Is Emery turning Arsenal into a negative team?

Is Emery A Negative Manager? by Dan Smith

It took Unai Emery until this weekend to realise when you have so many defenders injured, it’s not the time to be insisting on playing three centre backs. While he feels a back 5 brings the best out of Kolasinac, the reward is not worth taking away a player from midfield .

While gooners will worry about which defenders will be fit for Brighton, I’m incredibly concerned about decisions being made further up the field. On Saturday, with the opposition in the bottom three, we started three DM. The argument might be that it gives Ozil more creative licence, but he doesn’t need that much protection. The German played behind two strikers, giving us three offensive players at home to Burnley?

In midweek when we needed a goal, our manager’s half time change was a centre back for an attacking midfielder. At that point our attacking threat consisted of Aubameyang, Ramsey and Iwobi. To highlight how this goes against our recent history, In Arsene Wenger’s golden era we had a minimum of 4 individuals alternating positions, with attacking full backs.

When 442 became less used, you would still have an offensive minded player in your centre of midfield. Maybe it’s because of his contract situation that Ramsey is not starting in a 3, an option which would be more ambitious. That though is the boss’s decision, as it was his tactical decision to leave out a man with the most assists since joining us.

Many gooners want Ozil to join Rambo in heading towards the exit door but what creativity will we have left? 3 defensive midfielders at the Emirates? This should never happen.



  1. Break-on-through says:

    How do you think teams who need to improve defensively, improve. Do you believe they tell the team to go for the jugular, cut these open. Or do you reckon they add some defensive tactics, enough times that things begin to stick. You can’t go all out offensively, against the lesser teams, then expect to just pick a defensive team v a top side, and expect that to be enough. You have to work on these things. We have a very good attack when we want it, eventually he will look to get a balance.

    1. Durand says:

      Very sensible post BOT, I think your understanding of Emery’s setup is spot on. If Dan is insinuating that we go all attack regardless of opponent, then I disagree with his point.

      Ozil and 2 WC strikers should be enough to handle lowly Burnley at the Emirates. Kola got a wonderful assist and is in fantastic form lately. No way I’d put on Mkhi as woeful as he’s been. Iwobi has been substandard in previous games offering very little.

      Besides, 3 goals scored Leno not really bothered, why complain?

      1. TW14-TH14 says:

        How do you know what Emery’s tactics is to know what opinion of it is “spot on” or not? Are you part of his backroom staff?

        1. Durand says:

          Yep I was indeed. A bit of common sense utilized just as Break-on-Through implied in his post above. When you realize how weak the defense is, add injuries to the mix, how else would you fix the weakest facet in our squad?

          Otherwise, look at players, formation, and tactics both with and without possession. If you have not figured that out watching the game, then no explanation from anyone will make it clear to you.

          Other fans and supporters, as well as tv commentators, and Dyche noticed it also.

          Perhaps you should question yourself if you don’t understand what Emery was doing.

    2. Thomo says:

      Wenger always wanted us to go gunho.leaving the back door wide open to many counter attacks and regularly paying the price

  2. Gunman says:

    Dan you hv to appreciate the need to protect a rather shaky defence..the same set up proved to be offensive as evidenced by a three goal turn over. We should never make it a rule cast in stone that at the Emirates we should never play three defensive midfielder s…circumdtaces on the day will determine hoe our team will be set up. We had a good win and that is all that matters COYG

  3. Shortboygooner says:

    I honestly believe we should be keeping both of those players and adding a winger/striker to the ranks maybe even 2 as well as a WC CB. HmK is not really good enough and should be the one to leave imo. Iwobi is okay and should be understudy to ozil and Ramsey in no10 roll.

  4. chixoba says:

    I better have Ramsey and have Ozil leave but reverse is the case. Why is life so unfair?

  5. alan morris says:

    There wasn’t 3 defensive mf there was Elneny . Given played further forward. In fact we started with a diamond and changed formation 3 times during game.

  6. Robert Baker says:

    We need to get back into the cl. If that means more cm are needed then so be it. We need to be willing to give time for Emery to get who he feels he needs to fight for pre m tittle. It is going to take two-thirds Windows and that’s summer Windows for us to be a killer team again. I also believe we shouldn’t be getting rid of Ramsey or ozi l , we should build team around them. But I have trust so far in what we are trying to do, I just wish the owner would give us a push up and drop some of his billions into the team. You have to have worldies in your team nowadays to win shit.

  7. jon fox says:

    I think the real truth is nearer to the fact that Emery, unlike Wrenger who was always an idealist, is an arch pragmatist and will do all he can, WHATEVER formation it takes or who ever it means dropping/ selecting/ benching/shifting around to win each game. He is also a long term planner but planning short term for sheer necessity and our injury crisis is not the enemy of long term planning too, which will become clear when Kroenke releases his annual pittance to spend. In January too hopefully. I am convinced he is planning for life without Ozil and though he will continue to use him while he is still here, when he deems it appropriate, like yesterday, he has moved on from OZIL IN HIS LONG TERM PLANNING. Some won’t accept it but to me it was obvious right from the very start that unlike Wenger- and why he was sacked – Emery has a real passion, a real hunger for winning every game. Frankly, with this shamboloic defence which we still have and have had for many years, to have got 27 points from 18 games is little short of miraculous and with our injury crisis too, is almost worthy of a Knighthood! I am convinced that Emery will build around Torreira , Guendouzi and most of the fast emerging younger players, A M-N, E S-R and others and the fast emerging younger players and bin most of the current older players within 18 months(3 transfer windows). Within two full years our club will be unrecognisable from now and the coming change is patently obvious to all (or should be, though always some will refuse to see). That is life ! OZIL WILL BY THEN HAVE BEEN ABROAD SOMEWHERE AND WILL BE JUST A FOOTNOTE TO OUR CLUB UNDER EMERY. I am totally convinced by Emery just as I WAS TOTALLY CONVINCED FOR MANY YEWRS PAST THAT WE WERE ONLY CONTINUING GOING BACKWARDS UNDER WENGER. I CALLED LONG, LOUDLY AND RIGHTLY INSULTINGLY AT TIMES (in my determined effort to play my own tiny part in his removal, by creating club pressure to act) FOR HIS SACKING. IT FINALLY CAME and thus the club direction changed over night. It is still very early days in the new regime and we are clearly going places but IN TIME! No manager can work miracles, not Pep, not Klopp, NO ONE! But Emery is the present and the future and the future will again be glorious. I have never been so sure. We need KROENKE TO SPEND THOUGH; REALLY SPEND! Upon how much and how soon depends the ultimate timing of our rise back to the top. KEEP THE PRESSURE UP ON Kroenke and keep the faith with the dynamic Emery. He will deliver. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE!

    1. jon fox says:

      37 points not 27, silly me!

      1. Uchman says:

        The frail minded and coward Walcott just scored his 6th against Tottenham, he previously scored 5 as an arsenal player,big match player!!!!!!

        1. Declan says:

          Yes we miss him as we never replaced him. Frail minded and cowardly are absolutely ridiculous ways of describing him.

        2. ken1945 says:

          Jon, the comments are so predictable and the inside knowledge you profess to’s just laughable and you knew, of course, that I would have to respond to such utter tosh and self indulgence!

          So this “overnight change”…did that occur when AW resigned or after another eight games before he was given the respectful and rightful send off against Burnley?
          I would love to know how you think you know better than the club captain. who quite clearly stated what happened but you choose to ignore for whatever reason?
          On the subject of AW’s departure, you assume to be the all knowing sage, when in actual fact you have no more idea what went on during this period than anyone else outside of the board and AW himself.
          So why pretend that you do?
          The saying “In my opinion” carries so much more weight when debating on a subject that one doesn’t actually know the facts about. don’t you think?

          Now here you are telling everyone that you know Emery’s long term plans do not include Ozil, despite Unai stating otherwise after yesterday’s game.
          Is Unai a liar then Jon, just like Per Mertesacker??
          Once again,you are refusing to accept what someone in the know says, believing you are the man who knows it all.
          As much as I admire your integrity and passion Jon, your ego is something that needs to be challenged as you are not always the wise old man you think you are and you are not always the majority view.

          What a ridiculous statement you make saying that, unlike Wenger, Emery has a passion and hunger for winning every game.
          No matter how much some fans disliked AW, did anyone, but you, really believe he didn’t want to win games? Another load of BS!

          The shambolic defence you claim we had for many years (I assume you mean the dire ten years you quote with the monotony of a tap dripping) brought us CL, Top 4, fa cups and all this success whilst under the annual pittance you are so ready to use as a defence for Emery.
          It was only the last two years of twenty two that AW failed to do what all gooners are now fervently hoping Unai can achieve.

          Likewise the injuries that we are presently having; go back to the Forest game in the fa cup and look what team AW had to put out….injuries are not just a situation Unai Emery finds himself in.
          Of course, unjustly, AW was blamed for the injuries and his backroom staff for the length of time players were out, is that how you see the situation regarding Emery?
          It’s absolute rubbish to believe that, but that was what was being said then as you well know.

          I want to make it quite clear that I am totally behind Unai Emery and whatever his plans are. I also understand he has the same scenario with Kronkie that AW had and, because of that, has had to shop around in the transfer market for gems (like Torreria and Vieria) as I am also a realist.

          However, I will not stand idly by, while you pontificate and pretend to know what did/does go on at the highest level within our club, with no proof whatsoever.

          Can I take this opportunity to wish every single gooner a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for the great debates, whether for or against my personal opinions.
          I would also like to apologise for the use of so many capital letters.

          1. Sue says:

            Very Merry Christmas to you & your family Ken ?

          2. @ken1945
            Agree totally with your comment.
            Let’s hope we can have a good run for Arsenal over this Festive period.

          3. Midkemma says:

            I have difficulty in proclaiming Silent Stan is the reason why we can’t or haven’t spent as much as we could, I have difficulty in seeing past Gazidis and how he brought about troubles from years of poor dealings, I have a difficult time accepting the concept of an active owner over a poor CEO.

            For Silent Stan to care about how much we spend then I would assume he would also care about how much we are making and if we get the best on each transfer deal along with outgoings etc… It can’t be as easy as saying “Oh spend £150 million this year” without comprehending the consequences.

            I also question his involvement when I look around at the other owners, some owners are more involved, almost like a flagship for themselves. City and Chavski early years with Roman. Silent Stan has diversified his ownings, we are not his flagship in the same sense, we are one of many.

            I lay the blame for our accounting at the feet of the CEO for that period, Gazidis. If Silent Stan did leave responsibility for money with him while giving objectives to meet then how we spent that money was decided by him.

            The plus side to this is that in 2-3 years time then (fingers crossed) Raul would have turned us around, invest with a bit more confidence that the investment will pay off, pay for Laca now instead of a Perez and then save on not having to pay a higher fee in 12 months… That kinda thing.

            Merry Christmas to you and your family Ken. 🙂

          4. ken1945 says:

            Thanks midkemma and the same to you and yours.

            Your views are always thought provoking and sensible, sometimes taking me down other avenues I never even considered!!

          5. jon fox says:

            Ken , You still supporting even the Wenger later years(apart from , presumably given your past posts, the last two) is also tedious to us who can clearly see the new team spirit, pride in the shirt and will not to be beaten – as exemplified by the fact that we have gained 12 points from losing positions this season, the next best club being nine points only- with the new physicality and muscularity being self evident. In common with the big majority who were glad Wenger went and who knew we needed to stop being physically bullied time and again, I saw this new and welcome mental toughness right from the start. Most of the old on field weaknesses though , still remain , as do most of the players who are just not good enough. But almost ALL have a new spirit and this is what I DO know. Also Ken, with the greatest of respect to your “inquisition” and wrong accusation that I KNOW what is going on inside the club , I obviously do NOT. BUT, I have eyes, a brain and some life experience and my judgement , of which I am as certain as can be, is that Ozil will not be around much longer. I WILL STRIKE A FRIENDLY BET WITH YOU THAT HE IS GONE BY NEXT SEASON, as you seem to disagree. We will see who is right, in good time! I never claimed, as you choose to put it, that I know and I may also say that you have an irritating way of subtly changing and misinterpeting EXACTLY what I DID SAY. I actually SAID THAT “I am convinced he will not be here next season” . You, an intelligent man, then chose to interpret that as “I know what is going on” , something quite different . I would request your further comments on this to me , deliberate misquote and I am disappointed that you choose to still do this ,as you also have done with my comments on certain other matters in the past. I choose my words, when making serious points(rather than with flippant humour) with care and say precisely what I mean, not something else, however subtly different you may choose to think them. I would like your comments on THIS point first, before tackling some of your other points. I need reassurance that you will not further misinterpret what I DO write, please. It is unfair , unjust and unworthy of you.

          6. ken1945 says:

            Jon, I read your posts as you intend them to be read, including the capital letters to emphasise particular points.

            As an example: “he has moved on from OZIL IN HIS LONG TERM PLANNING….or…”.I CALLED LONG LOUDLY AND RIGHTLY INSULTINGLY AT TIMES FOR HIS SACKING. IT FINALLY CAME and thus the club changed direction overnight”.

            Now Jon, I have read the first example as you stating that Ozil is not in Unai’s long term planning…isn’t that what you were saying?
            If not, what was the point you was emphasising so much?

            The second example clearly says how you wanted his sacking for a long time and in an insulting way…and then, with no proof and ignoring Per’s statement, stated that this had finally happened and the club changed direction immediately.
            Surely that, again, is how you wanted it to be interpreted?
            If not, why did you emphasise the point up to the SACKING. IT FINALLY CAME as a statement of fact?

            Jon, if you keep re-tweeting the same attacks on AW in the manner you do, surely you expect others to challenge you.
            I, on the other hand, only react to the kind of message that you send out castigating everything AW did in the “barren years”.
            It is your perogative to do this and I will challenge you every time, simply because I don’t agree.
            One thing you need to realise Jon, is that I never bring the confrontation on, it is your posts that I react to.

            It is unfortunate that this happens, because we have similar views on nearly every other subject.
            I am not being unfair, unjust or unworthy, just reading your posts as you set them out, both in thoughts and the emphasising of those thoughts.

          7. jon fox says:

            You have said much Ken but have still not answered the specific point I was so insulted by when you falsely said I has posted “I know” rather than ” I am convinced”. You have danced all round this subject but avoided a direct answer. It is obvious that all any of us say, unless we claim specific proof or inside knowledge, which you surely must agree that I never do, is ALWAYS just our own opinion. That is so obvious that it surely needs no constant prefacing on every comment comment with “in my opinion. It is understood by all , except those who choose not to fully understand, as you have sometimes done to me. I do not and cannot in truth deny that I HOLD STRONG OPINIONS ON MOST ISSUES I CARE DEEPLY ABOUT , BE THEY ARSENAL, FOOTBALL OR LIFE ISSUE RELATED. I WOULD NOT BE THE MAN I AM WERE THIS NOT SO AND I STRONGHLY THINK YOU ARE THE SAME. Perhaps this is why we so often clash. BUT I would still like your straight and honest answer to my original question please, with no dancing around the subject in politician manner.

          8. jon fox says:

            Ken, as a fairly recent example of what I strongly say being JUST my own personal opinion but NOT absolute, irrefutable proof, I was saying for months before Wenger “LEFT,”( I put it that way for obvious reasons, as we disagree about how he left), and was regularly posting that I was sure he would be gone by May at latest and that to me the signs were crystal clear. Indeed they were and I was right in my strongly held OPINION and I even made a tidy sum as I had been so sure in my OPINION , that I had bet money on that happening at increasingly shortening odds as it became more and more obvious. At least to me. But I had no actual knowledge, merely my opinion, born out of being able to read clear signs, avoid fooling myself and having a degree of wisdom through age and life experience,. I detest fooling myself and try never to do so in important matters. You may only begin to guess how hard I am on myself , if you think I am hard on Wenger, Ozil or who ever , they are nothing on how hard I am on myself and with my own, many, faults. Truth, as I honestly perceive it is the air I breathe to me. I intensely dislike and disrespect dishonesty. Not opinion though, as that is a personal thing. I admit to being hard on those who I think are fooling themselves and sometimes I am too hard, esp on MOSTLY younger and less experienced people. This is one of my WORST faults. But I STILL SAY TO YOU that what I write on here is just my own opinion, however strongly expressed. I hope you now fully understand my position KEN.

          9. ken1945 says:

            Right Jon, let’s just take one issue and discuss that.

            I cannot for the life of me understand why you are backtracking on your long held and often repeated statement that AW was sacked, but now saying it is your personal opinion only!!
            You have said it more times than I care to remember.
            Is that a correct statement?

            I, on the other hand, have the statement from none other than the club captain to base my assumptions on that he actually resigned.
            Is that a correct statement?

            So I am not dancing around the subject, but actually
            reading your post as you present it, as I always do.

            I responded to your initial post in the way I did simply because you actually are making claims against AW that you cannot substantiate.
            Read it again Jon and tell me that you are not saying AW was sacked and that the club changed direction overnight?

            Personal opinions are what makes the world go around, but when those opinions are expressed as facts, as I believe you have done, they need to be challenged.
            That’s why whenever I say anything contentious it’s always backed up with “in my opinion”, unless I have facts of course.
            I am not saying your dishonest in anyway, why would I even think that?
            What I am doing is challenging you on a statement you have made and asking for clarification…as you have done with me and many others on numerous occasions and I am using the same bluntness that you used.

            Finally, I accept your wager regarding Ozil not being here for the start of 2019-20 season…are you agreeable to £100?

          10. jon fox says:

            Ken, Firstly , £100 is agreed and gladly. We will talk about the logistics of how to practically arrange it at a later date this season , if you agree. I happily leave the decision and timing of the logistics of the bet to you but the bet is agreed 100%. No immediate hurry and anyway our word is good enough for the other I feel sure. To that other main barrier between us, we are simply at different understandings of what is meant by my posting my regular comments. What you claim is that I post my opinions as fact and I say I do NOT! I have fully explained to you and to others too, several times, that what I say is only my own opinion. How could it be any more than that! I am not in the clubs employ and have no inside knowledge on any Arsenal matter. I do not intend to change from continuing to offer my own strongly held opinions. If others choose to intrepret those opinions as me saying “I know” then I CANNOT STOP THEM. I can only explain, as I am now doing and have done before but if that is not understood by them. then there is nothing further i can do, other then feel insulted, which I do. I may well conclude that further debate with those who misinterpret my opinions, as me claiming “fact” is then pointless. We will see what develops. I SEE NO POINT IN FURTHER DISCUSSION WITH YOU ON THIS VEXED SUBJECT UNLESS ONE OF US IS LIKELY TO CHANGE OUR POINT OF VIEW. I BELIEVE WE WILL BOTH AGREE THAT THAT HAPPENING IS AS UNLIKELY AS FULHAM WINNING THE PREM THIS YEAR . OR NEXT ! Suffice to say that the next time you challenge my “opinions” and claim them as me posting “facts”, I will ignore your comments , though I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO CONVERSE ON OTHER UNRELATED MATTERS. I have never held a grudge with someone I personally have dialogue with or know personally, in many decades of adulthood and I will not be starting now. I state my case and stick to it and that is ALL.

          11. ken1945 says:

            Jon, the friendly bet is on and, as you say, we two adults can sort out the logistics when the season starts, our word is our bond.

            From me there are no grudges, just a request for a reply to two of the questions.
            I still would like to know if you stand by your statement that: 1. AW went out to lose games and whether you: 2. accept Per’s explanation of AW’s departure… as they were the sparks that ignited this debate for me.
            A simple yes or no would suffice for both questions, along with your reasoning, as methinks it’s you who are playing politics rather than me.
            Apart from that, I accept your explanation, but find it VERY difficult to separate fact from fiction when you discuss all things AW.

            Have a good Christmas and 2019 Jon and start saving that £100!!!

          12. amo says:

            the only fact you are avoiding to include about Ozil is that he has acontract. if he decides to stay around no one, including the owner of the club can do anything. some of the opinions are just imaginations.sometimes it is informative to include hard facts in your arguments.don’t you think so. control motions. Unai wants to zwin so why not retain quality players instead of leaving them to exit? it is going to take time rebuilding Arsenal. first the owner does not have the same passion about it the way fans do. it is just abusiness for him. will he ever invest so much to enable him win the EPL? ..depends on his emotions….yes.. emotions about the club…ithink he will try to make it more attractive before deciding to sale it. yes you hard me right. sale. in my opinion Unai was brought in to accomplish just that. ithink the owner is not very much interested in being EPL champions. will spend like Liverpool, Manchester,ManCity or even Chelsea? I even think Spurs is going to spend more than us few years from now..just my opinions

  8. Kenny Rolfe says:

    I’ve said this for a long time, this Pickford is one of the worst keepers in the Premier League and yet Southgate continues to pick him for the England team. To me, he doesn’t even look like a keeper. If you haven’t seen the first Tottenham goal you’ve got to watch it. It’s a masterpiece of comedy, even funnier that the one he conceded against Liverpool. Unbelievable!

    1. jon fox says:

      Kenny, he clearly is NOT one of the worst Prem keepers and you know that very wlel. He had a stiker today as all saw, not just Spuds first goal but three in all that I thought he should have saved. But to write that he is “one of the the worst” is plain silly . And you know that very well. MERRY CHRISTMAS ANYWAY!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        To be honest Jon, I turned over and watched the news when Tottenham went 2-1 up and didn’t see any of the goals after that. The first goal was an absolute comedy show, the second he set the wall up like an amateur then spilled the free kick, those two goals to go with the ridiculous goal he conceded against Liverpool tells me he’s one the Premier League’s worst keepers. You know who he reminds me of? Ian McKecknie, remember him? That useless lump who took over when the great Jack Kelsey got injured, and he started his career as a left winger. I’ve been criticising this joker since before the World Cup and nothing I’ve seen since changes my mind. Jon you know fully well the games about opinions, you’ve got yours I’ve got mine. So when I say he’s one of the worst keepers in the Premier League believe me I mean it. Watch him a bit closer from now on and you’ll see what I mean. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU JON AND THE FAMILY

        1. jon fox says:

          Kenny , Yes, Ian McKechnie and how that takes us both back. Now, on HIM, I would gladly agree that he was the single worst Arsenal first choice keeper, which he was (first choice) but for a very short while only, we have had since either of us have been watching. Tony Burns comes next closest and after him, Fingers Furnell. Jack McClelland was the main rival to McKechnie at the time I recall and he was a LITTLE (only) better. Whatever happened to young KELSEY though ? Is he still injured! I know you are on my wavelength Kenny! Shame we did not have a “good” keeper then in the WC instead of “hopeless” Pickford. We would have won the cup!

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Yeah I agree about Tony Burns, Fingers was, for a better phrase, a journeyman,never good but never bad, and believe it or not Jack McClelland had he’s days, one day diabolical, another day brilliant. Thank goodness for the great Bob Wilson who came in and sorted out our goalkeeping problems. Must congratulate you Jon on the spellings of McClelland and McKechnie, no mean feat.

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            As you know Jack Kelsey, who I might add, was voted the best goalkeeper in the World following his performance’s in the 1958 World Cup finals, sadly died young. You know this Jon but for the youngsters, Jack sustained a bad injury after typically and bravely diving at the feet of Brazilian centre forward Va Va playing for Wales in a friendly match in the summer of ’62. Jack was a fantastic character who, with a cigarette behind his ear, would regularly talk to youngsters behind the goal, sometimes to scoll us with “Oy! Cut out the swearing” or “put that fag out”. I particularly remember one time when I was collecting autographs, as Jack walked through by the old clock end turnstiles going to the changing rooms in the East Stand at Highbury before a game I pleaded with him for an autograph. At the time he was carrying six new footballs, two in bags with his hands and four tucked under both arms, he said to me “what shall I sign with my feet, I’ll sign after the game”, and he did. After his injury Jack went on to run the Arsenal Shop at the Clock End of the Stadium in Avenell Rd, the first to sell replica shirts ,scarves and memorabilia etc, A wonderful man, roll model for youngsters and one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Arsenal Football Club.

          3. ken1945 says:

            kenny, I cant remember the year, but I took my two daughters to Highbury and stood in line for over two hours to get our pictures taken with the cup that we won this particular year.
            Jack Kelsey was in charge of the line by the shop and decided to close it just before we were due to have our picture taken as it was getting dark.
            I asked him to go on a little while longer and, after asking how long we had waited he agreed.
            The photographs were taken with a polaroid camera and both my daughters and I had photos taken holding the cup.
            He was a gentleman who always had time for us fans and, sadly, the younger supporters of today will never know the closeness of the players and fans we had then.
            It’s so good to see his name on the murals around the Emirates as a lasting memory of this great man.

          4. jon fox says:

            Funny that Kenny, that you mentioned my spelling because when I first typed in McClelland I spelt it with one “l” where it is “double l”. It just looked wrong so I took a lucky guess and gave it both l’s. Be honest Kenny, you were deperate to know that weren’t you! I only told you as I knew you would not sleep tonight otherwise, with the sheer frustration of not knowing how I managed to “genius” this spelling. Behold! I have invented a new verb “to genius ” something. This post is taken from my new book entitled “How to write plenty and say precisely nothing of worth!” By the way, I have never heard of Bob Wilson; who was he!!!

          5. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Think you’ve had a few Christmas tipples Jon.

  9. AlexHectorEscobarBrick says:

    the only thing i think unai should think about is buying centre backs,, we score whole lot of goals,, but we dont have the power to defend these goals,,, one more creative midfielder,,, and a winger,,,
    For me “nabil fekir” can fit in any position in the midfield,, Tiago Alcantara, or Tolisso..
    Centre back could either be, Yeri Mina, Koulibaly, or any top option..
    Gunnerz, go in for something big, something expensive,, i mean class…
    We have the stash so just spend

  10. Nayr says:

    i don’t care how many dms he plays as long as we keep winning.

  11. John Wick says:

    Spurs winning then ? we must beat Brighton now and take something from anfield! Plus spurs have a easier run of games than us, no more slip ups or we’re in trouble! Anyway Merry Christmas Gooners, stay safe and alcohol free ? see you lot boxing day ?

    1. Sue says:

      Argh!!! Started off so well too with Theo scoring!!
      Merry Christmas John… hope your daughter liked the tree ?

      1. John Wick says:

        I know Sue, was thinking Everton would do us a favour but we don’t usually get happy endings ? 3 points at Brighton COYG ? she prefers her mum’s seems no one likes fibre optic ? merry Christmas to you as well Sue and your family ? ?

        1. Sue says:

          Bless her! Get a few Arsenal baubles on it, I’m sure she’ll like it then ?
          Thanks John… same to you ?

          1. John Wick says:

            Haha decorating isn’t my strong point Sue but I think you guessed that lol.. I actually have Christmas ornaments somewhere stored away thanks for the tip ? that’s sweet, thank you Sue ?

    2. jon fox says:

      Spurs are playing attacking football from a different planet from all bar City and Liverpool. Whisper it and then pass the sick bucket BUT they are in the title race now. Only two points behind City , if and when they win today. We are playing in the hope of fourth place only, not third place at all. That is already sorted with top three now finishing there in whichever order. I still strongly fancy CITY TO WIN IT THOUGH.

      1. Midkemma says:

        Long season Jon.

        Remember when everyone was saying City would walk it? Now they are 2nd and behind a Liverpool team that looks better (in my opinion at least).

        I honestly do think the spuds will not be able to keep this up all season. They have lost 1 more than us already, they just do not draw at the moment. Couple key injuries and if they do not spend in Jan…

        Poch would be a good fit for UTD and if UTD do get him then I will bet the door will be open for UTD to sign a couple spud star players, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Poch does leave and Spuds can’t get a good enough manager to keep them earning while paying the stadium off XD

        1. jon fox says:

          Midkemma, Oh, I do agree that Spuds will almost certainly not win the title and should Poch end up at United, that could well be the slippery slope for our ” well loved” North London rivals (. Well someone must love them I reckon! Not on here though, eh!!) But to be fair they were awesome TODAY. Fortunately TOMORROW always comes along to replace today. We all know how quickly things can change in football. And often do.

          1. Midkemma says:

            Kane getting a brace ARGH!!!
            We need Auba to keep his scoring boots so he can take home the golden pair.

            Poch with UTDs funds scares me a little to be honest. Imagine if he had better backing to get players… It makes me shudder lol.

            I won’t put it past the spuds to have a bad period at some point this season and as long as we keep working hard then I kinda believe we will finish third… Maybe a bit of wishful thinking. I do feel we are really close already to doing Emeryball properly and at some point we will be watching it without realising we obtained it.

            Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas 🙂

  12. gotanidea says:

    I think Arsenal would get another creative midfielder after Ozil and Ramsey leave

    A younger and hopefully a more hardworking one that does not hide from the opponent’s challenges, like Guendouzi/ Sanchez (in his prime)

    1. Martin says:

      Why sell one of the most creative players in the world in Ozil?

    2. jon fox says:

      Well said! I have become completely fed up with Ozils aversion to the
      necessary physicality that ANY player, however naturally gifted he is (and HE is), always needs to regularly show to be a top star in our intensely fast and PHYSICAL Prem. He is too frail for me and his once in a dozen games as a star performer will NEVER help win titles . Our main rivals would never choose a player who won’t work and we, who choose to see what is – or should be – obvious to all, know this fully well.

  13. Midkemma says:

    Emery isn’t perfect, no human being is, they will all have their flaws and it is accepting flaws which are not a hindrance in the present.

    Emery brings with him a work ethic, the ability to give players a tactical insight to the game and opposition, he will teach them things which was lacking under Wenger.

    Personally, I get frustrated at Emery impotence in attack but only recently, I get what he is trying to do but… I feel he is too rigid at times. Playing out from the back, good… when we have to. Do we have to pass back to the GK because we couldn’t poke a hole in the oppositions defence? I get the bring the opposition out concept of this but it feels like we go back to step 1 from 10 when at times we only need to go back to step 5, kinda thing.

    I think once we get players back fit along with a bit of reinforcements from a transfer window then we can judge Emery better, Kola does lack a bit of his def side and while Bellerin is improving, I do feel the 3rd CB can allow both our FB to act as wingers in attack, making the 3 (AOL) into a 5.

    AMN isn’t a RB and while he did well at times, he is not a RB, he wasn’t consistently being a threat like Kola was on the left. Bellerin could, he did start the season off with being a real threat forward but since he appears to have focused more on def and needs to get the right balance…

    I do not think we will pass back to GK as often once we get players back fit and not needing to fit squares into circles. Xhaka has done well, even if a lot of people still moan at him, he is a neat passer and he has made a lot of forward passes. Torreira has allowed Xhaka to play as the DLP rather than DM. Guendouzi I feel makes a few too many passes backwards but he is young and gaining experience, I do envision him having some Pirlo traits though if we can develop him well.

    I know from life that some things can look different due to a couple factors and I think this is the case, we look a bit more negative currently but that is due to a couple key factors not yet being fully implemented. Guendouzi as I said above, he is raw and his inexperience can force the ball back and make us appear a bit more negative in our approach. Having our DLP in CB isn’t helping. Our FBs having question marks over their def side is making our play a bit more negative.

    I also think that soon it will click for Emery and the team, we will get players back while others will have improved in areas of their game, I do not think it will be seasons for this to happen.

    1. jon fox says:

      Midkemma, You know, reading this wonderful and well argued post, I feel some shame that I ever fell out with you . I ought to have felt shame in any case, irrespective of this post you write. So sincere apologies my dear fellow and hopefully I will be nicer to you from now on. I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year too.

      1. Midkemma says:

        Thank you Jon.
        We all wind each other up at times, I believe this is because we are all part of the Arsenal family, we can argue with each other but god help any spud that tried to take advantage 😉

        I care for every gooner and I might get upset at times but I love you all <3

  14. Glad someone else noticed. Even the worst Wenger teams had a good number of beautiful attacking games. Even the worst seasons you can count at least 20 games where Wenger’s team just ate up the other team for 90 plus minutes. If Wenger gave 3 fucks about defense he would have been probably one of the best ever if not the best. His teams really knew how to attack.

    Emery on the other hand seems more pragmative than expressive. I ve heard him referred to as an attacking coach but I dont really feel like hes one. His best attacking games this season Tottenham aside, Leicester and Fulham we had moments and spurts of attack we never really had complete attacking domination like Wenger used to do. He also doesnt seem to have a system, hes reactive hence all the early subtititions and multiple adjustments during most games. Its early days though so we shall see.

    1. jon fox says:

      I see your point but it is ironic that we have scored so many goals this season and more than in Wengers recent years Also more than ANY rival , save only City. I DO THINK HOWEVER THAT HIS HANDS HAVE BEEN TIED, ESP IN DEFENCE, BY THE PAUCITY OF PROPER DEFENDERS WHO WERE HERE AT THE START OF SEASON AND BY ALL THOSE INJURIES. Things will evolve, given time, which he has hardly had at all yet , AS YOU RIGHTLY CONCLUDED.

  15. Innit says:

    If you want to know why Spuds will finish ahead of us again, then look at the match now


    Hopefully this will be the last season Spuds finish ahead of us. I have confidence in Emery. He has made a difference in terms of
    1. Getting two quality defensive midfielders
    2. Better substitutions
    3. Getting more out of players (Bellerin and Iwobi have improved under Emery)

    He has done enough to see out this season and continue

  16. Declan says:

    At least spurs best player will be missing in January to play for his country. That’s Son by the way.

  17. jod says:

    Emery is in charge. Over the next couple of seasons he will put together his own squad, just like Pochettino and Klopp have done. It doesn’t really matter what the fans think at this point, Emery doesn’t care and its going to be done his way. Not sure what he’ll do about Ozil, I’m sure he’d like to sell him but who would pay Mesut the money Arsenal have agreed to (£45m over the course of his contract) ? Trying to please the fans is in any case a mugs game. Everton tried to take on Spurs, which was what the fans wanted, and got destroyed. A more pragmatic manager would have started the game with a defensive midfield player on the pitch and maybe given Everton a chance.

  18. Grandad says:

    In a word Dan, no.Because of injuries to defensive players he has been obliged to fill gaps with the likes of Xhaka and AMN who are clearly more effective in central midfield.Let’s hope all our defenders are fit for selection in the not too distant future (the unfortunate Holding apart) when we can judge whether Emery is too conservative or otherwise.At Seville and P SG he basically stuck to a four three, three system but of course at these clubs he was blessed with more good quality defenders

  19. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Out of the 11 senior team specialist defenders of: Bellerin, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Papastethopoulos. Koscielny, Mavropanos, Monreal, Kolasinac & AMN who currently on the Arsenal books, only Holding is out of the season. Thus, leaving 10 defenders who can be available for selection to play in the remaining 20 Arsenal games in the PL this season. And out of these 10, the team is usually teamed on 5 defenders at a time in a match. i.e. 2 centrebacks and 2 full-backs who play indirectly as wing backs in a back four. And 3 CBs and 2 direct wing backs in a back three. And of course there are 3 DMs that are in the squad for 2 or 3 DMs selection to play depending on which playing formation that is being adopted for a particular match. So, there are 5 extra senior team defenders that will remain after 5 are picked to start from the remaining 10. But Bellerin and Monreal are out at the moment injured on the short term. That leaves Arsenal with 3 defenders still available for selection to play as starters or substitutes at Brighton. And on the standby are Pleguezuelo and Medley who can be called to stand in for Bellerin and Monreal should the need arisen to do that.

    So, with the array of 10 senior team specialist defenders at Arsenal and going in into the 2nd half of the season campaign, and 2 U23 team defenders that can be called to play for the senior team who could be available, do Arsenal seriously needs to sign a defender in January window? My answer to the question is, NO! I think it’s in the striker’s department that Arsenal need to sign a top quality striker to replace Danny Welbeck with him for the 2nd half of the season campaign. Because that position in the senior team squad will need to be covere for Aubameyang and Lacazette. For, Nkethia does not look to be able to cover for these duo strikers after the one striker loss suffered in that position.

    1. jon fox says:

      Sorry Samuel, but I cannot agree with either of your we don’t need defender sor your we do need attackers comments. Yes, we have a number of defenders but the only ones of quality who are even nearly good enough long term are Holding and Mavro, but has still to prove himself. One is out for the season and the other who knows til when. We have not a single fit, good enough , except short term, defender in outfield positions. Our attack is the second highest scoring behind only City. We urgently need real pacy , hungry, wingers on both flanks and a new central creative midfielder, younger , brave, hardworking to replace OZIL, WHO CANNOT BE RELIED ON, and above all top quality to play attacking and centrally but in midfield. I agree we need cover for Auba and Laca but it is far down the list of our MOST pressing needs, I’d say.

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