41. Just Another Customer

    I’m going to go full schizo conspiritard here and agree that Emery has been blackmailed by the Balkan mafia it’s the only logical explanation left to justify his increasingly absurd decisions

  42. Chris

    Well where I was say today, there were plenty voicing discontent with Emery.

    2nd half not pretty. I can only think that a scenario that suits this season is scraping our way to top four CIA results like this and bringing in a new coach at seasons end.

  43. Un na naai

    PaulinhoOctober 6, 2019 15:23:21
    I like Saka but I do see him in a deeper role as his career progresses.Not sure he’s got the quality to be an explicit forward. Would like to see him in a deeper inside midfield role

    What a mug 👆🏻

  44. Up 4 grabs now

    Poor game today, but we won which is the most important thing.
    Especially as so many around us lost.

    Chambers and guendouzi played well.
    Saka tailed off and was OK which is to be expected for such a young player, will probably be benched if laca comes back after the interlul.

    Nice cameo from martinelli, looked lively and always made himself available for the ball.

    Bindippers title to lose by the looks of it. Second could be up for grabs!

    Let’s hope Newcastle complete a good weekend, up the toon!

  45. Marko

    As bad as Pepe has started for us and it’s been pretty bad it’s still one goal and 3 assists on the season. Any sort of proclamations on him need not be taken too seriously. Especially around here and especially from our fanbase. Relax you fuckwits

  46. Redtruth

    Un na naai
    “Yeah that’s the majority of the fan base at this point. Begs the question who you consider “we” are?”

    The majority of the fanbase were behind Wenger lol….

  47. China1

    Lol so here we are struggling with discontent fans and rightly so and yet somehow we’re not only in 3rd after 8 games in spite of our isssues but we’re not 1 point behind billionaire record breakers man city.

    If you offered that to us before the season began we’d be hyped as hell but unfortunately considering the teams behind us are all right down our necks and considering the manner of our performances we’re not yet in any position to cheer

  48. vegas gooner

    dare I say it?

    we really could have used Ozil today.

    our midfield was woeful. why emery starts the same two centre backs every league game is a mystery.

    none of our starting 11 seem to be able to dribble or keep possession. our passing is bad, save for when we pass back to Leno which we do far too often.

    I think we’re winning because the team wants to win for themselves much more than for emery.

  49. Chris

    Well yeah they say the table doesn’t lie but there is no doubt performances have to pick up. The second half we hardly threatened, these are the type of games we should be taking by the scruff of the neck to show progression.

  50. Marko

    China that’s the thing serious alarm bells ringing out with regards to performances this season but in saying that if we keep getting results who the fuck cares because at the end of the day we need to get back into the Champions League no matter what. If it’s playing good football great if it’s struggling that’s good too as long as we get there in the end. And then we reassess things

  51. Un na naai

    Rt

    And now the majority have seen enough from emery and have made up their minds.
    No more holding on to managers who aren’t producing the goods. Especially not with drab sauceless coaches with vastly improved squads and no trophies or emotional ties to the fan base

  52. Champagne charlie

    But the fan base isn’t “fragile”, there’s not a current of discontent whatsoever so I’m told by Banford 😂

    Yea lad, just a merry lot buoyed by another rousing display you egg McMuffin.

  53. Un na naai

    No we don’t reassess things

    If we make top 4 playing as we are now with the players we have at our disposal then it will be through sheer luck that rivals dropped the ball and the lower teams lacked the quality to make better use of the 20 or so gifts we give away per match

  54. Batistuta

    Have to say I’ve been pleasantly with Calum Chambers this season, looks very good defensively which was always the worry but i guess being on loan at clubs who defend a lot would have helped that. Him and Guendozi had very good games..

    We’re 3rd and just a point behind City and we’ve played 3 of the top 6 from last season so while the performances maybe not so great, we’re not losing games and racking up the points.

    Really hop Raul and co give Emery a handshake at the end of the season when his contract expires so we can move on from him, best for everyone but so sonfar so good.

    P.s.

    Is there still another international break after this one? It’s like there are more and more of them

  55. China1

    Marko I will find it annoying but will be relatively tolerant of bad performances provided we do actually keep winning

    But two things which are stickers for me is that 1) emery must not be given another contract regardless of if he gets top 4 because he can’t take us to the next level quite clearly

    2) we must actually keep getting results. As soon as the form drops off he has no protection and the fans will turn very quickly. He doesn’t have the rapport or respect that wenger had with the fan base to fall back on. As well, Weber at least had attractive football up until about 4 years ago so there was that too. But playing badly and not getting results for emery will be unthinkable

  56. Valentin

    My comments on today’s game.

    1) it was bloody cold and pretty depressing second half.

    2) that Eddie Howe is trying to outpass Arsenal is an indictment. Of what people have to choose. Either of how the mighty have fallen and Arsenal does not have any fear factor. Or that Eddie Howe is tactically out of his depth when the level goes up.

    3) Saka was moved to the right for Martinelli and was clearly tiring before being substituted
    4) Pepe was effective due to his usual trying too hard.
    5) Xhaka did not make any obvious mistake, but was slow and ponderous in a slow ponderous unbalanced midfield.
    6) Emery substitutions were strange but not all unexpected.

  57. Un na naai

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2019/10/06/why-unai-emery-is-responsible-for-nicolas-pepes-sluggish-start-at-arsenal-10856149/amp/

    100% on the money. Everyone is chipping in on emery.

    My favourite parts are as follows:

    Considering Arsenal’s strength lies in their attack rather than in defence, it seems counter-intuitive that Emery continually adopts a safety-first approach. Aubameyang has been prolific despite a lack of service but without a functioning support network behind him, Pepe has struggled.

    There have been times where the Ivorian’s composure and shot execution have let him down, but it is on Emery to provide a tactical framework to enable him to showcase his assets rather than inhibit his natural attacking instincts.

    And:

    Nevertheless, there are legitimate concerns about Pepe’s form and whether Emery is putting suitable building blocks in place to help him reach his potential. Emery is renowned for his rotational policy when it comes to personnel and tactics but at times, that can be to the detriment of his players.

    Emery has already used four different tactical systems in seven Premier League matches – one more than Lille played in the duration of their 2018-19 league campaign. Whereas all 37 of Pepe’s appearances for his former came on the right-wing

  58. Un na naai

    Rt

    But you just said that the majority were behind wenger.
    So what does that make you? The rare arsenal fan who only wants the best for arsenal
    You are a little trooper aren’t you!!
    The last bastion, Fighting against all odds to defend Emery.
    A man who’s only as good as Wenger was at his lowest ebb. Even Pedro has laid out those stats and he was leading the charge for Wenger to go.

  59. Just Another Customer

    if someone deserved to call Wenger it’s RedTruth still thinking in AKB and shit like that he’s gone m8 now we want Emery gone too it’s for the good of the club why persist with the blatant shite manager like him

  60. Un na naai

    Goals
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    1 100%0% 0
    Total Shots (including blocked shots)
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    12 54.5%45.5% 10
    Shots On Target
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    2 50%50% 2
    Blocked Shots
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    4 80%20% 1
    Shots from outside the box
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    3 37.5%62.5% 5
    Shots from inside the box
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    9 64.3%35.7% 5
    Shot Accuracy (excluding blocked shots)
    Arsenal Comparison Bournemouth
    25% 22.2%

  61. Gentlebris

    We are only third because others are shit as well.

    The football we play is capable of provoking tears.

    I would be more entertained doing some mowing.

  62. Wenker-wanger

    Absurd unintelligent childish obsession in blaming emery for absolutely everything,.including 3rd place.
    We’ve smashed half decent European teams 3-0, 4-0…..and still the silly ranting.
    Ffs judge him in may…and unlike the leach that wouldn’t resign before him..if he fails to get 4th or say loses 6-0 in any game….yeah get shot of him…I’ll join in the vendetta…