Sunday, August 14, 2022

Emery explains subs, Ozil and Lacazette changes after Brighton draw

It would be fair to say that Unai Emery has generally been able to have a positive impact on games this season with his changes from the bench.

It would also be fair to say that what he did yesterday in the 1-1 draw at Brighton didn’t really work, and the manager spoke about the decisions he made after the game.

He withdrew Mesut Ozil at half-time, replacing him with Alex Iwobi, and on the German’s substitution at half-time he said, “It’s only tactical – we’ve changed the idea at half-time in other matches, with other players.

“Today I thought to do it with Mesut, but it’s only tactical – not another problem.”

With his team in need of a goal, replacing Alexandre Lacazette with Aaron Ramsey left a lot of people scratching their heads. On that Emery said, “I think also that Aaron Ramsey deserved to play, he deserved to take responsibility also because he wants to help us.

“I think Aaron Ramsey played a good match today in this moment.”

As for the lack of impact the changes made in general, he continued, “I wanted to control it better with the positioning on the pitch.

“But in the second half we couldn’t do our ideas on the pitch for imposing ourselves and this imposing positioning can give us more options in attacking moments to score. We created less chances in the second half.”

For more on yesterday’s game, read today’s Arseblog

Brighton 1-1 Arsenal: A bad day for Emery but this squad needs investment ASAP

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Lack of vocabulary & comprehension of the English language means everything he does is “tactical”

Up to recently, Emery’s subs have worked well, but yesterday seemed he decided subs on a roll of a dice. However, he is still working out who he can work with and who cannot. I’d have taken 5th place over Xmas, let’s hope we sign a defender in Jan and our injuries dont increase

Pat Rice and Beans

Maybe Unai is overthinking. Yesterday the team started in a 442 formation, changed to a 433 in the HT and changed again to 343 in the last 20 minutes. Ok with ‘tatical flexibility’, but sometimes a little pragmatism is useful – like keeping Laca on the pitch yesterday.

Besides a defender, I’d sign an attacking player. Mikhi is off till February and Iwobi is so inconsistent (his development has plateaued under Wenger or is he naturally inconsistent?)

Runcorn Gooner

Emery does what AW rarely did. Explain and tell what he is doing. He should be applauded for this approach whether it works or not.


I really like Emery, I like his transparency as he does try to explain some of the stuff he does, but yesterdays performance he didnt make the right decisions in my opinion. However I dont blame him for making the decisions that he made too? I dont blame him for taking off Ozil, because to a degree, he was at fault for their goal. He didnt track his man, and listen, I get the fact that he’s a top drawer player and there is no bigger Ozil fan than me. I think he is amazing when he’s on the ball,… Read more »

A Different George

I genuinely cannot understand how Ozil can be blamed for their goal. Primary responsibility: Lichsteiner went for the ball instead of marking his man–if you do that, you have to be certain. He not only failed to clear it, he effectively played a perfect pass to put an opponent clear on goal. Secondary responsibility: Guendouzi (not Ozil) had let his man get beyond him, though he had no way of knowing that Lichsteiner would provide such a perfect assist. Third-level responsibility: Leno could have made it more difficult to score; he probably should have come out earlier though, again, it… Read more »

Exactly. What was Ozil going to do when he got there anyway? This is really searching for straws or a straw man. My question would be, why not have Ozil take the corner kicks anyway if he’s so bad defensively.


I don’t quite agree with your “roll of dice sub”
The Ramsey for Laca sub makes some sense. Laca at that point wasn’t doing quite much, exhausted maybe. We needed someone who wouldn’t necessarily deplate the midfield yet still be a goal threat and I can’t think of anyone else other than the Welsh Jesus


I think he’s suffering from the injuries we have and an unbalanced squad. When we had welbeck and holding to call on the subs were more impactful because we didn’t have to change shape to accommodate subs or play people out of position. If he plays Ozil I think he’s accepted he has to play 10, if Ozil doesn’t play we have to change shape and the same applies to our defenders. Monreal and Lichtsteiner are not like for like replacements for Kolasinac and Bellerin. Looks to me like he’s trying to manage through the dysfunction and has done a… Read more »


Yeah he’s definitely doing a lot of shuffling around to make do whilst we have a fair few injuries. Bellerin is a huge miss, he has been such a huge player for us this season, we honestly dont look anywhere near as dangerous going forward without him.


The situation with our only 2 fit senior creative midfielders isn’t very good.
Hopefully we can sort it out and/or replace them.


Ramsey is not a creative player at all. He’s got more assists than Özil this season, yes, but what does it tell us? Nothing. He cannot create, can hardly link with others. We’ve got ONE creative player, but Signor Emery seems to think football doesn’t need creation. Good. Now he admits we missed creation in the second half. No kidding, Sherlock? So as i said: Ramsey is no creative player. His coach has just said the very same.


You’re a fucking moron.

Faisal Narrage

Are you now having a dig at Emery for the Ozil situation? As if there aren’t any valid points or issues with Ozil (such as him leaving his marker and leaving it to Guendouzi to track 2 players, leaving him hesitant as to which to track and thus give them the chance to score?)
Everyone needs to be defensivively aware. The days of “it’s my job to create, nothing more” is gone. If KDB and Aguero are good enough to put a shift in, then Ozil isn’t exempt.



Kwame Ampadu Down

‘He’s got more assists than Özil this season, yes, but what does it tell us? Nothing.’

Stats that show Ozil in a good light mean everything. Stats that don’t do so mean nothing.
We get it, cheers.


Yeah…it’s called Selective Amnesia

Don't boo Paul Davis

You’re right. Ramsey is very dynamic, he can score goals and be devastating for the opposition. But he is not a creative midfielder.


Depends what you mean by creative. Is he setting up between the D and the box orchestrating plays? Not really. But he’s a creative player, in that he often offers good, risky attacking choices when needed. Why I was really annoyed with him almost more than anyone yesterday.


I’m sure Ozil fans will tell you one good pass in 2 games is excellent:-)


Whatever about Ozil being replaced, I thought Rambo for Guendouzi was the obvious change, not for Lacazette, that’s for sure.
Being real here though, I have to give marks to Brighton……….played football, organised, and tactically well presented. On top of those qualities, they were not encouraged to be filthy fucks like we’ve seen recently.
We were leggy, bogged down and lacked a cutting edge.
Let’s get organised now for Saturday……….I fancy we’re gonna deliver a top performance.


I understand why people are saying this but I think we have to bare in mind our defence is extremely ropey and we ended up with Lichtsteiner at centre back, who looked suspect at fullback, and Koscielny is clearly struggling to get back to match fitness. I think he wanted to keep on Guendouzi in case Xhaka went to centre back again (not that I like that, but again, who else is there?) and the three man midfield was probably an attempt to protect our defence and grind out a result away from home. The onus is on the owners… Read more »


We don’t seem to have the killer instinct and let the momentum slip after the first goal.

We are wide open when winning a corner at the other end and it could have been a loss. I would work more on short corners, as nothing happens when we send it into the box.


Scored 10 goals from corners last season

Don't boo Paul Davis

Honestly, I fear more when we have a corner than when the opposition do. There was that stat on the telly yesterday that we haven’t let in a goal yet this season from a corner. Weird.


Yet the commentators/media kill us when we play a short corner and it ends up going back to the defence, even if we’re leading. If we went short on our corners yesterday we wouldn’t have given up control and exposed ourselves to their counters. That being said they’ve conceded a shedload from set pieces, so I can see why we went for it. I just don’t thing the game management and control is quite there. We looked panicked at 1-0 when we should’ve just passed them to death. All very easy to say in hindsight though. Would’ve probably been a… Read more »


The best header of the ball is Mustafi, he either gets his head on the ball or acts as a decoy, the opposition know he’s dangerous so they pay a lot of attention to him. Without him we are far weaker when corners are taken, if we are going to take short corners we need to move the ball faster, the opposition has all the time in the world to set up against us.


Not another problem? I guess this hasn’t been a tactical thing, which I guess we all knew it wasnt. He would have it be blind to ignore Mesut’s talent and the difference he makes to the side. He has racked up amazing stats in a league that apparently doesn’t suit him, so the physicality thing is out of the window. I hope they can all sort it out because we have the chance to do so much if everyone is pulling in the same direction. Europa League is up for grabs and if Ozil isn’t playing, our chances become pretty… Read more »


I want Auba and Laca both on the pitch at ALL times.

Whatever Auba loses in goal threat by being wide, we gain by having Laca’s fight and clinical finishing on board. Auba gives us the running in the channels, and Laca gives us the scrapping and the focal point for long balls.


I agree with this, however those guys need service, so cue Ozil and Ramsey. Also not starting with AMN at right back was a strange one for me, unless Emery has one eye against Liverpool. Either way we should have enough quality to beat teams like Brighton, Southampton etc. It’s still WIP, the transfer windows will be interesting to see who comes in and who goes goes….COYG..


Lichsteiner is really bad. I’ve not seen him play well yet, just getting by on being a nasty orrible cunt. Jenks has been better this season yet gets no look in. I’m not saying he’s the answer but better than lichsteiner. AMN needs to start being played centrally if we are to believe he is actually a central player.


I agree – what’s the problem with Jenks? He’s objectively faster, a better crosser, and better in the air than Licht. What are his faults – because they must be seen as terrible to Emery to want to start Lichtsteiner over him. Is he too nice?

Brendan from NY

Mostly agree but something is off with AMN, and not just his touch.


Lack of game time?


Not necessarily.. I believe it’s more than that.


My thought as well.


Did you not see Ainsley when he came on? He was pretty shocking


1 million percent agree!!!!!


“Auba and Laca both on the pitch at ALL times.” Indeed, BUT, say one of them has to come out because of injury. Then what? We have NO ONE on the bench to step up right now. Highlights the dire need for depth up front. Attacking-wise, we have some youth coming up who could bloom in the next year or two. You heard it here first: when Emile Smith Rowe comes back from injury, he is gonna grab this thing by the balls and work his way into regular rotation. He could be a key to our challenging for top… Read more »

Mick Malthouse

Emery simply doesn’t have the players he needs to play the brand of football he is after. He is instilling a style we need to play, but needs a high player turnover in the coming 18 months. I’d be surprised if we have any more than 5 of the current crop playing in 18 months.


What brand of footbal is he after?

He’s started matches with at least 5 different systems and then completely changed them all mid-game as well.

You can’t have too many complaints when you have players like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin, Sokratis, Monreal/Kolasinac, and a bunch of exciting youngsters in your team.

Yes, we lack a proper winger (even though Emery seems to prefer attacking wing backs anyway), and a centre back (due to injuries, though we loaned out Chambers, only god knows why), but our squad isn’t even nearly as bad as we want to believe.


I agree with Mick. I think he changed the system so often in big part just bacause of the squad. He never used in the last years 2 classic center-forwards in his teams. Sokratis is not bad but let’s be honest: not a VVD either. Ozil creative but unable to press. Ramsey is leaving. Koscielny was out injured. Guendouzi talented but is he at the level of Matic, Kanté, and co. – as this is the level top 4 fight demands. Elneny is so avarage. We got a lot of very good or talented players but not too many exceptional.… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

It is still a weaker squad though than the ones of the four clubs ahead of us & also Man Utd’s.


This is the actual problem. The best sides have a consistent system and generally change only over time. For example, if you look at the title winning sides, you can name the starting 11 and system. I think these consistent system changes smack of self-doubt and lack of trust in the available players, which is difficult to justify considering the quality of some of the players in the squad. Players and teams get stronger by playing together in the same set up over and over again. For example against Brighton, an obvious strategy would have been to find Ozil in… Read more »


Things that make you go hmmmm..

Faisal Narrage

Emery messed up. It happens. It’s no different to Klopp and Poch in their first season too (Pep at City too). We have to be patient, forgiving and trustworthy with Emery.

Because I can assure you the situation would’ve been the same for almost any manager.


There’s only one little difference between us Liverpool or City. We’re not going to go out on the market, support the manager and spend 70M for a centre back in addition to another 70M for a goalkeeper, and City can get whoever the hell they want anyway.


I am no Liverpool fan but they invested wisely what they got from Barcelona and City.

Coutinho, Sterling and Suarez were sold for silly money and who can blame them reinvesting. And they bought well indeed.

Arsenal have no one that other clubs want unlike our earlier days with Cesc and company, but that was a painful period keeping the vultures at bay.
Mane and Salah are the kind of transfers we need, pace and trickery from the wings and I am certain Unai and Sven and the rest and we’ll aware of this and working.

A Different George

You think they bought well with the money they got for Suarez?


Spending is not the problem itself. We spent a lot for example on Alexis and Özil. Maybe some bad management. Spend big on a keeper? I think alisson is a bit overhyped. But look at our past and present: Fab, Scze, Ospina are not benchwarmers at all! Ospina defended his decision, it is better play in CL against pool than sit on the bench against Qaraback. Hw is good enough for Napoli, the other one replaced Gianluigi… What were/ are we doing? And my personal favourite the flappy had great stata in relegation battles. Just spend some more ..


He seems a bit of a defensive coach. I don’t mind that. But withdrawing our most creative and attacking players in the second half against this mid table side and seemingly playing for a draw is unacceptable. It’s Brighton for ffs. They were attacking much more


I’m not too convinced about this – I’ve got a feeling we were better defensively under Wenger. Emery did say right up front that he prefers “5-4” to “1-0”, and I’m fine with that … as long as we score 5, which didn’t happen yesterday. We were toothless.


Good point. He did say that. But we still had 3 defensive midfielders on the pitch at the end of a match in which we should be aiming for 3 points.


Well hope you have learned from this Boss bro. Laca, Auba and Ozil on the pitch at all times. At all times. Or atleast till the 3 points is in the bag.
And that brighton goalie Ryan yapping on about us being there for the taken yesterday… CUNT.


We’re just not that good are we! The squad is light in quality from back to front

Godfrey Twatsloch

I don’t agree with that at all. We are light due to an abundance of injured players.


Don’t see why we can’t just have Ozil, Laca, Auba and Ramsey all on the pitch at the same time in either a diamond, a 4-3-3 or maybe even a 4-2-3-1. The thing with 3 at the back is that it only works if you actually have 3 centre backs to play! It’s his first season so he gets a pass but hoping for less nonsense tinkering (and political intrigue) and more playing our best attacking players from now on.


We don’t need both of them, though. We should have enough control with Xhaka, Guendouzi and Torreira with either Ozil/Rambo in front of them creating. The wingbacks should press on and two of the three CMs should hold/cover them. Kolas had a bad game yesterday and Lichtsteiner looked woefully off the pace. AMN doesn’t look up to speed due to lack of game time. That being said, with the 3 CMs on the pitch we really should be able to pass them to death after leading 1-0 and either coast to victory or wait patiently for openings… Not try to… Read more »


Playing Xhaka, Guendouzi and Torreira in a 3 could work as well tbf, and we were at our best yesterday when Xhaka stepped into midfield in the first half. But I think Guendouzi is still a bit raw, talented as he is, and I personally wouldn’t start him ahead of Ramsey. We had an issue at full/wing back yesterday as well and I think it’s down to confusion over the tactics. They didn’t look like they knew if we were meant to be playing with a back 3 or a back 4. And in the second half it looked like… Read more »


People have such short memories… that’s basically the approach to personnel we took under Wenger and always fell short. Emery should be applauded for trying to find balance and being more defensive is fine, but we need signings


I’d argue 4 points from Southampton, Burnley and Brighton is falling short! Agree that being more defensive is fine but playing Xhaka and Lichtsteiner in a back 3 is too much, surely.

ricky rick

Loose, what options does he have? Also if you play the 4 you mentioned, plus Kolasinac, plus Lichsteiner, plus Koscielny who is finding his way back that team is too offensively imbalanced. He has to weigh playing more offensive players while having little defensive foundation to build that on.


Could have just played a back 4 of Kola, Kos, Sokratis and AMN/Lichsteiner. And if Kos wasn’t fit or you really, desperately needed to play 3 CBs, play Elneny.

Also the way I mentioned would be a lot more defensively balanced than what we ended up seeing in the first half! Kolasinic and Lichsteiner pushed up as if we were playing with 3 at the back, but Xhaka kept joining the midfield, so we ended up with a back 2 at times.

ricky rick

Ok so your eleven is –> Laca, Auba, Ozil; Rambo, Xhaka, Torreira; Kola, Kos, Sokratis and AMN/Lichsteiner?

Ramsey has little discipline, right? Kola will always push up. Mesut is Mesut. Kos is still coming back. For a tough away game I’m not sure, for a home game maybe..


It’s on the attacking side for sure but it was Brighton FFS! No offence to them but c’mon! And Ramsey’s discipline issues, overstated as they are, should be covered by being in a midfield 3.

Godfrey Twatsloch

We got it wrong yesterday and now Emery is a bad manager?


We would’ve lost that under Big Weng last season…

Godfrey Twatsloch

Hence the question mark at the end of my question.


I was agreeing with you.


OK, pardon my tetchy reply.


There was a great deal of negativity towards Emery both on this website and elsewhere in the Arsenal on-line universe yesterday. I thought it was unfair. Yes, he got the substitutions wrong at Brighton, and yes, the performance was not good enough; but over the half-season Uni has, for me, done a pretty good job. The Spaniard has probably achieved the best he could with an injury-ravaged, ageing, mediocre squad of players. The causes of the problems we have at the club can be traced all the way across the Atlantic to the United States. We have an owner who… Read more »

Godfrey Twatsloch

I think we can trust the Spuds will do something spudsy to spud it all up for themselves. I wouldn’t worry too much about them. You know what they say about form is temporary and class is permanent. Well so is being a Spud. They always find a way to blow it. Not that that is an excuse for our own woes of course. I totally agree we need to do something about defence in this window. While I don’t agree with all you say here I tip my hat for avoiding the regular tirade of negativity I’m used to… Read more »


You can only rely on other teams collapsing for so long. One day that will change and they will actually stay up there while we wallow beneath, waiting for our problems to be fixed and waiting for other teams to collapse.

It’s not surprise that the only time we finished 2nd in recent years was when other teams were sh*t.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Err yeah, that’s what I said.

Irrational Gunner

When KSS puts some money in the club, write out a message and slip it into my crypt.


I wouldn’t mind Ozil not tracking back defensively if it meant he offered A LOT more going forward to counter his lack of defensive ability. However, he did not offer much yesterday in the first half, irrelevant of how poor we were in the second without him

Brendan from NY

Two moments yesterday where the ball was in midfield and we did well to keep possession only for Ozil to lose it, looked to the sky, and then started jogging back. My theory is that Emery is trying to coach that mentality out of Ozil and he was subbed for those reasons. As brilliant of a player as he is, how is it that he never learned how, in defensive transition, those seconds matter. Just like on an offensive transition, delay could stifle a counter attack, losing the ball in midfield and taking two seconds to sulk exposed the team… Read more »

Irrational Gunner

Good take on Ozil. This kind of falls under the old saying of, ” teaching old dogs new tricks.” It seems he is so attacked minded, that he does not want to expend the energy to try to get the ball back immediately after losing it, and that is the time when the opposition is most vulnerable to a counterattack from us also.

He has had Wenger behind him for years and now Emery is calling him out: “we need more for Ozil”. This “change” is obviously not going smoothly however!


He kept using the word “tactical”. Probably what he meant is that he is changing the team tactics. Obviously that changed tactics didnt work at all and fall flat and he admitted that. He went as far to say we didnt “create”. So is he confused or what??! He took out our creative player and he lamented that we didnt create. He only admitted that his changesdidnt get the desired outcome. It seems he doesnt know his players. I hope he learn fast!! But he didnt go far enough for me as ro admit ot was his mistake, hos fault… Read more »

Runcorn Gooner

Iwobi has gone downhill big style. He doesn’t seem to know what he is doing. I am also hoping that AMN awful cameo last night was a blip.

Parlour’s Pay Packet

I like that he realises we created fewer chances on the second half without Ozil.

Parlour’s Pay Packet



Against a team that bunkers deep, having subbed off Laca and Ozil, of course the chances we create are gonna be few and far.


Sorry ok…. We created NIL!!


Wait,you’re telling me that the goal is Ozil’s mistake?

As there is a group of fans who defends him all the time,there is also a group of fans who blames Ozil for everything

Sometimes Ozil’s impact is hardly visible while playing and you can see it only when he is substitued like was the case yesterday,even Emery admited it through lines.
He wasn’t great yesterday but his movement and pass selection is smart and it isn’t coincidence that our game stopped after substitution.


Emery Emery, careful how you treat Lacazette. Boy looks happier in training than in actual games because he knows you will yank him off first. Everytime.

SLC Gooner

I’m not sure that was an explanation. And I’m certainly willing to give Emery plenty of time. At least another year, as long as the bottom doesn’t fall out. And he has been put in a bad spot by injuries. With Welbeck injured, and Ozil, Ramsey and Miki all having various issues, we’ve really only got 2 senior scoring options. At this point we probably need Nketiah on the bench. And even worse on the defensive front. The injuries and Kos and Monreal getting old have really put him in a bad spot. That said, I still don’t give Emery… Read more »


This game Welbeck would have been handy. We really do miss Danny now.


Thinking out loud & not sure if this point has been made elsewhere but this squad has always been injury prone, so to what extent do we attribute the current injury problems to the new “go hard & fast” training regime we now have? In my opinion, we are as bad at the back as we have ever been & we are less creative than we have been in years. When I watch the team play, I don’t understand what we are trying to do. The tactical systems we use seem to be so fluid that they become chaotic; and… Read more »


We’ll never get the alternative match, with Özil and Lacazette kept on the pitch, but substituting both might have been a mistake, as Emery halfway admits. I still think his openness is admirable. Everybody make mistakes, and must indeed make them in order to progress. I have great confidence in the man.

And as statistics show: In order to win, you must have a good coach, but the decisive factor is spending. Sorry, Stan.


With memomories Of past years decline, I never expected to feel hope of CL places already this year, hats off still to Emery for his great work & achievements



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