No guarantee it will get better when injured Arsenal players return

A lot of Arsenal fans are pinning their hopes on an upturn in fortunes, defensively speaking, when the three injured defenders of Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin return to first-team action.

The thing is this, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be any better. If you take each of them individually there is good reason to be anxious.

Kieran Tierney has never played in the Premier League, being a decent player for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, simply cannot be compared to playing in the Premier League, they are worlds apart.

Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin were both part of an Arsenal team that could not buy a win on the road and while both were on good form when they got injured, that was not always the case, seems to me memories are short when it comes to those two.

Don’t get me wrong, I am hoping deep down that the trio will provide an improvement but these players are not messiahs and the problem with Arsenal’s defence is deeper than simply changing manpower.

It is not always about talent but how the coach instructs the defenders and playing out from the back is always going to lead to mistakes, Arsenal just has not got that art form nailed down.

There is the mental side of it as well and when you get vastly experienced players crumbling and being scared I am not sure that the likes of Tierney, Holding and Bellerin will change that psyche.

The problems with the Arsenal defence start on the training ground and the injured players are just as much part of that as the players that actually played in yesterdays game.

Changing players is not the solution when the mindset at the club is in such a state that a team like Watford can basically frighten them to death.


  1. hi guys Emery wont take us forward, i was patient for the year with him after failing to have a method of playing since last year i dont think hes the man for us…..

  2. Yawns?? Y’all still doing this?
    I forgot there’s a game this Thursday.
    Fortunately I ain’t sitting my ass in front of the TV to watch that crap of a competition and watch our dumb coach line up his piss poor players and selections.
    I already said before last season ended that I won’t be seeing a single Europa league game this season if we failed to get into the UCL.
    I’m sticking to that.
    Good luck guys on that.
    I can’t wait to have a proper and smart coach who has real plans not one who seems lost for a while season.
    I said Arteta wouldn’t do a bad job worse than this with this squad, hell even Freddie deserves the job.
    If I have things my way, I’ll let lose Chucky upon that team of management

  3. Games are won and lost in midfield and our midfield today is much worse than it was in Wenger’s time. Even with Giroud as our main striker we still won games and looked better doing it because we had Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshire etc.

    P.s. For all of you who thought Nelson was a better option to iwobi, shame on you!

  4. The way things are going, I think it’s too early for Freddie to take over. Thinking out of the box get Arsene back in for this season and I’m sure he will bring the attacking flair back, so that the next coach can carry on from there. AW will want to rectify the last two years of his reign and correct the anomaly.
    This status quo is just so frustrating.

    1. Thos is not about attacking flair, this is about general shockingly bad coaching. With the same players and a “proper” coach we would have murdered Watford.

  5. When there is a coach who doesnt know what they are doing, it really doesnt matter how good the team is unless you have Messi bailing you out. Auba bails Emery out, but he cannot keep scoring 2-3 every match. Seems like we are all playing the waiting game again with Emery and when he will leave. It’s becoming very, very clear that he is not the man to take us forward.

  6. Agree with the author. Bellerin was criticized heavily because of his lousy defending and I still remember how Marcos Alonso dominated him twice aerially

    I also doubt whether Tierney can be better than Kolasinac in attacking or not. At least Kolasinac has created plenty of assists, more productive than some of our previous LBs in attacking

    Whereas Holding is rarely fit to play and I highly doubt his consistency if he has to play with Emery’s shambling defensive tactics in each week

    The positive thing about their returns is the internal competition between the Gunners will be fiercer, which will eventually force the players to work their socks off

  7. Emery is not the fool who played the pass to a static Guendzi nor did he give any of the three idiotic penno’s away. He’s to blame for going with Luiz over CC even though CC was apart of our best defensive performance in a while. He’s also to blame for the ball being played out from deep, but all the top teams are doing that now. The players are the ones out there, I doubt Emery is telling them to never read the situation and play it that way no matter how dangerous it looks. We had a two goal lead, it is totally on the players to say right, he wants us to play out as much as we can, but the job getting this match won takes precedent and that is why we are gonna play in their half and set up shape so they can earn this goal the hard way. Emery’s subs, he obv wanted more legs out there and he wants to give them proper experience, it didn’t work out that way but at two up it would’ve been good if it did, a bit of holding on away type experience, but we have clowns making opponents jobs easier. Emery shouldn’t have to micromanage every little incident, like he has a playstation controller or is a puppet master. These guys are men, back off from Leno and spread the play, how hard can it be, look for a man free, where’s the difficulty.

    1. 2-1 up when we are playing poorly the entire 2nd half is not the time to throw in youngsters and take out the only player that was giving us any type of control in midfield. Emery is a clown and his subs made the game harder for us. Majority of fans knew these subs were bad, why didn’t Emery? To simply say it didn’t work out is not good enough. Not when you are getting paid so much, spent so much this summer, and have competition for UCL. And you are looking at this game as an isolated incident when the reality is that Arsenal’s passing out the back has been bad since Emery implemented it, he has not improved the defense AT ALL since coming, the midfield is probably just as bad when AW left despite the new additions. He doesn’t know how to bring the attack into the game, the players dont seem to understand what Emery even wants either. It changes every damn match. Of course the players must take some responsibility, but Emery is doing us no favors. He’s simply not the man to take us forward in my eyes.

    2. Fact is, after nearly 20 minutes we had still not managed to take a shot and were lucky not to be 2 goals down. We caught them out with a goal and then a second goal which wobbled them. Then, they re-grouped at half time and came out fighting. We, on the other hand went into our usual defensive error prone shell and panicked. Ultimately we made mistakes and lost what little control we had!

      Why is it that after all this time, Emery still fails to field a squad that can sustain the belief and professional attitude that the club demands? It looked amateur from start to finish yesterday with missed passes and poor pressing. We were pretty much second to everything and first to nothing yesterday!

      Based on what I have seen so far this season, I don’t see us finishing in the top 4. Do you?

      I tell you now, If Pep was manager of Arsenal you would see a massive improvement by now. WE HAVE THE WRONG MANAGER TO TURN THINGS ROUND!!!

      1. Your last sentences hit the nail on the head. If we had Klopp or Pep, we would not be this bad. So why are we wasting our time with somebody who is simply not as good?

  8. A big shame on those who thinks Nelson is a better option.

    Nelson, willock and Nile are not arsenal quality yet.

    Xhaka, ozil, socratic, mustafi and luiz should find a new club asap.

    Arsenal is a joke and emery is a clown.

  9. Nothing in life is guaranteed other than death.However the quality of the players returning from injury is in my view an upgrade on the likes of Sokratis, Luiz and Mustafi and given a week or two to “bed in” I am confident our back four will improve with the inclusion Holding,Bellerin, Tierney and Chambers who has been treated shabily by Emery after being our outstanding defender against Newcastle.With regard to your comments on Tierney, to suggest he is a”decent player” in a poor League is disrespectful to say the least.He was , without doubt, the best player in the SPL as evidenced by his excellent performances for Celtic in Europe and for a weak Scottish team.As you will soon find out he is at least on a par with Robertson and Chilwell who to my mind are the top left backs in the Premier League.

  10. What a negative article. quote”…these players are not messiahs and the problem with Arsenal’s defence is deeper than simply changing manpower”. SInce you know what it is, go to Arsenal and point it out to them. Better still write to them and let them know. You could not even indicate that deeper problem in your mostly negative article!
    To say the returning players will not change the defence is simply b** Sh** on your reasoning. It does not take much to know that 1st, these returning players will bring back the much needed recovery pace into that Arsenal back-line. Imagibe Harry Kane out sprinting both Luis and Sokratis in what resulted in a not-given-penalty. 2ndly, their other contribution will be in attack as both the Arsenal No2 & No3 would replace AMN (who was very avg and owned by the Watford No.7 all day long) and the other guy at left back… the tank.
    Mr Okiror, have faith in your team in good & bad times if you and your team are truly lovers. Don’t close the book by only reading the preface! Emery has a new team, many of his players are still to gel. Changing player mentality + their physical attributes+their varied abilities + the various systems of play for the team + adjusting to the unpredictable teams in EPL is not as easy as flipping a remote from 1 Sky channel to another.
    Even ManC was beaten by Norwich… yes Norwich City because they had some important absentees and they did not adjust correctly tactically to the opposition.
    Do not under estimate the absence of some important players at some clubs. E.Laporte for Man City was evident, Bellerin & Holding + Teinney are also very important and their absence is very evident so far.. esp regarding how Arsenal and Emery want to play their football.

    1. This is not the preface, this is Emery’s 2nd year after we spent a lot of cash. You say Emery is trying to change all these things like player mentality, etc. Where is the evidence of this? Just because he is different than Wenger doesn’t mean he is doing something positive. And you have no point in bringing up Man City. Unless we are coming off winning the EPL, dont compare us to them. And also, please describe how Arsenal & Emery want to play football. You seem to be the only one who knows. Even pundits don’t know, yet you seem to so enlighten us.

      1. Being different from Wenger alone is enough for a mentality change. The fact that you still cannot see t means it is a WIP, cut the guy some slack! Yes I brought Man C to show your unfair critics towards the manager and the team.
        Just to describe for you, Emery tends to set up and play based on his analysis of the strengths and weakness of the opposition. This sometimes may cause him to change formation. Wenger on the other hand played the same way for all kinds of opposition.
        R S H, pundits are not always your friend. They are your friend only when your teams win.
        Some pundits like Gary N tried to manage Valencia and look what happened! they got sucked after 6months! Never rely on what pundits say. My guess is you take what they say and bed based on it. Please stop it from today! Just support your club through good and bad times. Best example are Liverpool fans! Keep faith in your club and Manager!

        1. Keno, we want a POSITIVE mentality change, not just any mentality change! And his WIP excuse is dead. He’s gotten the money from the board and his year of adjusting. When Klopp wasnt getting results for Liverpool he was still making Liverpool play better overall even if the scoreline wasn’t showing it just yet, anybody could see where the team was heading and that is why the LFC supporters always had his back. With Emery it is NOT the same. We look just as bad as AW’s last couple of seasons, even though the personnel is actually better than what Wenger had. And adjusting to strengths/weaknesses of your opponents every match is NOT AN IDENTITY! Not when you are a top 6 side and have very good players. Name one top 6 side that adjusts to a bottom of the table team?? That’s a joke and an embarrassment. And yes, I will take former pro footballer’s words over yours. They are the ones who have experienced good & bad management first hand unlike you.

          1. RHS it is up to you whose words you take, your application of that acquired knowledge got from those pro-footballers is what we comment on and analyse. From what i have observed of Emery’s teams, he builds teams that are dynamic enough to press or counter attack.
            You, the fans wanted Identity, Wenger gave you one. Once he got glued to it, he had no plan B, C and D once he got figured out the rest is history. Emery and Wenger are 2 different characters, if identity is what you are dying for, Emery is not your guy.
            He just got the money and bought players who have collectively played only 5 games together. It’s a classic I stated earlier where you expect the money spent and players bought gel in automatically such that by the flip of a switch… out comes identity! really!

          2. Keno, you’re framing your argument as if AW and Emery’s appraoches are the only two options. First off, AW was never criticized for not adapting to opposition like Watford, and midtable sides. It was the fact he played so openly and naively against City over and over again expecting different results. Emery adapts to any side regardless of their level and expects the players to understand what he wants from them within the week leading up to the game. In return, Arsenal now have no identity and the players look clueless.

        2. I wouldn’t mind a Wenger that gives us twenty years of championship league playing the “say way” than a tactical Emery who tells you that a 3-1 loss to Liverpool is an improvement,he plays Chelsea retirees two years consecutive,plays and makes xhaka his captain,what did Chambers do wrong? 72m pounds for Pepe and the guy is lost,iwobi is not comparable to Reiss
          Emery is a joke,a huge disappointment, very very disappointed

      1. But then you were the same fans saying Wenger out! Wenger out! Give your current manager the time he deserves! Look at what is happening at Man U? do you really think the drama is over yet?
        Your current team is not yet settled, Emery still does not know his best 11 with the various formations because he still does not have ALL his players

  11. Disagree with this a lot, and it’s a bizarre thing to even say if you have been watching Arsenal under Emery.

    Bellerin, and Holding, were finished under Wenger, but they improved so much under Emery, that we all can see how much we have suffered during their absence. They may not be WC, but they are a massive improvement on what we have, and so is Tierney. Whilst Emery may still be under performing on their returns, the players individually are huge upgrades on what we have. In turn, that will improve the team.

    AMN is dreadful at RB, and isn’t even a defender. Huge upgrade with Bellerin.

    Holding is easily our best CB. Luiz is abysmal, Mustafi is finished, and Sokratis has lost the plot! Chambers is our second best CB, but obviously Emery doesn’t want to use him.

    Kolasinac is almost a nonentity. Does nothing in defence, and rarely anything in attack either. Gets into fantastic positions, but his final ball is dreadful, despite his assist yesterday. So Tierney is an upgrade.

    Our only hope is that when these players do return, Emery gets things sorted out, because he seems to have lost it at the moment. His decision making is that of Wenger of late. Very worrying!

    1. I agree with you, but the thing is, I think it is hard for players to improve when the manager is getting it wrong consistently. It’s not like Emery is so close to cracking the formula and just needs better defenders. The team all around just doesn’t look good, and even if it were Liverpool players instead of Arsenal players, they would be just as confused as to what Emery is trying to accomplish.

      1. I agree with that also. It’s like what happened with Wenger. Fantastic players will get you so far, but without the correct direction from the coach/manager, then the team will always fall short.

        I think Emery is really under performing at the moment, but one thing I will say in his defence, is that of injuries. It’s not only a case of, when was the last time he had a chance to field his best team? The better question is, when was the last time he had a chance to field anywhere near his best team? It’s not just 1/2 key players missing, it’s constantly been around 5/6 key players unavailable. I accept all the criticisms of identity, starting XI, tactics, etc, but it’s unfair to suggest that he hasn’t been massively handicapped with the relentless injuries. Not to mention the lack of quality he inherited as well.

        1. Fair points, the fact he has only had a preferred starting defense for just the first few months is unfortunate. And I totally feel for him in that regard. It is the other stuff I cannot forgive. Even if he doesn’t have his preferred players, the one thing I wanted to see from the next Arsenal manager was an established style of play. An established direction he wants to take the club. And for me, this is Emery’s biggest sin. He was the same at PSG and it has carried over to Arsenal. If all this adjusting to the opposition is the way he prefers to go about football, then I just don’t think Arsenal and Emery is the right fit.

        2. The quality Emery inherited atleast played some decent Football. For God’s sake stop pretending and making Emery look like an intelligent coach. The guy fools you by acting and showing off how passionate he is on the touchline. Little does he know that his players don’t understand him.

        3. ThirdManJW, you are very very right. Be patient with your manager. He will come good, Klopp needed three years, Guardiola needed 2, but you still see Champ.League is not easy.
          Besides, you can not compare the investments Liverpool and City have had, Even Man U and Chelsea.

      2. Don’t blame Emmery. He is not the one who recruited the likes of Mustafi, Wilchair, Oxlade, Ramsey, Mikhi (who was not motivated), Welbeck, Jenkinson, Koscienly, Monreal plus others not mentioned; Majority of these departed (7)
        He is not the one who commanded Bellerin, Holding, Mavropanos etc to get injured.
        He just recruited (8) Teinney, Pepe, Matteo, Lucas, Ceballos, Saliba, Luis, Martinelli.
        He just promoted (5) Willock, Smith-Rowe, Reiss, Nketiah, Matt
        Do you seriously think Emery should do magic after 5 games into the new season? Some of these guys have not even played for the team yet!

        1. Emery is no magician. He is a football coach and a stupid one. His tactics have failed him yet he doesn’t have plan B
          His instructions are shit and the team has no direction or game plan. Any idea what does he want Arsenal to do. Please educate us.

        2. Actually it’s 1 year and 5 games, last season Emery missed big time pal.
          You mentioned Luiz, isn’t he the main culprit along with Sokratis? Both of them were recruited by UE.
          I seriously think Emery should do magic. Maybe if he keeps on stroking his chin, eventually a genie would come out from his head.

      3. RHS, just to pick up from the other identity thing – you can only have an identity when you have ALL your best trusted players, then reveal or work towards what your identity is. Emery at the moment does not have ALL his best players. My guess is if he did not adapt to the opposition even with the these prevailing circumstances, you would demand for him to adopt to the opposition. So it really beats the purpose! Suppose Arsenal won this game with watford, would this identity thing really come up! They beat New Castle away, the same team that beat Spurs which has an identity, they beat Burnley at home (a team which has identity i hope in your opinion)

  12. Grandad, I agree with you on all the points. For all those giving Emery the -ve vibes instead of time and support, I recommend you change clubs and start supporting the likes of Liverppool, Chelsea, ManC, Man U, Liecester, WestHam, Everton, Watford… to mention but a few.

  13. Dankit,
    Am sorry but I need to ask you are you just being biased or is it just your love for ozil that made you give ozil and cebballos the same ratings on the previous thread, Ceballos was our 2nd best player in the first half after aubamayang and he was replaced in 60th minute so I don’t understand your rating about him. The guy was all over the pitch in the first half, he made 2 crucial blocked that would have lead to goal, he literally created our first goal with that beautiful marking, am sure we wont have draw the match if he was still on the pitch.Please stop being biased and say it as it is.

    1. Think your mistaking me for someone else
      I didn’t give no ratings that I can remember .
      If your thinking of the article writer that’s Dan Smith.
      And just to clear things up I’ve never said I love Ozil so not sure where you got that from

      1. And if I was to give ratings on them 2 players I would have gave them the same mark ,Ozil played well ,he does things no one else in that team can do .
        That loss is on Emery again for his substitutions taken 2 offensive players off and replacing them with kids

        1. I agree with Dan kit. both were good, they were getting dragged out because of Xhaka being who he is. Ceballos esp. was tired but I believe Emery had the Europa league in his mind. Even Lucas was not 100%.
          The Watford 1st goal was supposed to have been ruled but for infringement but knowing VAR and the officiating in England being fake at times, it was not a surprise that it stood! That would have been scrutinized in Spain and ruled out. Take nothing a way from Watford, they adjusted their tacts based on what Arsenal had thrown at them

  14. I’m cracking up over here reading the comments from the very same fans who thought we were gonna roll over Watford… ????

  15. Lord help us get rid of Emery, my god he is BAD, like really bad guys! It’s like he’s trying to get himself fired or something. What’s this playing out the back nonsense?

  16. Pointless speculating or guessing how they will perform

    We need to focus on Europa League then our home PL match. We need to back our manager and team to improve. It’s just been 5 matches with a few players missing

    Let’s hopefully start a winning streak

  17. Well, one thing is for certain….they won’t be any worse than the current encumbents, let’s be absolutely certain on that score.
    From the signs coming out from the players comments, it seems that UE is now being questioned by his own players regarding performances.

    O.T. ozziegunner, you asked me for the£200,000,000 total spent, well here it is:

    LENO = £20,000,000
    SOKS= £18,000,000
    LUIZ= £ 8,000,000
    TIERNEY = £28,000,000
    TORRERIA = £26,000,000
    PEPE= £72,000,000
    LICHSTEINER= £3,500,000 (for one years salary)

    That amounts to over £200,000,000 invested in our club since UE took charge and yet we have no idea of his tactics (except of course, his disastrous defensive ploy!!!), no idea of his perveived first eleven, no idea of why he chooses individual players despite their inadequate or why he ignores others who he seems unable to manage properly.
    There has been no improvement in our play since he took charge, yet we are supposed to accept that the money spent was not an investment from the Kronkies to improve the so called “dross” he inherited and that he has failed miserably at doing?

    Take a look at the players signed and, on Sunday’s performance alone, those same players who gave away both goals playing the way UE instructed them to play.
    There can be no excuses, the man is a complete liability and is way, way out of his depth with our players and the club.

    1. You forgot Ceballos loan and wages .could be anything from 8-15mil depending what you read .
      And ofc the great signing of Dennis Suarez ,that could be anything agiain not sure .

      1. Dan, thanks for reminding me, the list seems to grow daily.

        I can honestly say, despite wanting him to succeed, there is no way he can take us forward in my opinion.

        We moved on from AW, the time had come for him to leave based on results, transfer activity, tactics and player unrest.

        Now, if we forget our own feelings about AW, aren’t we at the same crossroads with UE? There has been not one iota of change and Sunday’s performance proved beyond a doubt that we actually have gone backwards, after spending over £200,000,000 of kronkies money on(mainly) “dross” defensive players.

    2. Well said, Emery is not cut out for Aresnal. I’ve seen Zero improvements and if we had a better manager in we’d be getting better results.

    3. Agree 100%, with the squad he has available, his team choices have been abysmal, and tactics non-existent apart from the “playing out from the back under all circumstances” rubbish. Tha players to do well are there, the coach is NOT!

  18. OK I’m putting a controversial idea on this. Unconsciously Emery does not want to win by just being better. He needs to be down on his knees and then he will try to respond from the gutter. He cannot cope or manage a top team. He wants at some deep level to be humiliated. We the supporters do not need this. Allegri or Jose get here quick.

  19. Its better for all you Arsenal fans to put faith in your team and let the manager do his work, while you do your part of cheering for the team in good and bad times. He is just learning the language, he is yet to have ALL his players in so that he can decide what his true 1st 11 is. Do you think he would deliberately play AMN at righback when Bellerin is fit? would he play Sokratis or Luis together when Holding is fit? Grow up some of you fans.

    1. Keno, he is doing his work and it’s not working…he dropped Chambers to play soks and luiz…why didn’t he sign a r.b. when he knew Bellerin would be out until October at least?

      For over sixty years I have supported them through good times and bad, so please don’t tell me how to support my club and just open your eyes to the facts.

  20. Yesterday’s loss is on Emery. Why sub ozil when you need to keep the ball? Why sub ceballos? If those two were there on the pitch till the end, Arsenal would have held possession much better, and also would’ve kept watford players on caution for counter attacks. Emery should know better than that, knowing his defense isn’t up to par to handle such pressure from watford in the second half. Emery invited the pressure upon the obviously bad arsenal defense by subbing out ozil and ceballos. Poor decision making, bad vision.

  21. oh goodness me , i dont believe this . somebody on here saying that emery is just learning the language !!!. what language is that then please ?. are you talking about the english language . if you are , then please tell me how many arsenal players have english as their first language >and i mean of the players that actually pulled on our shirts more excuses please, mr. emery is out of his depth , is now up to the board to sh*t or get off the pot. time is of the essence here, who knows what position we will be in by christmas. remember , watford are the bottom team and we let them have 31 shots on goal.not eexactly inspiring. i dread to think what may have happened if troy deeney was on the pitch.

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