The serious issues at Arsenal that Emery will struggle to fix

A few things we noticed about Arsenal in recent weeks by Kandy Theodore

1. Granit Xhaka should be dropped from starting XI
He is undoubtedly one of our finest passers in midfield, but putting him in the team merely because of that isn’t exactly paying off. Take away his distribution game and you’re only left with a slow guy, not to mention his lack of organization. I don’t like criticizing our players but truth be said, he’s not offering us that organization in midfield as he’s supposed to, nor the defensive awareness required of him.

We’re supposed to be operating through this guy, starting our attacks and giving us balance in games but at the moment no, he has no communication with his center backs, gets caught in possession often and doesn’t have the mobility required to help out offensively in the opposition’s half. We’ve all seen glimpses of what this guy can do but until Emery finds a formation and system that he’ll utilize his skills, he should join the bench.

2. Ramsey important, but nowhere near the alleged wages he’s demanding
There’s one thing that pisses me off about Ramsey, even when he’s in form, sometimes you can tell that he’s about to do something stupid with the ball even before he attempts it, that’s how well I know him, giving away balls, holding onto it for too long and delaying passes, but the icing of it all is the lack of intelligence from him in the final third sometimes.

I’m not taking anything away from his skillset but, many a time he just decides to go for glory himself even when a teammate is in a better position, he needs to be more decisive and play with the sense of urgency and purpose that he played with during the 2013/2014 season, that guy then, today, would have deserved every penny of what he’s demanding if not even more. Until then, we’re better off selling him and getting someone that’s much more grateful of the chance and loyalty shown to him by the club and fans over the years instead of holding us down to ransom even when he isn’t consistent. He had a fine season last time out but I still don’t think it gets him the lucrative deal he wants.

3. Serious issues in the squad
There are big mental problems within some of our first team players if not most of them, the likes of Bellerin, Mustafi, Iwobi, Xhaka, Ozil and Ramsey to name a few. I don’t know if the public criticism from football legends and ‘experts’ got to them but you can evidently see it every time they play. Bellerin for example will do well to track back and put in a tackle, just to get up slower than a Granny. It would have been understandable if he hurt himself during the challenge, but we’re under attack and outnumbered, get up, look around and be aware of your opponent’s positioning in your half! Terrible defending, he was honestly much better as a twenty year old.

Mustafi, like Bellerin, has concentration issues and lacks awareness, washed away along with that is his actual defending (smh), I don’t know what happened to that brave guy we had during the first four months after we bought him, he gets beaten far too easily and his marking is poor, it’s a sad scene to watch.

Iwobi has had the same problem over the past three seasons, inconsistency. The guy will get you all hyped up after a match of decisive, purposeful football, just to do the complete opposite in the next match that, it has become a far too familiar tale to watch.

Ozil sometimes has been a victim of the team selection, honestly, either played out of position or, started alongside team-mates who don’t have the coherence to combine and bring each other into games. It almost feels like criticism has taken away his passion to play football. The pressure to perform is evident in his displays, rushed decisions and misplaced passes because tea-mmates failed to be in the required positions. Apart from that, sometimes he really plays bad, to the point where I don’t even know how to describe his performances, but like the others, he must get his confidence back and do his part to help the team, sulking only makes it worse.

Cam Emery really sort all these issues out quickly?



  1. Innit says:

    There are actually a lot of problems
    Central Midfield
    1. Ramsey and Xhaka need to be upgraded. I’m not saying we need a Cazorla quality player but we need better box2box players
    2. Ozil is simply not consistent enough. I’m not sure Mkhitaryan is the answer to CAM either. I think we need to sign a talented attacking central midfielder

    3. Centre backs. We are weak and need to sign higher quality
    4. Sign a better RB than Bellerin. Bellerin May be a better right winger

    5. We need one or two good quality wingers.

    We are fine with strikers, goalkeeper, defensive midfielder and Left back.

    1. Rkw says:

      Have to agree with you on all positions … Though ozil is missed even more when absent than most realise as demonstrated yday … Emery needs to go to the greedy yank and say look this is not the NFL there are no draft picks here we need to go and buy the quality we are missing if we are to challenge at the top … 4 quality players inc 2 defenders could be had for 160m or so … With sales (Ramsey xhaka mustafi bellerin and wellbeck) that means u have to pitch in at least 100m … Then see what happens

      1. kev says:

        Don’t think we missed Ozil imo because what we witnessed was a typical Arsenal performance.i.e average defending and poor decision making in attack.West Ham were not hard to breakdown.We were making the whole thing difficult for ourselves with our poor decision making.I’ve seen Ozil in several matches just like the West Ham one.The mentality of our team is still not there yet and it will take time.Saying Ozil was missed is easy to say because we were poor in attack in the match but quite frankly if you’ve watched Arsenal last season this is simply not true.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Innit, Arsenal already have a top RB; his name is Stephan Lichtsteiner. It would be nice to ser him play!
          Rkw, you are right about Kroenke having to learn quickly that there is no draft in the EPL and that Arsenal is a global brand that needs investment to guarantee maximum financial returns.

      2. Westlake says:

        Sorry, I think the real problem is, Wenger built a team of Electricians, and occasionally the lights would go out and we all complained. Gazidis has hired Emery, a plumber, to fix it!
        Start worry about the water supply

  2. gotanidea says:

    I don’t think so, because Emery might have to give at least this season for the inconsistent players to prove themselves

    And Arsenal don’t seem to have more transfer budget to address these issues in January. Unless they plan to surprise us in the next transfer window, like what they did last season with Aubameyang deal

    If the above-mentioned players do not give any substantial contribution till the end of the season, I believe Arsenal would not hesitate to put them on a transfer list

  3. Fab says:

    If your best player is 18 years old coming from the second division in league1 then you’re in very serious trouble

  4. Munashe says:

    xhaka ,cech ,ozil ,bellerin and mustafi should all be dropped.Arsenal should start putting Torreira,Stefan, Bernd Leno and Mateo into the starting eleven

  5. Fkhalifa says:

    According to what is read on here, one can conclude that virtually the entire squad are either not good enough or inconsistent and should be dropped.

    only the new singings are spared a little

    it is high time we faced reality, we can’t win all games nor go without conceding .

    3points should be the first target, then every other thing follows..

    Bellerin despite creating our most scoring chances and highest assist, goes unappreciated, they focus on his negative sides of play alone..

    An average game from iwobi,mhicky and welbeck etc expect them to rush here and start giving series of condemning remarks.

  6. kev says:

    Unai Emery needs to stop playing some players to make things easier for himself.Apparently,we are told Wenger destroyed the likes of Mustafi,Xhaka,Bellerin,Iwobi and co due to him not giving them advice or coaching them or for whatever reason.I find it quite funny because Mourinho who has some streak of destroying too players isn’t even this bad.Coaching only improves decision making but not talent.Players like Sagna and Koscielny improved under Wenger and I’m sure they weren’t coached(not being sarcastic).What improves a player really is change of mentality.Some of the youngsters are really overrated and it’s like most here don’t follow our U23 players before they break onto the scene because if they did you’d know Iwobi was very very inconsistent.

  7. John0711 says:

    I’ve Been thinking about this and I can only come up with Xhaka must have it in his contract that he starts games. Why else would two managers play him after 2 full seasons of below average performances

  8. Dudu says:

    Deandre yedlin of new castle
    I admire that guy for real..

  9. Dudu says:

    Deandre yedlin of new castle
    I admire that guy for real..

  10. Grandad says:

    A very good article which highlights the weaknesses of the squad inherited by Emery.Unless these under performers are moved on or left out of the first eleven, it is difficult to see how Emery can improve our fortunes at least in the short term.The sale of Ozil, Xhaka and Mustafi must become a priority to release wages of circa £500k per week to pave the way for suitable replacements such as Anderson of West Ham.He looks a very fine player indeed.

  11. ruelando says:

    Football is a beautiful sport, but really unfair, Arsenal had a crappy game and won, Newcastle a wonderful defensive showing but loss.

    Ok, back to topic, we can not think of selling anyone until January because we can not bring in anyone ( i think it is ridiculous closing EPL tranfers so early with other top leagues open till the 31 August). Emery must us what we have until then, so he has to see which games Ramsey, Ozil, Mik and Xhaka can play in and try minimise there appearance to 2-3 at a time not all together.

  12. Tshepo says:

    Xhaka and Bellerin are not improving instead they’re getting worse, we can do better as a Football club if we really want to be amongst the best in Europe.

    Ramsey n Ozil I think the problem is that they can improve if they play amongst better committed teammates. What is destroying Ozil is poor reading of the game by his fellow mates.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Ozil now has the opportunity to play with players of the class of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Mhikataryan. He needs to get his act together, earn his wages for doing the job he is paid to do (ie play football to his ability), toughen the FU and prove the doubters wrong.

  13. Ashburton Grove says:

    Totally agree with all positions – we should have gone all in for Isco and sold Ramsey and Ozil. The Spaniard is class and an experienced winner.
    Sell Bellerin back to Barca before they realize he’s crap. Bin Granit and keep Elneny. I’d also like to see Mavrapanos get another look in as our defense is shambolic right now.

    To be honest, despite never wanting to switch back to the torment that was the last 12 years under Arsene ‘the dictator’ Wenger. I am very excited by Emery but his team selections so far have been absolutely shocking! WTF…?
    It’s not that hard, we really don’t have that much to choose from in terms of great talent in this squad. The team should pick it self bar a few players depending on the opponent. I hope he sorts it out soon.

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