So I basically caused a revolt in the comments section with my ‘crazy’ views on Unai Emery last season. I called out the basics like language issues, the negative football, and the fact he lost a one horse race at the richest club in the world. I highlighted his dismal defensive record at all his clubs , I found damning quotes from his explayers, I brought ‘sauce’ into the common vernacular… I’ll cut to the point, I basically did the due diligence Arsenal failed to do on our bland hire.
Every melt under the sun abused me. Two of my London friends pulled me to one side last Christmas and told me to behave because I was taking the criticism too far.
‘Emery is good, look at the results. I think there’s something wrong with you?’
Now all of a sudden, the world has realised that I was correct (again), but are they talking about Le Grove? No, they’re talking about some handsome ESPN journo who strung some tweets together in 2018 at the same time… like he was the lone voice.
‘Isn’t it spooky how accurate this obscure handsome man is’
It’s a fucking disgrace. I now know how Xhaka felt on Monday. At least when he was being booed, it was for slow-walking and telling the fans to fuck off. I’m serving up 30-yard football insight screamers, people are seeing them, criticising them for being tap-ins, and… hold on, I’m lost here. Basically, the internet is shit. Everyone was there to call Le Grove a DISGRACE during the unbeaten run, but no one is there rolling out the OH BOY YOU WERE RIGHT RED CARPET now I have been largely proven right.
I don’t even like high praise anyway, fuck you. Fuck you.
*throws shirt to ground and storms down the tunnel*
No, I will not fucking apologise Unai, you cheese on GOOD EBENING toast melt.
Talking of Xhaka, Sami Mokbel said Arsenal are offering the Swiss counselling. I really don’t know where to go with this sort of commentary. If he genuinely has mental health issues, I’d leave this alone, but we live in a culture of amateur psychologists (thank you, Mr Ganesh), so it’s hard to tell what is real and what makes for a trendy headline. We all go through rough patches when we’re performing badly at work, is that not just feeling shit about being a bit shit? Does it always have to be something deeper? I’m honestly not critiquing mental health here, but I do find people’s amaeteur diagnosis and assumptions as damaging as ignoring them. Everyone cited Ozil as being depressed last year and it was totally made up.
Anyway, dealing in facts, the player has entered day 3 and he’s refusing to apologise. He also took time out to rile the fans by changing his Instagram profile picture to one of him in a Swiss shirt. I have to say, that was a zinger, our group chat went wild over that one.
The overarching feeling is the player is acting like a 14-year-old.
There are a lot of people claiming we shouldn’t need an apology as fans. You’re right. I fucking hate apology culture. It’s a real leftwing pass time in America, people love a ‘THEY MUST APOLOGISE’ outrage, then the apology comes and some obscure charity that campaigns for the rights of people that work as Christmas elves tweets ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’… I digress. The apology isn’t for the fans, it’s for the manager.
Unai Emery, to be fair to him, has mostly done this by the book. As Matt on the podcast pointed out, his poor English maybe lacked some finesse, but overall, he condemned the action and said it was wrong. The fact Xhaka hasn’t come out and apologised has made Emery look weak, and that’s unforgivable from a captain… especially when the manager put his career on the line by giving the armband to him in the first place.
The apology is also for the club and the people that pay him. We’re a community-based club. We have values. We preach class. Xhaka telling fans to fuck off is not a good look for the brand and it’s not a good example to set to kids (think of the children!). Shit is going to happen in your life, tantrum-ing like a kid and telling everyone to fuck off is embarrassing and it shouldn’t be passed off as ‘he’s just human.’
Do that in a client meeting when you’re told your ideas are a dumpster fire of human excrement, you’re out the door. There are literally no arenas where that sort of workplace prose is tolerated in front of clients. I have to say, when you work in a factory, you can say what you like to each other and ‘banter’ is always a mitigating circumstance, but still, not in front of clients and it’s important to note, this was not in a factory.
As for the fans making out this is going to cost us players in the future, bitch please. Arsenal is in north London, we have a sweet stadium and whatever sympathy you feel towards Granit, recognize he’s earning more than you and he thinks you’re a peasant. Fuck it, I think you’re a peasant just for retweeting that handsome man’s super great insights THAT I ALSO HAD BUT WITH MORE DETAIL.
Back to my point. The apology issue is now an Emery issue. A hot-headed moment might be forgivable, an insolent refusal to rectify the mistake and change the news cycle is not. The manager now has to act, and I’m afraid he’s going to have to remove Granit from his duties or look even weaker than he already does.
… and seriously, if you were any other manager in world football, you’d be doing cartwheels if there was an easy out for removing Xhaka as a captain after a month. It’s not even controversial and it’ll make the team better.
Second part of the equation here is this: Forget the ‘players ran to his side’ nonsense. They all know that Granit’s behaviour was unacceptable. If Emery lets this slide, he will be letting a squad that’s out of control know that he’s there to be rolled. He might as well put the gimp mask on and hand the dog chain to whoever is kinky enough to parade him around the training ground.
The notion that the manager is worried about a revolt is pathetic and actually aligns to the sexy ESPN man’s insights about how players of his past teams saw him as meek and easy to dominate. Emery should take control of the situation. These player report into one man and one man alone.
Also, imagine fearing the personalities in our squad? It’s a group of very nice, well-meaning guys. This is hardly Chelsea at its peak under Jose. Bar Kola and Luiz, those two could be dangerous.
Right, that’s me done. Please listen to my podcast. I did it via Skype and I’m very proud of terrific output. You also owe me, so cough up with your ears.