After Granit Xhaka said the team were scared, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bemoaned Arsenal giving goals away, Bernd Leno said that the team’s set up on Sunday made it too easy for Watford.

The Gunners second half display was as bad as anything we’ve seen in recent years, and the German admitted that players were ‘crazy’ in the dressing room afterwards.

However, he also seemed to take a little pop at the tactical approach/in-game management following the 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.

“The distances between all parts of the team were too big so they had so much space, especially in the second half,” he said.

“It was too easy for them and they could go around our box. I don’t know why it was like that but everybody could see that we have to talk about this.

“In the first half it was better but not perfect. I think we have to be honest and analyse this game.

“We were lucky we didn’t lose.”

The 27 year old admitted passions ran high afterwards, but said Unai Emery remained positive, looking ahead to the next game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

“Everybody was angry and disappointed after,” he continued. “Everybody was emotional, very mad and crazy. But that is normal.

“The manager is a very positive guy. He said ‘Calm down and then on Tuesday we analyse this game and then on Thursday we have another game’.”

Playing out from the back is not wrong, but the way Arsenal do it is

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OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Get the feeling Patience is starting to run out with Unai.. inside the dressing room and outside.

Dave M
Dave M

Safe to say we need some good performances and pretty soon. Otherwise $hit gonna hit the fan(s?!) again. Seeing some late Wenger like traits coming through in Unai. Blind faith in guys that aren’t getting it done (Xhaka, Sokratis, Luiz – Luiz probably has a little lee-way, but he better stop making errors ASAP), and too locked into his style (sure he changes formation, but there is so little room for adaption right now with this play-it-out-at-all-costs tactic. Too predictable, and with Xhaka in the team no matter what our mids are too slow to recover).

Bottom line is Xhaka has probably been our worst player this season – not just form, but his game doesn’t fit (not mobile enough for the EPL, slow on the turn, poor tackler and makes too many mistakes when passing the ball to make up for his other weaknesses) and Emery sees him as first on the team sheet type. Against Watford in the 2nd half we were a revolving door through the middle of the pitch as Xhaka got turned, or carved up, or simply passed around – so many time he was just chasing their midfield behind the ball as they went on another counter and he was simply too slow to even get back to disrupt the play. Sorry Unai, but Xhaka is killing our flow right now…get Willock in with Guendouze/Torreira and Ceballos

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Xhaka didn’t play against Burnley but we were still overrun in the midfield. They still had more possession in our 3rd than us in theirs. Like him or not but he is not the main problem that most teams overplay us. The way we are playing is. Didn’t we also play Guendouzi and Ceballos on Sunday? That is 3 man midifield. Why only Xhaka is to blame?

Dave M
Dave M

It’s not about possession, it’s about quality of possession. This has been Arsenal’s problem for the last decade both with and without the ball. We generally have been focussed on getting a lot of quantity of possession, but the quality is lacking, because teams make it hard for us and we don’t adjust to turn that quantity into quality, while other teams get quality possessions against us – they shred us on the counter.

Against Burnley they had quite a lot of possession, but they didn’t do much with it. Because structurally on defense we were very solid with Guendouzi-Ceballos-Willock. While our possession in that game looked really good and we scored by turning them over and attacking fast and direct (and because Auba is a beast) – we looked very dangerous on the counter through pepe too, although that has been his story so far, just lacking the final touch.

Against Watford Xhaka played all game, Torreira chased and go into the defense when they countered but he was alone – Xhaka wasn’t there. Willock was playing the full box-to-box role but he also chased hard to get back. Xhaka chased a few times, but he isn’t fast enough and got exploited. The whole argument is with Xhaka – his teammates have to cover his flaws and he exposes our defense – balance is completely out-of-whack. Playing the other three may lead to a little more quantity of opposition possession, but the quality of that possession is poorer and we then have more space for our own fast counters which is our attacking strength!

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Yes, I agree Xhaka is slow and he has sometimes problems with that but he is at least positional disciplined. This is why he is always there (and late). On the other hand you have Guendouzi or Torreira who are all over the place. Xhaka is the one who is covering their players. A great example is the penalty against Tottenham. Guendouzi is the one who left Son and Xhaka rushed into the tackle because he was trying to fix his mistake. He made even a bigger mess but it would never happen if Guendouzi was there in the first place. We can argue that Xhaka is too slow or immobile but the fact is also that our other midfielders are much more careless. Also Burnley had better chances than we. We again only scored goals because of the individual brilliance of Laca and Auba.

Dave M
Dave M

We’ll have to beg to differ. Positionally, I don’t think Xhaka is that strong. If he was he would be better at preventing counter attacks in the first place by being aware and in the right place to close space in front of the attackers. Guendouzi has made some mistakes too sure, but he has been really good this season going forward and defending. For a slow player like Xhaka positioning is absolutely key to being effective. Look at the best similar players to him – Xavi, Alonso, Pirlo (to name a few). They were absolutely brilliant positionally, disciplined on and off the ball. And all three were really slow players, but survived by being in the right place if the ball go turned over, xhaka not only gets caught out of position, but he always rushes to close guys down and for slow players that is about the most cardinal sin they can make because they can’t catch up when they are beaten.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Xhaka is a culprit a lot of the time, but our midfield is a larger problem than one player, and something Emery does not seem capable of sorting out. We still miss that single player who can lock down our defensive positioning whilst owning the capability to unlock theirs, so Emery is going to have to use combinations to solidify our midfield. Xhaka can be extremely valuable when opening up our attack, but he’s a known liability the other way. I know we all hate playing players out of position, but I don’t see why Emery doesn’t try Chambers as a DM (as for Fulham) in the second half to give us a more sturdy player to shield the D when we’ve got the lead. It’s not ideal, but it might work for now to break down the opposition chances.

db10s

I agree. For example look at watford. Doucuore almost all by himself stopped our attacks from reaching their backline.

Positioning of our midfield is horrible. Surely that’s because of both player intelligence and coaching deficiency. How many times did 1 simple pass get through our whole midfield and we had pressure building up in our final third.

I think this is the main issue with our side under Emery. No doubt our backline isn’t the best but we’re not doing enough to protect it. We letting the opposition test our backline far too easily.

Dave M
Dave M

If you are attempting to play a “traditional” holding midfielder whose job is merely to stay in his position and snuff out attacks and just play super simple passes then you MUST have mobile midfielders that can drive the ball forward in possession and move past players and increase the pace of attacks. Another reason why Xhaka doesn’t fit even if we did just play that role, which is why Wenger tried to make him fit in that DM role – but he didn’t work there either because he isn’t disciplined enough.

Torreira could be that guy, Chambers too might work but I’d argue neither can do it playing alongside Xhaka because our tempo is slowed down too much, which means the other two mids get drawn way way down the pitch too often and then in Xhaka’s case and they get too isolated and they are forever covering holes left in front of them.

Playing two more holding midfielders that can rotate when to attack and defend and also are highly mobile to recover might work too, but both techniques need the right personnel and I can’t see how Xhaka fits into either.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

The part about needing to be able to drive the ball forward at pace in possession to be a proper DM I disagree with. If they can do that like a Viera then thats a fantastic bonus and you’ve got a super player but kante and Makalele dont do that, they simply focus on positioning and ball winning and they are/ were invaluable to their team

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Ah maybe I misunderstood. You’re saying if you play a ball winner you also need someone to drive the ball forward playing alongside them. True that would be useful. At the moment Ceballos looks like our best bet followed by Guendouzi but definitely not Xhaka.
Xhaka just needs benching asap. Theres nothing left in his defence.

Dave M
Dave M

Ah yeah, I see here we’re on the same page now 😉
Xhaka – benching…exactly. I really want to see:
DM: Guendouzi/Torreira
CM1: Willock
CM2: Ceballos
I think that is our best midfield right now. It looked really nice in the first two games.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Agree this is probably our best midfield atm though I’d still have potential reservations at the base of that midfield. We also have, as Leno said, a real issue with compactness. Until we sort that out, the personnel may not make a difference, though certainly removing the immobile Xhaka might help there.

Dave M
Dave M

I didn’t mean the DM needs to do that. In fact i meant the exact opposite. If you play with a traditional DM, the other (two) midfielders are the ones that need to be able to do that. Otherwise you have a totally stagnant team that has no creativity and drive. Sorry if I confused in my comment. That is why Xhaka doesn’t work well in that system because we have to generally play a slow pace with a “traditional DM” and Xhaka because he doesn’t have the drive through midfield or speed to increase our attacking pace. Thus we play build up and get drawn down the pitch, and then when we turn it over we have space between mids and defense to be exploited and Xhaka doesn’t have the speed to recover. Wenger tried to make him the DM, because maybe he saw this problem, but that didn’t work either – Xhaka has shown he’s a terrible lone DM.

Goonerink

kante was touted as potentially the best ever DM because he can do that. he has pace and strength and positional awareness.

his passing is ok at best which keeps him from reaching that hype but he has all the rest.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Why cant we try 2 dms and I mean proper defensive midfielders not wannabe registas who think they are better than they are.
Lets try torreira and chambers/ Luiz (even AMN if we didnt need him at rb) to simply hold the fort stay in position, harrass the opposition, win the ball and then give quick passes to your Ceballos/ Ozil/ Guendouzi types.
I agree guendouzi left us equally exposed as Xhaka did against Watford and he really needs to improve his positioning but hes 20 and has so much potential upside. Xhaka really offers us so little and can be dribbled past by almost anybody. Time is up for him and if hes named captain there will be a revolt (on social media at least)

Dave M
Dave M

I’m down with this style too (esp. in certain moments against stronger teams). We are built to play fast attacking football (TBH, I think emery sees this too, which is why he is SO obsessed with this play-it-out – but it’s to a fault as it becomes too easy to counter through patience and discplined pressing, not over committed pressing), but we aren’t playing the right personnel for that. I think Willock is showing he can do that 2nd DM role too, while also having that Viera/Diaby drive too…

Goonerink

tbh we have pace in all the peripheral areas of the pitch.
our CM and CB’s arent the quickest.

Goonerink

yep, i feel we have 3 ‘big’ players in the defensive mid role
and xhaka isnt one of them.

luiz
chambers
torreria

Mpls
Mpls

Chambers is not proven at PL level, and it’s HIGHLY unlikely you’ll see him or Luiz at DM unless there is an injury crisis.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Yes I agree both choices feel strange and I would have loved for us to buy someone dominant in the transfer market instead but both of them have to be better than Xhaka as a DM at this stage. Emery is also too un adventurous to try it out. Cannot understand why Torreira isn’t starting there though. The only way it’s excusable is if there’s some injury issue we dont know about. Also correct me if Im wrong but doesnt Xhaka play further forward for Switzerland with more defensive minded midfielders behind him. Even they know the folly of trusting him close to your own goal. Did you see him give the ball away to Ronaldo leading to a goal recently against Portugal? Tragic

Dave M
Dave M

And to add, Burnley overran our midfield? we had 65% of possession, and Ceballos put in one of the best games by an Arsenal mid in years, so even the basis of your argument is completely flawed.

Eduar-do a deer
Eduar-do a deer

Dave is getting his swag back.

Dave M
Dave M

Cool, Eduar-do a deer is my entourage, who clings onto my every word!

Eduar-do a deer
Eduar-do a deer

You were pretty rude when advised not to sing everyones praises after the Burnley game. Just reminding you that a month ago to the day, you thought we were awesome. It doesn’t help when fans seesaw so dramatically all the time.

Dave M
Dave M

I know what I said, and you’ve mentioned it many times. I was optimistic, why not?! I still am, I mean we aren’t doing that badly, but the last 3 games have been disappointing no doubt.

But after that start (Newc. and Burnley) we then inserted Xhaka into our midfield and pop, up came our defensive issues in a flurry. Maybe that is a bit too much on Xhaka, but he has been poor and that is compounded by emery’s obsession with playing it out from the back at all costs.
And please quote me when I was “pretty rude when advised not to sing everyones praises after the Burnley game.” Whatever that actually means?!
Before the Liverpool game when Guendouzi came out saying we can beat anyone, my suggestion was that was ill-advised because it’s better to do the talking on the pitch.

Johnny 4 Hats
Johnny 4 Hats

Dave ‘the voice of this article’ M.

Dave M
Dave M

Oh sorry, I missed the per article quota limit.

Johnny 4 Hats
Johnny 4 Hats

…along with the mechanics and subtleties of conversation.

Dave M
Dave M

Sorry m8 ill werk my webs “conversation” sklz

goonshow
goonshow

That shud b convers8n

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

That be funny. Seeing as how many dressing room figures are stabbing the team in the heart EVERY SINGLE GAME there is fatal error from one them. The manager is suspect too, but not for a minute should we get a wrong impression about our lack of quality.
Players and manager alike should be held responsible, but people always look at the easy targets.

Bob Will
Bob Will

I agree – wish I was wrong but looks to me like Emery is totally out of ideas. he looks totally lost and we should move on quickly because I cant see it getting better

B.O.B
B.O.B

EPL is brutal, but how this coach is setting us up for failure will cost him his job.No joy watching whatever it is they practice or analyze with the many video analysis crap.

yen
yen

Feels like another subtle (or not so subtle) dig at the manager. They can be ‘together’ for only so long.

Also, I’d like to point out that we took Mustafi out and our defence is still a shit show. People are already turning against Sokratis & Luiz. Don’t know how less experienced Holding & Chambers are gonna fix that. People already looking towards next season for Saliba to be our ‘saviour.’

Saw a comment earlier how you could put VVD in this squad and it would still be the same. Reminded me of the same comment I made years ago on this site, only using prime Nesta as an example.

I think the problem isn’t in personnel, it’s the system.

Dave M
Dave M

Remember the first two games of the season. We conceded a few shots, but overall our defense actually looked pretty good.

Why? No Xhaka. Watch the games again when we play without Xhaka. We have a mobile midfield that can move and doesn’t get turned without the ball (doesn’t turn the ball over with so many unforced errors either) and we aren’t exposed on the counter. This last point is the key. EVERY game we play with Xhaka we get destroyed on the counter because he is so slow, always out of position defensively, over commits when closing down (easily turned and passed around) and can’t recover quickly enough when chasing counter attacks. Liverpool shredded us with their pressing and counter-attacking, Sp*rs scored by exploiting our space, Burnely ran riot on the counter in the 2nd half because Xhaka was too dam slow. It all comes back to him. If we play a more mobile midfield that isn’t so easily attacked on the counter the defenders aren’t exposed in open play as much and they will make less errors, but any and all defenders will make errors if they are asked to do the impossible over and over (play-it-out against disciplined, tactical pressing for 90mins), and they have to defend repeatedly against fast counter attacks all game long, with no help from one of the “holding” midfielders.

Xhaka does not fit in the EPL.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Burnley had 18 attempts, two more than Arsenal. They had more possession of the ball in our third. Also against Newcastle Xhaka played.

Dave M
Dave M

And who won between Burnley and Arsenal? In terms of possession Quality>Quantity all day every day. Burnley were forced wide and just threw in crosses. If your basing the best team on the day based on number of shots then I think our conversation is done here:
http://youaremyarsenal.com/tactical-analysis-arsenal-vs-burnley-premier-league-2019-20/

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Yeah, because Burnley’s plan is not to go wide and cross the ball. This is the only thing they can do.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Watching xgaka in midfield this weekend I will say I noticed when wr were ib possesion he never showed for the ball when our cbs had it. Perhaps he was scared.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Apologies for my fat fingers

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

I cant understand why you are getting downvoted and why people are still defending Xhaka? He looks like hes stuck in treacle moving in slow motion.
I did my ACL and put on some weight and ever since Ive come back Ive joked with my friends that Im now playing like Xhaka. Sit back stroke a few passes around but basically a complete defensive liability. If anyone dribbles at me Ive had it. They can go straight past me and I dont have the mobility or agility to get near them.
Maybe a lot of the Xhaka apologists have never played football and they just like his nice looking passes. Honestly dont get it.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

And thats just him when were not in possession! When we have the ball he is so slow to look up and pick his pass,invites the opposition to rob it or mark up, not to mention his one- footedness!

db10s

I get your point. I took a couple of years off the pitch as well because of fatherhood. Lost mobility and strength. One key thing though which I remembered from some Fabregas training video is to always know what your next pass is and have a plan B. This is what grinds my gears with Xhaka, he has a very good passing range but he never has an image of where his teammates are prior to receiving the ball. If only he could received the ball and play a quick pass. He always needs to turn and look around.

db10s

For example Arteta is very similar to Xhaka but Arteta is significantly smarter with and without the ball.

Oregoon

Arteta seemed a lot quicker than Xhaka both on the ball and off. Also, much more composed player under pressure than Xhaka, and that is where the latter seems to get into the most difficulty.

I agree with the system being broken. We only have a few players to play in the middle, so both defensively and playing out of the back, we need massive strategic/postional changes. We played way to statically on Sunday and need to play in space much better. (Believe that is what separates the really top teams from the also rans) It will be a very long season if we can’t make those changes and make them stick.

Goonerink

guendouzi, torreria, xhaka, chambers,(DM) willock, ceballos, luiz(DM)

7 players for 2-3 positions

we have the personnel its utilising them correctly thats the problem.

we have seen ceballos play like santi and torreria get forward.
why cant they combine as a midfield 2?
then you can bring ozil infront of them or luiz/chambers behind depending on opposition.
front 3 of pepe auba and laca*when back* martinelli/nelson/saka for now
and a back 4 of Sead Papa luiz/chambers Ainsley.
with tierny and bellerin coming back in when fit and holding replacing the least performing cb when hes back.

Goonerink

with the pace we have up top and the ball winning abilities of the central two i mentioned we could play a high press like our unbeaten run and destroy teams.

instead we play a passing, man behind the ball possession game that we arent very good at because apart from not having a team of tiki taka gods we have players with no positional awareness and are prone to lapses in concentration.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

And Fabregas was such a special player, so creative and such good decision making and execution that you build your team around him even though hes a bit slow. Xhaka is nowhere close to that. We also put Flamini next to Fabregas basically to mop up for him and compensate for his lack of dynamism by running around like a maniac even though he was a bit limited as a player.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Very interesting quote from Fabregas himself on who his best midfield partner in his career was.

“I had two years playing next to Flamini and he covered me,” Fabregas told the Football Daily. “He covers so much ground.

“If I say Iniesta or Xavi — yeah, it’s fantastic for the eyes but in real football it’s not real for me.

“But if I had to choose one it would have to be between Gilberto Silva and Flamini.”

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Yep I agree hes both physically and mentally slow. I remember years ago sky sports did a player cam feature on Frank Lampard and highlighted how he was looking over both shoulders every few seconds making sure he was constantly aware of his surroundings. I wonder if Xhaka actually does this. Will try and look out for it next game

db10s

Yes exactly what I am referring to.

I’ve been watching xhaka, he does look around when we’re defending deep. Not so much when we have the ball. Meaning every time he gets ready to receive the pass, he’s very rarely looking around.

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

Absolutely spot on.!!!!

goonshow
goonshow

Or the clear & obvious lack thereof

George
George

Damn, sounds like a mutiny to me.

Mpls
Mpls

Speaking of which, I’m waiting to see if Leno takes some executive action on this.

If you’re getting closed down for most of the match in your own end, you’re losing your shit, the midfield looks empty of your players, and you look up and see them ringing the box, perhaps an idea ought to pop into your head that the short pass inside the box to your CB not known for passing wizardry is something you should pass on.

It might be the coach’s directive, but sometimes that’s got to be ignored.

Mentally Drained Gooner
Mentally Drained Gooner

We lost Ramsey because of this stupid manager

allezkev
allezkev

We lost Ramsey because his contract wasn’t dealt with two or three years before her left…

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

That’s a myth. He wanted to stay, he said that and his emotions at his farewell showed it. Arsenal thought he’s not worth raising his salary and withdrew the offer that he was about to sign. Arsenal ended the talks, not Ramsey. It’s well documented.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Ramsey was always injured for half the season and wanted too much money. Emery froze him and Ozil out for no reason, but although Emery is at fault for many, many things, he isn’t the reason Ramsey left.

Hantal
Hantal

Ramsay kept saying he was ready to sign but he didn’t, then we took the offer away. Him and his PR team managed the situation very well

Homer
Homer

No, what you write is a myth. He did not want to stay. He said as much.
Blaming Emery for Ramsey’s departure is silly.

And, btw, Ramsey blew hot/cold his entire Arsenal career – when he was healthy enough to play. Sure, he score two FA cup winners, and I got nothing but love for the man. But let’s not like he was the second coming.

Oregoon

Second that. He was never going to sign with Arsenal. Anyone can boo-how after the fact of the contract being pulled. He never went back to Arsenal requesting the contract be available again. Why? No intention of signing it in the first place.

gee
gee

Last summer – Ramsey is on record as saying he wanted to be captain and was looking forward to working with the new manager. 6/7 months later he had agreed to join Juve.

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou

I think it is time for Edu to call a stop to the tactics or maybe the manager tenure. This is what we expect when we bring him in.

irony
irony

don’t think he has the mandate nor was he brought in to have a say in the team’s tactics

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou

In the official site, it states: “He will be working closely with Unai Emery and the first-team coaches, and will play a relevant role leading our football vision and ensuring we have – and follow – a solid philosophy through all our football activities”

db10s

I assumed it’s Edu and Raul together. I am sure both of them can see the faults in our game.

I am still giving it till maybe Christmas to judge. Let our first choice full backs recover and maybe the upper management will be fed up seeing the same flaws over the next few months

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

Chambers won player of the year at dm, a team which played seri(someone arsenal fans more less would welcome at arsenal), and he somehow isn’t good enough to bench a mistake prone xhaka or a willock who’s yet to prove he’s good enough to start or come off the bench, or even a guenndozi who Plays so deep but is yet to show any kind of defensive prowess or spacial awareness. I’m starting to think emery benching Chambers is resonating with emery benching ozil, just personal reasons. He needs to realise technical ability, reading the game, composure and vision is more Important making loud noises and running your socks off. Arsenal are one auba injury away from being worse than Leicester/westham/Everton.

Dave M
Dave M

I totally agree on Xhaka, but Willock has been sensational when he has played. Our midfield looks so much more balanced with a combination or much more mobile players. We need three out of Ceballos, Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock in midfield. I’m a huge fan of Willock – reminds me of prime (and fit) Abou Diaby!

db10s

The only thing with our mobile midfielders, if we play all 3 of them there won’t be enough muscle in the middle. I am sure we struggle against more physical teams. This team needs someone like a Gilberto.

Dave M
Dave M

Are you arguing Xhaka brings muscle?

db10s

Defending set pieces yes but that’s about it.

N10
N10

Agree

Mintoes
Mintoes

Two definite must starts in midfield every week are Torreira and Willock. Ceballos would be my third. Then you can rotate Xhaka/Guendouzi. That’s our best midfield.

Flavoured Rice

Let me handle the analysis for the team this week, Leno?
I’ll keep it short and sweet: STOP PLAYING IT OUT OF THE BACK! FIGHT! SHOW A BIT OF SPINE!

Ah whatever, don’t even know why I bother getting worked up anymore. They’ll only let us down again come next weekend.

Kismayo
Kismayo

The game against Watford, to me the problem wasn’t solely to our defenders but equally our midfielders,how can our defenders cope with 23 attacks within 45 minutes ,when we made 4 attacks,where are our midfielders?

Dave M
Dave M

Spot on, especially when one of those midfielders simply cannot keep up with fast counter attacks that isolate and expose our defenders.
#XhakaOut

bob
bob

I’m not going to single out any midfielders, even though I am no fan of some of them.

The problem lies with the fact that Emery has no ability to coach a coherent midfield. At no point in is tenure has he been able to, nor shown any attempt to, coach a well drilled midfield for which the rest of the team can be build around.

His response to the difficulty of this problem has been to completely bypass the midfield, preferring to put all of the burden of linking to the attack on Kola, to the massive detriment of the team. Instead he uses the midfield as a sort of second line of defenders, but aren’t drilled properly at that either, so they just act as neutral bodies floating around the space vaguely in front of our back line, without being solid as a unit with a proper shape.

Just sticking people on the field and hoping they individually know what to do is not coaching.

The lack of a coherent and purposefully drilled midfield has been the elephant in the room since day 1 of Emery’s tenure, and we have done nothing to improve it, ignoring it at the expense of the team. Getting new midfielders would be nice, but wouldn’t solve the problem. Lower league teams know this, coach and drill the shit out of the players so they don’t have to think what to do for themselves.

Our players, even some in midfield, are not worse than other teams. They just have had no proper direction as a unit for over a year. And it shows.

Pepe Le Pew
Pepe Le Pew

Selling Iwobi and let Mikhi go was a mistake. We should have kept one of them. We have no quality link up defence to attack anymore (or vice versa) . Laca would be able to do it but he is injured. Yes we have a decent first team but no one on the bench. Ozil is useless.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Deeply worrying when Emery’s own players are now openly criticising him. It looks he has lost dressing room. Here’s 5 reasons why he must go now:

1. His team selections make no sense. So far we’ve seen bizarre selections for key games. Three defensive midfielders at home to Spuds? Nothing to counter the two attacking full-backs at Liverpool? Even the junior players know that there’s something wrong here. And chopping and changing for each game means that the players can’t to settle into a system.

2. He’s failed to sign the defensive players we needed. He had a big say in the signings we made this summer. We absolutely had to sign a quality centre-half and a quality right-back. Instead we got the useless Sideshow Bob and no right-back. AMN continues to struggle in a position he clearly can’t play in. So now we’re conceding stupid goals and praying for a quick return for Holding and Bellerin. Criminal.

3. His tactics and substitutions are dubious at best. Playing out from the back at 2-0 up? Taking off our best midfielder and trying to cling on against Watford? Strange.

4. He’s too loyal to rubbish players. Why does Xhaka start? Ozil away at a physical Watford?And what’s the point of Kolašinac?

5. He’s absolutely failed to build a winning mentality. With 7 games to go last season, top-four was there for the taking. We collapsed and somehow couldn’t beat either Palace or Brighton at home. We couldn’t get 10 points from 7 very winnable matches. Then we went to Baku and collapsed in the second half against a mediocre Chelsea team. No guts or pride. Pathetic.

I’ve seen enough. We need a manager who can make the right signings, set teams up tactically and build some team spirit. Emery can’t. That’s why he should go now.

It’s time for a change.

B.O.B
B.O.B

everything else is spot on apart from point 4, respectfully, Ozil was having his first start and was rusty as expected but without him we weren’t getting that second goal.that said, this manager is taking us nowhere,there is no joy watching us anymore.apart from the Valencia game and the 4-2 win over Spurs,we haven’t had anything close to an Arsenal performance.we are now bad at everything including the things we were good at.totally unacceptable.

Dave M
Dave M

Overall I agree. i think Emery is a good manager, but not great. He isn’t really up to the standard we need. I’d rather he be replaced sooner rather than later because I just see this level continuing and better managers exploiting his fairly locked in and predictable changes (formation may change, but style doesn’t much and we aren’t flexible). But to play devil’s advocate:

1. I liked the team selection and formation against Liverpool – if we can lure liverpool into just throwing crosses in all game that’s a win, but we fell down again by inflexibly playing it out every time against the best pressing team in the world – Klopp read our us like a book and just waited for the eventual errors. I agree though against spurs – poor midfield choice – but I’ve made it clear Xhaka is a terrible fit with this team and exposes us WAY too often.

2. I think we have the DM we need in Guendouzi/Torreira/AMN and even chambers, but we need to play them with better support – guys that can recover (Ceballos/Willock)

3. Absolutely agree

4. Absolutely agree esp. on Xhaka (Ozil got us a goal, but should have been subbed when the going got tough – I mean how many times did we commit too many forward and they just destroyed us in space in the middle of the pitch on the counter when up 2-0, 2-1, or even 2-2?!)

5. Agree – he’s definitely positive, but like Wenger it’s all a bit too cosy. We lose and he talks about learning from mistakes and how important these guys are to the team. Great, but keep doing that over and over and players get convinced that mistakes are ok because they happen and you can always say sorry and know you’ll be in the team. Some of these guys need to be benched at least for a game or two, and the team in general (not at the stage of targeting individuals yet) needs to be roasted after a game like that. Manager needs to rage a bit and say that was $HIT! and make sure the players know it.

Fanboy
Fanboy

Agree with what Dave M & Fat G mostly said.

But if Emery insist we play from the back, you got to make sure the ball connect with players like Ceballos & Ozil quickly (especially Ozil) because they can unleash the attacking players with their smart passing. When you’re just passing around with the back four & the base midfield players (Xhaka & Guendouzi) you’re just inviting troubles.

Oregoon

Good post. On #2. One of the mysteries of the summer was our real lack of conviction that our defense needed better players. Yes, we did sign Tierney, however we did not go for a first class CB, which seemed to be the most logical course. At one time, I read that Emery wanted Umtiti, and then we end up signing Pepe.(Nothing against Pepe, and it will probably turn out to be a decent move.) Does this mean that Emery endorsed the idea that having Holding, Hector, Tierney, and our current players was enough to solidify a very weak defensive system? This just seems to be a high risk strategy, and makes it one wonder what Emery has actually wrought upon himself. (And us for the matter.)

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

If this trend continues, I don’t see how he makes it to the end of the season. He is getting called out by the fans, the press, and his players. The higher ups are going to have secret meetings with his players and the feedback from the players will seal his fate

kas
kas

He, Emery is the head coach not a manager (old style) he should answer to Edu & Raul. What was the point of promoting Freddy, when this coach doesn’t want to put his faith in young players. All other points totally agree.

goonero
goonero

Well I’ve calmed down some since Sunday. For people saying it’s too soon to question the manager, this is exactly why it isn’t. That performance was bad enough to send a real strong shockwave of negativity right the way through the Arsenal world, fans players ex pros alike. And it’s not like this one just fell out of the sky, it’s just the worst in a bad bunch.

We need, not should, need to play much much better than what we have done. The question of that we aren’t capable is not even up for debate, those players, even the Greek and the Bush at the back and yes even Xhaka, are better than what we saw and have been seeing. We’re producing numbers at the moment that are up there with the very worst teams in Europe. Say what you like but none of our players are anywhere near that bad, so why is our collective at that level?

It’s squarely on the manager to find a system that satisfies our demand to see attacking, entertaining football, while maintaining a semblance of defensive competence. We are not Madrid or Barca or Bayern, we don’t expect to win every game blowing teams out of the water, but we do expect a damn sight better than what we’ve seen.

He must pick the formation and XI that does that and train the players to improve at executing that plan. We wanted Wenger gone because we felt he was no longer doing that to the required standard, and frankly what we’re seeing in many regards from Emery is either worse or more of the same. To my mind the only kudos I can give him, and I’m not sure how much it’s his kudos to take really, is that Lacazette and Aubameyang have been scoring and contributing freely under him. He keeps insisting on Xhaka in a single pivot at the base of a diamond, which shines the world’s brightest spotlight on all of his shortcomings. He keeps insisting on Torreira not playing the very role that won him raucous applause for the first few months last season. He keeps insisting on a CB pairing that has more errors leading to goals between them now than games played, leaving the guy who contributed well in our one clean sheet on the bench. He keeps insisting on formations that leave us absolutely porous at the back and sterile going forward. He keeps insisting on playing out from the back yet there is no indication that anyone actually knows how the fuck to do it properly.

That’s a lot of shit that needs fixing. So far, there’s really no evidence of any of the wrongs being righted, no sign of improvement in any department. And after a year and the summer investment we’ve had, that’s really not acceptable.

If we’re still singing the same old song in a months time, then there’s really no reason to persist with Emery. Sadly for him, I thinks that’s where we’re headed, because frankly there’s too much going wrong to have any real hope he’s got the tools to fix what is essentially a shit show of his own design at this point. I remember for Arsene often the best player combinations were forced on him by circumstance rather than design. So anything could yet happen to spin things our way again, I’ll keep what little faith I can muster for as long I can.

goonshow
goonshow

@ Santori – read this mate. Then read it again.
Lucid, logical and above all readable for a longish post, without the need to insult and demean others on this forum. Just flowing and incisive, well-reasoned input without a hint of ‘I told you so’.
Comment of the week imo

Malaysian gunner
Malaysian gunner

Someone called him U Wenger and why not.Both like to play passing football with no end in sight. As everyone and rf knew once the ball breaks loose,a swift counter with 3/4 long passes the ball is in the Arsenal net.Watch how Miles was dispossessed
near the Watford goalmouth and soon the hornets went direct to shoot. No passing in the goal area. Direct football instead of possession football.
I am afraid opposing teams know how Emery likes to play.He has been lambasted and heavily criticized. This is natural . After all he is highly paid .
He better get his tactics especially the defence right otherwise further losses
will be unacceptable. Granted you cant win all the time but to gift the opposition
goals will prove his undoing.

Mark
Mark

It seems to me like Emery and the players don’t have any clue what tactics he is going to employ each game. There certainly is a major disconnect between Emery and the players and what they do on the pitch.

Defensively I thought under Emery we were going to be high pressing and an aggressive team, but it seems like that only happens when an individual or two wants to press on their own, it’s rarely a concerted team effort. Instead we seem to sit back, gift possession to the opponent in their attacking half and let them cross and take shots at will.

Offensively it seems like some players think we are a counterattacking team while others think we are a slow it down and play possession team.

bob
bob

“It seems to me like Emery and the players don’t have any clue what tactics he is going to employ each game”

That’s the thing, he wants us to be a chameleon for some reason. The problem with a chameleon is that they are reactive to their surroundings in the extreme. That can be a good thing when you are against the odds and need to try and match them, but for most part we need to be imposing on our teams, not waiting for them to come at us to we can react.

Rather than chameleons, for most games we should be more like lions, proactive and taking our game to the opposition and imposing our superiority on them (ffs look at our attack!!) . Dare I say it, we should be more like protagonists than the malleable secondary characters in other teams stories.

B.O.B
B.O.B

Without Auba,Laca and Leno…..Unai Emery would be without a job. Why would Laca/Auba even renew their contract in this chaos?

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Leno is pointing out the issue we’ve had for a long time. Basically we’re not compact enough as a team. There’s always too few of us in attack, too few in the middle and too few in defence. You’d think it’d be the first thing Emery would want to sort out but….

Xhaka out
Xhaka out

Other players feel uncomfortable when Xhaka in the team due to his style of play and impact their performance significantly.

Santori
Santori

Very silly comments on this site.

Blaming Granit for all manners of ills.

1) They prefer to have GUendouzi when the young player has been culpable himself for several poor displays (recently against Spurs now against Watford.

Just saying it wasn’t Granit giving away 4 or 5 poor passes nor did GUendouzi receive the ball properly on the half turn on one occasion he was almost robbed just in front of goal.

2) They want Torreira when they fail to understand Granit is in there bc of height and physicality that the Uruguayan lacks. Again last season over a spate of 4 or 5 games (Palace, Soton away, United etc), around Xmas, Torreira gave away or was fleeced off the ball in critical areas of the pitch 4 of which led directly to goal.

There is a GOOD reason why Granit starts ahead of Torreira.

3) They blame Granit for penalties when the inconvenient truth they prefer not to mention is our great panic buy Luiz SideshowBOB conceded 2 in last 3 or 4 matches. This is not surprising for anyone other than some people who think he is a massive upgrade to Mustafi.

4) They feel granit could have been out of position for the second goal. Sure he was commited too high up and could have exercised more caution. BUT we had 4 or 5 players covering behind still, one of whom (in Luiz) made poor decision. On a side, Torreira was there too (as he was for last 15 mins of the match) to know visable extra effect.

5) They failed to recognise (since they prefer to look for faults) Granit came up with the critical last ditch tackle that prevented the Watford player bearing down on goal in our box who had intercepted the poor ball from Guendouzi.

Nor do they take into account the number of stops Granit put in including several important blocks and intercepts around the box all game.

6) They confuse themselves that all manner of problems are due to Granit.

Particularly the midfield with the number of shots coming in.

BUT this is more a question of shape bc Emery elected the diamond and defensive output from players further forward (particularly Ozil and Pepe) in covering our fullbacks who were under constant pressure. It meant BOTH Granit and Guendouzi were constantly shifting wide to help the over loaded fullbacks leaving gaps in the middle.

There is only so much a midfield can do if the rest of the team is de-syncopated in effort.

7) They want to play without the added height of Granit defending set pieces.

In case they have not noticed, we have not been that assured defensively challenging for aerial balls frokm set pieces or corners. Luiz is not any better if not worse than Mustafi and koscielny competing in this department despite height.

We were victims of several easy balls into box not too many matches ago and it is not surprising Leno has taken to coming out more to help claim or punch out the ball.

BUT the added height of granit helps.

Against Spurs, he threw in close to 8 headed intercepts from the midway line which helped us recycle the ball quickly back into the attack and keep Spurs on the back foot, prevent Kane and Son from exploiting the weak Cback pairing.

He also came up with the critical intercept midway line against Liverpool which led to the consolation goal by Torreira. Had this been say Cebellos or Guendouzi, these some people will be having a wank.

He also provided some excellent switches of play. The second goal against Watford was from Granit moving the ball quickly to Ozil. Against Spurs, he put in a disguised pass to Pepe to create a one on one with the keeper.

These simple voices who prefer to look for issues to cater to their already bias belief should do well to

a) Understand the game and our deficiencies better.

b) Watch these games again and look out for what Granit is doing very well for us.

He was by far not the poorest player against Watford but if you listen to them you would think otherwise.

He certainly did not have the brain freeze and pass the ball 8 yards out centrally to Deulofeo nor as mentioned did he put as many wayward passes as Guendouzi.

Some people follow herd mentality are prey to media voices and convince themselves even when evidence is otherwise.

This is dangerous as it creates false narratives and do not go to the issues that really persist.

Not too recently, the consensus was get rid of Mustafi and our defense would be sorted. There was a lot of alternate thinking when we signed on what could only be described as a band aid in Luiz. yet many willed themselves into belieiving that this was a good signing bc he had ‘experience’. And they still will themselves into believing that a 18yr old defender we committed (eventually) a whopping 27m for who has only registered 19 senior games , is a good buy without much risk…never mind his existential availability this season.

frankly and with all due respect, they are having a wank.

Sadly this is the world we live in today.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Can you do an executive summary of this?

1 thing – Torreira and Xhaka actually complement each other quite well. Torreira should always start, he makes Xhaka better.

TCGNR
TCGNR

Hoping our squad doesn’t descend into tabloid nonsense with the team turning on the coach, public disputes, etc – that’s more suited to Chelsea and United. It’s distressing to see Auba so frustrated, our “captain” publicly claiming the team were scared of last-place Watford, Sokratis having to flog himself for the fans, little interviews like this with Leno where players are professionally and tactfully saying “our coach is confusing us and we are terrible right now.” And Emery seeming like it’s all fine, we’ll learn and figure it out, which nobody really believes.

It wouldn’t be a disaster to sack Emery right now – considering we’ve picked up where we left off last year and it’s so early still. That Watford game reminded me of his first game against City opening day last year, while we watched them try to learn to play out of the back. They objectively haven’t improved in that sense, and they now seem weak and spineless like near the end of Wenger’s era – completely the coach’s problem.

The only downside to stopping this decline right now is that we’d be forced to grab a manager who might not be a good fit long term (Allegri, Enrique…are they really the answer?), and that could be a further problem, and then we’ve got the revolving door scenario that, again, suits Chelsea and United and pre-Poch Spurs and hasn’t been something Arsenal have had to stoop to.

It’s obvious Emery isn’t the answer and needs to go fast, but an impulsive replacement might just heighten the drama…although I almost feel like ANYBODY could do better with this team right now.

Santori
Santori

At the moment, I think we need to be concern with –

1)How we get the ball played out form the back and
2)If the diamond 4 is the best solution for us.

Personally, I think we were trying to accommodate Ozil (and he was marginally more effective than 72m signing Pepe on the day at least for first half), but this is not necessary.

Ozil should play when it suits us not other way around. And I see no merit in playing BOTH cebellos and Ozil as it makes us less competitive defensively when the ball is turned over.

The other issue related to point number one is how we can get the ball out from the back with less predictability and obvious risk to exposure.

We don’t have Laca for a while and Auba is poor competing for high balls or in general ball retention still (all though he is slightly better this season)

Which means Granit is correct in his assessment that SIMPLY going long is wrong as well bc it also gives initiative back to opponents (albeit less risky than the suicidal tactic we currently employ dogmatically.

What I feel we need to quickly develop is what Wenger did with Sagna some seasons past as an outlet. The Frenchman was used on the half wayline as an outlet to head the ball on to the wide players.

The two obvious candidates at the moment IMO would be to use Pepe and Kolasinac on either side to compete physically for the ball and retain or move it forward quicker.

This in addition to options playing short or longer when occasion suits which is common sense (or you would hope)

I think at the moment unless we play Ozil (in which case its a 4-2-3-1), some form or variation along a 4-3-3 suits us (Again unless we need to also go 3 at the back and in a 3-4-3)

Thereby selection should be as follows :

………………………………………….Auba……………………………………….
Nelson…………………………………………………………………………..Pepe
…………………Cebellos/Willock…………………..Guendouzi/Torreira……….
………………………………………..Granit…………………………………………
Kolasinac………………………………………………………………………..AMN
………………………..Holding…………………..Sokratis/Chambers………….
………………………………………..Leno………………………………………….

i) Its either cebellos or Willock and Guendouzi or Torreira for me. Which is fine bc we need to keep energy levels through the match so they can swap in and out to keep the engine room firing on all cylinders. Ozil would need a variation which entails one of Guendouzi or Torreira sitting deeper next to Granit and linking.

In case some numpties think GUendouzi or Torreira should start ahead of Granit in the deeper role, think what Guendouzi just did against Watford with errant passing and poor reception of the ball. He is a young (gifted) player with a lot to learn still. Torreira lacks height and physicality.

ii) You can see how thin we are option-wise up top in the attacking 3. I think Nelson will bring some balance to our attack and Pepe (early days) has yet to find his full footing (he can up his industry covering the fullback)

BUT beyond these players (with Laca out) we are looking at weaker options in young players like Saka and martinelli.

Again I felt it was a mistake born out of the need to cover for expenditure in the summer that lead to the Iwobi sale.

We could have well done with the Nigerians experience now on the left even with Nelson available.

Saka is still very young and Martinelli may turn to be good for us but I fail to see the need for him when we already had Nketiah (not to mention Maalen who has been moved on to Holland unfortunately)

iii) Until we can assess Tierney and until AMN returns, we need the wide players in Nelson and Pepe to better support the current fullbacks.

AMN is a decent player but he is still young and will have lapses and make mistakes. His recovery strength and athleticism is a plus but he cannot be expected not to make mistakes if placed under such heavy duress as against Watford all game with the industrious and tricky Deulofeo (contrast Pepe for that match)

In a 4-3-3, we should have slightly better connectivity as a unit and it allows us to press higher in unison without so much obvious gaps.

Kolasinac I thought held better left side but will still need help from Nelson. Good going forward, improved defensively but again with the sort of gaps created by the diamond, we were only ever going to cede control and put the fullbacks under immense pressure.

iv) Finally at the back, I don’t think it is wise in any form to be using Luiz as a starter.

I said this when we signed him he is a panic buy no better than Mustafi except in age (if you consider the extra wear a plus)

We failed to do the business we needed instead brought in Pepe for 72m (even if in installments some of this money could have been better used for a Cback), a non existent (this season) Saliba (and relatively unproven over 19 matches only) for a whopping 27m (again even in installments this carries risk) and 8m wasted on Luiz IMO. Tierney we channeled 25m not sued bc we had no resolve to fix Cback properly, is a decent buy but was not urgent priority.

Thereby currently, with 6 (weak) options in hand, we need to do the next best thing.

Now Holding some like to have a wank over and he was much improved last season but we have to remember he was in a back 3. The hope is he can step up into a back 4.

At the rate Luiz is going (2 penalties in 4 game), and with Holding available, I’d say we use Sideshowbob for the side shows (Cups) and cycle in Rob for the main event with Sokratis (still one of the more consistent)

Chambers I’m not sure why the gaffer has reservations, can play as reserve (or otherwise Mustafi)

Its been wholly UNCONVINCING the pairing of Sokratis-Luiz.

-many prefer to had pin the blame on Mustafi last season but again we went 7 games leaking all manners of goals with koscielny-Sokratis (3 goals away to Wolves and the Chelsea final just saying) yet some were strangely upset when the old french war horse decided to call time (He was frankly doing us a favour)

Things have not improved. BUT our options are such that we should now punt on Holding-Sokratis which is a reasonable punt. Less so wholesale change with Chambers-Holding which would be a risky punt at best (although if Chambers shows some propensity, worth developing on the side)

These are practical steps we can take to immediately resolve issues on hand, not wild fanciful change the manager, get rid of Granit and change the Cbacks buy new ones fantasies too many prefer to hysterically jump to…. all due respects.

goonshow
goonshow

My word Santa but you can take a lot of column inches to say nothing of any value!
Read my post above regarding perspective on Xhaka as an even average Arsenal def-mid…
If only he could sidestep opponents as deftly as you avoid the glaring issue: he is too slow, too one-footed; too inept in the tackle.
We do not have an out-ball because everything is geared around him (since we don’t have a HFB or Alan Smith type upfront to hold up the long ball) – Santi, Cesc, Pat, Manu, Gilbero, Mickey T (the list goes on) did not have Xhaka’s issues because they either had quick feet (or even just two decent feet) and/or the strength to skip or muscle their way past the first and second high press. With the result that opponent’s soon stopped trying it against us.
There is one very central cog in the Arsenal gearing system that aint functioning up to scratch – open the other eye and you’ll see it.

Santori
Santori

The other option IMO if we need more defensive block is a 3-5-2

…………………….Auba…………………..Pepe…………………….
………………………..Cebellos/Ozil/Smith-Rowe………………….
Kolasinac………………………………………………………….AMN
……………Guendoouzi/Willock…..Granit/Torreira………………
……….Holding/Luiz……………………Chambers/Mustafi……….
……………………………Sokratis……………………………………
……………………………..Leno………………………………………

N10
N10

Would kill to have a recording of that dressing room postgame

shaka
shaka

the love of Emery for Guendouzi will be the tragedy story of Arsenal

pound4pound
pound4pound

Kudos to the brave soul who changed Erik Ten Hag’s Wikipedia bio to:

Erik ten Hag is a Dutch professional football manager and former player who is the currently in charge of Eredivisie club Ajax, and future manager of Arsenal FC.

I’ll bet it’s changed back soon, but I just appreciate that someone random on the Internet has more proactivity than Unai does.

Dathiram84@gmail.com

Think that leaving Socrates is the best solution, he’s a bit of slow and risky
Luiz made the mistakes but he is acceptable , how about with Holding and mvropanos

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Mvropanos is not match fit.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

As Blogs said on the Arsecast, the Watford manager was fired as a consequence of his poor end to last season and his poor start to this one. The end for Emery could be near?

Karlito
Karlito

The stats coming out since his takeover make for some depressing reading. We’re top of the league for shots conceded, penalties conceded, errors leading to goals etc. Going back to his Sevilla days the stats are not too far off.

Homer
Homer

And so; the mighty and supposedly flawless virgil van dyk of the klopp-mugshmasers, pulls a Sokratis to gift Napoli a goal. In an CL tie yet!

Funny old game, the futball.

shaka
shaka

hmmm…so it was Arsene FC after all..

Calbull92
Calbull92

Leno bears some responsibility for the first goal. If his only short option is a back pass in the 6 yard box he needs to go long. It’s his choice to play short with 3 Watford players crowding the 18. At that point Sokratis has fewer options than Leno.

Longbow
Longbow

Not his fault for the goal at all. Sokratis didn’t look up at all. Maitland-Niles was completely free on the right. It was the only viable pass. Sokratis and above all Emery is to blame.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

I think Calbull92 is right. He’s not saying it is all Leno’s fault, but going a bit rogue and just crushing that ball up field prevents that goal from happening (does it prevent an eventual goal? Probably not, but maybe slows the building momentum). As a keeper, when you’re feeling your team start to suffer from some pressure like we were, you need to have the sense to alleviate it.

Malaysian gunner
Malaysian gunner

No manager is indispensable . Some have been sacked immediately after heavy losses.Wenger was lucky to survive the 8-2 mauling .That was a good 7 years before he was forced out.I wished he had left earlier.
As for Emery, he has to start winning asap.Arsenal have not become a poor team overnight but tactically Emery has to get it right.
It was really stupid to pass the ball when Cleverly and company were lurking with evil intent near the gunner.
Why not take a leaf from how other lowly teams beat the big boys.The ex FM dismissed the idea in a condescending manner.
Hopefully this is just a reprieve . If Arsenal continue to lose there will be no sympathy.
In football its winning and not playing beautiful only to get beaten again and again.
Even a 1-0 win is better than 5-4.

Pajanee
Pajanee

Unai’s tactical skill is as good as mustafi and xaka’s defensive skill combine.

Jumanne
Jumanne

When will this team complete this analysis thing, we mess a game, they go and analyze it, on a Tuesday, get into another game and come out with the same outcome! It’s so frustrating!

goonshow
goonshow

Apropos all the comments on the Xhaka thread below…
I’ve called for perspective previously in this regard. Whilst I don’t see the value – as supporters – in crucifying any particular player, I most certainly feel we as supporters have the right to air our views from the sidelines on who is or isn’t pulling their weight within the team.

On Xhaka – my ‘perspective’ is this:
Parlour, Vieira; Gilberto; Petit; Edu (yes him!); Mickey Thomas; Santi… etc – go back as far as Alex James and George Armstrong if you wish, our club has something of a tradition of midfield ‘characters’ who had steel and/or skills in varying degrees… and stood tall within any matchday 11 because of it.

Now ask yourself a simple question: is Xhaka an improvement (or even simply the equal) of any single one of those (and the many other) names? We have dumbed down one of the Arse’s long-standing strengths – defence and defensive midfield. As fans, we’ve had an insidious, creeping decline in our expectations over the past decade.

Argue the finer points of every individual match if you will – but in the broader picture, and by any real measure in THIS club’s proud history – Xhaka ain’t an Arsenal def midfielder.
And he most certainly ain’t a captain!

This article from almost 2 years ago makes for ominous reading (besides the fact that it’s from the Daily Mule!) – ask yourselves what has changed…
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5270425/Arsenal-midfielders-Patrick-Vieira-rated.html

Benriz
Benriz

I’m glad they were pissed off at least

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

Viva la revolución

goonshow
goonshow

The fact the Emery didn’t think Bielik was even worth a run out at DM say it all, really. Let him go without ever really giving the lad a chance, despite glowing loan reviews from media and his managers… But then, we have so much quality in defence, we probably didn’t need him… yeah, right