Friday, February 3, 2023

Emery explains formation decisions after Southampton shambles

Arsenal began today’s 2-2 draw with Southampton playing a 3-5-2 formation, reverted to a back four at half-time, and by the end were set up in a way which would have confused Pythagoras as we sought a goal to get something from the game.

It arrived via Alexandre Lacazette, but Arsenal’s best spell of the game came immediately after half-time, which led many to wonder why Unai Emery hadn’t set his team out in that formation in the first place.

Inevitably, there were post-match questions about his constant tinkering, and the under pressure Arsenal head coach did his best to explain his thinking.

“That’s a decision I’ve made because I need to find a solution,” he said of the half-time change.

“We play with three centre backs to feel stronger defensively, but also because in the first half, we were better defensively.

“But it wasn’t enough. We needed to attack more in the second half so I changed it. Then when we were attacking more, we had 20 or 25 minutes where we were better offensively but then defensively we lost a little bit of that balance and conceded more chances than we wanted.

“That is the issue. I need to work, I need to analyse, I need to find a solution. Today I tried that, starting with the centre backs, changing in the first half when we were drawing because we wanted to win.

“We wanted to achieve more risks to attack and to get more players in the attacking third. But then we struggled defensively then with their transition.

“Now we are going to analyse it and find solutions as to whether we are better with three or two centre backs, the balance, and then work out how we can be stronger defensively and offensively. We lost that balance.

“We had a strong start to the second half in the first 20 or 25 minutes, but then we lost that balance and defensively we struggled more than we needed. At the end we drew and it’s not enough.

“We’re frustrated and disappointed, so are the supporters. Now we are speaking in the dressing room, the coaches, the club, and we need to work and analyse to find a solution.

“We can be disappointed at the moment but we need to keep on moving for the next match, to prepare and improve on the issues.”

Check out the Arsenal 2-2 Southampton – player ratings

Arsenal 2-2 Southampton – player ratings

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What are we doing? It could not be more clear things aren’t going to work under Emery. We’re throwing the season away by letting this carry on.


549 days and counting, and he still hasn’t got a clue. You couldn’t make it up.


Maybe this makes me a shit fan, but I was only happy for a split second after Laca scored the equalizer. After that I was disappointed bc a loss would’ve moved Emery closer to the exit door.

I think that’s just how things are at the moment.


Goo-nerd, same here. Doesn’t make you a shit fan, all of us see emery should have been gone a long time ago, so anything that helps us to get rid of him, even more losses, is okay. Short term pain for long term gain.


You could almost see the same thought process go through Laca’s head as he stood there


Instead of continually fucking with the formation, perhaps it might be helpful for the players to know what they’re doing with at least one of the formations.

And for fucks sake, this is the 19th place team. We’re at home. Line up with the players to fucking attack!


I’d rather see us stick to one, at most two formations, and actually know what the fuck we’re doing with them.

Ordnance Dave

Welcome to a Kronke owned sport franchise. He will not put a penny into the club, meaning he will see keep Emery till his contract is up and he doesn’t have to pay compensation. We are officially mid table now.


That’ll change when sponsors dont renew contracts and attendances go through the floor

SB Still

Now its getting annoying to hear Emery talk, for one I don’t understand what he is trying to convey but more importantly the players don’t seem to either. So what’s the point of all this waffle!


I agree it is hard to listen to him…

“We play with three centre backs to feel stronger defensively”

So, he is admitting we need to be more defensive against a team in the relegation zone?


Emery is a lot like Trump in speech: sounds ridiculous and incoherent when the words come from his mouth, and even worse when you try to read it printed.


I’m almost convinced he’s not using a translator so that he doesn’t need to explain himself better


I’m all Emery out. But comparing him to that orange cock waffle is going too far


Stop commentating your limited infantile political opinions you weakling. Embarrassing to even try talk down on someone who has and will forever be greater than you. Just the policies of the right to try drug bill and prison reform makes a legacy finer than you could dream of accomplishing. keep drinking the medias syrup.


Maybe Trump would be a better head coach than our current one!


There’s always one Muppet bringing their political affiliations into a football conversation….


And that switching of when they took the lead made us stronger in the process.

Phil E’Buster



we are at home to second from bottom team that recently got humiliated by 9 goals and we chose to play a goalkeeper, five defenders and two more defensively minded midfielders. so that is basically 8 “defenders” and 3 “attackers” and we still can’t defend. That’s what’s up. or and despite having a detailed knowledge on every player before being hired, he’s going to go 18 months later to figure out how they fit and what he should be trying to see how best they perform. Raul, Edu and co won’t read through his acceptance that he’s not sure how… Read more »


Crikey, the bloke speaks in tongues, and to think we used to take the piss out of “playing with the handbrake on” – wish we had that fucking handbrake now.


One definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Our definition is doing different things and getting the same bad results. Can someone end this madness please.


I’d go further, he was doing the same wrong things over and over and expecting different results: benching Ozil, Torriera, 442 diamond to teams that rely on wingbacks, Xhaka .. Until the fans took the decision out of his hands and he now is doing things different every match to get the same results. Either way it is complete madness, and the player’s look lost. I would bet my house every other manager in the league would do a better job with this squad.


Even that bloke at Everton?


Silva will be sacked today, because the Everton board has a back bone and the fans have made it clear they want him gone. Only problem is Arsenal will probably hire him when Emery does finally go! ?


Emery being sacked asap is necessary. Unfortunately this will establish precedent for too many fans. Each successive manager who faces struggles ( they always do) will get less and less time to succeed. Over time this instills into players less “buy in” or commitment to a manager as they cycle in and out so rapidly. This also gives power and influence to the most offensive fans. As a person who admires and supports managers ( will never like a Mourinho team ) almost as much as the teams they manage. I believe this rapid evolution will drive away more moderate… Read more »


Has he gone yet?
This man turned us into also rans
How can we trust the people who appointed him

Vassili Zaitsev

Emery has lost the dressing room


Luckily for him, he has the people “in charge ” giving him more room to fail

God is a Gooner

The dressing room has lost Emery


I wish he’d lose the way to the Emirates.

El Piresidente

The man is a fucking imbecile


I’ve already stopped watching Arsenal on the tele (about a month ago, I’d had enough), and I’m teetering on the brink of no longer reading Arseblog News (sorry Blogs!) because, honestly, who gives a shit about any of this until Emery is fired and we start fresh with someone new. Shameful apathy from above — that’s what is spreading now through the club and among its fans. There’s nothing worse in the world of professional sport.


I’m a gunner 4 life but Ave stopped watching them since the Watford game waiting for Emery 2 b fired

Winterburns right wand

Inept. If he’s not gone in the next couple of days I’ll eat my England cap.


Time to add some bacon in between just in case the cap tastes like crap.

Viva La Prof

This is our Louis van Gaal, narcissist dinosaur with bull shit philosophy, zero influence when it’s needed. All smoke no chicken. At this point he must be sacked tomorrow.


Emery is right – a solution needs to be found.
Unfortunately for him the only reasonable solution is to bring in a competent manager.
Trouble is top managers would not want to come to Arsenal….


Just clicked on the link because it’s blogs but honestly l couldnt care what explanation Emery gives, back pocket on a shirt stuff.

Mr. Gordon. Phillips

For God’s sake let him out of his misery, although I wouldn’t mind being miserable and a millionaire. It’s the worst in terms of performances than before Wenger, just go.


We’ve spent over 200m on 4 forwards and we are out shot by nearly every team we play. We have zero identity, no style, no shape. Defensively we are a shambles.

This isn’t working, sadly is a sign of how badly this club has been run by gazidis that we are in such a position that we can’t afford to sack him


200mil spent on lacazette aubayzn pepe and Martinelli and have s coach who defends every match and still csnt defend why did we take him to the Emirates. Long live Wenger to sll the fans who hound out this Gentleman hope you’d slll happy now.
20 years of Champion league on a shoestring budget and 2 years out and the great man run out the club by fans Enjoy you sll

Ben Edwards

Top 4 is completely gone, we still have cups to play for and we need change now to leverage our best chance of doing well in them


Winning a cup may be the only way we get European football next season. Leicester are miles ahead, Spurs and United will eventually overtake us and not look back, and Wolves also look better than us. Meaning we’ll finish 7th or 8th unless something drastic changes.


We will finish 9th or 10th with this coach the mean club dont want 2 fire him now bcause they dont want to pay him off so we stuck with him until May


Nice that he uses our matches to experiment with different formations. If only we had time and a place to work on these things between matches…


Holy shit, this guy is a riot!

I can’t read that gobbledygook with a straight fact, I just can’t. Is he the only one that doesn’t realise he’s admitting to everyone he has no fucking clue? Ca-lown.


You don’t need to ‘explain’ anything anymore. Just piss off.


I’ve never seen a player score a 96th minute equalizer and not only not celebrate, but look positively horrified as it dawns on him that his instinctual finish may just have saved his manager’s job. If that doesn’t say it all, what possibly could? The board needs to act, and they need to act now. It isn’t even about Emery any more. It doesn’t matter if the board thinks he’s the second coming of Jesus. This is a manager who has comprehensively lost the faith of both the fans and the players and you gotta move on when that’s the… Read more »


There really is no explanation for this lunacy, he just needs to go now.


The chant, “You don’t know what you’re doing !” has never been more accurate.


He sounds like a man that has won a competition to be here, just completely clueless.

Berlin Gooner

Emery is very good at not explaining his randomness.


The solution lies in your sacking!!!!….
You’re breaking my heart!!!!!….


Analyse, analyse, analyze, analyzz, analyzzz, zzzzzzz


Ah yes, the old paralysis by analysis routine.


Sounds like a never ending puzzle. Good Ebening.


In 18 months he has not managed to find a solution? Rogers has found one in less than a year. It’s a certainty that Mourinho will find one at S***s, this guy is never going to find a solution and needs to go tomorrow….


The madness of king Emery is real y’all


Emery thinks that the solution to Arsenal’s problems are found by adding more complexity when it’s clear that what the team needs (other than a new manager obv) is simplicity. A set style of play, players who play in their natural positions, who are allowed the freedom to play their natural game and basic instructions as to what to do when they lose the ball.


We lack identity and vision under Emery.


“No game plan” is not acceptable considering the work you claim to put in at every press conference, Unai.


“Set up in a way that would’ve confused pythagorus”

So irrationally?


The game is basically just 4 parts
Static defence: when the team sits deep and opponent has majority possession
Defence in transition: when the team loses possession and the opponent attacks.
Attack in transition: when the opponent loses possession and the team attacks
Static attack: when the opponent sits deep and the team has majority possession

We are failing in everything except static defence. Maybe attack in transition is average but the other two are nonexistent. What are they working on in training.


Common approach: compact in defence and wide in attack
Arsenal under Emery: compact in attack and wide in defence
Rarely have I seen so many players out of position in every single play of the game.
And opponents don’t need a xavi or iniesta to pass through the lines. Somehow every pass goes straight through us. It would be interesting to analyse the number of forward passes we allow in the middle third Vs what top teams allow


Emery will keep analysing, and put us in relegation battle, this man is just a mad man, someone pls help?

Bill McBillerson

Honestly, what is there for him to analyze? We have seen three Center backs A LOT and I’m certain even myself an uneducated dundelinger can see that we are poor going forward and since we can’t keep possession higher on the pitch it inevitably makes us weaker defensively as they can stuff the ball back into our faces quickly. How does it take emery what feels like 10 years though it’s probably closer to 5 not to see this?


Lord, have mercy on my soul.


Get pochetino asap before it’s too late, Wenger talk to kroenke

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Keeper passed it to CB. Opponents press. CB TO FB. FB TO CB. CB TO FB or GK (repeat a few times with maybe the odd midfield five yard pass to a CB). FB hoofs it or GK hoofs it head height to FB on the touchline. Possession lost.


Is this what a £6m a year coach does? I think I’d do much better for 10% of what we’re paying Emery.

Emery will not resign. He’s waiting for his payout. Just sack him now.

Dennis Asiimwe

It’s almost hilarious (ALMOST being the key word). In Kampala, a bustling metropolis in Uganda, Africa, we go to the local pub to watch matches in disguise. You can’t let your girl even get the slightest hint that you are STILL an Arsenal fan. She would leave! I am not sure what the long term goal of the management is, but I think they threw everything at Emery, and are reluctant to admit defeat. Reminds me of how long Mourinho lasted at Chelsea in his last stint there when things were so obviously rotten. I do have a prediction though:… Read more »


Told you we should have kept Wenger. Told you to be careful what you wish for. Told you things would be much worse under another manager. But did you listen? You thought you knew better. You couldn’t spell properly, had terrible vocabulary and no grammar when writing in these comments sections, but you thought you knew better than us better educated gooners. You got brainwashed by Talkshite radio and others in the media who hated us having too many foreigners in the club. And now you’re bitching again, but won’t admit you were wrong. Don’t blame Emery for this; don’t… Read more »


We finished outside the top 4 with Wenger and looked worse with every passing season.

Save your misplaced, smug sanctimony for somewhere else.


We finished outside the top 4 twice in TWENTY-TWO years. We finished 4th in 13/14, and subsequently, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 6th – hardly worse with “every passing year”. It’s misinformation like yours that made fans turn on Wenger and drove him out. If they had got behind the team, we’d have done much much better. We’d have won the league the year Leicester won it, had it not been for the toxic atmosphere that people like you created. With all that said, I must congratulate you on using a word like “sanctimony”. Now your next challenge is to learn some… Read more »


He is earning millions a year and his constant chopping and changing isnt going to work out.

Ljungberg as temporary caretaker coach pls!


I feel as though Emery has gotten what he wants, the chance to save the day by concentrating on Europa. If that’s true, we may finish bottom half of EPL table. Smfh.


Benitez for interim manager anyone?


No, please. Freddie Ljungberg is ready to step up for the interm


We have to analyse and prepare for the next match to improve our performances, like some kind of protagonists. I think a video session with the outstanding ALIEN movie on VHS wont make any harm. There is some space for Emery on another planet.


Thought we were going to compete for Top four, but its clear now that we wont even be in contention for Europa league spot as long as Emery remains. So sax.


He is the greatest troll of our club’s history, maybe even just a fake Emery, an ALIEN. There is a very good manager deep inside…


You thought Gazidis was bad at the top. I think Raul Sanllehi and his team could be worse if we play the next game with Unai still the Coach. Arsenal is lost. We need it back.

Mark Axbey

Our season is over in the ability to get in to the top 4. Our season now hinges on the euro cup. But with the tactics Emery keeps using, we are going to keep losing. We might get a scrappy win from time to time but if we can’t beat Southampton, we won’t beat anyone. Now after the Southampton game, we have to look at are there any positives. Yes there was in the second half. We actually looked like a team that was trying. That’s what the supporters want. That fight didn’t last long because once Emery made the… Read more »


I fucking hate my club. I mean I love it. But I fucking hate it.


Couldn’t agree more, I can’t watch us anymore because It makes me too angry. I’ve turned down 3 tickets in recent months, which I would have bitten someone’s hand off for not that long ago.
I just don’t understand what ‘our club’ is trying to do, Are they trying to completely fuck themselves?! Anyone with half a fucking brain could see Emery wasn’t up to it months ago, yet they continue this madness.

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