Arsenal should not consider any defeat as a positive……

Don’t Patronize Us by Dan Smith

It’s ironic.. Sheffield United are a side who overachieved by getting promoted, who as a club are set up for the worst-case scenario of relegation meaning parachute payments.

Yet despite a respectable 4 points, despite accepting that Leicester are player for player a better team, Chris Wilder said after a 2-1 loss, “I’m not pleased with our effort because that’s bog standard. Cheers for effort doesn’t tick a box for me. Regardless of the opposition, I’m looking at our standards.” If that’s the attitude of the boss favourite to finish bottom of the table, then shouldn’t we expect the same ethos from a group with expectations to get back into the Champions League? Yet some gooners spent this week almost looking at a loss at Anfield as a positive as long we were more competitive then the last few years. Of course, in terms of score line, again we were soundly beaten, but at 3-0 the one positive was at least we would no longer be patronized like we had for the majority of the evening.

Earlier in the week Josh Kroenke spoke of some being surprised of the pull we still have, that when we come to the door, ‘Our knock sounds different.’

I need to see more off the field to know if that’s just a nice soundbite but in sport so much is in the mind, if you are a big club you need to think like a big club. A big club doesn’t see positive in any defeat – period.
I asked in my predictions, how many in our squad believed they could get a result this weekend? That’s our manager’s task and why this represented his crossroads, could he change our mentality? The mentality so weak in Arsene Wenger’s last year, the one the likes of Mustafi have been hounded out for. Yet he only focused on the opposition’s strengths and not ours. Why boast about a front three that can rival anyone else’s but not start them in one of our toughest trips?

Poor Arsenal teams have scored 5 at the Bridge, won at Anfield, beat champions in FA Cup finals – by fielding their best attacking talent. Anything else goes against our traditions. Yet we were meant to be satisfied crossing the halfway line a couple of times?

Pundits make out it’s positive that Liverpool’s goals were all avoidable but how many times have we conceded just before/after half time?

After months where it was obvious we needed a centre back, why are we saying the recruitment did a good job swapping Koscielny and Mustafi with Luiz? It’s Emery’s job to make our game management better? Did he really think parking the bus and inviting their full backs to cross the ball was our best chance of getting a result?
Imagine a Tony Adams, Viera or Henry being told there are positives in a defeat? Imagine telling them not to attack?

If you want to be a big club, you need to think like one…

Dan Smith


  1. I agree , epsecially with the money we have spent , we should aim high , we have 3 of the best attackers in the world , so we should setup in a way that will utilize their full potential , what i saw against liverpool was the opposite of all that.

  2. Extremely right Dan. I don’t think folding our tails to a team like Liverpool demonstrates your ability as a team to contend..After this game, I have serious doubt that Emery can drive the team to any better heights..He always gets its wrong in crucial games..The loss to Chelsea in was not a fluke but one of a similar tactical flop like this one..We need change of management..

  3. Great read.

    Yes as I said in comments on other artical this spells it out play to our strengths defend as a unit with attack telling our players to park the bus will only have a negitive effect.

    Also our DNA is passing flowing attacking football Emery plays negitive thats the only DNA I can see from him in his time here.

    I ask this what if we lose at home to spuds may the gods forbib but what if tinkerman does it again ?

    Emery has a poor away record but the football we have played at home hasn’t exactly been positive either fact is it had been either dull or messy or both.

    Also what message does this send to the players ? Its ok to lose at Liverpool because they are above us ?
    No it damn well isn’t you play to win end off never accept defeat or go to a game planning to keep the score down in defeat.

    Play to your strengths to win.

  4. “Poor Arsenal teams have scored 5 at the Bridge, won at Anfield, beat champions in FA Cup finals – by fielding their best attacking talent.”

    Don’t think that’s very relevant because none of those teams gegenpress and transition as deadly as Klopp’s Liverpool.

    “Anything else goes against our traditions. Yet we were meant to be satisfied crossing the halfway line a couple of times?”

    Of course not. If we setup like that against all big teams, I will protest in front of the team bus. Nontheless, Emery is entitled to try a different approach after making it easy for them last year

  5. I do wonder who posts these threads, on a previous post admin gave Xhaka a 6 and cAbellos a 4

    What game did you watch admin ?
    Where does Xhaka score a 6 tell
    Me 1 that k he did correct 1 thing?
    99% of his passes were back
    He committed dumb fouls as always and gave away the corner

    Dan this does not refer to you unless that was your past previously

  6. 3-1 is the same as 5-0 to me

    What irked me was Emery’s cowardice tactic. Never seen Klopp use an ultra-defensive tactic, not even when he managed Dortmund to face Bayern in Munich

    Should have hired a manager that is not afraid of the media and the fans’ backlash next time. Arteta would probably be a good choice, since he has been working for Guardiola

    1. gotanidea when I pointed out that I wanted Arteta, y’all came for my head telling me how can we let the inexperience man be our coach.
      I pointed out how I know he’s inexperienced, but how he’s also important to the best coach on the planet right now and how as a young starting coach, he’ll be more hungrier than Emery, he will definitely try to bring some stuffs he learnt from Pep to this club, Pep isn’t a loser, doesn’t like to be a loser, Pep doesn’t play negative football. Arteta was a nice option really if we weren’t being sentimental.
      Now suddenly your wishing we employed Arteta.

      1. I see where you are coming from but u guys forget city is backed by an oil rich country and we are not, it’s easier to be the best when you can buy back up players for 60mil and we ain’t lucky like pool who hit the jackpot with Coutinho, we need a young pragmatic manager who can handle a team on a budget, nagelsmann, beilsa should be what we should be looking at

    2. I am more than happy to get an upgrade on emery but touting Arteta is just laughable, if we are gonna give an ex-playee a go, it would be one that has actually managed (veira) not some dude who just sits next to people with a billion dollar squad.

      1. I dont see what’s wrong in giving Arteta a chance, Chelsea at a point once had their assistant manager who had no experience managing a team fully, Di Mateo or who’s it? I can’t remember, but he went on to win the UCL didn’t he?
        Bobby it seems you have no idea the massive respect Arteta has on the coaching level. Arsene Wenger highly rated him for that level and wanted him to stay when he retired, but he chose to go stay with Pep, which was the best thing to do I believe.
        He hasn’t managed a team yet, but yet he’s very important to the City team.
        You think Pep and Wenger, two managers on the list of football’s best coach, past and present.
        You think both managers are retard for having to fight over Arteta before he even announced his retirement?

    3. Stop being silly. 3-1 and 5-0 are not the same. At least manchester united who lost the leagie on goal difference can tell you that

  7. This game proved more than ever that Emery isn’t fit for purpose.To allow Liverpool’s full backs all the space in the world and then to make matters worse to set up an overly stretched diamond in the middle was inept at best.We can blame Luiz all we like but he was pulled from “pillar to post” throughout the first 45 minutes with little to no cover in front of him.I can only presume that Emery hadn’t watched any of Liverpool’s previous games this season or last as he went into the match specifically set up to maximise the opposition’s strengths and not to make the most of our own.Bringing Xhaka straight back into this game made no sense when the likes of Torreira was available to potentially stifle Liverpool’s midfield.Instead Henderson was left to do his best Pirlo impression which is laughable and the two full backs who hadn’t started the season particularly well were given ample time to remember their best.the first thirty minutes proved that we were more than capable of putting pressure on to the Liverpool back line but surely we had to do that utilising a front three and moving the ball to them as quickly as possible…Not attempting to play the ball slowly sideways out of defense and allowing the Liverpool press to work in it’s best possible way.
    This is surely another Bruce Rioch time at our Club.We have a reasonable squad which with a couple of additions can start to compete at a higher level once again but is going to be held back by a coach who is OK but nowhere near the level needed to really compete with the Elite.

    1. It doesn’t matter a rat’s arse what anyone on here thinks; if Emery doesn’t meet the expectations of the Board/owner, his contract will not be extended into the third year.

  8. Well said Dan, there are no positive takeaways from any defeat, much less a capitulation like the Liverpool match. Emery screwed up right from the beginning with his team selection, formation and tactics. After that it was a question of when the first goal will go in and how many we will concede by full-time.
    Last season at home we held them 1-1 and guess who the #10 was? Mesut Ozil, the one who wasn’t even on the team sheet. When we lost 1-5 last season, guess who was our #10? Ramsey, flanked by Iwobi and AMN, with Ozil not on the pitch.
    This time there was no excuse about available talent, as even a schoolboy coach will start with Auba-Laca-Pepe upfront, backed by Ozil, Ceballos & Torreira playing our game instead of walking into Liverpool trap.
    There is nothing positive about losing and nothing positive about Emery.

    1. Our fowards and midfielders could match them in quality but our defence is where there is no debate. Can’t compare with the Liverpool backline. Can’t believe AMN is STILL the makeshift right back for the 2nd season running.

      1. Only our CF is better than theirs that is still debatable, they trounce us in every other position, mid feild is a bit tricky pool use strong scrappers we employ slow side ways passers

  9. I fully agree with the writer, no positives! Only damning revelations about the quality of some of our new signings like David Luiz. Utterly unacceptable defending. Got turned like a magazine page and the worst part is that he’s so slow he didn’t even bother to chase and Monreal had to do it for him. Lazy, uncommitted, no hunger, no desire, only here to retire like the rest of his aging kinds.

  10. God’s alive…. No positives?
    I agree our strengths are free flowing attacking football but anyone who thinks that attacking Pool with Monreal and AMN as our full backs is going to work is just deluding themselves…… We push forward and both our fullbacks would have been truly punished…. Monreal doesn’t have the legs for that particular race anymore and AMN isn’t a RB and would have lost out. (look at the stick he takes on this site alone and people wanted him to be bombing up and down against Robertson?)
    As it was their front three couldn’t find space to dribble into which forced them (not allowed them… It was part of UE game plan) into relying on Robertson and TAA crossing it in….. Crosses we largely dealt with. Had Pepe and Auba been more clinical it would have been us 2/3-0 up and us who would have been able to open up and exert more pressure.

    Yes we are The Arsenal and defeat should never be acceptable but unfortunately we were allowed to slip into a piss poor state in Wenger’s later years and it takes time to put it right, this window has hopefully worked miracles trying to put some of that decline right but people need to give it time to work instead of getting so butthurt losing to the CL winners with an understrength squad. SMH

  11. Should be more like Sheffield Utd?
    4 seasons in the PL = ambition?
    They owe their promotion to Saudi oil.
    Arsenal “unambitious” despite 27 successive seasons in the PL?
    You give us all a laugh mate 🙂
    Arsenal have a make shift defense with out our top LB + RB
    and DM all injured. None of this is Emery’s fault.
    A new CB partnership just 2 games old.
    Ozil’s absence is down to very unfortunate circumstances.
    And remember when we were not playing the worlds
    best team we won both games.
    Perspective is needed. Consider this.
    Pep Guadiola inherited a stellar squad in August 2016.
    Sagna Zabaletta Kolarov Cliche
    Kompany Otamendi Stones
    Fernandinho Fernando Gundogan,
    Mid field
    Yaya Toure, Navas, Delph, Silva, Sane, De Brunye, Nolito.
    Stirling, Jesus, Aguero.
    Did the worlds best manager take the PL by storm?
    Season 2016-2017.
    Lost to. Chelsea (twice) Spurs Everton Leicester and Liverpool.
    Everton Soton Man U Spurs Stoke Liverpool Arsenal Borough (x2)
    Despite being the richest club in the world City dropped 36 points made 3rd on 78 points only 3 points more than Arsenal.
    The team of worldlies exited the Carabao in their second game, out to Arsenal in FA semi,and Monaco in the 16 round of the CL.
    City needed to spend another 250 m for 5 more superstars
    Eddison Mende Walker La Porte + Bernardo to win
    the next two PL titles.
    Liverpool has splurged millions too but in 4 seasons
    Klopp has really only won one top trophy a lucky CL final win.
    Chelsea has bought 2 titles but now the transfer ban is on
    they don’t look too flash.
    United have spent 700 mill with 4 new managers
    and are still not title contenders.
    Spurs despite wise spending and a great manager
    have won exactly what? That’s right nothing.
    Unless you pull off a once in a 100 years Leicester or discover
    a Ben Stokes player there is only so much any manager can do.
    The greatest manager in Arsenal history Wenger
    went 14 seasons with out a title.
    Emery’s squad is no where near City’s or Liverpool
    so to me he is doing great with what he has.

  12. As usual we will concentrate on the defeat but the previous two games said a lot about how inept we played. In all the 3 games we struggled to play out of the back, mark properly and defended well. How many chances did we create. We took too much touches on the ball and slow down and allowed the opponent to regroup. All these problems are visible last year and still with us now. You can’t spend 140m plus on players and still play the same kind of football.

  13. I may, sadly, be a voice in the wilderness among Gooners, as I use FULL PERSPECTIVE on all matters when considering praise or blame for our team and manager. UE seems to be almost public enemy number one among some of the hasty and rather silly comments on here; some even from people who are older and who at their age know better too. I THINK HIM A FINE MANAGER WITH A WORTHY PEDIGREE WHO HAS ALREADY MADE HUGE PROGRESS!
    My take was that,yes, UE did pick a strange formation and I would certainly have started with Torreira and Lacazette. However, my ever present sense of perspective tells me loud and clear that LIVERPOOL (AND CITY) ARE CURRENTLY PLAYING FOOTBALL FROM A DIFFERENT PLANET FROM ALL THE REST. I, almost alone on here, seemingly, give THAT full thought when assessing where AFC is right now. Perspective also tells me that UE can not be blamed for not blowing all Kroenkes measly “pay as you go” allowance on a top CB, without further weakening the areas where he has vastly improved us. Ideally, we would be owned by someone like Sheikh Mansoor OR Fenway Sports WHO WOULD INVEST PROPERLY IN THE TEAM. But KROENKE, God help us, owns us, which is a massive handicap borne by the manager and those running team matters. PERSPECTIVE!
    We will not play Liverpool or City again for sometime now and I have seen plenty to be excited about in our set up. Firstly, because IMO, idle Ozil will not be picked ahead of Ceballos, which by itself will strengthen the team workrate. Secondly, because the new buys are still to fully gel with their teammates, as is normal so soon into their career. Thirdly, because Pool and City apart, no other top six team looks remotely threatening and I am NOW very confident that we have a great chance of fourth. Above that, as yet it is unwise to hope for. Not until Scrooge allows decent enough funds to get two top CBs
    to play alongside the only half decent one we currently have at the club in Holding. Luiz, though a good upgrade on both the clowns MUSTAFI AND SOKRATIS, will have bad games and great games, which in team building is hardly great. But is still better than two clowns who both have nothing BUT bad games all the time. PERSPECTIVE!!! Rome was not built in a day and Wenger left behind him a crumbling ruin. Unless, like a silly few on here you don’t even realise what a ruin UE inherited!

  14. Jon you are not alone. Pretty much agree with all that. No I didn’t agree with the starting line up and no I did not fully agree with the tactics but I did think we showed a bit of grit in defence which is what I have wanted for a couple of years.
    It’s good to get that game out of the way, Liverpool away is our hardest game of the year even harder that Man City.
    There is no quick fix and we are a team in transition! Progress though slow is being made.
    Give Emery a couple more transfer windows.

    1. How many transfer windows are we going to give him ?
      How long will we keep hearing this same excuse ?
      When that excuse gets tired will we then use the injuries excuse ?
      He’s now signed 12 players if I’m correct how many will he have to sign before it’s his team and not me wengers .
      Jon won’t admit Emery’s not what we were sold because is passion for wenger is off the scale that he will use any excuse to be proved right about wenger leaving .
      Even though in reality fans are now seeing what a lot of us saw in his 1st season .
      He will have this season but I cannot see anyway he will be here next season unless the board are happy with pathetic football .

      1. In all probability Dan…. Emery has this season to get us back into top 4 – he does that and they will extend his contract the extra year. Then he will be expected to have us challenging the two big boys again if he is to stay, so 3 more transfer windows at most ?‍♂️

        Personally I’m not entirely convinced that Emery is the man to lead us all the way back to the top but really he has only just put his stamp on the squad in this last window…. The least we can do imo is give him chance to now mould it into the potential we can all see.

      2. Dan kit,I will bet you UE is our manager next season. Whatever amount you like! If you think Kroenke is going to sack him you are not thinking straight. After all he COULD (and should) have sacked Wenger, MANY YEARS before he actually did so, even though WENGER WAS CLEARLY REGRESSING THE CLUB. But he chose not to. Kroenke is the ultimate decision maker and he will not be sacking UE. STILL WANT THE BET? Kreoenke apart, the club is now, finally,(after Wenger) on a comeback path that is clear to all wise, clear sighted and non panicking fans.

          1. The last football Prem bet I made was on Saturday when I correctly predicted Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1, winning a total of £168. Still want the bet I offered YOU? I made a great deal more than that by BUYING AND LAYING THE ENGLAND / AUSSIE TEST MATCH YESTERDAY and I bet professionally almost every day. Still want that bet? You have only to say!

        1. I will take that be and raise you. Personally I do not think Emery will be here beyond new year.
          Most fans have had enough of the dire thoughtless football that Emery is dishing up.
          Wenger was undone by oil bllions and TV income negating the income thought the turnstiles.
          He was however a visionary manager, who made brilliant signings. A Wenger team could surprise any team.

          please reply as to how you think Emery’s tactics and use of signings have shown an improvement over poor Wenger sides.
          ….. p.s can you remember the demolition of Chelsea in the FA cup.

      3. mr.dan kit, it appears to me that you and your butty, mr.phil will only be happy if mr. wenger is brought back to the emirates on a white you honestly think this will ever happen ?.a question for you sir . you are suddenly at the helm of arsenal football board, who would be your choice to take over from mr.emery , please ?.

    2. tony, good to see I am not alone,after all! No manager, not Fergie nor Wenger in his first decade of glory never made a selection or tactical mistake. Wise and experienced fans have long known that. But we lack enough wise fans in numbers and even more we lack experienced fans on HERE, hence many of the frankly silly comments above ours. Dan kit, is clearly a Wenger devotee(what do they call it – AKB or some silly meaningless phrase?), or he would not have written as he did. I would have sacked WENGER MANY YEARS BEFORE, WERE IT UP TO ME.
      Further to this, tony, my take is that I always support the club and that is above any INDIVIDUAL, NO MATTER WHOM. When ANY such individual begins to regress the club (or, if a player,then that playing position) then I want him out. Pronto! BUT NOT OTHERWISE!

      1. “Dan kit is clearly a devotee “Strange that Jon because I was probably more vocal about Wenger leaving than you was .
        Difference is I’ve let it go now shame a few others on here can’t do the same .
        I willJudge Emery the same way I judged wenger from day one and my opinion (yes I’m aloud one ) is that he’s not going to advance us to where we need to be .your judgement is clearly clouded because of your distain towards wenger and Ozil and your need to justify how good Emery really is .

        1. Dan kit, Wrong again about both WeNGER AND OZIL aS people, rather than as football employees of AFC , I rate them both very highly indeed. Both have good life attitudes and I, as a worldly wise and experienced man, can very easily separate my opinion of them as people from my opinion of them as being useful to AFC. I was right about Wenger and though he left 16 months since, many of his players are still here, daily regressing our progress. Prominent among those are Ozil who is lazy as a player, Xhaka, who was a rank bad buy and Mustafi, about whom pretty much no one thinks he is any use at all. All bought by Wenger, along with Elneny and also along with a huge list of dud CBs ranging from Senderos through to Mustafi. Apparently, you agree with me over Wenger – though your first post indicated otherwise, by implication – so presumably you can also see how useless many of WENGERS PLAYERS STILL IN THE SQUAD ACTUALLY ARE! I accept he has generally bought forwards either well or at least not badly over the years but my big grouse with him has always been how bad he is with defenders and not being able to properly coach them or recognise top defenders, esp CB’s at all. He should have been sacked a decade since and his bad buys are still hurting us today. Fact!

  15. This playing out from the back is dangerous just look at the trouble it got us in..
    If sonething doesn’t work a good coach will see it and change it
    Will have A plan and plan B
    Adapt or die

    Half time 1-0 game can be saved change formation put on Laca but no what happens same as the EL final we fall apart.

    Fact is Enery serves his ego thets why we didn’t get fourth he went for EL and messed up.

    1. I think his major problem is over thinking things when the easiest solution is the best solution, this his hard on for xhaka and Guendouzi is starting to scare me, those two are too slow to be in the same line up against an opposition like that, our middle field should have a permanent fixture of Torreira and Ceballos and any of willock/Guendouzi/xhaka the last 3 must never be on the pitch at the same time.

  16. I don’t tink Emery got is tactic right.he should have uses 442 information by using auba, and laca upfront and Nelson and Pepe on both wings in the middle torera and cabellos. For me the back four is ok. This information will cause Liverpool a lot of damage.

  17. I personally believe top 4 is a must this year, I don’t care how we get it as long as we get it, if Unai doesn’t deliver that then he deserves the sack, there is no way manure, chelski and spus are better than us, 1 positive for me though is Pepe that boy is a gem.

    P.S : having to input my name and email every time I want to make a comment is annoying, is there no fix possible?

    1. Bobbyraz, Emery will not be sacked; the Board/owner will not take up the option to extend his contract if he fails to meet their expectations.
      Never fear there are many on this site, who obviously will submit their applications for the coach’s position. Their Cv’s should make interesting reading.

  18. We need to get a starting right back asap, Niles will never make it at arsenal either as a defender or a midfielder, he is just too lax, his body language is absolutely terrible, he gives the ball away under no pressure what’s so ever, and plays with this look of Messi when he is most close to sanogo, man is just stealing a living at arsenal

      1. What is the impliction of your puzzling post? What has either’s nationality got to do with any criticism of either?

        1. Because he has been average yet people make excuses for him that he isn’t a RB and so on, yet same people criticised iwobi who was not also a left winger. Am not fan of any of those players but trying to defend one and leave the other is simply hypocrisy

  19. I don’t understand all this nagging over loosing at anfield yes everyone is disappointed mine was not about the team tactics but about the line-up and substitution done very late. We wanted to play toe to toe with Liverpool there is no guarantee it will work in fact its most likely we will loose the game at half-time. What I saw yesterday Liverpool hardly troubled Leno in fact we hard the better chances at goal than Liverpool the score line doesn’t always tell the whole story but in truth all 3 goals we considered was all avoidable and Luiz single handedly destroyed the game that also is not tactics Liverpool are at the top of their game and a team trying to find it’s identity with many new players it’s not wise to play into their hands what baffled me is how wasteful we were, playing Liverpool away from home you are not going to get too many chances so when it comes you have to be clinical how we scored only once is unimaginable.

  20. Those of you who think this Emery guy will take us anywhere, THINK TWICE!!!

    Two things that have not changed:

    1. Midfield players marking off ball: I must say this aspect of our game is the worst in the league… No sugarcoating around; just watch Guendouzi’s movements… just “jogging around” with no attempt to win the ball back.

    2. Passing: This is just schoolboy at best. It’s not incisive, quick nor purposeful but Xhaka passing to defence.

  21. I have said it several times. U cant bench Tororeira, put Guendozi and expect to win. That nonsense about coming late from internationals is rubbish. Mane came later than him. It is the same excuse he was start of last season.

  22. I have said it several times. U cant bench Tororeira, put Guendozi and expect to win. That nonsense about coming late from internationals is rubbish. Mane came later than him. It is the same excuse he was using start of last season.

  23. There were times last season where we were playing very well with a 352 formation, then we go to anfield and play a back 4. Scores 5-1. Unai doesn’t have aclue of what is doing. Let the owners bring the Leeds United coach.

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