Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Emery: Return of defensive trio is ‘amazing news’

Unai Emery admits he’s chuffed to have Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding back in contention after the trio came through their return from injury unscathed.

All three players featured in the 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, Holding playing the full game and Bellerin replacing Tierney with 13 minutes remaining.

It would be a surprise if all three make the squad for Monday’s trip to Old Trafford, the boss has already hinted that Bellerin – confirmed today as one of our captains – could step up his fitness with the under-23s, but it’s very positive nonetheless.

“It’s amazing news,” Emery said on Friday. “It was amazing to see the people’s reaction to Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin, who played his first 15 minutes [at the end].

“It was a great moment. We can be a better competitive team with them. For us having every player available is the perfect moment.

“Now we have two injuries with Lacazette and Smith Rowe, and hopefully in a few weeks he can be training with the possibility to play. Really we are really happy with Hector, Rob and Kieran.”

Having entered the season without a bona fide right-back, sanctioning the sale of Nacho Monreal despite Tierney’s gammy groin and with our centre-backs playing football like a couple of drunk llamas, you can understand why Emery might be pleased.

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I Am Gooner

I’m excited too!!! 🙂 Aren’t you, fellow reader?


I’m pleased too.
Hoping to see the back line of Tierney, Holding, Chambers and Bellerin before long. Really feels like they could be a back 4 to last us a few years.


Don’t forget Saliba, he will arrive next summer and looks very promising…


Not forgetting saliba to join in the fun next year.

Man Manny

Saliba’ll be 19 then; bags of potential but by no means the finished article.
We’ll need to sign a top defender in the summer to replace one of the drunk llamasque defenders.
Mustafi and one of Sokratis or Luiz should be gone by next season, the surviving one retained as back up.


I’d have thought a llama would make a quality defender, drunk or otherwise.


Hopefully on Monday.




The possibility of us playing an entirely new back line would excite anyone at this point.
Having fullbacks that can actually cross the ball and find team-mates is a game-changing attribute. See Liverpool.


Emery proving time and time again he’s too dumb to follow Liverpool blueprint.

A Different George

I honestly believe that Hector has the potential to be one of the best right fullbacks in Europe. He plateaued a little, but he has all the attributes, physical and psychological, to be a genuinely great player. I can’t be sure about Tierney from one performance against Forest, and I have barely seen him play for Celtic or Scotland, but he certainly looks like the real thing. Keep them fit.


Absolutely, really looking forward to have them in our team.


It would be absolutely awesome news if only Emery actually plays them

Ordnance Dave

Let’s temper expectations. With our disfunctional midfield, George Graham’s back five would struggle. Dixon admitted as much after the Villa game.


Can’t wait for our fans to find out that its 70% the system and 30% the players.
The Invincibles Back 4 would struggle playing in front our our midfielders nowadays.


The system firstly is inconsistent. And there is no settled players lineup.
So what you get….is what we have seen so far


Our defensive problems stem from having a soft centre of midfield. Allowing opponents to run straight at our centre backs.
With actual defenders at LB and RB our midfield can focus on winning the battle in the middle of the park and protecting the centre backs. Who knows we might even get the odd clean sheet in the Prem.

Malaysian gunner

Emery has to playa settled defensive formation other wise the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand will do.Towards the end of least season,his record doesn’t make good reading. Suffice to say his constant tinkering with the team led to the poor results. Hopefully against MU he doesn’t rely 100% on Abu to get him out of jail.I expect MU to go aggressively into the tackles . That’s what upset the fm. He had expected his players to be given time and space to play his beautiful soccer. Alas he wasn’t pragmatic and Emery shd have no illusions on… Read more »

Chris Humphrey

Yes this is cracking news and although the Forest opposition on Tuesday was pretty average the returning/debuting trio & the youngsters performance lead to the best atmosphere i’ve been privvy to for a long time. Not forgetting Calum Chambers, his form has been excellent (that volleyed cross for the first goal was sensational).
Hoping that UE gets him in on Monday to replace a Llama.


Did he say actuqlly he was “chuffed” ?

I like him a lot more if he did.

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