1 week, 1 month, 1 season. No one can agree the timeline

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The media is alive like a pit of vipers, all looking for their hot take on a story they don’t yet have. A little like some of the nonsense that was fed into the airwaves when we were hiring for the Wenger replacement. It makes for interesting reading, dependent on how you want to spin it for yourself.

The through-thread I’m hearing is quite simple: We don’t have a plan.

If you take that as your north star, it makes it easier to work out what’s real and what’s fantasy.

I am more inclined to believe the stories that Arsenal are not going to budge on ousting Unai Emery, namely because there’s no suitable replacement candidate, and there’s been no detailed undertaking of what’s in the market at the moment.

It’s also important to remember that Unai Emery is Don Raul’s man. When Arteta lost out because Ivan G lost his nerve, it was our lead football exec who brought Emery in for the magical interview with the powerpoint dossier. He’s attached to Unai, there’s either going to be a level of faith in his hard skillz (lol), or there’s going to be a level of stubbornness in the decision.

You also have to remember that Arsenal are not fast movers. Mountains of evidence supported Wenger being a busted flush, but things didn’t move against him until the stadium emptied out and the finances started to weaken. It’s very rare that a manager has ever been as bad as Unai Emery and turned things around. It is in the Kroenke DNA to really, really, really make sure the manager they have in charge is completely useless before they pull the trigger.

I’d also be paying attention to the reality of our finances. We pulled money from next season into last summer to make the big fancy signings happen. That was the financial trick. There’s probably an element of worry with firing Emery: ‘Do we really want to spend upwards of £12m to fire the coach and the 6+ people he brought along for the ride?’

I was told at the start of the season the chances of Emery being let go early were very slim. In fairness, I’m not sure anyone thought things would be this bad, this soon. There are some stories saying that he’ll be out the door if he loses next weekend. I think that’s fanciful. The bigger concern is that a lot of papers are saying he’ll be given a month to turn things around.

I worry if we go a month, it’s going to be impossible for any caretaker to get things back on track. The best choice if we did that would be Freddie Ljungberg, but that’s hugely risky. Bringing in a young coach to take over in a crisis isn’t ideal.

I’ve done to death the Jose Mourinho counter-argument. There are fans saying that talk of ‘values’ is weak sauce and that we shouldn’t pay attention to things like that.

I really dislike this line of argument. ‘Values’ when used to deflect a lack of competitiveness is unacceptable. Arsenal tried to tie the two things as inextricably linked during the bad years because it made for easy reading to the soft fanbase who saw Wenger as their daddy.

‘Chelsea may have trophies, but where’s the class? Not for me’

When we’re talking about values and Jose Mourinho, the commentary has more grounding in reality. You really are attacking who you are as a club when you make that appointment.

But honestly, fuck the talk of values. That is the last thing on my list of why nots when it comes to hiring in Jose.

The man is finished as an elite level coach. Just look at his idea of modern football. Look at the footballing output at United having spent £300m+.

‘But did he have a say on the players?’

Can you IMAGINE Jose Mourinho at United’s Pleasure Island for Faded Managers NOT having a say on players? He’s literally one of the most powerful coaches on the planet. He would have had total control over decisions. He is a King. He lives off his once elite reputation as the Special One. He had control, and while Manchester City were out there creating the next generation of cognitive football, he’s making excuses about the lack of investment and defending his painfully dated footballing philosophy.

Don’t worry about values people, with Jose Mourinho, it’s lose/lose. You’re bringing in the most toxic man in world football, and by the way, he’s going to crash your club within 2 seasons, likely with little to show for it.

Arsenal are in this situation because they hired a coach based on an objective.

‘Get Champions League’

We didn’t hire a coach thinking of the 3-5 year plan of where we planned to take the club. We weren’t thinking about how to be competitive. We just hired in someone based on his glamourous previous job.

The fans will now demand our next hire is a ‘proven winner.’ But it’s the wrong way to look at it. Hiring a winner took United to LVG after David Moyes. It then took them to Jose Mourinho. Now they’re in all sorts of trouble because the correct decision was a young innovative coach, but when they finally made that decision they did it based on emotion, not smarts.

We built a global brand playing stunning football. We are not currently capable of behaving like a superclub. Arsenal has a golden generation of kids coming through. We have a squad built for attacking football.

Our next hire needs to be mapped to our reality.

There is no point in hiring the archetypal ‘winner’ because that sort of reputation is ALWAYS tied to a chequebook manager. We can only afford to work with one of those types on the way out of the top tier (Jose). We need to make our gains by hiring in someone that can outperform our resources. That has to be a coach with ideas, someone that’s happy to work with what is on offer at Arsenal, someone that wants to grow into a king.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments.

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318 Responses to “1 week, 1 month, 1 season. No one can agree the timeline”

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  1. Graham62


    That’s your prerogative to think that way.

    What you have to remember though is that many posters, myself included, don’t respect Wenger( although I once did). Yes he has gone but it will never stop us from thinking about him in a negative light, irrespective of his success in the first half of his reign.

    As for talking tactics, again that’s a posters prerogative to discuss them. Imo though, some go overboard on it, as if they’re trying to prove a point. Some of us prefer to review the actual practicality of things and what we see and feel and not dwell on things that are more suited to the Premier League Managers brigade, if you get my gist.

    That’s the joys of a football blog. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  2. Tee


    I get you.

    As for our next match, I will be glad if
    torriera is deployed as a standing 4 and Martinezz picked over Leno. Leno has been messing up of late.

    the instructions should be –
    1) defend as a unit i.e. defending should start from the front. Mass defence when under attack will be helpful. Martinelli can also help in pressurising opponent defence.

    2) reduce the gap between the back, middle and front.

    3) no passing out from the back i.e. go long range

    4) torriera should be used as a standing 4

    5) release the ball on time to speed up our transition. From middle to front

    6) No pre planned substitution. Let the game flow determine it.

  3. Un na naai

    Bamford10November 5, 2019 00:45:50
    We still haven’t heard from any Emery-outers re how they would set up against Leicester and why. Why are you afraid of this question, gents? It shouldn’t be that complicated.

    You still haven’t answered my question

    Why could wenger extract more from the same players emery is failing with?

  4. Un na naai


    You don’t think he did well with arsenal 06-11?

    You don’t think those sides deserve credit and respect?

  5. Tee


    It’s totally accepted that the man is out of sync with the squad.

    So, it will be a miracle of things can change for good.

    Miracles do happen. You know

  6. Pierre

    Playing with a midfield diamond.

    Watford away ….31 shots conceded
    Liverpool. . …….18 shots conceded
    Wolves …………….25 shots conceded

    It obviously doesn’t work

    The fact we only conceded 6 goals in these 3 games is immaterial, it could have been 16+.

    In the 2 previous games using the diamond
    before wolves , we were overrun by liverpool and Watford, so it was obvious to everyone that it is a flawed system.

    Last weekend, Emery went into the Wolves game under pressure, there was the xhaka problem , results had been poor, plus the Ozil conundrum.

    One would have thought that Emery would have played it safe with his team selection, formation and tactics.

    He didn’t, he did the opposite…he left Pepe on the bench and he played the disastrous diamond midfield and compounded the mistake by putting Torreira at the tip of the diamond.

    It looked like an easy lesson in how to turn the fans against you.

    His substitutions were head scratchers, taking Torreira off for Saka didn’t make sense and not to bring Pepe on when we needed a goal fave the impression that he was happy with a point.

    To say afterwards that the tactics worked made him look even more incompetent.

    Last weekend he had a chance to get the fans back on side , he failed miserably I’m afraid .
    If anything he made things worse for himself with his strange set up to the game.

    The Arsenal hierarchy must have been looking at the events of the weekend and now must have severe reservations regarding Emery’s ability to take us forward.

    We are in serious decline

  7. Ishola70

    “From emery you’d think we have no DMs in the squad when in reality we have torreira Luiz and Chambers all as capable options, assuming guen is still work in progress”

    The options are not that good tbh if you want a standout DM from that lot.

    Torreira is a little pack player that needs someone else alongside him.

    We have all seen how poor defensively David Luiz can be when he is exposed one on one with players running at him when he is drawn out from his safety area in the Arsenal defence so putting him as DM is only going to further highlight his defensive weaknesses.

    Chambers bless him tries hard but is too slow to ultimately be a top DM and is prone to defensive lapses.

    And Guendouzi is still too raw and green to be totally trusted.

    Out of all those only Guendouzi given a few years perhaps could be seen as a real good DM or holding CM.

    The answer is to go out and buy a DM.

  8. HighburyLegend

    “Miracles do happen. You know”

    Wenger’s sacking was already a miracle.
    And we can only have 1 miracle/decade.

  9. siddharth14

    This is looking like the club is again avoiding to dirty it’s hands by either backing or moving on Emery. They are leaving it again on the supporters to nudge the club into action. With all the negativity and frustration among most of the supporters, the club is taking a massive risk.

    My fear is the supporters don’t target any other player the way Xhaka was. Yes, Xhaka has a few glaring shortcomings but the way Emery is putting out the team is clearly accentuating the individual and collective play in a negative manner.

    Imo, it would be more helpful if the anger is directed towards the Kroenkes or Raul when making it clear that the supporters are not at all happy with the direction of the team. Groups like AST should call for the club to be more accountable and prompt when there is growing unrest among the supporters.
    I know it’s unrealistic to expect that Arsenal behave like a proper and ruthlessly effective club. But things have to start somewhere.

    Regarding Emery, the only solace and hope for me is the fact that the club hasn’t given Emery a public backing yet. This at least tells us that the club are giving a thought of how to tackle this.

  10. Graham62

    Un na naai

    From 2006, it started to go downhill, irrespective of what we sometimes saw on the field of play.

    Between 06-11 there were visible signs of regression both on and off the pitch. The treatment of fans was poor. My respect for him waned as the disdain towards us became more and more evident.

    From 2011-2018 my respect for him disappeared completely as he became more and more distant from us all and,even more significantly, he started to seriously damage our club.

    These feelings are not there with Mr Emery because, put simply, he is just not good enough.

  11. Nelson


    I agree with what you said. But if we send out the same team from last Saturday to face Leicester City, we could get our ass kicked. I know many Arsenal supporters want to get rid of Emery. But I would never want our team to lose to achieve this goal. I want to fight till the end.

  12. Globalgunner

    Will Xhaka be back for the Leicester game. If so, we most certainly will lose. Those sharp darting Leicester midfielders will dance rings round that lumbering oaf.

  13. Un na naai


    Mate, I’m not sure I’m totally with you there

    The diamond can work. It just needs to be utilised correctly. I actually think we have the players to do it.

    First and foremost you need your full backs to provide width. They are two of the most important players on the pitch in this formation

    Second when they move forward 1 or preferably (depending on opposition) 2 sit with the 2 x centre halves providing numbers and cover for full backs

    This essentially creates an attacking midfield of 4 with 2 strikers on the counter attack

    Possession is key. Not necessarily keeping it but using it properly when you have it.

    It can work. With the right coach

  14. Un na naai


    Yes and we moved stadium in 06
    But it was only ever going down hill after 04
    Best side the prem has seen

    But either way that wasn’t the question
    Are you saying that those sides deserved no credit? Played the best football we’ve ever played in those years
    Yes he let it slip at the back for us but no credit? That team was an absolute delight going forward and anyone who was fortunate enough to have watched us in those days still link us to the higher end of the beautiful game because of it
    Those years made us synonymous with breathtaking attacking football