Emery on the Dublin performance and potential transfer business

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Unai Emery is pleased that his team showed character to score a late equaliser against Chelsea in Dublin last night, then hold their nerve in a penalty shoot-out to win the game.

The Gunners failed with spot kicks against Atletico Madrid last week, but this time they scored six out of six after Petr Cech saved from Loftus-Cheek, ensuring the win over our upcoming Premier League opponents.

Afterwards, the head coach believed his team did enough to get something from the game, having fashioned a number of good second half chances.

“We are very happy with the 90 minutes because I think the performance was getting better throughout the match after the first goal,” he said.

“But I think it’s also good because in this moment we need to stay together and react to these moments in the game, and then I think we controlled he match with possession, had good positioning on the pitch and created lots of chances which led to the goal.

“For that, I think the performance tonight was good and it will help us in our preparation for the start of the competition.”

The 46 year old was also asked about links again to Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, and any other potential transfer activity before the window closes on August 9th.

“At the moment I’m very happy with the players that are here with us,” he said. “We also have others still to come, like Nacho Monreal, Lucas and Xhaka, who will start to get minutes on Saturday.

“I am telling you that we’re speaking inside and we are OK. There is only a possibility that we sign someone if it’s a good opportunity.”

From talking to a few people in Dublin yesterday, we get the sense that there’s no great expectation of further incomings at this point, and any activity is likely to involve players departing the club.

Remember, if we want to buy we have to do so before August 9th, but we’re free to sell and loan players until the European deadlines expire at the end of the month.

Report: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea | Arsenal win 6-5 on penalties (inc. goals)

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Rob67
Rob67

I hadn’t realised , until the month turned, just how close the deadline is. The Ramsey situation is now critical. I don’t think he’ll sign, so he must be sold and we have barely a week to get a replacement in. The latter is key. It is surely unthinkable that he will either 1/ Be retained to run his contract down ; or – 2/ Sold post August 9th when we have no chance of getting a replacement.

But they have to act on this – like….. Now!

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

I don’t think the replacement is essential. We would have Xhaka, Torreira, Niles, Guendouzi, Elneny and Rowe (and Willock) for the two spots. Which should be enough at least until January. Cazorla will be missed, not Ramsey.

Glenn Sheasby
Glenn Sheasby

I don’t think any of those players can replace Ramsey’s dynamism and runs into the box.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

We don’t need to replace it, we just need to play differently and maybe not rely on a CMs runs into the box for goals.

I’d swap that for a tactically astute and dribbling CM and let the dynamic box-run player to be a new winger personally.

Aaron
Aaron

I always thought his dynamism was causing us to lose shape and concede than the goals he scored which helped the team.
We were always too open when Ramsey played in the midfield-two.

I wouldn’t mind Ramsey going off and us replacing with a pacy winger such as Zaha (affordable probably, and in Arsenal’s reach).
Obviously, I would prefer Ramsey extending his contract over all this but then…

santori
santori

Ramsey is replicated by Ozil and Mhki.

One reason why we likely consented to the aging Mhki was as a hedge against ozil and /or Ramsey leaving.

If should Ramsey leave, we can also funnel Iwobi deeper in the middle which I feel is his better position roaming and engaging from central position and taking on players from deep.

In which case we will need someone pacy left side who also has a bit of tekkers.

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

We might have numbers but certainly not quality (yet). Out of those names, which are objectively good enough to fight for a top4 spot let alone the title? Maybe Torreira, and even he is a new young player (he’s younger than Bellerin and just a year and a half older than AMN, for example). Top class replacement would be absolutely necessary if we have to sell Ramsey.

canon fodder
canon fodder

Are you sure that you’ve seen Ramsey play? None of the players you mentioned can replicate his box-to-box dynamism and goals

santori
santori

We don’t need box to box dynamisim.

It takes too long for Ramsey to travel box to box.

It effectively also means we are constantly with a player out of place to cover Granit or track attackers into our own box.

Part of the problem we had was bc we were using Ramsey.

When Flamini played alongside Ramsey, the two managed to keep ship against City and in a high pressure game against olympiakos in CL away. They were good for half a season without many of our better assets including Giroud and Alexis out.

Ironically it was when some of these assets returned to us second half of season that we struggled for goals.

Ramsey pushed forward to add threat and isolated the aging Flamini leaving us to some lobsided defeats notably against the pacy Liverpool.

Many fans of course blamed Flamini but when the celebrated Coquelin returned to fold, he and Rambo managed to concede 14 goals in 7 matches and the situation did not improve.

Wenger restricted Ramsey abit more with granit but we still see issues with tracking back bc Ramsey’s better instincts is to attack and frankly he is better in the Ozil position.

With Guendouzi and Torreira now, we have assets to cover deep midfield with Granit.

We do not play a box to box and should not bc it creates tactical confusion.

What we play is a rotating 3 in midfield. Think of a fidget spinner.

Torreira will likely act as base and either of Ozil and Granit will take turns to venture forward as a two to make it a 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-4-1 or one will drop with the Uruguayan to become a 4-2-3-1.

We have gone past the Ramsey box to box midfield IMO. He can still function in this system as described above but he will likely rotate in kind.

Pedant
Pedant

It was similar in previous seasons, a slow start. He needs to think how to avoid those. If hazard had been playing we would have been 2 or 3 down.

After the first 20 minutes or so, we did well and were definitely superior to them in the second half.

Optimistic Gooner
Optimistic Gooner

But then If all our players were back it could of been a totally different game. So you can’t use “if hazard was playing”

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Welbeck our game changer? By the way, why didn’t Unai list him on the players still to come and why Lucas who was already there ?

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Lucas Torreira, not Perez

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Bingo! You cant take anything from that game other then it was a good opportunity to garner match fitness and to get players back in the swing of things. Neither team was anything like I would expect a full strength game to be like.

Super Joshi

Handbrake.

89 was fine
89 was fine

With this new deadline coming up very soon and the Ramsey pressure building I imagine many clubs will be doing plenty of last minute (or even last seconds) business. The scramble for quality is ticking down. Would love it if Rambo signs but if not it just has to be sorted asap no more dithering.

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

I hope Torreira will bring some solidity into the team. But yesterday was too much of a deja vu as far as defensive frailties are concerned. We really need to sort that out.
And then there was Bellerin. Its really miraculous to think how good he was, and how shit he’s been for the past one season.

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

Every time we are down by a goal, and its the final minutes of the game, and we’re playing through him, and then he provides one of those nothing crosses down the right which just end up hitting the nearest defender and richochets into a counter-attack, I start to seriously question my life…

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

BOOM Dembele

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Not sure why this is down voted…I think he still has a lot to prove in spite of the ridiculous amount of money Barca paid for him, but he clearly does have quality and even though it seems improbable I do think that Arsenal are trying to get him on loan. I think he is “the opportunity” that Emery keeps talking about.

Devlin
Devlin

Cech
Lictsteiner, Sokratis,Mustafi,Monreal
Xhaka, Torreira
Henrik,Ozil,Iwobi
PEA

Looks like a really solid first 11 to me. Full of experience and ability. Even without Ramsey, our team still looks good considering the players that will be on the bench. I am truly excited about this team.

Momozemio
Momozemio

would rather put Lacazette there somewhere, instead of MK or Iwobi and rotate with Aubam…. The guy is clinical and has 1 or 2 revenge to take

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Why Iwobi instead of Laca? Don’t you like goals ? Plus Laca creates more opportunities than Iwobi.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Laca is a winger, you know, the role Iwobi plays?

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

*not a winger

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

“For that, I think the performance tonight was good and it will help us in our preparation for the start of the competition.”

I hope that Unai video-analyzes the shit out of that performance. There was a lot to improve.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

That’s exactly what he will do. People need to stop getting carried away about pre-season friendlies which are essentially just about fitness. The result only really matters to us fans. I have to reserve judgement on last night’s game as I haven’t watched it yet, but of the other two games I actually think our best performance was against Atleti. Yes we scored goals against PSG but there were times when too much of our play reminded me of the “old days”.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

The “old days” came back to be, again, in this last friendly.
‘Twas almost like traveling in a time capsule.
Same old same old

Jagger
Jagger

Have a read of 7amkickoff’s blog in which he touches on muscle memory and how hard it is to get out of bad habits. It seems that the Arsenal team are going through this process. Expect to see more of it.

Phil
Phil

I know it’s a squad game etc. but I’m struggling to figure out our best line-up and how Ramsey fits in. I don’t think he can be relied upon as part of a deep lying duo – so many of our issues last year came from Ramsey having deserted his position and exposing Xhaka. Yes Xhaka isn’t naturally a DM, but any player will struggle when being asked to cover the whole of the middle, with the same going for Torreira.

Based on that it makes sense to push Ramsey further up, but then you’ll have our two highest earners (if Rambo stays) competing for one spot, or have one of them playing out of position.

I do love the idea of having a much stronger squad and seeing much better quality on the bench. But add on top of it all the fact as others are saying Ramsey can’t be relied upon based on recent seasons to be a mainstay of the team throughout the year, I wonder if we are better off selling if he’s playing silly buggers.

Pete
Pete

I can’t help but agree. Where Ramsey has excelled for Wales has been as a number 10. If he’s going to play there then Ozil ends up out wide which seems a waste. I don’t think we have the money to have a £40mil player sat on the bench earning £250k p.w. I struggle enough to get my head around having two £50mil strikers competing for the same spot. Maybe if we were strong everywhere else we could afford the luxury of Ramsey on the bench but a £50mil central defender rather than a £20mil would have been very handy this summer.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

This is it. Emery needs to make a deicision in 2 areas;
1. Can’t play PEA and Lacca, so need to decide who rides bench.
2. Can’t accommodate Ramsey and Ozil, so one of them needs to go.

Phil
Phil

I know it doesn’t necessarily utilise his strengths to the full, but I personally hope we play both PEA and Lacca with PEA on the left (assuming we’re not going two up).

For me, if you play just one of them we don’t carry enough goal threat – we need a real threat out wide otherwise it’s too easy to defend against us. In the absence of a new arrival, I think we’re better off with both our main strikers playing…

Midgunner
Midgunner

I agree and I don’t see why they can’t play as a fluid front two, one of them rotating out to the left dragging centre backs out of position.

They both look incredibly sharp and both intelligent enough to play off each other. I disagree that it’s a choice of one or the other.

santori
santori

I don’t think we are dogmatic enough to say we are only going to adopt one type of formation.

Formation in itself is somewhat academic these days.

As you said it is fluid and we should have the ability to transition between say 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 or indeed 4-1-3-2

In which case there is option to play Lacazette and Aubemayang as was what Wenger was doing.

OR also drop two into a more restricted role at CM again should situation dictate which will likely mean Granit (or GUendouzi) dropping to help cover Torreira (likely first pick in deepest spot)

What we have not got in terms of capability yet is ability to go 4-3-3 with quick assets out wide to go more direct although we can certainly come close with Aubameyang and say Nelson on either flank.

The issue with Ramsey is he is better in an advance role closer to the box which is the Ozil role (Mhki is also best in this regard)

So we have triple redundancy as far as this capability is concern.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Wonder why we aren’t interested in Martial…Not saying we must buy him but there’s no indication we are even sniffing around his situation.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Martial doesn’t want to play for Mourinho anymore. In that situation, every player wants to play for Wenger. Martial is better than Welbeck and Iwobi and arguably Mikhi.

Homer
Homer

Interesting comment. And when I saw Martial is getting Mourinho’d at Manyoo, seems obvious to move for him. But, TBH, I don’t know his game well enough to know that he gives us something we don’t already have. I’ll take Auba and Laca over Martial any day of the week. So where does Martial play?

santori
santori

…he’s a good option.

I think it depends on United if they are ready to let go or if the decide to dig heels in.

And that depends if they have their eye on anyone as a replacement for wide or alternate position in lieu of Martial.

That in itself depends on market post say Mabppe or Neymar move.

Goonerink

Guendouzi played a blinder regardless of it being a friendly.

santori
santori

He’s good distrbuting form deep.

We now have Granit, Torreira and GUendouzi all able to put in accurate deep balls over the top.

BUT I’d caution getting over excited with Guendouzi. Still plenty to learn, agains, he will be caught out if he doesn’t simplify things sometimes when cornered at the back trying to work the ball out of defense.

And he needs to be less flimsy in challenges. One unsympathetic ref (you know who) is all it takes to have advantage over Guendouzi going to ground.

So yes good player but not suddenly world beater…not just yet.

Likely main pairing Granit- Torreira but considering they will have little time to prepare before season kick off, these good performances by Guendouzi puts him in good steed to compete.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Off Topic: Why didn’t we go for Shaqiri? Playing two from amongst him, Mkhi, Iwobi and Nelson, on the wings would have made our attack Rock solid.

santori
santori

I think we need someone on the left frankly.

Shaqiri is a solid buy but a bit of an aging asset an erratic.

Reiss looks great potential this season on the right but it would be foolish to simply be invested solely in him providing the wide capability on one side alone.

We could do with someone IMO like Hirving Lozano at PSV.

Miki mouse
Miki mouse

He’s 26 and was stokes best player last season with 8 goals and 8 assists he also looked very good pre season

food for thought
food for thought

we have a system where it’s 451 with Auba definitely cutting into the box with every opportunity, and the player on the right cutting in to play just behind the strikers to slice open the defence.
therefore, defensively our full backs are not going to get any protection from them.
We need to have 2 DMs. 1 sitting DM, and 1 DM to cover the flank to help the full back when the opposition is attacking through the flank.
the RM/AM will then drop to CM position together with the other CM to play high press game.

santori
santori

Its a question of balance.

2 DMs is too rigid and takes away from our attack.

The problem is we are set up for siege against teams that drop deeper.

We have to push the extra asset from midfield when trying to pick through which nominally means the Cbacks join the sitting DM (Guendouzi in this case) in providing the base.

What we need to innovate is how to catch the other side before they can organise in front of the box.

We don’t have the right asset for that yet so in many ways we are somewhat forced into a narrow diamond or 4-1-4-1 with Aubameyang joining Laca (which takes us back to the diamond and the fullbacks committed higher up for width)

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Great comeback but that first half hour does worry me. Hopefully just a bit of rust but I still think we miss a little something in midfield (hopefully just Torreira!)

santori
santori

Considering again its Chelsea with many of their top assets still out.

Too many people easily impressed by performances against the likes of Atletico and PSG both youth teams TBH.

The real test will be City with Sane-Mahrez-Sterling. A will be very different proposition.

All this gloating about Guendouzi and Smith-Rowe (talented as they are), will get grounded very quickly.

Even with Smith-Rowe, you only have to look at Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi to get a reality check.

Dave M
Dave M

“There is only a possibility that we sign someone if it’s a good opportunity.”
…if it is top top quality…

santori
santori

Top quality generally comes at end of window.

Law-Wenger did not wait till end of window bc they enjoyed it.

Ozil was signed late bc we had to wait on Bale’s transfer and Spurts. BUT softening was done early (Remembering many clubs could outbid us for Ozil). It affected our pursuit of Higuain which was cut early as Wenger wanted to be certain he had funds for Ozil late on.

Most people just don’t understand the market. It isn’t fixed price.

Which means everyone is waiting to see how some key players move at end of window (IF they move at all) – Neymar and Mbappe possibly Hazard will be issues. When they move (IF they do) they will effect prices down the line.

Lets also not forget there are 7 clubs at very least with higher spend power than us and it does not help we are also out of CL.

Juventus spent early with Cronaldo, Liverpool have bought a host of overly expensively players but may yet show appetite should say a Salah get sold to Madrid.

Bayern have aging if still effective wingers in Ribbery and Robben plus Coman who has yet to deliver.

City have paid for Mahrez, United may have appetite for 2 more if Mourinho is to be believed with Martial uncertain. PSG? Barca would be looking beyond the Messi era …

We have to bide time and see how the cards fall once the bigger teams have feasted.

It will give us good indication of who has been left still available on shelf.

We won’t be buying first tier but second tier emerging (for say left wing) with the likes of a Lozano at PSV or Thauvin or say Neres at Ajax will be slightly easier targets for us even against Spurts and their CL.

Hence options at the end of window. Always.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

Let’s revive Fellaini rumours! He runs into the box alright…

santori
santori

Fellaini may still pose a threat for us.

As seen by our zonal issues marking Rudiger, we may lack height in midfield.

Torreira is tidy on the ball but we will be one short defending against Fellaini type tactics.

Peterparker78
Peterparker78

I appreciate it’s only pre-season and the new manager getting used to new player and vice versa, however, with all the talk about pressing, actually demonstrated who to press for most of the game, and for that reason, most of our passess were mid-field to defence to keeper and keeper to defence to midfield. Midfield did not have many openings in frotn of them, again due to pressing and Chelsea were able to win the ball and turn-over quickly and effectlvely. We are trying to play high defensive line but without pressure on the ball in the midfield, you are going to get beaten by fast foward/winger sooner or later as the Penalty incident showed and also their winger created excellent opportunities fo Morata, which could have put the game to bed. Most our possession was useless in our own defensive third. While attacking, we still try to use short passess on the edge of the box, back and forth, with eventual interception, turn-over and break. As blog said, we are desperate for ball winner and I echo that plus we are desperate for fast winger(s).

One can only hope that these players will improve but compared to some of the other posts here for last two three weeks, I would rather keep my hopes in check. Another top 6 finish looking more realistic unless defence, mid-field and attack improve and gel quickly.

santori
santori

Pressing is NOTHING NEW.

We were also pressing high last season.

It is whether we are doing it correctly that is the issue. In that I think Emery is trying not to reinvent the wheel (wisely) at the moment and rather concentrating on ironing out details.

High press also means we are vulnerable behind the fullbacks. Indeed last season BOTH Monreal and Bellerin were caught high and out of position.

Part of this was due to the fact that they (Bellerin in particular) had to deploy wide to give us width. This is because of current assets and who we bought in and sold last January.

Most of the assets we had after Jan tended to pinch in – Jack, Ramsey, Mhkitaryan, Ozil and the diamond in midfield predicated a narrow field ahead.

We sold more natural and pacy players (with varying ability) in quick succession in Gnabry, Ox, Walcott and Alexis.

We are now bereft of this capability (bar maybe the still emerging Bellerin) and to some extent Iwobi (albeit he is again better coming in from deep and closer in)

Until Emery has a new asset that can afford him ability to make a dimensional change, much of the effort will be concentrated in getting basics right.

Clearly we still have issues.

The highline is another risky thing considering we lack Koscielny at the moment. Mustafi isnt the quickest but Papas isn’t exactly going to complement in that regard. Not our most inspired signing experience otherwise.

Particularly, if we continue similar tactical formation with high pressure on our fullbacks to make width higher up, we will be caught out by teams like City (Sane-Mahrez-Sterling) or Liverpool (Mane-Salah-Firmino)

High press game is nothing new. Media like to laud over Klopp and his rock and roll (70year old music) progressive Gherkinpressing but frankly its been done before by Pep at Barca so yawn.

What we really need to do IMO is not high pressing game but allow the ability for more dynamic transition when the ball is turned over in our half.

Like France at the Wcup, we should adopt the posture of a wound spring taking advantage of BOTH the quick asset of Aubameyang on apex (much like Henry) and the ability of Granit, Torreira or GUendouz to distribute directly form deep with long accurate balls bypassing their high press and into their rear areas behind their fullbacks.

In that, we can benefit from quick assets to release directly (much like Henry had Pires on the left)

We have somewhat of that jigsaw with the potential of Nelson on the right which could also aid us by not having to overcommit Bellerin whilst at the same time providing the Spaniard cover as well on the right should Hector decide to foray forward.

But the left remains barren and it would be unwise to bank our hopes on just the right and with an emerging talent alone.

That would be truly transformational to our game IMO.

Currently I see nothing really new and no real improvement beyond the imaginary by some who prefer to see things different to suit the fact it isn’t Wenger.

Still work in progress.

miki mouse
miki mouse

JESUS CHRIST ITS A FRIENDLY

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

I hear Alderweireld is for sale

santori
santori

Don’t think we will add in midfield.

Guendouzi has great potential. Love the way he moves forward to engage and his distribution is keen.

BUT he also has some work to do with decision making when isolated at the back and of course he needs to be more robust.

That said, we have yet to see the MAIN pairing in Granit and Torreira (likely against Lazio)

I don’t think Ramsey is the best in deep midfield anyway.IMO he is a better surrogate for Ozil.

Also there is of course Elneny and AMN to some extent.

And there is Iwobi who has been largely deployed left wing bc we lack a natural wid eplayer but who seems better when carrying the ball forward from deeper.

Midfield is sorted.

It is out wide where we could well do with a winger like the Chelsea kid that terrorised Bellerin.

With Aubameyang up front, we need someone with pace to complement him and turn defense to attack quicker, particularly with the long range passing assets of Granit, Torreira and GUendouzi able to deliver beyond a high press and in behind the gaps.

We will be of course KEENLY watching what happens with Neymar, Mbappe and the knock on effect thereafter. As is per usual, things happen late in the window ALWAYS for a reason.

santori
santori

Emery is carrying on where Wenger has left off.

He hasn’t introduced anything revolutionary like say Klopp and his Gherkin pressing (which the media laud as innovation but frankly has been pickled to death before with err Pep)

What Emery is doing is working out the details.

Clearly still a lot of work to be done as he tries to suss out how we perform with high line given assets on hand.

I think the trend in footy at the moment is gearing toward a 4-3-3.

In that the midfield 3 act like a fidget spinner with players rotating between two forward or two holding.

So when we commit two mids forward we have effectively a 4-1-4-1. Wenger deployed Aubameyang left side for lack of choice without Alexis which also afforded a 4-1-3-2 when/should Auba pinch in to join Laca in box to add numbers aganst packed defenses.

Emery is not going to rock the boat with tactical switch perhaps wisely but also bc of assets on hand.

What we do lack in 4-3-3 is a pure pace man who has skills to also take on and engage defenders without waiting for reinforcements when we break.

To some extent, Reiss Nelson represents an exciting emerging opportunity on Rwing to both add natural wide ability but also cover Bellerin (not commit him as much)

On the left, Auba and Iwobi can add function but I feel we are best off with Auba at apex and adding another speedy asset to complement him on the break the way Pires did with Henry.

The way most 4-3-3 work (See Chelsea and Sarri recently but also France) they act as a coiled spring absorbing pressure but ready break lose when the ball is immediately turned over.

No surprise that Emery has reinforced assets in Guendouzi and Torreira joining the already talented Granit in long ball distribution to bypass high pressing teams.

Work in progress.

santori
santori

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44845039

Coiled spring. How to beat City.

As to illustrate what I mean by quick transitions using our current assets with Torreira, Granit, or GUendouzi supplying but someone has to get on the end of it.