Should Emery have been more adventurous against Man City?

Arsenal’s new coach Unai Emery was brought in to replace Arsene Wenger amid much rejoicing from Arsenal fans, with the promise of new ideas, tactics and improvements to our rickety defence. But his first game against Man City only saw him give debuts to Sokratis and surprise-package Guendouzi, and he started with just Aubameyang up front, and to be honest it didn’t look much different to one of Wenger’s teams.

One person who was not impressed in the slightest was our legendary ex-captain Tony Adams, who laid into the Spaniard after our facile defeat. “It was the same kind of performance. I was a little bit deflated and disappointed.” Adams said. “Coming from Arsene who always played open attacking football, I really wanted the new manager to come in there and tighten things up.

“For the last 10 years now – [we’ve been] leaking goals, soft away from home.

“I wanted him to put his new goalkeeper [Bernd Leno] in, work with his back four, have two screening central-midfield players, and keep a clean sheet.

“It was crying out for it. But I didn’t see that. I thought he got a lot of selections wrong.

“His three best players were his subs [Alexandre Lacazette, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira]. I don’t know why he didn’t start with them.”

Adams also doesn’t believe that the performance gave fans hope of better to come in the future. He continued: “From minute one, I would’ve picked my own goalkeeper, my back four and put the two lads in that I want to screen those, and get a firm base that’s been missing for the last ten years.

“You’ve had six weeks of pre-season – go on, get on with it!

“Arsenal fans up and down the country all want him to challenge for the title but at the moment we’re nowhere near.”

Perhaps Adams has been a bit harsh, but the starting line-up was hardly the revolutionary one we expected from Emery. Has he just played it a little too safe in his first game?



  1. pires says:

    Let’s give Emry time AND back him with money.

    1. Goran says:

      We lost the game one hour before kick-off, when line-ups were released. There are only two ways to beat Man City. Either press them hard allover the pitch in a all guns blazing way like Liverpool or defend deep with 9 or 10 men behind the ball and counterattack. But Miki and Özil can´t press and the can´t defend, or at least they can´t be bothered. So to start them on the wings was suicide because they were never gonna defend against Man City´s fullbacks, which is a necessity. No wonder AMN hard a torrid time left alone with Mahrez and Walker having no protection. Miki and Özil are both no 10 and should only be played as no 10, and that means they should never be in the starting line-up together. I had hoped Emery would have realized that by now. Hopefully he will get it from now on.

    2. JJPawn says:

      Who money?

    3. OJay says:

      Simple as, I get we hurt and it’s going to take time to purge all the anger and disappointment from the last couple of years but we have turned a new leaf, the last thing our new manager needs is unhappy fans, he already has plenty work with the squad and is surely not going to be supported by the board so can we be the positive Emery has in this great team of ours with so many things gone wrong??? Besides if only for choosing to come here we should at least give him time, just think about it, name one top manager who was going to come to arsenal with the a!most certain knowledge that he can’t cherry pick his players?? Even ask yourselves how many of u would confidently want to manage this current team with lack of investments and if u would what will be your goal? The league title?? Lol. We rebuilding guys, it may not be pretty for a while but we will get there #COYG

  2. Gunner23 says:

    I think that Emery played the 11 that had their best performance… Ramsey had to show his worth, Xhaka singing a new contract too, Ozil most expensive player on payroll and AMN played as left back when having a more experienced Player on the bench was Emery’s own mistake. for this game he should have played AMN on the midfield or bench him and sub in for Xhaka or Ramsey. Now Emery has seen that senior players did not performed so he should bench some I would bench Rams and Xhaka for the Chelsea game and play like this:
    or with AMN i would play a 4-3-3

  3. jon fox says:

    Tony Adams? Great player, great captain, pathetically failed manager and silly, jealous pundit. It is clear that he thinks he should be Arsenal manager. Anyone want that? Thought not, nor do I!

    1. pires says:

      Agree Jon.Well said.

      1. ken1945 says:

        So Jon and pires, what EXACTLY did Tony Adams say that you disgree with?

        1. jon fox says:

          It is not only him being so negative but also how soon he was negative. What has he ever done since his playing days to make his opinions on other managers more than sour grapes? It was well known that he wanted to coach / manage Arsenal one day and he has failed at both, elsewhere, since retiring playing. You said a week or so ago, Ken, that we should support Emery and give him time. But now you seem to support someone who has only criticism for Arsenal , in Adams. Well, I don’t want him being negative after just one game against the runaway Prem champions. I am surprised that YOU OF ALL PEOPLE DEFEND ADAMS. Few others on here will, thankfully.

        2. jon fox says:

          kEN,What irks me is a great ex-player and captain turning on the club he professes to love after just ONE game against the runaway Prem champions. He has failed badly at coaching and managing and this unwarrented and untimely criticism reeks of sour grapes. It was well known he would have liked to remain as a coach and one day the manager , but he was not wanted as he has done nothing since retiring playing. We don’t neEd relentless negativity and I am amazed that you , of all people , who have rightly preached giving Emery and the new set up sensible time to bed in, should support this sourpuss. I DOUBT MANY GOONERS WILL AGREE WITH THIS RIDICULOUS NONSENSE FROM A FAILURE, SINCE HIS PLAYING DAYS ENDED.

        3. jon fox says:

          Ken, I am amazed that YOU of all people should support this Adams sourpuss and his hasty and unwarrented criticism of proven manager, after just ONE game against the runaway Prem champions. Adams has had his nose put out of joint when the club did not ask him to remain as a coach and where he wanted to one day be manager. He has failed when trying both , elsewhere and he NOW reeks of sour grapes. You have several times correctly preached giving Emery and the new regime sensible time to bed in. Now you support a bitter man who has made a fool of himself with his rash comments and with the swiftness that he said them . ONE GAME Ken! for Christ’s sake you were happy for WENGER TO REMAIN FOR TWENTY YEARS , despite his last decade of failure. Play fair at least! VERY FEW GOONERS WILL SUPPORT HIM, though of course there will always be SOME who do, even if he wanted to burn the Stadium down. BAD SHOW ADAMS!

          1. ken1945 says:

            Jon, thanks for the reply, pires will probably now piggyback on your reasoned response.
            When I read Tony Adams comments, I couldn’t see what was wrong with someone giving an opinion.

            I was at the Emirates and supported the team as always 100%. Emery has my full support and will do until he or the club decide to part company, so let’s put that accusation to bed.

            Jon, you are a great advocate for free speech, as I am.
            I asked you what it was that Adams said that so offended you.
            He was actually summarising what he thought had gone wrong.
            In summary that was…bad team selection, players out of position, tactically wrong plan against the champions and not playing the new signings who were fit enough to be used during the game.
            These were ALL accusations made against our previous manager and by you in person.
            I’m not saying that you or Tony Adams are wrong, I just couldn’t understand why you think his history has anything to do with the man’s views.

            Of course Unia should be given as much time as the club can afford to give him, but that doesn’t mean we, as supporters shouldn’t question or criticize the man.
            He DID get it wrong in my opinion, but I am certain he has the ability to rectify this.
            Tony Adams comments were what I personally thought ( can’t speak for anyone else ) as I left the ground.
            That doesn’t make me a bad person, more a realist who was so disappointed but eager to watch the future unfold

    2. @Jon Fox
      I salute you for Sunday’s prediction. Spot on. Am guessing you made a good sum? Correct result + score? ?

      1. jon fox says:

        QD, Once you learn how to separate heart and head when predicting, it is amazing how accurate you can be with a team and club you know so very well. This is something that most football fans in general don’t achieve and I take advantage of it , financially.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Jon, any chance you can enlighten me as to your thoughts on Tony Adams?
          Same question to pires as well of course?
          I thought you would have been keen on explaining your comments.

          1. jon fox says:

            Ken The reason that you got three replies from me was because none of them appeared after I typed them, one at a time, and so I thought my posts were not appearing. BUT IT SEEMS THEY DID, FINALLY. I did not say that in my opinion he was wrong in his comments, but he was wrong to make them as soon as this. That is hardly the support Emery has the right to expect, after ONE game, is it. Emery will obnviously make mistakes , just as Guardiola did in his first season. But supporters and decent people do not jump on any manager after ONE game unless they are unreasonable, in my opinion. In my opinion Emery was left a worse squad and far worse defence to inherit than WENGER INHERITED WHEN HE BEGAN. I maintain Adams has a chip on his shoulder after being frozen out after retiring, which now seems the correct decision by WENGER.

  4. koss says:

    still shell-shocked we could not buy an outright winger. this team sorely misses a true winger

  5. Sue says:

    Emery just can’t please everyone, so it seems

    1. bran99 says:

      Were you pleased with that dull performance?

      1. Sue says:

        I quite liked what I saw after Lichtsteiner, Torreira & Lacazette came on yes

        1. Am buying Lichtsteiner’s jersey!

          1. Sue says:

            He didn’t take any s**t when he came on… I loved it!!

        2. ken 1945 says:

          Sue, can’t understand why they weren’t on from the start.
          Why buy players and then not play them?
          Mind you, apart from the ridiculous playing from the back debacle, I thought Petr had a very good game.

          1. Sue says:

            I was amazed at that Ken…. they HAVE to start against Chelsea! Did you enjoy the match?

          2. ken1945 says:

            Sue, was good to be back in my seat, with old friends bitching and moaning as only football fans know how to!!
            There is nothing wrong with losing to this current City team, they are fantastic.
            What pleased me most was the fact that we kept trying to the final whistle and the crowd was behind them.
            Just felt we got the tactics wrong, along with the selection. Emery was very active and the passion was there for all to see.
            Let’s hope the Chelsea game produces a better result.

          3. Sue says:

            Yes hopefully he’ll get the team selection right & we can come away with 3 points!
            Onwards & upwards Ken!

          4. GunnerJack says:

            Emery had to pick someone to play the opening game Sue and so perhaps chose to give the ‘Old Brigade’ first chance, rather than trying to pick his best team.
            The Old Brigade fluffed it, as usual, and were replaced. This would not have happened with the previous manager!
            When the subs came on the game improved for us immensely.
            Now the moment of truth. Against Chelsea I really, really hope that Ramsey and Xhaka don’t start. That would be simply be going back to the Wenger era.
            So Unai needs to show guts and pick his team on merit, not according to how long they’ve been with the club or how much they cost.
            Come on Unai! I’m counting on you!
            P.S. While I of course hope for a win I would be happy with a hard-fought draw.

          5. Sue says:

            I’m hoping that the City game was a chance for all to impress Emery… seeing as Ramsey & Xhaka didn’t… they shouldn’t start against Chelsea. Was gutted Laca didn’t start, as he didn’t play in Russia! Also gutted Torreira didn’t start as he was out before Sterling & Stones, yet they played! As long as we get something there, would love 3 points! I saw that Fabregas will probably miss through injury

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    I felt Emery got the starting line-up wrong against City. I am not having a go at him, as I give him a free season, and he needs to see what players are good enough. He needs time, but he did get it wrong.

    I can maybe understand the excuse of not using players coming back late from the WC (although that didn’t stop Pep), but Laca wasn’t at the WC. Why buy a new first choice GK, if you’re not going to trust him in the big games? Why did Xhaka start? I think those were three glaring mistakes from Emery. Other issues are: Why does Ozil keep starting big games? What does Ramsey bring to the team? Miki has been a poor signing so far, was Mourinho right about him?

    I actually didn’t feel the defence were too bad for once. I saw a slightly better Bellerin, loved Lichtsteiner’s performance, and Guendouzi was MOTM. Our attack was very poor, and our midfield left the defence exposed a lot. But we also need to accept the level of opposition. It was Emery’s first competitive game, against the toughest team.

    1. RichSAAlao says:

      Xhaka, why use him as defensive?
      The guy plays ruggedly but he prefers advance role though he doesn’t have speed.
      He will not do more defensively than that.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ThirdManJW, Mhikataryan wasn’t a bad signing, just the best deal Arsenal could get after mismanaging the Alexis Sanchez contract.
        He is a player with the skills to hopefully come good.

  7. lagos larry says:

    play my friend iwobi on the wing, either wing. he can adapt and he will adapt. he is totally passionate about arsenal club. give him chance please.he will show the doubters in the stands that he can play and that he cares gunners team.

    1. Rkw says:

      No thank you … loan him to Brentford to see if he can make it in a footballing team .. doubt it but could be persuaded if performances merit it

      1. Phil says:

        I am totally passionate about the Arsenal Team.Does that mean I can play against Chelsea on Saturday?

        1. Sue says:

          I bet you wouldn’t flap your arms Phil ?

          1. Phil says:

            If it got me in the Team Sue o might do?

          2. GunnerJack says:

            Scousers are pretty witty and if Iwobi played for either Liverpool or Everton he would already have the nickname ‘Flapper’!

          3. GunnerJack says:

            … but more likely Tranmere Rovers:)

            However I have not given up all hope on Iwobi just yet. Maybe Unai can improve him. After all he is still young and does have the build, athleticism and willing attitude needed so maybe he’s a rough diamond who just needs polishing.
            Hope so – I sometimes get a bit annoyed at myself for putting down our own players and would love it if he did finally come good.

    2. ThirdManJW says:

      He’s made nearly hundred appearances over a three period. Is that not enough time, and opportunities, to prove the doubters wrong?

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        three year period*

        1. Welbeck says:

          Three years is a long time to have a period… Enough time for people to see he bleeds red for Arsenal

      2. Sue says:

        Exactly!!! And what has he scored? 8 or 9 goals I think! Terrible

    3. RSH says:

      Arsenal need to make it to next transfer window still being in top 4 race. Get a winger, sell more deadwood, get a LB. RB while you’re at it. Bellerin just can’t defend and I’m more than happy for Barca to take him at this point

    4. jon fox says:

      Any non Nigerian Iwobi fans in your fan club? No ? Thought not! No one outside Nigeria rates him at all, judging by all comments on here. If he had chosen instead to be considered for England selection , as he had the right to do, would these Nigerians still fawn over him then? I think not! Pure nationalism gone mad and common sense nowhere by these Nigerians.

  8. Howard says:

    Don’t know what is wrong with Ozil. He is not playing for his weekly wages of 350k.
    Poor, poor , poor. He should be dropped with Zhaka against Chelsea. Mikhi who? Play Welbeck as a winger instead; full of pace and can defend.

    1. RSH says:

      Agree. Tired of waiting for him to finally live up to his Real Madrid reputation. I just don’t see it happening. This should be the last season Ozil is a regular. Arsenal need a new, modern, CAM that fits into Emery’s style. Ozil does not and he was getting a free pass under AW. Miki for CAM.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Or no need to use a no 10 at all. A no 10 always gets heavy pressure from the opponent’s defenders in the front and he suffers if he is not technically gifted enough

        Better use players that are good on one-on-one situations, like Mane, Sane, Salah and Sterling. Even Guendouzi and Maitland-Niles won a lot in one-on-one duels in the Man City match

        Liverpool do not use a no 10, but Firmino and the attacking midfielders behind him are able to force their opponents to make mistakes

  9. Kenya001 says:

    Tbh il wait n see coz i hve faith emery will come good he has the tactics the players only nid to tune it to their dna and whe all clicks most pple here will look back and see how wrong they were quick to judge

  10. Innit says:

    I will never even criticise Tony Adams.
    He could say all Arsenal fans are *$?!#% and I would still be in awe of him
    3 Premier League titles has earned my eternal respect
    He is an Arsenal LEGEND
    Not just a great CB but a great Leader too and was there at all 3 PL titles

    We desperately need someone like Tony Adams in our back four.
    Someone who is a strong and stable defender who is also a leader and can be vocal

    1. Phil says:

      For someone who loves Tony Adams so much you may like to know he Captained Arsenal to FOUR PREMIERSHIP TITLES. 1988-89. 1990-91. 1997-98. 2001-02.
      Just saying

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Arsenal are in urgent need for his like now!

  11. RichSAAlao says:

    What I think is if you play from the back, then you get to have players who would move the ball thru middle and free the wingers before giving the pass. Not like Matteo just spraying the ball through to players who have opposite players all around them.

  12. Cliff says:

    Just like @ThirdManJw,I believe Emery got the starting line up very wrong. Unfortunately there is no much time for experiments in the EPL.
    Emery should totally breakaway from the Wenger regime and start on a new page.He should start all the new players we brought coz we need all of them,that’s why they were bought.Alongside Auba,Lacca,Amn,Monreal,and maybe welbeck or Iwobi.
    Relying on players like Ramsey,Xhaka and Ozil just spells disaster to us.They have failed us enough and we have to put them where they belong on the bench.

  13. New Era says:

    It is just the first game and some people are here spiting fire already! That Manchester City team could have beaten any other team in the league. Besides, building a wining mentality in a team which was so accustomed to fighting for fourth position will take plenty of time. The one thing Emery needs to do is to get himself out of Wenger’s shadow and follow his own philosophy. The next transfer window should help him add a few more signings who are free from Wengerism

    1. Cliff says:

      My Friend,its not about the man city players. Arsenal fans all over the world are asking why and how some players still find themselves in our starting 11 eg Dhaka and some few more.Its just unacceptable.
      Let’s lose but with a group that fights for the team.

      1. Cliff says:

        I meant *Xhaka

  14. Kenya001 says:

    @sue what should we do to make fans happy again?? How will we make them believe in emery if they are loosing hope after one game?? How shud we move on from the wenger fear from the last decade? How long will it take us to understand that there is nothing lyk Instant success..

    1. Sue says:

      Kenya001…. I think it’s ridiculous people losing hope after 1 game!!

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?Sue, wouldn’t you just love to be in the trenches with these people? They are waving the white flag already.

        1. Sue says:

          It’s crazy Ozzie!!!

    2. lagos larry says:

      correction phil, i never did once say to sack the manager emery, not yet anyways. i am prepared to give him a chance, two years will see this man rise to the top . he will buy some more nigerian players, mark my words.

  15. kumssa says:

    i don’t know y ppl keep saying guendozi was good in the game he made a lot of mistakes and his shots was not that good and there is n article on here saying he was a shining light despite defeat nd also we should sell ramsey now!!!!!!!

  16. David Rusa says:

    Nobody doubts Tony Adams’ credentials as an Arsenal legend. However his managerial skills were very dismal as is his punditry. He should leave the job of a pundit alone because he can’t manage it. I don’t want to speculate on his motivation for bitterly criticising Unai Emery but whatever his reasons I feel it was too early. You can’t expect a new manager to perform miracles on his debut against the strongest team in the league. The old English saying goes thus: One swallow does not make a summer. Similarly one loss to the best team does not make the coach useless. Adams, as a legend should urge Emery on instead of tearing him down.

    1. ken1945 says:

      David Rusa, he was offering his opinion on the game, what was right and what was wrong.
      Just as you are doing now.
      If you feel any of his views are wrong, discuss them in detail so that the others on here can see where you think he got it wrong.
      If his managerial credentials are part of your judgement, let us know what yours are as you give us your views.

    2. jon fox says:

      Exactly and well said! And unfortunately I is a disgrace that you NEED to say it to some unreasonable fans on here, as I have also done. They seem to expect immediate magic and are out of touch with football reality. ONE GAME! wEnger had 22 years and a full decade of failure before the sack.

  17. christian Budoya says:

    xhaka, Micki, Ozil, Ramsey should be dropped
    Put Iwobi, Nelson, Torreira, Welback

  18. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Let’s not mind those who are condemning Arsenal for their lost against Man City at the Ems in the PL last Sunday.

    I watched the match live on my TV set and I must say Arsenal played very well in the match despite the match referee, Michael Oliver allowing Man City to get away with violet playing unlimited against Arsenal and unpunished that saw AMN got injured and substituted by Lichtsteiner who himself was arm grabbed and head butt. Raheem Sterling had glaring 2nd bookable offence that would have warranted him sent off. But Michael Oliver deliberately allowed him to continuing playing.

    I think what mitigated against Arsenal in the game was not for not standing up to Man City in the game. Arsenal did stood up to Man City but failed to covert the 3 good goals scoring chances they had in the match to equalise and from there see what will follow.

    Bellerin who fired to Man City goalkeeper’s hands should have equalised for Arsenal in the first half had he shoot the ball to the far corner to make it impossible for the Keeper to save.

    And later on after Bellerin had failed to equalise for Arsenal, Aubameyang put his goal bound shot wide to the right of the goal post to miss another chance to equalise for Arsenal. And when Lacazette came on for Ramsey early in the 2nd half of the match, he had that golden chance to level for Arsenal but all he did was to shoot wide

    Why missing all the 3 good goal scoring chance for Arsenal which the Gunners have created in the match? I think had Arsenal equalised, the result of the match would probably have been to the favour of Arsenal as they could be in the ascendancy in playing in the match and beat Man City.

    Against Chelsea in the PL on Saturday at the Bridge, the Gunners MUST forsake any form of profigancy in front of the Chelsea goal. No Gunner who has the half or full chance to score should profigate but convert the chance or chances that comes to him during the match. In so doing Arsenal will beat Chelsea to the collection of all points in the game even with the same starting XI lineup that started the Man City match excluding AMN who was deliberately injured in the Man City game.

    My high commendation must go to Guendouzi for the stand out performance holding midfield job he did for Arsenal in the Man City game. He only made one mistake important the match when he was left alone at the back in the 2nd half that allowed Aguero the chance to score but Cech came to the rescue to block him.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Samual, I agree with your positive sentiments for the most part. However Bellerin should have crossed inside to the two unmarked Arsenal players rather than shooting from wide right. He takes the wrong option too often. Also you didn’t mention the missed penalty by Oliver when Mustafi was dragged down by Mendes, which would have brought Arsenal back to 1-1.

      1. Sue says:

        Bloody Michael Oliver ?

  19. Kenya001 says:

    Lol @phil thanks to you i just literally ripped my lungs apart

  20. Kenya001 says:

    Whatever that larry lagos is smoking over thereB-)B-)

    1. lagos larry says:

      kenya, when was the last time your national team played at world cup finals, answer that .

  21. Top Gunner says:

    As long as the first team consists of Ramsey, Xhaka, and Ozil Arsenal will always lose big game. I’ve said it for the last two seasons, and I still say it now

  22. Gifted says:

    Imagine waiting eagerly for the second game against Chelsea and then Boom!!! Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil in the midfield…Just imagine!!! And then the game would be lost even before its played. I hope Emery is brave enough to drop all non performing clowns irrespective of their status at the club

  23. Durand says:

    I agree with Adams about setting the back 4 and the two in front. Defense has been weakness for quite a while, and I don’t think it was properly addressed. Lichtsteiner was solid when he came on, and Torreria the same. Love to see both start in a 4-2-3-1 dropping Ramsey and Xhaka. There has been good chemistry between Auba and Laca, was surprised they didn’t start together.

    If Emery starts Ramsey and Xhaka again, I expect a similar result against Chelsea. Hopefully he benches those two based on their woeful performances. I would be gutted to see them again; they are a disaster waiting to happen.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Both were shown up by a kid, who made mistakes but kept on battling.

  24. The cassette says:

    A bit off topic but i just don’t think its a good idea to sell Joel Campbell right now. He is the only genuinely wide player we have apart from Nelson. I truly believe this guy can come good, i also feel he offers more than Iwobi at this current time. Plus apart from Ozil he’s the only left sided player we have. I get his contract is up very soon but seriously we have already let good enough players leave without being given a proper chance cause of guys like Iwobi, im a fan by the way but right now, he seriously needs to up his game.

  25. kevin says:

    selling campbell will be a huge mistake and for ozil I trust him so much. I don’t believe in unai emery because he is not a good manager in my eye with him Arsenal will not make top 6. Guendouzi should be bench for the next 23 matches.

  26. msty says:

    any line up with xhaca Ramsey and ozil to play against a decent side(Leicester everton etc) not even the big boys wont get a win… too soft hearted bunch lacking grit….. if 2 of those 3 starts against Chelsea Emery will feel the heat of the fans, forget about giving him time he needs to show he learnt from mistakes.. FYI his team selection was poor in the city game and that cost us the game

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