Is Arsenal’s grass really going to be greener with Unai Emery?

Transition ???? We are Arsenal Damn It by Dan Smith

Needs more transfer windows, learning about players and the dreaded…… ‘we are in a transitional period’.

I am not advocating for any manager to change his footballing beliefs, all top coaches should believe their ethos will work eventually, only the weak sacrifice their principles to appease others. What is paramount though, is it is never good to be losing football matches. Yet strangely some of our biggest critics have found positives in losing our opening two games, something that last happened in 1992. Most of these gooners are one’s who preached for change so have to now stick by it even if the grass proves to not be greener.

I got a lot of abuse in the summer for questioning our recruitment in terms of our managerial and player appointments. For me it yet again proved our lack of ambition. In my opinion many of my peers were left celebrating change for the sake of change. Parallels are being used that Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino all needed an adjustment period to find out who could/couldn’t cope with their style of play. Yet Man City and Liverpool did that with owners willing to buy the very best while Spurs have been ruthless in tieing down their best talent to lengthy contracts. To be a big club you have to act like a big club and make no mistake every possible data points to the fact we should be a big club.

Yet look how we handled replacing Arsene Wenger, look at our transfer policy, look how yet another star name is playing out his contract. Does Uni Emery really need a year to see if Cech at the age of 36 can be good with his feet, why spend 20 million on one you think who can – yet not play him? How many months does a man need to decide Lacazette should start? Why was he so sure that Wilshere had no future, yet Xhaka did? Why is our brand new midfielder not starting because of World Cup fatigue, yet Pogba, who won the whole thing, starts on the opening night. Worse, surely you knew that a defense which already had no confidence was not going to cope with extra demands when they can’t do the basics?
My fear is the Spaniard knows the answer. That in reality this squad needs the kind of investment we just wont get under the man soon to be our 100 percent owner. It’s the only reason Emery got the post, other candidates pulling out when they saw how much was in the kitty.

For Emery, once PSG didn’t want him, the juice is worth the squeeze. A decent pay day for a few years at which point we will blame the board. If we wanted to be serious contenders he wouldn’t have got the job. I never understood how winning a French title after you are given Neymar and Mbappe qualifies you to work with the most unambitious billionaire in the games history. Give us those two and trust me there is no adjustment period.

Yet I, as a paying season ticket holder, have to accept this change for the sake of change while we continue to lose time and ground on and off the field to our rivals.

Three games in and Emery doesn’t know his best eleven. People applaud him for subbing Ozil, something Mr Wenger would never do. So we have reverted back to type. Without Wenger to shield the politics in the board room lets blame Ozil who in reality deserves a higher quality of teammate.

Again; change for change, doesn’t mean anything if you are losing football matches. Once we start accepting defeats, Stan Kroenke wins.


  1. gotanidea says:

    Yes, Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino have successfully banished the players that do not fit into their systems, therefore I hope Emery can be that ruthless next season

    And you are right about the fans should not accept any mediocrity. If we accept Arsenal finish below the fifth position in 2019, maybe Kroenke would be glad because he did not invest a lot in this season

    I’m curious to see whether Emery would become another Juande Ramos or another Guardiola

    1. Break-on-through says:

      He won’t get the funds to become a Guardiola, but he got them at PSG there’s your answer. PSG had no real competition and you could argue that it under-prepared them a little for big CL games, its the same in Spain, almost, only the Spanish have some competition and they arrange the matches so that the bigger teams play each-other directly before a big CL match or sometimes afterwards. Going by his history he’s no Guardiola, but then again only Zidane of the current managers has reached those heights on the European stage.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I think Emery’s chance is still fifty-fifty because getting three major European trophies in a row is not a small feat

  2. Eddie Hoyte says:

    “Does Uni Emery really need a year to see if Cech at the age of 36 can be good with his feet, why spend 20 million on one you think who can – yet not play him? How many months does a man need to decide Lacazette should start? Why was he so sure that Wilshere had no future, yet Xhaka did? Why is our brand new midfielder not starting because of World Cup fatigue, yet Pogba, who won the whole thing, starts on the opening night. ”

    Dan I am one of the folks who criticized you for being too negative when the season hasn’t even kicked off, I still request you have patience, give Emery time, and if he fails woefully, we all know he’s gon be the one to take the blame because Arsenal fans knows how to place the blame on someone…

    Concerning these few points, I think he was right to start Cech against City and Chelsea, He needed the experience of Cech in such important games, as you can see Cech wasn’t the reason we lost those games so no harm in playing Cech yet. Throwing Leno into the deep end immediately would’ve been a disaster, Imagine Leno being in goal for the 2 matches and he conceded those goals, a few fans will start questioning his quality. Cech has the experience and knows the teams a lot well, I’m sure Leno will get his chance, he’s gonna be first choice next season anyway, hell he might even get his chance tomorrow.

    On letting Wilshere go, I still am against that, Why Xhaka had to stay for Wilshere to go is beyond me, Wilshere can do everything better than Xhaka and he can even draw players to him a bit like Santi used to..
    Lacazette needs to stop being on the bench, I’m also tired of seeing him on the bench…
    Torerria would be first choice, we all know that, I suppose he’s only giving the old players some respect..
    In all I think it’s still too early for you to question if he’s the right man for the job, even if he spends billions in the transfer window, the whole world knows he needs more than a season to stamp his mark down.
    give him the season.
    I’m hoping Iwobi starts against WH, he earned the spot against Chelsea.. Xhaka to the bench..

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      leno is no world class gk…he has good moments…but hes a little like flappianski….

      theres a reason why hes not even top 3 gk for germany

  3. Trudeau says:

    Few, if any, are “seeing positives in losing”. They are seeing positives in the losses. I’m not being pedantic, there is a big difference. Iwobi and Guendozi, for example, are positives. I agree with you though on your point about Emery not knowing his best team. In fact I’d go further and suggest that there are at least eight spots that Emery isn’t set on. Competition is good but only when tempered with some consistency.

  4. ThirdManJW says:

    We’re only two games in, and they were such tough games. Even if Emery had started our best XI, there’s a very good chance we’d still have zero points! Hopefully we’ll get the ball rolling this weekend against the Hammers, but patience is needed. I do not think it’s fair to judge Emery this season.

  5. ozziegunner says:

    I cannot undestand the negativity of some fans and many pundits regarding the first two games of the current season. In these games Arsenal played the past two EPL winners losing 2-0 to Manchester City and 3-2 to Chelsea. From the clear chances created, but unfortunately spurned by Arsenal players, Arsenal could have had a draw and a win. In addition Arsenal came back from 2-0 against Chelsea showing great temperament and fighting spirit. If Arsenal had taken their chances, they would be sitting on 4 points, not nil. Yet very few people are giving Arsenal credit for creating chances to draw or win these games. On another day these goals will be scored.
    The pundits I can understand because bad news makes headlines in the media; however I cannot understand some defeatist fans, who if you took notice of them the season is already done and dusted after 2 games.
    Dan, how about you step back from taking every opportunity to denigrate Unai Emery after only 2 games and get behind the manager and players for the rest of the season. His success at Valencia and Sevilla shows that he can make his teams very competitive in a league dominated by big spending Barcelona and Real Madrid. At the end of the season we all will be in a better position to pass judgement on the relevant success or failure, given the resources available to other clubs and the competiveness of the EPL.
    I always thought Arsenal showed class by not churning through managers. By the way, it will be interesting to see if Tuchel does any better managing PSG than Emery did.

    1. Phil says:

      Good point about Tuchel OG-PSG will romp the League as there just isn’t the competition to challenge them.But he will be expected to compete in the Champions League and that is what ultimately cost Emery his job

    2. @Ozzigunner
      Guys like Dan Smith expected instant success. They thought the transition would be overnight, as simple as clearing out Wenger’s office and putting in someone new. After what I saw with Man utd and David Moyes, I knew the transition would be a struggle and every season longer Wenger overstayed made the change even more complicated, expensive and difficult. I personally aimed for 2 years to get back into top 4 and then another year to challenge for the league trophy. Anyways, Wenger did his damage and checked-out/got fired a bit too late leaving us with a lot of mediocre players. We could see the accumulation of mediocrity with the likes of Welbeck, Xhaka, El Neny, Jenkinson, Ramsey and Bellerin but nothing was done. We are paying the price for having those likes in our squad now. 6th place is exactly what those guys will give you. Emery will need time to clean up Wenger’s mess, get new, better players worthy of challenging for the title.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Yes, QD and Ferguson left a title winning though aging team; a lot different from what Emery has inherited.

    3. Kenny Rolfe says:

      I also agree with Ozziegunner. It’s so typical for the majority of fans on this site to criticise Arsenal after just two games. The problem is that these fans haven’t followed Arsenal that long and expect immediate success. They also don’t realise that Arsenal are without doubt, the most criticised club in English football. I said in an earlier post how this is a time when we’ve all got to stick together. We certainly are not going to get any help from the bias media who love to bash Arsenal at every opportunity. Unlike Liverpool, Manchester united and dare I say Tottenham, were not the media’s bunnies.

  6. Innit says:

    Looking forward to the West Ham match

  7. Break-on-through says:

    I read a great article yesterday but forget what site it was on.

    It talked about football being a weak link sport, unlike Basketball which gets decided mostly by its better players like the Jordan’s or Lebron James etc, the stars. Football it mentioned is regularly decided by the mistakes, it eventually added up to that old saying ..”you’re only as good as your weakest player”. They gave R Madrid as a great example, from when Madrid used to just go after star players throughout the Zidane era. Today though Madrid upgrade on the weaker players and concentrate on bringing the quality of the squad players up. The article made a very good point, it made me think of the Ozil signing when we had bigger issues than creating chances. If slowly but surely we can swap out the ones lower down for some more capable players with less mistakes in them then that’s what we need to do. Sure how many of our first eleven are one of those weak link players, its gonna take allot of time. Looking at city and how Pep went about buying a 50m player here a fifty mil player back there and so on, one would be led to believe that he either agreed with that article or else he was already well aware of it all. I know it sounds simple ..buying better players all over the pitch and some for the squad, but how often are we all clamouring for that biggest name coming onto the transfer market. It turns out that maybe Emery and Sven were right by not going for a Fekir or a Fabinho an Oblak and so on, not yet anyways because we still need to bring the squad levels up.

    1. barryglik says:

      Taking your chances is key.
      City probably had 10 chances
      v Arsenal but only scored twice.
      Chelsea scored 3 from 6 chances.
      Arsenal scored 1 from 5.
      Take our chances beat WH

  8. Sarmmie says:

    Time will tell

  9. John Ibrahim says:

    once we hammer west ham and win the next 3 games…

    fans will be happy again

  10. Durand says:

    Sounds a bit like the author is disappointed that Emery isn’t instantly successful.

    For me I see a fighting spirit, ruthlessness, and player accountability. Emery is changing the mental aspects of the club first, and the results will follow.
    I think he is right in doing so, and loved subbing unproductive players. This is new to players and fans, and long may it continue.

    It’s a new day for players, no coddling or excuse making for them; ask Torreria after Chelsea game, Ramsey who was on bench, or Ozil who got subbed. Never would that happen before, yet it all happened in same game with Emery!

    Judge him in May, as the phrase goes, so can we do that? Lest we forget he trying to implement his style with another’s players, while competing against some of the best managers and clubs in the world.

    I for one see the small things that i mentioned above, and am excited to see him build upon that. How many years have we wanted a change; some change, any change?

    Let’s not whine and moan after 2 games, at least it wasn’t 10-2 like against Bayern.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  11. Pires says:

    I think Unai is a good coach.But needs MONEY backing.PEP is certainly good but without money he would never reach this level of performences.So silent Stan should know what he has to do right now……

  12. stubill says:

    It wasn’t change for changes sake, as the writer puts it, it was a necessity. Over the past decade, Arsenal had become so stale it had mould growing on it, Wenger had reduced us to playing dire football, and to top that, it wasn’t even winning football, and we were getting worse season on season.

    As for Emery, like most supporters I’m willing to give him 12-18 months to prove himself, the fact is, with 2 or 3 exceptions we have a mediocre squad at the moment (thanks to Wenger), and it’s going to take time to change their playing style and just as importantly, keep and get the players in who can play to the system Emery wants, at the same time, shipping out the players who can’t.

    If you want to blame anyone for the mess that we are currently in, look no further than WENGER and the board.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Stubill, despite the mediocre squad that you blame on Wenger and the claim we were getting worse year on year and even after the so called fantastic first ten years, Wenger’s mediocre squads (apart from the last two years) finished in the top four.
      Name another mediocre club that finished in the top four for ten of the last twelve years?
      Now if you cited the last two years, then I would agree.
      It is so easy to blame everything on WENGER but it really does not hold up.
      We all know the last two years were dire, but WENGER was still under the same financial straightjacket as Emery finds himself in now.
      Phil, one of the harshest critics of WENGER, stated that the club only needed a few players signed to have a very competitive squad.
      Well, five new players were signed during the summer and Emery stated he was pleased with the business done.
      But yet again, some see these signings as mediocre and cannot accept that both managers have/had their hands tied behind their backs.
      So how much longer do we have to wait before the fans end the criticism of WENGER and accept that EMERY is now making the decisions?
      I agree wholeheartedly with your views that we simply must give Emery the time to assess, decide and implement his style on the club.
      I firmly believe he will be a great manager and he is a breath of fresh air at the club, both for the fans and, more importantly, the players.
      But please don’t fall into the trap of returning to the WENGER blame game every time something goes wrong.
      Emery not WENGER spent the transfer kitty and it’s Emery who is not playing those players he signed.
      It’s the new regime that is messing about with Ramsey and his contract, not WENGER.
      Blame the board and owner by all means, because they are still influencing what is happening at the club.
      If Emery is of the same opinion as you, why doesn’t he drop the mediocre players and play the youngsters who shone in our preseason games?
      Because they are not mediocre, but need to be coached in the way that WENGER and his backroom staff didn’t for the last two years.
      In my opinion that’s what Emery means to do and, as an example Iwobi, will bring these players back to performing at their highest level.
      My final footnote is this, how many mediocre teams have won the fa cup three times in four seasons, signed five new players and still have the knack of splitting their fanbase?

  13. Grandad says:

    The main reason for the decline in our fortunes during the past 5/6 years was the growing incompetence of our previous Manager who signed the mediocre players cited by Quantic Dream.However his list does not include Mustafi who I consider to be one of the poorest, if not the poorest centre back in the Premier League.The weakness at centre back is there for all to see and until better qua!ity players are brought in, we shall continue to be also rans.It’s all a matter of opinion ofcourse, but I do not consider Ramsay to be a mediocre footballer.

  14. Will says:

    Another ridiculous article about Emery – sick of reading them.

    The guy has had 7 weeks to try and undo the last 4-5 seasons worth of poor tactics, bad signings and complacency. His first two games were Chelsea away and City (who broke the all time PL points record last year) at home.

    It’s not as if he has even had a full pre-season to get his ideas across due to the disruption of the World Cup. Absolute nonsense that he is being questioned already, give him this season to get his ideas across and the next two transfer windows to sign his players then we can seriously judge him going into 19/20 season.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  15. odey_me says:

    Arsenal fans have this attitude of jumping to conclusion too soon. I believe the writer of this post criticized guadiola and klop in their first ten games or first season as well yet here he is criticizing and jumping to conclusion about unai. Please tell us who u feel would have been the better candidate for the arsenal job at the moment other than emery….please to dare say sari

    1. ozziegunner says:

      odey-me, I too have asked this same question regarding the choice AVAILABLE manager instead of Emery from Dan and other critics without response.

      1. Dan says:

        Ancelotie ,enrique,conte
        Wenger was on 9 milloin a year ,one of best wages in world
        Money there to get the best
        Top coaches would come if given proper budget
        Why accept less then the best

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