Thursday, February 9, 2023

Emery: The team spirit was amazing

Unai Emery was quick to praise Arsenal’s team spirit and the support of the home fans as the Gunners came from behind with 10 men to snatch a late victory against Aston Villa.

What should, on paper, have been a routine day at the office, proved to be anything but when John McGinn put the visitors in front with a flicked finish on 20 minutes and Ainsley Maitland-Niles saw red for a second yellow card just before half time.

Nicolas Pepe equalised from the spot, his first goal for the Gunners, after Matteo Guendouzi was brought down just before the hour mark only for Wesley to restore Villa’s lead inside two minutes.

Substitute Calum Chambers brought us back on terms with nine minutes remaining before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won and converted a free-kick to bring a madcap game to a climax and send the Gunners fourth in the table.

Reflecting on the win, Emery accepted that his side had struggled to control a game that for long periods looked like ending in defeat.

“In 90 minutes a lot of things happened,” he told the BBC. “When it was 11 v 11 we didn’t control the match how we wanted because we lost a lot of balls in the middle and gave them chances in the transition.

“When we could attack and get the ball in the box we weren’t bad really and we were also creating chances to score.

“After the goal we could be calm and improve and the red card changed the idea. For the second half we needed to play first with the head but also with our heart. We needed supporters pushing us and us to take some risks. The team spirit was amazing, we need to continue working and improving things.

“Aston Villa is a good team and an organised team. After this I hope we can improve and be strong. Together with the supporters we will be strong for the matches and hopefully improve.

“It is our challenge to improve defensively. They didn’t have a lot of chances to score.”

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Aston Villa are not a good team, Unai! Man City will probably beat them 10-0 in a few weeks


“Aston Villa is a good team and an organised team”, says Emery. If its true, then Arsenal is also good and organised team. And Watford more better…

Sweet Lou

6 games into the season and we’ve already conceded twice as many goals as the 3 teams above us. If we could even just be decent defensively we would be so much harder to beat, because we will score goals.


In my experience good managers are good straight away and tend to have a close to immediate improvement. It’s true Pep and Klopp needed a year to bed in but there was no doubt that their fans could see what was going on. Emery’s worse than a Rubik’s cube. Hard to understand and in the end…what’s the fucking point of trying?


Pure dramatics…


I’m not convinced Mr Emery. Not convinced at all.


‘When it was 11 v 11 we didn’t control the match how we wanted’
That’s the third time this week buddy

SB Still

Today’s result was actually despite the manager. Yes ofcourse the red card didn’t help with the tactics but the team selection from outset was wrong, still can’t defend.

The substitutions were in part forced, with Xhaka on a yellow, Ceballos maybe feeling the weather.

After the public backing of the board, now the players are coming together to rescue a match, showing the manager the way.

Either at a min Emery gets the starting XI right else his time must be on a countdown.


Our team spirit was good…once we got the right team out there.

Dave M

yup we should have four players in our midfield rotation in the EPL right now:
Xhaka shouldn’t be in the discussion for the EPL. Give him all the action he needs in the Europa and the Cups, and sell him for good coin in the winter transfer to a European team that can use him in a competition that plays slower. He seems well suited to the Spanish League with the pace that is played at…


It’s simple, Granit suits 3 at the back
and Serie A


So inter milan is where he should be shipped off to.

Perry Crows

So Dave, are you saying we should – Swap Willock And Granit

We could call the move SWAG.

Eduar-do a deer

That’s legit hilarious. Touché.

Dave M

Well played sir, I like it. Seems the only thing hanging the development of our swag back right now; Xhaka the swag killer. And maybe Emery – the lover of swag killer.

El Piresidente

I won’t be sad when we say adios to Bruce Rioja. I only hope it’s sooner rather than later

In Loving m'Emery

Bruce Rioja. I like that


Bruce Rioja … Hahaha brilliant


Sh*t. I actually like him better with that name. I’m not ready to bin him just yet, but frankly it does feel like he should just toss the 11 lads with the most heart out there, and let them work it out themselves. I hope this is a start to a season where we’re taking “all those points we used to always lose” – if these are our piss poor games where usually we’d concede in the last minutes after a boring 0-0, I’m ecstatic.


AMN has been poor for ages now it was only matter of time before his careless nature was visible to all but our coach can’t see that. Benches Torreira and plays him in cam because he is good at pressing and Xhaka isn’t, that doesn’t excuse playing the best DM in cam to accomadate someone else in. Arshavin such a gifted player was benched by rosicky because Tomas could press much more than Arshavin but here it looks like he wants to play his favorites even though how shite they have been. His tinkering with system and formations has failed… Read more »

Runcorn Gooner

AMN has agreed to play out of position to help the team. Give him a chance in midfield when our full back position is sorted

Reality check

Even if Bellerin comes back AMN would only play as a cover for him. I would rather play Chambers who has actually played in midfield before. AMN was pretty bad the only couple of times he’s played in midfield under Wenger. His problem is lack of focus rather than ability, far too casual with his touch and defensive responsibilities. Wenger also always seemed reluctant to play him there. I guess, some time out of the firing line will do him good. Needs to pick a position and start working on it or at least, try to improve his focus.


I think he could make a decent box-to-box midfielder actually, but it’s very competitive in that position for us atm. One of those good problems I suppose.


What do you mean by “has agreed to play out of position to help the team”?? Going forward what does he contribute? So he should be excused for always being careless & lacklustre because he’s playing out of his preferred position? Are you aware that midfielders are supposed to be the most disciplined players??

Dave M



AMN simply lacks focus during games and is mostly too casual for a serious minded professional footballer in English premiership. The premiership is too fast for lack of focus (AMN) and slow to react/decide (Xhaka) kind of players. He’s at best a moderate player and at worst simply ridiculous in attitude. If he has made concerted efforts to stay focused and to be serious during matches, Bellerine will be seriously worried by now. But as it is right now, he knows we are literally begging for him to be fit again and back to his position (clearly making him indispensable… Read more »


Good thing the team have spirit and superb attacking talent, because defensive and tactical nous we don’t have…


And heres me thinking that’s what the manager gets paid to provide. Live and learn….


I don’t understand why Emery struggles getting it right against smaller teams. It always seems like we come up short tactically against smaller teams. Yet we get it pretty spot on against bigger teams.

It feels like when we struggle against smaller teams, the only thing that saves us is just that we have better quality players.

I don’t recall the last time we controlled a game since we played fulham last season.

God is a gooner

Struggling to think of a game where his starting lineup has been bang on and we’ve actually controlled a game. Even the unbeaten run last season was built on half-time comebacks and rip-up-the-script substitutions.


Unfortunately, he doesn’t get it right against the big teams either. db10s is right, we just dont know how to boss a game under this manager. He’s lost.


Against big teams we are rather competitive. Spurs, chelsea, united and liverpool (at home) last season were rather good.

Gooner for life

Our team has no identity and has no idea on how to break down opponents. The passing is slow and predictable, and there is no sign on improvement. As excited as I was when Emery started, with his stories on watching videos and analysis the opponents to death, he should be respectfully sacked. He has no idea, and idolizes Pep Guardiola. The latter is enough reason for me.


I don’t trust the coach anymore, and I honestly think if he keep managing this team for the rest of the season we won’t make to the Champions League Spot. We win only by superiority of our players not as a team. Take today for example, 1 goal. Guendouzi freakishly run to the penalty area. 2 goal. Chambers resilience, any other player would have given up after a first save. 3 goal. A moment of magic from Auba, First Dribble then a freekick. You can’t see a series of plays and movement and say this will end up being a… Read more »


It wasnt great to concede but their first goal was superbly taken. You cant honestly blame cd’s but amn and pepe were sloppy in bloking the cross. Especially amn was defending like god damn Paul Merson, running on the side waiting opponent tp clumber and fall. Its time for amn to go and chambers to cover bellerin for now. Xhaka seems like liability, Pepe needs to be more ruthless and direct. What needs to be said is that team should be AWAKE COLLECTIVELY FROM THE START. WTF IS GOING ON WITH PLAYERS BEING SLEEP/ARROGANT AFTER ONE LUCKY WIN IN FRANKFURT.… Read more »


Emery couldn’t organise a prayer in a mosque


But can organise only 1 defeat in 7 matches and see us in joint 3rd in the table and beating Frankfurt away in the Europa League


Oh please, we drew against Watford last week. Watford, who just fired their manager and are bottom of the table, and were hammered by 8 against City who have no backline and rested Sterling completely. Emery engineered an outstanding collapse at the end of last season, and that’s why we’re playing Frankfurt away on Thursday nights.

The Mighty Bun

You know what, the team is there. Unai is in his first proper season after taking over from a legendary manager. Last season were none of his picks, the exec team was in “transition”, he’s had his picks sold or gone on loan. His remit is stability. Yeah, he’s getting a few things wrong. What did we expect after Wenger after the second season? To replace the heartbeat of a club after 22 seasons and be what? Come on man, this is iffy, but much better than we’ve seen from other places. I know calm isn’t a word used in… Read more »


Bearing in mind one of his picks was Suarez……


This Emery and Ozil situation has to be explained, he said he’s being rested midweek but then doesn’t even get used as a sub when chasing a game? What is going on? when’s the last time he played 3-4 games in a row does anyone know? Stop playing this diamond crap, the amount of times I’ve seen our fullbacks 2 on 1 is weird, how can he not see it. What is he talking about in this interview? against Watford he said we had a good first half?! WHAT? why can everyone else see xhaka is not mobile enough but… Read more »


Exactly. TCHB in the back 4. That’s something we could get “high” on.


I sometimes wonder what is wrong with people on this site. A blog I have been reading for a very long time now, long before I became an AussieGooner and was just another IrishGooner. Arsenal played with 10 men for an hour and came back twice to win a game with two goals in the last ten minutes. In the old days it would be a celebration, a stunning victory and one the fans would have taken as a sign of our passion and determination to win. Why is everybody just moaning? Are we all that entitled now we need… Read more »

Flavoured Rice

Too much son has baked your head and left you unable to see the peril of our situation


Everyone celebrated today — we all loved, I mean loved, watching Chambers sidefoot that ball into the roof, and then Aubameyang getting instructions from Pepe where to put his free kick and then banging it home, and then waltzing into the crowd. Outstanding stuff. No one is bellyaching about 3 points today, but the patterns, the stats, the repetitive issues all confirm the viewing experience of Emery’s Arsenal: it is chaotic and does not have any of the control he promises. We end up winning matches when Aubameyang turns himself into a protagonist, but we aren’t seeing a team play… Read more »


@ Futsboller, I couldn’t have replied him better. Thumb up for you.


Yup, it’s the manager out, I guess, because it’s been one bad result already. Ignore the fact that our center of defence is arguably worse than last year and he doesn’t have either of his first choice fullbacks. Also ignore the fact that our position in the table is exactly what we would have hoped for. Sack him now, because it’s 2019 and people need instant gratification. Sack him now, because if we don’t we’re sure to miss out on … something. Wenger got 21 years, and post 2006, the football was shit and predictable and it was clear we… Read more »


Don’t be ridiculous. Firstly, Wenger’s football wasn’t as bad as you say post 2006; we still earned CL spots until a few years ago, and he still delivered a few trophies during that time. Secondly, Emery is producing a side that is playing on par with Wenger’s final two seasons, which was bad enough that he was finally moved out. Thirdly, fans are very emotional (as the third goal confirmed yesterday!), and they are afraid of another season ending in disappointment (i.e., avoidable losses when it matters the most, finishing outside the top four); Emery has not been able to… Read more »


“Two full summers” – I thought he had almost no imput last summer, not to mention that one of the marquee signings of this summer has yet to reach full fitness. We don’t have our first choice fullbacks, our first choice central defender and both Pepe and Ceballos are still getting used to the pace of the league. I’m not arguing the team has been playing well, but I do believe that it can be fixed by adding the players who are on the way and subtracting one or two of the regulars. I don’t think Emery is a completely… Read more »


He had plenty of input last summer, last season he had complete control, and this summer again he’s been gifted a handful of new players. Extremely valuable points get dropped while waiting for full fitness and first-choice players — no team can afford those excuses in the Premier League. The team(s) Emery has had at his disposal at the end of last season and the beginning of this are more than skilled enough to control matches against mid-to-lower table sides — we are not seeing that. I do hope you are right that by adding 2-3 different players into our… Read more »

Dave Cee

It is not the results so much that bother me at this time, more the ludicrous number of shots on goal we allow the opposition. I.m all for giving Emery time, I actually kinda like the guy, but this does need to be rectified and permanently.

Anders Limpar

Just watching Lyon frustrate PSG. Well drilled, great work rate, tactically sound, seem to be playing for the manager and badge. And I’m thunking, my mind is wandering and I’m thinking again…..




Anders Limpar

PSG have just scored, sack that off, stupid idea! 😀


I have to say, Auba and Laca have really crushed some of the stereotypes held in England about strikers. How aggressive means that you physically dominate the CBs, how hungry means being selfish in scoring as many goals as possible. A great striker think of himself first and the team later.

Could you see Harry “one of us” Kane letting Pepe take that penalty?

But there will always be some out there, like Graeme Souness, like the readership of the S*n, who will forever be convinced that Kane is of better character than Auba.


Thank you.


That same Kane who swore on his daughter’s life that he scored against Stoke.

Ivan the Terrible

I’m sorry but Emery lacks a philosophy, a system and any clue. Win us the Europa league and then let Freddie & Per take over. Adios in the Summer.

Old Bloke.

Callum Chambers played a blinder when he came on at right back. I would play him ahead of Maitland Niles who by his own admission is not a defender. Also its no coincidence that the team functioned better when Xhaka went off. He is a liability who slows the game down.


How can a player with one of the best passing ranges in the country slow the game


Because that country isn’t England, unfortunately.


By playing like a numpty. Best passing range doesn’t equate to playing well, unfortunately. He’s slow and highly error-prone.

Kran Stoenke

Pepe gave a great pass to xhaka, on a plate at the edge of the box where xhaka could let fly. The ball got tangled in his feet. The lad couldn’t sort his feet out at such a defining moment. He isn’t good enough for the Premier league. Coincidentally he bossed the game vs eintracht who’s a German Club. Its a win win for everyone if he settles in Germany/Italy


With his feet.


I have a feeling that a whole generation of Arsenal fans won’t make it past 40.


Thanx man, it’s good to know that I have a year and a half to live. Gotta hurry and do some things on time… 😀




Haha Amusa Because of ur joke am laughing again


Good result and good recovery from the team. Stop reading here, from here on is just my 1st rant of this season. Few observations: 1. We won because of the heart of the team and player’s individual/collective effort. 2. We did not win because of the managers tactics (except may be the substitutions) 3. Xhaka is not a starter for me in every game and I think even Emery knows it but still not sure why he persists. (‘am aware of the big/small player logic mentioned in the podcast) 4. Its still very disconcerting, that we still cant score a… Read more »


If we could just defend properly, finishing 3rd is very much possible.


It’s a virtual guarantee. Even reducing our goals conceded to one-per-game would significantly boost our chances, as I see us scoring a minimum 2 goals a game most times.

Arshavin's fake moustache

If we just win all our games we’d probably win the league


Arsenal make average opponents look so good…


Substitutes… I’m sure many we’re pleased to see Ceballos in the starting line up – and why not – he should make it hum right? But it didn’t work out that way today… and it looked really obvious to me after 15-20 mins that he was weirdly off the pace today and not at all switched on. He looked like a player who needed to be replaced. Xhaka too also needed to be replaced – he wasn’t terrible, just unspectacular in a dull metronome sort of way. And on a yellow and in a midfield that was not linking play… Read more »


For me Emery is finished. He had one year and as we see we are worse. He released players, he brought players. Under Wenger we had passing game, always attacking and bad defence. Now under Emery we have none. The man simply cannot push the players to their limits (and they have pretty high limits as we saw today). Some connected Emery with tactics, I say the man has no tactic, he is even worse then Wenger. When we first came he was a “protagonist” for “if they score, we need to score more”. But today he is a contradiction… Read more »


Total toxic knee jerk pathetic nonsense. After 7 matches and only 1 defeat you are talking abject nonsense. We have new players waiting to Gel and defenders returning including Tierney. Let’s see how we are after the end of the season when it looks like we will be back in the Champions League.


Yeah, like all of a sudden things will fix by itself.
Remind yourself in november/december.


Wake up, sheeple!!!

The end is nigh! THE END IS NIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Really.. So you are basically saying you are prepared with another year playing on a Thursday Competition.

‘Lets Wait see where we are’.


I don’t understand the observation with Alegri I honestly think he isn’t a very positive Coach, same with Diego Simeone, they are tactical sound but they also tend to make an average team very Good, Take Juventus for example they are the best team in Italy by far but their win margin used to be very low too Many 1 nil and 2-1, last season they were out scored even by Atalanta Bergamo. Team with Ronaldo, Dybala, Mario, Bernadeshi, Douglas Costa etc being outscored that isn’t a good thing. Imagine being in EPL this day and age and clinging to… Read more »




I don’t understand the obsession with Alegri I honestly think he isn’t a very positive Coach, same with Diego Simeone, they are tactical sound but they also tend to make an average team very Good, Take Juventus for example they are the best team in Italy by far but their win margin used to be very low too Many 1 nil and 2-1, last season they were out scored even by Atalanta Bergamo. Team with Ronaldo, Dybala, Mario, Bernadeshi, Douglas Costa etc being outscored that isn’t a good thing. Imagine being in EPL this day and age and clinging to… Read more »


Allegri is not ultimative. At the moment i think Allegri is better then Emery and he is free. I would personally put my bet on Ljungberg. But, being hypothetical, Allegri should get a two year deal without possibility for more. The low goal wins you mention is a good lesson for our boys to learn. And from then on we will be compatible to play different tactics in one game. What we missed under Wenger and Emery is that stability and capability to win and keep hold of the advantage (whether that is 1-0 or 2-1) and dont panic and… Read more »


it seems we agree on something, but no to ALLEGRI.


Auba just bailed you out….. You sux Emery.


I’ve been a Gooner for 43 years. I’ve seen good and bad Arsenal teams, but I’ve never felt so strongly that a manager should be put out of his misery as I do right now. I’m glad we won today, but FFS if we stick with Emery we’re not going to get top six. All this “he’s only been there a year” bollocks. He’s clueless.
Go grovelling to Arteta or all out for ten Hag. Coaches with Pep DNA know how to set up teams to defend (however limited by players at their disposal…exhibit A Otamendi) and attack.


Blah blah blah
Groundhog day…..heard it all before.


Why couldn’t they play with the same intensity as they did when down to 10 men from the start?


I kept wondering just the same. I was so amazed (actually transfixed) at seeing that yesterday. Just exactly how we would have loved them to play on a consistent level while still at 11 vs 11. Take the game to the opponents and stop giving us ulcers and high blood pressures ffs.

El Camino

Under AW, the outcome of this game would’ve been an embarrassment being 1 goal/man down. A noticeable shift in team mentality & toughness under such circumstances. I still think that the overall performance was really poor despite the fact that ended up winning. Team still lacks ruthless and dominant mindset. We get bullied/dominated easily and we dig ourselves into a deep hole early on…dropping these valuable points is disastrous in games where nothing but solid 3 points is expected (ie. Watford & ToT) Finally, signing David Luiz is the worst thing that happened to Arsenal this season so far. Chelsea… Read more »

Pradeep Kachhala

The podcast will be interesting


As I’ve said before, this team does not lack character or Cojones. It use to lack capability (now partially addressed with Cebllos and Pepe added) It still lacks defense and discipline and a certain level of maturity. I thought even when we went into the lead at the very end, we did not manage the last 10 minutes good enough. Several poor decisions including Leno lumping the ball forward, Pepe not holding the ball well enough, Torreira going for a speculative effort. We lack composure at the moment. BUT a good come back shows spirit in particular from Guendouzi who… Read more »


Yes the team spirit was amazing. Your tactics however were not, Quelle surprise! Bailed out by Auba again.

Matthew Micaleff

This is gone too far for a personal Vendetta against OZIL now as he is the best player that can open up a defence by his magic better than anyone we have in the team…Any manager for his own sake will take him on his side and try to get the best out of him but no Emery won’t……


I believe Emery is out to set up one of his players for failure: Ozil. There is a personal animosity there that one can smell. If Xhaka can be given chances continuously to redeem himself, why is Ozil not being treated in s similar manner.

Dave Cee

The more I watch the Chambers and Auba goals the more I think they are really quality finished. Both excellent and very much needed!

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