Emery motivated by top four mission despite disappointment

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Unai Emery refuses to be downhearted by his side’s stuttering form while Arsenal remain within touching distance of their Premier League top-four rivals.

While a 1-1 draw at Brighton temporarily lifts the Gunners into the Champions League places, the nature of the performance at the AMEX Stadium and the dropping of two more points frustrated players and supporters alike.

Emery insists that the best way forward is to maintain perspective and to keep taking each game as they come, the next of which takes him to Anfield to play league leaders Liverpool.

“I think for us, it’s best to think of the next match,” he told his post-game press conference.

“Also to continue working in our process. It’s very important for us to go into the Champions League, but we need to do one process, to do one more established team and to be stronger.

“We also need time to do that. But football is the next match and we are going to think of Saturday in Liverpool.

“It’s a big match, but we are here and we are also close for the top four and we can continue in our way, thinking match-to-match and thinking also that we can do better than today.

“Matches like today or like Southampton, where we create more chances than the opposition, we could finish better in these moments and this is our work.”

Having watched his side concede in the league for the 25th time – on this occasion Jurgen Locadia taking advantage of a terribly mistimed header by Stephan Lichtsteiner to equalise for Brighton – tightening up the defence remains very high up Emery’s list of priorities.

Injuries are making his life difficult, but he maintains that his motivation is high while a Champions League finish remains within their grasp.

“It’s football,” he said of Lichtsteiner’s mistake. “We are in our process and we are improving. We are wanting to take one stability in offence and defence.

“It’s a difficult moment for us because we have injuries, but it’s an opportunity for other players and I want also to look at other players playing in the big games, like today, and on Saturday against Liverpool.

“It’s closing one option for an injured player, but it’s opening [the door] for another play to come with us and play. We need that, and also to use different tactics and systems, because we can change players’ positions.

“We finished with Xhaka playing at centre back to help Lichtsteiner and give Ainsley more chances to go forward in more attacking moments, because his quality is more for that. But our process… I think this draw is not the best but also not the worst.

“We have another match on Saturday. We’re thinking about that, about recovering the players to be OK and to look at how Koscielny is, how Mustafi is, if he’s OK for Saturday. While we are near the top four, I can have a big motivation.

“Today is for me very important. We’ve spoke about our motivation and our progression [the three points would have been very important] – but football is like that. In 90 minutes, we drew and we need to [think] for Saturday.”

 

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Rich
Rich

I bet the same people who are complaining about our subs today, are the same ones who complained about Arsene’s rigid approach to changing things around.

We’ve not got a great squad of players, and options in certain areas are extremely weak, if Emery gets top4? He’s played a blinder, if we fail but end up closer than last season? Then it’s progress

Devlin
Devlin

If we lose to Liverpool, we will be 1 point better than last season at the same stage, with really boring football and having spent 70 mil.

His context is that he is new, to the club, the players, the league and the football culture. The players are also new to each other due to the massive amount of player turnover that has happened over the last few seadons. But Sarri is also new and even if we have players of a lower quality, you can see a semblance of a plan defensively and attacking wise while we just run a lot now. Before yesterday they had an identical record to us but they were the happier of the two, even if their expectations are higher than ours.

Our results really papered of some serious deficiencies. But if you perform consistently bad, the results will eventually reflect that. There is ni such thing as an ability to win when you play badly, its just luck and nobody has ever lucked their way to a premier league title, not even Leicester.

These performance is no different to those we had during the unbeaten run. Its just that teams are taking the chances they were missing then, we are not finishing at the same rate and our lack of a style or system is now fully on show without the final score to disguise it.

chuffy
chuffy

We’re not improving Emery. Even with the injuries we’re highly suseptiptal to the counter attack. We’re about on a par with where we were last season. The only difference is we have a prolific goalscorer. Even the famous DM we so badly needed, hasn’t helped us stop leaking goals. There will come a time when our lack of investment really catches up with us, as the years go by if we miss out on the Champions league places. If will only take one or two big investors to plough millions into other clubs to banish us into mid table. In a few seasons, unless we invest, there’ll be no Ozil, no Ramsey, no Auba, no Mhki, no Sokratis, no Welbeck, no Monreal, no Cech due to being let go or too old. How much money will it take to replace these?

Ayleym
Ayleym

We barely won an away game last season. We’ve just come off a 23 game unbeaten run. I would say we have improved.

Me2
Me2

I would partly agree with you. Lots of those games we rode our luck – won them yes but by the skin of our teeth. However, the same weaknesses remain and therefore that is not really progress just good luck.
I see the same weaknesses as last season.
Too many comfortable players.
Emery needs to replace these players with competitive (and younger/fitter) players.
We need to replace players like Monreal, Cech, Koscelny etc.
Basically we need to replace Wenger’s dross…

Alibass
Alibass

Yea but our defenders are really letting us down we are conceding to many goals which is to bad..

King 14enry
King 14enry

I remember the first time I got coal for Christmas too. It’s ok mate, it only gets better from here

Rich
Rich

The problem we have is, we already need to replace;
Koscielny
Monreal
Lichtsteiner
Rambo (If he doesn’t renew)
Welbeck (if he doesn’t renew)
Cech

Ozil doesn’t look like he has a future with this manager, and it’s unlikely we’d get anything in for him.

And there’s a few others who simply aren’t up to it, who are on big wages, and won’t command much of a transfer fee as a result, but will still need replacing

I think ppl are being harsh on Emery, but unfortunately most of the money we spend will be used to replace outgoing players who won’t command any transfer fee, this then won’t leave much money to actually improve the team much further.

We’ve also likely been saddled with a£550,000,000+interest debt, to fund Kroenke’s takeover.

Emery is up against it, and instead of supporting him, it seems a lot of fans have lost patience just a few months in, despite the fact we’ve lost 1 game in the league since August.

Me2
Me2

I have lost patience with him – he was expected to bring a whole new philosophy to he club but instead its the same as last year – he has failed to make his mark
I always thought he was employed because he was the cheapskate option – that did not bother me because i had hoped he would revolutionise Arsenal. Instead, with every game they play you feel like they are going to screw it up and invariably they oblige you.
I would be happy if Emery left.
He does not instil confidence.
Just not good enough….

Niran
Niran

You are….just f*ck off !!!

Rich
Rich

Emery doesn’t really have too many sellable assets to improve the squad.
Our signings have been good, but £70mill won’t get you far, Torreira is 22 and Guendouzi 19, they’ve got big potential but need patience.
Sokratis is good value at £16mill, but really he just replaced Koscielny, so we’re about on par squad wise as we were last season.
Leno is ok, but he’s a £20million GK, I don’t think he’s improved us a great deal, he’s about the same level as Cech who needed replacing.

We haven’t really improved our squad, Aubameyang is at the same level of a peak Alexis, Mkhitaryan is hit and miss.

I don’t understand what ppl were expecting this season? Without time to work + serious investment, then it was always going to be this way.

Ayleym
Ayleym

You are exactly the type of fan a club doesn’t need. Have we seen you in arsenal tv yet?

Canador
Canador

Remember that he is actually making the best out of some useless players Wenger brought in. You can only judge him when he starts bringing his own players. He is actually doing great!

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

With the other too 4 teams, except Mancity, having strong results tonight, I am beginning to doubt we can make it to the top 4. Yes we are improving compared to last year, no doubt, but the problem is that the other top 4 contenders are improving better than us. We have to set the bar higher, starting with the Anfield visit, otherwise…..Bye bye UCL 2019/20.

Deano

Chuffy
The manager has been 5 minutes, give him some time.

Lack of investment? He has only just arrived!

Give him some time, I think he got it wrong today, but who doesn’t make mistakes? I think he’ll come good.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

He only got it wrong because what he tried didn’t work…but if it had worked no one would be questioning him. I understand what he’s trying to do with the squad and really he has no choice until he gets in the players he really wants. 3 pts would have been nice, but at least we didn’t lose. Last season we lost to Brighton, so already we’ve improved!

Me2
Me2

You don’t get time.
You deliver or get fired.
By the time he “gets it together” we will be miles behind.
Thats the reality.

Tribe
Tribe

I really can’t find why people thumb you down, really. There are some points that I wrote 10-11 months ago, in general, saying that sacking Wenger will not bring us any change. I wanted him to leave, it was enough really. But the main point is partially touched by chuffy. With this kind of management we cant really move from this point. Nevermind all the staff changes, directors or no-directors. Ivan or no-Ivan. The only change can come if the owner has the wish to invest in the squad. It really doesn’t matter who the manager is, more or less. You mate have a point.
If we take the argument “give Emery couple of transfer windows and we’ll see” then I can’t really see what he can do more than this. Your list of players that wont be here in, so to say, two years period of time should be expanded with the players that we don’t need, e.g: Mustafi, Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson and so on, then it suppose to be that we’ll be short for around 10-15 players.
And the logical question is, can we be realistic that Kroenke and co won’t give any coach so much money to replace those players. And not just replace them number wise, but quality wise. Our problematic position and situation goes up and up and up to the very top. We cant really expect Emery to find top players that are cheap and we can afford by this model, or make 10 top players out of the youngsters in two years.
For the time being, yes, Emery did make some small progress out of the resources that he has, but that progress seems like too little too late to make a change in the league table.

Chamakhyungark
Chamakhyungark

Worrying how many upvotes this gets. I think people need to remember how bad it became last season. We have an average squad with a few very good players and we have had some really bad luck with defensive injuries of late. I agree taking off Lacazette was dumb, but we are improving we are! We need to give it time! I remember some turnip Liverpool fans calling for kloops head at one point early on. Patience lads

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

People are talking that Wenger’s (negative) influence is still seen in our performances, but this is a team with Torreira, Guendouzi, Liechtsteiner, Leno, Sokratis, who were not here last year, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan who played under Wenger only for a few months, and Lacazette who played under him for less than a year only.

Also, we were being laughed at for continuosly managing to get into top 4, and now all of a sudden that top 4 is seen as a major trophy in the media. We’re sitting firmly in 5th position and we’ve been applauded for our performance this season (and we finally have an actual world-class DM in Torreira). It’s ridiculous.

SB Still
SB Still

We are now having to look over our shoulders because the ego king no longer manages ManUre

Hoser
Hoser

We have in our process…the will to death…Not the will to victory. Dat needs to reverse

Pkub
Pkub

Well, hard to take any positives from today… Other than Torreira didn’t pick up an yellow.
Very frustrating game, they clearly didn’t show up today. First starting minutes looked promising but we eventually let them into the game, asked for goals to be conceded.

Substitutions? I see a lot of potential in Matteo, but he had to be replaced by Ramsey & Laca kept for the full 90….
Tough task on Saturday but need 10/10 performance from the team and we might get something out of it, here’s to being optimistic…

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

Emery got his tactics completely wrong today, but he’s allowed a bad day at the office.

Devlin
Devlin

I don’t think people are mad at our last game only, it is cumulative. I know us as the most patient fanbase in the world. I know it sounds funny after the events of the last 2 seasons, but I started supporting Arsenal in 2006 and we were all on board with a philosophy that bore no fruits for almost 8 years. We can back a manager, but there has to be a system, philosophy, tactical setup or transfer strategy that makes sense for us as fans. Then we can put our while weight behind it.

Unai is unfortunately a victim of time, but above all he is a victim of his own rigidity. He came during a time where we have just witnessed our worst season in 20 plus years, that is a positive because we are better than last season made us out to be. Last season was bad because, with the quality of players we had, we had higher expectations that we did nit only fail to hit, but missed on by such a small margin.

Now that margin is huge, and other teams are ahead of him in terms of their processes and style of play. They did not sacrifice the identity that they wanted to instill at their clubs for any player, but they all had a discernible style of play from the very beginning. Emery just doesn’t have a style of play that can be pointed to and followed. He doesn’t have an identity.
Cut backs are used by everyone, we just do it more. Just don’t ask me to have pride in that.

If he gave us a semblance of a style that we like (because if its boring but winning, we still won’t get behind it), then we can be patient with him. Right now everyone is talking about new players, but Torreira, Guendouzi, Sokratis and Leno look as confused as the players who were here longer. Why trust Emery with more money if he hasn’t shown what his team should look like? Does he even use wingers? if he can’t adjust for Ozil, why would he adjust for players that play out on the touchline instead of the half spaces? What if those players do put in defensive effort but are not as hard running as Iwobi, will he keep them out?

We can be patient. We have shown a history if patience. Emery has to show us what it is we are trying to do on the pitch. You can’t overhaul your entire style of play every game or play conservative against everyone and expect us to show you patience. His tinkering is a hindrance on the very process he likes talking about because we havent built any partnerships other than Torreira and Xhaka, and that is being broken apart midgame or even from the start in every game for the last 2 months.

Zuhair
Zuhair

I saw fans on here and some other platform about Emery and his lack of management and stuff suggesting that he’s got it all wrong, as of now.

However, I think that’s absolute garbage. Why do people keep forgetting that this is his FIRST season. His first season in English football. Give the man some time.

I also understand that people have disagreed with the substitutions he made and that it has nothing to do with it being his debut season. He should just know better.

And to that, all I have to ask is, will you prefer a battered Lacazette/Ozil/whoever and 3 points at Brighton, or a full strength side getting a substantial result at Anfield?

With the players on the field at halftime, Emery surely would’ve trusted them to not lose the game. That being said, I still find it ridiculous that we couldn’t score in the second half. Iwobi and Ramsey are no Messi or Ronaldo, but they’re also not incapable of scoring/creating.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang

The feel good factor had to evaporate at some point. Now if the gunners want to
send a message they have to beat Pool.Since the draw with the gunners,the reds have gone on an incredible run winning 11 matches in a row scoring 28 goals and conceding 4.This is the size of the task.
There is no reason why the gunners cant win if they play like in the draw.
For that to happen the defence must step up ie get 2/3 guys to surround Salah
or any dangerous red. If not the flood gates will leak and the gunners coud get hit by 5 goals.

Me2
Me2

We have to be realistic in saying we are not a top four team.
And Emery is not the answer.
I don’t see any improvement over Wenger – in fact, it is exactly the same – lots of possession, piss poor defending, passing sidewards and backwards, defensive shambles, not making or taking chances.
This IS Wenger.
Arsenal are not progressing just stagnating…

George
George

Let’s wait until Emery can bring in more of his own players.

Pkub
Pkub

Seriously lad, were you complaining when we went on our unbeaten run? I know we might not have the most convincing performances in the recent weeks but give Emery some time. If players are into his philosophy, I don’t see why fans shouldn’t.

Klopps first season – 8th
Guardiola – 3th with god knows how much oil money spent
Mourinho – 6th
Pochettino – 5th

All these managers (except Mou now) have been working with their teams for a couple of seasons now so obviously they’re going to be tactically better and more organised.

In no way this is a dig at Wenger, but he left the squad extremely unbalanced. Can’t expect Emery to work miracles, it’s a slow process but we are improving.

And yea you definitely sounds ‘realistic’ with your expectations.
Instead of whinging get behind the team and support them, for f*ck sake we’re only 2 points behind 4th place. Get a grip. If you’ve no more patience after 6/7 months, you’re more than welcome to f*ck off somewhere else.

Tribe
Tribe

I don’t see space for such a tackling comment mate. Leave Emery aside. We should point the fingers to Kroenke and company. I have a question for you Pkub, we are currently lacking at least 1 CB, 1 RB, 1 LB, 1AMF, 2 Wingers – that’s 6 players. In, so to say, two years from now, we will be without 10-15 players from the current squad. And in total we’ll need to rebuild almost the whole squad. And logically comes another question. Do you think Kroenke gives a shite that he should change 15-20 players in two years? I think he doesn’t give a shit! Or are we cabaple to produce, for example, half (around 10) players from the youngsters? Forget about Emery, he is here to run the team. We’re talking about higher level disability.
Anyone understands that?

Pkub
Pkub

I see your point & couldn’t disagree with you. It’s actually worrying more than anything. Ozil, Auba, Papa, Mhiki and Kos are not getting any younger & with positions we’re already lacking players in… do I expect Kroenke to replace these guys with players of the same quality?
Unfortunately not.

So what’s the plan of action… Well I hope some of the youngsters can step up, but they’re not going to be able to fill all these gaps with academy prospects.
So now this leaves me thinking, is this one of the major reasons why we got Sven in our recruitment team? Does Kroenke think he’ll be able to find him ‘hidden gems’ so he doesn’t actually have to invest big money into the club?
I hope I’m wrong but that’s what it looks like… Either way, if oul stingy Kroenke doesn’t invest one way or another, it’ll be difficult for Unai to get this team to compete at the highest level.

I hope he has a good look at how Liverpool developed under Klopp, financially supported by the club, got the players he wanted for the positions where they struggled.

I think next Summer transfer window will tell us a lot. Hopefully with positive outcome.

Tribe
Tribe

If (and seems like it is) thats the plan then Emery should immediatley take over 5-6 youngsters and put them under pressure straight away. We.dont have time for predictable experimenting. Buy some cheap players with potential and hit that course.

Pkub
Pkub

A handful of free transfers wouldn’t go a miss.
One way or another, they will have to invest. Now we just got to hope that the board has a clear plan for the future.

Kasillars
Kasillars

Injury might be hitting hard on the team in the defence, but with all the noise about how good our academy is, I was expecting to see one or 2 players that could have been drafted into the Team for the interim … Just look at sp*rs … No transfers in but, young lads from their academy doing d needed job.
If we r having issues like this cos bellerin is out… I pray auba doesn’t pick up any sort of injury coz we will no even be smelling top 6 without his goals

santori
santori

Pretty poor return against Soton and Brighton on the South coast.

4 points dropped.

Will be difficult against Liverpool in current form.

Hopefully we have Bellerin and Mustafi back in but frankly too many changes in the back line with predictable outcome.

Considering Mhkitaryan also out, we will need to pander to our strengths.

Kolasinac and Bellerin better with 3 at the back.

Thought Ozil was OK today particularly with Laca and Auba. Surprise BOTH Laca and Ozil hauled out as both were fairly effective creating space and a bit of hold up play in the case of Laca which led to our goal.

George
George

I just have to keep reminding myself that this is the beginning of Emery’s project.

Objectively, we’re well ahead of what I expected from this season.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We lost a game that we also lost last season. Sack everyone!!!!! 🙂

Monk de Wally de Honk
Monk de Wally de Honk

Do we not think the disruption to the defence with injuries so the main problem here. It has taken Xhaka out of the middle and unbalanced the side. I guess this speaks of a lack of depth in the squad but a factor all the same.