Patrick Evra’s comments about Arsenal hurt me, but then the truth does hurt…

Arsenal fans wouldn’t have been thrilled when they realised Patrice Evra was a guest on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.

He wasn’t flattering towards us as a player and now as a pundit, he couldn’t wait to kick us when we were down. After watching us lose at Sheffield United he labelled us ‘babies’ something he had accused us of being before.

The idea that he would shake hands with Van Persie on his first day at United and say welcome to a ‘man’s club’ is hard to imagine. To clarify that’s someone who was a captain for us letting a former rival belittle the club he was at for nearly a decade. Could you imagine an Adams, Viera or Henry letting that happen?

Personally, I don’t think it’s professional that someone who works in the same industry should be so critical of others. Surely he should have empathy for when his peers have days where things are not going well? Would he like the French World Cup squad constantly reminding him of where he went wrong in 2010?

The sad reality is it’s hard as a gooner to argue with him. He first used the term ‘babies’ 10 years ago. He’s not repeating that a decade on to be provocative, he can generally make a fair argument that in that time frame we have done nothing to change the perception. When he used to play against us, he came across gunners who had promising youngsters, but lacked experience to help them in critical moments of games and matches. That’s how we became known as having a soft underbelly, no longer feared when we went away from home.

It was too easy to bully us, too many of our ‘starts would be complacent’ we often showed up with the wrong attitude, not battling and earning the right to play. Yes, we looked beautiful passing the ball, but the fear factor had gone.

It’s why some fans got tired of Arsene Wenger; they felt the problems were regressing but under Emery it’s got worse. We still have youth getting a chance, just not as good, there is a question marks about our mentality and doubts about our leadership qualities.

We fear every away game with the events at Brammall Lane no longer a shock but something that happens regularly. Worse we lost our identity. If nothing else, you could rely on Arsenal to play the ‘right way’. If we lost at Bolton it was because they were too physical, at Stoke because we couldn’t defend in the air. Now it’s because we pass the ball sideways, no one moves off the ball, we play defensive minded midfielders more than attacking ones.

So yeah, I was hurt by Evra’s comments. But then the truth does hurt..

Dan Smith

25 Comments

  1. GunneRay says:

    Let’s face it, it’s not just Evra that has the same view of Arsenal. Many pundits have been saying the same thing for years. what Evra said hurt Xhaka because it knows he is at the heart of the problem and, for some bizarre reason unknown to us all, Emery keeps putting faith in his continuous inabilities to do something useful!!

    Yes, the truth does hurt but come on, we/they should be used to it by now!?

    Under Emery, I’ve watched my beloved Arsenal “try” to play out from the back and every team presses us as soon as we do. The lack of creativity and vision in the team makes us weak because we lose the ball with a missed pass and ultimately lose possession again. We struggle to get rhythm into our game. We try to get forward but never with pace. Last night we had no idea what to do when we got forward. Without Ozil or, a player like Ozil, we have few options to offer the “formidable” strike force we have. But, Emery will not change his ways..

  2. Durand says:

    Trying to figure out exactly what Emery offers Arsenal.
    Improved the defense? Nope
    Built on our attacking style? Nope
    Brought consistency or stability? Nope

    Over £200 million to bolster our coach and he still can’t capitalize on the investment.

    Only thing he proved is PSG were right in firing his ass.

  3. Georgement says:

    I have been the lone voice shouting since last season that that type of bland and boring without any clearcut system the Emery play is a million times worst than what we have ever witnessed in EPL. More heart breaks to follow untill he is sack

  4. Gunnerphilic says:

    Let’s agree on one thing. Evra is a jerk of immense proportions. He is not a shinning light of professionalism as far as am concerned. Most Man U ex-players are like that. That their unholy alliance with the refs to cheat their way to titles was not found out notwithstanding, they are simply despicable.

    Why he should be the reference point for us, to tell us our ‘faults’ is curious. We simply don’t need his view. He needs to shut up and take his ‘manliness’ elsewhere. He can talk now because we did not take the advantage to humiliate them at home the last time out, gave him the audacity to spew out garbage. That Liverpool did not beat them also.

    Anybody listening to Patrice Evra and quoting him is only giving him more than his due. He does not show respect to fellow professionals and to a great club, and he does not deserve to be respected that much.

    There are better characters out there that deserve to be dignified with a response to our poor performance. Not Patrice ‘F’ Evra.

    1. Eddie Hoyte says:

      Only somew afraid to admit the truth will find problem with Evra’s comment.
      Attack the message not the messenger.
      In this case you and I know the message is true so there’s no point in attacking the message or the messenger

    2. GunneRay says:

      Take the name of Evra out of the equation and replace it with any other pundit if you can’t handle the truth because they all say the same thing “Arsenal are not improving”. “They are weak in the same areas”. “There are no leaders”. “They lack steel and mental awareness”. “They can be be hot or cold”. “They are not feared of any more and anyone can beat them”!!!

      1. ozziegunner says:

        This has been a problem at Arsenal from well before Emery’s tenure, when Arsene Wenger moved away from physical players with technical skills and a touch of mongrel to less physical technical mentally soft players. The winning sides under Bertie Mee, George Graham and the first 8 to 10 years under Arsene Wenger could not only play great team football, but could get “down and dirty” if the opposition tried to kick them off the park.
        Peter Storey, Allan Ball, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Viera were prime examples.
        For those people who say George Graham’s sides didn’t play great team football look at how many goals they scored in their winning seasons and how few they conceded. Defending requires teamwork as well.
        Unfortunately for a number of years the poor mentality and lack of physicality of Arsenal players have allowed them to be bullied and out worked by so called lesser opposition.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          By the way, Craig Burnley’s comments on ESPN regarding Evra’s comments and Xhaka’s response are well worth watching, regarding the renowned softness of Arsenal.

    3. Andrew Elder says:

      Mind you the spitting Scouser was enjoying himself too. Can’t boast too much his team haven’t won the title for nearly 30 years.

  5. Mogunna says:

    Of course he was able to mock & disrespect us with youngsters, but we were in CL not MU afterwards.

    He was right tho, Arsene had no money but we were top4 then they were not anymore.
    Today as Blues, Man U rely on young players se started trend, mocked then.

    Wenger did an Amazing job in so many levels from titles to invicibles go that Academy and youth devellopment because he had no money and a visionnary. He made Arsenal a top brand

    No club in football history did this. Without Wenger, building Emirates, no money while doing so and paying for it; 10 years total, no money to buy all that time, Arsenal would be in Championship. We will not make Europa League, Wenger kept us alive for 10 years! Then how can you compete with teams building best 11.

    Reds were finished at some point, Spurs irrelevant, City was ridiculous even with money but built with it over time as many teams for years.

    We spent 50M last window, Pepe, Saliba Martinelli all in payement plans, Ceballos on paying Loan.

    Are we getting Isco ? On Loan, with buying option ? Maybe, payement plan afterwards semelle like cowboy Kroenke! Off!

    Can are sent players, Emery will put wrong team on!

    Crap!

  6. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Dan Smith credits to you and every other person accepting the truth even though it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
    Some people will still try to label us plastic for accepting what Evra said, but the fact and most important thing is that it’s the truth.
    People called you all sorts of names when you predicted a loss but in the end you got the last laugh

  7. dan Smith says:

    Thanks Eddie mate
    Wasn’t laughing mate, want nothing more for them to prove me wrong
    But seen too much for too long to think it will change
    Fans who called me names are part of the problem, only think you are a proper fan if you predict we will win 5-0
    Long as they are respectful, they are entitled to disagree with me
    One I would have liked was a honest opinion on why they thought we win
    When people reply with name calling they lose their argument
    as in, Aresnal won’t lose 1-0 because….Dan’s a moron lol
    Me on the other hand made a fair argument that most away games in last two years we don’t show up and get bullied
    Sheffield on a Monday night was the classic Bolton/Stoke fixture we would lose in

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      Funnily Dan, when I took on those who are disrespectful to our club and past, I’ve been under moderation by the admin. Everyone so easily diss our players and Wenger with limited knowledge and maximum arrogance, but it is the well meaning fans that cop it. You keep writing, mate. Cheers.

    2. Not a coach says:

      I’m from asia and fell in love with Arsenal because of how Henry, Bergkamp and the team played. Amazed with the record but it’s just a bonus. Felt kind of frustrated when we kept failing for the trophy but still proud of the team. In fact, it’s part of the excitement of being a fan, I guess. The mixed feeling throughout the season, I mean. Even in the final years of Wenger era, I still had those feelings. TBH, though I didn’t like how he treated Ozil and Ramsey last season, I couldn’t really complain about it as at least the team looked better than the previous season. However, so far this season it’s been frustrating. Never looked convincing even when we won, let alone the way we played. So, yes, I agree with your prediction. As a fan we expect the best result, but objectively, we need to admit that so far the fact shows that every time the team plays in premier league we couldn’t just sit and enjoy it, instead we keep hoping that the worst result will not come.

      1. Not a coach says:

        # I mean how Emery treated Ozil and Ramsey last season

  8. Jack Gunner says:

    The truth hurts. When it was pointed to the fm his
    system aint working ,he one said fans come to see beautiful
    soccer.Well.Well maybe if you win but not if you lose regualarly.
    Evra hit the nail on the head. Arsenal have been a soft touch
    the last ten years. They cant play if hard pressed for time and space.
    To add to the problem,the incessant passing seems to slow down the
    attack. Just watch how MC disposed of their opponents 5-0.
    This is the kind of attacking play the gunners shd aspire.

  9. Gunnerphilic says:

    Oh really @Eddie? What message? What’s Evra saying that’s new, that we don’t already know? Are we now so daft that we now have to accept the mockery of an adversary as education?

    Evra was not telling us anything we don’t already know about our team, he was mocking us. That is not truth. That is to hurt, belittle and disrespect. It is to tell you that you were in the past, you’re hopeless now and you will always be hopeless. That, my friend, is not true.

    When your enemy is telling you what you already know about yourself, he is not trying to do you a favour, he wants you to see yourself through his own eyes. His aim, his motive is not to help you. He wants to hamper you. What seems like help from such a man is at best a poisoned chalise.

    Calling Evra who he is not attacking him, it is the truth. He is telling us we are rubbish, we are his ‘babies’ etc, is acceptable to you?

    No self-respecting person will accept such as truth. My friend, I won’t. Wright saying the same is different. His words won’t come out to mock. His motive will be different, to make us better. But Evra?

    When we beat Man U 2-0 or 3-1 or something like that, did you hear a whimper from him? Were his babies then? When we went to Old Trafford with this shitty way of playing and got a draw, were we ‘babies’ then? Don’t begin to educate me on how depleted they were, like we were not.

    That he was given so much coverage does not make his ‘message’ worthy of much. The deeper message behind his words are that we are useless and will always be. Everyone echoing what Evra said in the name of reporting truth is only helping him propagate his version of ‘truth’.

    I wont do that. You shouldn’t.

    1. Mobella says:

      I’m in agreement with you here Gunnerphillic. I’m not always a fan of an article quoting pundits or ex footballers because most time there always an agenda. Eddie what did that scumming said that you and I are already not known. Besides, why not given a perfect commentary why we lost on money. Was it because we are babies, was it because we were bullied or was it because we have a coach who cowards with game plan and clueless. Wright told Emery your system of playing is crap and don’t deserve to win with his tweet when Emery said his team did not deserve to lose without any mockery.

  10. Charlie says:

    Arsene should be reappointed as manager, perhaps his 18 months sebatical served him well. Similarly Pep took a sabatical. That will give Arsene time to rethink refocus and rebuilt his footballing concepts. There is really no risk in reappointment.

  11. 350oz says:

    What he said hurts but it’s true. Credit to Shefield Utd players, they are real men.

    Btw does any ex-Arsenal player work at Sky Sport? I was watching pre-match analysis before the match against Manchester Utd and Roy Keane was the pundit. Basically he said the same thing as Evra, but more toned down.
    Then reporting from the tunnel was Gary Nevile, I mean come on Sky. Jamie Redknamp was supposedly the neutral man, the data guy, then who was voicing opinions from Arsenal POV?
    Don’t forget the amount of old clips about Roy Keane and his past glory, it wasn’t Roy Keane Special FFS!

  12. SadGunner says:

    Destroyed our attacking style? Yes
    Destroyed consistency or stability? Yes
    Failed to utilise the new signings? Yes
    Failed to identity game tactics? Yes
    Destroyed the confidence of players? Yes
    Trained the players how to get shattered by pressing from back ? Yes
    Clueless manager ? Yes
    Is his ego all the problem with Arsenal? A big yes?
    And so many other yes….

    ‘Over £200 million to bolster our coach and he still can’t capitalize on the investment.’ He still leave many of them underutilized..

    I think the players which we shipped last season for free would have contributed better…

    And expect many more to jump out of this ship like Ramsey…

  13. Emery Fraud says:

    The worst thing is we still have the same problems from 10 years ago plus we’ve lost our footballing identity under this fraud coach Unai Emery. Emery out now!

  14. Goonster says:

    “But but the media is biased against Arsenal.” According to some fans.
    They channel our exact thought but because they are from outside our bubble we all get sensitive when they point out the same weak points about our team /club.

  15. Tommogun58 says:

    Sad to say Dan the truth does hurt and Evra is right but maybe he should keep those sort of comments to himself,he is quite often making a prat of himself with his silly dances and raps on social media etc,Clown.

  16. Loose Cannon says:

    Well you play the Bermuda triangle at your own risk, as he did on Sunday. The fact that our downfall started under Wenger when he disposed the Invincibles to tippy tappy football, that is when the fear factor disappeared and the decline began. Arsene’s project of youngsters flopped and backfired.He should have stepped down after the 8-2 loss, one of the worst in our history. Or he could have resigned as a legend after our second FA cup. Unai was a misfit from day one. The board was accused of not providing Arsene the funds, he left, then came the funds, I am sure that Brendon – if he could make LC competitive, AFC would have been a great team or Carlo Anchelotti. What can one expect of Xhaka as captain, or the lunatic CBs or AMN/Kolasinac? These guys would not walk into Aston Villa / Southampton / Watford. Why are they at AFC is something I cannot comprehend. Although I dislike Evra as player /commentator, he spoke the truth.Will he say the same about Watford or Newcastle or Southampton? No! That indicates how bad we are and just basking in past glory and enjoying when Spurs /Utd. loose rather than focus on our club. Unai should have gone last month, the longer he stays, the more will be the damage to the club and brand.Freddie cannot do much worse or hire Luis Enrique, he has a great vision and character suited for AFC.

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