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 …
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.
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.
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 .
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 theis at best mid table form despite spending a shedload of money’
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:
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?
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?