The team line up looked more balanced and cohesive from the outset, both on paper and also in practice for large parts of the game. We looked to have a greater threat going forward and, although ultimately still well below where we need to be, seemed better than in previous games in defence.
We have allowed far poorer teams than Leicester a greater freedom of our penalty box. The best way I could describe it is that we were “in” that game for large parts of it. It felt the type of game that could have swung in our favour at certain points if we could have landed the first blow. There were some promising performances in Ozil, Bellerin and Aubameyeng.
Quite simply we lost another 3 points. We are now 9 points adrift of Leicester and Chelsea who don’t boast, in my opinion, as many good players as we do. Despite looking “in” the game for large parts of it there was always the feeling that we could capitulate at any moment if they landed the first blow…… That we would surrender control of the game and retreat deep for some Alamo style defending (and rely solely on quick counter-attacks) if the game started to turn against us……This all came to pass.
There were some players who didn’t look up to it. Sadly one of them was Guendouzi. He has been lauded as a future great but he also shows on many occasions that he is still very much a rough diamond. Right now he is not on the level of Maddison. If Douzi is to fulfil his potential, and not go the way of pretty much every promising youngster we have had over the last 6 years, then he needs the right environment and coaching.
Tactically Leicester seemed to have all the freedom in the world in the wide areas to play in a number of (unchallenged) dangerous balls across the face of our goal, particularly down our left. Conversely we seemed to have to work a lot harder to get the better of their full-backs, and always looked challenged in that area. Is this where you see the back 4 trump the back 3 or was it some other coaching issue?
More the “Ugly Truth” of it really, that we were once again bettered by a club that on paper (individual player for individual player) doesn’t have the same quality level as us. A club that doesn’t have the same pulling power or resources as us, but a club that looks significantly (not slightly) better than us. …not just in this individual game but across all games this season.
If some feel that Leicester are stronger on paper then a sobering thought should be that every one of their players would have been attainable for us. There are no £180m Kyllian Mbappes in there. Even in Maddison, their young crown jewel, you are looking at a player that is likely no more than we paid for Pepe.
Quite simply, Rogers looks to be a manager operating at a far superior level to Emery. I hear arguments about it is too early to judge Emery because he has only had a season and a half. Well Rogers has in a fraction of the time shown what you can do if you develop the team in the right direction with good coaching. Can we really say, at this stage, that we haven’t clicked because Emery’s development of the team is specifically time related and it hasn’t had long enough to come to fruition?
It is that more than anything that bothers me, that we don’t seem to be developing a style or identity as Rogers seems to be doing in far less time with Leicester. That said though, arguably we are developing a style and identity, but just the wrong one.
In the end Leicester just looked to have more confidence in their own ability. They looked slicker and had a greater belief in what they could do. That comes from progressive coaching and you can see that they are on an upward trajectory. Lampard seems to be doing similar at Chelsea.
Each Leicester player, and the team as a whole, are being improved. Our players individually are at best standing still, but in many cases regressing. The team as a whole certainly looks regressive in the last 6 months.
I am not really your man for individual ratings so you can use someone else’s. I will give a couple of alternative ratings as follows:
Team strength individually on paper:
Team strength collectively in real play (in this game alone):
Manager ratings this season:
Many prior games would have seen me mark our real play as a 5/10 so this is where I felt there was more about us in this game for large parts of it.
I would like to ask that we all play nicely today and have a healthy debate. There will be increasingly strong opinions at this juncture with our club, but we must respect each others views. More than that, the contrasting views and arguments are what makes this site the most interesting, so lets embrace that.
Finally I would like to put up an FGG comment from yesterday which very accurately reflects where I feel we are right now and have been in recent years:
He’s just not qualified for this job. Nothing personal, nothing about him as an individual, but the best he’s done in a job is EL football and we are striving for CL football in a very difficult league. Time to move on and fine someone who can do what we ask. The players look lost, the tactics are confusing, and the results are poor. We wasted years waiting for Wenger to re-find his old magic, let’s not make the same mistake with someone who’s never had that magic to begin with.
An outstanding report and I second your plea for cool heads in the comments.
Yesterday was in many ways our best Premier League performance since, probably, the Burnley game back in mid August. Yet the fact we were still so far short of our opponents is alarming.
Confidence is certainly one factor (as you allude to in your report). Leicester are brimming with it and it shows. We are bereft of it and that shows too.
We actually created some terrific moves (mostly in the first half) and were unlucky not to get the end product. Admittedly, Leicester were doing the same at the other end.
The most concerning thing is how we wilted after they went ahead (we had no attempt on goal after the 53rd minute).
If the Emery project is going to be allowed to continue I think we all have to just accept that this season is a write off (we’re heading for mid table at best) but that hopefully by the end of it there will be some green shoots of recovery to build on in 2020/21.
But that’s a tough ask for an impatient and frustrated fanbase…
I see that the BBC reporter David Ornstein says the club has no intention of sacking UE before next summer.
Ornstein is usually impeccably well-informed so we have to take that at face value.
And perhaps it means we should move on from the “time for a change” discussion and get a bit more granular about what our head coach can do to make things better, given that he’s clearly not going anywhere.
Good read, GB.
Ornstein is reporting that the board 100% back Unai…..
I am disappointed, as in the first half, I thought we played quite well.. and thought we may actually come away with something.. I don’t like predicting my team will lose you know, but in that 2nd half, Vardy did what he always does against us… game over…
I thought Chambers and Luiz did alright, other than that, not a great deal to harp on about…
Fred.. Good to see you’re still around!! 👍
Yea currently trying to get tickets for the December games
Hoping I can see at least one win when I visit
So we had to give ue a one season write off because he did not have his own players despite the fact that 5 new players were brought in at the start of that season.
We now must give him a second write off season because the other new players that have been brought in haven’t bedded down yet.
Do me a favour.
The only players who seem to be able to get some measure of what ue wants, on the assumption that he actually knows himself, are the youngsters who understand that they have to do what they are told if they are to progress at the club.
That explains why guendouzi who seems to do nothing constructive or meaningful despite all of his running around, seems to be first name on the team sheet every game. He is the most eager of them all to do what ue tells him.
The older, more experienced players, who have been around actually playing games for years are not so sold on the strategy, such as it is, hence the disjointed and pathetic displays week in an week out.
If ornstein is correct then the board have taken on the behaviour of lemmings.
Whilst the club deserves our support, if the people controlling it cannot see the wood for the trees and persist in destroying it, how can we support the destruction of something we feel so strongly about.
I doubt you’ll have any trouble getting tickets now, Fred 🤪 As for a win.. hmmm 🤔
Fantastic report, made even better given the circumstances. It looks like Emery will be hanging around, and I applaud the club for showing some class and sticking by the ethos of Arsenal and not just firing managers on a whim, however, it could prove a decision that puts us back another couple of years in the long run.
Big games usually swing on the first goal, so it’s not a real shock that we lost after conceding first. There was a lot to be positive about in the game, but the results at the moment are killing any confidence we may have got from the performance. RC will have been pleased no doubt to see the back 3 in action, and I have to admit that we looked better for it. Emery surely though needs to get Tierney and Bellerin in the same starting XI if he is to utilise it properly. Confidence is low right now and Leicester’s is high, and that negates any higher level of quality we may have had on the field. It’s back to basics for this side and if we are to salvage anything from the season then a few scrappy wins will be needed to regain some confidence. It was only a few weeks ago that we’d drawn at OT and we were talking about an easy run of fixtures…..how bad has that turned out!?
For me, our midfield is a mess. None of them have confidence in what they are doing, none of them are playing well, and none of them are experienced. We are relying on Geundouzi, Willock, Torreira and Xhaka. 2 are kids, 1 is in a personal mess, and the other has never settled. We don’t even have an older head to settle the others….or do we? Is it time for Emery to put Luiz in there and ask him to guide the others through these games? I don’t think it will happen, but it needs to.
Not very reassuring Sue at this point I think am hoping not to get tickets lol
Rocky, if Ornstein is right then my gut tells me we will be making a mistake. I think there may be a couple of misleading urban myths around this whole subject.
The first is that I don’t think we can constantly align ourselves with this idea that we are different and special because we are more patient with our managers and don’t make the knee jerk reactions of other clubs.
The Wenger era was exactly that, an era that is no longer here. It was unique and great but we are in a completely different environment now with a different set of rules and pits and traps. Not separating what is now from what we once knew, and were so comfortable with, I think carries a lot of danger with the potential to damage the club.
We can still be that club that doesn’t buy and seek instant gratification, that club that develops and fosters, but if that development and fostering is not happening, and not likely to happen, then we need to be more decisive, even if it means being the opposite to what we have become used to.
I also agree with FGG’s comment that we may be set back a couple of years if we wait till the end of the season. I think that will likely see Auba and Laca looking elsewhere, so rather than build on some green shoots with what we already have, it will be more like starting the rebulding of the squad from scratch again.
We have been in that viscious cycle for many years now. This feels like the moment to break that cycle and create an upward trajectory, not perpetuate the cycle of having to start again just when we are reaching the point of pushing on. As FGG also said yesterday it is nothing personal, just what is right for the club.
I also wonder whether this writing off a season is a bit of an urban myth. Rogers and Lampard seem to be dispelling that myth to some degree as have other managers before them. Some managers need more time with some clubs, some don’t, so I don’t feel there is a hard and fast rule on this.
What I do feel is that almost a year and a half in we should be seeing some positive direction, some form of upward trajectory. That doesn’t mean that a club might not still be a couple of seasons away from the ultimate peak of the development process, but at a certain point along the way some sort of positive direction and improvement should be seen.
I feel we are well past that point to see some sort of improvement, and we haven’t seen it, so I seriously question whether it is now just wishful thinking that more time will suddenly see Emery turn a corner with this side.
An absolute belter of a post-match Report/Post , GB, and I salute you, with a very manly kiss!! 😘
I do have a slight difference of opinion in one respect, and it is not a disagreement as such, just a feeling, which probably puts me in a minority of one.
I just cannot convince myself that man for man we have a better squad than Leicester.
Based on the £200m+ we lavished on Auba/Laca/Pepe, I suspect the accepted judgement is that big bucks = big players, but that does not seem to be borne out by recent performances, because all three, in my opinion, have been rubbish, despite the oleaginous praise given to them by desperately hopeful fans.
I am watching the Wolves v Villa game at the moment (what a brilliant goal from Wolves) and what strikes me is the non-stop movement of both teams, and I saw much the same watching a recording of the Chavs game this morning.
Contrast that with the Arsenal who play slowly, slowly from the ‘back’ —— ‘back’ in our case is defined as our own goal line —— and then back again, only to lose possession.
Even when we attack, it is like a cone passing inaccurately to another immobile motorway cone that just does not move, unless bumped into by another slightly more mobile cone, at which point we lose possession.
In short, we have an apparently inadequate coach, training(?) an inadequate squad.
I am not upset with either the coach or the players, because they are what they are —- no, it is a debilitating acceptance/resignation that is all encompassing, because neither the coach or the players are up for it.
And replacing the manager, part way thru the season, does not make sense, as any replacement, by other out of work managers may be a grave mistake — altho doing nothing — the normal default at Arsenal — could simply set the resurrection of our hopes back another year.
It is like watching a well loved friend/relative coming to the end of their life cycle — hard to bear, and the teary eyes are totally understandable.
Again, GB, a terrific Post and Kudos to you for managing to bring sense to what is going on.
Thanks GB, I only saw the highlights (lowlights) and no matter how you look at it, we were beaten by the better team on the day. Emery saying after (again!) that the plan was fine, it’s just that we didn’t take our chances is ridiculous.
The team and the manager are shot of confidence, they’re all looking around for someone to show them the way, show them what they’re doing wrong (and right) … just saying we didn’t take or chances is an answer that will not improve performance.
Since LB has cycled off into the sunset and LBG has taken a sabbatical for fear of sounding too negative, I’m loathe to say what I really think. I didn’t think it would be possible to feel as low as I did at the end of Arsene’s reign … but right now, I can’t see any way out of this underperforming rut other than to change the manager.
Well balanced write up GoonerB.
Yes, confidence is sometimes what separates the winners from the losers. Going for the win, not fearing failure if you don’t quite reach your goal, as opposed to not playing to lose.
Great interview yesterday in US with Steve Kerr, former basketball player and Michael Jordan’s (Arguably GOAT) teammate discussing what it was like playing with MJ. Kerr said he had a fear of failure his entire life, MJ told him we all fail, but the difference is forgetting about those failures and continue to believe you can make the next play. It changed Kerr’s life.
Does anyone on here really believe that Emery instills confidence or belief into his players with his ideas? Really?
From yesterday, not going to get into the player discussion, as it is way beyond individuals or systems- it is this coach not being the correct one for this bunch of players. And for me, I only saw 2 really exciting team passing situations where it could have resulted in a score. Not the disjointed nonsense I watched for the rest of the game, and everyone knows who was involved in those pass sequences.
Another site had great data again about misplaced passes everywhere along with the last game with over 520 passes and none completed in the 18 yard box. That data, along with shots conceded, our shots on goal, and an abysmal goal difference is not acceptable for a club like ours. It is like watching a long and laborious train wreck game after game, month after month. We are now 18 months in and sliding backwards-if the Arsenal lose next game we can be passed by 7 teams, everyone can do the math as to where that will put us in the table.
Does not matter who we play where, what formation we use because Emery’s plan is horrendous. Everything about his ideas are incorrect for all to see, and it is there if you are watching. From our pressing, playing out the back, player spacing, tight triangle passing with off the ball movement, team organisation, team fluidity from a defensive posture to an attacking one and vice versa. Emery’s shell game and smoke and mirrors may fool a few, but many fans can see it and those at the top do too, but those at the top do NOT want to accept failure in their choice of coach who is to lead the Arsenal.
What a surprise, Liverpool get away with a blatant handball!! The favouritism towards them is sickening… Anfield is certainly the new Old Trafford… just need Klopp time now!
Starting to feel like The Arsenal are just mimicking the UK economy a slow painful recession over a year and a half that no one at the top actually wants to admit is happening, preferring to blame other factors.
It sometimes takes time, noticeable in Ornsteins article was the reference to “negative external noise”….ie the fans and media. Again this is similar to the economy as that we hear a change in shopping habits is causing the decline of UK high streets.
Emery has the full support of the fans last season, his touch line antics showing his care and passion. We were all expecting to qualify for CL come the end of the season, especially given the run in and others results but we failed. Again we have him time/understanding prepared to give him another transfer window to strengthen and improve.
That was given new players arrived and it is hard to say that we have improved, in fact apart from a 3/4 month honeymoon period the football has become insipid and uninspiring.
That really is a top drawer report GB, very skilfully handled.
Ornstein says the board have no intention of moving Emery on before the end of the season.
Why wait until Ornstein says it, I have been doing so for months.
Before you all rush to get Rogers’ appendage in your mouths could you please form an orderly queue and while doing so consider this :
If Rogers had lost his two wing backs until now would he be in such a good position?
If Rogers had lost Tilemans for the best part of the season would he still be in such a good position?
If Rogers had lost Maddison for the early part of the season due to injury would he still be in such a good position?
Vardy gets an injury and that team go into a tail spin.
There was a horrible truth about the defensive part of our midfield yesterday and that is Guendozi and Torreira make Xhaka look good.
I was so disappointed in Guendouzi, I really expected him to step up.
Best case scenario is that Xhaka leaves in Jan and we buy and up grade on the lot of them.
“In the end Leicester just looked to have more confidence in their own ability. They looked slicker and had a greater belief in what they could do.” (GB)
This is so true and so sad.
I do not intend to defend Emeri anymore; he now has a fully fit squad and as such……………….
He needs to start proving the Lemmings wrong and throwing me a scrape every now and then; because I’m starving my arse off here.
I think he threw you a scrap yesterday, notwithstanding the result. We played well in parts (or at least better than we have been).
As for the MF – Gwen is a young player who is going to have good games and bad games. He’s had a few of both already this season.
I was more disappointed with Terrier. He just doesn’t seem to fit in any position as far as I can see and I’d be happy to see him go in January to be replaced by (hopefully) an upgrade.
Oh… and Bring Back Xhaka !
What Arsenal needs is a new coach… One that comes with the experience of winning games and has the credit that can inspire the players.
There r 4 available options: Enrique, Allegri, Mourinho and Heinkes.
Emery is lost and we re lost with him so it s better to end the story before Christmas
I don’t think we will be happy until we get an ex Arsenal player as coach.
I think Douzi is having a poor spell but I also think that Torreira needs to do more…
In the middle, Ndidi bossed us around. We need a player like him too. Chelsea has Kante, Liverpool has Fabinho, City has Fernsndinho, Utd has McTominay this season. We need this guy who s gonna be a pain, physical…I think Torreira could become this player… But if Xhaka goes, I hope we get Brozovic or SMS or Doucoure I dunno…
LB – then it has to be Arteta but his time at Arsenal didn’t really rhyme with glitter and titles… What I’d do is that I d bring in a top coach and ask him to work with Lehmann or Seaman, Campbell, Gilberto, Ljunberg and either Henry, Anelka or Wright.
And you within 3 years, one of them would become our main coach.
I wonder if we’ll become so bad that the fans start calling for Xhaka, Özil and Mustafi to be back in the starting line up!? Maybe that’s Emery’s plan…😂
Fgg – that s the long term plan…
Vitoria losing at home 0-2 to Braga
Ex-player or not, we need someone who can communicate well with the fans and get them involved. It’s something Koop doesn’t brilliantly at Liverpool (even though it’s cringe at times) and the Emirates needs to become a place where the players can feel make mistakes and still get cheered on. Results will obviously dictate the mood, but a manager who can connect with the fans will help this too.
fgg – fair point. Do you think Rodgers has this quality?
No way Terrier can be a midfield enforcer. He’s just too physically slight. Every game he gets brushed off the ball by opposition players far too easily (and not just by our opponents’ ‘hard men’).
Emery’s English is terrible, it certainly holds him back from connecting with the fans.
This is not meant to be showy offy but I speak three languages, the reason I say that is because I know that no matter how fluent I become in the other two foreign languages I will never better or more fluent than my ability to speak English.
My English, by the way, is North London council estate, I am never going to turn into Stephen Fry (for example) in my ability to speak Spanish or French because of my ability to articulate, or lack of it, in English.
Where I am coming from is that after the amount of time that Emery has been learning English with the incredibly high level of tuition he must receive, he remains poor because, I am guessing, he must be pretty rubbish at speaking his native language.
In brief, I am starting to suspect he might be a bit thick.
The next Ndidi/Kante/Gueye is Dennis Zakaria. He plays for Mondchengladbach and is a Swiss international. With the right coach, the guy will go far. Am just saying…
LB : In brief, I am starting to suspect he might be a bit thick.
Now that made me laugh!
But here’s a question do I recall a piece by you early in Emery’s tenure about his roots being Basque which if my poor knowledge recalls has its own language? Could that cause further confusion?
FGG : Klopp has the balls to question the Liverpool faithful early on in his reign before they were close to where they are now. The fans once again became their 12th man. Arsenal have never had that kind of support unconditional love and backing. It is always earned, we wait to see good things before we commit.
Graham did it by bringing through youth players and shipping out the old guard which brought title success, Wenger did it by giving us unenviable entertainment and titles.
If it weren’t for the bung GG would have remained in charge for longer, Rioch wouldn’t have happened and Wenger may never have arrived.
LB 😁 I loved that comment too about your conclusion that ‘Emery might be a bit thick’
RC has sent a post that proposes a few replacements for Emery. Knowing what we’ve been fed about the board backing him it might be too early to have that discussion …….. what do others think?
Maybe we should spend this week watching clips of Fever Pitch, 89 and Henry and other’s goals ……. where’s Chas when you need him?
If someone has taken the time to write a post Peaches I say stick it up there. No one really knows the true feelings on Emery behind the scenes anyway. All managers always have the “full support of the club” right up until 10 seconds after their departure is announced.
Even if it turns out not to be a relevant discussion immediately it probably will be by seasons end so we can chew the fat on it now
I also had a LOL moment with LB’s languages comment. So articulately argued then that get to the point summation 🙂
This really is my starting question for 10 and I can say with confidence that there is no way his ability to speak Basque will affect the quality of his Castilian (Spanish)
Paradoxically the Basques have a reputation of speaking Spanish grammatically to a higher standard than neighbouring autonomous regions.
Emerys era is proving a big disappointment. It will now be remembered in the annuls of our history as a time when those during there school days who were shit at languages went on to to suffer a very late post traumatic stress disorder.
I like the title “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Its funny how our demise follows that film so nicely and how the three said traits merge into one.
From memory, Eastwood’s Blondie the good, was also bad in that he committed armed robbery? However, he was an alright geezer because he only shot peoples hats off. This is like Emery dropping Ozil and months later bringing him back so they can commit a robbery of 3 points. Unfortunately, with there form they both end up losing and molested by some “haven’t seen a Hog in ages” Confederate soldiers.
“The Bad” was played by the late Lee Van Cleef, ironically named Angel Eyes. However, he wasn’t so bad? In one scene before he murders the husband he lets him watch as he makes love to his wife and only shoots there 12 year old son because he might go on to become an Estate Agent.
The Ugly, like Emerys Arsenal, encompasses all 3 traits perfectly. Tuco’s despicable crimes are many. Murder, robbery, extortion, and failure to get a point at Leicester to name a few, but he also felt sorry for his victims and was gutted with our beating at Anfield.
Emery is in serious trouble. If this continues he will have no choice but to immediately contact Sergio Leone.
Brilliant as always Terry.
I believe Emery wanted to sign Sergio Leone but the Board wouldn’t agree the price.
Really frustrating because we could have got him for a few dollars more…
hahaha Rocky. If Emery don’t sort it out soon I will be giving him a fistful of dollars to his boat.
To be fair I don’t overly blame Emery. The whole structure reeks of differing levels of incompetence, fear based management, inexperience, and historical neglect.
Terry you beauty!!! 😁😁
Don’t keep staying away so long — we need you!!
[And I forgive you for paraphrasing my comment about the ‘blame’ not resting with Xhaka and Unai alone — you are correct — others higher up the authority totem pole are not without sin!!! ]
Redders, great to hear from you. Keeping well?
Yes, the whole structure of the Club worries me. What happened to “victory through harmony”? If I was the owner I would sack everybody and reinstate Arsene. He would probably still try and win games 6-5 and make a mess of it, but at least I would still like the man. This current lot give me the creeps, and with me looking like the sort of person you think you may have spotted with the corner of your eye whilst visiting a cemetery, that’s saying something.
You are well on your way to convincing me!!!! 😜
Absentee owners always come at a great cost ….. to the fans. Bar stewards!!
Unfortunately, Terry, you caught me on my way out to dinner with a boy named Sue.
Come back soon — I could do with your humour to make me, and all the other AAers feel better — particularly with the ghouls in the cemetery. 😛
As a Gunner I was disappointed we didn’t appoint Rodgers but was Ok with Emery getting the job. Think there may have been a bit of underestimation of how good a coach he is and the honours he’s won. So the “ifs” in the post about Rodgers are hypothetical. The reality is we picked the wrong guy.
What did you think of Caglar Soyouncu? Arsenal were bet close to signing him for asking £15m, dwelt and he went to Leicester. Just saying..
He looks a fantastic player but I fear Soyuncu would never have made it at Arsenal. He played 6 times in the PL for Leicester last season whilst he developed his English and got used to the pace of the league. Unfortunately, our fans would’ve been ripping him to shreds before he’d shown his true quality. £19m and only 6 appearances…could you even imagine how he would’ve been treated?? I think Pepe was a month into his Arsenal career when questions started to be asked….
We have a New Post ……………