Emery’s rotations are starting to bear fruit at last

Unai Emery has been tinkering with the Arsenal starting XI right from the start of the season, and despite the complaints from us fans, he has managed to quietly lift the Gunners into the Top Four again, and we have chances to consolidate that on Wednesday when we take on Bournemouth.

It was obvious that the Spaniard would have to make changes after an exhausting game on Thursday night, but he was very happy with the way his players coped with it, despite the changes. “We have the habit to play a lot of matches in one week.” Emery said. “I think today I am happy because I said to them, Thursday I was very proud of them after how they worked in a very difficult match for the result. Also it was a dangerous match with the result of the first leg losing 1-0. Today we decided to do some changes in the squad and it’s very important to carry on with our intensity and performance with different players. We need to be together and we can feel stronger with every player, and the possibility of using different players in different matches with the intensity that we want to play.”

It is clear that Emery is trying to manage the squad to keep us fresh for all these games, and he admitted that there would be yet more changes as we we keep our focus on keeping the top four spot which we have finally reached this weekend after all the other results went our way for a change. “For us it’s positive, but it’s not changing our idea or our way. (We are taking things) game by game and Wednesday we want another three important points against Bournemouth. I think we can use these moments and different players to get good paces and fresh players with energy and quality. We need the mix to reserve some players for some matches, because we are going to play a lot of matches. We started Thursday, then today, Wednesday and after Saturday, so it’s important to play with a big performance like today when we can change some players in the first XI.”

Emery also made it clear that the team should only focus on their own results and forget our rivals, and should just concentrate on the points in every single game. “Our focus is on our way because we cannot control the result with Manchester United, Chelsea or Tottenham, only when we are going to play against them. That’s the only moment when we can decide their result and ours. The most important thing in our matches is to think step by step and game by game and on Wednesday we want three points against Bournemouth. We want the same three points against Tottenham and the only difference is that we can control our result and their result. Our focus is to win Wednesday and use the players who can give the best performance possible with intensity, quality and organisation like we showed today.”

It is a fact that Emery is trying to instill the tactics in every single squad member so that they can be interchangeable depending on fitness and fatigue. It may have taken a long time for them to understand what he wants, but I am getting the feeling that it is all coming together at last.

What do you think?

Sam P


  1. ThirdManJW says:

    From the research I’ve done on Emery, he does like to tinker. I think it was for around 80 games straight at Valencia where he didn’t pick the same starting XI two games running. He’s had no choice, but to rotate a lot this season given the amount of injuries.

    What I have liked a lot this season, is that he often likes to leave a lot of quality in reserve just in case, even if the players and fans don’t like it. At the weekend we had a very strong bench, which could have been vital if we were struggling.

    1. ken1945 says:

      TMJW, not only that, but he also has a mind of his own and is prepared to sink or swim with it.

      We saw what happens with a “lesser” manager at Wembley yesterday.

      Whatever happens in the future, the on-field events are certainly down to one man alone UE.

      1. Xxnofx says:

        How do you rate him so far this season Ken ?
        For me the jury is still out .
        Third man as stated above he likes to have quality on the bench to bring on if we are in trouble ,surly that’s handicapping us from the start ,fans want to see the best players every match from the start ,for me when I saw that front 3 yesterday it put me off watching again .
        I’m not sold him tbh ,the football being played is boring ,it dosent gat me excited like it used to do .hard work and graft can only get you so far ,in the end quality is what wins you stuff

        1. ken1945 says:

          Xxnofx, he’s doing what I expected he would do in all honesty.

          The c**p about inheriting “dross players etc etc ” was a load of rubbish, considering they finished sixth last season.

          Apart from Lichs, his signings have been positive and, considering the injuries, the squad has gelled together well.

          What I can’t understand are his defensive tactics, his player selection and his obstinant refusal to change any of these , even when they haven’t worked.
          This is just what the accusations were against the manager last season, along with playing favourite players.

          I do admire his commitment to the team and he shows so much more involvement on the sidelines.

          However, after observing most of his home games, the back passing, the sideways slide rule passing and the refusal to attack teams that we should be hammering, I really can’t get that excited.
          From the number of empty seats at the Emirates, that seems to be the verdict of lot’s of others as well.

          Still got two “trophies ” to play for though, so keeping fongers crossed the attacking team and tactics he put out Sunday is not just a false dawn!!!

    2. gotanidea says:

      I also like his approach that all players must work hard to get the playing time

      Nobody is guaranteed as a starter anymore

      We saw the good effect on Ozil yesterday. He was willing to do duels with the opponents and created some high risk movements/ passes

  2. Franko says:

    ‘use the players who can give the best performance possible with intensity, quality and organization”

    These my friends are the future type of payers Emery will be signing.

    1. Jah son says:

      Emery isn’t our future.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Who is then? 0nce again Jah son, negative comments without any contribution towards feasible solutions.
        I ask again should Unai Emery walk or be sacked (as you appear to desire), which self respecting manager with a coaching CV as good as Emery, would be prepared to follow him to the Emirates, given the quality/imbalance of the existing squad, the available budget, Arsenal’s self sustaining financial model and the non investment of the owner Kroenke?

        1. jon fox says:

          OZZIE, I no longer even read jah sons posts . It is pointless. Ther are too many worthwhile people who post on here to waste time with unthinking and hasty, reactionary folk like him.

  3. Grandad says:

    When is the very talented Mavroponas likely to figure in the scheme of “rotation”.If he is not given the opportunity to start at home against Bournemouth, when is he going to be trusted? According to his compatriot Socratis, young Mav is superior to him in most respects .That being the case, and from what I have seen of him fleetingly, Socratis is correct, why is Emery reluctant to play him?

    1. gotanidea says:

      Maybe the staffs see his training results

      Could be his fitness level or technical abilities

      1. Tom says:

        The only thing to come out was from sven when he said he needs to focus mainly on developing his composure on the ball.

        That being said he needs to play.

        It’s a shame he wasn’t coming back from injury earlier in the season because we would of saw him in the cup.

        I think for now he will be about learning from sokratis and kos.
        Maybe fight mustafi for a start.
        At the never least good for depth for the rest of the league.

  4. Tom says:

    I would like to see 8 sure starters next season.

    LEft back, centre midfield and wing being the places we have changers.

    Like iwobi, mkhit, ozil fighting for one spot. Nelson laca and auba taking up the main 3.

    Then, M.niles and ozil fight for cam position in a 4231 with Saurez and Gendouzi Xhaka Torriera can fight for the base midfield two.

  5. Tissiam says:

    There is no winning with some people,they used to slam Wenger for playing the same tactics no matter the opponents,now we have a manager who uses different tactics depending on who we play still people are not happy,so what,s to do?personally I think emeri is doing well ,not many people thought at the start that we,d be 4th?we,re seeing progress despite the injuries,I trust emery and happy that the board trust him too,imagine with more time,new players,don,t forget few players are at the end of their contracts,other players will be sold,he,ll know the league much better,his english will keep improving,a new director of football,I think emeri is victim of his own “success”,yhis gig was from an easy one,look at manure and they threw 400-500 millions st the problem and had few years on us to resolve and honestly they have better players than us but we 4th ahead of them!he shows what an immense work emery is doing in his first season with a team he inherited imagine what he ciuld do with more time and more money,we sll know what he did in the past,the only reason he lost the psg job is because of the 2 leg against barca,after hammering them in the first leg he was minutes away of eliminating them,you can,t blame him he was let by his players naivety all they to do was close shop!

    1. ozzziegunner says:


      1. Sal says:

        we are fourth but it would take a miracle like winning the Euro Cup for champions league next season, these are actually realistic targets anything more is a plus in my opinion we are behind in a couple of things including squad quality…and i agree we are improving but the transfer this january was shambolic huge gamble yet again, we need to start planning our summer purchases from now….welcome back ozzie 🙂

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