Arsenal are going backwards with Emery in charge

Arsenal have to be proactive and act with ambition by Willem van der Vorm

When Emery was appointed I (and many with me) was of the opinion that we should give this manager some time to adjust to his new squad and the Premier League. To judge his first season was more a matter of watching for evidence of improvement than expecting results.

The manager started off with an unbeaten run that, even if it was fragile, was creating a positive feeling around the club. He was also credited for doing away with some of Wenger’s favorites by not giving automatic starting places to the likes of Ozil or Ramsey. It seemed he was running a meritocracy.

However, since the second half of last season the team has gone backwards in results, and progress on the pitch was undetectable. A near certain 4th place finish was squandered and not in the least because of his dodgy team selection and negative tactics. Add to that a complete capitulation in the EL final against a struggling Chelsea team which knew it wasn’t playing for next year’s manager anymore and it was clear the writing was on the wall about the decay that had set in.

Admirably, the owner supported the club with respectable investment in the squad over the summer transfer window and the likes of Pepe, Ceballos, Luiz and Tierney were brought in. It was hard to argue that the squad had not been improved.

Both Pepe and Ceballos in particular hit the ground running in their opening games. However, this could not stop the rot and our decay from last season is continuing at an alarming rate. Again the manager seems at the heart of the problem. He doesn’t seem to know his best team, he blindly picks non performing players (Xhaka, Sokratis, Kolasinac) and omits to play fit and better players (Holding, Tierney, Torreira) when available. His team selection and tactics also means we have little chance to win and our squad plays fearful and without clear direction. And given the lack of chances we create, the omission of Ozil seems now more like a personal vendetta than based on rational thinking. Perhaps Emery was so frustrated by his inability to manage Neymar that he decided to get rid of Ozil (our biggest name in the squad) just to avoid a similar situation. One thing is for sure, this team lacks creativity, and other than Ceballos, who should start every game IMO, Ozil is our most creative player. Spending a fortune on Pepe to start no creative players behind him seems like a waste of money.

The manager should not get the sack based on one game but based on the body of his work and the complete lack of progress in key areas such as defending, and our away record as well as a lack of chances created in away games despite having a talented forward line. We now have less points than we did last season at this time.

There is still a good chunk of the season left. Some of our competitors are struggling at the moment. Bring in a new manager (not a caretaker) now and we have the benefit of time on our hands, and we have the benefit of picking the best manager available before possibly Man Utd and Spurs pick ahead of us.

We are in 2019, almost 2020, gone are the days that you look for a manager to be in charge ad infinitum. We can not afford to give Emery till the end of the season based on the lack of any form of progress. To fail to qualify for the CL again would be a disaster and likely drive our best players away, as well as making recruitment of good players more difficult.

It’s time to be ruthless and act. We have been in decline since January of this year and that is not going to change with this manager in charge. He has been given time and money but he has not delivered meaningful progress. We are going backwards.

(my) Truth



  1. Arsenal have not progressed one bit under Emery. No style, tentative most of the time, and consistently losing to lower tier teams has now become the norm. People harp on about points total; but what is our identity under Emery? He has benefited from massive investments, and yet we are a far cry from even the last years of Wenger. Again people will argue about Wenger’s last crap season, but at least from time to time even during that terrible last season Arsenal were easy on the eyes. Emery is not good enough for Arsenal. He lacks guts. He should be given till the end of the season, but if we don’t make top four, he must be sacked.

  2. Sack Emery now! Arsenal as a team is getting worse. No pattern of play, players are playing without confidence and direction. Zero creativity with low scorelines despite having 2 of the best strikers in the league.

  3. I’d put Ozil in your group of non-performing players, along with Xhaka, Mustafi, Sokratis and Kolasinac. Ozil simply had too many chances already, since Wenger was at Arsenal

    Our German-speaking players have failed to be the core of the team and Emery has definitely lost the dressing room. A manager with a great influence will not ask his players to select their own captain and he will not divide them in two teams, just to win them over and to make them happy

    The next manager should be fearless and ruthless to his players like Guardiola. Guardiola had a bunch of rich sulkers in his squad and he banished them immediately, as what he did to Eto’o, Ronaldinho, Ibrahimovic, Nolito and Hart

    1. Why are you still blaming Ozil for anything to do with this season .
      Don’t just post crap for the sake of posting crap 💩

      1. Ozil is top class. It is a no brainer. A midfield 3 of Ozil Ceballos and Torrera would create chances. It will bring out the best in our attack. Then Guendouzi Willock and Xhaka as subs. That should be the pecking order. But Emery is negative. He is scared. He does not know what he is doing. Look at Man City midfield. David Silva is still part of the midfield despite his age. Creativity all over that city midfield. And effective strikers. But for Arsenal, it is mediocrity. Emery out. No need to wait till the end of the season.

    2. Let this sink in.

      Kevin de bruyne just beat Ozil assist record in fewer games but people forget de Bruyne plays in a billion pound team.
      Now if you have a guy that on his day can produce and has a record like Ozil you do not drop him for an 18 yr old with no prem do not replace a world cup winner with a promising 18 yr old from brasil with less than 5 games in PL that is just plain stupid. You dont continually humilate players by hanging them out to dry in public.

      People are too quick to believe emerys version of events and he has done nothing but stink out the place.

      He has a shit record at Arsenal and frankly Ozil has served Arsenal better in his time than emery so i will back Ozil over emery any day untill he proves his worth.

      Remember this guy said he had the master plan to get us back to glory.

      Think bloggers need to hold emery to his word rather than give him time cause he is new shit!!

      Also people backing emery over players that have already served the club more than emery i find weird. Its not as if emery has backed anything he says or made us better than the worst years of both Wenger and George Graham but he says Ramsey, Carzola, Ozil, Iwobi dont fit Arsenal and the fans eat it up like emery had earned their trust and respect. Fooking weird!!

    3. your name should be “I am clueless”
      Putting players that have seen the field for half a game as “non performing ” is idiotic

      Players need time to get on form . Time that UE is not allowing or at least rotating productively.

    4. When you say ‘German speaking’ players do you include Aubameyang and Sokratis, because they also speak German?

  4. The time to sack is indeed now. The man is a millionaire who will bounce right back, so any talk of ‘ruthlessness’ is an exaggeration. We’re not taking cancer medicine out of a sick child’s hand.

    A new manager would have a good chance for CL qualification based on our squad and the travails of 2 of our competitors. If not, he would at least get the players ready for his style BEFORE the next season.

    13 goals in 9 matches sounds pretty bad for a team like Arsenal. But if you consider we’ve had about 20 chances altogether – about 2 chances per match or just a little more, it’s our worst attack in more than two decades. And when you have attackers like Auba and Laca and suppliers like Ceballos and Ozil – that itself is a sackable offence, no need to even bother talking about defence.

  5. Wenger used to get whooped in the champions league on Wednesday, get another premierleague whooping on Saturday and finish it off with another Tuesday league cup/Fa cup whooping.. If the board didn’t sack him then I don’t think Emery will be sacked after one bad result. Should he be sacked in the longterm? Probably.. the fans don’t trust him, the media and pundits are always on his case. I still think though he can guide us into the top 4 this season. It’s too early to declare he has failed.

    1. Mate Wenger won trophies. His 2nd season at Arsenal was a double winning one.
      Unless you think emery is going to win the double this season then there is no comparison really.

      You should compare him to Bruce Rioch

        1. Just 3 FA cups….. offer that to many sides in the prem and they’d bite your hand off, that of course includes the Spuds. Please don’t knock our successes.

          1. Give Emery 13 years like wenger and if he himself does not win 3 or more FA cups in that time then he deserves to be sacked.

    2. When did Wenger ever have those many consecutive losses? Perhaps in your imagination! This is not an issue of love or hate for anyone. It is an issue of stating the facts as they are. Emery has really flopped because he has failed to identify his priorities! I get the feeling that his priority is Europa. Why would any serious coach continue to select error phone players like Sokratis and leave out Holding? Why would a serious coach prefer Willock to Ceballos for a starting place? Who doesn’t know that Tierney is better than Kolasinac? Why would Saka be preferred to Martinelli? It is these controversial decisions that have enraged the fans. When we had injuries no one was complaining but now people want accountability and Emery owes them answers.

    3. Any proper analysis will show that what we are calling for is not based on 1 result, it has been coming on since January. This team has not grown at all since January, shocking team selections, hopeless tactics, etc etc. What more reason do you want before you sack the manager? His excuses for non-performance are laughable, even if you can only understand about 30% of what he says.

      We are actually quite fortunate to have picked up the points we have.

  6. Last season we made a slight progression, in regards to points, league position, and first European final in 13 years. Emery had his faults last season, but the main reason we missed out on the Champions League, was the crippling list.

    Like myself, many other fans gave a Emery a free season regardless of the injuries. First new manager at Arsenal in 22 years, with Emery joining at a time the club has been enduring a long period of regression. The club is going through a huge transitional phase.

    So I am judging him from this season onwards, and it’s been painful viewing so far. A lot of injuries again, but the amount of mistakes Emery is making with the team selections is unacceptable! Defence is still poor, but our attacking has been woeful! I don’t know if anything else is going on behind the scenes apart from the Ozil saga, but things don’t seem right. Bournemouth should have at least got a draw, Villa, and Watford should have comfortably beaten us, Spurs could have been out of sight at half time, and so on. Looking at each game is depressing!

    1. This past weekend, injuries were not an excuse. Holding, Thierney and Torreira were all available for selection.

      1. Emery is not progressing the team.
        He seems to not know what he is doing right now.
        It’s going to be a very tough and slippery road for him from here and can’t blame anyone but himself.

    2. TMJW, “the club has endured a long period of regression – completely wrong and it is so easy to prove that with ACTUAL FACTS!!!

      Why do you keep saying these things when it can be proved otherwise?

      You base this false claim on league position and points, plus you mentioned our european final defeat in the europa leage, so let’s take a look:

      2010/11 = 4TH – points = 68
      2011/12 = 3RD – points = 70
      2012/13 = 4TH – points = 73
      2013/14 = 4TH – points = 79
      2014/15 = 3RD – points = 75
      2015/16 = 2ND – points = 71
      2016/17 = 5th – points = 75

      Factual conclusion is that we were NOT enduring long periods of regression either in position or points, unless you can see something I am missing?

      FA CUP
      2010/11 = 6TH ROUND
      2011/12 = 5TH ROUND
      2012/13 = 5TH ROUND
      2013/14 = WINNERS
      2014/15 = WINNERS
      2015/16 = 6TH ROUND
      2016/17 = WINNERS

      Factual conclusion is that we were NOT enduring long periods of regression, unless you can see something I am missing?

      2010/11 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2011/12 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2012/13 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2013/14 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2014/15 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2015/16 = KNOCK OUT STAGES
      2016/17 = KNOCK OUT STAGES –

      Factual conclusion is that we were NOT enduring long periods of regression, unless you can see something I am missing?

      So, TMJW, please tell me where you see the long regression in league positions or points, or even regression in the CL and regression in the FA Cup?

      We all agree, I think, that Wengers last season was horrendous and that can be seen in the league position and points, 3rd round fa cup knockout and no CL participation.

      But the continued insistance with these claims by so many fans who try to belittle AW’s legacy are so easy to disprove, I wonder why they and others keep on trying to claim that they are real…he resigned over two years ago anyway!!!

      If anyone DISAGREES with any of the above, I suggest they defer to the 2018/19 official handbook produced by our club.

      Now we have to live with what we saw last night!!!

      1. I was never a Wenger out guy and would never think of belittling his achievements but there is one area where he was noticeably slipping and that was against the other top 6 sides. Emery has done significantly better than Wenger did in recent years in that regard. Last 10 years record against ‘big 6’ under Wenger and Emery’s first year given below for comparison.

        08/09 |3|5|2| 16 | 18 |14
        09/10 |3|1|6| 11. | 17 |10
        10/11 |3|4|3| 14 | 12 |13
        11/12 |4|1|5| 17 | 21 |13
        12/13 |2|3|5| 15. | 16 |9
        13/14 |3|3|4| 9 | 19 |12
        14/15 |2|5|3| 14 | 13 |11
        15/16 |2|5|3| 15 | 15 |11
        16/17 |2|3|5| 13 | 18 |9
        17/18 |1|3|6| 10. | 21 |6

        18/19 |3|3|4| 16 | 19 |12

  7. And the manager with the highest win percentage in the history of Arsenal is…………Unai Emery. When will people learn to do some research and use some facts before spouting unsubstantiated opinions?

    It’s all hold and cold with people nowadays. We get some good results, fans egos get massaged and it’s all lovely. One defeat and it’s sack him, transfer him, drop him. It’s like being in a kindergarten.

    1. emery has played about 300 games less than other Arsenal managers that he is being compared with so obviously he is going to have skewed numbers. to get a better comparison it is better to analyse the firts 70-80 games if he has had that many games in charge to get an accurate comparison.

      what you are saying is unai is more successful than Chapman, Wenger and Graham which is really not the case.

    2. This article clearly states that we should judge Emery’s entire body of work and not just this last game. It is true that it is hard to argue that there is progress.

      The fact that Emery has the highest winning percentage despite failing to qualify for the CL and is sitting outside the CL places once again speaks mote to the records of those before him than of his own great achievements at Arsenal.

    3. I’m interested in your explanation of the comparison between Wenger’s last 44 games and Emery’s first 44 games, the number clearly shows that we’ve regressed defensively.

  8. Whoever wrote this article, I lost me once he stated”Pepe hit the ground running in his first EPL start”….

    1. He was great in the match against Liverpool. He was our number 1 outlet and had he not squandered the clear cut chance and Luiz wasn’t that stupid, we would have came away with a point.

    2. Read the reviews of his performance against Liverpool and remember the way he left VVD behind him. After that first game, he was hailed as the next Arsenal legend in the making.

      Granted he has struggled since but he did hit the ground running. Probably Emery’s coaching that snuffed the life out of him afterwards.

    3. Yes he left VVD for dust, but the most important thing he had to do, was stick that ball in the back of the net… he’s had chances, not only against Liverpool, but other teams..and he can’t do it.. his shooting is as bad as Iwobi’s right now. Yes the nutmegs and showboating are easy on the eye, but they don’t win you games!!! 72m…. come on Pepe

  9. I quite agree with you on this, Willem van der Vorm. Emery has tried his best, just that he is not the man for the job. Footballing decisions are to be made devoid of emotions and sentiments.

  10. bro ,just imaging what Wenger will do with these fantastic set of players emery is messing with.we have a title contending squad but a mediocre manager who will never figure out how to maximize the team potentials.virtually all the players have regress under Emery,the much maligned xhaka wasn’t this terrible under Wenger;sokratis was a decent defender at Dortmund, Luiz was okay at Chelsea, torreira was a revelation at the world cup,I can’t go on but anyone who think emery is not the problem is obviously not an arsenal.

      1. if a mediocre Wenger brought stability to the club,guaranteed top4 for 13 years ,3 fa cup with average set of player probably mediocre has a new meaning.

    1. Forget Wenger, let’s concentrate on what we have and what we can and should do with it. Useless comparisons get us nowhere. Other teams had different managers, there was a lot less money going around, not so many arab owners with lots of money, etc etc. The league has changed, Man City were nowhere, Spurs were nowhere, how can you compare that with today?

      Emery was the architect of Arsenal failing to reach ECL, we dropped far too many points against mickey mouse teams last season after January. We have NOT inproved on the field since then in spite of millions spent on new players. The performance of the young players in cup games and the EL suggests that Emery is getting his EPL game selections all wrong and match tactics are non-existent, if there are any at all except for dangerously playing out of defence.

      Fire the man NOW!

  11. Emery is a lost clown.
    I would defend my statement anytime, anywhere, anyday..
    All I know is.. He needs to be out before it’s too late..
    Before it’s too late.

  12. True. Even Chelsea are playing a better football than us. Far much better. Even when they lose they lose fighting and with intent. Arsenal is plain and every player is becoming useless and average. I feer that even Ozil will look no better

  13. Just when you think the Arsenal has figured it out and call for change.. they employ a professional buffoon as a coach.. I have always said it here forget David Luiz we don’t have a better defender than him.. Nicholas Pepe is still as fantastic as he was last season.. Socratis is shaky but can perform better we always try to call out players.. Xhaka Kolasinac when the problem clearly is a buffoon in the form of Unai Emery.. He destroyed Arsenal by not keeping our best players.. imagine if we still have Iwobi and Ramsey in the team.. players who may not always do the Messi Ronaldo flicks but create enough to keep up the team.. this buffoon let them go that’s not bad at all can the idiot play his best team available to him? Man U is playing with kids because they don’t have a choice how is that working out for them.. Soljear will do a better job with the squad available to Unai Emery.. this is the end of the road for me and Arsenal.. I am going to support City or Liverpool I will leave the complaining system to y’all.

    1. Quince, a supporter “supports” through thick and thin. If you want to “support” another club, that’s your decision, but don’t let the gate hit you on the way out.

  14. I still don’t think Unai is the man for the job. He’s afraid of taking risks and that fear has been transferred to the players on the pitch. He also seems to be confused. However, in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, I see a different Arsenal. I see passion, I see drive and I see a desire to win. Not just win by one goal, but total demolition of the opponent.
    Why the different mentality? Some say the opposition in Europa and the Cup games is weaker than the Epl. In the Epl, we’ve struggled with virtually every opponent this season, and were able to score 3goals only once, against Aston Villa.
    On the other hand, it’s been free scoring for us (and clean sheets too) in Europa and Carabao cup.
    Kierian Tierney, and Hector Bellerin are young and energetic fullbacks, that join the attack and put more pressure on the opponent’s defence. Holding is a calm centre back, who is less prone to errors.
    These 3players have been part of our Europa and carabao games so far.
    I expected to see them feature at Sheffield game yesterday. Why on earth is Una still not playing them in the EPL?

    1. This is exactly what led me to believe that it was just a matter of waiting for injuries to subside – and I’m still hoping that the UEL form will be brought into the PL – I just don’t understand why he didn’t take the opportunity to do so against Sheff 🤷‍♂️

  15. Actually, the players were good in the last match, I have a hard time picking one to blame. The problem is always the tactics. We were unable to bring and keep the play on the opponent’s half (as shown by the action area). We were inviting pressure, no wonder we conceded a goal.
    Three reasons, but all stemmed from midfield area:
    1. Our midfielders were too deep, we can’t expect Xhaka and Guenduozi to make defence splitting passes from our half. They’re no Pirlo.
    2. Our midfielders are good passer but not inventive. Ozil was special because he can make a pass when nobody is in the picture (in the past, not looking for another Ozil debate). If Ceballos is his replacement, why didn’t he start the game. The others played too safe.
    3. They are too slow (physically and mentally). When playing against opponents who sit deep, it’s especially important to move the ball quicker. Xhaka and Guenduozi are workers with good attitude, but they are slow.

    OT: I was tuning in to Sky Sport, but why the pundits are always ex-United players and Jamie Redknamp?
    For example against Man Utd it was Roy Keane, last match Patrice Evra (what a scathing comment but can’t argue because it’s true)

    1. I can’t disagree. Particularly on ball rotation. We are way to slow circulating the ball. This makes us easier to defend against. When Ceballos came on there was at least a slight increase (not enough) in the pace of the game and decision making.

  16. Some stats :
    Last 10 away games in the Premier League under Emery:
    LWLLW (18-19)
    WLDDL (19-20)
    11 points from 30.

    Arsenal have conceded 22 Premier League goals from set-pieces since the start of last season; only Watford (25) and Everton (24) have conceded more. Weakness.

    Arsenal have conceded on average 16 shots per game.

    Arsenal have kept as many clean sheets away from home in the Premier League (2) as Sheffield United since Unai Emery replaced Arsène Wenger. Sheffield United have played four games. 🙃

  17. EMERY HAS TO GO. Pundits & fans criticize our defence & last night Holding Bellerin Tierney all available. Saka & Willock,sorry,good but not good enough for premier league. Yet. Ceballos & Ozil fit to go. Torreria Lacazette fit to go. Dick ( head ) has a wealth of talent & picks Sokratis,kolasniac Zhaka & 2 kids. We all know what back 4 we want. Luiz holding midfield with Torreria then pick the best of the rest. Try chambers holding Luiz in a back 3. Then 5 across the middle. Laca & Auba. Anything better than that lot last night.

  18. Ok a back 3.
    Chambers Holding Luiz.
    Bellerin torreria cebellas Tierney
    Pepe laca Auba.
    There are so many options. Emery has a wealth of talent at his disposal not being used either through fear or incompetence. I think the latter. Look whose not in. Kolasniac Zhaka guendousi ozil martinelli. But something like that 11 is what is the neucleas of our strongest 11.pick your best 11 at any given opportunity. Tweak for the big games but we should not be showing fear to anyone. WE ARE THE ARSENAL.

  19. You have to say we were poor last night although Pepe for once was trying to create something,but when i saw this line up my heart sank,the same old faces,Xhaka Sokratis,Luiz,Kolasinac,leno and i include him even though he is a good shot stopper, i think Martinez is much more assured and more likely to keep clean sheets,however the same underperforming muppets seem to be What Emery regards as the mainstay of the premiership team,these players are nothing more than mediocre and many would probably not get a game for any of the top six or seven prem clubs,Lampard is no mug and could see that luiz was going to cause problems because he didn’t rate him and wasn’t going to play him.
    I was all for giving Emery a chance to develope a great side but it will not be with this bunch and to keep picking them is making me think that he does not now deserve that chance sorry Unai but no more chances, as far as i am concerned you will be on your way soon.

  20. It must be said, so that all those Wenger sympathizers who invariably poke their heads out of their dusty holes whenever Emery trips over his dick, our club is in considerably better shape now than in the last several years of our former manager’s reign. That said, if we allow Emery to continue on this current course, which can be largely defined by his tactical ineptitude and deplorable team selections, a similar type horror show could be on the horizon. Let’s deal with simple facts, we all know of our defensive deficiencies, so a smart manager, like Klopp and Pep, who both faced similar issues at their current clubs, leaned on the old adage that your best defence is a good offence. Yet we continue to start defenders who aren’t mobile enough and who lack the ability to pass vertically, then to make matters worse we position Xhaka as the deepest lying midfielder, who is himself painfully slow and inept defensively, in the hopes that he can provide the magical link between the back and front thirds of the pitch. I get it, he has an above avaerage left foot, but his knack for picking up yellows and giving up set pieces in dangerous positions, his inability to help the back four from a defensive capacity and his generally deliberate and increasingly slow long passes, simply make no sense. Not to mention he has provided precious little from a set piece capacity considering what most of us expected upon his arrival. So do us all a favour Unai and take this slow-moving shit show elsewhere and if you love the sloth-like football stylings of Xhaka so much take him with you to another League where opposing teams don’t high press and where they allow players ample time on the ball in their own end. This makes such little sense, from a tactical perspective, that I’m starting to miss the Diaby years. No more excuses, start your best 11 now!!!


  22. Anti football is Unai’s philosophy and he can’t even beat a relegation team with his “football” 😂😂😂

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