Still basking in victory. The Frankfurt match report was always going to be a tricky assignment !! Much to love as many have stated. Much to fear as many have stated. So I’ve come to a conclusion about Dick, based on the following evidence:
1) Overall inability to defend as a team.
2) None of Xhaka, Toreira or Guendouzi playing a responsible role as a defensive lynchpin.
3) Two second half goals conceded against Watford, bringing off Ceballos and leaving Ozil and Pepe on.
4) 1-0 up away in Europe against an at least decent team. Bring off Smith Rowe (who at least tracks back somewhat) and put Pepe on (who doesn’t really defend – period). Bring off Willock and put Ceballos on (possible like for like but JW gave us a ball winning presence which was important last night).
5) We won the above game 3-0.
So my conclusion is, Dick just isn’t interested in defending. He thinks we can outscore everyone. His solution to winning games we’re ahead in is to go further ahead. Conventional wisdom says keep it tight, secure the win. Not Dick. He wants more goals. His signings have been very attacking – even Luiz as a CB. He’s decided we can’t build a good enough defence to win games consistently so he’s just gonna build a better attack. Which he’s doing. He’s in his second year with an option for a third. Most people think if he gets us into the CL, he’ll get a 3rd year. But… there are lots of others who think he’s just not the man for the job. So Dick is coming out swinging. He doesn’t just want to scrape into the CL, he wants to catch City, finish 2nd, win all the Cups. Then he’ll get his extension.
I’m kinda tongue in cheek here but this is a great opportunity for Emery. We are a big club. They said he couldn’t cut it at PSG. He’s not waiting for slow and steady. He wants results now. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. Why doesn’t Xhaka sit in? Yet Emery plays him every game? Because he’s doing what the manager wants – getting forward. Screw defending – lets score goals.
And you know what, if I just accept it and go with the flow, it might be a fun ride. There will be ups and downs but it’s not going to be dull !!!
And lastly, for anyone that thinks that’s a stupid idea (on his part – mine’s just a theory !!!)? Remember a certain Mr Klopp and his two seasons at Liverpool before Van Dijk ???
Excuse me,, er “Dick is it” but er, exactly how are you supposed to attack attack attack, when you spend 90% of your ball possession time passing back back back in what seems, to me at any rate, a pointless effort to get Xhaka to look like he contributes to the game, when in reality he actually shouldn’t be on the pitch. Emery Paper, has no clue what he is doing at Arsenal. Neymar had him ejected out of PSG. It won’t be long, hopefully, before he gets the same treatment again.
Thanks for a good read Mike…
Tierney and Mavropanos and Bellerin getting close to a return.
Holding on the cusp of a game, probably Nottm Forest.
Whether Emery is Mr Right or not, it’ll be great to eventually have a couple of defenders playing full back again.
I know it’s partly tongue in cheek, but I’m not buying the ‘attack attack attack’ line (much as it would be fun to see it).
The problem is that UE has shown himself to be so cautious with his line-ups and substitutions in so many games that the idea of him going full ‘laughing Cavalier’ stretches credulity a bit too far.
As a supporter whose earliest Arsenal memories were forged in the Bertie Mee era and who counts among his very best memories the successes of the early George Graham years I would prefer the opposite approach: “Defend Defend Defend!” Build a (near) watertight defence then get the rest right (while acknowledging that ALL players have a role in being a good defensive team, not just the defenders).
Those are the back lines from the most successful teams we have had since the 1960s.
As foundations for success go, they don’t come any more rock solid than that. (And I don’t mean Granite).
When all the defenders are fit it will be very, very interesting to see if our defensive performances improve. If they don’t, UE will be running out of road I think.
Couldn’t agree more Rocky…
hated the ‘george boring boring arsenal’ graham years.
I got sick of the genuine question from everyone asking me why I wanted to support such a team. During the Arsene years, I never got asked why.
I’m all for going down in a blaze of glory
Are you referring to the later GG years, when we were truly awful?
In the early GG years – with players like Rocky Rocastle, Paul Merson, Paul Davis, Micky Thomas, Anders Limpar, Brian Marwood – we were wonderfully entertaining.
We had a truly parsimonious defence but what went on in front of it was sweet to watch.
Lovely jubbly – well done Leicester. Great start to the weekend.
Morning all. Great start to the weekend indeed Rocky !!! Let’s hope it ends well too !!! I didn’t really intend that to be a post so let me qualify just to make sure people know what I’m getting at, which is a fairly simple concept really. Either this is Emery’s theory, or he’s a complete fool (I could use different words but I won’t !!). I honestly think he’s a good manager. I also believe this is his greatest opportunity as a manager. I think PSG always had the potential to be a poisoned chalice and I really believe this is his big chance. And because of that, I find it hard to believe he would blow it with such a fundamental failure as organizing his team to be even semi-competent without the ball. So we’ll see. Buckle up boys and girls, it might be a crazy ride !!!!!!!!!!
Hear hear, Rocky 😁
City struggling mightily. Haven’t scored in 24 mins now since their 5th. Hopefully they can regroup at half time !!!
George Graham was only one game away from being an Invincible himself in 1990/91.
That was a great side and it’s defence was behind Arsene Wengers first EPL title in 1997/98.
And not forgetting half (or more) of Graham’s title winning side was from London & the Home Counties. Players you could relate to.
Rocky, shouldn’t Peter Simpson have been in the back four of the Mee double team?
We all knew City would bounce back from that defeat against Norwich.. and in such style!! Sergio has run his little thighs into the ground & scored his 100th pl goal!! Nice to see it’s against Watford, i reckon Tom Cleverley thought he was Messi last week, back down to earth with a bump this week, mate 😄
Will we bounce back from our disappointment against Watford?? I surely hope so! Look how warm & sunny it is today and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow – bloody typical!!!
Talking of other teams…wasn’t the All Blacks great today!
If only De Bruyne could cross a ball …………….
Good call on Peter Simpson – sorry Peter.
That was a good game of rugby. All Blacks were really good but South Africa should also be encouraged. They troubled the Kiwis at various points and came very close to getting back level at one point.
Every additional goal in Man City’s performance makes our effort last weekend look worse.
Most of us agree we were lucky not to lose – now here are Citeh showing what a top team should really be doing to the bottom team.
Mike – I had such a chuckle over your comment I had to use it for a post. Hope you don’t mind. I’m all for ‘attack attack attack’ and if we concede goals along the way so be it …… I’m promising myself not to be miserable about it anymore.
Well until the next time 😂
I’ve just realised that I asked Els to do the pre-match and I haven’t heard back from him 🙈🙈🙈 so I might need someone else to jump on it.
Glad to oblige Peaches. We’ll see what happens – probably starting tomorrow !!
I meant on the comment not the pre-match !!!!
The Man City rape of Watford, 7 – 0 with probably many more to follow, just shows how poor we were last week.
Embers seems to have been rightfully pilloried left, right, and who cares, for his ridiculous tactic of playing short, ineffective and self immolating passes within our own penalty area.
There is nothing inherently wrong with playing out from the back, provided that we have the players capable of controlling and passing the ball in tight spaces — we don’t — and that is made far worse as more and more teams in recent times have been practising ‘pressing’, a la ‘Pool, in an upgrade on the mantra “Arsenal don’t like it up ’em”.
I admit I have said the above more times than than I want, but if Embers had said “oh, bollocks, this is not working” and changed the tactic, which he has been futilely forcing on the team since last season, I could have forgiven him — but he hasn’t — and haven’t.
I enjoyed the EL game against Rocky’s Frankfarters, but to be scrupulously candid that was somewhat irrelevant as persevering with the risible ‘penalty area passing’ tactic in the Premier League will see us continually sink lower and match the Spuds in a race to the bottom.
So the equation we fans seem to have to suck up, is that we will have to watch the team become also rans in the Premier, until a tipping point is reached, and things become so bad, Kroenke decides to let Embers go.
Rather than my acerbic and despondent reflections, Mike, your forthright and valid views on a somewhat different theme, delivered with your typical wit is a far better read!! 😀
Sue’s pre-match last time was pretty good, Peaches, perhaps she will volunteer? 😜
Bloody hell, MOTD will be extended tonight, just to fit rampant City in it!!! Can’t wait to see the goals or the thighs!!!! 😀
Were you thinking of the Venice historical tourist site, the “Bridge of Thighs?”
[When I typed ‘Thighs’ it came out as ‘Things’ — luckily I spotted it before pressing the ‘Post Comment’ button.
“Things” is a bit rude. — innit?
@RA – thanks. I hope the “wit” you refer to doesn’t end up with us looking like a joke !!! Although over the last few years I think we have been that on more than a few occasions.
@VP – I think i have to give you credit for some of my musings. In the end, as someone pointed out a while ago, Emery will do what he’s going to do, no matter what we say. We’re on here to react because we can’t do anything else. But since we all see things differently, having a different perspective is the heartbeat of this site, because any opinion, no matter how far outside the mainstream it is, generally has some merit. For now – and I stress for now – I’m trying to see things in a positive light. So I don’t care if we concede 55 – so long as we score 110.
Well, RA, my phone has been trained.. as soon as i put in T.H.. thighs automatically pop up!!
I can imagine your ‘things’ are completely different to my ‘things’ so yes, knowing you, it would be rude bruv, innit!! 😂😂😂
If ever a stat was meaningless….Watford had more shots on goal against us than City had today against them.
Emery is obsessed with control, but for a manager who is obsessed with control, he doesn’t seem to be able to get a side together who can take control! I’m not convinced we’ve controlled a game yet this season. His idea seems to be that possession and passing around aimlessly, slowing the play when it gets a bit frantic by passing, and passing backwards when in good positions, is control of the game. Personally, and taking into account our poor defence, I would rather us go for the kill and try to score again, but that doesn’t seem his way.
If he carries on with this tactic I believe he will struggle to keep his job beyond the season. I think he would be better either going all out attack (as suggested) or, playing on the counter as seen in the EL midweek.
We are not a side capable of defending leads. We might get better at it when our defenders return to fitness, but it will still be a question mark and it will still cause anxiety within the stadium (which is not ideal).
Referring to an earlier comment about not giving up on Pepe and the reference to Henry, who went his first 8 games without scoring :
Dixon remembers Henry’s transformation as remarkably sudden. It was as if that first goal against Southampton had been like the whoosh of a magic wand. Henry’s long-dormant striker’s instincts awoke and he was ready to explode. All his potential was unlocked in that instant. “It wasn’t a slow curve to becoming brilliant,” he says. “It was all of a sudden. It wasn’t like he slowly blossomed into the best striker in the world. It seemed in my mind to happen overnight. Arsene should totally take the credit for turning him from someone who wasn’t a renowned striker when he came into the best striker in the world for a period of time.
“It was almost as if that first goal opened the floodgates. He just became a phenomenon. Once he scored against Southampton, everything changed. It was what we would come to know as typical Thierry, a spin and turn and bend into the corner. Then, he was banging them in in training, he was scoring in games. Everyone thought, OK, now he is a goalscorer.
“Thierry found his killer instinct. It was like he came in one day and we all thought, ‘Oh, look, he’s brilliant now. And then he stayed brilliant.’”
This was from an Amy Lawrence piece in “the Athletic”. If you haven’t read some of her stuff, I’d highly recommend it. She’s knowledgeable, fair and a true Gooner.
In other words, even more evidence of the fact that we are on the verge of being a goal scoring machine. Auba is probably top 3 in Europe right now. Laca is not far behind. Pepe is one goal from exploding. Ceballos, Willock, Saka will all score goals. And then there’s the goalscoring machine that is Mustafi…………. Anyway you get my point. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Go Gooooooooners !!!!
Ramsey scored for Juve… saw it on YouTube, and i have to say, it choked me up a little ☹
Regardless of the usual doomsayers in the media, I’m very relaxed about Pepe, he came to us on the back of an exhausting ACN and is acclimatising to a new league and a new country.
When he scores it’ll be the first of many, I’m sure of that.
Let’s hope u are right mike
Thanks Mike, I am with Rocky on this that hoping an all out attack will cover other deficiencies in our game will not work for us. I don’t think it works for any top team.
I stand by my view that you dominate games from a solid base, i.e the defence but also (importantly in our case) the midfield in front. The midfield is not just responsible for spraying balls around and pass completion but also to screen the defence and control the game.
Even Guardiolas sides always seem to boast a particular midfielder or 2 who can control things in front of the back 4. I would suggest getting the defensive basis right even makes a team better in attack because of the freedom it allows other players to express, as we saw with us once Vieira and Petit did this.
It was an achilles heel under Arsene and now it seems Unai has the same issue. The failure or success in sorting this out, I feel, will determine UE’s tenure with us.
The pre-match is on it’s way …………..
New Post ……………………….