Is that as good as it is going to get Arsenal?

Well that was better, wasn’t it, sort of, a bit? The problem that some are going to have trouble coming to terms with, is today, this game, this team and the quality of football that they played is as good as it is going to get. Yes folks, that’s it, that is as high a standard of football as we are going to get to watch this season. Not sure?

Emery had use of his full squad, all fit, and for the first time this season was able to field his strongest side and were you impressed? It intrigues me as to what people envisage, for those who expected this side to evolve into vintage Arsenal circa 2004 I think they going to be very disappointed.

Selection wise it was probably better than anyone dared punt for: the defence is what it is; Bellerin is not clearly better than Chambers at the moment and anyone who thinks that Holding is better than Luiz right now needs to go a lie down in a dark room and reconsider. The midfield was a diamond with Guendouzi at the foot rather than Torreira as most expected but they both did perfectly well. Ozil was expected to play but the addition of another creative in Ceballos impressed me. The attack with Aubamayang, Lacazette and then Martinelli was, of course, right.

Wolves are good, they are really good in a non Liverpool, Man City kind of way and their organisation in defence and flair in attack is impressive and yet we found a way to get past that and put ourselves ahead. We were holding this lead reasonably well, not comfortably but well enough.

Now for as much as I have just praised Emery for his team selection I am going to do a one eighty and say that the man should be stood against a wall and shot for his substitutions. Not for the first: Martinelli for Lacazette, no problem there, in fact, it is debatable which of these two is better (at the moment anyway), although, I don’t think this will be the case by the end of the season.

No, the issue is the next substitution: Torreira is tiring so Wolves are finding their way through the middle, creating attacking opportunities easier than they should, something has to be done. Emery has a choice of the straight swap, Willock for Torreira, or Kolasinac ahead of Tierney and bring Ceballos back, or Chambers in the middle with Bellerin going out on the right but no, Emery swaps a key defensive player in Torreira for the most non defensive player available in the form of Saka; this young man offers nothing, rien, nada by way of defence and as soon as that change happened Wolves exploited the weakness on our left and scored exactly, exactly, exactly as Liverpool were able to do in the dying minutes in the week when defensively Saka was equally non-existent.

Emery must be playing a long game here; he must know that he will not survive this season if he fails to get us into the top four and so I can only guess that he wants to get Saka up to the level that he has in his mind’s eye which must be scoring match winning goals that, in turn, get us into the top four – very dangerous if that is the strategy.

On a positive note it did make a refreshing change not having to listen to people around me moaning about one player or another, we were scape goat free today, at least on the field, Emery caught a bit on the way out the ground and I obviously add to that a bit above. No VAR incidents as well, which was welcome, but aaaaaahhhh, we could have won this.

Leno: I haven’t seen the replay so I don’t know if he was at fault for the Wolves goal, made a fantastic save in the first half. 7

Chambers: with Bellerin breathing down his neck he seems to be upping his game every week. 8

Sokratis: regained his confidence after scoring last week, a bit flat-footed for their goal. 6

Luiz: I would say that his game was nigh on faultless. 10 and MOTM

Tierney: still finding his feet but has clearly increasing the over all collective pool of talent. 7

Guendouzi: filling in for Xhaka, seemingly in more ways than one, gave the ball away twice in quick succession in the beginning that almost gifted Wolves goals, made up for it as he settled, surely he has made that position his own now. 7

Ceballos: plateaued a bit; seems to have lost the goal scoring part of his game. 7

Ozil: in the same way that a cat chooses to live where he wants, Ozil seems to choose as to whether he fancy’s playing for Arsenal, glad he is in the mood right now because he has upped the over all quality by some distance. 8

Lacazette: keeping this position warm for Martinelli, the Brazilian’s close control is so much better. 7

Aubamayang: Auba did what Auba was supposed to do and score. 8

Subs

Martinelli: shame he didn’t start.

Saka: can someone tell me why this young man is playing in the EPL right now?

Kolasinac: happy earning his sqillions and coming on for a cameo here and a cameo there.

LB

76 Responses to Is that as good as it is going to get Arsenal?

  1. RC78 says:

    Hi LB – thanks for the post. You are very generous with the ratings but they make sense overall so not going to debate them. I am more intrigued by your first paragraph. I would say that our team this season is the most balanced team on paper we had since at least 4 or 5 years and that we have exciting talents and proven players in it. We also have our black sheeps but all teams do… So I really feel that the team can and should play better and that a lot of it comes down to the coach. The squad is on paper more able than Leicester and Chelsea to finish in the top 4 but somehow, Rodgers and Lamps are doing better with their squad. Lamps has even brought in young players in his starting XI and even Zouma is finally playing well for Chelsea…My point is that there is much more in the tank of our players and our team overall but somehow Emery has not found the key to make it all click yet… The question is to know whether he can and will find it or whether the problem in front of him is too much to solve.

    As for Ceballos, he is not an 8. He is a player that needs to play further up the pitch either as a 10 or as a 9 1/2.

    Last year Emery was praised for his subs but since February, he has not had much luck with them in the EPl.

    I know the board likes him but I think that having coaches like Allegri and Mourinho available may be tempting…

  2. Sue says:

    Thank you, LB… Enjoy your bike ride!
    It’s Unai’s Birthday today (Happy Birthday) …. there’s a lot of talk about Raul dining with Maureen… and with him being lined up to take over 😩😭 If we lose to Leicester, Unai will be sacked blah blah blah….
    I am annoyed that we didn’t hang on to that lead… but that seems to be the story of our season…now on to Wednesday and that funny time kick off… 15.50? Please can we have something to cheer about??

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    Ceballos should get a 4 for switching off and letting Mourinho get in behind him from a throw in and cross for the equaliser.

    I agree that this is as good as it gets…..with THIS manager. He seems incapable of getting the best from our players. There is far more in this side than we are seeing, both in terms of performance and results.

    Since beating Newcastle in April, our league results against sides OUTSIDE the top 6 have been WON 6 DRAWN 4 LOST 5. For a side that should be fighting for top 4, that is dreadful. Maybe you’re right LB, maybe that is our level now, but I look at our squad and see players who should be getting far better results than that. I’m not seeing a lack of effort like I was under Wenger at times, so the only conclusion I can make is that what the players are being asked to do is not conducive to getting good results in this league, and that points the finger at the manager.

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the match report LB. A lot to get our teeth into there!

    Knowing your work as I do, I realise your first para is designed to rattle the odd cage.

    I’m trying to remember when we last played well in the EPL … by well I mean with moments of magic and entertainment …. even under Arsene’s last couple of seasons we had games where we were walking on air afterwards.

    These days it’s just a relief if we don’t lose.

    We know we have some excellent players. The problem is we have a pretty poor team. The manager is responsible for creating the team … a team that gets the best out of the players and gives a structure and common understanding of what he wants to achieve. Unai is now failing in this endeavour week on week.

    I don’t blame the players. Unai doesn’t connect with them on a personal level and he doesn’t motivate or inspire them with his ethos … can anyone tell me exactly what that is?

    We should be beating a good Wolves side at home. It wasn’t down to missed chances by our strikers … their chance conversion is as good as any in the league. It is down to the fact that the ‘system’ doesn’t work with these players operating under this manager.

  5. RC78 says:

    @Rasp. Fully agree. Last year we had some fantastic games especially with Ramsey jn the team… There was the Tottenham game and other games as well but it did happen and gave us hope. Now we have strengthened with better players like Pepe, Luiz and Martinelli…and somehow I feel that we have regressed since last season and that players are playing with the handbrake or being played out of position… Have we regressed in 2019? That s my feeling since last February…
    Do we have a clear game plan?

    I can tell you from their time In France that Luiz, Douzi, Pepe, Auba and Laca are known to be competitive even during training sessions and get really annoyed if they lose. I am sure they are annoyed and hurting at the moment and I wish they would be more vocal with the coach becsuse all of them (except Douzi) have played in rather successful teams and the coach is a little mouse and believes in a team project so he won’t go against their position. It s time for them to speak up or time for the board to demand a change or make a change happen (Mourinho rumours surfacing…).

  6. LBG says:

    LB thank you for your game report. Better!?Strongest team!? Cannot add anything more constructive to Peaches’ comments during and after game.
    My thoughts are synthesized by a three lines of thought from someone on the way out yesterday,
    “EMERY has totally split the fans,
    He seems to have split the players with his tactics and communication,
    and we need someone we can trust
    to unite the Club again.”

  7. RA says:

    A good Post in the circumstances, LB,

    Yet another failure to play in a top four mode [fat chance] and resulting in the somehow inevitable inability to hang on to a lead.

    Well, I guess most of us were headless cockerels/chickens yesterday as we had to rely on TV highlights to inform us why we ended up drawing with a mid-table team and seemed fortunate not to lose given the shots Wolves were allowed to take.

    From what little I managed to see on TV highlights, we seemed the same lethargic, clueless team we have been for a long time now.

    It is absolutely pointless waving the fickle finger of blame, other than to say it starts at the top of the club with the Kronkes, and the management triumvirate who appointed the coach, and the coach who cannot motivate the team, all of these are culpable in terms of the failure to set out clear leadership standards at all levels, not least on how they should have responded to the Xhaka incident, which was poorly handled.

    Frankly, I do not blame Xhaka for being the type of person, or player he is, but Emery knew perfectly well what his strengths and weaknesses are, and to foolishly play him in a role that is not natural to him, and also to allow the players to pick a captain (or 5) by a popularity vote [pop vox] was extraordinary, so as LB says there can be no surprise that strange substitutions are made by the coach on a regular basis, or to insist on inexplicable strategies (or non-strategies) as evidenced by the headless chickens (yes that again) aimlessly running about, whenever the team plays another team with a bit of steel in their make-up.

    I have said before that I actually like Embury’d personality, including his gurning during a game, his unintelligible English, and his odd logic “I am unhappy with the result, but the tactics worked” or some such rubbish.

    It was said that Emery’s two year contract was based on him getting Arsenal back into the top 4, in the EPL, and making an impact in the Champions League — so I hope he is making plans for his future, because at the end of this season he will be on his way — if not sooner.

  8. RC78 says:

    If Luiz is our best CB, you have to look at his best season in the EPl and it was part of a back 3.

    If Laca and Auba are our best strikers, then you have to look at their best seasons… Together, they played well with Auba coming from the left behind Laca. Laca scored a lot in Lyon as a false 9 with Fekir behind him. Auba scores more from a central position but he needs to face the goal. Can’t we play in a set up with Pepe, Laca, Auba set up as a 2-1 with Pepe and Auba coming from behind Laca or in a 2-2 set up with Pepe, Ceba, playing behind Laca, Auba?

    Douzi is best as a B2B and Torreira is not bad as out DM. Why not just cement their place? Otherwise, play Chambers as your DM…

    The point is that we have some quality that needs to be exploited… And somehow it isn’t

  9. RA says:

    It was something of a coincidence that both the Arsenal and the Wolves’ goals came from perfectly innocent throw ins.

    I was happy we scored from our throw in, but it was outrageous to let in a goal from their throw in.
    Phftttt.

    From the throw, the ball went to a Wolves player, over the head of Sakha (marking no one) and behind Tierney (marking no one) having been played behind the negligent Ceballos (marking no one) – see the link there? – and the resultant dolly cross to a Wolves player standing between Chambers and Sok, and easy as you like, he out jumped Chambers,and it settled into the back of the net, with Leno having no chance of stopping it.

    It was really poor – Chambers and Sok to cut out the cross, another player in the box, and the above three attending (?) the throw in, and of course the keeper all back to stop the goal, (7 of them) with only their CF in the box.

    I cannot blame the Coach for that – he must be boiling with anger watching that crap.

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    When a manager has been at a club for 18 months and nobody knows what his style of play actually is, then that starts alarm bells ringing. The only thing I’ve gathered is that he wants ‘control’ but that doesn’t mean anything! You can have control through keeping the ball, or through having a really solid defence, or by being electric in attack and scoring bag fills of goals, but we don’t seem to do any of those things well enough. My guess is he wants control through possession, but at the same time he seems reluctant to actually give the players the freedom to do something with the ball when we have it, which just results in aimless possession.

  11. RC78 says:

    @fgg E X A C T L Y ->The alam bell is ringind loud and clear now. It started in the last trimester of last season but now, the bell cannot be ignored anymore.

    @RA – it is true that players are the ones on the field and at the moment, there are some gaps but should we rely on Ceballos to make 4 tackles (highest of the team) and interception or shall we rely on him to pass the ball forward effectively…Emery is really playing the long run game here with Ceballos but why? the guy is leaving in June…You want to play Ceballos, play him further up the pitch. Are all players playing where they perform the best? Emery says that the team is executing his tactics so…

  12. RC78 says:

    If Leicester wins today, R we really 6 points behind Chelsea and Leicester in the race for top 4 and only 3 pointd ahead of Utd?

    Am getting agitated lately… Gotta stop my double espressos

  13. Sue says:

    Happy Birthday to an absolute legend – the one and only Ian Wright, Wright, Wright 🥳😍🤩

  14. RA says:

    That is a good point RC, but I have been trying to see things in a more ‘neutral’ way, and it is difficult.

    Why do so many of us – all of us? – go through a form of psychological ecstasy when Arsenal beat the heck out of our competitors, especially when the win is against our geographically close rivals?

    The answer seems pretty easy – a win to a Gooner is a bit like a tasty zebra snack to a ravenously hungry lion with the correct bar code.

    The opposite is feeling distraught when we lose, pitching us into a helter skelter plummeting into the depths of despair which just ruins the day, not just for ourselves, but our closest friends and relatives too, who find us inconsolable and appallingly truculent and as difficult as a spotty teenager.

    Of course, I am only speaking for myself here, but the current state of affairs with the Arsenal has driven me to the point of taking a long break, because the current coach is sliding down a greasy slope towards the expiration of his time at Arsenal, and it is painful to watch.

    Hey-nonny-nonny! What can we do?

  15. RA says:

    Sue,

    I thought you were baking on a hot beach in Lanzarote, yet, here you are announcing birthdays willy nilly. 😎

  16. Sue says:

    I’m chilling by the pool, RA… it’s siesta time 😉

  17. Aaron says:

    LB, an accurate assessment of playing style, and player ratings would be correct, if we won, not just followed Emery’s microinstructions.

    Am pretty much done with this coach’s idea that we will not fully press, not really counter teams with electric pace and passing. It is a FRAUD.

    Stats- on pace to concede 52 goals and allow over 17 shots per game.

    Anyone watching that game would have thought Wolves were playing at home the 1st 10 minutes.

    Been watching many other teams play this year to fully gauge and measure our progress- we are not making any. The futbol is dire, the passing from the back predictable, the possession utilized to kill games off is non-existent. Entertainment value is 0!

    The rumours that moaninho taking over-ludicrous- F that guy forever. If the Arsenal hire him, then our team as we truly know it is really done and dusted.

    Said it before, Emery will not have Bel, Hold and a solidified team curated before he runs out of time.

    If the Arsenal fall flat next week, then we will have arrived- mid table mediocrity with NO flavor.

  18. RockyLives says:

    Thanks LB
    Happy cycling today.

    I didn’t see the game but I’m not really surprised by the result or yet another damning statistic of chances allowed to the opposition.

    I feel a change of head coach is inevitable sooner rather than later, but we’ll see.

    I agree with Redders that there is nothing to take joy from in any of this: not the performances, not the results, not the air of division and depression among the fans and certainly not the pain and struggles of an obviously decent man (Emery) trying to do a difficult job and finding he’s not really up to it.

  19. RC78 says:

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/11852968/unai-emery-is-done-at-arsenal-says-daily-mirror-chief-football-writer-john-cross

    Interesting article…It is indeed sad to see all the negativity about the coach but at the same time, he is not doing anything to reverse the opinion in his favour

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    The long term worry for me is that this idea of the top 6 always being City, Liverpool, United,Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs is coming to an end. If we are not very careful we will no longer be a team that can demand top 6 and it only takes a small drop off these days to find yourself mid table as sides like Wolves, Leicester and Everton have more than enough money to compete and more importantly are capable of keeping hold of their better players. If any side now can put together 1 or 2 good transfer windows then they can find themselves competing with us, United and Spurs. I don’t feel like Leicester this year will be a one off and I think they are showing that they are more than capable of disrupting that top area of the table. We will know more in May, but don’t be surprised to see different sides making an appearance in that top 6 in future seasons.

  21. RC78 says:

    @FGG – don’t forget West Ham…and this was my worry at the beginning of the year…

  22. RockyLives says:

    FGG
    Leaving aside all Arsenal concerns, a change in the top 6 would be good for the game. A change in the top 3 even better.

  23. Sue says:

    Thank you, Cenk Tosun 👍
    Really do feel for Andre Gomes 😟

  24. RC78 says:

    @Sue – horrible injury…I hope the guy recovers, he is a classy player. Really upsetting…a case off ackward events leading to his injury…No intention from Son to hurt him and then the collision with Aurier is also so not the result of foul play. Aurier and Son were so shook up 😦

  25. LB says:

    Ok, I have had a chance to see the replay of Wolves goal and Ceballos certainly does not cover himself in glory, not sure why I was blaming Saka quite as much as I did, maybe because he does not add to the overall defensive capability when you really need it. Mah, it has gone now.

    As for cycling, I stated at 5.30am got to Swiss cottage and there were two dead people in the front of a car that seems to have been hit head on, women crying, police arriving, not a good way to start the day.

    Anyway, I got to Cambridge and back in nine and a half hours and I can tell you it looks so much easier on Youtube than it is in reality.

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok no intention from Son to hurt him, and really like Son as a player. But simple question did he ever have a chance of getting the ball? I don’t think he did, so regardless of intent, he caused that injury, if he doesn’t make the tackle Gomes foot is still pointing where we all expect it to be.

    If an injury like that happens in a fair challenge we all accept it, but when the tackle is so late then I’m sorry I have little sympathy for Son.

    Gut wrenching injury and of course we have seen it happen to our players.

    On Arsenal…..please not Mourinho….anything but that! It gives us nothing no future no change.

    FGG many of us on this blog remember a time when Arsenal were not guaranteed top 6, weren’t even contenders. At the age of 3 (you are right I don’t remember) we beat Untied in FA Cup Final, then when I was 11 we won the Littlewoods Cup beating Liverpool, then we had the two league titles, then a few years of rubbish before winning two cups and the season after the ECWC. Then the Wenger years, no matter how they ended we still had a lot of years of success and competitiveness, but what we also had was entertaining football.

    Mourinho doesn’t bring that, and Emery isn’t providing it. If it is not entertaining and it’s not successful why would we go to watch? That’s a big stadium to be empty.

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB you are insane! 9 and a half hours?

  28. LB says:

    RC

    I like your optimism that you feel that there is a lot more to come from this team, the only way I can see that happening is for Pepe and Saka to get their acts together because without that what else is there?

    “Black sheeps” (RC)………..Bless………..

  29. LB says:

    GIE

    I must admit that there were a couple of moments in that nine and a half hours when I started questioning my sanity but right now I have a really satisfying sense of achievement.

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    Only a couple? I think I would have been questioning it every ten minutes from 6and a half on, but I guess at least by then you’d be on homeward straight.

  31. RockyLives says:

    LB
    No argument there: Maureen would be a disaster for Arsenal.

  32. RC78 says:

    Kovac is out of a job at Bayern Munich so Mourinho and Allegri are the favourite to replace him there although Bayern also really likes Ajax coach…Who will it be? I d love to see Mourinho in Bayern and Allegri come to us. Bayern coach is out because of the results (they are a few points behind the leader) and the way they are playing – the successful clubs take timely action. No guarantee it will work but still, it shows intent

  33. jjgsol says:

    I did not see the match or the highlights, so you have the advantage over me, but can you really be serious to give 7s and 8s, unless they are out of 20 and not 10?

    You are implying that the players played well and yet all the other reports that I have read say the exact opposite.

    IN a game where we had only 10 shots in all and Wolves had 25, 2 and one-half times more than we had and not one shot on target in the second half, how can you give the players 7s and 8s?

    Dare I suggest that in order not to be seen to jump on the “Emery must go” bandwagon you have placed your rose-tinted glasses on to describe what was not there?

    I have been a fan for nearly 60 years and have been through the bad and the very bad, but this is the first time that I find myself losing interest fast.

    WE are lunging from bad to worse and even worse and are in a spiral downwards to join the Watfords (rock bottom without a win and even we could not beat them).

    This man, no matter how nice he may be, should never have been given the job, and I suspect the only reason why he is still there is to save the blushes of the people who decided that he was the right man.

  34. Sue says:

    RC.. Talk about ruthless from Bayern! 4 points from the top.. and I think he won 3 trophies in the time he was there.. and he still got the heave ho! Although I did have a smirk on my face, when I saw they were battered 5-1!!

    I agree with you and hope Gomes recovers well, that really was grim….

  35. RC78 says:

    I think it will take Gomes at least 1 year probably 18 moinths before he can play football to a decent level….horrific injury

  36. jjgsol says:

    Has anyone yet said that Son is not that sort of player?

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    Jigsol…lots and of course he isn’t, there is an element of freak nature about it, his ankle got caught under him.

    But as I said above, if he doesn’t commit the foul where he had no chance to get the ball then the injury doesn’t happen.

    We too often excuse fouls like that as “doing the right thing” to take a booking for the team.

    If it happened in a fair tackle we would all agree it wasn’t anyone’s fault.

  38. LBG says:

    Matthew Syed in the Times sums up all that is Moaninho:-
    ” More generally, they should hire Mourinho if they want their Club to be placed in the shadow of one man’s vanity, an ego so grotesquely swollen that it seems to suck everything into its orbit, including any realistic hope’s that his clubs may have of long term success……if they want their Club with its proud history to be tarnished…..”

    However utterly confused Emery is, he is at least, I believe, an honest man! Dont even think about doing it Arsenal!!!!

  39. RC78 says:

    I d take Allegri any day over Mourinho but if the choice is between Vieira, Arteta and Mourinho. Am gonna have to go with Mourinho although I can’t stand the character – am just that disillusioned. Even the last few years I wasn’t as low…

  40. Rasp says:

    I don’t think Maureen is on our radar (god forbid) this story is being cooked up by the press. It may be necessary to let UE go early to salvage our top 4 hopes this season, but surely we wouldn’t rush into getting a replacement. I’m quite confident Freddie could have a Solskjar type effect if he stepped up …. but we shouldn’t be so quick to follow manu’s example and give him the job full time if that happens.

  41. RockyLives says:

    RC
    Maureen would leave us in ruins.
    I’d take Arteta or Paddy ahead of him any day of the week.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    As so often, I agree with every word. Much as I would take Arteta or Vieira, why not let Freddie take over for the interim.

  43. Rasp says:

    Morning Rocky, so far I haven’t had any reason to doubt venkatesham or Sanlehi (sp?) … let’s hope they already have contingency plans in place. I wonder if Josh Kroenke is a patient man?

  44. LB says:

    jjgsol

    How about this: Son is a dirty low life piece of despicable scum

    But he is not that kind of player………………he’s worse, I loath his diving antics.

  45. VP of Oz says:

    So Gomes wacks Son in the face and Son goes down at the 75min mark. Son then gets up and a min later gets him back. Why is no-one talking about this. It was deliberate.

  46. VP of Oz says:

    BTW, I only saw the parts of the video I wanted to see. I dont watch spud games as a rule. Spuds are just scum.

    Hey LB, I replied to your bike enquiries on the end of the previous post

  47. LBG says:

    Cooked up by Moaninho!

  48. Gooner4life says:

    I worry that so many players of promise are struggling to recover their form and whether it it is their failings or if the support of the manager in his tactical awareness is making progress difficult added to the lack of a cohesive midfield strategy that affords security when pressed but allows for creativity and incisiveness going forward
    Ghendouzi and Torreira are the obvious choices for me who must refine who presses forward and who stays. Cabellos was clearly at fault for not defending competently and with Ozil allowed more freedom his attacking contribution was not significant
    I am unsure now as to what our best options are but to allow opposition 25 shots or more in a game is asking for trouble
    Maybe a day in Europe may present new options or dilemnas

  49. RC78 says:

    Just for info:
    – Allegri likes to play in 4231 or 3421
    – Mourinho is also a fan of 4231 or 4321
    – Arteta is a fan of 4123

    Allegri and Mourinho would be able to accommodate Ozil. Arteta not so much.
    Mourinho and Allegri would play
    Auba, Ozil, Pepe – Laca
    Or Ceba or Willock instead of Ozil

    Under Mourinho, Douzi would be a B2B whereas under Allegri he d be a deep lying regista (like Pjanic at Juve). Both these coaches would want a strong DM next to Douzi.

    All coaches above would expect big contribution from their FBs.

    Arteta would maybe play Ceba as part of a midfield 3…

    In any case, these are the rumours for the coaches. What may happen is that Emery is out by the end of the month, Ljunberg steps in until the 20 December and by then the new coach will be appointed.

    Let s c.

  50. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB for the report. I still haven’t seen any highlights of the game and as you were there LB I will have to take your ratings as being correct. Part of me though wonders if you are having a cheeky bit of fun with them to get some responses 🙂

    They would seem a tad high for a team that has the players we have that drew 1-1 at home and was quite significantly bettered in shots on goal and shots on target by a club with far less resources and individual player quality.

    I have met a few others that went to the game and a couple of them looked genuinely crestfallen, not even angry. I think there is very little evidence that Emery will be able to get this right and I do think we are looking at a decent bloke and good manager that just can’t work out the EPL. I can’t see what there is that can help him at this stage. I think the argument about returning players significantly improving our performances is almost done now, and what else is there to cling onto that could make a difference?

    After the collapse at the end of last season I started this one thinking we will see what he can do by the end of the season, with the new players coming in and academy players coming through. I then down-graded that to we will see what he does by the new year, but realistically I don’t see the point in dragging this out any further.

    It is not healthy for the club, the players and the fans, and not healthy for Emery himself. He needs to find a club and level that suits him and we need to find someone who can get far more out of this talented squad. Dragging this out further will only hurt the club and all concerned including Emery himself.

    I would prefer someone with recent experience of the EPL, but really I want someone who can redevelop this club and its style again, as we once had with Wenger. We have lost that overthe last 6-7 years. We need someone dynamic modern and younger who can take this on as a project but at the same time have some immediate impact. I don’t think a temporary solution type manager is the right way to go.

    My choice, as it was pre Emery, is Arteta. There is a slight gamble in him not having been the number 1 before, but I feel that is trumped by the last 3 years experience he will have gained alongside the best manager of this modern generation. He has witnessed what it took to turn Sterling from raw quality into genuine world class, and we have many young players I think could benefit from that input.

    He has witnessed what it takes to get a team hitting near enough back to back 100 point seasons. He knows the EPL and Arsenal inside out and is fluent in English. He is also touted as a great tactician and will try and progress this club with an attacking style.

  51. GoonerB says:

    I think you also have to consider what the likely demands are of any manager. My gut feeling is that both Maureen and Allegri will place expensive demands on the club, that if not forthcoming will create disharmony.

    That is not to say we shouldn’t go reasonably big on certain players but there is a limit with us, and the technical development of what we have is more important than what we can or can’t get. A big spending stint could use up many future funds and if it doesn’t work then where does that leave any future manager?

    My feeling is that Arteta would want a couple of additions but would also be more keen on how he can progress what is already here. I don’t see any toys out of the pram moments with Arteta but can certainly see that with Maureen, as he has form with this, and I would be a bit worried regarding Allegri in this way as well.

  52. GoonerB says:

    Ok seen the highlights now. Had to fast forward all the way through MOTD as we were the last game. We have been dropping down this pecking order for a bit now. We used to dominate being one of the first games shown but this probably shows that we have become somewhat less relevant recently.

    They even ran out of time to analyse our game properly but Wrighty did manage to point out the ease with which they went through our midfield, but then we have all recognised this for eons ourselves. It seems the only person who doesn’t is the one who can do something about it.

    Anyway, I can’t see too many positives apart from the fact we gained a point when we probably should have lost 3-2. Wolves are good but we really shouldn’t be having consoling conversations about how good they and Palace are. These should be tough games that we statistically win more often than not.

  53. LBG says:

    GoonerB
    In total agreement with your measured assessment of Emery’s position especially 1259 para 5. I do believe he is doing his best but cannot fathom out the demands of the Premier League, the methodology to create his style of team (a style that, by the way, will not bring the solidity we need at the moment!) with the talent he has in the squad. Because he HAS talent, but few seem convinced of what he is trying to get them to do.
    I dont want another foreign manager, but would be totally in favour of any body who follows RC’s 4231 ( as long as it’s not Moaninho). Then pick the right defenders, and teach the two to hold and snuff out the multitude of danger that comes flooding through the middle at present directly towards, slow, backing off, “leave it to you”,second rate CBs!

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t care where the manager is from (Nationality), just get the team playing to full potential of their ability and with some semblance of shape.

    Oh and preferably playing attacking football, I’d rather be camped in their half than defending in ours. If we are going to be boring it better be successful!

    Should he/she(may as well throw it out there) have Arsenal history, we have seen it fail and succeed in both situations, so I don’t really care.

  55. LBG says:

    With the attacking forwards we have to choose from and Mesut to feed them we will not be boring or defensive, but basketball ” we will attack and then we’ll let you attack” is not a system I want us to play, and is not The Arsenal way.

  56. Rasp says:

    Hi guys … I cocked up!

    We had an excellent post in drafts that I had forgotten from Rocky that was written last week and is relevant to today’s discussion – so you may want to save some of your observations (or better still duplicate them) on that post which will be published tomorrow. Apologies to you all.

  57. GoonerB says:

    Well put it up there tonight and redeem yourself then number 2 🙂 ……sorry Rasp but Peaches has to be number 1 mostly because I am more scared of her than I am of you 🙂

  58. GoonerB says:

    LBG, got an interesting story for you regarding something that happened with me today that may resonate with you and a couple of other bloggers that have championed us trying a certain something (does that make any sense?), but will first wait to hear if number 2 intends to put up the post now or in the morning.

  59. Rasp says:

    “I am not a number, I am a free man” … name that 60’s TV series … ?

  60. GoonerB says:

    The one with the chap being chased around by the big balloon? Was it the prisoner?

    Anyway, number 2 what is the answer to the question “when is Rocky’s post going up”.

  61. VCC says:

    Rasp 5:38……..Would he be welcome in Wormwood Scrubs by any chance? 😉

  62. RockyLives says:

    Very clever VCC

    Be seeing you…

  63. RA says:

    All this chat about the Master, Rocky DooDah, and no mention of the fact Arsenal have sacked about 9 youth development players — apparently at the behest of lanky Per.

    Arsenal want to re-do the youth set up.

    And here I was thinking the youth teams had been pretty successful; and Sue was dead keen on them — rubbish at football, but Sue was happy!! 😍

  64. Rasp says:

    You clever ‘ Dicks’ have all sussed it …. I’ve been there … and met Sir William Clough Ellis

  65. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    I’ve been there too. No giant balloons though. And I didn’t meet Sir Deadly Doug Brian Clough Ellis either…

    Redders
    Very interesting about the (reported) shake-up in the youth set-up. Given that we have seen the likes of Saka, Nelson, AMN, Willock, Nketieh et al emerging into the first team set-up it doesn’t seem like they’ve been doing too much wrong.

    I wonder if it’s a clash of personalities. Apparently (the sun will come to) Morrow was on the shortlist for the top job but lost out to the BFG. Maybe he (Morrow) has been less than gruntled since being overlooked?

    No idea, just speculating…

  66. RA says:

    Rock of Ages,

    Being a gruntled Morrow works for me — as for the other 8 — maybe they referred to Per as the Big Effing German once too often?

  67. RA says:

    And ……. What about Saliba? Not worth a mention on AA it seems.

    However, Real Madrid think he is worth a punt, allegedly, and are preparing a ‘big’ bid to buy him from us before he even makes it onto the Emms pitch.

    Perhaps bollix, but it speaks highly of Saliba if true. Makes me want to put two fingers up to Real, even more.

    Worth a mention? 😏

  68. RockyLives says:

    Redders

    They all sound worth a mention to me!

    Isn’t it about time we had another Redders Post?

  69. Rasp says:

    Rocky, did you buy any Portmeirion pottery as a memento?

  70. RockyLives says:

    Of course…

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Premier League said: “The red card for Son was for endangering the safety of a player, which happened as a consequence of his initial challenge.”

    Pochettino : “It was clear it was never the intention of Son to create the problem that happened afterwards. It is unbelievable to see a red card”

    Not sure Spuds have a leg to stand on with their appeal.

    What was clear…Son aimed to bring down the player unfairly, it was from behind and therefore Gomes had no opportunity to steel himself for the challenge (whether that be hurdling, bracing etc) therefore Son’s FOUL endangered his safety, and I think it was reckless to boot.

    I keep going back to the basics was there a genuine attempt to play the ball, and I think the answer is no, Son only aimed to play the man so deserves the red.

  72. Rasp says:

    Yet another example of the totts lack of class Their player (after a few minutes earlier receiving a tough tackle from Gomes) goes in recklessly from behind and Gomes suffers a possibly career ending injury … and they appeal the red card? there is no way that will be overturned … what they should do is increase it to a 5 match ban … utterly insensitive.

  73. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………..

  74. VP of Oz says:

    Son should be out as long as Gomes is out, that is fair.

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