Arsenal are full of endemic problems – but how to fix them?

The Problems At Arsenal Are Many And Worrying by citrenoogeht

Stanley Kroenke, or ‘silent Stan’ is a business man who puts profits before sporting achievements to a fault. He shows no interest in Arsenal’s success other than when it affects him financially. Ironically, his lack of investment is having a direct impact on his profits. Last summer’s transfer budget of £70m was laughable. We are rumoured to have another derisory budget this summer of just £45m which could rise depending on other factors, such as winning the Europa League cup and qualifying for next season’s Champion’s League. However, this amount will still fall far short of an estimated £150m – £200m that Arsenal needs to become competitive.

Unai Emery
Unai Emery inherited an Arsene Wenger team that had failed in previous seasons and was given the remit of galvanising the team to achieve the minimum requirement of Champion’s qualification in his first season. His budget of £70m has proved to be a huge restraint on his ability to field a team in his own image. But one has to ask, after nearly a season of Unai being in charge, what is his own image? Initially he seemed like he was going to be a “no nonsense” manager who was confident enough in his thoughts to drop Ozil and to withdraw a contract offer to retain Aaron Ramsey. On the park, at the beginning of the season, one would have believed due to the setup and performances that Unai Emery’s identity was high pressing, playing out from the back and intricate passing. However, as the season has worn on, it has been difficult to lay an identity to Unai’s footballing philosophy due to his constant tinkering. Unai has been guilty of changing the formation constantly, poor in-game management decisions regarding substitutions, and failing to improve the mental fortitude of the team.

Sven Mislintat
One of the first casualties of the Unai Emery era has been that of the former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat. Sven’s brief appointment at Arsenal has overseen the signings of promising players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mattéo Guendouzi and disappointing players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Stephan Lichtsteiner. IMO, with the tight budget that Sven had he did a good job. Lille’s Nicolas Pepe was identified early on as one of his targets, however Sven was not supported in making this potential signing a reality. Now Pepe is worth twice the amount that we were considering buying him for, proving that he did not earn the nick name “Diamond Eyes” for nothing. Mislintat leaving has left a void at Arsenal that is yet to be filled. The last player to come into Arsenal was of course Denis Suarez from Barcelona. Suarez has been an unmitigated flop, only ever featuring as a sub for a sum total of 90mins before becoming injured and returning to Barcelona. Worryingly, I would attribute Suarez loan signing to Unai Emery as these two had a history when Emery managed Sevilla.

Steve Bould
Or to use his official title “First Team Defensive Coach”…. is the glue that links the shambolic defence of the Wenger era to shambolic defence that now plagues the Emery era. I honestly do not know what this guy does. All I know is he is never held accountable by fans for our shambolic defensive displays. IMO, Steve Bould has been nicking a living for far too long…. and it’s got to stop.

The Players
In general there seems to be a malaise that runs through the squad, a complacency if you will, that should be furthest from the mind of a serial winner. The lack of hunger and desire is apparent and costs the club points. But should we be surprised when the majority of our signings are on bloated wages when they in turn behave like mercenaries…. biting the very fingers that feed them?

The Fan Base
All things considered, I think the fan base is trying to be patient. However, because things do not look like they are going to change (because of the endemic problems that I have already stated), the fan base’s patience is wearing thin quickly. What we have brewing here ladies and gentlemen is the perfect storm.

Is there any way that we can fix all these problems very quickly? I think not….

By citrenoogeht


  1. You’re not the first one to point out all those problems. But then again Spurs are laughing at us since they’ve achieved so much more without signing a player all season! Money doesn’t solve the problem, pragmatism does. We need a director of football that won’t tolerate slack from any of our players.

    1. Spurs achieve so much??? I would like an explanation there?
      What have they achieved that we haven’t?
      Yes, right now they are doing well and that’s it!

      1. Agree.
        Spurs are as much bottlers as are Arsenal. At a point, they were PL title contenders being a mere 6 points off the table top. And everybody was saying the first 3 places were decided. But now they will finish 4th!

  2. Admittedly, one of the major flaws of Emery is his constant tinkering, always looking to negate the opposition tactics with clever tactics. Now, that in itself is not bad.
    However, I believe a club like Arsenal should ONLY adapt to teams that are evidently better than we are, Liverpool, City, and probably Spurs. Adapting to every team makes the players confused and shows a lack of identity IMO…
    City adapted their game when they faced Liverpool at Anfield this season, with Pep admitting that they are world class in high pressing hence the need to adapt their game.

    With Emery, it is difficult to really pinpoint his philosophy especially away from home. If you wanna play high press, why not do that home and away?
    I mean we should at least be able to stamp our philosophy on these so-called lesser teams…
    While it will work at times, adapting to every team makes us more of a smaller team than a big team.
    The mentality should be to play OUR football against the lesser teams and for now, adapt to the bigger teams

    1. No mate biggest problem here we don’t have good players like Santi Carzola or striker van persie or Henry with Aubameyang inconsistent in front of the goal forget going anywhere and Emery needs to fix that this coming summer also I hope rumors about Edu are true we need also to focus in South America which have better players and cheaper instead of telling me Zaha now can cost 70mln pound

  3. It is quite funny now isn’t it?
    Wenger played “our” football against any team while Emery adapts his game against every team….
    Having said that, I still believe Emery is tactically better than Wenger, he just needs to settle on a particular style….

  4. Emery needs Cash, more time
    It looks like we could improve over last season with mostly the same squad
    (5th place over 6th place and hopefully either winning or finals of Europa League assuming we don’t bottle it with Valencia)
    but most of our team are average or luxury players
    In my opinion we should sell/release following players:
    Either Mkhitaryan or Iwobi

    We should keep/promote following young players:
    Reiss Nelson
    Smith Rowe

    We should sign at least 1 Top CB
    But we also need 2 central midfielders and wingers

    I support Emery BUT
    our last 4 matches were LLLD
    That was unacceptable and I blame Emery mostly for poor rotation/Line-ups
    Also blame the players
    We had 4th or 3rd place in our hands aginst beatable teams and we didn’t even win our HOME matches. We BOTTLED IT

  5. I know we all wonder exactly what Bould does but his official title is not “First a team Defensive Coach”, it’s “Assistant Head Coach. Just saying as facts give credibility to an article.

  6. Nice write-up

    The quickest way to solve our problems is by finding buyers for Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Mustafi and the other goons. After the expensive deadwoods are sold, Arsenal can rebuild with new players by using the transfer money

    This should be the priority in the summer because Ozil’s Mkhitaryan’s and Mustafi’s contracts will expire in 2021

    The issue is I don’t think any club would be interested in Ozil and Mkhitaryan. But we can surely sell Xhaka and Mustafi with good price tags, due to their excellent stats

    1. If we agree to no transfer fee we could see both Özil and Mkhitaryan go. That way a club interested in them only would have to pay their wages.

      I do not think it is super likely though.

  7. Your assertion that Mavroponas has disappointed is utter nonsense.The young man has never been given a run of matches.Had you applied disappointment to Socratis, I would have concurred as he is no better than Mustafi in my opinion.This can be borne out by his record breaking fouls/ cards which tell their own story.He is one of the many liabilities we have in our squad including the highly paid Mik and Xhaka.

  8. Might I add a relevant stat? In Wenger’s last season after 37 games we had scored 73 goals and conceded 51 for a GD of 22. In Emery’s first season after 37 games we scored 70 and conceded 50 for a GD of 20. Not much defensive improvement (1 goal) and a small drop in offensive out put of 3 goals.

    There are many factors to consider and not just bottom line stats like goals scored/conceded. But if defensive improvement doesn’t translate in fewer goals conceded or a better GD (goal difference), the case for claiming improvement becomes thinner.

  9. I think you got your Greek defenders mixed up. Mavraponas is the promising one (although didn’t show much promise this year) and Socratis is a lot of things (warrior, wrestler, diver, gurner) but promising? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  10. These group of players are not good enough. The did it with Wenger a fatherly coach and now they are doing it with a go for it coach. Yes Emery is not the best for Arsenal but he is not as bad as these players make him to look.

  11. OT: Is Edu the appointment we need? What experience does he have? Why will he be better than Sven would have been? Should we be happy with his appointment?

      1. Member of the Invincibles and won two titles with Arsenal; a skillful player who could get down and play hard, scored some valuable goals and gave 100% for the shirt and his team mates.

  12. Edu will know the South American market very well and will hopefully unearth young gems who normally find their way to Portugal and Spain.I have always been frustrated by the failure of English Clubs to buy direct from South America, and later be obliged to pay a huge premium for their services..The appointment makes good sense to me.

    1. Work permit rules usually prevent us from signing players directly from South America. Like Wellington Silva and Joel Campbell, they would spend years on loan and end up never playing for us because they disappoint in their loan spells.

  13. Getting Edu is better than giving the dinner lady at arsenal a panini sticker book for research.

    Tell you what we need…
    STAN OUT!!! but they isn’t gonna happen because AFC is a great business for him.

    Yes, we can develop youth and should do but without a generous transfer budget we cannot fill the colander type holes in the squad.

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