Arsene Wenger Is Helping Unai Emery Keep His Job

Arsene Wenger was probably Arsenal’s greatest ever manager (and certainly the best since Herbert Chapman).

And his influence on the club persists long after the man himself exited the building stage left, fiddling with the zipper on his puffer jacket.

Indeed I have a theory that the ghost of Arsene is currently playing a significant role in keeping Unai Emery secure in his position, even though our head coach has a recent record that’s patchier than Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant.

How so?

It’s all about psychological conditioning. Cast your mind back to the time when Bruce Rioch was let go as Arsenal manager and replaced by a man of whom few if any of us had heard.

It wasn’t “Arsene Who?” for long. In quick succession he became:

“Arsene Wow” (winning the Double in his second season).

Then “Arsene Knows” (as he piled success upon success with a team that was a joy to watch).

After that it was “Trust Arsene” (when the money dried up after the stadium move but he somehow kept us competitive for years while spending net zero on transfers).

Finally it was “Arsene Why?” (as the money taps started flowing again but the long awaited success in the Premier League did not).

His time at our club was like a marriage: a long-term relationship filled with love, togetherness, shared triumphs, crushing disappointments and, finally, a cooling of ardour and a parting of ways.

But the important thing in today’s context is not the emotions, but the sheer length of time the relationship lasted. As Arsene’s tenure rolled deep into its second decade (almost unprecedented in the modern game) we fans took great pride in the stability of our club.

Not for us the casual casting off of managers as if they were fashionable training shoes: one minute a must have accessory, the next dangling by their laces over a telephone cable on the Holloway Road. We could laugh at the shenanigans at clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and the N17 miscreants, not to mention Manchester United after Fergie’s retirement.

Those other clubs displayed characteristics we were glad not to share: disloyalty, capriciousness, impatience, ungratefulness, a type of mercenary shallowness. While the likes of Ancelotti, Rogers, Di Mateo, Hughes, Pellegrini, Hodgson, Redknapp, Hiddink and Benitez came and went through the revolving doors, Arsene Wenger remained a permanent fixture. And that’s something we were proud of (rightly so).

Many younger fans grew up knowing only the Arsenal of Arsene and for us older ones, the days of George Graham (and his playing style) seemed an age ago.

In psychology there is a concept of conditioned behaviour. When things have always been a certain way, we have a tendency to believe that that is how they will (and should) always be in the future. We have conditioned ourselves to close our minds to change.

in our case, we have become so used to being a club that sticks with managers through thick and thin that even now we are more reluctant than supporters at other clubs to call time on a head coach who is just not cutting the Colmans. Loyalty to our manager has become a virtue we’ve embraced and now we feel duty bound to embrace it further.

The serious doubts about Emery should really have started during and after the capitulation at the end of last season, but for most of us the instinct was to make excuses: “He hasn’t had a proper transfer window yet… these are not really his players… it’s his first season in a new league… he’s just beginning to get to grips with the language…”

They are all legitimate points, but they were influenced by the fact that we just don’t see ourselves as a club that might sack a manager after only a season. We would rather rationalise away obvious shortcomings than see our club behave in a way we have criticised at other clubs.

If Emery’s first season at Arsenal had been replicated at, let’s say, Chelsea or Manchester United, he would likely have been out on his shell-like in the summer. Just look at what has happened at Bayern Munich this week.

But that’s not the Arsenal way, so here he still is, making the same mistakes, continuing with the same brand of joyless and shapeless football, persevering with players in roles that don’t suit them (Granit Xhaka being Exhibit A).

The tide is beginning to turn against Emery among supporters now, although it’s clear that we are doing it with a heavy heart. We don’t want to be another Chelsea but, reluctantly, many of us are coming to the conclusion that we would rather change the habits of a (recent) lifetime than see things descend into a vicious spiral where results and performances continue to deteriorate, causing us to miss out on the top four and for our world class players to up sticks and leave.

I take no pleasure in saying that it’s probably time for change and time for a new head coach.

As I said in comments the other day, if the club sticks with Emery and he proves me wrong I’ll be all over that humble pie like Phil Dowd in a doughnut factory.

There is a French saying that goes “le plus ca change le plus c’est la meme chose.” It means “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” But like many things French, it’s all cockeyed. The real problem is that “le plus c’est le meme chose, le plus c’est le meme chose,” (“the more things stay the same, the more they stay the same”).

As another Frenchman once said: “At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory.”

The speaker was Arsene Wenger of course. And If he’s right, then the time for the club to act is fast approaching.



53 Responses to Arsene Wenger Is Helping Unai Emery Keep His Job

  1. RA says:

    A truly superb Post, Rocky, and even if we were not prepped by that Rasper Man, and being two weeks late in delivery to your avid audience, it has your fingerprints all over it, and that was clear from the start ….. you should really lick the strawberry jam off, before you get it all over my keyboard, you naughty boy!!

    The content matches my own views other than certain nuances, that are probably peculiar to me, myself, I.

    There is a slight suspicion he could eventually make a fist of the job, from a technical point of view, given oodles of time, which he does not have, and conversely, the role requires a big, bluff, confident, outgoing personality like all the biggest, best-ests managers have — but Embrey does not, and it is not something you can grow into — so poor old Unai will have to go — sooner than later.

    It is to be hoped that future Arsenal managers will have to undertake an appropriate personality test, such as the well known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, that is used in most big companies and is able to identify whether an applicant has a personality appropriate to the role.

    [It does not hurt 😳 but when reviewed later can be a little unsettling.]

  2. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Redders

    I felt sad writing that Post, but it’s an accurate reflection of where my thinking is at the moment.

    Funny you should mention Myers Briggs. My daughter (a layabout student) was analyzing the MB profiles of her family members yesterday. Apparently I’m an advocate. Or maybe it was an avocado, I can’t be sure.

    What are you?

  3. LB says:

    Superb read as always and much to agree on but there are one or two incy wincy things that I do see differently.

    Rather than becoming a club that has got so used to sticking with a manager, I would argue that for so many, for so long, in their lemming like determined desire to get rid of Wenger, continue with the same mindset and determination to go running off the cliff taking Emery with them.

    I am obviously not wedded to Emery in the same say as I was to Wenger, often joking that I have tied myself to the mast and am going down with the ship.

    In this case, I like to stand back and ask myself what would the board be thinking and my guess is that he is tasked with getting us into the top four and if he fails to do so then he will be asked to leave.

    The only caveat I would add to that is that for a man who is in that position he really is giving “youth a chance”.

    There has been a lot of Saka, there has been a lot of Willock, there has been a lot of Martinelli, trying to force this issue rather than taking a more tried and tested line up, of build everything around Ozil as he has reverted to now, suggests that Emery is looking more long term and here is the important bit; he must have run this past the board and got their approval which suggests that they see him as a longer term appointment that goes past top four or not this season.

    What does Emery have to do to turn this around?

    More later……………..

  4. JM says:

    Raul Sanllehi, in his time at FC Barcelona’s DoF, had seen through the likes of Rijkaard, Guardiola, Vilanova, Martino, Enrique and Valverde coming in and going out as the manager.

    Edu was also briefly Corinthians’s DoF for 5 years after his retirement from playing.

    Josh Kroenke is more active than his dad at the Arsenal’s board.

    They are not newbies in their roles and will surely do what is needed should the time comes for changes in our coaching staff.

  5. LB says:

    I have just read my own comment back and realise that I contradict myself in the last paragraph.

    It’s been interesting watching Arsenal fans reactions this season; the largest cry at the beginning of the season was “give youth a chance” which in my opinion Emery certainly has.

    This has now changed to bring back Ozil, which of course again is what happened against Wolves but you can’t really bring back Ozil without building a team around him which is also what happened against Wolves.

    So if Emery is now prioritising the tried and tested it suggests that closer things, like top four or else, are taking priority over the long term establishment of the up and coming players.

    I feel like a dog chasing my tail here.

  6. LB says:

    And when do you envisage that happening JM and what would be the circumstances?

  7. RA says:


    When I said above that the after-review could be a little unsettling, I was referring to myself.

    Some years ago, I took the test with the company I was then with, together with a whole bunch of other managers, and was eventually told (all the results were eventually made public within the group – with a little tweaking) – I was fascinated by the results revealed for other managers – they sounded ‘worthy’ and occasionally unexpected, but overall eye opening.

    When it was my turn, I was stunned at the result.
    It turned out I was an ‘ideas type’ or INFJ — categorised as a ‘counsellor type’ personality???

    Bollix — As I was a flipping accountant, what need did I have to be a ‘counsellor’? I had never ‘counselled’ anyone in my life as far as I knew.
    It turned out to be a bit more than that – thankfully – and two weeks later, I got the promotion I had wanted. 😳

    [I had a couple of goes at answering you, without being glib or too flippant — tho the latter made me laugh!! ]

  8. Sue says:

    Nice one, Rocky.
    I don’t want to become like the chavs and have a revolving door, where managers are concerned.. but I honestly can’t see things picking up from here! it seems we have a one way ticket to mid table mediocrity 😩

    Oh and Rocky, I loved the the Phil Dowd in a doughnut factory line 🤣🤣👍

  9. RA says:


    Your daughter may well be correct in possibly describing you as an avocado.

    Your Posts reflect you as an avocado, flavoursome, and very more-ish, but deep down the seed is a danger to teeth, as it is hard as rock, like your namesake.

    Why are avocados sometimes referred to as ‘testicles’ in the Americas? Perhaps we should n to go there? 😁

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, writing and observation of the highest calibre. I think all you say is correct, and that doesn’t necessarily exclude other opinions.

    Peaches made a very astute observation during the penalty shootout with pool. Klopp was his usual animated self, standing on the edge of his technical area, kicking every penalty with his players. By contrast, Unai had adopted the ‘self-cuddling’ posture we saw from Arsene in his latter years and stayed rooted to his seat. He would have been as involved as Klopp 9 months ago.

    Unai is a manager under siege. He’s not coping and as LB says, he’s gone as far as changing his own seemingly rigid ethos about work rate to give the Ozil route a chance … and look what happened. Ozil was good, but the performance (team performance) in the game was as dire as before.

    I think Unai is a man who now doubts himself, whose players doubt him and who has lost the support of many fans.

    I feel sorry for him, but when someone presents themselves by selling the idea of a specific game plan, and then abandons it you can only conclude that he’s not up to the job.

  11. JM says:

    LB, the 3 decision makers will decide on the when, 100%, which can be anytime between this month to the end of this season.

    Circumstances (my own opinions): the human, footballing and financial sides

    1. Players’ open/discreet mutiny (esp. one led by the captains)
    2. Deteriorating results that leave the club with a very difficult task (less than 50% chance) to reach CL next season. (e.g. languishing in the mid to lower half of EPL table come the new year after getting more draws and losses; being mathematically impossible to get Top 4; getting knock out of EL in the latter stages/ not winning EL etc).
    3. Our financial side is compromised/threatened by the footballing results (e.g. the main sponsorships renewal/reduction/termination, reducing crowd/near empty stadium sight for consecutive match days which are then televised world-wide etc). i.e. own club’s bottomline being hurt.

  12. VP of Oz says:

    I’m not one for tradition, living in the past or keeping things the same. I am all for change and the greater the change the better. So if a new coach is needed and Arsene is free, bring him back I say.

  13. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky, marvelous post. A Rocky classic.

    I agree that we have been somewhat conditioned by the long tenure of Wenger as being a club that does things a certain way but I think if you step back and look at it the Wenger and Fergie eras were unique and will likely never be repeated again at the highest level.

    Lets enjoy that period for what it was but I would surmise that even a successful managerial period from now on will likely only be for 5-6 seasons at best. As I said yesterday I just think the EPL has found out Emery and he wasn’t quite prepared for what was required.

    I can’t see any indication that he has other aces up his sleeve or a different approach in him so feel we will see what we are seeing till the end of the season. By that time I expect it may hurt us in areas like non attendance but possibly more importantly in key players like Laca and Auba deciding to move on.

    Sticking with Emery could of course see him turn it around, and none of us have crystal balls, but can we see this happening? I just think it is time to be pragmatic for all concerned, including Emery, and move on.

    Lets spare him the fall-out in the stadium and lets spare the club from being harmed by seasons end. I think Rasp’s feeling that he realises his game plan is not working and doesn’t know how to change it for the better is correct, and now his decisions look more desperate rather than measured and with a plan in mind.

    Giving someone else the remainder of this season to see what they can do could place us very strong for next season, or maybe not, there are no guarantees of course, but I don’t see any point in seeing out the season if it has patently gone the wrong way and without any evidence of the shoots of recovery.

  14. LB says:


    Thanks for answering my question: I note that none of your possibilities have happened and that is where I position myself, too many people acting like lemmings running towards the cliff edge before any one of the doomsday scenario that you list above have taken place.

    Naturally Kroenke, Sanllehi and Edu will make a decision on Emery’s future as and when it is needed, you could have added that it should be even easier for them to cut the knot as Emery was a Gazidis appointment and not one of theirs.

  15. GoonerB says:

    I find the comparisons between Emery and Wenger interesting, although I am unsure whether some are tongue in cheek so I am not digging anyone out on this. I guess it was inevitable if things weren’t working out so well with Emery that comparisons with Wenger would be made.

    I liked an analysis a blogger made a few years ago about the 3 trimesters of Arsene’s tenure.

    1997-2005, innovative, brilliant and trophy laden. He was at the top of his game and ahead of pretty much every other managers out there.

    2005-2013 the austerity years. I personally feel this is under-rated for the constraints he was under. Staying loyal to the club and keeping us in the top 4 and relevant was as big an achievement as the first trimester.

    2013-2018 the purse loosening period. We entered this hoping that Arsene, with more money and better players, would start to rebuild this club into serious challengers again. Alas it didn’t happen and for me, at least, I felt it became apparent that something of the modern football had bypassed the great man, with other coaches going past him, and he was missing certain modern practices.

    I am torn in this last period because I loved the F.A cup victories and they were a great way for him to finish his legacy, but a big part of me feels he was 3-4 years too long with us and we weren’t progressing as a club, and are still feeling the effects of that lack of progress today.

    My main point……if Emery isn’t the right coach for us now, it doesn’t automatically translate that Arsene is, and that we made a mistake in letting him go. We have been needing something better and more modern for at least 4-5 years now and that search may not just fall into place immediately.

    If I was to compare Emery and Wenger (in his last few seasons) then I would say that they both have a similar issue with getting balance in the side, playing players out of position, and that we look a collection of excellent individuals on paper that don’t function well as a unit. The difference is that Wenger allowed the freedom to attack so, while always lacking something, we always had a punchers chance in games due to our attacking play, while Emery’s current team looks very restricted.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Should one wait for a doomsday scenario to actually arrive LB, or should we look to try and avert that day, if the evidence and the balance of probabilities is strongly suggesting we are heading that way anyway?

  17. LB says:


    Firstly, thank you for being so succinct…………lol.

    A simple test can be applied in these situations and that is: what would a good win change?

    If we thump Leicester the lemmings will be no where to be found, it really is a simple as that.

    Time for change comes when a really good win changes nothing. And just because a few are not happy at the moment the board are not going to start changing the manager willy nilly.

    Too early GB, too early…………..

  18. RC78 says:

    Bayern likely to appoint their assistant coach as coach for the while year with… Wenger given a kind of tutor role until they can get Ajax coach next season… Other option is Heinckes to come back as the saviour

    But I tell you what I would love for us to approach Heinckes. His team that won the CL was just the most balanced and effective squad wining the CL in the last 10 years according to me. They had pace, guile, trickery and steel. If Heinckes could come in to replace Emery until the end of the year, I d be delighted and that would really give the board the time to appoint our next coach…

  19. Thank you Rocky for the post.

    I’m so torn between wanting to give Emery a bit more time (steeped in the past) and recognising what I see is a man out of tune with his players, out of tune with the supporters and unable, it seems, to find any of the clues needed to fix stuff.

    I’m sure that whatever he did to impress the board still plays out in his head and probably that’s the greatest problem for him ……… his analysis has failed him but that’s his only plan.

    In that regard he is not dissimilar to Arsene in his latter years and so that’s why I think the fans have jumped on his back so quickly …….. we’ve been down this road before 😦

    It needs fixing. I believe we have a better team in those players than we have seen recently.

  20. Takes a step back as she realises that GB and LB are about to go to battle 😆

  21. RockyLives says:

    Hardly a battle Peaches.

    More a duel of wits, logic and persuasive powers that calls to mind Cicero and Hortensius…

  22. LB says:

    You win Rocky, I am speechless, not something that happens often but to be put anywhere within a million miles of Cicero or Hortensius is an honour indeed.

  23. RC78 says:

    Before the Xmas window transfer:

    Wenger 2017/2018
    Opsina – Bellerin, Mustsafi, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, Xhaka – Oxlade, Ozil, Sanchez – Wellbeck

    Emery 2019/2020
    Leno – Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney – Douzi, Xhaka, Ceballos – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Are we better now?

  24. RC78 says:

    Wenger team also had Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Holding, Chambers, El Neny and Kolasinac

  25. GoonerB says:

    Haha LB, that is about as short and concise a comment you will ever see from yours truly. Anyway those Lemmings you can’t find are all to be found at the bottom of the cliff with me 😀

    To be fair you could of course be correct about it being too soon. There is probably a fine line between not applying knee jerk reactions and showing patience vs procrastinating too much.

    I once lauded Arsenal for being the patient club that saw the bigger picture but in recent years I feel we have crossed the line into procrastination. As Peaches says many fans will be more sensitised to current events from feeling we have already trodden this pathway so will be less inclined to drag things out again

    Rocky, I don’t know about those references you made but when it comes a debate I have always seen myself as more of a Roman statesman, although others think I am more like Donald Trump whose wall has just collapsed. Hope that helps

  26. RA says:

    Hi GB,

    — “I have always seen myself as more of a Roman statesman” — Plebeian or Patrician?

    I am not sure the blogger who lured you with the term ‘trimester’ was talking about pregnancy, or school, but his meaning re the three eras of Monsieur Wenger’s reign was fair enough, except I am unconvinced with the ‘purse loosening’ period.

    More money was released for the purchase of new players, but it was a relative pittance when compared with the likes of Manure, Man Citeh, Chelsea, and latterly Liverpuddle.

    The perennial Spanish top two, for example, have always been the ones to beat, but the special deal with the Spanish TV rights that poured far more money into their coffers, than all the others combined, give or take, makes all the difference to the quality of the players they have been able to buy.

    So too the above mentioned British clubs, whose owners lavished cash on them. They did breeze past us in competitions, but their coaches may not have been able to do so without that increased expenditure – so to refer to the coaches in those clubs overtaking Wenger is a little subjective, in my opinion.

    What stymied Wenger was the pressure he had been under for so many years, and the intolerance of some fans, including me, who were hungry for a return to the early Wenger years, when the only game in town was Manure and Arsenal.

    [Don’t know why I bothered you with that, but I do not feel comfortable with the rewriting of history, before it has even been allowed to grow old and becoming ‘history’.

    Undoubtedly the pressures on Arsene had grown too great, especially with the change of ownership as well. I still think he should have retired 5 years before he did for his own good, and that of the club, and the fans and for the protection of his legacy.]

    In fairness to Emery, and anyone who takes over from him, it is doubtful they would be able to resurrect the most fantastic era in Arsenal’s history, from the late 20th Century and early 21st Century, as a result of Arsene’s appointment, so Emery and whoever else are always doomed to be a short step away from failure, whatever they do.

    No club has a divine right to be the top dog in their own league, as Manure has been finding in the last few years, and that anticlimax will get to all the current pack leaders in due course. That’s life.

  27. LB says:

    Top comment RA.

  28. Sue says:

    Son’s red card was overturned!!!

  29. RA says:


    When you were comparing LB and GB to Cicero and Hortensius, did you mean Cicero’s debating with Quintus Hortalus and other senator/orators, where he maintained that philosophy was the greatest waste of time use of a man’s leisure time, which was recorded and became known as the Hortensius which was sadly lost/destroyed around the 6th Century.

    Now — let’s call LB – Cicero – for the sake of argument – because GB’s writings could easily be called the football Hortensius — (and I cannot quite remember what the Latin name for “the man known for blowing noxious pills down the throats of camels, hoping there was no regurgitation”) is. 😳

    It is a long time since I studied Latin history, so I bow to your greater knowledge if I am wrong — of course!

  30. RockyLives says:

    I believe Hortensius was the middle name of Hortalus, but it was the name he was known by.

    I would love to say I’m an expert in the classics, but I actually learned all this stuff from the Cicero novels by Robert Harris.

    They’re really very good. I think the first one is called Imperium.

  31. RockyLives says:

    “Too early, too early.”

    I like that you’re using this phrase to counter the arguments of we lemmings.

    I can’t really see things getting better, but that phrase sticks in my head and nags away at me.

    It is entirely possible that UE will turn things around if given enough time.

    Being inspired to question one’s own assumptions and positions is the great joy of an intelligent blog like this one.

  32. RA says:


    Quintus Hortensius Hortalus was the name of Cicero’s philosophy debater – spot on.

    I seem to recall that Cicero [LB] wrote “Hortensius” which was a record of the debate – named in honour of his friend Hortalus.

    But you are probably right – and I doth bow!! 😁

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    Good stuff RA having read through the comments I was about to give a similar response.

    For me it also goes a little further, Wengers job in his last couple of seasons being made harder by people above him signing players, his book is out this year and it will be fascinating to hear his side of the story without being in a position that led to him protecting the club from criticism or to not offend his current squad.

    I think he would have done anything to keep Cesc, Nasri and RvP but the club did not back him with money at the time.

    To come back to Rocky’s post I think Emery is struggling under the same circumstances, don’t get me wrong I like Tierney as a signing and maybe Pepe will come good, but it was a big shake up over summer, and on top of that they let Ramsey take more money elsewhere when they could have tried to get him on board early, Emery used him a lot at the end of last season which was a surprise considering he knew he was going and you’d expect him to build with what he had not what was leaving.

    What is my point, we seem to have drifted into this Director of Football/Technical Director setup, unfortunately that isn’t going to work in the EPL at the top, yes they have DoFs at Liverpool and City but I guarantee the manager has a say in those players.

    Although United are getting flak at least Ole is being left to build a side from youth, Klopp was similar at Pool, having a couple of seasons to get to a set formula.

    I don’t feel like Emery is getting that chance with lots of tinkering going on with the squad without his consent. And as LB says I’d like to see youth given a chance, but for me that means all youth, not Sokratis, Luiz, Xhaka and yes I’d even sell PEA, Laca and Ozil. If I thought we’d have a season of development. But it’s a mish mash and now that includes Ozil, to be honest the one player I would put in the side with willing youth runners around him. You can’t coach vision, but you can coach those around him to make runs that he can exploit, and to protect when necessary. And it’s far easier to coach youngsters than seasoned pros.

    We have also seen Emery has the ruthlessness to drop stars and start unknowns, so that means the ones who don’t get axes must be performing as he wants……and it is that point that I worry.

    End of rambling tuppenceworth/

  34. RA says:

    Hi GIE,

    Not at all a rambling!!

    Very interesting take on how Emery might get out of the current situation by going all out for youth, like the other clubs, but including Mesut as their mentor.

    As you know, I have always enjoyed hearing and agreeing with your views, and in addition, your background as a young guy involved with the youth set up, you have had football experiences which none of the rest of us have had.

    [I am keeping an eye on the youth set up, as I have a sneaky feeling that a young lad called George (son of GIE) might one day get an opportunity with Arsenal.]

    Hope so!! 😁

  35. LB says:

    Really enjoyed “Imperium”, has he had another published since?

  36. RockyLives says:

    Two other books in the trilogy LB:

    The second is Lustrum, the third Dictator.

    Volumes 2 and 3 are every bit as good as Volume 1.

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha RA, early indications are not positive, and to be honest when I see the way football is run these days I have to admit I am not bothered if he does or not and let them enjoy all sports (cycling is probably their best and endurance at that, 15 mile rides from 5 and 6 year old boys is pretty good going)

    I get it clubs look at the available talent pool and know they effectively have 11 years to turn a player from a 6 year old with natural ability to a pro. That isn’t that long so I understand why Norwich are scouting every youth game in the area at those ages looking for the gems and also why once in the Development setup they are no longer allowed to play elsewhere.

    But by the same token it saps the enjoyment, there are already Dad’s who think it is the sole aim for them to make their kid a professional footballer, I watch in silence and disbelief as I hear some of the things they say to their kids, my hope is Norwich do pick them up and at least then they would not be able to play for any other team (ie ours) they may be good players but unfortunately their Dad’s do not realise that by encouraging them to be greedy it is unlikely they will.

    Finally the worst thing about watching these kids pay football, is the influence of TV. When I grew up games on TV could be counted on one hand, nowadays its constant and we have Soccer AM.

    So one of the kids likes to shout “nuts” and several others do an awful lot of rolling around when they fall over after a tackle. I’m kind of glad G and H do not watch football all day

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    so PEA is the new captain….

  39. RockyLives says:

    That’s interesting GiE

    Smacks to me of the previous policy of making our best player captain in the hope it would stop them leaving… (Henry, Cesc, RVP).

  40. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think Rocky PEA was mentioned as one of the 4/5 vice captains previously, or may be he came second in the last vote?

    He doesn’t strike me as captain material, also doesn’t say a lot about Hectors future as I would have thought he as longest serving may be an option.

  41. RC78 says:

    So there you go – Xhaka not captain anymore. The club could have been quicker with this decision (there was no other way) and PEA as captain is fine…

    And meanwhile Oxlade who won the CL last year with Liverpool is hurting Genk again with another goal.

  42. The Chelsea v Ajax game is crazy …… now 3-4 Ajax down to 9 oops Chelsea have a 4th

  43. Oooooh VAR says No

  44. LBG says:

    Difficult to remember a time when we were making ourselves more of a laughing stock!!! Dont worry about naming a new Captain, especially one who is likely to leave in the near future if we carry on as we are. Sort out a playing style that suits the squads abilities and fits the Premier League, and do it quick or leave.

  45. RC78 says:

    I think the Chelsea game also shows the character of the team that keeps on fighting, similar to Lamps especially under the Mourinho years.

  46. RC78 says:

    LBG – I think the last time we were so exposed is maybe when we lost the final of a cup to Birmingham and lost 8-0 to Man Utd…

  47. LB says:

    Right that is my reading sorted for the near future. Thanks Rocky.

  48. Mike M says:

    Hello All !! Been inundated with work. Have tried to read as much as possible but I’m unable to make regular comments.
    Great Post Rocky. I think you may have nailed it. I mean Arsene’s last 2 years were always going to be the low benchmark and as big an Emery fan as I have been and tried to continue to be, I think he’s definitely dropping below that level now. Haven’t been able to read every comment but i do wonder, is this squad a lot better than Arsene’s last one? I’d come up with a resounding Yes. Defensively not much in it, but midfield and forwards for certain.
    So I’d say Emery’s definitely underachieving. Anyone else feel like the squads are better/worse/same??? Might be worth a vote???

  49. Gööner In Exile says:

    One thing I was going to say yesterday, it is not just the Arsène years that have seen us adopt a long term approach to managers.

    Over the last 100 years we have had 14 full time managers. In our history (since 1886) wiki lists 19 full time managers in total. Whilst Arsene’s reign is long in recent history by the same token his predecessor’s Rioch was the shortest. Only Graham’s misdemeanours lost him the job at Arsenal, despite the on pitch football he brought success and I don’t remember a discontented fan base although we only had The Gooner, She Wore and 1-0 Down for fan opinion and you had to part with your hard earned cash to read that. Any stick aimed at the players was normally in jest, imagine Private Eye for Arsenal without the agenda.

    The Board that appointed and removed Rioch after realising its mistake is long gone. The players didn’t like him, Wrighty our star at the time was ready to walk and Dein acted ruthlessly.

    Even though players walked under Arsene they mainly did it for money not because they didn’t want to play for the manager.

    I personally would like to think that managers can still have a long reign given the right backing,

  50. VP of Oz says:

    Is the squad better, yes
    underachieving within what context, are the teams we play against now better then the teams we played against 5 years ago, I would say yes.
    Yes we had the top 4 which has now expanded to the top 6. But the gap is now much smaller, teams are better funded with better coaches due to tv money.

    The wolves beat man city 2:0 at Man city
    Arsenal draw with Wolves at Arsenal

    Crystal Palace beat Man U 2:1 at Man U
    We draw against Crystal Palace 2:2 at Arsenal but VAR disallows us a goal and gives them a penalty.

    Pep has previously said how hard the epl is as every team is very difficult to play against. In fact there are some asking whether Pep Guardiola is experiencing his worst season yet as a professional manager. Thats crazy.

    Every team has gotten so much better just look at Leicester. So to compare against Arsene’s final years as a benchmark, you have to ask, are the calibre of the teams the same or are there a lot better teams now. Are we underacheiveing or is 5th and another long run towards Europa final about right.

    For sure Spuds are underachieving as is Man U, but are we?

    I still think we will finish top 4 at the expense of LFC but thats based on emotion.

    Is it time for a changing of the coach, my emotions say yes but that depends on who comes in to replace him. If its Freddie, then yes and If its Arteta then the season is over for me. But its up to the those who are closer to the team dynamics and the performance evaluation of the team and coach to make that decision. Thats Raul’s call. And at the moment, I trust Raul.

  51. Morning all

    we have a New Post …………..

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