It was always going to the case that pundits and former players would rip into Arsenal following yet another abysmal performance and that exactly what they have done.
They have criticised the performance of the defence, that we have a soft underbelly, we are cannon fodder and much more, even Mesut Ozil came in for criticism of sorts and he never even played yesterday.
Let’s kick off with Alan Shearer, who had this to say on Match of the Day 2
“How pathetic the back line of Arsenal were, even with 11 men,”
“Jamie Vardy was sensational. It was a constant all afternoon. Two central defenders… This ball travelled 100 yards and still the defenders can’t get anywhere near.
“They should defend better, defend deeper, what does Jamie Vardy want? Every team knows this. I bet he wishes he could play against them every week, they were absolutely hopeless.”
His he wrong? Was the defence pathetic? I think he is right if I am brutally honest, then there is Tony Cascarino who wrote in the Times,
“Arsenal have not really looked like a top-six team over the course of the season,”
“They had that long winning run early in the campaign but even then that was with narrow victories in tight games.
“In the latter stages of his time as manager, Arsene Wenger was accused of having teams with a soft underbelly but this is the softest Arsenal team I’ve seen in a long while — they lack leadership all over the pitch.
Ouch, a soft underbelly? harsh but probably close to the truth and now we can move onto a three of our ex-players starting with Ian Wright who is not convinced qualifying for the Champions League is a good thing.
“But right now, mainly through the fault of other teams, we’re unexpectedly in a position where we could actually qualify for the Champions League, Wright said
“But then I start to think to myself ‘how much do I really even want us to be in it?’
“With the way the team’s playing at the moment and the lack of money he’s going to have to spend…
“It’s worrying how embarrassing it could become if we get there and we keep playing the way we are.”
Then we have Wrights former teammate at Arsenal Kevin Campbell, who reckons we should sell Mesut Ozil to help rebuild the team,
“If it was up to me, he’d be gone,” he said.
“I don’t think he can contribute enough to Arsenal. With the set-up and the way the Premier League is going, I don’t think he does enough.
And on to our final former Gunner, Martin Keown
“It no longer matters who Arsenal play away from home – when the Gunners leave the Emirates, their opponents view them as little more than cannon fodder,” he said.
No one can accuse Keown of fence sitting there and finally on to one of our mouthiest celebrity fans Piers Morgan, who tweeted.
No, I like Emery & he deserves to be judged after 3-4 windows.
But this has been his worst week in charge & our performances have been inexplicably, unacceptably awful when we had such an apparently ‘easy’ run-in.
So there you have, across the board a damning verdict on our team.
I have to ask though, what will they all be saying if we actually win the Europa League and in doing so qualify for the Champions League?
tbh I’m surprised we are only 2 points off Chelsea in fourth. It’s not all over, Chelsea have Watford and Leicester away, but I hope this send signals through the club that we need some real quality in the summer. CB, LB, MF and a winger (maybe two)
“I have to ask though, what will they all be saying if we actually win the Europa League and in doing so qualify for the Champions League?”
Who cares what they say? They’re all saying the truth afterall, we really don’t deserve to be in the UCL going by the way we’ve been this season.
The only positive in going to the UCL would be for the additional transfer fee Mr Tinkerman would get.
Smh, it got to the point where i couldn’t even care or bother reading news about us over the weekend, to the point that i dont feel disappointed when Arsenal lose a game but I had the feelings to be disappointed Lyna Mormont had to die.
I really dont care about this season anymore, our boys keep proving those pundits right, i wont be surprised if as they predicted, Chelsea wins the Europa league and we fail badly
I watched the Leicester Arsenal game on a plane and Arsenal fans still walked out.
I’m sure the pundits have been waiting All Season to say what they’re saying now! Even if we were unbeaten for 35 games or won the first 19 in a row we’d somehow screw up all the rest
…… They all speak the bitter truth; the club is a joke. No squad depth to rest tiring players and because of that we are forced to use players who have lost form. From attack to defense, it’s a nightmare. We have a dead midfield and an aging defense that was bullied by Vardy all day. The frustration in Emery yesterday was clear to see. He was livid and must be wondering how these lots of players were able to get such fat contracts playing absolute nonsense and yet were not sold. Unbelievable!
… Sometimes I look at my beloved club and those fainthearted group of leaders and say to myself that voodoo is truly real.
…..If Emery gets this team to win the Europa, he will have my respect forever. Brilliant coach let down by one of the worst set of players to have ever worn the Arsenal jersey.
Never was a truer word spoken
I can’t be bothered to listen to any of them (even Wrighty ❤) I know my team isn’t where I’d like it to be.. nothing is going to change overnight, so why would I want to listen to them telling me something I already know!!
This last week or so, has been hard to take.. but we have an important game on Thursday & I’d like to think about that COYG
Spot on James.
Arsenal are, and have been, a complete joke for how many years now?
We have an owner who just doesn’t care. He rarely even watches us play! Worst of all, we have the AGM’s and he refuses to even speak a single word to any of the fans! Disgusting way of treating the loyal fans who put so much time and money into the club.
There has been such a catastrophic mismanagement of the finances, that is best summed up with the Alexis, Ozil, and Ramsey saga’s.
Huge instability off the pitch as well, with Sven being the latest departure.
Emery has inherited all of this! One the worst squads we’ve ever had, and some fans are having a pop at Emery. What a joke! As I keep saying, it’s going to take years to clear up the mess left by the previous regime, and even then, can ever reach the top again with Kroenke? I have no doubt things will improve, but will it be enough of an improvement?
I am not sure things will improve. Where will the improvement come from?
We’ve already got more points than last season, and there’s been a big improvement in against the top sides as well, and that’s with this trash squad! Imagine what Emery could do with “his” signings? We’ve also got a great chance of getting into the EL final. That’ll be our first European final in 13 years.
It’s going to difficult for Emery to really perform because he may be stuck with a lot of these awful players for many more years, unless we can get rid of them…which isn’t looking likely given their wages. E.g. we may be stuck with Ozil for another 2 years, because I cannot see anyone wanting him on the wages he’s on, and that will impact Emery’s transfer budgets.
I am not saying that Emery is or isn’t the right man, but whoever we had in charge right now would still have to deal with the same problems. Not even Pep could do anything with our squad!
Sadly Emery has not managed to improve this team. I expected him to struggle but I also expected an upward line towards the end of the season when he has had one season to work with the lads and impose his style. In fact, we are going backward when you would expect going forward. Finishing 6th is nothing special. It shows that the manager didn’t bring anything extra.
Combine this with the fact we have no budget which means we can give the manager 10 windows and he still won’t have been able to rebuild, and you can see our future.
Finally, the players we need to sell won’t attract many buys with serious budgets and you will see the rebuilding will be hard and the selling won’t yield a lot of money to re-invest.
Name me one player we have who should be sold who will convince a team to write a cheque of 30 million? Ozil? not with his ridiculous salary? Mustafi? you got to be joking. Mikhi? Don’t think so.
There will be no rebuilding of this team with a budget of 40 million and no marquis players to be sold.
He has improved the team in many areas, we seen that throughout the season. Better with set pieces, more grit and more hustle in this side, forwards do more defensive work and pressing, coming back from deficits and winning more often in this team than in other years, this team is more clinical than any other recent team, home form looks like it could become a fortress when we get additions not dissimilar to old Che home form, the Europa could be a big one we don’t know yet but Arsene never won a Euro trophy. I could keep going and find more but the one thing that the other team beats this one with is the quality of play, Arsene’s sides were more consistent and they usually done well against smaller opposition when fans were on his side. Possession, even his bad sides could do well keeping possession. There’s probably more to find for Arsene too if I keep looking.
Emery talked about transfers after the latest kick in the teeth. He spoke about needing more physicality in the side, he spoke about the other big six sides all having that throughout their teams (like that’s Tott biggest trait, that’s there go to and how they edged us out) and you can tell by judging the whole season that he does definitely demand a certain level of aggression and running from his players. If we can sign the right type of players I think Emery could be the man to make the ground up on the top sides, he might not be the one who gets the glory, who knows, but I think we will be in good shape competitively speaking, if, we can give him the time.
Break-on-through: The positive signs you refer to have disappeared as far as I can tell. I have seen very little bite and fight in this team recently and all the defending the forwards do and the pressing the team does (or not) has not to lead to any fewer goals being conceded. We have to score 4 goals in our next game to be as clinical as Wenger’s team from last season after 37 games.
I was reading from a pundit yesterday who said Emery is a good manager, how good he is who knows, the man needs time and more than one season with one transfer window esp that transfer window. Then said the job was huge from top to bottom because of how long Arsene stayed, a lot of old habits to try and clear out as well as the personnel, and it would likely take more than two seasons in his opinion such is the size of the job. Your man off ESPN who was always a huge critic of Arsenal said roughly along the lines of this.
I don’t get the rationale to always blame the manager for our defeats. These are the same issues that had been there during Wenger’s time. Players playing with no hunger and desire to put the opposition to the sword. Give Unai time to get his team and then judge him on that because right now the usual suspects eg Mkhitaryan, Mustafi, Xhaka, Iwobi, Kolasinac and the bench warmers eg El Neny and Jenko are the guys who are still letting us down. Nothing Unai can do about that.
I would suggest that beating Napoli is the worst thing to have happened to us this season, the team has been crap since our return from Naples.
Unai Emery is a gambler. He is part of the problem. He doesn’t have a first eleven, the players don’t even trust him because even when they play their very best he might decide for reasons best known to himself bench such players. A coach needs to inspire confidence in his players by letting them have a good run on the pitch when they play well and in good form. He gambles with games.
He doesn’t even trust his players to play an attacking formation for our away games. Always afraid to loose thereby playing a safe tactics. It was never this bad even at the worst periods of Wenger. We couldn’t I’ve asked for an easier run in
8-2, 6-0, 5-1 (how many times?) losses, small teams humiliating us as well. Also remember that our last two seasons we finished 5th, then 6th. In 2016 we finished above Spurs, Chelsea, Utd, Liverpool, City, and not only could even win the league, and didn’t even challenge for it! Wenger’s worst ever season in my opinion. So yeah I’d say it’s been pretty horrific under Wenger as well.
I am not saying that Emery is blameless, but he is barely responsible for what we’re seeing this season. I don’t forget that we’ve been shocking in the league for as long as I can remember, it’s not just the last couple of seasons.
We’ve been punching above our weight all season, the only reason we’re still in with a shout is because Utd and Chelsea also have their problems. Man for man both those teams have better first teams and squads than Arsenal. 200million and two or three transfer windows at best to see an improvement. We have to give the manager the benefit of doubt and support him the best we can, he has inherited the worse squad we’ve had in years. Our youngsters also seem to have a soft underbelly and struggle to step up when given a chance
Shearer was right about Vardy, he was sensational. Vardy can run very fast with excellent first touch and our defenders simply could not keep up with quick attackers like this
Whoever our defending coaches are, they need to be replaced since we are always highly vulnerable when playing against speed demons like Salah, Mane, Sterling, Sane, etc
I also agree with Campbell and the previous comments from the other pundits regarding Ozil. But not just him, we have too many players that cannot carry the team
I’d like to see Saka given a few games in place of Iwobi, not like the kid can do worse.
We need players all over the pitch; defense is a constant liability, midfield that can’t link up or control a game, and no wingers to provide width and advance up the pitch to spread out defenses.
How unprofessional to go into a season lacking wingers, and relying on playing players out of position to fill out a lineup.
We finally have 2 top strikers, that’s right 2, after years of only having Giroud. However, we also have a midfield that constantly struggle to link up with our goal scorers, and let other teams march straight through them to our goal.
Biggest crutch of all is Kronke. He holds this club back more than any player, manager, or any aspect of a club. The players are comfortable because they know Kronke won’t spend the funds to bring in competition, so their mega salaries are safe.
?Saka has potential.
The fact is, Arsenal as a club need to change..
From the top down the club is stale and dated. From management of transfers to growth through revenue streams. It’s all a bit of a shambles. Kroke will be happy to sit on his nest egg because Arsenal will always have a great value for as long as it is a Premier League team. Top 4 was ok and now top 6 is ok too for Kronke. Anything more is a bit more profit. This club should be making more through challenging for the top prizes of the CL, FA Cup and EPL. The revenue should be massive but as long as Arsenal fans are willing to pay for “expensive” season tickets and gate entries then Kronke is happy enough! His appetite for glory has less significance than the cash equivalent!
Arsene Wenger knew this but was happy to consolidate expenditure in order to challenge himself to be able to build a team around youth and “lesser” known players because he believed in his own hype and self importance. He seriously believed he was the man who could do everything right when every “professional” footballer, ex footballer and pundit knew he was full of sh*t!
He had many Arsenal fans eating from his hands for years, believing the club were climbing back to the good old glory days when, in truth, we were still in decline..
No, this club are still in decline and Wonke Kronke has no intention of investing any more than he absolutely needs. Emery is like a stuffed chicken right now. That is why Sven Mislintat left when he did. His scouting was about to be reduced to an “as and when we need you basis”..
Call me negative, but I bet it gets no better next year!
The only thing to save us from Kroenke is that all fans crowdfund the purchase of our beloved club back from him. Let’s stop just being arm-chair whiners, always complaining about management when we have the power in our hands. If we can have a minimum of 40m fans contributing 10 pounds monthly for 24 months or however long it takes to raise the capital to buy back our club then the world would be a better place.
Let us do it for ourselves, every Gunner fan who is tired of this s@#t.