Arsenal can bully smaller sides but our awful record against Top Team continues…

Are Arsenal Flat Track Bullies? Paul Merson thinks so… by Akinnubi

A second day defeat at Stanford Bridge makes it two defeats from our two opening matches, a feat last achieved in the 1992/1993 season with the Gunners finishing the season in 10th position.

The ‘ever positive’ Ian Wright though said he is impressed by the team’s performances thus far and unconvinced that the defeats places us at a disadvantage against the other Top 6 teams,with his word being “It’s early doors, It’s early doors” (He said it two times according to the Express).

Now let’s discuss the headline above. These are words from Paul Merson before the 3-2 defeat against Chelsea yesterday:
“It’s going to take time for Emery to do anything there and they have a tough start. But they’re going to have to be
very patient because it could take more than three transfer windows to get in the sort of players he needs. They are well behind the rest. Arsenal are flat-track bullies. They won’t trouble the big clubs but will put away the lesser ones, so once they get past this game [vs Chelsea] they should start winning.”

Looking at our record against the top 6 teams last season:

Arsenal 2 – Tottenham 0
Arsenal 2 – Chelsea 2
Arsenal 3 – Liverpool 3
Arsenal 1 – Man Utd 3
Arsenal 0 – Man City 3

That’s one win, two draws, two defeats, eight goals scored and eleven conceded at the Emirates.

Away though:
Chelsea 0 – Arsenal 0
tottenham 1 – Arsenal 0
Man City 3 – Arsenal 0
Liverpool 4 – Arsenal 0
Man Utd 2 – Arsenal 1

That’s one draw and four losses and an aggregate of 10-1.

Picking up 6 points and scoring 9 goals (8 at home) in ten games seems to justify Paul’s words and I hope Emery is listening and has what it takes to help us perform better against the top teams and give the fans performances to cheer about again!!




  1. Unai Emery says:

    Let’s bully the small teams first, we haven’t even managed to do that for the past 3 years under Wenger… Then we’ll take on the big boys

    1. TW14-TH14 says:

      At home last season, Arsenal beat all teams outside the top 5 at home and 1 top 5 team (Tottenham) culminating to 15 wins.

  2. Unai Emery says:

    Which one sounds nice ?
    Unaiball or Emeryball?

    1. Red and white says:


  3. JJPawn says:

    It is called money. Most top teams have spent money, or have had some luck with home grown players (Spurs). Everton might join the top four hunt… if Usmanov billions get spent there.

    Emery is not going to solve that, just as Wenger could not.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I believe Emery can turn the tide, if he is given at least two seasons and be more ruthless to the underperformers

      1. JJPawn says:

        The quality of players really matter. We simply cannot afford the type of players needed to win at the top level.

        1. Durand says:

          JjPawn I agree we lack the players. Unfortunately I don’t believe Kronke will invest. I say this with confidence because of Sven being brought into the club. Kronke gambling that out of several relatively inexpensive buys (£10-£12 million) Sven will find a Guendouzi, and hopefully some youngsters from academy come good; AMN, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, and Eddie.

          All Kronke wants is top 4 for CL, and get out of round of 16; after that its just a bonus. I’m sure if we miss this year he may spend £30-£40 million on a player if it can get us back into top 4.

          Anything else is unrealistic because Arsenal is merely steady income for him and he knows people will always buy tickets, period.

          Rams are worth more than Arsenal, according to Forbes magazine, and LA Rams are getting a £5 billion or more stadium; (which they may end up sharing with another team.)

          He borrowed £550 million to buy out Russian, and owes on Rams stadium; (not sure how much public funds vs his personal debt.)

          Hence Sven to buy cheap gems like Guendouzi.

          1. TW14-TH14 says:

            Hoping for “Guendozis” is a huge leap of faith. Firstly, Guendozi is no star yet – may or may not flourish in the long run. Secondly, talent scouting has limits and can’t make up for investment.

            Yes, Guendozi has done well so far but it’s still early days to be certain that he would develop further. Holding came in, in a similar way from the lower league and did very well performing a masterclass in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea, yet, he’s still not a certainty to make it big.

            This Guendozi hype should be moderated. Seven is no magician and before him, Arsenal have had great youth scouting over the years (Fabregas, Van Persie, Flamini Diaby, Song, etc.) but that still could not all make up for heavy investment.

          2. Durand says:

            Tell Dortmund Sven is no “magician” as you say. Auba, Mhki, Pulisic, Dembele, etc… Not only did his scouting keep them near top of Bundesliga and CL glory, but made them well over £200 million selling those same players.

            Didn’t Dembele go to Barcelona for £136 million by himself?

            Of course it makes up for investment, perhaps you should pay more attention my friend.

            Kronke wanted Sven’s “Diamond Eye” to avoid massive investment to make top 4.

            I’ve watched Kronke do exactly that for decades with his teams here by scouting NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS drafts. He’s repeating that with Sven.

            You’re wrong in your statements about his franchises, as you will find out with Arsenal.

            You can trust me now or believe me later.

            Aren’t you always blaming Kronke for lack of investment as you constantly defend Wenger’s bargin bin shopping?

            I’m trying to explain it to you if you are willing to listen. I’m trying to help fellow Gooner understand what our future holds my friend, we are on the same side, supporting the same team.

          3. Durand says:

            Tw-14TH-14 my post wasn’t meant to offend, merely to educate. I’m trying to inform about Kronke’s operating procedures. The Saint Louis Rams sucked for years, people spent their money elsewhere; MLB Cardinals (World Series champs), NHL team, and march madness college basketball playoffs.

            Kronke could have invested to win back fans, but instead he moved team to Los Angeles.
            He spent over £100 million on Laca and Auba, but sold Giroud, Walcott, Coquein, Gabriel, Gibbs, etc…

            Net spending nowhere near £100 million. This year was what, £70 million? Torreria was £26 million clause, but we offered £30 million; spread over 3 years, thats £10 million per year for 3 years.

            Kronke is the bad guy; cheapskate, doesn’t love club, not in it for trophies. We have to stick together against Kronke and his ways, we need each other as fans, not going at each other over past managers, players, tactics, and all that.

            We should be focusing our ire on Kronke, not each other.

            Please my friend, now more than ever before.

          4. ozziegunner says:

            Durand, you are completely correct on Kroenke and I too fear for the future of the great club Arsenal FC, when Kroenke takes it into private ownership.
            Unfortunately, the EPL unlike the NFL, does have promotion and relegation so Arsenal can lose profitability if if it falls down the table too far. Also there is no draft which favors poorer performing clubsclubs in the NFL to try and equalize talent between teams.
            As well as Usmanov to Everton there are other potential investors like hedge funds which could buy into the EPL. This new money will make Premier League even more competitive for Champions League places.

          5. John Ibrahim says:

            mislintat is a human after all….sometimes you get good signings sometimes you dont….

            sealing the deal depends on the budget and the negotiator….

            Mislintat has the connections and the network henc3 good buys….

            but so far his recommendations are majority from his old club dortmund….

            hes a good scout but hes no super human

            do not expect every signing from him to be wc

      2. TW14-TH14 says:

        Ruthlessness is when Pep can bench a 50 million pound underperforming Stones and sign 50m pound Laporte. Chelsea can send 40 million pound underperforming Bakayoko on loan and sign 50 million pound Jorginho. 40 million pound Fabinho is a back up for 48 million pound Keita.

        There lies the answer to “ruthlessness”.

        1. Sarmmie says:

          You’re on point, man

        2. John Ibrahim says:

          it depends on the player’s contract…but pep has 2 world class players in every position…a fifa18 squad…

          he can do what ever he wants…sell a 100m player and sign another 100m player or bench 200m player

          city has an unlimited budget…..

          every Arsenal fan or most, is dying for the club to be like city

          1. Ashley Martin says:

            Pep hasnt signed any £100 million players

  4. Chiza says:

    Anthony knockaert of Brighton hove and Albion………that winger is kind of player we need on our wings…cheap and affordable but damn it that guy called knockaert knows what he has to do on the field and he does it silently….he could be our own mahrez or salah……arsenal has to find a way to get him this January…he is going to do a good job for us on the wings….come on arsenal!!… Get knockaert for me!!!!!!!!!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Did not see anything extraordinary from him bro… Prefer Zaha instead

      1. JJPawn says:

        Zaha was there… but

    2. jon fox says:

      The sort of comment I HAVE COME TO EXPECT FROM YOU. Utter nonsense!

  5. gotanidea says:

    They better try not to use any no 10 tactic, when playing against the other top teams, to add an extra CM

    Unless Arsenal have a technically gifted player like Isco or Hazard behind Aubameyang/ Lacazette

    The reason Arsenal were so poor against the other top teams could be because they did not many players that can win duels consistently. Luckily Arsenal have young players that are willing to do that in Iwobi, Maitland-Niles and Guendouzi

    1. mobella says:

      Please call Emery and tell him not to use No 10. He is the only one that can do something about it not us fans. You can’t keep saying that to us in everyone article when you know we can’t do something about. I don’t know why arsenal didn’t seek you and make you the coach. You are full of ideas.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        This is gotnoidea’s ‘new thing’. Previously it was ‘inverted wingers’, which we had rammed down our throats in about 20 posts. So far he’s only mentioned his ‘No number 10 and extra cam’ idea about 10 times so approx another 10 to go before he finds another axe to grind. Can’t wait:(

        1. Sarmmie says:


  6. Grandad says:

    Arsenal have never bullied opposition since Vierra and Petit were in tandem.

  7. snowden says:

    Here we go again. We are not interested in Arsenal players once they have left Arsenal so it has been said here.
    Here we are discussing what an ex player has dribbled on his bib.

  8. Fkhalifa says:

    What happened to utd’s big money players today?

    Auba was the poorest on the field yesterday, he wasn’t holding up play, not pressing their defence, not helping the defence,missed tap ins..

    He has failed to score in about 7 big games he’s involved in, but fans are always on ozil and bellerin’s case..

    Auba should feel the heat,failure to deliver in the next game must drop him to bench and create competition and room for lacazzete and welbeck..

    Hopefully we can pick all points in the next 8 less tougher games.

    1. JJPawn says:

      We left three or four clear shot on goal from the penalty box. That is just not acceptable.

  9. ackshay says:

    Emery is not a magician, he has and will mess up his tactics especially in his 1st EPL season like most manager. There have been some changes like no longer wengers boys no longer getting substituted after a bad display, ozil, xhaka, ramsey all substituted off in his 1st two matches. Playing from the back is good if you have the players suited for it e.g pep 1st season playing from the back was bad as was the defending.

    Call out emery for his mistakes i still do for playing xhaka in any system except a midfield 3 with 2 hard-working guys for cover for him BUT do not compare him to wenger as emery is much better than this decade wenger.

    p.s PEAK wenger wipes the floor with emery every time not the weakling he became later.

  10. Sean Williams says:

    Watching Arsenal’s new ‘tactics’ actually made it clear we don’t actually have any tactics. From the first bell against Man City and Chelsea we tried to play the ball out from the back. With Bellerin, Socrates and Mustaf and Xhaka, who are not that good, we tried to play the ball out. A complete oxymoron. A contradiction. I’m sure Unai Emery will wake up before we get into being more stupid than seems possible. Cech was the instigator by passing the ball short even when the defence were marked. Absurdity. We have good players to play from the halfway line, but for the first half hour we could not reach the halfway line against both City and Chelsea. Except for Monreal the back line are very poor. Why don’t we play a ‘normal’ game for half an hour. Stop the ‘short’ nonsense until we are in the game. It has to be natural. In the pre-season we never got caught up with Cech putting us in trouble every time he cleared. Emery does not get that in Premier League games you have to get in the game. Box and watch or defend until you can open up. If you keep sticking your chin out you’ll get hit. Don’t be scared of kicking goal kicks upfield. Tactical suicide is what we watched and we will be lucky to beat anyone if we play those tactics regularly.

    1. JJPawn says:

      “We have good players to play from the halfway line, but for the first half hour we could not reach the halfway line against both City and Chelsea.”


      We are wasting the attacking talent, who are under supplied. This second game was a bit better, as they did pass over the Chelsea press on occasion, so there was more ball supply to the forwards than in the game against City.

  11. Grandad says:

    Well said Sean.

  12. Innit says:

    We don’t have enough quality to compete with the big sides

    Bellerin, Xhaka, Eleny, Iwobi, Welbeck, Ramsey, Sokratis, Mustafi, even Ozil are not good enough

    We need to sell but apparently selling is not easy because we hardly sold any this summer. We sold a few but not enough. We need to raise money to spend it as Kroenke is close to being a sole owner

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Innit, unfortunately Arsenal’s contract wages are too high for moderate players, compared to other clubs. Therefore Arsenal have to reduce transfer fees, so that the buying club can match the wages eg Lucas Perez to West Ham or the players refuse to move and sit out their contracts to move on a free transfer.

  13. John Ibrahim says:

    our winning streak starts from west ham…….

    we still finish top 3….

    on the other hand mourinho is getting fired soon

    1. Innit says:

      What are you smoking?
      Can I have some?

    2. RSH says:

      It’ll have to be some winning streak for us to have a chance at top four. Has to be all wins too, not just unbeaten streak. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom for top 4 just yet either. It’s possible to make up the points we have dropped so far. But we just can’t afford a mistake for over a month at this point. The next time we face a top 6 opposition is Liverpool in early November. We’ll need to be close to perfect until then to catch up. 24 points up for grabs between then. I reckon we’ll have to find a way to get at least 20 of them.

  14. John Ibrahim says:

    Emery needs to be given time…just 2 losses

    this is his first season

    we will get better

    we will beat west ham start a winning streak till we meet the big 5 team….

    all will be good soon…dont panic
    judge him at the end of the season

    1. David Rusa says:

      Good comment John. What I see as the main problems are impatience and inability to distinguish between different situations. Some of our fans are so eager for results that they lose sight of reality. Here is a new Coach who is trying to mould a team into his style of play and some people are already up in arms after just two games against two of the best teams! The other issue is some people pretending that nothing has changed at Arsenal. Really, when there is a new coach and new players? To some people the name matters more than the changing circumstances. When it is Arsenal everything must remain static despite the change in leadership! How did Guardiola fare in his first season? How long did it take Alex Ferguson to win trophies? Let us leave Emery alone and give him chance to prove his well known ability.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?? John and David; sane sensible comments!

  15. Malasian gunner says:

    Tactically not much has changed. Its the same passing game.Watch how Brighton
    beat mighty MU.They don’t waste time and go direct. High balls over the md and they
    have underpaid footballers who cover every blade to block MU.
    Arsenal game plan if it works is ok but more often get jammed up and that’s why they
    are easy meat for the top 4/5.It sno use blaming the fm. Infact Arsenal shd have got rid of him years ago..
    Until Arsenal start winning you can be sure fans will not be happy.Too much deadwood and highly paid guys not delivering not now but over many stars and moons.
    Give me someone who will run all day to earn even a fraction of what our guys get and cannot deliver.
    Btw,I believe the board aint going to be patient and wait for results .This is not to say Emery is in danger.Time is a luxury he wont get and he better start delivering asap.

  16. Leon says:

    There is no point looking for pointless positives like “at least Emery isn’t afraid to make substitutions” – my god, what manager isn’t afraid to make substitutions?
    It is time to face facts.
    Arsenal are simply rubbish.
    Their “defence” if you can call it that is no better than a pub teams defence.
    Mustafi seemingly can make the same mistakes game after game and yet still remains in the team – why? because we have no one better to play there – simple!
    Why did we fork out 18 million for Sokratis – an average player who could not hold down a position for Dortmund.
    Why is Monreal still at the club?
    What has happened to Bellerin?
    Why did we fork out 20 million for a keeper just to play a keeper who should have been let go in the summer?
    These are all Emery’s mistakes.
    We should have spent money on an established central defender or two.
    Arsenal are finished.
    I just don’t see an end to this that see’s Kroenke remaining at the club.
    He is the worst thing that has ever happened to Arsenal.
    Usmanov would never have brought Emery in.

    1. Sarmmie says:

      Guy, think please, it’s just two matches, 180 mins, expecting arsenal to win those matches would have been tantamount to expecting us to win the league, moreover, Since you’re so sure things will keep going south, don’t feel bad and stop looking for someone to blame after any bad result, at least,it’s your predictions that are coming to pass

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Emery is not responsible for scouting/contracting new players.

    2. GunnerJack says:

      Leon, some answers:
      1) ‘my god, what manager isn’t afraid to make substitutions?’
      Wenger would never have taken off Xhaka, Ramsey or Ozil. Well done Unai!
      2) Mustafi is improving and is never afraid of putting his body on the line for the club
      3) Sokratis also improving – both trying to get used to Unai’s way of playing. Prob not easy!
      4) Monreal is still at the club because he’s arguably our best defender
      5) Nothing has happened to Bellerin – he’s just as useless in defence as he’s always been
      6) Cech has the experience – Leno can watch and learn early doors what it’s like in the EPL. It can be tough, particularly if facing sides which target the keeper (glad Stoke are no longer with us!).
      Our first two games were against extremely good opposition. What if he’d played and perhaps through nervousness made a mistake in one/both of those games? People like you would have have had him hung, drawn and quartered. Maybe Unai will introduce him soon, probably against a bit weaker opposition.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?by the way how did Huddersfield fare against Manchester City and Manchester United against Brighton?

    3. jon fox says:

      Relentless pessimism but sadly, much of what you say, I can not disagree with. I say they were WeNGERS MISTAKES, NOT EMERYS.. apart from the decision to play Cech. I do think Monreal was the ONLY defender at Arsenal pre-Emery who I would want to keep. And even then, only for a year or so, until we can find better. The real truth is that WENGER DID IMMENSE HARM TO ARSENAL FOR SEVERAL YEARS PAST WITH HIS REFUSAL TO CONCERN HIMSELF ABOUT DEFENDING AT ALL AND HIS RANK AWFUL JUDGEMENT OF DEFENDERS. We realists, who called for his dismissal long before the campaign began that finally ousted him, knew this truth full well. Emery is now having to try his best to make a silk purse out of many sows ears and that is impossible. WENGER, AS HE WAS, AND KREONKE WERE AND ARE OUR ENEMIES.

  17. Wolfgang says:

    To expect Emery from the French league to be an immediate hit is unrealistic.
    I know Guardiola came form Germany but his track record is the best of the best and furthermore he has a bottomless pit of money to spend .
    Back to Emery. It will take him a while to get to the nitty gritty of the epl.I believe he will take
    at least 10 games to figure out his best 11.
    Top priority is to sort out the defence. Stop conceding goals which can be prevented. When Marcos scored,all the defenders stood rooted to the spot. Compare that with CP and Brighton.
    I know CP lost but then the penalty awarded is ,imho,50/50.Nevertheless you never know the ref might favor the bigger team.
    Now if our defenders play like CP’s and Brighton’s I will be more than happy.
    Cheers and coyg and get the win against the hammers.

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