Emery says Arsenal v Everton was a game of two halves – Really?

According to Emery, it was a game of two halves. It is the manager’s job to put a gloss on a performance, even a bad one and that is exactly what Unai Emery has done today.

The manager has spoken about being consistent defensively but not so much offensively in the first half and the opposite in the second half.

Speaking after the game he said: “The two halves were very different. First half we were consistent defensively but didn’t create a lot of attacking moments and they scored from a throw-in.

“In the second half we were better offensively but defensively there were more chances for them. We needed a change in the attacking third but I didn’t want to lose the balance defensively like we lost it.

“I’m as positive as I was before because I knew the game was going to be difficult.”

That is all fine but the problem I have is not what he has said, it was what he did not say and that is the game was lost in the midfield.

If you do not control the middle of the park then you cannot provide a decent service to the front-line and you heap pressure on the defence and that is exactly what happened and that is a worry.

Everton clearly bossed the centre and that Emery has not identified that as an issue tells me that we are going to face the same problems we did today in our future away games.

It is one thing being dominant at home but if you cannot show the strength and creativity required in another teams backyard then it is no surprise when you lose.

I do not expect Emery to come out and criticise the players, not at all, but at least be honest and admit what the problem was and try to offer up a solution.

The bottom line is Emery has not reassured me today.


  1. He needs to wear his glasses, as it was obvious Everton were dominant in midfield due to extra personnel in the middle

    He must have known that the opponents have been familiar with Arsenal’s 3-4-2-1 at away games and I expected him to set up something different to surprise them

    I knew he had to use the three-CB formation to nullify Everton’s wingers, but he surely knew other methods because he has been working with the players for almost a year now. Hope to see some changes in the next EPL away match

  2. I like Emery and where he has got us to so far “BUT” sorry Unai your players let you down and the rest of us big time in this match, each and every one of them were very poor today I’m not sure why you would suddenly decide that Elneny is going to stun us with a great performance when he has hardly played all season but only you know that answer, Iwobi is another who can have a poor match more often than not but when he came on he did more than any other player in his 15 minutes on the pitch, to say this was a game of two halves is correct but two identical halves is closer to the truth here, these players were a disgrace that was one of the worst 95 minute performances I have seen from the whole eleven players that started a game in that shirt, If we are going to get a top 4 place we are going to have to win at least 3 of the remaining away games, I cannot for the life of me see that happening. Get the terrier back in the team and for god sake play auba and laca together up top to give these defences more to worry about, Mustafi is not reliable enough and Niles is out of his depth and not ready for this level on a regular basis Monreal is normally more reliable than yesterday but he was also very poor.

    1. Totally agree with 90% of what you wrote mate .
      Think someone put yesterday if Ramsey was for to be on the bench then he was fit enough to start which is what I thought also .
      Everton could have scored more and the only reason we looked good in the last 20 mins all so was the fact we had some many forward players on but was leaving loads of gaps at the back in which Everton should have made us pay .
      I think must of us called it when we saw the team sheet before the game ,not sure if he was resting players for Thursday but for me league is a priority over that competition therefore he should have played our strongest squad .
      Have to move on though so hopefully we get back some of the injured players for the next league game because there’s no reason looking at our fixtures why we still can’t get 3 rd place .
      Also take nothing away from Everton they have been playing week and made us look 2 best all over the pitch .

  3. Still getting the EE advert as well which takes over the phone and can’t do nothing except shut the website down ,now open in new browser to type this .
    Getting it on iPhone and iPad ,I’ve screenshots but don’t know how to send it to you .

      1. Sounds like you have malware on your phone. Try and load an app like antispyware and do a scan as well…
        Send screenshots to justarsenal at hotmail.co.uk

  4. I am deeply disappointed in Emery. Instead of making excuses he should simply have apologized for a rubbish team selection and equally pathetic performance. Now people keep saying top 4 is not over we still have the easiest fixtures of the top 6..but what does that matter when we keep losing all these supposedly easier fixtures and fail to take advantage of our said opportunities.

    Anyway, I think we can now all agree, fanboy or hater, that Ozil is only capable of producing the goods in home games. Is that worth 350k a week? I don’t think so. Another one is Guendozi. Man, this kid has been hyped up but for all the praise he gets he is an absolute liability in my eyes.

    Whenever I see Guendozi in the middle I know it’s going to be a long day. No pace, poor in tackling, rubbish passing, no vision or positioning, no shots…just running around and diving is what he is good at. I’d ship him back to where he came from if only to recover the money we spent signing him.What a shocking display that was yesterday!

    1. I think he’ll have a lot to say to them on the training pitch, he’ll be as mad as we are. It was a truly pathetic account of ourselves, he’ll know that as much as anybody and he’ll take some of the blame for the choices in personnel and tactics.

      But he’ll say that there is no excuse for not being fired up for that one, partly a managers job to fire players up but it’s mostly on the individual, if you play like that you have no-one to blame but yourself, where’s your pride like. You should need nobody to tell you to put in effort, the effort is how we show ourselves to relish competition. Bunch of pampered millionaires with their soft as butter hands and their well rested fragile little minds.

    2. enough of your bagging guendozi….who the hell do you actually like? apart from wenger? All yiur comments have been to bag matteo BUT I rate him highly seeing as its first season in the epl, his vision is good but he is forced to play alongside dolts like xhaka and elneny. Once he gains experience and learns that he has less time on the ball in the epl than other leagues, he will be another torreira

  5. So we lost away (which we really should be used to by now) Am really gutted, am not looking forward to our next game… which is at home… where we’ll play brilliantly & win, then we’ll all be buzzing, bigging up the team to then be shot down in our next away game where we play crap (again) & lose… that’s how the cycle goes isn’t it??
    Why on earth can’t we play well & win an away game???? What the hell is wrong with the team??

  6. I am a little bit reluctant to slam Emery for his assessment. We only did not play well, we were completely out played in both halves, we could have lost by 4-0, our players up from middle to front were ineffective, we didn’t change our tactics in the second half though we changed players, we lacked the same energy level, and it was a disgraceful performance. But I think Emery is trying to do a better job. So I look forward to the next game.

  7. What I hope Emery has learnt from yesterday:

    1) You cannot start Elneny and Guendouzi together. You can get away with one of them, as long as they have Xhaka or Torreira next to them. Elneny offers next to nothing, and although Guendouzi has been fantastic, and I love him, he has tailed off a bit lately.

    2) Ozil is 100% finished at Arsenal! I think it was his first start in an away league game since boxing day, and he created nothing! We can see why Emery hasn’t been using Ozil, and I hope the fans get off the managers back about this from now on. Bar Leno, and Iwobi, everyone else was poor as well, but NO club can pay the amounts we are for a player who you just cannot use for ANY away game! Not to mention the fact, he almost never turns up in the big games as well. What exactly are we paying all this money for?

    3) Be brave with the lineup. Emery started far too negative yesterday, and has done it many times in away games.

    4) How good was Leno…yet again? This guy is our player of the season, and he HAS to play against Napoli! I pray Emery doesn’t do a Wenger, and makes a sentimental selection, with Cech over Leno.

    5) Start Iwobi in all of our our remaining away games. He’s the only one willing to actually run at opponents. It may not always work out, but at least he’s putting some kind of pressure on them.

    6) Intensity, intensity, intensity! It’s so hard to win when no one is fighting for it. We always show intensity at home, and for the away games against big teams, but it seems to vanish against the lesser teams for some reason?

  8. i doubt UE quite understood was about to encounter by going to one of the north-west-england’s less heralded yet successful in its own right clubs. Everton are among the most successful english teams and fac winning sides. So their passion and expectation is at pitch high when teams from the south go up their to play. Theirs is a football history fuelled by sectarianism and this game was never going to be a stroll in the park – it needed greater analysis from UE and (evidently) he drew all the wrong conclusions during (or prior to) sunday’s game at Goodison Park. We were ineffective and bitterly disappointing.

    Foreign players can’t admit it but the truth is the passion as well the obvious physical threat from the opposition, particularly the likes of everton and their baying fans does disgruntle certain young players, foreign players will be thrown by it as well it causes these players to disengage and make wrong decisions during the game. It’s why it makes good sense to keep a home grown contingent within the arsenal side.

  9. Iwobi, Ramsey, and Auba are three of our best choices for away games. All three are direct players, they show commitment, the Eve match was for me bigger than the Napoli game. I can’t believe he tried to be cute with team selection with how big the Eve game was, we had a chance to take control of our destiny. If some were carrying knocks or not a hundred percent, I don’t know if that’s the case, they were on the bench so a part of me believes that Emery was trying to be cute. If he had pulled it off well then I’d be thinking that it was brilliant, masterful. But with Xhaka, Torriera, Koscielny, Bellerin, Holding all out, half of our first eleven, it seems a massive mistake to leave Iwobi, Ramsey and Auba on the bench, esp Auba, important points missed out on. That was 80% of our first elevens outfield players all gone missing. With our away form already a concern, we go and start with just 20% of our first elevens outfield.

  10. We should’ve strengthened in Jan, try to help consolidate a good finish, our owner is a piece of schitt, we should’ve brought in a couple of players who could really help us. Two good PL players slotting in and doing a job.

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