Emery accepts Arsenal are still a long way behind Man City, but we tried…

The new Arsenal manager is truly in a state of transition after taking over a team that lacked talent, confidence and ambition in the summer, and his options have been limited much further by our unending disruption to our back line by injuries.

So it is was very unlikely (even if we had everyone fit) we would be able to compete with a superstar side like Manchester City at the Etihad after just half a season with Emery in charge. At last the players showed a bit of heart in the first half, despite facing an uphill battle from the kick-off, and after the game Emery admitted that City were by far the better side and his team still have a long way to go. “They showed their superiority today over 90 minutes.” the Boss said.

“Above all, the second half cost us. In two different times in the first half we struggled, but together we were defensively strong in some moments. We gave ourselves a chance so that we could hopefully take the chance in the attacking third against them. We also needed to work hard and not concede chances inside our box. In the first half, we can look at it with some optimism but in the second half we tried to do something different to go up against them by creating more chances, more opportunities, with more players and possibilities on the pitch.

“But the second half was different. We were more open than we were in the first half and they have very fast players in the transition. I think they showed today, with the possession against us when our defensive position was very deep, they can score like they did in the first half. When we needed to attack a little more against them, opening the space in the transition, they showed they were better than us at the moment. The result is the difference between Manchester City and Arsenal today.”

I’m not sure why I see why Arsenal fans are upset with the players and the manager when it is obvious that Pep’s team is one of the best teams in the world right now, and there are very few teams that could match them at the Etihad. When you consider our problems, our injuries and our new systems in place, this was never going to be an easy game, but I think a 3-1 defeat is actually respectable at this point in our development.

Sam P

Updated: February 4, 2019 — 3:12 am

41 Comments

  1. Agreed.

    Our squad is closer to 7th or 8th best than to 4th or 5th. Not a huge fan of Unai, but he’s done somewhat okay. Pretty much as expected when you consider the personnel. Think about it: how many of our players would make the combined squad with any of our rivals for top 4? The answer is 2 or 3 (3 if you played 4-4-2 with both Laca and Auba up front).

    Not that we shouldn’t criticize as Emery has made mistakes, but fans should accept that this year our only real chance of making the CL is the Europa or if 2 of our rivals had a crap season.

    1. Yes, the quality of some Arsenal players are not good enough for EPL title challenge, but maybe they are good enough for Europa League

      The clearout will continue in the summer and I wish to see better players as the replacements

    2. come on, Emery is at best with an average team that is trying to find its way back at the top. Not a team with plenty of talent which he cant use to get the best result for the team.
      Again the players at arsenal all very good but poor tactical decision are affecting this team.

    3. People are talking about Europa League like it’s a better route to CL than top 4. Likely not! Likes of Chelsea, Napoli, Inter, Sevilla, even Villarreal can easily brush us aside. Our defense is mediocre among the Europa League teams, they can easily capitalize on it. We cannot defend nor can we park the bus.

      We are left to pray that we somehow just score 3-4 times a match and the opposition defense is having a bad day at the office. That’s our chance to win EL.

    4. 2 or 3? Who’s Auba playing in front of? Aguero? The guy that just scored a hat trick? Laca is a great player but he isn’t making that city team either and whose this mysterious 3rd player? Torreira his good but I’m still taking fernandinho. I read articles on the best combined 11 and 2 websites don’t mention an arsenal player! We’re miles behind, to the point where we habe the same chance as Burnley do of getting a result against city

      1. Harry Redknapp has mocked Son’s qualification for player of season and says the players should be Aguero, Aubameyang, VVD, Salah, Silva and Kane, I’d agree with him unless we want to be kind to a Wolves player or something.

    5. Agreed. I think it a pity that some on here cannot distinguish between fans naturally questioning of this or that decision, as some fans do with all managers at every club etc BUT who still very much want this fine manager to remain. I see all the almost impossible handicaps he has had to overcome; Wengers dross defence he inherited ; no proper funds allowed to replace them; having to spend a large chunk of that pittance on FINALLY DOING WHAT WENGER SHOULD HAVE DONE A DECADE AGO IN REPLACING GILBERTO WITH A PROPER DM; the catastrophic injury tsunami and length of those injuries; an already unbalanced squad inherited; certain player(s) too posh or RICH to work hard like the others do; a load of unthinking and unfair criticism mostly from very young fans (who are best described as snowflakes) with little real experience of how the world of top level football really works.
      Some of these “snowflakes” would hang a man for simpoly sneezing and not covering his nose. Talk about vengeance unchained!

  2. The way Man City dictated the tempo and dominated the midfield showed the skill levels of their players, reminded me on how Arsenal used to dominate them in the 2000s with Henry, Bergkamp, Adams, Keown, Cole and Vieira

    I accept that Man City are richer than Arsenal, but I wonder why Arsenal’s youth development system is so far behind from the likes of Liverpool, Man United and Tottenham. The span of eighteen years should be enough to create a first class academy like La Masia, but the board and the staffs seem to be fall asleep

    If they don’t have money or deliberately don’t want to spend more money, the best solution would be using young players that are used to Arsenal’s system. Before imposing their playing style in the field, they have to improve their academy quality first

    1. gotanidea, if you follow the performances of the U23’s and U18”s they are both comparatively young overall; however they have been strong performers in their relevant competitions. The U23’s have recently beaten Manchester City 5-1 in the U23 Premier league and Tottenham Hotspurs 5-2 in the FA Youth Cup.
      There are some good prospects who deserve an opportunity.

      1. If they are good, why haven’t we seen any young English graduate play regularly in the first team this season? I only see Iwobi and Bellerin, which was imported from Barcelona

        Either the youngsters are not ready to compete in EPL or the club do not trust their own talents

        1. Numbers suggest Arsenal academy is the best in the league , Emery doesn’t trust our youngsters and that’s a problem that needs solving.

        2. The gap between U23 and grown men is astonishing. You can just take a look at all the players who starred in Premier League 2 and actually made it to Premier League.

          Majority of the youth are League 1 standard.

          Crowley, Eisfeld, Akpom, Aneke, Watt.. so many “talents” were supposed to make our first XI. Only Crowley is playing in an actual professional league.

  3. The thing that irked me in the second half was that we played the ball in our box like we won 3-0.. and not getting the ball quickly out of our half is to me, more irksome than losing 3-1 amid a fighting loss. We seemed out of ideas on how to pass the ball forward.

    This season we were passing the ball without any intent to score. Is this the way forward? If it is, then the club is going backwards.

  4. Pep didn’t do well in his first season neither did Klopp. Arsenal fans need to be realistic and patient. We need to replace some players with better ones but that’s another story cause Kroenke is not playing his part. We will most probably sign two more players in next transfer. I don’t see us spending money on more than 2. Even then we not guaranteed trophies. Koppel still hasn’t won any and look how much they spent since he came in. We need to give Emery his 2 seasons to improve this team. Kroenke and Wenger really messed things up.

  5. Things are changing

    Agreed Sam. We have done as expected or better this season. Anyone who thought we could go the Ethiad and steel a result was dreaming.

    I have to say I am frustrated with the manager for continuing to rely on Lichsteiner. The guy cost us a lot of games or goal this season. Why not try Jenkinson? Could he be worse? Why not try Mustafi who has played as right back and is horrible as CD? If you play Mustafi on the right you can play Mavropanos in the center.

    It also seems to me that we struggle when we play 3 at the back. Our best periods in games have come when we played 4-3-3.

  6. Kroenke’s Rams lost the Superbowl. He’ll be even more determined to siphon off us to buy players for them…

  7. “but I think a 3-1 defeat is actually respectable at this point in our development.”

    This is what the club has been turned too for years, and some of you gladly accept it and will rather see the team lose a game shamefully only to blame it on the quality of players.. Man City has a better squad no doubt, but I guess Newcastle has a better squad than Arsenal and Man-City then?? Everyone around me knew I admitted we would lose the game, even before kick off, the annoying part for me is how we lost it and we were never a threat to City and somehow people think it’s Okay for us to play like that just because it’s City

    The Immaturity I’ve actually seen for the whole week I stood back was how some of you label other fans as fools, idiots and all sorts of rubbish. You’re allowed to make yourself heard but when others do so and it’s not the same as your thoughts, they get to be called names??

    Sir Jon Fox right now this goes particularly to you, like you I love to tell the truth the way I see it, exactly how you tell your truth the way you see it..
    But you sir the way you call people and fans fools on here is disrespectful. You and I do have different views but we both know how to make our debate in respectful manners, you and I despite our different views, have we ever clashed or had any altercations on here?
    So believe me when I say this Jon, you need to stop calling others insultive names just because they state something they want for the team.
    I tend to respect people, because I value it, and I do believe everyone on here understands the statement “Respect is Reciprocal ”
    seriously man I’ve noticed how you easily label fans on here as fools and idiots, can you state your views without the name calling??

  8. “When you consider our problems, our injuries and our new systems in place, this was never going to be an easy game, but I think a 3-1 defeat is actually respectable at this point in our development.”

    Wtf!! Pure loser talk. Disgraceful to call a 3-1 loss respectable for our great Club. ‘Our development’!! Have we just got promoted from the Championship. You should be ashamed of yourself writing such garbage.

    1. This season….
      Manchester City 5 – 0 Burnley
      Manchester City 6 – 1 Southampton
      Manchester City 3 – 1 Manchester United
      Manchester City 3 – 1 Bournemouth
      Manchester City 3 – 1 Everton
      Manchester City 2 – 1 Liverpool

      Umm have all these teams just been promoted? Have a bit of perspective please.
      3-1 is respectable at the Etihad, just as it would be if you played away at Barcelona or Bayern Munich….

      1. PAT WELL SAID. BUT THE TRUTH IS WASTED ON THOSE WHO REFUSE TO SEE IT OR HEAR IT. Though I instinctively dislike banning people , I often think what an improved site it would be if we could keep all the many intelliegent Gooners and somehow get rid of the hasty, excess of testosterone driven, reactionary fools who speak first and think… not at all, actually! If only eh Pat!

  9. We are tired of Kronke’s selfish. He uses our arsenal 4 his self interest. Fans we have northing to celebrate except frustration. I think it is now the right time to suck the f***** Kronke other wise we will continue to suffer.
    U trust on Emery but we have to wait at least after 2 seasons we ‘ll have competitive team

  10. I am disappointed not just because we lost 3-1, but because we didn’t fight hard enough.

    I think we had our moment in the first half until they scored the second. I could feel something might happen. I was hoping Emery would motivate the players during the break, but nothing really changed. After the third goal, there was zero to watch from our side. That was intorelable and unacceptable.

    Positives are Guendouzi and Torreira. They fought to make something happen. Also, Koscielny scored and he looks like he is coming back to his best. It was nice to see Mavropanos play again, too.

    This is only Emery’s first year and we all know we have a long way ahead of us. But, we need to see genuine fight, hunger and desire from each player, and we need a manager who can motivate and lead them. Unfortunately, that’s what we lacked last night, and that’s why I am gutted.

  11. Is lichsteiner mustafi kos monreal the oldest back line in the EPL? In any event in terms of quality it’s a mid table line up …what kolasinac was doing is anybody’s guess yday as for Iwobi enough said … What irks me is that yes pep and klopp took time to adapt to EPL but they had a style and Intent from the get go … Emery is a mystery on that front and therefore it’s just not clear where he can take us … And despite all his talk he hasn’t developed a pressing game at all which has less to do about skill and more about organization and mentality … Reminds me of van gahl at man utd … Decent pedigree but not for the EPL …

  12. Did anyone really expect us to go to the Etihad & win?? City are the champions!! They ooze class.. I could even see it oozing from the bench!!
    The only thing that drives me crazy… is the fact that our highest paid player is on the bench (again) so Emery is happy with just 4 shots (which came in the first half) and a big fat zilch in the 2nd half?? No creativity!!! Ozil has to play UE, surely you can see that!! And while we’re at it, I’d rather Jenko play instead of Lichtsteiner!! Jeez Lichtsteiner & Iwobi in the same team… how scared must Man City have been when they saw the line ups??!!

    1. Sue, what I really don’t get is playing 5 defenders on the pitch alongside Guendouzi and Torreira.
      Plus why was Kolasinac playing the LW ?? Lichtsteiner is not the solution we know so, a certain Wenger used to play Mustafi at RB when it needed to be done. it’s obvious this old man is done with football, Juve weren’t stupid to let him go on a free, he’s basically finished.
      Iwobi? No discipline, no decision making and definitely not a single creative moment, how do you try to become a Lionel Messi inside your own box??..
      2nd half we created zero chances and made no attempts, we had Ozil and Ramsey in the bench, both who knows the EPL better than the coach and Suarez, but the coach believed in Suarez over Ozil.
      Ozil is done at Arsenal, should be sold, what sane club will buy him if he spends his time on the bench?.
      If it’s such a big problem, let the club pay his salary and release him then so we can be done with it.
      In a game like that, To opt for Suarez over Ozil shows Ozil will have no chance at the club and it definitely shows Emery’s problem with him is personal.
      Every pundits and sane human out there has pointed out how he handles big name players..
      IMHO Nobody is immune from criticism, not even Emery… I still ask, every Wenger players deserved a new chance under Emery but Ozil doesn’t? why is he different? his salary I guess?? Mhiki got loads of chances, how many has Ozil gotten?
      Is this team really a good team for any good player to wanna join?

      1. You’re right Eddie… Ozil not even coming on later on speaks volumes! He has issues with him, that is blatantly obvious.. but the team are suffering because of these ‘issues’ I for one cannot stand seeing him sat there on the bench (oozing!) week after week… We know what he can do, so get him out there!! If he has no intention of playing him then he should have just sold him in the window…what a waste of talent just sat there & playing 2nd fiddle to the likes of Iwobi week in week out, that is a complete joke!!
        Totally agree with everything you say Eddie… Well if we don’t make the CL next season, that’ll be less.money coming in (again) & I’m not sure if any ‘big’ names will want Europa- that is if we even make that!!

        1. Sue am with you on this 100% and you know what, if I am in his shoe I will not move an inch. There was no mentioning of Emery when everyone begged him to sign. So I will not let anyone show me the door.

      2. Eddie I am angry with Emery because he picked a personal fight with Ozil. Pure and simple. The reason I would not know, but it is shamefuly obvious that Emery wants him out of the club and it is not for football reasons. Let me remind everyone who think Emery has the right to outcast our players, Emery’s days are numbered too. It might not be immediate but surely it will arrive one day. None of them owns the club, and none of the will be there forever. Ozil knows the premier league more than Emery and he can be proud of what he has achieved in his career as a footballer and as an Arsenal Player. We are waiting to see what Emery will achieve.

  13. Ozil and jenko wouldnt have made a difference yesterday, it was a game of class, city showed us why they are the champion. There is no reasons for panick, 3 point behind chelsea.
    Gutted Tottenham disappearing out of sight with the useless 1-0 wins

    1. Spuds have been so F#$*ing lucky this season

  14. Fun fact:

    First match in charge, we lost 0-2 to City at home. Emery’s first game in charge, obviously he needs time. I agree.

    6 months later, same opposition away. We lose 3-1 in an EXACT similar style. ZERO improvement in 6 months. I would even argue we were worse than in August.

    Can someone clarify why we are not seeing any progress? Is our squad this bad that we cannot be better than this?

  15. I just saw a stat – our last 21 away games against the other 5 teams in the top 6… we’ve taken 7 points (out of 63!!!) Sheesh!!!

    1. That can’t be true, sure we’ve taken more than that off Che. Tott we used to win the home game and draw or lose the away. Utd we used to get an odd draw if lucky. City we used to do well at home before the last couple of seasons. Liv have begun to ruin us for, ever since Klopp arrived. But I still say that that stat couldn’t be true, sure we’ve taken six points off Spu and Che this season.

      1. The stat was away games… We beat the chel/spuds at home

  16. if Unai fears to play big names i doubt if any big star could ever want to play for such kind of a manager. he is a coward and likes to have average players. its is my guess that the owner of the club could be asking himself the same question. “Is this team really a good team for any good player to wanna join?” why did he go for a midfielder when even my son of 10 years can identify the problem? give Sir Alex those average players and watch him turn them into winners!.

  17. Let us be realistic and accept that there is no shame in Arsenal losing 1-3 to Man city at Etihad. Man city are the defending champions and the only team that has beaten Liverpool this season. Besides their squad is one of the most expensive in Europe today. What our fans need to realise is that we are left with just two big teams to play, Man U and Spurs while our opponents have more of such matches. Furthermore, we need to be cognisant of the many injuries that have hit a good number of our first team players. All these factors aggravated our already shaky situation. That is why I believe that our situation is not as desperate as some on this site make it out to be. There is still a lot of hope for a top four slot.

  18. For me the worst thing about yesterday was not that result, it was reading Josh Kroenke coming across like something out of fantasy land. He sounded in great form because their team over there has made the superbowl final or something. He compared Emery to the manager of that club and tried to make similarities between the two totally different situations. After it I said well that explains allot. Then someone saying how that model has brought that team success and we need to be patient because it will work for us too, really pissed me off. How long have we been patient, I’m all for being patient with Emery and others but you’re having a laugh if you are asking Arsenal fans to be patient with the kronkies. The NFL has a different way of doing things, the sport has rules that make it more even, seriously, the guy has not a clue what he talks about. He says all this probably not even knowing anything about the team we were about to face, the differences between us and them, he didn’t mention it, the game, nor the huge task of us trying to match them eventually. He sounded in great form all the same, once he’s happy I suppose.

    1. But his team, the Rams, lost! What a shame eh? NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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