Even Pires says Arsenal are in trouble

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Robert Pires admits Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton has left Arsenal in “big trouble”.

While that’s stating the obvious, the statement packs more of a punch from the Invincible given he said last week he is “always confident and optimistic when I talk about Arsenal.”

The Frenchman still thinks Unai Emery can fix the situation, however, as a club ambassador with a free pass to train with the first team whenever he wants, that’s perhaps not a surprising stance to take.

The Gunners went into Saturday afternoon desperately needing a win to get their Champions League ambitions back on track but had to settle for a deeply unsatisfying draw thanks to Alex Lacazette’s stoppage-time strike.

“Everybody knows at Arsenal, even Unai Emery, that they are in big trouble,” Pires told Omnisport.

“But [Emery] is a competitor, he knows the high level. He was a great manager with Sevilla, with Paris Saint-Germain, but the situation is not so good.”

Last week, Amy Lawrence chatted with Pires for an article in The Athletic. The 46-year-old outlined the challenges lying at Emery’s feet.

“This team has such quality,” he said. “The squad can improve this situation. The most important thing now is that Unai Emery needs to talk to the group to try to find a solution together. I hope they can, for the players, for the club, for the manager.

“I know he is having trouble. Unai is a good guy. He is a nice person. He is a good manager. He is under pressure, unfortunately. Fans can’t always appreciate the details of the situation but to be a manager is very difficult, especially when you work in the Premier League.

“You can be a manager in Spain, France or Italy but when you come to England the intensity is totally different. It is about the fight, the spirit. The intensity is extremely difficult.”

Arsenal are eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the Champions League places. We take on Frankfurt at the Emirates in the Europa League on Thursday before a trip to Norwich on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether Emery will be in charge for those games.

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raz
raz

Give Bobby the job, couldn’t do any worse.

Luther
Luther

Shut up. It’s stupid statements like that, that are making us a laughing stock.

Andy
Andy

Why such a speedy decline into mud-slinging? How rude!

Luther
Luther

Because there was little to no thought put into that comment. These people are giving us a bad name, and it’s pissing me off.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

These people? Who gave you the keys to the boardroom?

SB Still
SB Still

#HasHeGoneYet

Takeshita
Takeshita

I met Pires at Tokyo in 2016 and I must admit he was one of the nicest human being I have ever met, let alone a celebrity. I can’t see him bad mouth about Emery, he is too nice a person.

No wonder Andrew Mangan likes him so much!!!

Da Boss
Da Boss

nothing to do with his gorgeous face or sublime footballing ability, of course…

David C
David C

plus he wants to keep training at Arsenal 🙂

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Take away the gorgeous looks, the medals and trophies, and he would still have great goals against tottenham.

A Gorilla
A Gorilla

Every article that isn’t about the inevitable must be hard to write. Keep up the good work buddy!

Jarghs
Jarghs

Checking the site about 18 times a day for the good news

Andy
Andy

I read this as ‘every article that isn’t about the INVINCIBLE is hard to write’ and thought ‘yeah, it’s Bobby Pires’.

Mentally Drained Gooner
Mentally Drained Gooner

This season is gone already. Nothing left. The board made sure of that. Earlier it used to be February. Now what to do till August 2020?? 😭

The Voice of the Noise
The Voice of the Noise

There’s always the Arsenal Women

shmokin'em
shmokin'em

Yep, I took my two girls to watch the women yesterday. Great atmosphere will definitely take them again until the men pull their emery out.

Aaron
Aaron

We always derailed in November during the Arsene days.
But this is capitulation under Emery, albeit in November.

kas
kas

Don’t know about ‘nothing left’. Spurs fans are already bullish about winning a trophy & making top 4.

Sean
Sean

Also met Pires once in King’s Cross. Was catching the Eurostar and can confirm he’s as dreamy as Arseblog makes out…

He also had the firmest handshake I’ve ever been on the receiving end of in my life. Was almost as if he was made out of stone

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Not made…..chiseled.

hustle6
hustle6

can we just have a post where we share the times we met Bobby and he was awesome?

I was at a celebrity tournament in Stratford and some girl I knew who was Sakho’s PA (then of liverpool now of palace). She knew a lot of french players and she introduced me to Bobby, it was amazing.

I thought I’d played it cool like “sup playa?” and not given away the fact that I was speaking to probs my favourite player ever. But when she went back to chat to him he asked her for a pen and gave her his autograph to give to me.

So yeah he must have clocked how excited I was even if I was trying to keep it low key.

Good dude.

Yes I was a grown adult man when this all happened.

78/79/80
78/79/80

I can’t say I met him but I once saw him jogging up Great Portland st in London in casual wear, circa 2004. How did I know it was him? The gait is unmistakable, I thought ‘that looks like the way Bobby Pires Runs’ Then I saw it was him. I was in the back of a car, I like to remember that I wound down the window and shouted “Bobby! J t’adore!!!” but I think that is a false memory, I wasn’t quick enough, either of mind or window winding. And now he’ll never know.

Wezza
Wezza

Blogs, I have a theory.
Stan buys Arsenal and gives it to his son and says “there you go, show me what you can do”.
Josh makes a load of decisions and now doesn’t want to admit that hiring Emery was a mistake. Makes him look bad as well as making it look like he’s easily influenced by fans and doesn’t want his father to think he’s not up to it.
Of course, one of the best things a successful business person can do is recognise and admit to their mistakes and make amends.
Just a theory

Dave M
Dave M

Josh: “Father, I chose the wrong manager, Emery isn’t very good”
Stan: “Josh [pause for harsh, raspy breathing], I am NOT your father!”
Josh: “Nooooooooooooooooo…..!!!!”

Wezza
Wezza

Hahaha
Stan: “Josh, Unai is your father”
Josh: “Arsene, hear me”

Dr Zebra
Dr Zebra

Haha..
Stan: Sorry, who is this Unai you mention?

Serpent
Serpent

KSEs flagship, The Rams, fired their Head Coach right after giving him an extended contract. They then put a 30something-year old in the driving seat.

And I think they did pretty good last year or the year before.

Caligunner
Caligunner

@serpent

He was a head coach for 5-6 years without a winning record with the rams. I’m not sure if he had just signed an extension but if he did, what management gives a coach with no playoffs let alone a winning record an extension in the first place?!?!

Great hire in Mcvay. Idk if you are inferring that with arteta situation but I don’t think you give an inexperienced assistant the job unless he is a club legend like zidane with RM. I wouldn’t hire inexperienced manager myself because of the risk associated with that. NA and European sporting culture is soo different. I would rather go with someone who is proving themselves at smaller club or different league and I’m not thinking of viera but I would take a risk with him before arteta.

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

This has nothing to do with Josh. We have players who have no winning mentality. Winning or losing is same for them. In addition, Laca, a critical player for us, was injured. We bought Pépé and it is being a gamble that hasn’t been working. It wasn’t Pépé’s contribution the problem but the fact that the manager kept on changing the system to get the best out of him and it never worked.

db10s

Thats the thing. Even though we lack a winning mentality, it can be introduced via the coach, staff and executives. Some where along the line there’s a huge void of leadership.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You excuse Pepe because Emery kept changing the system, but the rest of the team (for whom Emery was also changing the system) simply have no winning mentality? Says more about you than the players.

Dave M
Dave M

To reply to Robert (whom I bloody love as one of my all-time Arsenal favourites). We (the fans) do appreciate that this is a really tough job, we do know Emery is a really nice guy. Does that mean we just keep ramming our heads into the wall? Until we are fighting the relegation battle? Emery was good in Sevilla, he struggled at PSG and he has fallen apart at Arsenal. Emery will be ok Robert, but if he stays in charge Arsenal will not.

Oregoon

Add to the fact that the manager says he “knows how to fix the problems”, and then we have another poor performance on Saturday. Robert summarizes what seems to be Emery’s biggest issue, and that is not being able to communicate to the whole team to find a solution to our poor play (let alone a clear execution of any plan.)

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

The point is, with the way Emery leads the team we won’t be fighting the relegation battle. We’re already in it, and at best drawing against the teams in the relegation zone, and only drawing or losing against teams above them.

Free Fall continues until you hit rock bottom without some kind of miracle. Emery will never come up with the miracle.

myrtle
myrtle

I don’t have confidence in Emery to get a win against any league opposition anymore. That says it all really.

Snc
Snc

12 unconvincing games in the PL… That’s 3 months of rubbish football. Players look so disjointed and we can’t defend and attack convincingly. If Unai can’t bring the best out of them, then he needs to go. If not now, when?

Ennui ball
Ennui ball

3? We haven’t played well since April

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

To be fair, we didn’t play well last season apart from a handful of games. Even during that 22 game run, they rode their luck heavily

Wezza
Wezza

On paper the third best attack in the league behind Liverpool and Man City and we can’t outscore the leagues worst team. Sorry Bobby but he’s got to go.
Plus, we know the Premier League is tough and more intense than the Spanish and French leagues but other mangers seem able to deal with it.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

It’s a damn shame, paper doesn’t win football matches

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I’m still hoping to turn on SkySports today and be told that Emery has been sacked. If he’s still at the club by this time tomorrow then we are a complete joke.

If I was on the “board” of Arsenal right now and the owner refused to dismiss the current manager then I would resign myself in protest. Would YOU want to be associated with this horrific s*it-show?

How did the club ever come to this?

Benriz
Benriz

I agree with you Fats. It really is unbelievable. This situation, coupled with the nonsense surrounding politics in this country at the moment has me convinced more than ever that we’re in a simulation.

jon

Statistically, you’ll get 8-10 good games with a new manager before all the old problems resurface. Emery had his run last autumn, Solskjær this spring. Morinho should hit the wall in March.

If we decide that Emery is exceptionally bad, and must be sacked, the new manager should be someone who fits our long term plans, our preferred managerial setup and the style of football we want to play. Not somebody just coincidentally out of job.

Unfortunately, Arsenal is now a mid table team. A range of factors probably play their part. They must all be fixed. The manager is only one of them, if at all.

Oregoon

One of your last posts said it all, KSE.

The Voice of the Noise
The Voice of the Noise

According to Planet Football, Emery has apparently tried 7 different formations in the last 7 games.
And this is what it’s gotten us: W-D-D(L on pens)-D-D-L-D
That is more than “trouble”. That’s a manager not knowing what to do and a team in relegation form.
End this now, Arsenal, and get in a proper manager to help us turn this season into something positive! At the very least, just a positive goal difference!

Gargon
Gargon

The shots on goal stats are enough to spell out the situation lol

Derek
Derek

Time for Pep’s assistant. Please!!!!;!;;;

Whisht
Whisht

I’m almost certainly making more of this than it is but this line struck me:
“The most important thing now is that Unai Emery needs to talk to the group to try to find a solution together.”

What he’s suggesting is that this group of players have enough quality and should ‘manage upwards’ with the coach and coaching staff.
That these players are good enough to find an ‘internal solution’ without needing a new coach.

This would suggest that replacing Emery isn’t the *most* immediate thing and can happen later.
First and foremost the players can take the lead.

That’s interesting from someone both inside the bubble but also a former player.
That he thinks that could be enough to at least address short-term issues and get some wins.

As I say he’s on the inside, knows the players, knows the coach and coaching staff (which I know includes Freddie).

But I’m probably overthinking this and grasping at straws.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

The reality is once the clown 🤡 is sacked our results will improve if gunnersaurus takes over.

Swerve
Swerve

Freddie and RP7?

I know they have no experience just a nice idea with no facts to back it

goonero
goonero

They’ll be welcome additions to Artetas backroom team

Jalex
Jalex

Much like the renowned captaincy policy, how about a 5-manager solution of Vieira, Arteta, Ljungberg, Pires and Henry?

Wezza
Wezza

Without wanting to sound horrible but Arteta doesn’t look right in that company

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Yeah swap him for Bergkamp

Santori
Santori

Arteta will not be good for us.

Unai is a far more experience manager and in attempting to play the same sort of game as Pep, he is already struggling with assets not suited for it.

Arteta will try and do the same if not worse play possession/out from the back.

Not anyone will do.

As much as it can get better, it can also very much get worse and put us back even further.

Santori
Santori

Llungberg has tno had much influence as is right now.

i don;t think he will carry anymore with a new manager.

goonero
goonero

Well I’m no expert, but my FM 2020 coaching staff has all 5 of those legends involved and we’ve not lost a single game and reports say we have the best coaching staff in the league.

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper
ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

The players will still have to vote on it.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Emery is a good coach. As long as he’s in La Liga.

That’s where he should be heading. For his sanity and ours. Got to say though, that Sky reporter was bang out of order with his ‘Good evening’ mocking. If Emery had chinned him, I might’ve given him another game to rescue the situation.

In some ways though, the club let has him down. He’s struggling with the language and nobody at the club (Edu or whoever) came to him, put their arm around him and politely said, “Listen. They’re making fun of the ‘Gud Ebening’ thing. Just stop saying it or it’ll get worse and maybe spread to the players.”

Bit late now though.

Still, he’s got to go.

truj
truj

It is a process

Santori
Santori

What the gaffer needs to do is get the team working far harder.

Just watching Sheffield yesterday, a team with far humbler resource and talent, they were superb in terms of work rate particularly off the ball with coordinated pressing but also when attacking, they followed up in numbers and always had someone moving to provide the player on the ball with an option(s)

This is basic stuff but we neglect it.

Lacazette (and later Willock) maybe Tierney, Martinelli the only ones with sufficient application Saturday.

Pepe maybe suffering from a loss of confidence but as I mentioned repeatedly, he needs to cover this with a strong work rate off ball I am not seeing enough of.

Auba too lackadaisy, loses the ball too many times and is NON competitive for high balls. He has to improve.

Guendouzi and Torreira put in the work but they need to work on basics, play short passes, There were a number of times Torreira did this turning and taking the 5 yards of space just ahead of him. more of this needs to be done.

Ozil had flashes of brilliance but we need sustained effort through 90 minutes. Particularly if he is part of the front 3.

Overall we sit back way too much and take too many touches.

Plus add to this concentration level poor as epitomised so succinctly by their first goal.

No surprise without Mustafi or Granit, we still flatter to deceive. They were never really the problem as I mentioned many times.

Compound this with lack of effort to address long standing issues last summer rather (again) taking short cuts trying to rely on old war horses like Koscielny and then bring in panic buys like SideshowBob, its not surprising we are where we are.

Ben gun 9ja
Ben gun 9ja

The earlier the better or not even Europa’s league for us come next season. We need an attacking football coach, we are tired of being under pressure, no confidence and backwardness. Go Gunners!!!

Santori
Santori

1)We are not aggressive enough in defense and not positive enough in attack.

2)There is a fundamental lack of balance between our attacking play and defensive side born in part from midfield limitations but also generally bc the team isn’t playing enough as a unit.

3)Also not using our good assets well enough. We have so much pace out wide with potentially Pepe/Bellerin + Auba/Tierney or Kolasinac.

4)We are so slow to transition still. Where we should be like a coiled spring defending set pieces and ready to pounce on the counter, we tend to take far too many touches

5)Defensively we are still not concentrating enough but offensively, we do not help the flawed Cbacks bc we do not hold the ball well enough (Auba).

This is all before we even talk tactical selection etc.

All these need to be addressed by the gaffer.

Its many little negatives which add up, not one overriding factor.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No, its pure confusion on the part of the players. None of them were rubbish players before Emery got into their heads.

Santori
Santori

Whether you feel they have the right ambition, the board is correct to take a measured approach.

1) If Unai continues to falter and we drop further, I don’t think his position is tenable. we are on the precipice at the moment. BUT if he can control the situation then it depends on:

a) Who is available in market currently replacement wise, remembering the warning “as much as it can get better, it can get even worse”

-Arteta may not be the best solution for us. He will instill Pep’s brand of football for which this team may not have sufficient technical qualities to perform having already seen emery try to do the same tih the play out from the back methodology.

-Allegri we can all agree is a top manager but we kid ourselves if we think we are the most attractive proposition.

Bayern are under caretaker in a league that is less competitive and therefore less risk to his reputation (having not worked out of Italy as yet). Plus expectations at Arsenal may not be attractive considering the amount of competition in the league in terms of top managers to the work that has to be done with this still very flawed team in terms of composition.

– Ponchenttino – Again, he may decide to take new challenges and that one of the big boys in Spain may soon decide to open vacancy.

– Rangnick – Not really a seasoned manager albeit he had one very good season for RB Liepzig and he is still functioning as their football director so unlikely.

– Eric Ten Hag. Also under contract so will be an undertaking to pry away. But money may make some diff given it is Ajax.

b) Timing is also key. We are now close to January window which means we have a good juncture to restock should we bring in a manager just before hand. Example the self mitigate problem of Granit Xhaka has created more complications than good in a midfield already scarce with resource (Cebellos out with injury)

January maybe a good time to consider say Emre Can who is under utilised and having a torrid time in Italy. Someone no nonsense to come into hold midfield for us but of course this will be in some ways dependent on how a new gaffer sees things.

2) If Unai starts to turn things around, then maybe a wait and see further, as h is ultimately anyway out of contract end of season and it will have less impact on our pockets.

So this season is yet another wash out. But it would be worse if the alternative options carry equal to worse long term risk and we knee jerk reaction commit to them, then have to chop and change down the line sooner than later.

This will be further unsettling for the already confused squad and will unsettle some players yet further making our ‘rebuild’ even more complicated, noting strongly Sanlehi has back loaded on Pepe and Saliba meaning we may have to contend with less money in future transfer windows.

Thereby it is a textured response we need to have to see if Emery can pull it together (VERY SHORTLY) or if the tipping point is such that risk on new manager outweigh on incumbent.

Santori
Santori

If I was Allegri or Ponchenttino’s manager – I would not advise them to come to Arsenal.

a) Undue expectation and a non supportive fan base that will quickly turn on you.

b) Out of CL.

c) Backloading by Sanlehi on Pepe and Saliba may likely have impact to future transfer budget and add to a notoriously frugal spending policy and plenty of holes still unaddressed within the team at Cback, CM, a faltering Pepe, risky.

d) Perhaps more importantly, the amount of competition from top managers – Klopp, Pep, Mounrinho etc may make it more risky to reputation should Allegri or Ponchentinno not succeed. Their stock will go down.

e) Other clubs available or near available in Continent far more attractive in Bayern and say one of the Spanish big boys soon to likely tire of incumbent.

Unless Arsenal come in with a really hefty offer, far better to wait on these clubs already in CL, better resource and slightly less competitive in league.

f) Allegri will be first season outside of Italy. Probably better to hold a less risky mangerial job first before jumping into the den. A team with very strong hold on its own domestic league likely a better option with concentration on CL.

Ponchentinno probably also tired of UK. A change of environment better.

So easy to say sack Emery but options may not play out the way we think they can.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

What I don’t like is that it is always 100% the fault of the manager and the players take no responsibility whatsoever. These guys are professional footballers and the team is good enough for top 4 minimum, you are not telling me that even if there is a communication breakdown or they have lost faith in the manager they cannot get their heads together and win some of these games they have lost or drawn. If nothing else what about playing with pride for the club ?
And then no doubt when we get a new manager miraculously they will all make an effort again and give 110% just like that …

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That’s how it works for every other team in the world. Useless manager screws team up. They play better for new manager.

Damobot
Damobot

At leas he not one of those traitors like Stewart Robson. Loyalty is an admirable trait.