Keeping an Eye on Unai …..

It seems we Gooners have had a series of so-called ‘marmite’ figures to disagree over in recent years. There was the long standing saga of Arsène Wenger’s latter years, more recently the Mesut Özil debate, and now, after one season in charge, Unai Emery is already dividing the fan base.

Here are some views from respected bloggers in recent days…..

First Don McMahon

We’ll have a better idea at this time next season once we see what Emery does with his lineup and new players, the upcoming youth and academy talent in the coming season. I, for one, am optimistic that he’ll sort out the poor away form we displayed this season and once he’s stabilized the team, we’ll see his tactical and strategic skills as a manager.

….. and now Aaron

He develops no one, does tactics and strategy, but not a true risk taker, and if Europa is the level everyone wants here, that is what we have. Put him under the nowhere land management, dirtbag owner, and the Arsenal will be a mid-tier time until he sells, or dies. (a tad harsh …ed)

….. and this from jjgsol

I am convinced that the board took on UE because they regarded him as the cheapest option. He will need to be exceptional if he is able to improve our position. I hope that he succeeds, but feel that he won’t.

Should we at least give the man a full transfer window and another season before we judge him, or is the writing on the wall … is he condemned by his past record?


62 Responses to Keeping an Eye on Unai …..

  1. RA says:

    Good Morning, Peaches,

    Over the last few years from c2010, I seem to comment just as you put up a new Post, 🤪

    Anyway, as my previous comment missed the cut, I will, as usual. copy/paste it below.

    Good Morning, People

    How I miss the Breakfast Crew – the Flipper, and Trick cyclist Man – the Cat Vid Man, the Guide Innocent Tourists in Circles Man, the Polska Lady with the man’s name — where the bugger are these lovely bloggers?

    Our good friend, GN5, is still in the land of slumber — and when he arises I am still hopeful his usual calm persona will reassert itself, and he will ignore any past grievance, and stick with those who value his contributions to a great blog – Posts-Comments-Jokes. 😁

  2. LB says:

    Fortunately rational minds at the club will prevail and Emery will have the opportunity to show us what he is really all about in the coming season.

    I find it exciting to watch this unfold; the way he has deployed the troops up to now has been beguiling, confusing and down right ridiculous at times but it has always been interesting.

    Many may argue that we could do with upgrading Iwobi but the fact remains that Emery has got far more out of Iwobi than anyone expected.
    Possibly the opposite is true of Maitland-Niles (cons) he has a talent that everyone (including me) expected far more from last season but looking back those expectations were way too high; he is nowhere near ready to play centre midfield where so many believe his natural home is but again like Iwobi, Emery found a way to continue to nurture and improve his skill set throughout last season.
    Smith-Rowe had opportunities early on as did Willock towards the end of the season so any talk of Emery not developing young Arsenal talent is plainly wrong. And I say all that without even mentioning Guendouzi.

    The idea that Emery was the cheapest option is obviously wrong Arteta would have expected less, so that one can end here.

    I was a great AW fan and am proud that I stood with him to the end but my feelings towards Emery are no where near as deeply entrenched. In my mind Emery has until the end of this coming season to show us what he is really all about, I do however expect him to pass this test probably because the bar is so low at the moment.

    I doubt if anyone is still reading so I will stop here.

  3. VP says:

    I am pretty happy with the attacking side, just need new defenders that shut up shop at the back. I will wait and see what Unai does in this area. And with Bould swapping with Freddie, maybe we will get the changes we need in defence. Actually having Freddie as assitant coach could be brilliant.

  4. VP says:

    I agree LB – Emery has until the end of this coming season to show us what he is really all about

    I am excited for the new season.

  5. VP says:

    from the BBC –
    Former Arsenal forward Freddie Ljungberg has been named first-team assistant coach to Gunners manager Unai Emery.

    The Swede is replacing Steve Bould, whose new role includes taking charge of the under-23 team.

    Ljungberg, who played 214 games and scored 46 times for Arsenal, says he is “really excited” to work with Emery.

    The former Sweden international was part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side under Arsene Wenger.

    Since starting his coaching career, 42-year-old Ljungberg has also been in charge of the club’s under-16s squad.

    Bould, meanwhile, is to take up a new role back in the academy, which he ran for 11 years before becoming Wenger’s assistant manager in 2012, staying on to work alongside Emery last season.

    The former Arsenal defender, 56, will also help oversee the under-23s and under-18 ‘phase programme’ with current Arsenal Academy manager Per Mertesacker.

    Arsenal said the changes, which come into effect from 1 July, will help “create a ‘transition team’ which will collectively manage a player’s development through some of the hardest and most challenging periods of their professional lives”.

  6. VP says:

    I’ve been reading for about 4 weeks that we are signing Martinelli. He is very popular and well known amongst the brazillians I play futsal with every week.

    So I read the below in the Daily Star. Not sure if its ongoing clickbait or if its real –

    ARSENAL look set to complete the £6m signing of striker Gabriel Martinelli.

    Arsenal’s new arrival is a major coup for the club and he looks set to pen a five-year deal at the Emirates.
    Martinelli currently plays for Brazilian side Ituano but has previously had trials at Manchester United and Barcelona.

    Both clubs have kept tabs on the youngster, but Arsenal look to have sealed his signature according to Globo Esporte

    He scored ten goals and six assists in 31 outings last term as he continued to track interest far and wide.

    Negotiations between the Gunners and the player begun last year and has no connection to former player and Martinelli’s compatriot Edu. The Brazilian played at Arsenal for four years and is poised to join the club as sporting director according to reports.

  7. RA says:

    Thanks for the Post, Peaches, and morning to you,

    The divisive nature of fans is well known, and given a room with 20 Gooners asked for their opinion on any given Arsenal topic, you will get 20 variations on a theme.

    It is understandable that some fans are quicker to point the fulminating, fickle finger of failure when things are not going too well — while others are more inclined to want to carry on supporting the players, and the manager they particularly relate to.

    That is known as confirmation bias and is difficult to shake, as it is normally based on interpreting events through the prism of each individual’s personal theories or beliefs however mistaken they may be.

    Neither of those broad categories are likely to convince the other that they are right and the other wrong and unfortunately this can resolve itself into phrases such as “utterly stupid” or “dirt bag & hope he dies” used by both ‘sides’.

    No need for that on a rational, balanced blog, as it eventually leads to the deterioration of relationships between fans.

    Ôzil has been a brilliant player for Arsenal — but it might be best for all parties, for their different needs, if he moves on.

    Kroenke is a business man not a fan. He will never win the fans over.

    Unai has to be given time to to rebuild the Arsenal 1st team squad, but needs to ‘start at the back and solidify the defence’ and to throttle back on the gung-ho all out attack, until he gets the right quality players in — subject to what Kroenke allows him to spend.

    Finally, there seems to be too many cooks in the Arsenal set up, with people coming and going with no discernible improvement in our circumstances, or most of us knowing what they are supposed to be doing.

  8. Pete says:

    Common sense dictates that Emery has to be given another season. We could see what he was trying to do, and to some extent achieving in the first half of the season, but the unjuries to Bellerin and Holding led to some of the old defensive weaknesses resurfacing. To be fair, UE isn’t being given the budget to make headline acquisitions, and so his ability to recognise the right emerging talent will be key. One thing is for sure, I think we can all agree that top four although ‘not a trophy’ has to be our highest priority in terms of revenue and attracting players.

    On another note, I am delighted to read that Platini has been arrested in connection with corruption with the Qatar World Cup bid … and while they’re at it, perhaps they’d like to look at the VAR decision to retake France’s penalty last night. The home nation getting an advantage – where have we seen that before?

  9. Els says:

    For me it’s unfair to judge. It was explained that he would try to get us in the Champions League, that failed. So not a great first season in the overall respect. However at times we were looking much improved and players seemed to know what they were doing. That’s despite the first few games being a massive change in distribution from the back that had some issues. Once we fill the team with energetic workers we’ll see some fruit.

    If he was to leave that whole season becomes pointless. I’m sure the plan has been to switch to a more development based club and therefore whoever it is that’s to be promoted will be well versed in what he expects. It looks as though Emery want’s rid of anyone that has more influence with the fan base than he does. Probably why Ramsey is leaving and Ozil is being pushed out. That’s fair enough but no small job to undertake for the club. It’s guaranteed if they have allowed Ramsey to go and for these massive changes to be taking place the board are going to back him for a good while yet.

    This is still the club that if they are to be taken at their word, like stability in the coaches position. I hope he’s down for that also. We are more likely to lose him to a bigger club than we are to get rid of him.

  10. RA says:

    I happen to love that comment, LB, and read it to the end!

    More please. 😁

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Endings are important – too often people leave our lives without saying goodbye.

    This is my goodbye.

    I have enjoyed blogging with you for many years and every day on AA has been entertaining and enlightening but all things must pass.

    Thank you for reading my thousands of comments and hundreds of posts and I wish you all well in the future


  12. RA says:

    Some really great comments this morning and the newbies are putting some sound reasoning to the fore. Thank you.

  13. Els says:

    Yeah I read to the end also LB. I was with you in the trenches defending Le Boss too.

  14. Els says:

    Yeah I read that too LB. I was with you in defending Wenger too. Well played sir. We are coming out the woodwork, now that the meltdown is aimed at someone else. I’ll never consume anything by anyone related to Arsenal Fan TV, or whatever they go by now.

  15. RA says:


    Have you put the ‘pics in the Post’ or is the ineffable Chas back showing his paces? 😁

  16. Els says:

    First of all, sorry for the Noob posting. Double posts, yikes.

    Also so after the article declaring things are coming to a head here, is that still the case. I’d love to post more and join this community, it seems unique and friendly. Can I ask if others are leaving though, like Big Raddy? Good bye Big Raddy, sorry I missed you.

    Also let me know if you need any graphics?

  17. RA says:

    Heavens to Mugatroyed, Raddy, not you too! 🥺

    Has an evil Genie struck down the backroom boffins?

    Will you still write your superior pre-Match Posts?

    Take some time off this summer, and come back fresh when the new season starts — you know you cannot escape your love for Arsenal — even with the lure of your Italian estate calling you!! 😁

    Buggeration!! [I’ve even invented a new word for friends like you departing – without permission!!]

  18. RA says:


    1. When you submit your comment, WordPress can delay posting it unless you have a WordPress ‘gravater’ open, it can make you wait in line if another blogger is posting.

    Be patient when you submit, and your comment will appear, whereas, if you think it has been lost and resubmit you will get a double whammy.

    Open a gravatar and the submitted comments go through straight away.

    2. The guys (and gal) who formed and administered AA in c 2010, have put in the hard work of producing or facilitating daily Posts ever since, but time and tide have eked away at the available bodies, as life has a habit of getting its teeth into all of us.
    BR is the latest to say goodbye. That is too sad.
    Peaches, Queen of the Founders, is trying to help out – but her work and family commitments are reducing the time she has available for the blog.

    At the moment, things are uncertain and others are considering their blog futures, so, we will have to wait and see what happens.

  19. RA says:

    Many of you will have noticed the bastardised latin aphorism at the top of the blog.

    Illegitimi non carborundum

    Loosely translated, this means “don’t let the bastards grind you down”

    Just hope that does not mean us bloggers!

  20. apangu iddi amin says:

    When UEs name came on line some one posted that: If he cant win with a team which has Mbape and Naymar what will he win for Arsenal who has nothing to buy top quality players?.It lives me confused totally.

  21. RC78 says:

    Unai is a good tactician and he is OK at getting the most out of his available players. He is not good at judging talent/potential and he is not great in accommodating creative players to his squad – he just wants players with big engines that can work their socks off. His team are always good at quickly transitioning from attack to defense and also at using the wide players, especially the full backs.

    We finished 5th when 4th (even 3rd) place for the taking and then we lost lamentably against Chelsea in the final of the EL and we did poorly in Cups so overall, the season was not great but as expected.

    As we prepare for next year, I think we should give him the type of players he wants and get rid of the players he cannot accommodate. We should really stick with him until the end of his contract. By the team he leaves, we will have a robust squad maybe full of players with the ability to play at high intensity.

    For this summer, the priority for me is to get rid of deadwood players and then of high/good value players that are either past their prime (Koscienly, Monreal) or are not wanted by Emery (Ozil). The second priority is to really invest in our defensive spine (CB+DM+CM) and the third one is to add more width and pace, (Back-up FBs + Winger/FW).

    TRANSFER OUTS (sell): Ospina, Jenkinson, Bielik, Pleguezelo, Mustafi, Kos, Monreal, El Neny, Ozil, Asano

    TRANSFER INS (based on rumourst):

    GK – Schubert (but ideally we should go for Trapp at 10 Mln EUR)

    CB – Apparently we re getting Saliba but we are loaning him back to St-Etienne…so we still need a CB, Emery likes Aldewereid, Bailly, Zouma, Umtiti, Hermoso, Rugani, Dakonam, Konate and Andersen.

    RB – Meunier (but he costs 27 Mln EUR) / (Valencia is free, Semedo wants to leave Barcelona so maybe a loan, Clyne has only one year left on his contract, Pizcek is looking for a new challenge…)

    LB – Gaya, Chilwell but they are rather expensive / (Rose is a Tottenham player but is available, Guerreiro although he seems to be on Barcelona and PSG radar, Alaba may leave Bayern Munich, Tierney, Firpo or Tagliafico are also options and if PSG gets a new LB, then Kurzawa is to be followed too)

    DM – Funnily, no rumours about us getting a DM. I d like to see us approach Gueye, Ndidi and why not Pulgar or Vidal or Capoue or Danilo or Parejo? and your worse but free nightmare: A. Herrera

    CM – We re linked with a lot of players there: Praet, Banega, Barella, Zielinski, Brandt, Ndombele (but too expensive), Rabiot (but he wants Champions League), Veretout, Pellegrinni and H. Herrera. I d like us to also consider Doucoure, Allan, Ruiz, Carvalho, R. Sanches and why not Dahoud?

    Winger – We have been linked with Zaha, Sessegnon, Perisic, Fraser, Carrasco, Pepe (too expensive though) and Sarr. I think we could try to lure D.Costa or Cuadrado from Juve, Ziyech or Neres from Ajax. O. Dembele is struggling at Barcelona and could be tempted by a loan to Arsenal as Neymar may go back to Catalunya…

    FW – Claudes-Maurice is a promising talent. I d also like us to look at Mitrovic.

    That s all folks…have a great day

  22. RC78 says:

    Rafa Silva from Portugal also a great winger option

  23. RC78 says:

    BR – you can’t leave the blog. Your posts were always great to read and your comments are priceless. Stay with us, please. Who is gonna add the devil s advocate spice if you leave…

  24. Els says:

    RC78 says:
    June 18, 2019 at 10:08 am

    All of those rumours will not be true. I’d hazard a guess that less than half are even based in truth. There are too many clicks to be had and contracts to inflate for the media to be believed anymore.

    The one that does seem to have a lot of smoke around it is Martenillini (Spelling). I’ve not got a clue about him though.

    With an obvious shift towards the academy developing first teamers, it would make sense with a few promotions this season. How many do you think will make it?

    I’m hoping Bielik and Chambers will be retained. Also I’m expecting Martinez to be 2nd choice also. On top of that perhaps Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Willock and Amaechi perhaps?

    Then by getting rid of a good few players that are not great (also not poor by any stretch), we should lighten the wage bill and allow us to add some experienced gems to the team.

    Also RA – thank you for the run down on things. Much appreciated.

  25. LBG says:

    LB, agree totally 8.42.
    Farewell and thank you Raddy.

  26. Just dashing in to say ……

    LB @ 8.42 I read to the end and agree with you too.

    Redders – do you have a proper email address at the moment? Can you write to me at

  27. LB says:


    That is way too rash, please think again, how about taking the summer off, have a break, recharge the batteries and come back in the new season on the basis that you write as and when you want and not feeling that you have to write a pre match for every game.
    There is still a lot of fun to be had from commenting on Arsenal, I hope you reconsider.

  28. Mike M says:

    I think he should be given a chance. What happened at the end of the season speaks volumes for the fragile mentality of our organization from top to bottom. I really think that was created by AW in his last 4 or so years. We did win a couple of FA Cups so it’s not a dig, but I believe AW always believed everyone around him should be self motivated. In reality most people aren’t seemingly especially at Arsenal. It takes a while to motivate people. The new manager “bump” wore off halfway through the season and we hung on until reverting to type after April.
    For me, what he does with Xhaka will be my main measure of who he is. I know he divides opinion, but for me, Xhaka embodies everything that is wrong with Arsenal currently. He is mentally fragile and doesn’t show leadership in any significant way. I’m really not sure about him one way or another. My gut says he’s too slow both in mind and body but I could be wrong. However UE has had a full season to make an assessment and should be well capable of figuring him out. Either move him out or make him better.
    My question for anyone looking to assess any manager is: what separates Klopp, Pep and Poch from most of the rest of the PL managers right now? In my opinion, they make their existing players better, then add top players to compliment them (in varying degrees to be fair, but all 3 of them have done this consistently).
    I want UE to get at least this season to change our mentality as a club. Interesting also that he’s swapped the roles of Freddie and Stevie. Hopefully that’s a step in the right direction !! And as a fan of the ’91 (got not credit for an incredible season) title winning team and a huge fan of Stevie Got No Hair, that’s no knock on him. More a question of putting the right pieces in the right shaped holes. That’s UE’s challenge this season.

  29. LB says:

    ‘For me, what he does with Xhaka will be my main measure of who he is.’

    That is a very clever insight.

  30. fred1266 says:

    Great point LB

  31. fred1266 says:

    Why VP Freddie is an attack so not sure how he helps with defending

  32. Sue says:

    Happy Birthday, Auba.. 30 now – getting on a bit 😜
    VP.. I too am very excited about Freddie, even more so after an article I just read.. stating 3 things he wants to do…
    1 Shape up or ship out (Yay! Bye bye complacency!)
    2 Rate the loanees
    3 Being the buffer
    I believe he’ll have a huge impact on & off the pitch.. and won’t just sit there chewing gum!! Bring it on 👊👍

  33. LB says:

    Can the defending get worse Fred? (joking of course)

  34. RA says:

    Spot on Mike M.

    It has been a while, but are you the famous – Mike ‘I’m writing a book’ M? Similar handle, similar writing style, similar sense. 😉

  35. fred1266 says:

    What really going on here

  36. fred1266 says:

    Lol so true LB

  37. RA says:

    Bugger it.

    Every one should pray this rumour is just not true — like most of the rest, and will not happen.

    Man Untd are going to make a £70m bid for Peglegpete — no, hang on — I cannot spell — Aubameyang — that’s it -pretty similar. 😃

    Say it ain’t true, ma — say it ain’t true!!

  38. Sue says:

    Why is the time wrong on the comments?! Or is it just me going a little mad???
    United can sod off… anyhow they have piano man Sanchez, who finally found the back of the net last night (with no assistance too 😱😂) 5 months in the making – I hope it was special.. may not happen again for another 5 months!! 😝

  39. RA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Explain, please :Why is the time wrong on the comments?! Or is it just me going a little mad???

    Well the second sentence speaks for itself — but the first viz a vis ‘time’ – Quoi?

  40. Sue says:

    Hello RA..the time you post your comments is an hour out, not a big deal I know, but at first I thought I was seeing (or not seeing 😆) things & may need to go to specsavers..but no all is good – no specs (or straitjacket) needed 😁

  41. fred1266 says:

    Nelson on the bench

  42. fred1266 says:

    It isn’t true

  43. Well done Sue for pointing that out ……………. must be some sort of gremlin in the system, I’ve corrected it now.

  44. Sue says:

    Nice one, Peaches 😁👍

  45. Sue says:

    Fred.. are you watching the game? Reine-Adelaide is playing – how’s he doing? Also, how is Solanke doing?
    I wanted to watch it, but… I’m having to binge watch Killing Eve – gotta finish it!!

  46. LBG says:

    So let’s heat things up!
    If we get an offer of 70m for a 30 year old Aubang from Manure, and an offer of 35m for Xhaka, I say sell them both and use the 100m to fill the gaps we actually have.

  47. VP says:

    Fred, the Australian Matildas are playing Jamaica at the moment. The crowd of neutrals are supporting Jamaica but they seem to have left their scoring boots back home in this WWC.

    I asked my family about holidaying in Jamaica or the Carribean but was met with “No its too Dangerous!”
    Whats going on over there?

  48. 70m for Auba is very good business so that’s definitely not going to happen especially to the Manks …………. dream on LBG 😉😉😉

  49. Ooops shut that debate down 🙈🙈🙈

  50. Sue says:

    Saw the last 15 minutes of the U21’s, just to catch a glimpse of Guendouzi & that hair 😜
    What a way to lose!! Wan Bissaka looked gutted after scoring that OG – I say wait till you’re with the Mancs before you do that again, preferably when we visit Old Trafford or you visit the Emirates 😄👍

  51. Aaron says:

    I meant the owner, who is a total scumbag, he who married into the waltoN family, who are owners of the slave nation chain of stores, I think you know the chain. And all the players you mentioned, have been growing just because of mere ball time, Guen is a work in progress too.

    BR, what is up? You too….what the heck is going on? ust because management changed does not mean you can’t stay and add value.

    I hope I did not contribute to some people packing due to my posts…hmmmm

    emery is and was who he is, a solid tier 2 coach, yes, he won Europa 3 times, which is a considerable achievement, but with a limited budget he will be out a a job in 1 years time.

  52. LB says:

    It’s all your fault Aaron and while your in the mood to take blame can you latch onto Brexit while your at it someone has to carry the can for that 🙂

  53. fred1266 says:

    He wasn’t all that noticeable

    Also he likes to be referred to as jeff

  54. fred1266 says:

    Solanke wasn’t getting any service , though t Madison would have been playing the link role but he was none existant imo

    Unlucky England lost though,I thought France didn’t want to win because they threw away 2 pens

  55. fred1266 says:

    Jamaica is a lovely place just certain parts you shouldn’t venture

    The places to visit are Tobago st Lucia and Barbados

  56. fred1266 says:

    VAR is a form of thiefing, how om earth Brazil last goal was offside

  57. Sue says:

    So Eddie is wanted (on loan) by…. Charlton! Lee Bowyer just loves a gooner!! I bet he’ll want to keep Bielik too (greedy sod 😄)… hmm I wonder what Freddie will have to say about this!!
    Tierney has popped up on our radar again.. he’d be a great buy!
    I’m really enjoying all the rumours, with regards to other teams… all what’s been thrown about has been really interesting, to say the least, but when it comes to us.. I’m like argh!! 🙈😩🤣 hurry up & bloody sign someone – the suspense is killing me!! 🤪

  58. Sue says:

    Are you on about the men, Fred?

  59. Sue says:

    Atletico want Xhaka (you’re having a giraffe, right?!) albeit I’d quite happily drive him to the airport & bundle Mustafi in the car too & tell them it’s a bogof deal… oh happy days 😝

  60. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Limited time so will be brief. Great last 2 posts so thanks to post writers.

    On this post and footbally matters I agree with everything LB said yesterday, and also Mike M and LBG.

    On the non footbally matters LB’s 1.28 yesterday is also my opinion for both BR and GN5. I don’t know and don’t want to know what is going on but would say that this blog is all the richer for our far flung, around the world bloggers.

    Bloggers on here are closer than most other sites so when disagreements happen it can feel a bit more raw and personal, almost like a sibling argument. It just needs to be accepted, done with, and move on as friends again.

    I do think that you will miss liaising with everyone on here, as much as we will miss you as well, and would urge re-consideration. Take a step back, some deep breaths and chuck a couple of whiskies down in Canadia and some aquavit in Denmarkia and get back here soon with all guns blazing.

  61. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ………………..

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