Emery a dead man walking

by & filed under News Review.

courtesy @allthatchas

It’s becoming harder and harder to raise a defence as to why you’d keep Unai Emery on at Arsenal. Southampton, placed 19th, boasting the worst defence in the league, were the better team away from home this evening.

They had more shots on target, they had more big chances, and they fought like dogs for 97 minutes. The last-gasp equaliser from Lacazette in the 95th minute was a relief, but it didn’t stop the fans venting their frustration with a chorus of boos.

Unai Emery doesn’t make things easy for himself, the pregame chatter was focused on telling the fans they were wrong about Granit Xhaka. Think it by all means, but understand the fans perspective, and don’t poke the bear when you’re exposed. We don’t like Xhaka, telling us we’re wrong is not for this moment. Thankfully, we didn’t see the Swiss in the squad, but the manager still messed up his starting lineup, once again electing for a conservative back 3 at home.

We were bad. We went a goal down again, this time inside 10 minutes. Chambers made a clumsy foul, Southampton took it quickly, our players complained instead of chasing down their mistake, we went a goal down. When a team is downing tools in the Premier League, it only needs to be a 5% reduction in effort, seeing us that unfocused from a freekick is what I’m talking about. Sunday league basics.

We pulled a goal back, Lacazette making the most of a free ball in the box 10 minutes later. We hoped that was part of a resurgence, but it really wasn’t. The game played out like a scrappy cup game, it was end to end calamity for both teams. The middle of the park of wide open, our defence was being pulled all over the place, and we had next to nothing in attack.

I spent a lot of the game watching our midfield, which is really our biggest problem. There’s simply no understanding of positioning on or off the ball. Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have no chemistry in the middle of the park, likely due to a lack of playing together, but even so, watching them trudge back to cover was frustrating, but worse was how little they gave to the transition to attack. Their slow movement either boxes them into a press, or it closes down passing lanes that should help create openings out wide. LT is also done at Arsenal, watching him step off and allow a rasping shot at our goal felt par the course for him. He hates Emery and he’s not interested.

The second half we saw some action, the manager introduced Pepe who looked better, but still well off what an £80m player should be delivering. I think his tenure at Arsenal was summed up when he was found on the counter, he had Ozil open at the back post, or the option of having a crack on his own, he dithered, tried to find Ozil, and bungled his lines.

Southampton continued to keep the pressure on us and eventually won a penalty when the otherwise impressive Tierney tugged at Ings’ shirt. VAR said yes. Leno actually saved the penalty, but Prowse was first to the rebound. I know there was no chance one of our defenders was going to make it, but when you watch the replay, look at how slow our players were with the follow up, half didn’t move, the rest were a yard behind Ings’. 5% can mean a lot at this level.

We did pull one back in the end, Martinelli served up a great cross that Lacazette finished off saving a bit of face.

It wasn’t enough for the fans though, boos for a dead man walking reverberated around the ground. The manager, far less animated than he was at the start of his career, trudged to the dressing room looking like a man on the edge.

Raul and Edu don’t have a defence now. They’re serving Emery up open goals to save his career and he shanking them wide from a yard out. Southampton are one of the worst teams in the league, they shipped 9 goals against Leicester – Arsenal barely managed to scrape 5 shots on target. The team is broken. Emery doesn’t know how to fix it, and worst of all, the players don’t care for what his possible solve could be.

The decision isn’t simple though. Remember, Raul is weirdly wedded to Unai Emery, that’s his boy, he put his rep on the line to recommend him to the board and everyone at the club knows that. He’s clearly a stubborn man, and it seems like the worse his boy performs, the more he digs his heels in.

The major concern is there’s no plan for what comes next. Freddie Ljungberg is a great face for the fans, but it’s questionable if he’s the innovative coach we’re looking for. He hasn’t been exposed to modern coaching greatness. Arteta, another exciting explayer with a huge insider reputation might be out of our reach, and we might look too much of a mess for his first job (things are that bad). Then you have the #1 candidate, Pochettino, clearly the absolute perfect resume to bring us out of the doldrums. Fresh off a sacking and the humiliation of being replaced by a nasty has-been… but does he want football right now? Or does he want guaranteed trophies and a new adventure in Europe with Bayern or PSG if they move Tuchel on at the end of the season?

We are low on options. What you can’t do is sack someone and make a 4-year replacement mistake like they have done at United time and time again. We need a clever decision that’s forward-facing, or we need a coach that truly is the Gus Hiddink or Rafa Benitez care taker type of character.

One things is for sure, change has to come and it has to come soon. Things will heat up for Raul when he realises his reputation with the fans and the owners starts to slide. Another empty stadium, another day of bad headlines, and the harsh impending reality that Arsenal blew next summers kitty on making the Champions League this year.

We are in trouble without decisive, well thought out action… do the football execs have it in them to save our season?

Let’s see…

338 Responses to “Emery a dead man walking”

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  1. Distant legrover


    Emery couldn’t wash Wenger’s dishes. And We are talking Watered down Wenger here not the Wenger of the invincibles at his peak, Emery would have peed his pants.

    Glad the old man moved. Now let’s get Dick Emery out too.

  2. TR7

    Poch, Arteta and Allegri touted as potential candidates to replace Emery. My sense is we must have been analyzing several contenders even as the club is suggesting they are fully behind Unai Emery. Poch obviously the pick of the lot for me, not sure we can get him though.

  3. China1

    Imagine 2004 wenger with that squad vs 2019 emery with this squad deary fucking me

    Unai would need to bandage up his anus after that

  4. Graham62


    You’re right. The really sad part in all of this is that the hierarchy have zero understanding of what is needed to improve things.

    Where is the accountability in all of this? There is none. This has been the case now for over a decade.

    As I highlighted yesterday, we are officially the worst run club in English football.

    We also have the weakest fanbase.


  5. China1

    Lol has Bamford finally accepted that Unai isn’t good enough or will it be a til death us do part thing I guess we’ll soon find out when his ban expires

  6. Spanishdave

    Raul typical Spanish.
    Manana, manana, manana.
    Promising something that never happens, but maybe tomorrow!
    The owner if he was interested in football would shift him and Emery.
    They are both wasting the clubs time and money.
    Meanwhile the board are enjoying the brandy and snoozing in their plump leather chairs.

  7. James Watson

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I was happy with Emery’s appointment but some of his purchase’ have left Arsenal short changed.
    Poch’ needs trophies on his CV so he won’t be coming. Rafa Ben’ is probably the only man ’cause he’s done it at more than one club and forms good relationships with players. We need to act soon before the striker’s put down there tools.

  8. Pierre

    If we get in a new manager and he is a success on the pitch. , nobody will give a toss who is running the club …well I wont anyway ,its all about what happens on the pitch as far as I’m concerned
    Fans react to what is happening on the pitch not off it.

    I’ve always said the manager is the most important person at a football club.

    A manager can make the owner and the board look like geniuses if he gets it right.(as Wenger did).

    Alternatively, he can make them look proper mugs( as Emery is doing).

    A manager can make his players look like magicians on the pitch or he can make those same players look decidedly average

    Emery needs to leave the club now as the damage is still repairable.

    These players need to be given a chance under a new manager.

  9. Marc


    Agree with much of what you say. Just look at Levy at the Spud’s – hires a whole train load of terrible managers but all of that is forgotten because of Poch.

  10. Grant

    I think it’s time Raul held his has up and admitted he made a terrible mistake with Emery. Then he should tender his resignation, as how can Arsenal rely on a head of football. Who had a major part in appointing the worst manager, are grate club has hand in modern times. If the board delay his sacking until after the west ham game, we will be in a relegation fight!

  11. Grant

    I think it’s time Raul held his hand up and admitted he made a terrible mistake with Emery. Then he should tender his resignation, as how can Arsenal rely on a head of football. Who had a major part in appointing the worst manager, are grate club has hand in modern times. If the board delay his sacking until after the west ham game, we will be in a relegation fight!

  12. Spanishdave

    Winnable games are not an option now , all games are loosable.
    Norwich are picking up ffs.
    Stan’s ownership has put the club in decline for the past ten years.
    We have to get very vocal against him now.

  13. Micheal

    “This is NOT about the owners. Well, sort off but not quite.”

    Kroenke owns the club 100%, he appoints people to work for him, pays the wages of everyone from kitchen staff to manager, pays the club’s bank debts, approves ticketing, sponsorship, TV deals, etc – but it’s not about the owner!

  14. Grant

    I also have a nasty feeling that this was all pland by the board as part of the cost cutting. Appoint a manager out of his depth, who can’t deal with big players. Then when the shit hits the fan your big players on big money fuck off! Thus saving the club money, as we all pretty much agree there will be no champions league for us next season. So the club has a back up sell Auba Laca and push Ozil out, there must be a good £100,000,000 in the two stickers. So that is the club safety net when we miss out next season.

  15. Guns of Hackney


    That’s a bit naive to suggest Stan runs everything. Of course he doesn’t. No one in a company the size of Arsenal, with all its moving parts runs it alone. Impossible.

    It’s a culmination of bad management, bad appointments, bad selections, bad recruitment. Everyone is culpable.

    We are in a death spiral. Everyone is looking after each other while Arsenal go down the pan. No one wants to stand up as they lose the best job in the world.


  16. alexanderhenry


    Nobody is suggesting that Stan starts picking the team and
    giving half time talks.

    The problem is that he is risk averse and has acquired arsenal fc as a solid, low maintenance, foreign investment.
    To be a successful owner of a PL club I think you need to be prepared to speculate when necessary, pitch up to matches and instil high standards and a win at all costs mentality throughout the club.

  17. Guns of Hackney


    With all due respect. We’ve spent a ton of money since Stan took over and a small fortune just this season.

    We’ve spent it horribly.

    I’m not a Stan fan but to blame the owner is too easy.

  18. Micheal


    I am not suggesting that Kroenke decides what brand of coffee is drunk in the canteen or the length of the grass at the Emirates.

    But with ownership comes responsibility. As outright owner, he must take responsbility the big appointments and the major decisions which affect the club. He washed his hands of responsibility for years while Wenger and Gazidis sent the club into decline. He is doing the same with Raul, Emery, etc.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    Allegri, Pochettino and Arteta are apparently the names being discussed at Arsenal.

    Pochettino all the way, clear favourite. Then Allegri. Then way, way down the order Arteta.

  20. Guns of Hackney


    Ha ha. I would like to think Stan DOES choose the length of grass on the pitch!

    Look, I think we think that owners literally do everything and have power over everyone but they don’t. There’s a BOD. And I assume, unless Stan literally has the last say on club matters, the BOD will have a vote and I assume again that democracy will win.

    Of course he is too blame for his meh-ness but that’s not why he bought the club. He bought the club like you or I would buy a house: we hope that in a few years it’s worth more than what we paid. He’s done that.

    He doesn’t care. Correct. But he does care but not in the way we, as supporters, can comprehend.

    Best get over it. Follow from a distance. Support your local non league team.

  21. TitsMcGee

    Allegri, Pochettino and Arteta are apparently the names being discussed at Arsenal.Pochettino all the way, clear favourite. Then Allegri. Then way, way down the order Arteta.”

    I’d take Poch in a heartbeat. If he can get Spurs to a UCL final, he can do the same for us. If he wants time off let him wait until next season but essentially get him signed now.

    Do I think that will happen? Doubt it as AFC are a reactionary club rather than a proactive one.

  22. Guns of Hackney


    Spurs have a much better side than we do. No one on planet earth is taking Arsenal to the CL period! Let alone the final.

  23. Dissenter

    Did you get stricken by a lightening.bolt or just stumbled upon your long lost brain
    You are actually making solid points in consecutive posts.

    …. and wait, Poch isn’t coming to Arsenal. He won’t go to a rival of spurs in the same city when there are bigger prizes to be had.
    I just wish people stop dropping names like 5 year olds.

  24. Cesc Appeal


    Pochettino has to be the main choice.

    He knows the EPL already, there’s no adjustment for him.

    His style means he doesn’t need fortunes to spend, he’s all about physicality, athleticism and work rate.

    If he is interested in the Arsenal job that will mean Levy has insulted him, in which case he will have a point to prove.

    I like Allegri but there are questions over his adjustment to the EPL having come from Serie A managing the most dominant team there. Also he will likely want to spend a large amount.

    With Arteta, I mean who knows what manager he is. Who knows what he’s learnt at City and how translatable is watching Guardiola working with £1 billion worth of talent to Arsenal? Highly technical styles usually require masses of money.

  25. TheLegendaryDB10


    For me, Kroenkes’ responsibility is to instill a winning drive and most importantly accountability at the club.

    We are lacking both at the club at the moment.

    It was not too long ago when UE admitted that there was no pressure at the club.

    It’s just let’s get top 4 and everyone will be happy.

    I mean, who in any professional sport goes “I am going to aim for top 4!”? No one does. They all want to succeed and finish first/win the trophy.

  26. Micheal


    Arsenal is OUR club. I care, you care, so do many of the posters here. But also I care very deeply what this cunt is doing to OUR club.

  27. Valentin

    G o H,

    Technically the BOD is supposed to supervise the club and act as a buffer/interface between the company executives and the owner. However the BOD is now irrelevant as Vinai and Raul directly talk to Josh.
    That results in the club chairman threatening to resign before Raul does not listen to what they want.
    That just shows how disfunctional is Arsenal: A distant owner, the owner son popping up in the club dressing room after a defeat, a board circumvented by the executives, a CEO more interested in the commercial deals than the football, a director of Football operations feuding with the board and brown nosing the owner son, a clueless manager out of his depth, the club captain trying to leave after having insulted the fans, footballers recruited for big money who wants to leave, half the squad openly liking messages asking for the manager to be sacked, young team players taking the piss of the manager, fans booing their own team and fighting among themselves.

  28. vickingz

    But what was poch’s style of play at spurs (his philosophy)? Do we have players for that at arsenal? I’d rather pick arteta than poch. Is poch really attacking minded? Defensive minded? Or just neither here nor there? If he couldn’t really do much with players at his disposal at spurs, you expect him to do much with the old legs we have at the back? Can he actually wrap his hand around players and man manage them well? He doesn’t look like someone who actually lifts up his players when they are down. Arteta, though untested with Freddie, bring back sol Campbell is ok for me

  29. bennydevito

    I find it incredible that the comments have been overtaken by AKBs again. Yes Emery needs to go but his shitness doesn’t erase years of Wenger’s shitness.

    It needs to stop.

    I would also love verification via sources of the claims spouted on here as fact.

    Who says Raul was the one who brought Emery in and that it was his decision? Raul was under employment of Gazidis, Gazidis was in charge and Gazidis gave various interviews at the time stating that not only was Emery on the 8 man shortlist from the start, it was a unanimous decision that was individually by Gazidis, Raul & Sven.

    If anybody is claiming otherwise let’s see the evidence.

    Same with the non dinner Raul had with Mourinho. If that dinner took place like the Telegraph or Times or whoever reported, then let’s see the pictures. There’s no way that dinner would have taken place if people knew about it without a photo being taken.

    Arsenal have categorically denied it happened, so let’s see the evidence.

  30. Gentlebris

    ‘Reemoving Emery or even Raul is only half the problem. The fundamental weakness at the core of Arsenal Football Club is the owner, Kroenke.’

    I know this is the popular opinion but I disagree.

    The Kroenkes might not be really emotionally invested but they really are trying to make things good.

    I suspect Josh has taken over from his father and that he was the one who put the sporting aspect of the club in charge of Raul after Wenger moved on; that was Josh’s first move, and if Raul was not such a muppet it would have been a much better setup than when we had Wenger as dictator.
    But Josh seems to prefer a man with Arsenal DNA to run the sporting aspect of the club, and so to Josh’s credit( and I suspect to Raul’s displeasure),Josh installed Edu as sporting director, knowing Edu will not direct anything for now but slotting him inside nonetheless to blend him with the Arsenal running structures, so Raul, if he tanks, could be moved on without rashly looking for a replacement.

    So let’s see Josh’s next move, but I suspect he will do things his father didn’t bother to do.

  31. alexanderhenry


    ‘We’ve spent a ton of money since Stan took over and a small fortune just this season.’

    None of it his money , all earned from tv money, ticket sales and player sales.
    Also, if you look at the Pepe transfer, that’s being paid off in installments so he will cost £70 million but arsenal haven’t actually paid anything like so far.

    Also regarding the BOD:

    ‘There’s a BOD. And I assume, unless Stan literally has the last say on club matters, the BOD will have a vote and I assume again that democracy will win.’

    No. The BOD are just figure heads because none of them own any shares. Stan owns all the shares which means he has full control.
    Decisions made certainly aren’t democratic.

  32. alexanderhenry


    Regarding the Kroenkes; it’s not a question of whether they’re trying, it’s a question of their competence.

    Stan hasn’t a clue so he’s delegated to Josh, who may have more interest but has gone on to appoint Raul and Emery and has allowed them to bring in all their coaching staff.

    It’s a mess and it’s the Kroenkes who have made it.