Unai Emery has to take the blame for Tottenham defeat

We cannot keep ignoring the problems and get results. by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. It’s difficult to take how we approached our last 2 games. Actually we did it in exactly the same way we did most of the season. We missed our chances to take the lead, then fell behind, but our comeback didn’t happen.

What should we take away? Well our defence is not good enough. It hasn’t been the whole season. It was left shambolic by Wenger and the reason I wanted a manager like Simeone was to exactly fix this. Last season we scored goals as well. I see our defenders leaving acres of space for enemy players. This is not just yesterday, we just don’t close players down and this hasn’t changed a bit I must say.

I don’t buy the injury excuse. We are playing Xhaka as a CB. In every game we’ve done that so far from the start, we’ve not won. What does that tell you? Why are we disrupting our best midfield pair to put Xhaka as a CB which clearly hasn’t worked? For me Unai Emery has to take the blame for the two defeats.

Don’t we have an under 23 squad? Isn’t there a young CB we can stick in? Can it be worse than what it is really? And where is Ozil? He wasn’t selected for this game. 350k a week for not being good enough to make the match squad. Not even the bench? The club took a massive gamble on Ozil. Now we must get rid of him. His flashy play cost us the game at Southampton and it’s clear the manager doesn’t trust him.

The biggest issue for me is we leave one of our best strikers on the bench, because we fail to dominate games and we don’t have options on the bench. But when we are leaving a 350k player on the bench and you don’t win, the boss will have to answer questions just like Mourinho with Pogba and eventually there is a problem.

We need to invest in January. The manager wants a winger and there isn’t one. I’m sorry but Iwobi is not good enough for this football club. He had the right energy and intent, but the end product is always a heavy touch or just hitting the ball at the opponent player and hoping to get something.

Mikhi missed a sitter, and I must say, he’s also on a huge wage. We cannot afford to miss those chances and we do it often. They had 3 chances and scored 2 goals. The subs were poor today too. Emery is still under the ‘he’s just arrived at the club’ and so on, but he must either address the real problems or next season he’ll hardly get the luxury that Wenger got, because he won the Europa League with Sevilla 3 times in the past.

The head coach kept talking about “building our way”. What exactly is our way so far? I don’t mind ugly performances that get results, but we’ve been riding a lot of luck which has been largely neglected, because we’ve won a few games. We must address the defence and put emphasis on clean sheets and start putting focus on this as well, otherwise we’ll continue to struggle.

Liverpool bought van Dijk in January and look what happened to their defence. We must invest, and we need at least 2 players in my opinion. There is a lack of depth in the side. Welbeck is out for the season and he’ll likely not be offered a new contract. Ramsey will be left out. Ozil for me is leaving or otherwise it’s a waste of money. The board better invest in the beliefs of Emery, because for me it looks like this is the limit of what he can do with what he’s got right now.



  1. Adega Olatunji says:

    I have said it before and I will repeat myself for those who care to believe. We have a long way to go because Arsenal have only 4 players


    For arsenal to win any major trophy, these are only players that will be on the field of play together with the new real fighters in the future. Merry Xmas in advance to all Arsenal fans all over the world

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Torriera and Xhaka compliment one another. Xhaka done more dangerous passing from CB than Torriera and Guendouzi combined. Tott done an excellent job in CM maybe some of it was due to that, I noticed that they got on top of Guendouzi very quickly. To me, it looked like Torriera missed Xhaka, they’re starting to build something up between them. Also, I liked seeing how the result and Tott antics pissed of Xhaka, would’ve preferred him in midfield from the start.

  2. Kumagaya says:

    @Konstantin how do u expect defence improvement when that bold bould stooge is still sittimg there like aPrime Minister watchimg a game. The last time i checked he was the dwfence coach. Bring mew best defenders and they will regress. Start from there

  3. King Paul says:

    Who on earth do you think would take Ozil off Arsenal’s hands? He isn’t leaving for less than £350k a week. I doubt he would command £50k a week on the market, even on a free

  4. wee-fella says:

    Konstantin your a feckin bandit to think that anyone could have fixed our whole defensive issues with £50million odd in their first summer transfer window after 22 years of the Wengerbus.
    2x starting defenders out so what chance if any did we have against the spuds front 4 last night. People on here seem to think real football is like fifa or football manager. People like Konstantin clearly dont have a clue that it is going to take YEARS to sort it out at the back. Take Liverpool for example when Klopp took over, first year he was there they finished 7th with everyone laughing at them. Look at them now, everyone wants to be them.
    Konstantin you need to get your head out your ass and come back to reality because for once in maybe 5-6 years we’ve got an Arsenal willing to put their bodies on the line for the shirt.
    Rant over.

    1. Eddie Hoyte says:

      I’m a big critic of Konstantin and his articles but I don’t see the paragraph in which he said the defense should and can be solved within a season… I think you just drifted away from his whole point. Why play Xhaka at CB and disrupt the balance of the team, is the club simply telling us that there’s not a single CB from the U23 who can fill In for just a match or two before our defenders return? He’s right by saying Emery has to take the fall for this one, and forget Fifa or football manager… Even you can’t tell me there’s not one CB in the academy good enough, except you don’t follow the U23. I think Emery doesn’t trust the younger players enough

      1. Mwsupporter says:

        Medley and from what I’ve seen looks good, maybe time to try him.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          I don’t norally agree with a lot Konstantin writes, but I agree with his analysis on this one. Yes the injuries to first choice defenders at the moment is an issue; however defensive frailties have been issues all season and before. The one constant has been Steve Bould, in his time one of the best centre halves in the world, but obviously he is a further example of a great player not being a good coach. On performance he is not earning his salary.
          Eddie also makes the points I have raised previously concerning the disruption to the Arsenal midfield by playing Xhaka in defense and the apparent lack of faith in the specialist centre halves from the U23’s.
          As for Mezut Ozil play him or sell him to China. Mhikataryan despite his 2 goals against Southampton (one a lucky deflection) has been woeful in front of goal and appears to have lost confidence. I can’t imagine Ozil missing those goals and would also supply better service to Aubameyang and Lacazette. No one appears to know why Lacazette is getting so little game time.
          The selections since the Wolves and Huddersfield games have been confounding. I thought the intential was for Arsenal to score more goals than the opposition, but the scoring has dried up.

      2. wee-fella says:

        “What should we take away? Well our defence is not good enough. It hasn’t been the whole season” i can confirm that i agree with this statement but to say i’ve missed the point is not on son. What do you expect him to do in 6 months? 5-6 years of Wenger completely forgetting to teach how to defend as a unit. Last night was our worst back in all year & we let in 2 against a very good spuds starting 11. We let 2 goals in from very silly mistakes from people who haven’t played in ages due to injury. Its statements like this that piss me off.

        As for the whole under 23 debate. We dont have a clue what happens at training. For all we know that all of the other CB’s at under 23 level don’t have the BALLS to be dropped into a quarter final against our biggest rivals. Considering the already DEPLETED back line i don’t really blame Emery for not playing them.
        Play one when we have 2/3 of our strongest back line or a Europa League game when we’ve already qualified but to be thrown in yesterday game with Kos & AMN being 100% not ready is not exactly going to help is it?

        I do not believe Emery got it wrong at all. When you start with shit, 9/10 times going to end up with shit. And shit is what we got yesterday.


        1. Brian Hjort Nielsen says:

          Wee-fella. I agree, to many supporters have unrealistical expectations on Emery and what he can do with this squad. Emery needs time, and above all money.

          Why don’t we play Laca and Auba togehter, well if one or both of them picks up injuries, thats game over. There is just too many games to be played, and to few player.

          1. wee-fella says:

            Finally someone who gets it! The problem with the defence has been going on for 5-6 years, no one could fix it within 6 months. He’ll need a lot more than 50 million in one window to sort this mess out.

            As for you second point, ive been saying for a while we need to play 4-4-2. We have arguably the best 2 strikers in the world, who seem to be best of friends. Why not use them together up top? The only conclusion to that is we dont have any wingers to stretch the play which is the fundamental key to playing that formation.

            Emery should not be getting any stick for the back line last night.

          2. ken1945 says:

            wee fella, can you tell me what you see as Steve Boulds role in Unai Emery’s backroom staff and, likewise, Arsene Wengers?
            See I don’t get it why we have a “reported” defensive coach, probably being paid a good salary and yet NEVER EVER mentioned when discussing our defensive problems.

          3. wee-fella says:

            I never thought he was a good assistant nor do i think hes a good coach. Do i think the defensive errors are down to him? I’m split 50/50 because a coach can only go so far & i’d say half the goals we have left in have been silly mistakes. Personally i think he’s had a fair crack at the whip & it’s time he moves on after this season. The only reason i believe he wasn’t flung out the door when Emery arrived is for some sort of transition between Wenger & Emery.
            Although i do believe the players we have got on the books do have the potential to become a good back line, if trained properly. But not a GREAT back line, we need 2x center backs & a left back for that.

          4. Brian Hjort Nielsen says:

            Well, i like the thought. But we could do that with our current tactics anyway, just having auba and laca from start. Our wingers/inside forwards are supposed to take on the role of a striker/forward in the last 3rd anyway.

            4-4-2 and a less fluid tactic, could in my opinion be a better choice to help our back 4, and still offering a more direct play when in possession, with laca and auba up front. So the more i think about it… kinda like it =)

            But still, if one of them, laca or auba, picks up an injury… we don’t have many options up front?

    2. Tissiam says:

      Well said I,ve kept trying to explain it to the so “knowledgeable; ARSENAL fans,tne manager had inherited s team which is not his,look at kloop how many seasons and millions spent to be where they are!about manure 3 managers,3seasons,over 460millions spent and just sacked unai has only been here few months,this isn,t football manager,give him time to built his team,players hr wants and get rid of those he doesn,t,the guy is a winner,what poch and the greatest team the spuds had won so far?what about the staduim delays after delays when the revenues ((sponsoring,tv deals.CL money…….)we did it without all this millions!,you wanted change give it time with all the job being doing done on /pitch#!

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Hate to burst bubbles, but do you know why they said they gave Emery the job. It was because of the in depth analyse he gave on our players, he said they were good players but not well trained. He said we don’t need a massive overhaul, so that might partly explain the drop in our transfer outlay. Whether he fully believed that, I don’t know, it was the right thing to say, to get the job though.

  5. Eddie Hoyte says:

    I was surprised he didn’t call Medley or any under 23 CB. I mean how worse will it get? I admit he has to take the blame for the last 2 loss, though I’m not taking away anything from the job he has done. I’m always the give credits where its due type, and I’ve always done that. But he’s gotten it wrong in the last 2 games. Leavit Xhaka at the back disrupts our midfield pairing and balance, and it disrupts the balance of the defense too. There’s a reason the club has academy players, I don’t see the injury as an excuse, every team loses one of their players once a while, but filling it is the main thing. An U23 player could’ve done that. And not playing Ozil is a bit criminal too. He’s our highest paid, people take swipes and blame Mourinho for not Playing Pogba even though Pogba has been poor and has attitude issues, but it’s cool to not point fingers at Emery just cause its his first season? Ozil should be on the pitch, work for his money, you can’t say because he doesn’t fit in your plans then you completely isolate him out of the team for weeks and every time you say it’s tactical reason. So because he doesn’t fit your gameplay, you leave him home every time and he gets his massive paycheck every week? Come on let’s be realistic, Emery has to sort out his problem with Ozil and find a way to work with him until he sells him off. One of them has to go, and it’s obvious the person falling for the Ax is Ozil but until then they should find a way to work together

    1. Th14 says:

      Eddie you clamored for a Torreira and Guendouzi midfield pairing, now you can see it doesn’t work.

  6. Henrykamp says:

    Back again with the moaning and whining, are ya?

    Even a Diego Simeone will struggle hard to fix a defense that has lost direction for such a long time. You talked about Liverpool buying Van Dijk… how much did they spend? How much was Emery given over the summer?

    A Kalidou Koulibaly will vastly improve our defense but are we going to go get him for such astronomical amounts being mentioned? Yet, the blame has to be on Emery.

    I agree, I am baffled by some of his selections recently, but that doesn’t mean we should turn on him now. He has worked wonders to say the least, because for over 3 years now we have had a buch of trash players and we have all known that. He has done his best to bring the best out of them, and NOW that injuries are taking a toll we can now clearly see that we are NOT good enough.

    It doesn’t help that we sold players like Alexis, AOC, even Walcott during the last few years of Wenger’s reign.

    See the trash squad Ferguson left for his successor and see where they are now even after spending MILLIONS. Wenger left a trash squad and Emery has done well to even bring out the best in them. We were losing with regularity at places like Bournemouth, Brighton etc last year. But have done fairly well so far.

    We always knew we were going to need patience to get Emery fully immersed. And we still do. It took Guardiola and Klopp sometime to find their feet and build the squad of their dreams. So I don’t think such rants like your’s are needed right now.

  7. Jah son says:

    17 games 15 half time changes correct me if I’m wrong but that’s not the doing of a confident manager we haven’t controlled a game since Emery took charge something is wrong with the arsenal. Every first half since Emery took charge is basically one to forget our squad is not that bad or is it?

    1. Brian Hjort Nielsen says:

      There are many issues.

      1. Poor quality squad.
      2. The squad lack depth.
      3. Unrealistic expectations from fans.
      4. No rich benefactor to pump in money, Emery have a tight budget.
      5. Unrealistic expectations from fans again.

      Yes our squad is that bad. If you are looking at it and expecting it to be a top 4 squad. If you look at it as a top 5-6 or middle table squad, then it’s a great squad! Give the head coach time.

      I have ranted about Pep before, and is a bit sick of it myself. But his first season at MC didn’t land a PL title for MC, and he had a squad lightyears better than what Emery have now. Klopps first season anyone??

      I don’t like what Arsenal have become, but sitting here, pointing fingers at Emery, after losing this game, with a squad like this, it’s just pathetic!

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?however there is no problem with asking questions.

        1. Brian Hjort Nielsen says:

          you are correct! =)

      2. @Brian Hjort Nielsen

  8. Things are changing says:

    No need to panic. We could have won but didn’t take our chances. We didn’t play bad at all considering the number of defenders that were unavailable.

    It took Klopp and Pep more than one season and meaningful investment before City and Liverpool played the way Pep teams and Klopp teams play.

    Emery has barely had half a season and yet we have already seen meaningful improvements.
    Of course, there are going to bumps along the way that’s part of changing manager and on a smaller budget than Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and United. We don’t give our manager Van Dijk type of money for one defender.

    We need to be patient and we need to realize we need to get lucky in the transfer market because I don’t expect us to drop 100 million on two players and that is what it would cost to get two good players in. Instead, we have to hope for we can pull a few more Gendouzies and Torreira like bargains out of the head.

    This is the time to give the team and manager our support and patience and to recognize the improvements that are on the way and to realize you don’t build a new identity in half a season.

    This manager has done much better than I expected and in my opinion, he has done better than Klopp and Pep in their first half seasons.

    1. jon fox says:

      Good points EXCEPT that you failed to properly acknowledge that both Pep and Klopp were HUGELY backed by their owners. You mentioned they had funds but did not contast OUR owner with THEIRS. Our has not, does not and never will do what they did. And that makes all the difference between us and both of them. Reality!

      1. ozziegunnerjo says:


      2. Things are changing says:

        Jon Fox – completely agree and would not argue with that. We don’t operate on the same budget as the other top clubs with the exception of Spurs.

        Wenger was backed late in his final period with, for our standards big money, with big tickets for Aubamayang, Laca, and Xhaka. I don’t see Emery getting that kind of money. That is partially the owner and partially the missing out on CL football.

        If we want to compete on a like for like basis the owner needs to give Emery 250 million. However, as Spurs have shown and as Torreira and Gendouzi show, you can buy exceptional unproven players for decent money however I believe in the long run that is not a sustainable plan. We also need a disproportionate contribution from our academy going forward.

        I like Nelson and don’t quite understand why he is not with the first team. It would make snese to me to recell him in January.

  9. King Paul says:

    Quite how people think Emery has made a joy of difference is beyond me

    Arsenal were strong at home under Wenger and poor away. Same with Emery. Arsenal were briefly in the top 4 because they’d played far more home games than away, while spurs had played 10 away and only 6 home. Now that is normalising you can see that arsenal are actually no closer to Spurs than they were last season; indeed I think at the same time of year Arsenal were even ahead of Spurs for the last 2 seasons

    It’s far too early to claim Emery has made any difference at all in my view. He has a better first team than Wenger had for the equivalent period of last season for sure, as He has Aubameyang. Wenger had an injured Lacazette, Giroud and Welbeck!

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Wenger said Emery is doing an excellent job.

  10. jon fox says:

    Some proper perspective on Emery. Overall, he has done a wonderful job and keeping us on the heels of Chelski/ Spuds in the Prem is amazing, with a defence with more holes than a colander, which last night showed how many holes we have. On the debit side, he seems not to know his best team and playing Xhaka, even because of our injury crisis, in the back four was a serious mistake. Xhaka can never be a defender, any more than Bellerin can either. Neither has any natural instinct to defend. The team is crying out for width in attack and PROPER defenders all through the outfield defence. Unless KROENKE changes the Scrooge habits of his lifetime, which will NOT happen, no serious title challenge can ever be expected until we cure the lack of width and whole outfield defence. We also need a central creative midfilder with talent and GUTS, eh Ozil! And it clearly can no longer be him. He must be got rid of somehow and replaced with someone who cares for the club and his profession. Love Emery overall, loathe the owner and the problems he continues to cause. We NEED KROEKE OUT, WHATEVER IT TAKES. An empty stadium for two whole years is probably the only way to force him to sell up.

    1. A.ball08 says:

      Haven’t contributed much over the past months but still read with vested interested.
      How you doing ..first if all to the most important thing for this time of the year. Merry chrsitmas to one and all gooners.. other supporters and even the down casts from the spud land.
      Agree with your coments whole heartly
      AW had become a problem for us over the seasons and will remember him fondly for all the good things he done for us..the bad stuff is in the past and we move on
      The main problem has always been the owner..
      Our new boss has done a tremendously great job for us in the short space of time he has had.
      To all the knockers out there…We are moving forward and to go on our unbeaten run with or without a bit of luck has been great
      It will take a few transfer windows to get his own team. He has to use players who are not fit for purpose for the team…my opinon..Xhaka being one..weather cb or mf but we are stuck with them for now but the manager seems smart enough to know what he wants so we should back him even in disappointmen times like last night
      Happy new year
      Onwards and upwards

      1. ken1945 says:

        A.ball08, what an excellent post and one that recognises the past and addresses the future with clarity.
        As you so rightly say, the owner has always been the main problem and I would add along with the sacking of David Dein.
        Those of us who care to look closely will see that Kronkie buying the shares that gave him the majority in the boardroom, along with AW losing his right hand man were the start of the problems for the manager.
        It is such a shame, in my opinion, that the fans fury was not generated at Kronkie then in the same way it is now.
        AW had to work, as does UE, under the rules of the owner of the club and no matter how many times van dyke is mentioned as an example of a missed opportunity, if Kronkie didn’t want to spend the money to get him, it wouldn’t happen.
        I return your festive wishes and please do start to contribute more, as your leve lheadiness is very refreshing.
        By the way, I disagree on Xhaka, but life would be boring if opinions were the same!!

      2. jon fox says:

        What a lovely and warm hearted post . It says much about you personally. I gladly return your kind good wishes for the festive season. We really could do with more posts on here from you, if you have the time and inclination. You have made my day and a sincere thank you, you fine fellow.

  11. JADON SPIRIT says:

    I can understand peoples pain, Emery has to check his selections very well. I mean how can you start Iwobi again against our bitter rivals considering His performance over the weekend. Why play Xhaka at CB when you can pair Monreal/Medley with Sokratis? Why not play Xhaka alongside Torreira in the midfield since they seem to be our best pair in the midfield. Why play Niles at RB when you can give a young chap from the academy a chance. There are so many question marks over Emery’s selection which I struggle to understand. Why leave Ozil out completely? I believe that we have good enough players to play better than we have been doing.

    It hurts to lose against Spuds even if it’s a friendly match.

  12. ozziegunner says:

    Henrykamp, I dont think too many are “whining and moaning”, but just giving their opinions on the situation as they see it.
    For my part, I am impressed with job that Unai Emery is doing thus far in his 6 month tenure. As stated above Guardiola, Klopp and Mourinho have had a number od seasons and many million of pounds to shape their squads. The concern for Arsenal supporters is that our scrooge owner Kroenke will not support the Trinity to transfer in the players Emery needs to drive Arsenal up the ladder.

  13. Though Emery needs time his use/treatment of Ozil is idiotic. Does Mikhi contribute defensively? No. Is Iwobi scoring and assisting bags of goals? No. All Emery is doing is preventing a top player from finding form and undermining his confidence.

    If he played Ozil regularly alongside Lacazette and Aubameyang these three could be the best attacking trio in the league. Instead, Emery seems determined to prevent this partnership from blooming or even the deadly duo of Laca/Auba to get enough time together. This is wasteful and bad man-management.

    22 games unbeaten is good progress, but how many of those wins were pure dumb luck of the opposition simply not putting their many, many chances away? Whether Emery wants to replace Ozil and Ramsey or not, they are the top players in his squad and he should not be costing us points squandering these resources.

    If we finish 5th or 6th this year we’ll have to give Emery more time to fashion the team as he sees it, but he is making rookie mistakes with bad formation and team selection. If that becomes a regular occurrence we won’t get back into the CL places next season either.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Stephan, your point regarding Ozil is well presented and worth considering.
      We have, by general concensus, twoproven world class forward.
      They need a similar world class proven provider to supply them with the opportunities required.
      In my opinion Ozil fits the bill…as long as Unai selects the players around him that allow the luxury of his brilliance to flourish.
      To date, that has not happened and Ozil is being pilloried by fans for not being something he has never been, a defensive midfield water carrier.
      Unai has got to stop humiliating this man and admit that he has got it wrong.
      Myk/Iwobi/Ramsey/Gueds are nowhere near the player that Ozil is as a playmaker and their defensive duties (apart from Ramsey) are way below what people demand Ozil should be achieving.
      Forget the salary Ozil is reportedly on, it was agreed by Kronkie and Gazidis and does not alter or change anything, except that he’s a lucky man!
      Concentrate on what Aba and Lacs need to score goals and that is Ozil’s vision and playmaking.

      Xhaka Torreria
      Lacs Aba

      Just my opinion of course, but why treat a racehorse like a donkey????

      1. arsenal#7 says:

        Stephan and Ken

        thank God for your posts. I am so tired of people wanting OZIL to leave his blood on the field to prove himself and is refreshing to see that actually there is at least 2 more people
        believing Emery is not ‘managing”this well.
        I wrote in another post about his management issues with star players ex Cavani/Neymar
        Maybe it is his personality trying to prove his way but it is not a good long term plan as anyone can tell from the Mourinho situation.
        the world scene has become about player power and going against your start players is NEVER a good long term plan. He needs to solve this quickly.

        1. ozziegunner says:


  14. Grandad says:

    Emery will have learned a lot from the back to back defeats.Firstly the squad is not strong enough to cope with 3/4 injuries to defenders.As a consequence he has been obliged to play Xhaka out of position and to play Kocielney and Monreal sooner than he would wish.Based on his performances against Southampton and Spurs Xhaka has emerged from these games as our best defender which just shows how poor the others have been.Kocielney and Monreal have been culpable for the 5 goals conceded over the 2 games aided by a blunder by Leno.Emery must now realise that Koscielney and Monreal along with the injured Mustafi and Kolasinac are simply not good enough for an Arsenal team with ambitions to win the Premier League.He is however saddled with them until replacements can be found.Given our limited transfer budgets it could take him 2/3 transfer windows before the poor defenders can be seeded out.Patience from fans is a must during this period otherwise we risk an anti Emery brigade which would be totally unfair and counterproductive.

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