Xhaka captaincy is over. Great decision

by & filed under News Review.

I honestly can’t with some fans.

‘Arsenal boos destroy Xhaka’

Can we start calling things cold-takes? The view that Arsenal fans had anything to do with Xhaka’s loss of the armband is straight out the book of ‘a sad indictment of generation social media.’

*Puts on old man frown*

Nothing is ever anyone’s fault these days. Everyone was desperately searching for an angle to help Granit out of a hole, the club span out a mental health angle the player was furious about, soft fans complained that the jeers were ABUSE, and TV journo’s in their fifties complained that we were an embarrassment (anyone else think the eighties fans had a little more to be embarrassed about than a few guys shouting at a camera after the game?). But when it came down to it, the club knew that Granit’s behaviour didn’t align with Arsenal values.

… and hallelejuah. We DO have values after all. (Fuck Mourinho)

Xhaka only has himself to blame, so put that ‘I’M SORRY CHAKA’ A4 sheet of paper in the bin. It’s not needed.

Leadership is a privilege, not a right. Being the captain of Arsenal is more than an armband, it’s a place in history, it’s a special place in the hearts of millions of fans. It’s the reason people don’t forget you (even the bad ones).

However, we must remember, the role comes with strings, one of those happens to be this:

String 1: DON’T TELL THE FANS TO FUCK OFF

It’s a real basic in any walk of life that if there are people paying you to do things, don’t curse at them. If you’re on TV and millions are watching, it’s even more essential you control your emotions, as there are often professional people in the stadium documenting your moves with static images and moving pictures.

Granit broke the string, not a surprise, he’s been playing a horrible tune his whole career. Even if I just focused on this season, we’ve had him tell the fans the squad was scared against Watford, he laughably threw the strikers under the bus after his howler against Spurs at home, and Emery was so worried about the announcement he had to throw an election. One month in, he slow-walked after being subbed off early for the second game in a row, then he told the fans to fuck off twice before storming down the tunnel.

Booing is part of sport. Deal with it. It’s not nice, but it’s part of the theatre. Sport is for the people and those people have a right to a voice. Those lucky enough to make a living out of the game are rewarded beyond their wildest dreams. Fans that take time out of their day to drop over £100 to see the players put on a show and give their heart for the cause. When they slow walk, it’s insulting. The jeering might not have been our finest moment as a fanbase, but nor has watching Xhaka plod around for £90k a week for 3 years.

String 2:

When a manager has taken a drive-by shooting in the arse to make you captain, you follow his orders. Emery denounced Xhaka after the game, which was code for: ‘Fucking apologise fast and don’t turn this into a PR debacle.’

Granit did not apologize. He made exec leadership look weak and he embarrassed the manager. Then when he finally apologized, he found a couple of grotty Instagram comments to justify his childish behaviour. He didn’t even apologise in English or through the club. Arsenal had to put his German Instagram Story in the club programme. I can only imagine this meant he literally wouldn’t talk to anyone all week.

Regardless, the non-apology-apology is not the sort of thing leaders do. If I were advising him, I would have recommended something like this.

I want to take this moment to apologise to all the fans. 

My actions last Monday were not in line with the values of Arsenal football club, nor were they befitting of the armband. 

I’ve recently become a new father, an exhausting period of my life which may have contributed to my misstep. I have spoken with the manager and my teammates to express my upset at my actions (Freddie helped explain to Unai what I said). I now look forward to putting myself back in contention for a starting place next week.

Up the Arse. Fuck the Spurs. Big GX 

Sadly, he didn’t do this.

That meant the manager had no choice. Xhaka thought he was above the basic rules of any club captain and his public display of defiance risked diminishing the authority of the coach even further.

Emery made a great decision.

It’s literally the luckiest accident in his short Arsenal career to date. Xhaka been a bang average for us, his skillset is wholly unsuited for the league, and his temperament is extremely questionable. His performances have been consistently substandard, the only hope we had was that he trained well and could offer a captaincy built on Arsenal values. It took him less than a month to prove himself wholly inadequate. The Scaramucci of captains indeed.

Step up Auba.

A great appointment that no one can really argue with.

He’s a captain that will lead by example.

He’ll bail us out of bad situations. He has a great personality on and off the pitch. The fans love him.

I think a year down the line, we would have had more options, but considering the circumstances, this really is absolutely fine.

Final interesting part of the Xhaka story is there might not be a way back into Emery’s plans. Again, you can’t argue with this outcome. He’s a good squad player, but now he’s had a taste of being king, it’s highly unlikely he’ll go back to being a mere mortal.

Not sure this whole debacle has done much for his resale value, but be real, you think Europe’s elite were going to purchase him without looking at a few videos first? Regardless, that’s not our worry. The fact is, we’re a better team without him.

Vitoria this evening. An unusually strong squad from Emery. He’s taken Tierney, Bellerin, LT and Leno. I worry he’s having a Europa Attack, symptoms tend to be playing his most important players against pub teams because you fear you won’t make the top 4.

I fully expect to win this game 4-0, then revert to type against Leicester at the weekend.

See you in the comments and please take in the podcast before it becomes dated!

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233 Responses to “Xhaka captaincy is over. Great decision”

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  1. Danny

    I thought Luiz would’ve been made captain, going with Auba is a bit of a cop out in my opinion e.g. take the easy route.

  2. Globalgunner

    Hope he leaves in December. No road back for him with the fans. im pretty sure. Its not as if he will be missed for his vital contributions in midfield

  3. Danny

    Hope he leaves in December.
    ——————–
    You mean January 1st. Yes definitely. He’s finished at Arsenal. If plays another home game he’ll be booed the whole match.

  4. Leftsidesanch

    Xhaka will be jeered whenever he takes to the field, which won’t be good for him or the club. A move is probably the best solution for all parties.

  5. Leftsidesanch

    We are being hugely written off this weekend and we’re playing a side we’re not inferior to and we don’t have a complex against. I hope it brings the best out of this squad.

    We need to start winning games again obviously and I don’t trust the club to take any action until top 4 is mathematically out of sight.

  6. siddharth14

    Leftside

    The anger in supporters is palpable and xhaka has already been at the receiving end of it. It cannot be allowed to continue further in a silent manner. The club have to make their stand clear. Either back Emery or move him on.

  7. Un na naai

    It’s disgusting the way xakha has been treated
    I get shadow banned for a lot less than he’s had to put up with and Pedro dares to defend those fans
    Zero consistency mate

  8. Steven

    Granit’s reaction both to being subbed and booed was unacceptable but has unfairly made a scapegoat for Arsenal’s poor performance. Despite Ian Wright’s comments there is no evidence that he was hiding on the pitch. He didn’t play particularly well but he didn’t make any horrendous mistakes. It was Chambers who gave away the penalty and it was Luiz who was ball watching when Palace scored their equaliser.

  9. InsideRight

    Of course, none of this addresses the fundamental problems we have.

    A manager who can’t coach. A manager who plays players in roles for which they are clearly unsuitable. A manager who leaves the best players out to make some kind of point, only to put them back in as a desperate measure as everything unravels. The fact we play staid, uninspiring, directionless football with no clear philosophy of how to go about our business. It comes to something when watching Leicester is more enjoyable than watching Arsenal.

    The Xhaka saga is a sideshow. Edu needs to be all over the Emery problem, working out the plan for the next 5 years and identifying a few candidates who look capable of executing that plan.

  10. Un na naai

    Also

    I don’t know how we can have spent next years budget when we did our transfer work in instalments while making over £50m in sales and having £60m per season extra I’m sponsorship
    Smells like bullshit to me
    Maybe they are trying to play another blinder of a summer to keep costs down again
    Hope so cos this smells of bullshit

  11. Receding Hairline

    “Luiz has been as bad as xakha
    Who the hell wants him as captain?
    He’s beeen here 2 months”

    Yea the shout for Luiz as captain as some sort of hard yet correct decision was weird, we aren’t even certain he deserves to start games

  12. Valentin

    Per has shown courage to get rid of not good enough staff in the academy. Assess, Decide.
    In the meantime, Raul is dithering about Emery.
    Still assessing if Emery is the man to get forward. Still deciding Should he stay until the end of the season or should he go?

  13. Moyalis Mangena

    Auba for captaincy a good decision indeed but Ozil stands taller given a chance. For the good of the team we rally behind you Auba for steward leadership

  14. Pierre

    What the Leicester game this weekend will do is highlight the incompetence of our manager compared to Rodgers.

    It will also highlight how quickly we are regressing compared to Leicester, who are progressing week on week.

    Did I read that Leicester finished 18 points behind us in the league last season, and now they are playing football that is on a different planet to us..

    Rodgers keeps it simple , he plays his best striker up top he plays his CAM where he should be played , his midfield protects the defence and the full backs know when to stay and when to go, and importantly, he plays a system that the players are comfortable with.

    These are very simple aspects of managing a football team that are easy to implement.

    Once all this is in place, then it is the quality of the players that will determine how successful or not a team will be..

    Emery’s management style is baffling beyond words , who knows what masterplan he will come up with this weekend.

    Today , I am hoping the kids again show their qualities to lift the gloom.

  15. CG

    UN

    “”””””It’s disgusting the way xakha has been treated
    I get shadow banned for a lot less than he’s had to put up with and Pedro dares to defend those fans””””

    The irony is Xhaka showed his mettle and leadership qualities by NOT apologizing! ( under pressure internally)
    Good on Him!

    We need more stubborn /’over my dead body’ types in the club.

    these fans (HOME) are getting the Club and the Arsenal they deserve.

    Who are they Booing next:

    Holding 8/11
    Bellerin 7-2
    Laca 9-2
    PEA 10-1
    16-1 BAR

    Only one man they should be booing -nay garroting- the man who gave us and to this very day still persists with Our Clown!

    The Puppet Master

    Because he is The Enemy Within!

    (Didnt agree with too much of PedRo’s post but I thank him nether less)

  16. HighburyLegend

    “Emery made a great decision.”
    lol let’s keep him after all !!

    And even if he’s not captain anymore, you can trust Unai to keep on selecting him in our starting line up.

  17. Valentin

    TT,

    According to The Athletic the decision is mainly Edu due to the bad relationship between Per and Morrow and the overbloated number of people doing the same job recruiting teens. It is a paid for article.
    However that same information has been relayed by other newspapers.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenals-reason-suddenly-axing-eight-20821698
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/10276318/arsenal-axe-morrow-eight-academy/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7647641/Arsenal-AXE-head-youth-scouting-Steve-Morrow-Gunners-ditch-1993-League-Cup-hero.html

  18. Danny

    Luiz is a cunt and I wish we’d never signed him but sometimes you need a bastard to be captain and out of our squad, he looks the most suitable, just like when Gallas joined us, he more or less immediately became captain.

  19. CG

    pierre

    “”””Rodgers keeps it simple”””””

    yes because football is simple.
    oh so bloody simple!

    complicated by imbeciles, teck decks, Director of footballs , head of football operations, “” pressing”” & “”” transitions “””gobbledegook!

    Footballers by nature are as dense and dim as Walt.*

    keep it simple for them- they prefer it that way…..

    *With the greatest respect to Walt. ( he knows I am only kidding)

  20. Un na naai

    Danny

    Yeah but he’s not a very good defender. Why would you make another error prone player your captain? He’s given away as many goals as anyone this season.

    Holding
    Lacazette

    That’s it’s for me

  21. Bojangles

    I know there will be some that disagree with your blog Pedro but for me you got it pretty well spot on.

    Only thing I may not agree with is the removal of Xhaka from the captaincy being down to Emery. He doesn’t have enough character to make such a decision on his own. I feel the decision to remove Xhaka from all of his captain’s duties was more likely to have come from the top.

  22. Valentin

    Arsenal Captain curse seems destined to continue.
    Every who has been named captain leaves the club the following season.
    Koscielny left.
    Xhaka will be leaving in the winter TW.
    And now it seems Arsenal is willing to let Aubameyang go if Real Madrid really go after him. They just need to find €69 millions on top of the half billion for Pogba and MBappe.

  23. Emiratesstroller

    Valentin

    Rumours have been circulating for some years that the Academy was not fit
    for purpose, which is why there were some changes made when Wenger left.

    The feedback I got back from a journalist who monitors the Academy was that
    most of the players coming through the system were lightweight and mediocre.

    That was blindingly obvious when you saw the results and performances against Chelsea. Many of the teams were outplayed and bullied by the club.

    Also the reports of Bird who follows and reports on Youth Teams commented
    on the general performance of players in defence which mirrored often what
    was going on at senior level.

    As I pointed out last night Arsenal have produced only one Home Grown Defender in the last decade who has made any impact at first team level and that was Bellerin who came from Barcelona.

    The reality is that Wenger neglected defence in his last decade at the club and
    Emery despite arrival of players such as Sokratis, Luiz and most recently Tierney does not seem to have the capacity to put house in order.

  24. Danny

    Un na naai

    Holding probably will be captain one day if he sticks around. Of course his display the another night against Liverpool was awful but soon, if he plays consistently, he’ll get back to his best.

  25. Valentin

    I don’t have a problem with the decision to remove Xhaka from all captaincy be taken above Emery.
    Already the squad was at loggerheads with the club, no need to create more tension between the squad and the headcoach. The decision has been taken and the players can blame Edu or Raul without impacting further their relationships with Emery.

  26. Bamford10

    Good decision, but also an obvious decision. Hopefully we move Xhaka on in the January window, as this will be better for him and for us. Note, though, that even without Xhaka in our midfield, and even if Emery selects the most balanced midfield he has available to him, our midfield will still be a relatively un-athletic, slow, porous, weak and unbalanced central midfield for the PL. In reality we need to go into the market in January and in the summer to begin to fix our central midfield.

  27. Pierre

    Stroller
    You never know , but one day you may be able to post a comment on Le Grove that doesn’t highlight our deficiencies at the back.

    I doubt very much that will happen under the present manager.

  28. Bamford10

    Pierre

    “What the Leicester game this weekend will do is highlight the incompetence of our manager compared to Rodgers.”

    Nonsense. Rodgers has a better midfield, a better XI and players who are all well-suited to the approach he has implemented. Emery lacks the latter and has weaker player options in a number of respects. Yes, Rodgers has a clearer idea of how he wants his team to play than Emery does, but the difference in how the two teams are doing and playing is not down solely to the manager.

  29. Valentin

    Stroller,

    I made the same comment numerous time on this blog. The only caveat to the restructuring is that most are linked to the recruitment department rather than the coaching staff.
    They have recruited some very promising attacker, but most of the foreign ones were bad characters. Indiscipline, unprofessional.

    Arsenal academy have never produced a single CB defender good enough for the premiership. That is in itself shocking. It clearly show that the defense is an afterthought.
    Arsenal have produced a couple of fullback but even those outside of Ashley Cole most (Bellerin, Clichy, …) have join the club at 17 years old.
    Robbie Burton is the only defensive midfielder player since Coquelin (really an import) and Isaac Hayden (Newcastle) who looks decent.

    That really show that the coaching is geared toward the attack rather than the complete position.

  30. Champagne charlie

    Great decision my arse, just another glaring weakness shown by Emery to fold to pressure from a group.

    Talk about folk making excuses for Xhaka but then here there’s an absolutely laughable fallback on “values” and ‘you can’t say fuck off to the fans’.

    You absolutely can, that’s selective snowflake nonsense if ever there was some. If this was a better footballer the arguments why this is a bad call would be spun and spun.

    It’s the cherry on the cake for this scapegoated rubbish that’s been present amongst the fans the last handful of years. This sort of move only serves to give oxygen to the entitlement some feel they have over micro decisions made by the club and manager.

  31. HighburyLegend

    “Arsenal Captain curse seems destined to continue.”

    The Arsenal curse seems destined to continue, period.

  32. Champagne charlie

    “Nonsense. Rodgers has a better midfield, a better XI and players who are all well-suited to the approach he has implemented.”

    Why did they finish 18 points behind us last season then?

  33. Receding Hairline

    “, just like when Gallas joined us, he more or less immediately became captain.”

    Great captain he was William Gallas eh

    So in essence any Chelsea cast off can just waltz in here and wear the captains armband will be the message

  34. Bamford10

    Churlish

    Well, Rodgers didn’t arrive until February, and football is a complicated game. Many factors go into whether one wins, loses or draws a football match.

    However, if you disagree with one of the claims I’ve made there, why don’t you highlight it and make an argument? I’ll tell you why; because you can’t.

  35. Pierre

    Bamford
    ” but the difference in how the two teams are doing and playing is not down solely to the manager.”

    Of course it is , anyone with a football brain would recognize this.

  36. Champagne charlie

    Banford

    I just did you plank.

    Explain how Leicester with a better XI finished 18 points behind us last season?

    “Many factors” isn’t an answer or argument.

  37. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Well, then you need to explain how it is not down to the factors I’ve identified above. Just saying “it’s obviously the manager” is empty and meaningless. And that you haven’t addressed the factors I’ve identified above suggests you know I’m right and have no counterargument.

  38. Bamford10

    Churlish

    No, you haven’t. Teams win, lose or draw on account of many factors. I’ve only highlighted certain factors. To address my argument, you have to attack those specific factors, those specific claims.

  39. Champagne charlie

    Banford

    I’m addressing the claim they have a better XI.

    What you can’t do is offer up a reasonable explanation for how a side with a better XI finishes 18 points behind one with an inferior one. Not 3/4 points, not level on points, 18 points worse off.

    Should be quite straightforward to explain. The fact you can’t tells me you’re talking shit in a bid to prop up other sides yet again and deflect the gaze from the managers role.

  40. HighburyLegend

    When he was destroying Arsenal, everybody was laughing at him, at us.
    Since he left, for everybody, he’s a fucking genius manager!! lol

  41. Pierre

    Bamford
    The so called “factors ” are their for all to see and if you can’t see them I suggest you take a visit to specsavers.

    One factor is , Leicester lost their best defender in the summer and have conceded 8 in 11 games , a massive improvement on last season which can only be attributed to the manager.

    Arsenal signed Luiz and Tierney in defence and are defending worse than last season, which can only be attributed to the manager.

  42. Valentin

    CC,

    You are wasting your time.
    He is a broken Juke box who keep repeating the same record, irrespective of the discussion.
    Wenger is shit. The players are shit. Emery is great. You don’t understand the intricacies of football, but I do. I know more than everybody else, because I have studied the game from my Harvard desk.
    Repeat rinse.

  43. Dream10

    Valentin

    Do you agree with the changes Mertesacker is making the academy by firing Morrow and seven other staff? Club is saying they are streamlining. Per talks a good game, however, we probably won’t see the effect of these changes for a couple of years.

  44. Bamford10

    Pierre

    “Leicester lost their best defender in the summer and have conceded 8 in 11 games , a massive improvement on …”

    Actually, it’s beginning to look like Harry-Maguire-with-his-Head-Turned might have been a weakness in their XI last season and that Soyuncu is as good if not better.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Valentin/Pierre

    Your comments and mine summarise precisely what has been going on a long
    time at the club.

    The major change at Arsenal under Emery is that we now have a mediocre midfield. It is certainly materially worse than under Wenger.

    Arsenal will need to invest properly in both centre backs and midfield in the
    next two seasons if they are going to get back on track and that will cost at
    least £150 million [ie at least 3-4 new players]

    I would certainly not make that investment until we have got a new head coach.

  46. 71Guns

    Just wanted to post in support of the article’s comments on Xhaka. IMHO he should have been stripped of the captaincy straight after the game, but better late than never. Best thing all round is if he’s sold in the winter transfer window.

    I find it hard to credit some of the comments made on here in Xhaka’s defence. I use social media in a non-football context, and like many who raise their heads over the parapet I’ve received all sorts of abuse and death threats. It goes with the territory. If you don’t want to deal with it, then don’t engage in it. Simples.

    As for being booed, get real. It happens every week, in every league. Our fans are no worse and no better than any others in this respect. If you don’t like what you see, as Pedro points out, as a member of the paying public you’re entitled to make your feelings known.

    Xhaka is paid a fortune to do his job. He screwed up big time. Hopefully Dick Emery will follow him out the door…

  47. Un na naai

    Bam

    Got another question that you keep dodging
    If our players are so awful for emery then how comes weneger managed to get more out of them before he was sacked with a worse squad?

    And how come emery got them to go on a 23 game unbeaten run beating spurs, chavs, Man U and Napoli last season before capitulating

    You’ll surely dodge this again though.

  48. Bamford10

    Churlish

    ‘how does a team with a superior XI finish 18 points behind the other in the season previous?’

    Well, one, their XI this season isn’t identical to their XI last season. They’ve added a couple of new pieces and are better as a result.

    Two, they fired their manager halfway through last season, so whatever was going on there, clearly there were issues, clearly there was some mismanagement. They were some 15 points behind us by the time Rodgers came in, so some significant portion of the 18 points you keep pointing to was down to this mismanagement.

    Three, given I’m not a Leicester supporter, it would be impossible for me to highlight all of the reasons they underperformed last season. A far simpler way to compare the XIs, though, Charlie, would be to …. compare the XIs. This is the obvious thing to do, i.e., isolate the factor in question. Why don’t you want to do this? It seems to me like you’re a little uncomfortable with the conclusions some will draw if the two XIs are juxtaposed.

  49. Bamford10

    “Arsenal will need to invest properly in both centre backs and midfield in the
    next two seasons if they are going to get back on track and that will cost at
    least £150 million [ie at least 3-4 new players]”

    So we are super weak in the spine of the XI, need new CBs and CMs, but it is all on the manager.

    No. We may need a new manager, but everything we are seeing is not on the manager.

  50. Dream10

    If Brendan Rodgers gets Leicester back in the CL, he’s going to demand 20m a season from Real Madrid or Barcelona to hire him.
    “great football and massive character”

  51. Valentin

    Dream10,

    Per seemed to clued up on what he wants, but the proof will be in executing his plan.
    My only doubt is that rather having too many people, the academy did not have the right people.
    No specialist defensive coach. Arsenal had used some external consultant to help the strikers. Henryy, Pires were paid to help with the attacking side for the youth team. But nobody helped on the defensive side.
    Same thing with regard to the centre of midfield. Assuming that all players have a decent technique. Vision and speed of thought are the main differentiator. A good midfielder is supposed to look around him all the time. Fabregas was always looking around the pitch before he even received the ball, so he knew where everybody was. He could then pass the ball with one touch or blind.
    I was shocked that such basic training was not part of Arsenal. Chambers was forced to figure that out by himself.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/02/calum-chambers-interview-maturing-adapting-cutting-hollywood/

    https://onefootball.com/en/news/calum-chambers-admits-he-changed-his-game-after-recent-arsene-wenger-speech-en-25007550?variable=20191106

    Also I would seriously increase the amount of training the U18 and U23 do. The squad should be able to cope with 1 hour extra session per week mimicking the opposition for the senior team. 30 minutes per day of weaker foot work. Not a single academy player should be as one footed as Pepe.
    15 minutes extra a day of free-kick, penalty and crosses. If Cantona and Beckham were able to do it, why is that too much for the current crop?

  52. Pierre

    Bamford
    Good luck with your one man crusade..you do realise it’s doomed to fail.

    Some have likened your crusade to my defence of Ozil…the fundamental difference is , I knew what I was talking about …..you dont.

  53. Bob N16

    ES, I know you’re really down on our midfield. I think it’s serviceable without being as poor as you believe. By selling Xhaka and off loading Ozil, we would already be generating a fair amount of finances for upgrades though. AMN would be worth a bit too! I would probably sell PEA if we got a great price for him. Martinelli will need to start regularly and Nketiah could provide additional options. Sell high, buy low!

    Saliba looks an amazing prospect – just read a detailed article on The Athletic, describing his development and strengths. St Étienne fans feel like we got him for far too little.

    Amy Lawrence, again in the Athletic, wrote an article explaining Morrow’s and other coaches’ exit. Mertesacker and Edu getting their feat under the table.

  54. Bamford10

    Un Na

    “If our players are so awful … then how come Wenger managed to get more out of them before he was sacked with a worse squad?”

    One, I’m not saying our players are “awful”. I’m saying we have serious weaknesses and important weaknesses relative to the PL and to other PL teams.

    Two, Wenger didn’t get more out of this group. Emery finished 7 points better than Wenger last season.

    Three, support your claim that Emery has (this season thus far) a better first 14 than Wenger had in 17-18. I’d like to see a little more detail to substantiate this claim. And no, “we have spent 200m since” is not an argument, as you have to look at the players we have lost since then as well, and you have to look at the specific age, form and health of the players available to each manager at the time.

  55. Pierre

    Bamford
    You copied strollers comment but missed our the most important sentence.

    “I would certainly not make that investment until we have got a new head coach”

  56. Champagne charlie

    “Well, one, their XI this season isn’t identical to their XI last season. They’ve added a couple of new pieces and are better as a result.“

    Remarkable absence of any detail here. Who has come in and made them better? Ayoze Perez? They lost Harry McGuire if you recall. Though I saw your comical stance on him already.

    “ A far simpler way to compare the XIs, though, Charlie, would be to …. compare the XIs.”

    Not far simpler at all, just a subjective mess of an argument from the most obtuse guy on here waiting to happen. Instead I’ve challenged the assertion based on the resulting season gone where nearly all pieces were identical.

  57. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Right, because that comment is irrelevant to my point. Emirates has told us that we need new CBs and new CMs. If this is the case, and I think I agree with him, then there is no way anyone can say that everything we are seeing is on the manager. None.

  58. Valentin

    Stroller,

    I don’t think that the cost of the upgrade would be as much for the first phase.
    An excellent defensive midfielder can be picked up for £40 millions in France and Germany. Boubakary Soumaré who will be on a free may be available for half in January. Even if we were to buy him for his full valuation of £40 millions, we could also sell Xhaka that would drop the net outlay to £20 millions or even less if we can sell him for £25 millions with add-ons.

    That’s why the selling of Bielik was such a stupid move as he was the only DM ready for easier game. He could have been used this season in the Europa League, EPL and FA Cup game. Not ready for premiership game, but would have been in two years. In three years time, he could be one of those players we all rave about.

    Yesterday article mentioned a lot of very good CB. Some will be available for less than £45 millions.

  59. Champagne charlie

    “The differences are that my position is a reasonable one and I make good arguments.“

    Hate to break it to you but that’s a swing and a miss on both counts.

    You’re one of the most unreasonable on here (‘Arsenal are organised or you don’t see the game well’) and you don’t make good arguments at all (‘we’ve gone from conceding 19 shots per game to 11 do we’re improving’)

  60. Champagne charlie

    “then there is no way anyone can say that everything we are seeing is on the manager. None.“

    Straw man Banford. Nobody has ever stated “everything” is the managers fault.

  61. China1

    Auba makes more sense as captain than Luiz

    Not only is Luiz new and of Chelsea heritage, but he isn’t really playing brilliantly. Auba is literally the one player in the squad who bails is out on a weekly basis and he’s very popular on and off the pitch

    I’m not actually sure if auba will be here next season if we don’t make top 4, but at a minimum he is more than suitable for a caretaker captain role

  62. Valentin

    Saliba is an excellent prospect. I just want to see him play in a back 4. Right now he has played mostly right back and as part of a back 3.
    He is a much better technical and calm footballer than the usual CB. A Varanne type of player, however he also tend to take risks. The EPL is a much less forgiving place than Ligue 1.

  63. Bamford10

    Churlish

    “Straw man Bamford. Nobody has ever stated ‘everything’ is the manager’s fault.”

    Actually, “this is all on the manager” is something we’ve heard (explicitly and implicitly) constantly here. So my point is not a straw-man in the least bit.

    But I’m glad you agree that we have inadequate CBs and inadequate CMs and that some significant part of what we are seeing is down to “player poverty”. It’s weird; why was I under the impression that you were opposed to this idea, i.e., the idea that some significant portion of our struggles is down to “player poverty”?

    And by the way, the “player poverty” in question is in the spine of the team, arguably the most important part of the XI.

    Have a good day, all.

  64. Champagne charlie

    Would bin Ceballos and Ozil this summer for Grealish. Fancied the lad in the summer but knew he wasn’t leaving Villa after getting promoted; wondered how he’d do in the prem but he’s been fantastic.

    Knocking hard on the England door, just the sort of attacking player we need from midfield. Carries the ball excellently, has a final ball, runs all day, and has broad shoulders.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/12016/11854597/jack-grealish-is-aston-villa-star-ready-for-england-call-up

  65. Champagne charlie

    “But I’m glad you agree that we have inadequate CBs and inadequate CMs and that some significant part of what we are seeing is down to “player poverty”

    Except I don’t agree with your ridiculous assertion.

    I agree I’m relation to the very top sides in the league, not Palace, Leicester, Wolves…..Brighton.

    I can chew over relative inadequacies to our top 4 rivals, but there’s absolutely no questions to be raised for sides outside that. We’re better equipped than them all and any failure to deliver is squarely on the managers shoulders.

    Learn to read better.

  66. CG

    Ajaxs last 20 minutes played at Chelsea with 9 men was the most impressive piece of soccer played in Europe this season.

    Whoever their coach is – he is surely set for bigger and better things

    As for ours – he is set for…….?

    Why would any fan attend a home fixture to watch the p**s taking filth thats on offer on a fortnightly basis and pay for the’ privilege’?

    (Just dont Go-that is much better than booing players)

    Zombie club with even Zombier fans!

  67. Bob N16

    Bamford, it’s one thing to say our midfield and defence could be improved upon, it’s something completely different to suggest that our present coach is getting enough out of the player resources available. Your argument appears to be that the players are not good enough and therefore the criticism on the coach should be limited.

    Give it up, you’re arguing for the sake of it and not seeing that the substance of your argument is flawed. You bang on about the 7pts improvement and then appear to suggest the 17pts we finished above Leicester is irrevelant as project Rodgers hadn’t properly kicked in. Do you not see the irony of how you compare Emery and Rodgers? Project Emery has reached an unsatisfactory conclusion. Rodgers appears to get the most out of his players, Emery clearly doesn’t.

  68. Valentin

    What is clear and obvious to anybody with more two brain cells is that Arsenal not securing top 4 is on Emery.
    Arsenal not being able to compete with the top 2 is on the quality of our players.
    However like Stroller said, There is no point in buying players to challenge for the title if you have a manager out of his depth.

    5 star Hotels chain don’t spend millions to build palaces and put a McDonald branch manager in charge of the kitchen.

  69. DigitalBob

    Glad to see Auba with the armband, it makes the most sense. Its a decision that has come very late and shows how indecisive Emery is, but we’ve known this for a while.

    I’m no Xhaka fan and him being out the team makes the most sense for us to progress(the stats don’t lie!!!) but the way its happened is a little dirty for me. It’s a he was wrong, “we” were wrong if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, hopefully its a permanent switch in January and not another fucking loan.

  70. Uwot?

    Hacker getting stripped of captaincy.fabulous.ought to be in the transfer window for jan.take the hit.whatever price we get & get rid.one of Emery’s major f** k up decisions continually picking a player who was never up to it .disliked/ not rated by the fans & then taking the piss & making him captain.lol!said it b4 & will say it again that decision alone has got Emery the sack( dead man walking) as for another centre half in addition to saliva.as u can see from yesterday’s extensive list.Theres a bucket load available at achievable prices mostly.a beast of a proper defensive midfielder is also achievable.get rid of half a dozen deadwood still left such as caballos,ozil,mustaphi,sokratis.Amn etc & we have enough dosh.
    On a final note it will become obvious this Saturday that we need a rogering.Brendan Rogers.

  71. Rhys Jaggar

    A long list of racists at Arsenal FC are of course innocent: no, I am not talking about hate speech about the protected blacks, gays, Jews, Muslims and women, whose dignity is sacrosanct. I am talking about hate speech concerning white men, who are only real men if calling for their wife to die of cancer and worse is just bantz.

    Where is the official AFC campaign rooting out social media cowards calling for harming Xhaka’s family? NOWHERE. Josh Kroenke, Raul Sanllehi, Vinay Vinkatesham should all be defendants in a court of law for being appeasers of psychotic Nazis. They are not because Britain is an unprincipled lawless state run by cowardly wastrels where any social media hate goes unpunished and hate-filled drunken minds run amok.

    This site has been at the forefront of anonymous hate spewing across the airwaves. Its owner is the very very last person fit to comment on what is acceptable speech in football.

    He of course will not censor me calling for his father to eat his own testicles wearing a Tottenham Hotspur shirt, his mother to be stabbed for giving birth to him, his little sister to be raped by West Ham psychos and him to be publicly sterilised the day before any wedding he might be the groom in.

    That is just grown up bantz, is it not?

    If you cannot personally take it, week in week out, you repulsive little poison pen pile of shit, you have no place telling anyone else to do likewise.

    Xhaka is not Lionel Messi, nor is any other player at AFC.

    Right now, a lot of players will be thinking there are much better places to go than a racist pile of hate filled crap in London N5.

    And Brenda, as folks call him here, will think UCL football is more likely in 2020/21 at Leicester….so his agent will probably tell Paul Merson to cock off….and Leicester fans will jeer Lacazette and Aubameyang with ‘You’re just a shit Jamie Vardy!’…

    Xhaka should have taken lessons from Cantona: at least the Palace fan who got the kung fu kick was banned for life…more than will happen to the psychos at the Emirates…

  72. Chika

    “Xhaka is the author of his own misfortune.”

    There’s no misfortune here whatsoever. A decent club would surely sign him, no question.

  73. S Asoa

    “ 5 star Hotels chain don’t spend millions to build palaces and put a McDonald branch manager in charge of the kitchen. “

    Correction Valentin. You mean Spanish Waiter in charge

    Grinding his teeth like a neurotic canine.

  74. Pierre

    “Xhaka is the author of his own misfortune.”

    As Emery will be..

    And very soon Bamford will be , if carries on with his one man crusade.

  75. Guns of Hackney

    Sorry, Auba is captain? Oh. My. God. The is one of those “make him captain so he’ll stay moves”. The guy is anonymous for most of the game unless he’s scoring against pub sides.

    The club is so awful. Pitiful. Auba is a decent second level footballer but no captain.

    His hair looks like it had a row with his face.

    The cunt.

  76. Champagne charlie

    Anyone else a bit puzzled why Ziyech is still at Ajax?

    He was available for 30 mil in the summer and nobody bit. Looks quality every time I see him.

  77. Guns of Brixton

    I fully expect to win this game 4-0, then revert to type against Leicester at the weekend.

    Lord give me strength the tea here is HOT

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  78. KAY Boss

    Xhaka orchestrated this. Why cat walk of the pitch when you know we’re chasing a game which we initially took 2 goals lead of. You can blame the fans as u want, but Xhaka needed to act responsibly. I don’t get it when some of u support him.
    For heaven’s sake he was booed off for walking slowly when substituted nothing else. I’m extremely happy he’s been stripped off the captaincy.

  79. HighburyLegend

    Let’s be a bit careful with Pierre…
    He’s maybe pleased by Emery’s situation, just because of the opportunity to restore his old Master’s pride.

  80. CG

    Bob

    “””Fock off CG, I’m not a zombie””””

    But you certainly come across as a tad docile to all things relating Arsenal.

    Proof to yourself and the worldwide fanbase out there that you aint what you say you are and go down in Arsenal Folklore for ever.

    Next Home Game- Perform A Citizens Arrest on Emery whilst the teams come out.

    Otherwise I will do it- next time I am over.
    That will be the usual Last home game – can we wait that long?

    Enough is Enough Bob!
    Do it for us!

  81. China1

    I wonder how much we can get for selling xhaka mustafi mavrapanos mikki Smith rowe AMN sokratis and nelson this summer

    Tbh if we flogged the lot of them it would make no difference to our first team although we can’t be sure if smith Rowe and Nelson could come good in time

  82. Receding Hairline

    “Next Home Game- Perform A Citizens Arrest on Emery whilst the teams come out.”

    For what crime??

    “Otherwise I will do it- next time I am over.”

    Or you can stop being a zombie and hop on the next available flight. All that money you made from investing in opposition goals must be burning a hole in your pocket

  83. Marko

    Ah no way. A lot of shite to chew over. First and foremost don’t engage or disagree with the author of the blog otherwise you’ll get banned. You’d think I’d learn after the third time of disagreeing with him over Emery being responsible for Ramsey’s injury last season.

    Anyway great decision re Xhaka should have been sold any of the last 4 transfer windows imo. As for Emery I see him getting binned during the international break I really do. You can’t trust to keep him another month let alone 6 months until the end of the season. WE brought up an interesting candidate the other day in Jorge Jesus but he’s 65 and that’s a no. If it was me personally I’d go to Josh after the Leicester game and say look it’s not working out and it’s too great a risk to leave it until the end of the season we need to pay him off and get someone else in. I personally would then go out and try to get in one of Marco Rose, Fonseca or Gio Van Bronkhorst or go tits out for Allegri/Enrique/Marcelino who are available. No to Arteta for the same reasons as in the summer of ’18 no to Freddie for the same reasons as Arteta and no to Mourinho. You ever notice it’s only the truly desperate cunts calling for his appointment?

    Also Charles respectfully you’re bonkers if you think Rafa will take on the job until the end of the season and give up the 12 million a year gig he has in china. Sal too with Carlo these types of guys don’t take on jobs for a few months to help out the likes of us. Come on man.

  84. China1

    Lol at CG calling people docile whilst enjoying absolutely dismal final years under wenger

    Nothing to see here, move along

  85. HighburyLegend

    “First and foremost don’t engage or disagree with the author of the blog”

    Especially if the subject is Arteta.

  86. Marko

    Also what’s happened to Bamford these days? First it was #neymargate then it was #olethelonely and now it’s everyone has a better (insert whatever) than us hence the poor results. Squad still needs a rebuilding I’ll admit but it also needs a new manager sooner rather than later. When it’s rotten in Denver you don’t then talk about how shit it is in Florida.

  87. Marko

    Anyway let’s talk Xhaka replacements in January. Don’t for a second think that we can ensnare a top level target in midseason it’s not going to happen. I see no reason though why we can’t get someone like Sangare from Toulouse, Soumare from Lille (contract up in the summer), Sander Berge from Genk, Marc Roca from Espanyol or Arne Maier from Hertha. Florentino Luis from Benfica is another prospect.

  88. salpardisenyc

    Marko

    Disappointed thought you were on a nice ole Irish bender, Carlo was banter in regards to what he and players did to De Laurentiis and his planned retreat. was Brought up only on the unlikely possibility it would be interim to clean up Emery’s fucking mess for remainder of season.

  89. Batistuta

    Just read an interesting article on the Benefica coach…Like the work he’s doing over there….

    Caught the Leipzig game against Zenith yesterday, seems the high line is a bit of a specialty of Nagglesman, he’d need about 10 new players if he were to come here and attempt to do something similar though…

  90. salpardisenyc

    Batistuda

    I can’t help it if Carlo is trying to get himself shit canned in order to make himself available for Rauls consideration. If he put Carlo on a long term deal thats on Raul, I’d prefer a whole different direction.

  91. Marko

    Irish bender? It’s been weeks. I actually barely drink anymore got a Whopper kidney infection a few months back that kicked my ass.

    I will say there were some interesting names being bandied about that I could get behind gasperini being another from WE but again he’s 61 and never managed outside of Italy. I personally have gotten behind the idea of Fonseca, Rose or Van Bronkhorst. Gio the heir apparent not Mikel has at least experience managing fayenoord. 3 trophies in 3 years their first league title in 18 years suggest something about him

  92. Receding Hairline

    “Just read an interesting article on the Benefica coach…Like the work he’s doing over there….”

    Batistuta if you are considering him as a replacement you might need to take a look at their Champions league group. Not exactly the group of death and they are bottom after 4 games. These things matter

    I liked Fonseca and i said earlier i will look on with interest at how he fares in Rome, he did very well in the champions league when he was managing Shakhtar, how a manager fares at that level is always important and was one of the red flags with regards to Emery

  93. KAY Boss

    Since CG, is around, suggest players with bulging calves. Xhaka is a goner and I of course, thank the club for it.
    I tend to suggest that we wait till summer TW and we go all out for Thomas Partey of Ath. Madrid. If we had unlimited resources, Koulibaly will be the defender we should sign.

  94. guest man aka WW

    Emerys entire failure here, is, in my humble opinion, significantly due to communication .He cannot speak English with any clarity…everything about his speech is wrong…too fast, too mispronounced, too inarticulate .
    Failing to assert himself with any conviction and understanding from the players leads inevitably to a distant relationship.
    We all thought that he would soon get the clarity like klopp, benitez and even mr magoo: wenger. But he hasn’t.
    The Xhaka issue could’ve been prevented if he had asserted his managerial position and communicated better.
    The players all look like theyre listening to a recording played backwards when emery instructs them…
    Its a hopeless situation…..the sooner he goes the better.

  95. Receding Hairline

    Bottom line is i would prefer the club bid their time and make a more thought out appointment come end of season, than appoint someone now as a supposed stop gap who comes in gets a few results and wham is hit with a three year deal as reward.

    Emery should not have taken the Arsenal job and in hindsight it should never have been offered to him… too many asterisks

  96. Marko

    Also how could I not comment on Bayern potentially moving for Wenger. Huge big massive lol with a feather on top. One of their big problems this season is conceding goals (one clean sheet in the league this season) and they address this by hiring the one person who Time magazine once called the manager least likely to fix a leaky defence.

  97. Bamford10

    Bad set-up, insipid performance. No defense for Emery tonight. That’s the second match in a row where he has gotten his set-up badly wrong. One more of these and he is going to begin hearing it from the fans. Stop tinkering and get your shit together, Unai, or you will he out of a job before December.

  98. China1

    Against a pub team we took 80 minutes to manage a shot on target

    This is the kind of game you win 4-0 with your second string. I don’t know what else to say

  99. China1

    Last time the banner said thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye but there are literally no good memories so let’s just use the same banners with thanks for the memories crossed out LOL

  100. China1

    Without a win in 6 games but look at the opposition we’ve played.

    Pub teams in the EL, Liverpool’s worst 11 give it take. Newly promoted teams and mid table dross

    No wins

  101. Siddharth14

    I’m sure Le-grove got bamboozled by Emery ball last night. Didn’t watch the match but even the conjured highlights would be a Nightmare from Emery Street….

  102. salparadisenyc

    “One more of these and he is going to begin hearing it from the fans.”

    For a self described student of the game Bamford i’d maybe have a reconsider on that label, the bubble you’ve posting from seems to be running 6 months late.
    In real time were at the stage Emery’s players have zero idea as to what their manager is attempting via his multiple formations coupled with baffling decisions, unless of course confusion is the main objective. He’s winning that battle, no question.

    Pretty clear Arsenal supporters more unified than at any time I can recall in a singular thought, Emery fucking out.

  103. Siddharth14

    I hate to say this but Emery has surpassed even the depths of boredom under Wenger’s last 3 years. The players have given up on him, the fans have given up and the media are firing like an AK 47 on him.

    I hope Josh intervenes and ends his misery. It is now sad and painful to watch.