Man United clash is crucial for Unai Emery’s future at Arsenal

Emery is skating on very thin ice by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. Answer me this very simple question – is Granit Xhaka your captain? Not mine. Pretty much any other player in the squad was a better choice than Xhaka. This decision will be questioned hard. The fans wildly applauded Xhaka being substituted against Villa as it made us more dynamic in midfield.

The players also know that Xhaka is the most error prone player in the squad, and he’s the player whose individual mistakes have lead to many goals conceded in the league. This decision is huge, because it’s the latest in a series of bad decisions that all started when he underestimated Palace and lost us the top 4.

Emery is weak when it comes to decisions. He started promisingly though, when he dropped Ozil and he was making bold subs at half-time that were winning us games, but the luck ran dry and he found himself short of ideas. People don’t question you if results go your way, but unconvincing performances win games to a point.

We have a golden chance to take advantage of the bad form of our rivals, and looking at the fact that the stats Emery has as our manager are similar to the ones Wenger had before he was fired is worrying. See Emery has done nothing for us and thus far, criticism will start flowing his way very fast, especially as the board backed him solid with signings.

He even failed at what he is best at – the Europa League. And speaking of it, we are a team on a way higher budget than the one the EL gives us. We need to get back to the top 4 and the game on Monday will be pivotal.

They are in bad shipe, lack striking potential, but yet, I’ve seen this before and we practically started the career of Marcus Rashford. I wouldn’t enjoy a repeating scenario with Mason Greenwood, but our defense is so poor, I just don’t think we’ll win. We lack mentality despite our great comeback against Villa.

We’ve been extremely poor away from home and this will be in the back of the players heads. It’s Emery’s job to pick the right squad for once and tight up the ship at the back. On Tuesday we had Tierny, Bellerin, Holding and Chambers, and to me those are the best 4 defenders in the squad. Not that Nottingham Forrest are a real measure to Arsenal, but given the number of changes, what we produced was impressive never the less.

If I was the Arsenal manager, Xhaka would be nowhere near the starting line up for OT. We haven’t won there since 2006 in the league. I’ve been waiting since forever to see a league win there, and I don’t wanna wait anymore. It’s another golden chance to do it, and if he screws up, he should be out of the door. Allegri is available and so is Jose. Make of it what you will, but there are options, better options.

We’ve been afraid of change for so long and we shouldn’t be. We survived without Wenger, we can surely do it without anybody else. We can’t wait for the end of the season to screw up again. If Emery doesn’t turn a corner soon, the fact that players question his decisions already, means we’re waiting on a time bomb.

We already made this mistake with Arsene, Emery though doesn’t have much to stand for. The players reportedly don’t like his English during games as it hiccups the management. Ancelotti said that the language barrier is a huge problem. You must speak the language if you are to manage a team in a foreign country.

Unai’s body language during interviews doesn’t fill you with confidence. During recent games, he’s often looked like Wenger, clueless on the touchline sitting in his chair, instead of waving around and giving instructions.

Every way you look at it, Emery needs a result at Old Trafford as much as we want one. I just fail to see it happening by placing one of your worst players as captain, but we’ll see. I really hope I am wrong. One thing I do think will happen if we don’t win though, is that Emery will be in the spotlight. His contract is for 2 years + 1 extension. He’ll get it only by a top 4 finish and nothing else. That’s my rant for the weekend done.

Hopefully the bad form of others will continue and we will put ourselves in a solid top 4 position at the end of the round.

Enjoy the weekend!



  1. Even with Xhaka as a captain, and with Xhaka starting 🙁 , we have to destroy ManUtd!
    Only Emery’s improvisation like all our DM starting the game, can give ManUtd a draw…. and Xhaka can help with that too.
    Xhaka is a player from the 20 century, and I still hope Emery will soon realise that although he had enough time already.

  2. … All this guy does is moan, moan and complain all the time, from Wenger’s reign to Emery’s. Dude, get a drip on your self, it’s just a sport and not a life and death thing. Wenger lost against a similar side where a young Rashford made his name. Wenger wasn’t sacked, neither will Emery even if he doesn’t win although I doubt that will happen.
    … One game won’t nail Emery or whatever and fans rantings will do little to affect the decision of the board. Support the team for Heaven sake. Enough of these moanings; from reddit to here, all they do is complain. Christ! When did we become this toxic?

      1. 350oz, there is such a thing as positive moaning and negative moaning.

        Dear old Konstantine was well known for his ranting and raving regarding our prevoius manager wasn’t he?

        The day AW left, he was over the moon and one of the leading “wev’e got our Arsenal back” clowns, especially when UE was appointed.

        Within six months he was saying exactly the same rants yet again and now we get this hysterical post about his last chance etc etc.

        I can remember Jon Fox berating him over one post that was so negative, it made me cringe.

        Enough of this “lovely Arsenal people” c**p, choosing a divisive captain won’t make or break him…his tactics, style of play and man-management will.

        1. Ok Ken1945, I get your point and admit I don’t know about Konstantine. I thought it was directed to writers in general.

        2. You’re right in everything Ken, but choosing Xhaka as the captain will in a way break him. That’s because it means Xhaka will continue starting almost every match and a midfield with him in it would only work if he were partnered with a DM like Torreira, but due to Guendouzi’s form and development potential, it won’t likely happen.

          This Guendouzi Xhaka partnership might only work in a way if we played 3-4-1-2:
          ——–2 out of Pepe/Laca/Auba——-

          But he won’t play this tactic and even this might not work, even if Luiz in a 3 CB formation plays basically as a very defensive DM…

      2. If Arsenal win at Old Trafford on Monday, something they haven’t done since 2006, hopefully Emery will be given some credibility and support from some on here.

  3. I just assume that Emery is losing the dressing room due to his bold decision on Ozil’s exclusions and the away loses. Therefore he seems to want to get the support from his players by allowing them to select their own leader

    It is very difficult to manage a bunch of rich divas, but a great manager should be able to earn his players’ respect by getting good results in the field

    I think some players are uncomfortable in working with him due to his poor English skills and his methods, plus most of them never played in La Liga. The next manager should be the one that can communicate well in English or the one that is familiar with at least three major European leagues

  4. OT.. Liverpool face being thrown out of the carabao cup, for apparently fielding an ineligible player… PLEASE DO IT NOW 😂😂

    1. Nah it means we face MK Dons 😉 there be no byes in any cup tournament unless it’s always been part of the draw

  5. Arsenal has the worst central defence in the PL.
    Six CB’s all bang average at best
    Socritas Mustafi Luiz . All garbage.
    Holding Mavro Chambers not any better..
    Xhaka Torreira are Championship at best.
    We basically have no defence in front of goal.
    In the summer we should have sold Mustafi and Socrates and bought Koulibaly and Varane.
    We should have sold Xhaka and not bought Torreira instead bought Rodri from Athletico.
    Until we get 2 top class CB’s and a top class DM we will haemorrhage goals every game.
    But we have been calling for a quality central defense seven years or more.
    Emery has no chance with this garbage defense.
    It does not matter who he selects or what position they play or tactics
    the players are so bad we have no chance against Man U.
    Man U themselves are under enormous pressure and so as usual all their under performers
    will produce worldly performances at our expense.
    Last time we beat Man U in the PL at OT was in 2006 when Adebayor
    scored from a Cesc Fabregas assist.
    A 5 goal loss will be totally acceptable with Ikea Arsenal defense.
    The team I would like to see start v Man U.
    Predicted score line.
    Man U 7 Arsenal 3.

    Belerin Koulibay Varane Tierney
    Rodri Guenduozi
    Willock Ozil Saka

  6. I can’t disagree with what you are saying. I think it’s the state of play at the moment. Will Emery have the nerve to play Bellerin Holding, Chambers and Tierney as his back four? Will Emery have the nerve to drop Xhaka? We all know that our game intensity and team speed are increased when Xhaka doesn’t play. For United playing us will be a bit of a Cup Final for them. Because they are so poor at the moment they will be putting everything into this game, and that means they will be a dangerous opponent. The game is there for the taking…… but if Emery plays Chambers, Luiz, Socratis, and Kolasinac, then we could get the usual couple of moments that cost us. Emery will be judged not only by the result, but by the team he puts out on the day. We will see if he is courageous or falls back on ‘safe bet’ Xhaka. If he does, that will tell a story about his lack of bravery.

      1. As AMN is not a right back what is your point?

        You might as well have written:

        ‘Auba is 10× the striker Mustafi will ever be!’
        ‘Saka is 10× the left winger Leno will ever be!’
        ‘Pepe is 10× the right winger Mavropanos will ever be!’
        etc etc

  7. No, the decision to drop Ozil is weak, he told us Ozil was sick, gave the armband to him and played him, Ozil was sick again, reintegrating him toward the end of last season, told us Ozil is very important, left him and benched him, so on.
    A real manager tell the world he doesn’t need this player or that player. Anyone remember Jose Maurinho and Bastian Schweinsteiger?

    On Xhaka, there is no other candidates for captaincy. I agree his leadership sucks, I compare him with Troy Deeney on another article.

  8. Surely, the author is criticising Emery’s body language?! Because he doesn’t run around the side of the pitch like a headless chicken? Barking orders to players tens of metres away who probably wouldn’t hear anything even if they were standing side by side because of the noise in the stadium? I get it we love criticising Emery but some arguments are just downright stupid.

    1. ‘…some arguments are just downright stupid.’ True. In fact just like the one you posted earlier regarding AMN as a right back. As most people with a brain know AMN is definitely NOT a right back and he has even told Emery that – not that it did him much good.

      But of course the brainless bandwagon jumpers will still trot out their pathetic ‘AMN is not good at RB’ claptrap.

  9. Jesus! What a bunch of whinging so-called ‘fans’!
    Give it a rest. Get behind the manager and the team. I see a bright future and an exciting young team. Don’t you dare start calling for the manager to go again. Rasclaaarts!

  10. We are 4th place and 3 points ahead of United, Spurs and Chelsea.

    Some fans are acting like Emery has made us a relegation team

    Let’s take it game by game

    We are 4TH!

  11. Unai will field seven defensive players on Monday as he will be scared of Utd. I don’t mind a loss if that will sack Unai, cause we still have plenty of EPL games, EL, FA and the league cup to play for with any serious manager. Mind you even Big Sam will do a much better job in sorting out our mid and defense. Plus big game managers are available – Laurent Blanc, Max Allegiri, Luis Enrique, Jose Mourinho (yes, this man can deliver silverware in this season too, forget the third year curse, we can brag and celebrate the EL and FA cups) and a top three. The fact that Unai made the players choose the captain means that he wants to play safe, he knows his days are numbered and he knows his makes stupid decision.

    1. Loose Cannon you have a point. It will help me also to bear a loss to Utd better if Emery is sacked afterwards.

      If Emery is sacked I’d rather give Freddie a chance before we start looking outside the club.

      BTW the statement ‘Emery made the players choose the captain’ is a complete sham to me. Please read Holding’s statement on the matter on the Metro site very carefully. You’ll find insinuations and half truths instead of facts about player’s choices.

  12. We should beat an underwhelming utd team missing important players to injuries, struggling coach, uninspired players, and overall not finding any traction.

    No excuses for anything less than 3 points. If Emery cant manage that through his setup, tactics, or substitutions, he has to go.

    We have to put down wounded clubs when we get the opportunity. Attack, attack, attack; if Emery comes with his pragmatic nonsense against a limp united, he’s finished.

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