Does it really suit Arsenal to play from the back? I’m not so sure – Are you?

Ever since he arrived at Arsenal back in June, Unai Emery has been trying to drill our players in how to play from the back and to ‘press’ without the ball. It is obviously a slow process teaching the players to conform as our ‘goals against’ column makes very clear having let in 8 goals already in our 4 League games.

But Shkodran Mustafi believes that the systen suits Arsenal, and they only have to persevere and it will all come together in the end. “It’s a process,” he said. “We have tried everything in pre-season but then when you make a mistake in pre-season it’s not that bad. In the Premier League you don’t want to make those mistakes, but you have to show your personality because we are a big football club with big players.

“We have to show the personality that we can play from the back because that’s our football and that’s how it suits us to play. We just have to keep working on that. Hopefully in a few games we’re going to look a bit more comfortable.”

As always Arsenal fans are being told to be patient, and we have been lucky that we have scored more than our opponents in the last two games, but how much longer will be patient if our strikers have an off day but we still let in two silly goals?

Or how long before Emery realises that he just doesn’t have the right defenders to follow his instructions?

Darren N


  1. Otunba_007 says:

    ROME WASN”T BUILT IN A DAY !!!! We all had our doubts against City and Pep playing from the back when he first came to England,but look at them now? So I am with Emery 100% , all he needs is to just chance some personnel, Leno for Cech. Torrera and Guendou. should be starting and Lich. for Bellerin and we can take it from there before the next window

    1. Otunba_007 says:


      1. Ashburton Grove says:

        Totally agree. Emery’s team selection has been shocking so far, let’s not sugar-coat it. However, we do seem to be getting better with each game.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          ?agree cannot fathom team selections. Lichtsteiner should start over Bellerin at RB, Torreira must start at DM and Xhaka only plays when played with Torreira.

        2. Shekar233 says:

          I dont understand emery sticking with cech for his style of play..he is either not aware of the facts(which i am sure he is) or is chosing to conveniently ignore them.

          The whole point of passing from the back is tje find spaces up the field. If you look at either city or liverpool they do play from the back …but the goal keepers have excellent passing range. Unfortunately cech doesnt have it…
          This is exactly the reason why Hart was replaced with ederson at city.

          When you pass from the back it is to invite pressing from the strikers(and midfielders dont press), which creates space for our full backs who are at the half way line.

          And if the opposition also allows thier midfielders to press along with the strikers that opens up spaces in midfield which has to be exploited by the GK by passing over the top to one of our midfielders and eventually should be passed quickly to the wingers who must start making runs even before the midfielder recieves the ball.

          This is exactly why liver pool are so succesfull.. Allison invites strikers to his feet and passes it to CBs who again invite the opposition midfielders to press which will create space in midfield and the ball goes back to allison again who eventually passes to either keita or wijnaldum. Suddenly the ball is played down to either mane or salah who are super quick.

          And the same goes with city…but the added advantage city have is that ederson can find the strikers with and excellent long ball as well which allison is not quite good at yet. Best example is the ball to aguero agaisnt newcastle.

          The same cant be said about cech… you can look up all the 4 matches and see that every time he passes(or kicks) up the field with his feet he rarely finds our players ..its almost zero success rate.only option he is comfortable with, is the short passes to CBs or FBs.

          Even in the half time show the panel of experts consisting of glenn hoddle and tim sherwood were surprised about why this type of passing from the back is played week in week out even after repeatedly beimg caught out… Hoddle said “What is the point of passing between the GK , CBs and inviting press when you are unable to find your midfielders who are in space?”

          Spot on analysis if you ask me…

          Leno should be given a chance atleast now…take the pressure of cech for a few games. And play cech in EL and try thjs passing style in EL with him when we play teams like vorslka and others…not against PL teams.

          Another point i am baffled with is the inclusion of xhaka in the starting line up week in and week out.

          What exaclty do they see in him? First it was wenger and now it is emery. He is the reason we are struggling in midfield.
          He doesnt offer strength in midfield like matic nor is he quick to track back. He gives away the ball too easily when he is pressed tight and sometimes even when not pressed as well… Not good in air, used to have a good long shot when he joined and seems to have lost it with our obsession with sideways passing. So what exactly does he offer ?other than those short passes to the player just 5yards away from him and those long passes across the field to the flanks? I think coaches have ro work on xhka to increase his agility and mobility …he is extremely heavy footed. Look how difficult it is for him to control a hard hit driven pass to understand how heavy footed he is.

          Our best midfield would be to use guendouzi and torriera…they both have a natural instinct to pass the ball forward than this xhaka and ramsey who are convenient in passing the ball to the CBs or FBs.

    2. Niall says:

      Emery is getting on my nerves we need a ruthless manager atm drop cech and xhaka enough is enough they are a shambles and signing sokaratis in the summer bad move needed a proper defender not a bargain 16 million man to fill a hole only 34 more games to go??

    3. Having read most of the comments here I do believe it will take Emery at least 3 seasons to build a squad in his image.
      I do base my observation on Liverpool, Since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp on October 2015 on a three-year deal replacing Brendan Rodgers with the club 10th in the Premier League they have moved up the table. So fellow gunners brace yourself for the ride. As long as the owner is willing to put the cash in so as to facilitate the rebuilding work. Man city 10 years in the making.

    4. Nero says:

      Olga..the fact that you prefer xaka to Matteo..invalidates what ever you wrote

  2. Midkemma says:

    How about asking how long it could take to see the defenders stepping up with the CM protecting them like they should?

    Forget that, it would be SUPPORTING the club.
    We shouldn’t do that here, this site is for blasting Emery for not turning our squad into perfect players in a few weeks.

    We shouldn’t look at the improvement of players in favor of lambasting them for ANY fault they may have, no matter how big or small that fault it.

    1. Phil says:

      I haven’t seen too many blasting Emery on this site.Yet.We all knew change had to come and whoever was coming in had to more or less start again with a very unbalanced and dis-jointed squad.We haven’t given him the transfer budget needed for a complete overhaul of the defence but he has bought in Sokratis and Lichstiener together with Leno and has done something Wenger hadn’t addressed in a decade by bringing in not one but TWO CDM’s.
      The tactics are foreign but if Emery decides to persevere with playing from the back he has to be supported on this.
      Let’s face it no matter how badly we are this season we will get sixth place minimum.If we start gelling and defending better then it could just be we improve on this.

      1. Midkemma says:

        I have seen many people slandering our own players to the point that Emery can’t teach them how to be good footballers… Forgetting the promise shown by that individual a few years ago or how great a player was before coming to us with our old coaching staff ruining players.

        I have seen people call Emery a new Wenger, stubborn and picks the wrong team to start games etc..

        Do you not see this? The volume of indirect insults… Almost like Arsenal fans can’t be happy unless they are moaning and complaining. I know Wenger had a lot to moan about 😛 and maybe habits formed which are hard to break… I feel like I see that a lot and it disgusts me to the point that I will speak out about it.

        I am not trying to say everyone is, I do see some people backing Emery fully and I do tend to undersay that good thing, sorry 😛 I still get wound up when people are insinuating that what we got now isn’t good enough and will never be good enough.

        Saying things like: “Or how long before Emery realises that he just doesn’t have the right defenders to follow his instructions?”

        1. Sue says:

          I think expectation is high Midkemma… we are talking about the mighty Arsenal at the end of the day!!
          I like Emery, I didn’t know a great deal about him before, but I like the changes in training he’s brought in…. he’s a no nonsense type of guy which is what I like!

          1. Phil says:

            @Midkemma-Nobody seriously expected Emery to have us challenging for the Premiership this season and if they did then they were being too optimistic.Hes a new Manager with new ideas with basically the same squad of players.
            My only criticism is why Torreira is not starting in place of Xhaka which must surely change now.We look no better or worse at the back but he must be given time and hopefully a shed load of money

          2. Midkemma says:

            I think that a fair number of people was expecting us to totally change in a couple weeks.

            Look at people like Jon Fox who refuses to admit Bellerin can learn if taught correctly, I’ll point to how his final ball has improved in this short time and we can’t expect miracles to happen overnight… As you said, things take time.

            Bellerin learning pos awareness will take time but so many people, like Jon, slate Bellerin and say he shouldn’t be a RB at all! He may flop for Emery but I don’t know that and neither do others… It is all educated guess work. So pick.. support or bash?

            Even you in this post say Xhaka should be dropped for Torreira but should it be Xhaka? He shown some clear talent before joining us and BM fans was saying how he had a DM next to him… Not being the DM himself.

            Thinking of Xhaka as a DM and I would agree with you. Xhaka stayed on against Cardiff and it was Guendouzi who came off, the lad has obvious passion and desire which is really likeable 🙂 but he is raw and maybe it should be him who is dropped for a bit? Torreira made a beautiful assist I thought 🙂 Just wanted to say that, it means nothing in this chat but hey… It was nice to see him contributing with us going forward and not just in tackles/interceptions 🙂

          3. Phil says:

            Xhaka has given ANOTHER goal away with a terrible pass.How many times has this occurred in the past?Has he not learnt from his past mistakes?Hou can Coach players but if they are not good enough then what can you do?Guendonzi is raw but he has passion.Xhaka is too slow and too unreliable.He has been here two seasons and has he ever really impressed?I question his mentality when he continues to give away goals that are easily avoided.Emery cannot ignore the fact that Torreira and Guendonzi seem a more mobile and balanced pair to sit in the middle of the park.They give us more mobility and far less risk

          4. Angus says:

            Xhaka has been great last two games and I can guarantee that Emery is thinking about and likely will drop Guendouzi for our next game in favour of Torreira as he was way worse than Xhaka in both games.

            No one is moaning at Laca for his pointless foul that led to the 2nd goal (lord knows they would be if it was Xhaka or another fav hate target.) The idea that Xhaka will not ever lose the ball during the game is beyond nonsensical, he didn’t even lose it in a particular dangerous way. We had 6 players behind the ball and Ramsey joined them to make it 7 very soon after.

            Xhaka had 120 touches in the game the next closest were Monreal/Sokratis who had 83 each. He made 3 key passes bettered only by Ramsey’s 4. He had more accurate long balls than any other player 6 and that misplaced pass was the only long ball that didn’t reach it’s man from him unlike 12 missed by Cech, 8 Mustafi, 4 Sokratis, 2 Monreal, 1 Bellerin (less attempts), 1 Ozil (less attempts). It was ofc Xhaka’s corner that Mustafi scored from. No player made more interceptions for us than Xhaka. Cut the guy some slack he had a very good game and there is zero chance of him being dropped after that.

          5. Ashburton Grove says:

            Xhaka has been terrible! Like stated, the second goal for Cardiff was from yet another sloppy pass. I’d love to know why Emery won’t start Terriera and the Douzi together?!?

          6. Phil says:

            Xhaka has not been great.I don’t believe he has ever had a game that you can say he has played great.He has played well on occaibut never great.I thought he had a fairly good game Sunday other than his pass that cost us their first goal.The trouble Is it wasn’t the first time was it?He must have been responsible for at least a dozen goals conceded since he arrived and that’s too regards his passing ratio how many are telling passes as opposed to just moving the ball around?If he is the one charged with linking the play then he simply plays far too many negative balls.Torreira was only on for around 20 odd minutes but his passing was more decisive than Xhaka.I feel Emery is trying to keep faith with the majority of players from last season but Torreira must come into the side soon.

          7. Darthballz says:

            No way someone else actually watched the game .

          8. Boluwatife says:

            Although I have not seen Toreira and Guedouzi together, I doubt their partnership will be as good as that of Toreira and Xhaka. Xhaka like every other players has his faults but also comes with some plus. I expect to see him and Toreira in the long run. Plus I believe Ramsey and Ozil should swap. Although if Ozil should move to the middle, the other two midfielders will have to be more disciplined to cover for Ozil’s defensive lapses. Ramsey on the wing can’t run but his positioning will push the defenders back a little bit plus he will offer Bellerin more defensive cover.
            I am not a professional manager and my say may not count but I believe the team can benefit for such arrangement

          9. Midkemma says:

            I do recognise that some fans are being patient and seeking out the positives, I’m like you in that I knew little about Emery before he joined us yet what I have read about our training gets me excited for the future.

            It just infuriates me that I read articles assuming he can’t even coach some players without giving him time to potentially fail.

            Almost like some people just want to be able to say I told you so, like Kev does when it comes to transfers ;P lol. Waiting for the car crash so they can jump out and say “I told you so”.

            Part of the reason why I rage as much as I do on here lol.

          10. Sue says:

            There’s nothing wrong with raging on here once in a while!!
            I do agree with you about Torreira’s assist…. it was brilliant, he’s so tiny, I just want to hug him ?
            I also agree about Guendouzi… to be thrown straight in, I think he’s done really well. You can see what a likeable guy he is… plenty of passion.. I can’t wait till he scores!! I love his hair too ? you rage & I waffle ?

          11. ozziegunner says:

            Midkemma, I agree that Bellerin may in time be able to learn the defensive awareness and tackling skills to be a RB. However at present he should be sitting on the bench watching and learning from Lichtsteiner or playing RW. He is nowhere near Lichtsteiner at the moment, who will bring leadership, tactical awareness, strength and discipline to Arsenal’s defense.

          12. Midkemma says:

            I will not argue that Lich is the better defender ^.^
            I have said I would like to see Lich start as a kind of kick up Bellerins backside, defend better if you want to win your spot back.

            I like he has improved and not going to scream and shout “sell him” even if he does tend to be a liability when defending currently.

            If he is still as dodgy in defending in 18-24 months time then he has proven to fail under Emery, not developed and not worth keeping. I hope though that he remains dedicated to Arsenal and he becomes a top RB in the world, it would be nice 🙂

        2. Lupe says:

          @ midkemma
          So we shouldn’t criticise fairly as fans? I like emery, and i want us fans to give him time as i think he will succeed, but it doesn’t mean we can’t air out some of our frustrations like xhaka starting over torreira, cech nearly costing us from playing from the back and our terrible defence. I just hope that soon, he will realise many of these players are either average, poor or finished, so he can start rebuilding proper hopefully with the help of more income in the club. So take it easy midkemma, i haven’t seen anyone abuse the manager, all i saw were fans taking notice of facts.

          1. Midkemma says:

            Constructive criticism is good, it means you explain what you feel the issue is and how they are failing, it gives something to debate.

            I have never said that is bad.

            It is the rubbishing of our own players without giving them proper chance that we shouldn’t be doing in my opinion, we should be supporting them and the manager, give them the chance to fail.

            You have already proclaimed that ‘many’ are not good enough, which ones? Do they not at least deserve the chance to fail under Emery? Gazidis has already said that Emery is to develop players, we are not going to spend £100’s of millions replacing players because of poor development under an ex manager.

            The take notice of facts, I think you meant selective facts? The fact that things take time isn’t being heard or being willfully ignored. Can’t pick and choose which ones… I know Bellerin has been poor defensively but the fact that development takes time means Bellerin could develop… Any reason to think he could? He has improved his end product in the short time already. I use Bellerin as an example but it could apply to others.

            A fact, an average looking player could excel after being trained in a different way. Look at Salah. So the players you proclaim are just average, poor or finished… They might not be. Are you going to give them the chance if the new manager believes he can develop the player?

      2. ken1945 says:

        Phil, yes he has bought the players you mentioned in, but hasn’t played them as a back four.
        We all agree this is the weakest area, so why buy them if he hasn’t the confidence to play them?
        You” know who” was slated for doing exactly this and my critiscism has nothing to do with not giving Emery time, rather his tactics.

        As is my take on playing from the back.
        My view is influenced by the form of Cech.
        He is really out of his comfort zone and some of the passes back to him are suicidal.
        I feel really sorry for him, as he is being asked to change his game at the latter end of his career. However, I have always thought professionals should be adaptable and the same goes for him.
        At the moment it seems the back four are so scared of making a mistake, they treat the ball as a hot potatoe and pass the buck to others.
        Guess we will have to trust Unai and the next few games will show if we can actually play this style of play.

        OT: Looking forward to welcoming you and yours to the Highlands, glad it appeals and wear your T shirt for a really braw welcome.

        1. Midkemma says:

          “We all agree this is the weakest area, so why buy them if he hasn’t the confidence to play them?”

          I do not feel that is a question for Emery but for Gazidis.

          Gazidis is heading Sven and Raul, they are the ones doing the recruitment, they are the ones who has final say on who is bought.

          Why buy a player that the manager doesn’t trust/want/like/feel fits his plans?

          Same can be asked when Wenger was manager, why did we sign Perez when Wenger clearly wanted Laca and we was told a figure which is less than what we ended up spending anyway. Why?

          This issue isn’t new and it has continued through to the new manager.

          Isn’t it about time we asked the board why rather than the manager?

          Tactics and stuff, yeah that’s the manager 🙂 Signings I feel is too easily lumped in with the manager without thinking about the recent off field changes Arsenal have gone through.

          1. ken1945 says:

            But Midkemma, following your logic, are you saying that the owner, gazidis and sven will allow emery to act like a spoilt child and not pick players that signed this summer because he doesn’t rate them?
            This is the same ridiculous argument aimed at wenger when he was accused of having total control of the club, with no imput from the owner or board.
            It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever and why?
            This is kronkies money that is being spent and he wants to / has to control it.
            Do you really believe that Emery was not in discussions when these five players were being sought out for transfer?
            I absolutely agree that the board have and ALWAYS had imput into transfers, contracts and signing on fees.
            To think otherwise is nievety at it’s highest level.
            But let’s assume that what you say is true, then I don’t see Emery lasting more than five minutes if he had any scruples at all.
            Or any other manager come to that, kronkie wouldn’t want to waste his money would he?
            But you really answer your own question when you say “why buy a player the manager doesn’t want or trust”
            gazidis and sven didn’t with Emery judging from Emery’s own words on those five signings.
            But they certainly did with Wenger as gazidis went about his undermining of him.

          2. Midkemma says:

            Does he (Silent Stan) do that for all his sports teams? Run around the globe doing accounts and getting no real work done?

            Stop and think about what you are saying.
            “This is kronkies money that is being spent and he wants to / has to control it.”

            Do you not think that someone with such wealth would… Maybe… Just maybe, hire a CEO?

            You do know what a CEO is and does right? This isn’t something only rich people can learn.

            Do you know that Arsenal have a CEO? Name of Gazidis.

            The same guy who hired Emery, not Silent Stan. The same guy who hired Svem not Silent Stan. The same guy who hired Raul, not Silent Stan. The same guy who sacked Wenger, not Silent Stan.

            See the power that a CEO has?

            Just because you are being delusional and want to think the owner has such personal interest in the club we love, it doesn’t make it so, if it did then great… We could have a owner who actually cared enough about us to invest his personal time and wealth… not just hand the WORK off to an EMPLOYEE.

            Am I banging my head against a brick wall trying to explain to you how rich people hire other people to do the menial work they do not want to do or have time to do?

            As for Emery being part of the discussion.
            He was probably informed.
            Being informed and being part of the decision making are two different things.
            We was working towards the transfers before we hired Emery, soooo lucky for the board that Emery randomly didn’t want players he knew and wanted these bargains spotted by Sven even before he got the job.

            Just like Mkhi was Sven picked and Wenger openly said he would have gone for Martial.

            You telling me that Wenger was out and out lying to us about Martial?
            How about lying to us about Welbroke and only wanting him on loan?

            I have picked real life examples of the board not listening to the manager and doing what they want. I am not making this up as a story to release on paperback.

          3. ken1945 says:

            Mikdemma, I acknowledge your wisdom and love for the club,your knowledge of Arsenal, both present and past,is commendable, but please read what others are saying before criticizing them.

            Where on earth did I say that Kronkie runs around the globe?
            Do you think I am that naive and, YES, I do know what power a CEO has.
            Manual work? Looking after ones fortune and investments?
            So pray tell me what you think he does then? Walk round Walmart looking for bargains with his wife?
            I am not interested in his other activities, but Arsenal is a cash cow for him and all RICH MEN LOVE CASH COWS.
            It is easy to read up on though isn’t it? Wikipedia is a wonderful tool don’t you agree.

            You must be in cloud cuckoo land if you think that he has no imput into the running of the club.
            why did he send his son over recently?
            Was it because he was concerned that the board and manager were failing, or did Josh want a holiday?

            I am actually agreeing with you with regards to Wenger not wanting players who were signed anyway and that is why the myth that he had complete control is so ridiculous.
            Take a breath, read and digest before coming back at me, because we are both in agreement and you don’t need to write a book, just try and read a post accurately.

            Another suggestion you make is that Emery was probably informed, but had no imput. If that’s the case then he is not the man to take Arsenal forward is he?
            How can you believe that any manager/coach would be able to accept that scenario.
            His hands are tied behind his back and if it goes pearshaped who would get the blame? Emery.
            Would YOU accept any position with those conditions?

            I think YOU are being delusional if you think that Kronkie is prepared to let Gazidis run our club with no imput at all, especially as Gazidis is currently considering a move to Italy and has been for several weeks now.

            Of course we have to give Emery the time to work and coach our players and, ONCE AGAIN, we are in agreement.
            If you have read any of my previous posts, then you know I have said he needs at least two years, if not more.

            Can I offer you a little advice Midkemma?
            Read a post, digest it, think, prepare your post, read through it again, check relevance of any criticism before posting.
            You CAN educate me with your knowledge and I am always willing to learn but please don’t try and belittle
            me….something you accuse Jon Fox of doing, but seem to do so yourself.

          4. Phil says:

            Ken-it’s without doubt the tactics that are the issue but if this is Emery’s preferred system then he has to be supported.For how long he gets this free pass will I suspect be decided by how soon we begin to see the improvement in both performances and results.
            In regards the Manager not playing the new buys I can only offer that he feels Cech and Bellerin are still worth their places as first choice starters.The cup games will give Leno and Licstiener the opportunity to get some minutes and I’m looking forward to seeing how the keeper shows how different he is to Cech in playing out from the back.Guendonzi has started every game and has done better than anyone could have imagined.The issues for me areTorreira not starting and why it took Emery thee games before realising that Aubamayang and Lacazette should always play.The biggest issue still for me is Mesut Ozil.How Can yet another Manager fail to play him as a No10?He is the creative hub of our side and yet Emery is playing Ramsey in the centre and forcing Ozil to operate from wide.Ramsey is not and never will be in Ozil class.I will be disappointed if Emery is indulging Ramsey due to his contract situation and would like to believe this is not the case..
            OT -will make sure we take you up on your very kind offer and look forward to getting diaries together

          5. Durand says:

            Phil maybe Emery values work rate and pressing to win back ball above all else. Clearly not talent, vision, decision making, creating chances etc… Ozil leads Ramsey in all those categories, not even close.

            I only mention that because I only have Emery’s own words to go by. He said a 4-1-4-1 is more suited to his pressing style, and he will often go to a 4-3-3. Neither favors Ozil, hence him being out on wing.

            He has set up or switched to a 4-2-3-1 couple times, but Ozil still out on RW.

            I’d like to see Ozil as a 10 behind Laca and Auba on LW. Perhaps something like this:

            Leno/ Cech
            Lichtsteiner. Mustafi. Sokratis. Monreal
            Ramsey. Torreira
            Welbeck. Ozil. Auba

            He apparently likes Ramsey a lot, Xhaka too unreliable, although Guendouzi could work too.
            I mentioned Welbeck for his work rate and cover Ramsey bombing forward, while Torreria at back make up for Aubamayang’s lacking defense. Plus Torreria can pick a pass, and maybe find Ozil in space like Santi used to do.

            Attack still dangerous, plus defense more stable at back, especially adding Torreria.
            Just my thoughts anyway, maybe for a less dangerous opponent to try it against first.

          6. ozziegunner says:

            Durand, you and I are on the same wavelength, although I would play Xhaka instead of Ramsey along side Torreira. Ramsey should be nowhere near the first team sheet until his contract is signed.

          7. Midkemma says:

            I quite like the lineup.
            I also think it has good flexibility to go defensive to hold a lead if needs, sub Ozil for Guendouzi (example) and put in an extra tackler to help defend the lead. Swap to 433. We have seen Emery switch formations so why not? 🙂

          8. ken1945 says:

            Phil, with regards to the time it will take Emery to sort out the team and tactics, it’s surely got to be at least two seasons hasn’t it?
            I would use Pep and Klopp as the examples of excellent managers needing at least that time to get their thoughts and plans across to the players.
            Plus he might just get a little more transfer money if the adidas deal is confirmed.

            I also believe that Abu and Lac must be in every team selected, they not only love playing together, they actually feed off each other. A brilliant pairing.

            We both agree on Ozil as well. I just find the mans vision incredible and he must surely be our creator. To play him anywhere else is insane both for the player and the team.

            I rate Ramsey, but would not have played him from the moment the transfer window closed. I would also have him out of the squad and put him up for sale immediately, with a view to pre January agreement for any club that wants him.
            Would love him to sign a new contract as I believe he is an asset, but sick and tired of our club being a laughing stock with regards to transfers and contracts.
            Further proof that it’s the club not the manager who is at fault over this though, where’s Huss with all this going on?

            My problem with Cech is not the player, but the system he is being asked to adapt to. I feel Leno would be better, but, if I’m honest, it’s an age thing rather than any actual evidence. Cech has been given some awful passes to deal with from our back four and Lich. would, I believe, steady these suicidal tendencies from our defenders. Hot potatoe comes to mind every time pressure is put on them.

            Torreira not playing? We have unearthed another gem in my opinion. I fail to understand why he’s not started yet. Durand made an excellent point when he said if he’s not 100% fit (which he seems to be) play him for the first fifty sixty minutes and then substitute him. Sounds logical to me anyway.

            Your first point regarding improvement in performance and results.
            We couldn’t have had four more different teams in class, style, know how and status.
            The two wins were against sides who I see struggling all season, while the two losses were against top sides.
            I felt we could/should have beaten Chelsea and City were superb on the day.
            But I have noticed improvements in attitude, discipline, team spirit, comradship and tactics, compared to our last two seasons woeful displays. That’s down to Emery.
            It’s his tactics that worry me and the word used so much recently comes to mind…Obstinate in not changing them.
            I kept leaving my room during both away games, because the suicidal tactics at the back were too much to stay calm about.
            Emery needs our support, but when, not if, we make the fatal error playing this way, our supporters will come down like a ton of bricks on him and all those players who are seen as our ex managers favourites.
            I just hope it gets sorted out very quickly, but it’s as bad after four games as it was after the first game.
            Xxnofx made another excellent observation when he said that the defence is as bad as any seen in the last five years.
            I agree and that’s why I’m so frustrated that we haven’t seen those players who were meant to improve that defence are not being played.
            Rant over in Emery I trust, for two seasons anyway.

          9. Phil says:

            Durand and Ken-thoughtful and accurate comments as always.In my opinion Laca and Auba up top with Ozil behind.Both full backs give us width so we should have plenty of options in the middle three.I like Mykitarian and would like to see him and Ramsey in there with Torreira but Ramsey will have to be disciplined and that is not his natural game.We have winnable games coming up but we must show more tightness at the back otherwise we will always be shipping goals

          10. Andrew E says:

            Ozil is a great number 10 full stop. If Emery doesn’t have confidence in him in that position he should sell him next window. He has not got the pace to be a winger, Wenger tried it from time to time and it failed. Ramsey has not got the skill to be the playmaker.

            If he wants to continue with playing out from the back he should play Leno instead of Cech who has never played this style of football and has struggled so far.

          11. Nakul says:

            Players will run down contracts at all clubs, that’s a way of negotiating. I wouldn’t freeze him out of the first team.
            Emery has been wise, – “I want him to extend, he is a big player for arsenal. This is between player and club”. (In his accent) This is Ramsey s last big pay package, if Arsenal are so afraid of a repeat of last year, then they should have handled it in the summer. Isn’t that the point of having the holy trinity at the club now, rather then having a ‘Manager’.

            With regards to Torreira. I have always felt that new signings should be carefully handled. It happened in the past and even now, some managers are cautious over introducing a new player onto the pitch. It can be tactical it can be because Torreira is still coming to grips with the premier league. It takes intelligence to manage a player, get the best out of him/her and keep their confidence up. Maybe he wants Torreira to have more ‘personality’ in training before he starts. We all know it’s a matter of time.

            Cech has won a lot in life and in my opinion is still a very good keeper. Better back 4 in front would probably show us a different cech.
            Pep when he joined city asked for joe hart to be removed. He had seen enough video on him to form his opinion.
            Emery wants cech to learn playing out from the back. He said players need to be calm. I agree our back four is jumpy and makes cech jumpy. Even under Arsene, every time we had someone running at our defence or when the cbs and full backs exchanged passes (when opposing teams would press very very high) there was panic. He is trying to make them feel comfortable on the ball. Today’s game is based on high press and playing out from the back is a result of that. It’s unavoidable. You want to keep possession then this is how to do it. If not then sign people who always win headers and high quality wingers with great ball control.
            Emery respects Cech. And hence his persistence with him.

            Also guys Emery is the boss. And it’s his first year, m sure he also wants to do well for himself.
            He ain’t no mug.

  3. Maks says:

    Why Emery would think just for right now? Board did not give him money to buy more players so I hope he has a plan to buy them next year.
    So for now he just have to put Leno in, cos I dnt think that he is worse with the ball then Cech. Players will one day take his tacticts (ok, not all of them) and will play from the back as Emery want Arsenal to play. This is much better then Wengers/Britains way of long balls to find Giroud. It was sick to watch and I am glad that we left that for others to keep the untalented tradition!

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Maks, I watched Leno for half a game in a pre-season friendly. He looked as good as an outfield player with ball at his feet. It’s obvious to me that if he’s going to use “the play from the back system” he must play Leno. Lichtsteiner in for Bellerin, I’d also play the young Greek lad along side the improving Sokratis with Monreal at left back. In the middle I’d play a diamond with Torierra at the back and Ozil at the front Guendouzi and Mikki wide behind Auba and Laca. I honestly think this team , once they get used to playing together will be successful. 4th place and a Europa success would do me fine.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Lots of people seem to forget some of the bad games Cech’s had over the last couple of years. My personal opinion is I think he was finished two or three years ago.

  4. gotanidea says:

    Mustafi is correct, despite most of our current players cannot play like the other top teams yet

    I think Emery is testing the players. The ones that cannot keep up with high pressing and the “build the attack from the back” thing would eventually be removed from the first team

    This selection would keep only the skillful players in the main squad and hopefully would bring Arsenal to the next level

  5. bur says:

    With the right keeper i think there might be a possibility to play out but not Cech. Give the young German keeper a chance, he looks more confident than Cech.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      You might be right. The shots keepers are expected to save though, Cech usually saves them, 9 times from ten he’ll save it, probably more. Young keepers, those shots are the ones they sometimes blunder, the ones they should have no trouble with. Could be due to nerves, over confidence, taking their eye off it for a second. Young keepers usually do blunder more so than the older ones. Putting him in could solve a problem, but it could also create another one. I would like to see him tried though, and I think its only a matter of time, because the way Emery wants us to play is very important to him.

  6. Grandad says:

    Cardiff demonstrated how weak we are at dealing with a simple high punt into the. box.Rather than trying to emulate the likes of Man City and Liverpool who have top quality ball playing defenders at their disposal, we should concentrate on how to cope with high ball tactics which will be used by teams like Cardiff, Burnley etc who are adept at winning the second ball.No disrespect to these teams but they use tactics which suit their physically powerful players as they do not have top class forwards.In the same way the likes of Czech, Mustafi and Socratis and Bellerin do not have the technical ability to pass the ball around the 18 yard box particularly when they are under pressure.Basically it’s horses for courses and we should be prioritising means of keeping clean sheets before we try to improve the ball playing abilities of our average defenders.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Also Emery is not helping matters with some of the players he chooses to mark opponents. I remember the first game he had Niles marking a CB, time and again Niles couldn’t compete in the air v a CB. Ramsey in the dying minutes was on that dude they kept lobbing the ball toward yesterday. Our best in the air would not beat that dude but it still should’ve been our best one watching him on corners and set pieces and stuff.

  7. McLovin says:

    I remember everyone slating Bellerin that he cant cross the ball to save his life.

    IMO he has improved this aspect drastically. Still not defendinh well enough but at least he has improved that.

    Just tryinh to look for what HAS changed.

    1. ken1945 says:

      McLovin, I agree with your analysis and firmly believe EVERY player deserves a chance to settle in and prove he can improve under Emery.
      What’s the point of giving Emery the time to improve and impress, then slag off the players?
      As I said earlier, there are changes spirit, never give up attitude, individual effort and trying to fit in a new game plan.
      Team selection is my only concern, but as Emery is the man who picks the team and the above is proof ( in my opinion of course ) that he knows what he’s doing, I’m supporting him.

  8. Break-on-through says:

    Against high pressing teams it doesn’t suit us but its still early days. Sokratis I like some of what he offers, the way he sneakily held a man back to get to the ball first was impressive albeit dangerous. He knows when to foul, Xhaka too who I’m not keen on at least knows when to foul also. We have too many who don’t know when to just stop it in its tracks away from set piece specialist areas. I don’t know if Sokratis suits the passing out game esp with how deep they are in doing it. Mustafi is not great on the ball neither, and people think Koscielny was good with this stuff but he wasn’t particularly good. Mert was good, CC was good, Kos could get away with it at times. I reckon next season will see another few added to defence.

  9. Dave says:

    Playing from the back is fine it’s the possition of our center backs thats the problem. They stand on the byline when the keeper has the ball that forces our midfield very deep to receive the ball. This slows down our play while boxing in our own team. CBs should be 20 yards out when we take goal kicks allowing us to transition play much faster.

    1. JW says:

      Agree, I have noticed that as well. I think this is due to them not being confident in either their ability or Czech’s ability

    2. Midkemma says:

      I personally feel it is more to do with how fast we move the ball along with off the ball movement, making options for the player on the ball… or just about to receive it so they can pass the ball on with their first touch.

      Xhaka mobility is an issue for me in this role, he is too easily marked by teams who also press high, this means we have less options at the back… Less options and players not passing fast enough leads to us being closed down too easily.

      One of the things I loved about out invincibles was their ability to one touch pass, all our players could do it and it allowed for some neat ‘triangles’ of players, this helped us move the ball forward with such swift pace that our counter attacks was too deadly 🙂

  10. Ray says:

    Sorry to be negative but..

    Cech = Liability
    Mustaffi = Liability
    Sokratis = Liability
    Bellerin = Almost a liability
    Monreal = Not quite a liability but showing signs of slowing
    Xhaka = Total liability!

    The one area Arsenal really needed to strengthen is the one area they spent very little on. How can even presume to challenge with a defence that already looks as much a liability as it did last year?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if by January 2019 we are outside the top 10 and have one of the worst goals against form in the EPL!

    I know we are only 4 games in to the season but seriously, why are they still making the same mistakes under Emery?

    1. Ray says:

      Oh BTW, my point is, “How can you play out from the back with this set up”?

    2. Ks-gunner says:

      Funny how you call some of our players out but ignore others.

    3. Tas says:

      Our defence is mainly bad because we don’t have natural wingers we are using Bellerin and Monreal to provide crosses and no one to cover them when there is a counter attack

  11. Grandad says:

    Spot on Ray

  12. Jerrmy says:

    I am still willing to give the defenders a chance. Probably end of Dec. If it’s still an average of 2 goals conceded then things are obviously not right here.

    Defensive coach along with some defenders will have to go.

    Fans are showing patience because we knew it’s not easy to fix the leak. But I think deadwood players should jolly well stand up and be counted. They can’t hide behind the old man any more. He had left….

  13. Lupe says:

    We need better players in general at arsenal whether to play out from the back or any other style. We lack quality players, too many average and poor players. Some of the good ones either don’t fit the style or are finished as too players eg ozil, cech. If silent stan doesn’t provide the funds, the fans need to act, there is no way we are winning the league not to talk of champions league in a decade with these core of players or level of signings no matter the coaching from emery.

  14. Ks-gunner says:

    This club is crying for a proper commanding defender. And we dont have a real leader in the team who could make the diff at times as well.

    Most of our players are real phonys and no real athletes. To much focused on their image and not much in the pitch.

    Make Ramsey sign the thing or bench him. He is not special and in case of him leaving replacing him wont be hard.

    Ozil besides being poor at times is still our best player in the midlefield.

    Bellerin wont improve due of him being a ponny.

    Xhaka is underrated. People need to see him more as a bench player who can be useful just like Giroud was always supposed to be.

    Torriera needs to start. Leno as well.

    Dont make Mateo into something he is not. All this hype wont so him good as people will demand always the best put of him without fail.

    Hings are going okays but not good. In emery i kinda trust??

    1. Midkemma says:

      “Bellerin wont improve due of him being a ponny.”

      People was slating his final ball last season, well to be honest they was slating Bellerin at going forward largely from when we swapped to RWB role over RB.

      People was saying he has no end product, no final ball, we should sell him as he can’t defend or attack…

      He has gotten better on his final ball in a short time that Emery has coached the team. Some people are even saying maybe he should be a RW and not a RB… Kinda says a lot about how he has improved in one area of his game in such a short time.

      How do you know he can’t get better at defending?

      He was good enough to keep Debuchy on the bench remember? French international who had taken over from Sagna in the national team and Bellerin kept him on the bench.

      How do you know he can’t work on his def side and at least get the form back that he had when breaking into the 1st team and fighting for the starting spot… before his big contract.
      How do you know he can’t grow and become better than what he was like, becoming the beast of a RB his promised shown a few years ago?

      1. Tas says:

        Belerin can improve going forward but he will never recover on time to defend on counter attacks no mater how fast he is, now days every team has fast runners for counter attack against big teams and Belerin spends more time behind opposition attackers then in defending in front of them

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Arsenal bought a defensive leader; his name is Stephan Lichtsteiner, captain of Switzerland and 7 time Seria A winner. Why doesn’t he start?

      2. Ks-gunner says:

        You may be in the right and i should have not said that. Bellerin migh improve under Emery as Chamberlain did with Klopp. But i am against stagnation and i want to see him improve and improving he did not. His attitude is simple wrong.

        If he can become half of the player Sagna or the guy currently siiting on the bench is all the fans are going to praise him.

  15. AndersS says:

    Come on.
    Emery has been here for a couple of months, and he hasn’t even had the full squad for more than half the time.
    He has managed to increase the work rate of our attackers and midfielders without loosing any attacking ability, If anything it has improved.
    They still have a lot of work to do to learn to press quicker and more organized, and some of the midfielders still have to learn to be quicker at helping their defenders, especially on the wings.
    Emery has his own vision and that is great.
    Should he just have continued doing what Wenger did?
    Of course not.
    We need fresh ideas and a new system. He is sticking to his ideas and not bottling it
    We should be proud and happy as there finally seems to be a real prospect of going forward again after at least 2-3 years constant demise.

  16. Will says:

    The main issue I have noticed with playing from the back is two fold.

    The first problem is how slow Cech is to sort his feet out and play the pass, this allows the opposition an extra couple of seconds to press the defender due to receive the ball – creating panic and inviting pressure. This could be made a lot better with the introduction of Leno assuming he is better on the ball and able to move the ball on quickly.

    The second problem I have noticed is the options the defenders have when receiving the ball. Often Mustafi and Sokratis have no option but to pass the ball back to Cech – who having the problem above – is under more pressure and looks panicked and either makes a mistake or punts it out for a throw in.

    This can be solved IMO with playing Torreira and Guendozi together. The reason for this is both look very comfortable on the ball and both have been seen many times dropping deeper to receive it. I have also noticed they are much more able to receive the ball on the half turn and look to move it quickly through the midfield. This allows Mustafi and Sokratis who aren’t technically the best out there to pop the ball off to someone with a greater ability to pick the pass and start the attacks.

    I am not here to bash Xhaka as he does some things well and I think he is a victim of the role he has more than being a poor player. However, I have noticed he struggles to move the ball quickly and his ability to turn and create a little space for himself is lacking – this is evident by the amount of times he gets caught dwelling on the ball and this is why I would start the two youngsters ahead of him just now.

  17. harold says:

    If Arsenal want to play from the back you need players who could perfect that style of play. Calum Chambers overall game is suited to that style of play he possesses very good control for a defender. But unfortunately, his sent out on loan.

    Mohammed Eleney has the stamina to follow the ball all over the pitch in a defensive position balancing Arsenal offensive players run his a candidate for that style of play.

    Jack Wilshere has the ability to come out of defense with the ball and hence get pass players his overall game is suited to that style of play. But unfortunately, his was allowed to leave free.

    A natural winger preferably left footed with good close control and the ability to hold the ball up in the wide areas with skills and can play on either wing is a must. Adnan Januzaj would have been a good candidate as a cheap option.

    There is a number of Arsenal players on the pitch who will never be able to perfect that style of play.

  18. FamousFromDubai says:

    all too negative, arsenal fans are way too negative.
    yall want quick fix, too impatient. but breaking news, you can keep moaning yeah.
    keep feeling terrible, keep deceiving yourself that all that negativity is love.
    WE MUST PLAY FROM THE BACK, and cech would keep being the keeper till he learns it. deal with it or go join spurs.
    TORREIRA WONT BE STARTING, you want it your way, you cant see reasons why he is not. well listen up…. september has alot of games for us. everybody would start, Guendozi and Xhaka need this periods to get game time. deal with your impatience
    OZIL WILL THRIVE, you dont believe in him, that he would suit Emery style, well, You are not ozil, neither are you Emery. Ozil will find his footing in this style, he would learn and he would outdo your expectation. Emery is not asking you to be optimistic. he just needs you to take your negativity elsewhere. STOP COMPLAINING.
    OUR DEFENCE KEEP CONCEDING. Yes, they will until they learn how not to. WENGER with 22 years couldnt fix it. even if we bought the best defenders on earth, they will still struggle and fidget. MUSTAFI was good when we got him, we hailed sokratis, greek god blah blah when we were to sign him, now he is yes and we still conceding. its a process, change and learning are not easy. GIVE IT TIME.


  19. Matt says:

    How come we can’t get the tactics right but the Chelsea players look like they been playing under Sari for years! They play out from the back the have a high press. There d fenders are not scared to have the ball at feet and those players come from a more defensive manager then Wenger?? Wat are we doing wrong?

  20. ozziegunner says:

    Question: What influence is Steve Bould having on coaching the back four in tactical awareness, tackling techniques, defensive strategy and discipline?
    Bould wa ax a great player who one would think would be providing input to Emery, howeve he appears to be earning “money for old rope” based on Arsenal’s continuing defensive frailties.

    1. Jeremy says:

      Spot on. Something is not right. We just can’t seem to defend. Maybe the rot did come from Bould.

  21. GunnerJack says:

    Anyone else annoyed that such as Torreira and Lacazette seem to have to ‘work hard to justify their place in the line up’ while certain other players have a first team place handed to them on a freakin’ plate – even though they’ve been rubbish since Adam was a lad?
    What happened to picking the team ON MERIT!?

Comments are closed