Opinion -The players are just as much to blame as Unai Emery for Wolves draw

The players must shoulder their responsibility for the draw with Wolves.

I have seen so many comments, tweets and Youtube videos blaming Unai Emery for the Wolves goal that you could be mistaken for thinking that the players did nothing wrong for the Wolves equaliser.

Let’s look at the facts. Dani Ceballos lost his runner, David Luiz made no attempt to close the ball down, Calum Chambers was the wrong side of the defender, Sokratis got outjumped with ease.

It was a calamitous goal and I cannot see how Emery can be blamed for the player’s incompetence. It is not like this is the first time this has happened.

Of course, it is the manager’s job to motivate the players, to drill them on the tactics and so forth. But what is Emery supposed to do when the players cannot do the most basic of jobs?

Too many excuses

I am not interested in all the excuses that are thrown around. These are professional footballers who are paid an immense amount of money and all we ask in return is that they do their jobs.

Even if they do not understand the manager or are baffled by his tactics and substitutions that is no excuse for not doing your job.

The midfield does not support the defence and if there is ever a defence that needs support it is Arsenal’s. Ceballos was the classic example of that yesterday.

I am not suggesting that Emery does not carry some of the responsibility but the substitution had nothing at all to do with the result. That is down to the players not doing their jobs.

Arsenal was at home, they were not playing Man City and even without Pepe, they should be beating Wolves.

The players, the fans favourites, cannot be given a free pass when the likes of Mustafi and Xhaka are not.

If fans are going to call for Emery to be sacked, fair enough. However, be honest and apportion blame fairly as well.


  1. Just about all the teams I watch are better organized than us press harder and work more … that’s a managerial issue … we actually have as good a first 11 as anyone other than pool and city … if he sticks around we will certainly not finish in top 4 and will struggle for top 6 … that will be over a decade of decline … of course the owner is the biggest problem but emery needs to be removed ASAP for sake of club

    1. @rkw-why bring Kronke into this?He put his hand in his pocket pte-season and we spent his money.Dud Kronke identify these players?And then coach them?Dictate the tactics?Select the team?
      This is all on Emery and nobody else.
      And AdMart-surely you are not defending this fool are you?Ok, so the players earn a vast amount of money.But so does Emery and it is about time he started earning it don’t you think?
      We are slowly going backwards as pointed out on here over a year ago.But dome were blinded by a 23 game unbeaten run and a European Final.Well that all turned out right didn’t it?
      Get this idiot out now or we will soon be a mid-table Club

      1. You mean buying players on installments..lol!. You have a billionaire n club is in very good financial state n then you go and buy players on installments…who’s problem is that.its not only about investment (they failed at that anyways) it’s about as a owner taking ownership of problem n trying to put it straight. It’s about showing some emotions n passion for what you have bought with your money.

        1. Yes the owner needs to take ownership of the problem….and sack Emery.
          All teams buy in instalments, no one pays all at up front.

        2. Tell me one player bought that isn’t in instalments.If you had any idea of Football you would realise what a pathetic post you just wrote

        3. OT I know-but what a wonderful assist by Alex Iwobi for Deli Ali’s goal.Wonderfull vision.Beautifully weighted pass.Oh how we have missed his creativity this season

      2. @Phil
        It was with Kroenke permission this clown was hired. After AW quit they should have had a better contingent plan in place, and instead of going fir the cut rate option. Rodgers was available and with better CV.

        1. @NYG-Kronke sanctioned the appointment but I doubt he really knew too much about him.Gazidas is more at fault and then got out of the club too.

  2. You do realize that our current manager is more concerned with winning the tactical battle
    (while giving up 25 shots mind you) than achieving results? How accepting do you honestly think
    these players have been to the constant tinkering of formations, player selections and
    substitutions that have befuddled and aggravated Gooners worldwide on practically a weekly

    I’m not one to exonerate players when they don’t put in a shift or show there ass like Xhaka
    did against CP last week but any Arsenal fan that possesses even a few remaining futbol
    brain cells has to realize that the Emerys approach to EPL game is conservatively ludicrous
    and isn’t resonating with the senior players. How a manager with the likes of PEA, LACA,
    Pepe and Ozil at his disposal consistently employs a handbrake offensive philosophy is
    incomprehensible beyond words and is obviously not working.

    Arsenal have the players to be a top four team, unfortunately they are being wasted by this
    muppet of a manger who hangs his hat on tactics not results
    me and

  3. He is not going anywhere till top 4 is practically out of sight, remember we are run by businessmen not fans so they will only act when they see their investment taking hit. How I wish we were bought by usmanov atleast he had interest in our club …he was a fan. I am afraid we will never be top premiership team again unless we are sold to some one who views Arsenal as football club and not as just pure business. Problem is I explained before we are London so stadium will always be full bec London get a lot of tourist n they just want to watch football match not because they are fan but because for them that is something they can tick from their list. Then their are old die heart supports who will keep buying expansive club merchandise, keeping renewing their most expensive season tickets so you see if you are owner of Arsenal football club every thing is rosy for you. Why would you want to change things.

      1. If we get trounced by Leicester Emery should resign and let Freddie take over until we have the right manager to carry on..

        As far as the players taking the blame too, absolutely! But if the manager can’t get them to respond it’s all on his shoulders. They obviously don’t respond or play for him by the looks of it!?

        1. Emery selects the starters doesn’t he? I agree with you GunneRay. If they aren’t responding to his instructions, then why does he keep starting them.

          Pepe was poor to start season, but kept starting. Now he finds some form, so Emery benches him so we can play a diamond midfield at home, that has never worked.

          But hey, lets blame the players right? Mohsan i don’t see why you’re defending the clown coach.

          1. Not to mention our DM Torreira was positioned further forward than Ozil and Ceballos, that’s not Emery’s fault?

            Emery says so Torreria can press; but how often do we press teams up high?

          2. I think the likes of PEA, Laca and Ozil have simply had enough of this
            muppet and have tuned out his seemingly amateur hour tactics. The lack
            of results and idiotic statements concerning “winning the tactical battle”
            are bad enough but AFC as a club are in jeopardy of losing imho there three
            best offensive players this summer.

            Why would Laca and PEA commit there future to a coach who’s unwilling to
            gameplan around there collective talents? A coach who in 18 months has
            failed to establish a successful style of play, consistently field his best 11
            and repeatedly refuse to feature players in there best positions (SEE FREAKING
            LUCAS TORRERIA). Why are we willing to give him more time to right the ship
            when the likes of Frank Lampard and Brendan Rodgers, both hired after Emery
            are excelling at there respected clubs?

            It isnt just the poor form but imho Emery has committed the mortal sin of all
            Arsenal managers, he’s made my beloved club UNWATCHABLE.

  4. Let be sincere to ourselves its time for emery to go .
    Arsenal have one of the best players but the team selection and the system which is wrong
    Eg one of the defenders that is socratis and David Lous must be benched.play Torreire guendozi OZil in the middle Laca,Aub, and pepe upfront.In defence play Tiern,Hold,lous,bellerin

  5. our first 11 are still new to each other…

    no core/spine of 5 or 6 players….

    only a limited number of player have played 2 season together

  6. Admin Martin, Credit where credit is due; you are correct in your opinion, which has not gone all the way as I did by attacking Arsenal’s top Striker, Aubameyang for his lackadaisical modus operandi; going missing or to sleep of late and the number of “tap-ins” he misses are greater than those he scores. With his unarguable talent he should have achieved his first 50 goals for Arsenal in 25 – 30 games rather than the 78 hames.

    Arsenal have an amazing attack force only second to Liverpool because of incompetent Coaching, Tactics, Team Selection, Team Formation and use of poor substitutions without logical cohesivity as has been amply evidenced since middle of last season under Unai Emery and I have been calling for Emery to be sacked since he singlehandedly lost the game vs Palace at the Emirates in his diabolical team selections and thus lost 3rd position and “top 4”. I called Emery to be sacked even had Arsenal won the Europa Cup and José Mourinho to be signed.

    Specially since the Watford and Villa games the Players have openly stated that they do not understand Unai Emery’s long 2 hour lectures and are confused with his ever changing “Tactics, Formations and Player Selections” The lack of continuity is depriving the Players from building any meaningful understandings among them as a Team.

    Unai Emery is the Cancer that needed then and needs now to be eviscerated from the Arsenal body.

    Vinai Venkatesham(M.D.), Raul Sanllehi(Head of Football), Edu(Technical Director) and The Board have a Duty of Care and Control to AFC and are guilty of Negligence of Duty, Dereliction of Duty and Non Feasance in Office while Stan and Josh Kroenke Owners of AFC are slumbering, vacillating and prevaricating while Arsenal is getting dragged towards the “event horizon” and in to the deep mire for another season.

  7. Appoint new manager in February.
    – Lost Harry Maguire in the summer.
    – Only brought in 3 new players.
    – Net spend of around -£10m.
    – Currently 3rd in the league.
    – 2 points behind Manchester City.

    Brendan Rodgers. 👏
    Rodgers has only been in charge at Leicester since late-February. Lampard joined Chelsea in July. Both lost a key players in the summer. Lampard had a transfer ban.Compare their performances/results to ours. A testament to the difference a manager can make.
    Emery is the problem. You don’t spend 200k and show no change. You really don’t spend that amount to wait for two seasons in order for you to show a minimal improvement not to talk about results.
    Anyway, I was against Emery becoming our head coach just I am against Alegri. It’s better Mourinho than those two incase we completely short of targets though he too is not suitable for us. Get me Arteta

    1. @kenyafan-I get what you say regarding Arteta but would he really want to leave City to come to Arsenal? And can we really afford to give him the time he may need?
      I would be very surprised if we don’t go for an experienced Manager with pedigree and style.Freddie can do a better job than Emery until we get the right man.

  8. You can count on Walcott and iwobi to suck against spurs as usual yet play us out of the park when we visit them (or they visit us)

  9. Off Topic: Been watching this Everton-Spurs game and if this had been Arsenal today they’re have been four Penalty’s. To me it’s obvious that Mike Riley has told his VAR officials not to overturn decisions unless it’s Arsenal. NOw he’s booked Son but changed to red because the kid has broke his leg. You couldn’t make it up. Will anything be said to Riley? Of course not.

    1. Kenny-how did Everton not get a penalty for that blatant handball by Ali? How was Son not booked for that blatant dive trying to con a penalty? How was Son only shown a yellow instead of a straight red?Just what the F*** is VAR doing?

      1. Phil I was watching the game with my son in law and when the Ali handball penalty claim went to VAR I said ” if that’s not given as a penalty I’ll give up my season ticket as it’s all a farce” What an awful decision not to award a penalty…. a disgrace!
        I won’t be giving up my seat and I’ll also be at Leicester next week cheering on the Team…… But all this inconsistency is beginning to make me doubt my love for “The great game”

        1. @Tony-does anything surprise you with VAR? How was that not given? It was so obvious yer completely ignored.I would love to know the explanation of why they thought it wasn’t a penalty

          1. Mike Riley is the issue; he won’t allow the implementation of VAR as it operates in the rest of Europe.
            There is a good reason why no English referees were chosen to officiate at the last World Cup. The standard is poor.

            1. It is a myth that English referees were not chosen for the World Cup. Mark Clattenburg was selected, however, he quit to go earn huge money in Saudi Arabia and therefore there was no English ref at the world cup, had nothing to do with ability. English refs are among the best in the world, it is telling that Saudi football chose an English ref to head their referee department. However many complaints you have about English refs, trust me there are more with refs from a lot more countries. I mean, Mario Balotelli once got booked in France for complaining about racism.

      2. Phil, it’s even more crooked now that Riley has told his referees not to go to the monitor. If they’re allowed to go to the halfway line monitor they can’t bend the ruling. All these bad decisions are down to Mike Riley but again he answers to no one, Disgraceful.

    2. Kenny, did you read the article on “untold arsenal” regarding match fixing?

      A bit in there about our referees and rileys refusal to use var in the same way as the rest of europe.

      So the fact that clattenburg took another position explains the fact that no english refs were at the last world cup then?

      What happened to the rest of them martin? How anyone can defend this lot is a mystery to me – surely the attempt to disallow our goal at old Trafford was enough to convince anyone that, at the very least, they are incompetent?
      Followed up of course by the disallowed goal against palace and todays debacle at gooodison park.

      Everyone is up in arms about theway the refs are being instructed go use var – votoany clubs xite to read abouf dodgy refereeing decisions…rileys claim that they get 96% ov decisions correct is absolute BS.

      1. 100% right Ken, and Martin, you surprise me, I agree with most of your article on these pages but how you can defend these incompetent referees and their crooked boss Riley is beyond me.

  10. I thought Arsenal were bad, that Everton Tottenham game is the worst game you will see. the highlights are worth watching because of the stuff that goes outside football, red card, Var, fouls play acting and mistakes, 12 minute stoppage time. No quality.

  11. David Luiz likes to play out from the back, so he should be the DMF for us and let Toereira and Guendouzi both be CMF b2b. Then have any one combination of front three players.

    That would bring more balance to the team.

  12. Blame any players you like….Unai Emery cannot get them to play. Anyone would have to be deluded after a year and a half of Emery to think that he can lead this team anywhere.

  13. Just looked at the table. We are in 5th place on 17 points, 6 points off 4th, (23 points) and 6 points above 17th, (11 points) 4th from bottom, scary or what!

  14. I think the coach is hiding under the players’ poor performances while the players are also hiding under the coach’s incompetence. Though they are learning from our poor management, who are the greatest beneficiary in the hiding competition.
    I am learning how not to love Arsenal. I can’t not come and kill myself

  15. It`s a good ebening from me and a good ebening from him, good ebening.

    Where was Rob Holding yesterday ?………injured ?………suspended ?………..or the next player to not impress El Dick .

    Question ?………………..when the inevitable happens and Emery gets sacked, do we got for short term fix to save us from relegation form in the likess of ..Pulis..Warnock..Allerdice……..or long term in…….Arteta ….Vieira…put name here…..?

  16. We have to blame emery for wolves,liverpool defeat and he must be sack.just take a look at the subtitutions he make in those two matches..he left matteo on field and removed torriera.Emery is not good enough for arsenal

  17. I just need to voice one thing that I see nobody talk about and that’s the fact that bayoko saka does nothing to help our left backs kolasnic and him argued in the match against sheffield and again after being brought on for torrera we conseded from a ball coming in from the same side. Emary must be consistent in applying his game plan and team selection we cant start every game with a different team and game plan. the result will never be what we want it to be he needs to get his best 11 chambers must go to center back he needs to bring in bellerin. We’ll definitely benefit from that.

  18. The players are equally to blame in all this, even yesterday at times we looked really fluid and together attacking and defending, then we just go all pete tong. If Emery is telling our midfield to attack when they all want, then that is obviously wrong but i doubt that is the case. The problem is we seen to at time have all our midfield out of the game at too many times. Regardless of what they are or are not being told, they and our defence have got to also use their brains a bit, they can see whats going on around them. It isn’t a coaching thing to use common sense and have awareness about why you are leaving big holes, its actually part of being a decent footballer. I see silly decisions being made by players over committing themselves at the wrong time, surely that has to be down to the player. I doubt they are told to go gung ho but i am starting to have doubts about the players and coaches being on the same song sheet. The Leicester game is probably the biggest game for quite a few years and defeat would be defining in more ways than one.

  19. Of course players have to be accountable for poor performances and normally those who are found to be wanting are left out of the side.Unfortunately this practice does not seem to apply at Arsenal where consistently poor performers continue to be rewarded by being selected by our Manager.At the end of the day the buck stops at the Manager and that is how it should be.

  20. The culture in the dressing room has got to change. It’s allowed mediocrity to define it for a long time now. This is why the next manager must have an identity and culture of his own. There is not a winning mentality at Arsenal. Petr Cech has blatantly said this about the difference between Arsenal and Chelsea and nothing is being done to change our club. Emery is a fraud and doesn’t hold anybody accountable. the man is even afraid to choose a captain. Please get him out and let’s get somebody serious.

  21. The PB is Emery incapable to put right team on pitch no matter players available. Nor even can fix it with right subs. Tactic all wrong there, players look confused & lost on pitch no matter how much they try. Every player got blame so far, Auba too.

    Beside playing some out f position as Niles who got slammed here in the end just as Chambers. Pepe was not defending and left both players to deal with 2 men.

    On last game, he was benched but Chambers alone on his flank, no winger nor anyone to run forward & combine on that flank!

    The middle made no sense at all, Ceballos’ game is not to defend, Gendouzi and Torreira are not DM who can be there covering both CBs Chambers is, Luiz would even work best in that role than Gendouzi and torreira.

    It is no transition Ceballos suppose to provide as he is obliged to defend, Ozil obliged to come get ball all the way down like a box to box he is not, can’t play his game and assist that way.

    Bellerin – Holding Luiz Tierny

    Niles/Torreira Willock/Xhaka
    Auba Laca

    We have options as long as our weak position CBs is covered by Chambers.

    I’ll go fo Niiles & Wilock both good box to box with pace and Arsenal DNA quick passing football. They bring more threat and can harrass players defending.

    Xhaka is a good player in his right position…

    1. Ceballos is a great talent but must play forward, if he has to defend as a DM instead, of course he looks lost and fades away.

    2. AMN is mentally weak and tunes out too often in games, regardless of what position he plays. Martinelli or Pepe are better options.

  22. Your comment about “this was only Wolves and Arsenal should be beating them” sums up Arsenal’s problem. You are deluded. Wolves are a top class side littered with classy internationals like Patricio, Moutinho, Neves and Jiminez all coached superbly by one of the best managers in the EPL in Nuno Espírito Santo. Unless and until you understand this you will continue to struggle. All of my family are Arsenal and have been for generations – I am the one that got away – and yesterday my wife was in the home end whilst I was in the away end. Also a question. How can 3,000 Wolves fans out-sing 57,000 Arsenal fans?

  23. With all the crap goibg on in the club, and on top of it a manager that does bot know his arse from his elbow, no wonfer the players are playing like amateurs. Leadership is completly lacking, tactics are woeful, team selection is hopeless.

  24. Coach must bring the highest spirit, motivation, and not only tactical or strategy. Coach must have clear attitude to push all players to play at their best, and will punish them who cannot commit or deal with it and give chances for them who play at their best with consistency.
    So, all players will and must give their best and play with their highest spirit and motivation to be a winner, and not only satisfied with what they have done especially if draw.

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