Emery Bored … Already?

We were dire against Watford. No two ways about it. We made them look like the top four pretenders whereas we performed like we were in bottom of the league form.

Apart from the heroics from Leno and the pure class of Aubameyang, pretty much every other players scored less than 5 out of 10. So much so that there were too many choices for any individual to become the scapegoat. Inevitably the focus was directed at the manager – for his tactics, his team selection, and glaringly for his inability to coach the players to play out from the back after 15 months in charge.

The combined value of our players was three times that of Watford and yet, on the day, they put in a team performance that was greater than the sum of its parts – we certainly didn’t.

Here are some of the views expressed by bloggers yesterday …

From Rasp:

Emery it seems is like the later Arsene …his vision of how we should play is more important than the three points … tell that to the thousands of away fans who had the life sucked out of them when the first goal was conceded.

It was abundantly clear that our players had no faith in their ability to play out from the back .. you could feel the nerves.

Any decent, pragmatic manager would have sent out the instruction (probably at half time) that it wasn’t working therefore the keeper would kick the ball out to the flanks and our midfield should get tight on their players to gain first or second ball … but no, we gave the game away shamelessly.

GoonerB’s take:

As Rasp points out there are hallmarks of the latter AW with Emery. On top of what Rasp mentions there seems to be that trait of repeating the same things that are getting us into trouble. Bad formations with players out of position and not complimenting each other and then substitutions that dont alter the imbalance.

Arsene we can let it go with because he once was the prince amongst princes and the best of the best but simply the game moved on from him and he wasnt able to see it and react to it.

The board basically held out too long and we regressed as a club. Emery is younger and supposed to be that dynamic modern coach but I have reached the conclusion that he is not right for us.

LBG says:

Dick the insistence on ALWAYS playing out from the back does not work with these players, and even Man City dont do that. Adapt to the “quality” of your players. Stop making politician type comments and excuses. Percentage football is required at present .

Kelsey’s thoughts:

So far this season – in just five games – we’ve allowed 96 shots on goal, more than any other team in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, or Ligue 1 (via @ollysailor). That is shockingly bad, and when you throw in the fact that since Unai Emery took over we’ve conceded 10 penalties, more than any other team, there are alarm bells going off all over the place for me.(from arseblog)

Those stats are absolutely shocking and Emery must take a proportion of the blame.This is at best mid table form despite spending a shedload of money’

RockyLives:

I’m not ready to write off UE yet, but in addition to the ‘playing out from the back’ problem, his substitutions yesterday were mystifying and only made us worse.

Willock and Nelson are not yet ready for intense first team football such as yesterday’s – they need to be eased in as late subs and in Europa League/Caribou Cup games etc.

Aaron’s hard hitting stats:

Facts:

Arsenal are on pace to concede 60.8 goals this year.

Have played 13% of their games.

Conceded more shots than any team in the top leagues of Europe.

Know this, we are playing the worst defense I have seen the Arsenal play in a very long time. Emery has been in charge for 16 months and is continuing the run of play that the Arsenal exhibited during the season’s final games.

The question has been asked to death: what is Emery’s plan with no defense?

Sue’s response:

Aaron.. I saw an article earlier, about Unai’s time at Valencia (super cup v Real Madrid 2008/9 2nd leg)
Valencia were 1-0 up, Real were then down to 10 … but levelled. They then saw red again, so down to 9 men.. yet the score went from 1-1 to 1-4!!!! They ended up losing 4-2 (& losing overall) and that was with David Silva, David Villa & Juan Mata!! You couldn’t make it up!!!!

Not a great article & it didn’t fill me with confidence!! Also, it was on about him parking the bus from the 50th minute, with a slender 1-0 lead and pretty much always surrendering leads.

A balance to the debate from Fatgingergooner:

Even though I’ve done this above in previous comments, part of me does wonder if it’s a little unfair to question what Emery’s style is when at the same time we are asking him to forget his style because the players are not good enough to implement it. If Emery is only the coach, as seems to be the case, then is it fair for us to chastise him for playing out from the back?

Should he just forget his whole ethos of possession football and control because the club haven’t given him good enough players? Im not convinced the blame lies solely at his feet. It’s not as if Pep took over City and transformed their existing CB’s into world class, ball playing defenders. He got rid of any players who couldn’t do it and bought ones who could. Surely it’s too much to ask Emery to come in and transform 30 year old defenders.

They are what they are. I think it’s up to the club to provide him with the correct tools that allow him to get the best results. I’m not convinced that’s the case at the moment, so I will still give him a bit of slack on that front.

Before the game, the jury was out on Unai for most supporters … after Sunday, many are now questioning whether he is the right man for the job.

But should we even be having this debate when negativity is the last thing we want transmitted to the players?

The atmosphere at The Emirates this season has been better than for many years – we need to get behind the team, get behind the players and leave it to those above Emery to manage him and rectify the glaring problems that Watford exposed.

What do you think?

Rasp

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56 Responses to Emery Bored … Already?

  1. LB says:

    There is now no doubt in my mind that there is a rift between manager and some of the players, some, not all.

    The most obvious evidence coming from Xhaka who clearly over rode Emery’s instructions to play slowly out from the back, demonstrated by him vigorously waving to Leno to play the ball out from a goal kick in a more conventional way. This happening after the defence made a pigs ear of it shortly before.

    Xhaka went on to brake ranks even further after the game by criticising the commitment of our players.

    The odd thing is I find myself agreeing with Xhaka on both occasions.

  2. Rasp says:

    Yes, I’ve also heard rumours that Unai is not getting on with some of the players. Apparently Torreira, Ozil and Kolasinac are where the biggest rifts lie – but Kolasinac because he wants away.

    Unai may be described as a modern manager in terms of high energy but he clearly doesn’t have that close bond with his players you see with Klopp and Guardiola.

  3. Sue says:

    🎵 Dani Ceballos Dani Ceballos
    He drinks Estrella
    He eats paella
    The boy’s f*****g magic 🎵

    Just to lighten the mood 😁

  4. Sue says:

    It’s hard not to be negative Rasp (& GB 😁) i don’t always like to be, as my glass is normally half full, but just recently there appears to be a little crack in it 🙁
    After the wonderful transfer window we had.. and now 5 games in.. it’s all gone pete tong!! To keep seeing the same thing repeatedly is just not on… we are the Arsenal at the end of the day & i expect soooo much better!!
    Yes, one can say that City lost to Norwich, but we all know they’ll bounce back from that, having learnt from their mistakes.. can i say the same thing about us?? Right now, no, probably not.
    Unai has said people make mistakes but don’t keep making them over and over again… yet i saw this about Xhaka (sorry TA) –
    Since the start of 2017/18… Arsenal rank –
    Fouls – 1st Bookings – 1st Dribbled past – 1st
    Tackles lost – 1st….. omg… plus on top of all the penalties we keep gifting, you could say we have some very costly players on our books (& i don’t just mean the wages!!)
    Comes to something doesn’t it, when you wonder, each game, how many goals we’ll concede!! I’m not enjoying watching our team right now & that breaks my heart saying that! I’ll still go on Sunday (god help me 😂) and support & just hope i don’t have to throw a little hissy fit in front of my son & embarrass him.. haha!! But if Xhaka, Luiz & Sokratis all play & we keep playing out from the back & it’s too hot & the players are too scared, then i might well have to warn my son to brace himself & expect the worst 🤣 COYG

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    Sue,

    I share your worries in regards to that Valencia example you gave. It’s pretty simple really, our best attribute is our attacking play, so let’s attack! Emery is beginning to develop a pattern of play whereby we take the lead and then sit back and do nothing. Newcastle away we went 1-0 up and then sat back and invited pressure which thankfully they were too poor to capitalise on. Burnley we went 1-0 up and then sat back and conceded. Thankfully we rescued the points in the second half. Watford we go 2-0 up and then just sit back and end up scraping a point.

    Of course there will be times when we need to soak up some pressure, but these aren’t exactly top quality teams we are talking about, and by backing off and not going for the kill we are inviting them back into the game and giving them confidence that they can nick a result.

    It’s difficult, because under Wenger there were times that we all wanted a more considered approach and to stop being so attacking when we were 1 goal up in tight games, but we seem to have gone the total opposite and now it’s far too negative when a goal up in tight games. What I do think though is that both managers had the same problem….a terrible defence, and if Wenger or Emery had taken the time to resolve that issue then either of their tactics would’ve worked far better. At least with Emery, it’s not his fault that the defenders are shit, he didn’t buy them unlike Wenger, but then surely he has to recognise that and decide that attack is our best form of defence.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    Which is the biggest sin? Wenger buying shit defenders? Or Emery thinking shit defenders can win him games?

    🤷‍♂️

  7. Rasp says:

    In fairness, I think the new defenders we have bought recently are of the required quality … we just haven’t seen them in the side yet. I think Holding had become a first choice CB last season when he got injured. I agree with those who say if the players can’t execute the system, change the plan until we have ones who can. But we saw it with Cech. Emery obviously insisted he play it out from the back even though he was rubbish at it. Emery is uncompromising about that it would appear.

  8. fred1266 says:

  9. Sue says:

    Exactly, FGG… totally agree! Attack, attack, attack!! Can’t you give Unai a call & give him some pointers? Please 🙏😀

  10. RC78 says:

    I can tell you that Emery didn’t improve Psg while he was with us. Actually we had our worse losses with him and our defence and offense were not as good as under Blanc. Ultimately he s a good technical coach but he s not great at improving players. He needs to also realise that his system is not working with these players and need to adapt the team accordingly. You want to play high press and high tempo – OK then play with 343 or 352. If you want to play other principles, then maybe you can do with 4 at the back

  11. Sue says:

    RC.. are you going to PSG v Madrid tomorrow? I can’t wait for that 👌

  12. RC78 says:

    Sue – am on mission for work. I ll try to follow the game and I have no expectations. I am hoping we will play in a 352 format with

    Navas – Marquinhos, Silva, Kimpembe – Meunier, Verratti, Gueye, Herrera, Diallo – Neymar, Icardi

    Allez Psg!

  13. Sue says:

    That’s a bummer Cavani & Mbappe are out injured (Cavani’s my fav!)
    Still a good line up though, RC…. Neymar 😉👍

  14. kelsey says:

    There is a rift between players and Emery as Rasp pointed out and that can’t be good for morale.
    I also think he has his favourites and one is Xhaka (one of his captains) but to admit on air that we were scared of the bottom club with one point is unbelievable.
    For Emery to say it was too hot for Dani. WHAT.
    IMO he doesn’t know his best formation to set out and though we have players to come back if he doesn’t change this passing out technique which Liverpool have perfected it won’t make much difference.
    Lad brokes have slashed their odds today that he will be sacked to 6/4 and Arteta is the first choice. This might be premature but I still think the job is to big for him.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rasp, I would firstly like to say that the manager and the team need the fans support this year. We can obviously discuss positives and negatives and our opinions among ourselves on blog sites and in pubs but in the ground we need to get behind them.

    I would hate for opinions (mine especially) on our current and future management team to be based on knee jerk reactions, as in say making your mind up in just that 1 game from the weekend. It does feel however that there is a collection of evidence from before arriving at Arsenal through to last year and some early signs this year that Unai will not have quite enough to get the best out of our squad and eventually stand toe to toe with the likes of Klopp.

    You can never say never though and maybe he will start to really get this team firing and we will go on a storming purple patch this season and move up a level or 2, but my gut feeling says that Emery isn’t quite that top level manager. Doesn’t mean he is bad at all, but I feel he will not be what we really need long-term, but just my opinion. I still expect an upturn with him at the helm and retain hope of a reasonably successful season.

    It is up to the owners, board and king makers behind the scenes to make those big decisions. If it is not right we can’t hang around as long as we did with AW and they will need to be more decisive. We have a very talented squad now, not perfect, but good enough to make real headway this year.

    Too much is riding on big improvements being made this year. One of the most important aspects is that we need to persuade players like Auba and Laca that they should be signing new contracts and staying here. Failure to do this could set us back 3 years.

    It is still too early to panic but if it becomes obvious that all is not right and those players are losing faith in the club and management then we need to act quickly. I hate to say it but these players are a more important consideration than the manager in our current position.

    I hope that we are already quietly sounding out future possibilities for next season but also the possibility of a quick change should the wheels really fall off, but keep it quiet and to ourselves and not undermine Emery. He deserves his shot at it without being undermined, but at the end of the day it is still a rather cut throat performance related business.

  16. RC78 says:

    I think Emery will not be sacked unless the team totally fudges up by January. The board loves him and trusts him so would be odd to see him leave…He ll be with us at least until the end of the year and most likely next year too. If he goes, Ljunberg will be interim and then I think we have quite some interesting options with…Mourinho (he loves London) and maybe even Laurent Blanc or Jesus or Arteta or Vieira so am not too worried.

    The main thing is that our team cant see to defend as a block, as a back four and our defense does not know how to play from the back.

    Our best defense display had Chambers in the team and I think he needs to be back in the team. He did will at Fulham as a DM so he can play there but our dear friend Xhaka gotta go – it s that simple.

    Luiz best seasons came when he played as part of a back 3 and some his best matches came as a DM.

    Leno – Sok, Holding, Luiz – Bellerin, Torreira/Guen?, Chambers, Kola – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Would that be the most balanced squad?

  17. RC78 says:

    Sue – Cavani is the fans’ favourite because of his die hard attitude. He s available for free in June…What a recruit he d be for AFC!

  18. Sue says:

    Would anyone welcome Maureen with open arms? 😖

  19. Sue says:

    RC.. I’d love it if we got him!!! Always been a fan

  20. Sue says:

    Bloody hell, John Stones is out for 5 weeks now! Their injuries are mounting…. i thought only we had that problem!! Urgh on the other hand, it gives Liverpool an advantage 😬

  21. RC78 says:

    I think Pep will play KW or Fernando as CB or he ll just innovate and play a back 3. Let s c. Liverpool the clear favourite now.

  22. fatgingergooner says:

    Not a fan of ‘rift rumours’. Was there a problem between manager and players after the Newcastle or Burnley games? Of course not. It’s usually nonsense created to stir the pot. I think there are definitely issues with the tactical set up of Emery and we need new personnel in defence, but 8 points from the first 5 games (which include Liverpool and Spurs) is nothing to panic about and if Emery can tweak a couple of things then we can move forward as a team.

    It’s still early days in the season and it shouldn’t be forgotten that this is still a young team in progress. I hate the idea of the fan base just demanding change every 12 months or so. Once you start down that road it’s hard to stop.

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    RC,

    Stones has looked awful early season so bringing in Fernandinho at CB might be a blessing for them. He’s a class player and I can’t see him struggling at CB. He just seems to be great wherever he plays.

  24. Sue says:

    Absolutely buzzing at Chelsea losing, then to top it – Liverpool did too!! Woohoo!!! 🥳🥳🥳🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️

  25. GoonerB says:

    FGG, It is true that we have some youngsters that we are bringing on, and some players like Pepe who are finding their feet in the EPL, but I don’t think our failings are due to this accommodation.

    We lost the foothold in the Watford game with quite an experienced team before players like Nelson and Willock were introduced, and many of the younger players, Douzi aside (20yrs old), are in the bracket of being experienced youngsters in age.

    AMN is 22, Ceballos 23, Pepe 24 who would fit that latter description. Sterling is only 24 and Alexander Arnold is 20, (the same as Douzi) for some similar comparisons.

    After those we had Leno (27), Xhaka (26), Kola (26), Ozil (30), PEA (30), Soc (31), and Luiz (32). All pretty much in their prime experienced years.

    Others that will be considered if and when fit or chosen to play are Tierney (22), Bellerin (24), and Torreira (23). We are phasing some young players in but it is not as significant once you look at it closer and I would suggest the tactical issues are far higher on the agenda than the age of the squad to explain any failings.

    If anything I am more worried that we miss our moment to push on while certain top experienced players who are in and around the 30 bracket are still in their prime. We have repeatedly done this in recent years and once those players need replacing you are starting that development period all over again.

    I like many others would love to hit the jackpot with a new manager first time. Someone who we could develop the club around for a few seasons, but it was never going to be easy to replace a manager like Wenger, and I think there was always likely to be some shorter term appointments that wouldn’t work.

    This may or may not be the case with UE, we will see over the next few months. I do however think we shouldn’t dither about moving on, but in a dignified way, far quicker than has been the norm for us. I think waiting too long is a greater danger o the club than making a quicker decision to change once you realise you don’t quite have the right one.

    We will never act like Abramovich in expecting the earth and all within it or you are out, but if the right tools are provided then significant progress and development should be seen, and a 2 year period is ample time to make a judgement I feel.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    How many managers really come in and just change fortunes in 12 months? Hardly any. Wenger didn’t do it, Graham didn’t, Pep didn’t, Klopp didn’t….the list goes on. I feel that the first season for any manager is a feeling out period where they have to see which of the existing players they can work with, and then (given the current structure) it’s up to the club to provide the right players for them to have a real go at improving the side. When you factor in replacing a manager of 20+ years, then that bedding in period becomes even longer. I share the same worries as others regarding Emery, especially after the Watford game, but if we got rid can we really turn round and say that he had a fair crack? At the moment, I would say no. We all knew the state of the squad when Wenger left, and we all knew it would take 2 or 3 good transfer windows to really turn it around, yet we don’t seem willing to give him that. Surely we should give Emery the chance to work with the likes of Saliba, Tierney, Bellerin, Holding etc before we throw in the towel?

    People are starting to talk of the likes of Mourinho and I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. There’s even talk of Arteta who is totally unproven. It feels knee-jerk to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, if we carry on with negative, boring tactics, then it will need to be looked at, but I think that things have been blown out of proportion a little after the weekend and there’s a whole lot to play for this season and a whole lot of improvement to come from this side. It’s so easy to be negative these days and I’ve allowed myself to be dragged into it too, but it was only a few weeks ago we were really excited about this team and I think it needs to be given a chance to develop.

    Success for this football club is going to be a process that takes time, as it was with City and Liverpool, who are both flying high at the moment, and Emery will have his place in that process. Will he be the one that ends up with silverware at the end? Possibly not, but that doesn’t mean he can’t set us up for the future and get us in a position where the next manager can come in and really push on. Someone had to come in and work with the rancid shit that Gazidis left behind and I think he’s done a fair job of that. He’s playing the youngsters and trying to move away from Özil, Mkhitaryan, Mustafi, Elneny etc which can only be a good thing in my mind. It’s such a tough task given that our strikers are in their prime whilst the rest of the side is in development, but that’s not his fault. I just hope he’s smart enough to see that the squad this season is built to attack and he can adapt to that. I feel that’s his best chance to get results in the short term and that’s what he will ultimately be judged on, regardless of the state of the squad or his long term ideas and ambitions.

  27. RC78 says:

    Emery has been with us for a season now and it is clear that he has tried to shape the profile with a team with a different type of players.

    He is working on getting rid of some players seen as not fitting his idea for the team – which is a hard working team, good at pressing and having the option to play more directly. He is not a fan of this tiki-taka type of football, he s more about hurting teams in transition and in getting the ball back asap. In that sense, he is more of a Klopp than a Guardiola.

    He was also instrumental in getting players like Luiz (great at passing from the back, useful for direct play), Ceballos (excellent in breaking lines and attacking transition games) and Pepe (great at bringing width, pace and percussion). He is also trying to build a young core at AFC by giving game time to Guendouzi, Willock and RN among others.

    As he is trying to shape the team to another profile, he should of course be given time BUT that does not mean that he should not be held accountable for the lack of defensive solidity and the lack of progress in our transition plays. He sets the team, gives the instructions and prepares the teams to face different oppositions. Ultimately, he is accountable at least as much as the players.

    All great teams have first and foremost a solid defensive foundations. If the defensive foundations are weak, teams cannot win. Liverpool started being a contender once Alisson and Van Dijk joined them – it s that simple. Man City is now in trouble without Kompany and Laporte and now Stones. Chelsea started losing more games when their defense was not as solid as before while Tottenham improved their defensive form/shape to reach above us.

    We have an outstanding front 3 – no doubt.
    We have some very good passers with Ceballos and Ozil
    We have promising mids with Torreira, Gwen and Willock.
    We have a catastrophic DM with Xhaka (he should never be played there) and we have a good (at least decent) one in Chambers but he is not played there while Luiz was bought for CB only it seems.
    We have promising Full-Backs with Bellerin, AMN, Kola and Tierney
    We have a good CB in Holding but his partners Sokratis, Luiz and Mustafi can be error-prone.
    We have a good GK – not world class.

    Given the staff at hand, I think we can push for a Top 4 but Emery has to get the most of this team and maybe to do so, it means to play in a different shape or play with other principles. I don’t know. For me, a quick fix would be to play 3 at the back – at least on away games but I don’t see training sessions only games…

    When all fit – we could have for:

    Away games:
    Leno – Sok, Holding, Luiz – Bellerin, Torreira, Chambers, Kola – Ceballos – Laca, Auba

    Home games:
    Leno – Sok, Holding, Luiz – Bellerin, Guendouzi, Chambers, Kola – Pepe, Auba, Laca

    Why not try these systems? They may bring more defensive strength and more width to our games.

  28. fatgingergooner says:

    RC,

    The problem with all those different formations and set ups is that they still contain the same players making the same individual errors. Wether it be Leno, Xhaka, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac, AMN, Geundouzi, Mustafi….they’ve all had terrible errors since Emery arrived that have cost us goals. We can get the tactics 100% spot on in every game, but if we give away 2 sloppy goals every game then it’s all for nothing. I’m sick of watching our side play with zero know-how. I’m pretty sure we have the stupidest team in football in terms of game intelligence, and certainly the thickest defensive unit. For all the faults of Koscielny and Mertersacker, at least they understood defending and could read the game, and it’s probably no coincidence that our last decent defensive unit (statistically anyway) consisted of these 2 with Arteta and Cazorla in front (2 others who understood the game even if their physical attributes let them down at times). Could you even imagine how good our defence would be if Xhaka had Arteta’s awareness, Geundouzi had Cazorla’s skill, Somratis had Mertersackers reading of the game, and Luiz had Koscielny’s pace and desire! Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and instead we are left with players who are all lacking something and who all share a lack of smarts. Put them together and it’s a disaster waiting to happen in every game.

    The issue we have is that we are stuck with it now for a season, so instead of going over the same ground all year, I think we are just going to have to accept that the mistakes will continue to happen and hope that Emery can stumble across a line up that can at least keep us competitive in the PL and hopefully win a trophy. He wasn’t far off last season despite the mess so maybe he can go one step further this.

    Maybe 3 at the back will plug the hole a bit better temporarily, but I truly believe that there is no saving this back line and the only answer is new personnel. It’s possible Holding, Chambers and/or Mavropanos could help a bit, but I have huge doubts about that.

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve just watched that first Watford goal again and when Sokratis takes his touch he’s got a straightforward pass to Xhaka that splits the 2 Watford attackers and takes 4 Watford players out of the game. There is nobody within 10 yards of Xhaka and we would’ve been straight over halfway and onto their back line. For me, it’s the right tactic, but it’s just the players letting it down. It wasn’t even a difficult pass to see or execute, so it’s worrying that Sokratis tried to pass to Geundouzi who had 3 players around him!

  30. RC78 says:

    Other thing – the PSG players were not unhappy that Emery left.
    The team never warmed up to him or his methods according to media.

  31. RC78 says:

    Hi FGG – I agree with you that the players are definitely error prone starting from Leno and including all you have mentioned. The thing is that Emery does not seem to do anything about it – this is what is annoying. If your team makes the same mistakes again, then you can change the personnel to the extent possible (How Xhaka is in the team beats me) and/or change the way we play a bit. I agree that the back 3 would be a quick fix and that s why I d like to see it. There is no denying that DL’s best season has been on the left side of a back 3 and there is also no denying that Chambers had a decent season at Fulham at DM so why not give our players a chance to shine? Torreira is a MC, dont make him play as DM and same with Gwen and Xhaka. Ozil is good as a 10 or 9 1/2, don t play him as an 8 and it is the same with Ceballos. Auba is more lethal as a ST so play him there as a front 2 and maybe play a 442 with AMN and Pepe on the wings…I am not the coach but if I were, I d try to plug the holes and put the players in an environment that is conducive to perform their best.

  32. RC78 says:

    and maybe Sok doesn’t trust Xhaka as much as Guendouzi 😦

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    RC,

    What’s Emery supposed to do? Put Mustafi in because Sokratis gave the ball away? Could you even imagine! If you ignore the mistakes, then Luiz and Sokratis are our best defenders (maybe Holding will come in when fit), but the replacement options are Chambers, Mavropanos, Mustafi. Not exactly a who’s who of world class defenders! I’m 100% sure that Emery will be pulling his hair out just as much as we are, but I don’t really see a quick fix in the squad. Maybe we can go to a back 1 once Holdings fit…😂

    It’s not just the CB’s though. Our full backs offer nothing defensively (not AMN fault really as he’s not a RB) and as you say, the shield in front is almost non-existent at times, but again, who can play that role? Sure, Chambers had a good season at Fulham and probably deserves a shot, but is he really an upgrade? Probably not. It looks like Xhaka is out for a few games though so maybe we’ll see an alternative approach that will work for us. I think the best our midfield has looked this season was with a trio of Geundouzi/Willock/Ceballos interchanging positions so why not try that again, or put Torreira in for Willock for extra experience.

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    Fred,

    I see the terrible defending runs through the club! 😂

  35. Aaron says:

    fgg,

    Arsene got the Arsenal to 3rd in the 96-97 season, and a plus 33 goal difference, missed on 2nd to Newcastle due to their +3 better goal differential,and the the Arsenal made it to the 4th round in each domestic cup.

    This is up from Rioch’s final season in 5th and +17 differential.

    Not successful?

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    Aaron,

    No.

  37. fred1266 says:

  38. Sue says:

    6 days till Fifa 20, Fred!

  39. Aaron says:

    fgg,
    Then we shall agree to disagree.

    As the Arsenal are not even in that realm right now, and our brand of futbol is in the toilet.

    Yes, the type of futbol we play matters to me.

  40. Mike M says:

    @FGG and Aaron. I think we need to keep a perspective on how much the PL has changed since the days of Rioch and Wenger’s initial years. I tend to agree with Aaron that Rioch’s goal was to get us into Europe (which Bergkamp did with a fantastic goal against Bolton on the last day !!) and Wenger built on that with a 3rd placed finish. If you look back, actually we could have easily won the title in 97, I think we lost at home to Newcastle and had a couple of other poor results. However in AW’s 2nd season, we won the title but came back from a poor Nov/Dec to overhaul Utd. Anyone remember the “watershed” game? I think it was a home defeat to Blackburn where the “English lads” had it out with the “French boys” according to Tony Adams and we went unbeaten from then on. So as FGG is pointing out, maybe it’s not the manager that’s all powerful in this case. Someone needs to sort it out on the field. If you look and the highlight for the penalty on Sunday, Watford (especially the RB) are sprinting forward and we’re running (without much urgency) back. Guess who won? Yes Luiz gave away the penalty but there were no midfielders behind the ball after one pass. There are some issues with this team and if Unai can’t sort it out, it’s up to the players to. My point on the 2nd season thing is that teams weren’t as capable of punishing every mistake back then. But I can imagine the TA/SB/LD/NW/DS/RP conversation with PV/EP/NA/RG was along the lines of “you midfielders had better f’ing well get your arses back to help the defence when we lose possession”.
    Boy could we use that conversation right now.

  41. Sue says:

    It appears we aren’t the only team to surrender a 2-0 lead 😜

  42. Sue says:

    Ozil & Sokratis haven’t travelled… but Mustafi has

  43. Hi Sue, who else travelled? I saw a tweet earlier but I can’t find it now.

    Rambo on the bench for Juve

  44. Sue says:

    Hi Peaches.. all the usual suspects (😂) plus Holding, Mustafi, ESR & Saka.. i saw it on Arsenal.com… would put a picture up on here, but don’t know how 🤣🤣

    RC will be happy with PSG so far 😉

  45. Not to worry …. I’ll go looking.

    Watching Juve

  46. Sue says:

    Hazard has just been subbed – the goal drought goes on 😜 Also nice to see Courtois letting in 2!

  47. Sue says:

    RC.. Great result!!
    Real didn’t have a single shot on target 😱 how the mighty have fallen… ever since Ronaldo left!!

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rasp, my dear fellow, its not looking good for Emery. I only wish I was in the inner circle, that way I would be imagining I’m going to take his job, house, wife, and car and in my first press conference, accompanied by his wife stroking my knee, make out he’s a great guy who done a marvellous job.

    We need to give the guy some slack. Yes, he seems out of his depth, but just because he looks like a git that would stare at a calculator with fear and trepidation and has done nothing to install a defensive structure doesn’t mean he cant turn it around or hasn’t heard of Pythagoras?.

    I wonder what Arsene thinks about the Emery brewing storm within the fan base? Having a little chuckle?

  49. RC78 says:

    Sue – can’t believe the result nor how poor Real was. PSG was solid but real was really poor.

    AMN said he d rather play in mid and if he plays defender, he prefers it when there is a back 3. Even Bellerin and Kola prefer a back 3 behind them so am not sure why Emery is not reverting to such a system. That s why I was annoyed with Monreal leaving because I thought he gave us that extra body as part of the back 3 but we can still play with Sok, Holding, Luiz as our back 3 and then our FB could do a job where they fill comfortable

    Leno – Sok, Holding, Luiz – AMN, Torreira, Chambers, Kola – Pepe, Laca, Auba

  50. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

  51. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 you going any psg CL games

  52. fred1266 says:

    Something I heard the comments say about Watford first goal shouldn’t have counted because deulefou was encroaching and apparently u not supposed to

    Don’t know the rule so not sure if it actually true

  53. Rasp says:

    Thanks Mike, I share your disillusionment after the defensive car crash on Sunday. It will take a couple of convincing error-free performances for me to start believing that the players and the manager have learnt anything from that game.

    Simple question … before the new rule the defenders had to stand outside the box to receive a goal kick. That seemed to work reasonably well and made the opposition drop deeper. Now our centre backs stand either side of the keeper and the opposition collects on the edge of our box preparing to rush our CBs as soon as the ball is live. Here’s a suggestion from a fool who knows nothing – why not revert to the previous system that worked better with the players we have until we can bring ball playing CBs into the team.

  54. fred1266 says:

    Sue already got my copy of FIFA and building my arsenal side as we speak

    Have a guess which player goes for discard price

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