When will Emery realise Arsenal don’t have the players to suit his tactics?

What style of play are we exercising under Unai Emery? by Eddie Hoyte

Happy New year folks, this will be my first article this year 2019, and I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while now but I had to make sure I get every bit of my facts and research right first.

Quickly to it, what’s our gameplay? Under Wenger we were known for the beautiful football only second place to Barcelona when it came to the Tiki-Taka. Under Jurgen Klopp, it’s the pressing and counter-attack that Liverpool play with, while most people will call Mourinho’s defensive minded game as ‘parking the bus’. Emery at PSG was also the pressing and counter attack.

Right now Emery is no longer the coach at Paris but the coach at Arsenal. We’ve had good vibes since he came and went on a run of 22 games unbeaten, but most people will tell you we rode our luck and could’ve lost a ton of games while under that run. We’ve had people applauding Emery for shutting out some players that Arsene Wenger deemed fit and important for his style of play, and we’ve escaped with it a few times, while these players shone a few times also when called upon. Despite the fact we went 22 games unbeaten, hell we are still sitting 5th on the table.

Here’s a curious case and situation for you to ponder. After the Liverpool game, this was part of Emery’s statement: “There were some positives, Ainsley played as right winger and scored. Iwobi, after some matches not playing very well, he played 90 minutes with a good performance,”.

Eh!! Hello?? This is Emery unconsciously admitting Iwobi was on a bad run before the Liverpool game, if Emery knew this? He knew this and yet he kept on playing Iwobi despite knowing he was in a bad form? Same thing he did with Mhiki before he got injured, no matter how bad these 2 guys played, Emery kept on playing them and they hardly contributed anything to the team that whole time. Is it a sane thing to do to keep on playing players you’re aware kept playing badly, while you shut out other options only because you’re stubborn and insist on doing things your way? Any explanation anybody??

Emery at PSG knew his plans and he had the perfect players for it. Emery’s style of play needs and demands wingers!! Pacy and tricky wingers. His attack was compared to the Liverpool trio the season Liverpool got to the UCL final. The mistake this man keeps making is trying to play that same way with an Arsenal squad that’s not complete. At Sevilla he played with with wingers successfully.

His style of play demands tricky wingers and strong midfielders, he doesn’t really need what we’ll call an attacking midfielder. PSG had none, and their stats showed proofs. With over 90% of their goals and assist coming from Neymar-Cavani-Mbappe. Insane stats for each one of the that season, with Neymar and Mbappe being the main catalysts. Not forgetting they had Di Maria on the bench to slot in as a direct replacement for any of the wingers. Emery played the 4-3-3 with that squad, the midfield trio of Rabiot/Pastors -Motta- Veratti. All defensive minded midfielders but sharp at transiting defence to attack after winning the ball. Anyone see the pattern at Arsenal?

Constantly playing Iwobi-Aubamenyang-Mikhi upfront and his midfield always consisting of Torreira-Xhaka-Guendouzi? Trying to play with the same style he did at Paris? With players we don’t have, the only winger being Iwobi who’s not even half of Sadio Mane not to mention Neymar or Mbappe. I believe this style of play is the reason he constantly plays Iwobi and it speaks so much as to why when we attack, we do so from the flanks and mostly through the LW and Iwobi. Mhiki forcefully playing as a RW is crap, Ozil forcefully playing as a RW is crap!! Aubameyang playing as a winger is crap!! Why is it hard for Emery to adapt and make use of his best players until be brings in his own choice of players and wingers? The best thing to do is to play to the strength of each players, an attacking duo of Auba and Lacazette with either Ozil or Mhiki playing behind them. Iwobi coming in to add flair after half time, why force players to play outside their wings?

The defense is a total different topic, forcefully playing the high line with players who can’t adapt to it and look how we constantly concede during each games. Still yet, he’s stubborn and not doing anything or switching the defense to make it balance. We called Wenger names and questioned why he’s not flexible because he failed to be rigid and change his style of play but we can’t do the same thing to Unai Emery? The same pattern under Wenger is what I still see, only difference is we run a lot more this time. Emeryball? More like Wenger’s Special sideways ball.

We don’t have proper wingers for now and Mesut Ozil’s agent said yesterday that Ozil’s going nowhere, and I think Emery needs to realize that to survive he needs to make use of his best options this season. After selling out players and getting his players, we can play the way his team did at PSG and Sevilla. I know wingers are very important to him, he’s trying to build a team as Liverpool and PSG, but without the right players so, we are suffering and struggling with it.

It shouldn’t have to be until we find ourselves bottom of the table before we start questioning his mistakes and stubbornness. We’ve been through all of this, I personally am not interested in going through everything I did under Wenger, it’s a new year, I’m sorry if I plan and I want a better year than the previous ones, I don’t want any of that 2018 feelings and bad vibes.

Emery should sort out his issues with the squad and he should make use of what he has the right way.

Eddie Hoyte


  1. Come on give Emery some breathing space.
    This guy is just half a season around don’t expect miracles in such short a time.
    You kept referring to ozil as our best player are I actually listening to yourself… I had picked an iwobi to an ozil. The major problem at arsenal is defensively where we always conceded.

    1. Gyang take a break and be more sensible, I’ve said it time over time that I’ll be glad to see the back of Ozil as long as we get proper replacements and players, I don’t do sentiments.. I for one only see Lacazette, Aubameyang and Torreria as our best players while the rest make up for it, that rest of the team includes Ozil yes..and Yes Ozil is needed at the club, I don’t have to like him or his attitude to support him as long as he helps the team the same way I give credits to Iwobi whenever he helps the team.

      1. 442 diamond – with Torreira at the base, Xhaka and Amn or Guen as pivots and Ozil or Ramsey or Mhki at the top.
        Or a more defensive 4-1-3-2 without Ozil but an extra midfielder mext to Xhaka and Amn, maybe Guen or Ramsey or even Elneny.
        These are the only two set ups that make sense.
        We dont have enough quality Center Backs to play 3 at the back and we have no quality wingers to play with wingers.
        So 4 at the back with roaming LB’s and RBs and a crowd in the middle with two forwards.

    2. Ramsey looks like he’s off to Juventus, I can totally see why Juve might want him. Ramsey is something different, and even when he’s playing badly he can still pack a punch toward the scoreline. He can score some non believing your eye type of goals now and then. He never acts out when dropped, he works hard, esp when you ask him to do a certain job. He’s a really good soldier, I can see why managers, players, and ex pros rate him very decently. Alergri, he’s the man most AFC fans wanted, and he has his eye on Ramsey. He’ll be brought in to carry Pogba’s old CM threat, they haven’t properly replaced Pogba’s B2B nature nor threat going forward. I don’t know if it will work out for Ramsey, if rumours are true that is, but I really do wish him the best of luck over there. Glad that he’s not picking another English side,, 11 seasons at the Arsenal, some rotten luck along the way, but bounced back from it like a true soldier. I salute you Aaron Ramsey, thanks for some memorable moments during Arsenal’s dry spell.

        1. BOT, we are losing a great player for nothing!!!!!!
          Where are all the fans who roasted AW for his so-called contract negotiations, but there’s not even a whimper from them over this debacle!!!
          UE has now had half a season to sort out the way he wants AFC to play. He, reportedly, had this wonderful dossier of every single player and what he could do with them.
          It has NOTHING TO DO with anyone else, he knew exactly what calibre of player he was inheriting.
          I still believe we should give him time, but let’s start playing our best players in their positions.
          Could it even be that, God forbid, UE has favourite players who he picks no matter what?
          No surely not!?!?!?

          1. Ken, let’s be honest the issues with Ramsey not signing a new contract were in play over 18 months ago under Wenger and Gazidis. Emery has only come in on the end of the debacle and it is understandable that he doesnt want to pay over the odds for Ramsey when Arsenal has total wage issues

            1. ozziegunner, sorry to disagree with you, but that’s not true.
              We were told that Huss was brought in, as part of the three musketeers, to take the power away from AW.
              That was over eighteen months ago and I would have thought even AW’s critics would have expected the new regime to have started influencing the situation in that time, wouldn’t you?
              I wonder what salary the replacement will be on, if the likes of Lichsteiner is on a reported £90,000 a week?
              Good negotiation skills there!!!

                1. T.A.Changing, so one good deal cancels out one bad deal in your eyes?
                  I agree with you on Torreria, what’s your stance on my observations?
                  Your not answering the question of who’s to blame for the Ramsey debacle and Lich’s reported salary I find quite puzzling.
                  If your happy to lose a player for nothing, whose transfer fee is anything from £20-£40,000,000 and not questioning why, that’s your choice.
                  I’m interested in knowing why all the blame was put on AW and yet no one seems to be accountable for the BAD decision-making since he left.
                  It also seems that Ramsey, part of the dross weedy AW favourites, has got his move to a top European club, something you and I wish him well on.

              1. Ramsey contract wasn’t withdrawn when UE became manager but when Raul stepped up to replace Gazidis.

                Part of the power transfer you mentioned was Sven being hired and we seen the effect of that when we got Auba, I am not moaning we got Auba as I have been a fan of his since he moved to BvB and we was linked to him back then… I can’t help but look at how Wenger wanted a CB and Arsenal buy a CF for a record fee after we broke our record to sign a CF…

                Removing my personal like for Auba as much as I can, I do think it was pretty bad to target a CF for another record fee when the manager was asking for a quality CB. As I said, I am a fan of Auba from before he joined us so this thought does disturb me a bit, I wouldn’t swap Auba for anyone… Yet what if those funds was spent on a quality CB? Heart says we done the right thing while my head questions it.

          2. doesn,t matter if you have half a season if you still have the same players,add to this our injuu players,give him at least time to buy new players& get rid of the ones he doesn,t want,how do you think he did in sevila….what about liverpool& man u?how many seasons and millions it took them and pool still haven,t won anything,city with all their investment are second,man u 3 managers,nearly 500 millions spend a poxy cupand one top four what does that said to you?because of injuries and others they all have to play players out of positions!tell me do you really follow football??

            1. Tissiam, what a great post.
              I love how you highlight the facts regarding pool and utd, how much they have spent, how many cups they have won and how many top four finishes they achieved.
              Let’s hope Unia can achieve the near impossible act of showing how it can be done year after year with a paltry transfer kitty and an owner who hasn’t put any of his own money in to the club.
              Any names come to mind?
              Unai needs time and patience to bring that record back, but let’s not be afraid to question what is going on.

    3. Cool post from Admin.
      I ve been repeating this for some time now. Emery is playing Iwobi, Ramsey and Auba instead of Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe! And Di Maria was benched while Emery was at PSG, and although he does not play exect the same as Ozil, I look at this two as very simular players. So Ozil has problems with Emery two, and maybe Emery is hoping that he will sign two great wingers to continue play his style or he will be damned very soon. Will see, I hope Emery will make us stronger.

  2. I agree with your assessment on the wingers. Arsenal do not have wide attackers that is good in one-on-one sistuations, unlike what PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Man City have

    I think Emery realizes he doesn’t have that type of players, therefore he emphasizes the attacks on the wingbacks. This could work as long as he can maximize the width of the field with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Iwobi, Kolasinac, Bellerin and Maitland-Niles

    But because he has to accommodate CAMs like Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Smith-Rowe and Ramsey, maybe it is better to use a more defensive 4-4-1-1. Ranieri used this at Leicester, but his main no 10 was the hardworking Okazaki that played more like Dirk Kuyt/ Edgar Davids than the silky Ozil

  3. It is strange as pundits and writers you can coach a team so why not apply for the job, you see all the faults and mistakes the coach is making so i am pretty sure you all could do a better job, i am also sure you all are qualified coaches and God knows that my Arsenal needs qualified coaches, so if you are not then for God sake stop telling or writing what the manager should be doing or not. Thiery Henry was a pundit and usually criticize now he is in the position of a manager at monaco, what his he doing? If you can take a walk in another man’s shoe and feel what he is feeling before you start to criticize then you will understand what he is feeling. I know its your job but before you put pen to paper think about what you write put a little compassion in your thoughts and consider what the Managers are going through. Unai has made changes and substitution and is criticized for it, so the question is “are you seeing what he is seeing at that moment?” Yes he will make mistakes as we all do, but just trust his judgement at that moment and let him do his work

    1. RealArsenalFan, no sir I ain’t no coach, it’s not my job and won’t be my job.. if you don’t like what I write, here’s a penny for your thought, go home, grab your PC and write what you think and feel, and nobody would stop you or pick on you…
      I ain’t ready for all this bullshít and crap that most of you normally spew on here.. No I ain’t doing any of that anymore

      1. I just have two more of my junior level badges to go, then will be taking the full honors within the next 12 months. In about 18 to 20 months time I’ll have my badges and should pass the test before joining a club.

        All I need to do is find a green one in my wheetos, and a blue one in my cracker jacks.

      2. Lol such blatant cyber bullying. You have a right to criticize our manager and let us know of your OPINION, but realize that we also have the right to criticize your opinion if you’re gonna publicize it. If you ain’t ready for that bs then keep your thoughts to yourself, every fan has a right to share their views and not all of them are gonna stroke your ego

      3. If you watched Jamie carragher and Gary neville argue about this very topic you would understand what Emery is trying to do. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the personnel currently, you’ve still got players that need to buy into his way of playing. Some take longer than others and the ones that stay need to know how to play in that system regardless.

        Gary neville said during his time in managing he said once you start changing things the players lose confidence in your coaching and become confused.

        Players are not like they used to be, they are hard drilled constantly like soldiers. It is why players like Messi, hazard, Ozil, Silva are special in what they do, they are creative.

        Pep after his game against us said he was not happy as when the players got into trouble they did not know what to do and brought pressure on themselves and that is precisely what Neville was alluding too – they don’t have a plan B, they make plan A better and that is though constant drilling of your playing style and plays that you run, much like in American football.

        Wenger always said he liked intelligent players who could figure out what to do on the pitch but for him things changed. Older managers are less animated than klopp or pep and that is because of how the players were. They would give instruction but mostly sit and watch their players figure out how to beat the opposition.

        When your manager is the 12th eyen and man reading the game, actively giving instructions the need to think deminishes as you are told where to press and move, where the channels are ect.

        Emery needs his personell but to change now when he’s only 6 months in and the players are learning would be stupid. We saw what he was trying to do at the beginning of the season, we noticed the press although not fantastic but there and how he likes to play. Christmas hurt us but even then the players are still learning as it’s harder to keep focused and the energy going but they will be better at it next year due to this.

    2. My thoughts exactly my friend!if they are so good get your badges people!!if the coach hasn,t got the players what is he supposed to do?how long did it take klopp,guardiola to get their teams where they are and how many millions?and a lot of it misspent!!

  4. I believe that Emery will attempt over the next few windows to gather the players that suit his style of play, however currently as indicated in this article we don’t have the type of player required, therefore he must adapt his principles for now to accommodate what we have. It is essential that for now he needs to introduce some flexiblity and realise currently his style of play can’t fully work with what he has at his disposal.

    1. What exactly did he do when he had his players at PSG??? Anyone would think he won the World Cup with them!!!

      1. Oh nothing much… he only won everything except the champions league. I must say he was really poor, sack him now, God forbid he wins a treble with Arsenal. He’d be a real failure then…

      2. This is the bullshit and crap Eddie Hoyte must reply to. What is hell is Jagdeep Matharoo asking, please do your research before exhibiting your lack of knowledge

    2. Don,t you think he doesn,t know it?he has to deal with what he’s got!is it so difficult to understand??

  5. Correct assessment. Emery’s trouble with Ozil will prove to be disastrous for Arsenal. We are not very far from asking Emery’s exit as eratic selection of players causing headec to the fans. All the clubs are moving ahead whereas we are moving backwards.

  6. The question is what sort of club doesn’t have wingers? Why does the club have so many CAMs that we have to play some on the wings? Why did the formal regime build such a unbalanced squad?

    1. “Why did the former(not formal) regime build such an unbalanced squad?” The true and disastrous answer is WENGER. The man who loathed wingers and constatnly played central midfielders wide rather than even attempt to buy a real winger. Also the man who deliberately failed to fill the decade long hole at DM. HE IS NOW GONE BUT HIS DAMAGE LIVES ON AND WILL TAKE SOME TIME AND A LOT OF MONEY TO PUT RIGHT.

      1. No Jon.
        You just like to bash Wenger when you can, bringing him into stuff you can moan about, you have ignored Gazidis and the financial restraints that muppet gave Arsenal before running off to Milan… After he got Wenger sacked.

        Also learn to count, it wasn’t a decade between Song and Coquelin. Song left us in 2011/12 and Coquelin was recalled in 2014/15 season.

        Wenger was instrumental in getting Alexis to join us, Alexis was a left forward… The type of player Emery wants to be a ball carrier. Kinda like a really poor Neymar. Wenger persisted with Theo who was a winger, as much as he wanted CF… he was no CF. Wenger was the one who gave Iwobi many chances and he is a left forward.

        These are not traditional wingers but Emery doesn’t want that either, they both want inside forwards to be extra goal threats, like Alexis was a goal threat… And Theo was, although very inconsistent.

        You throw logic out the window. You must be one bad gambler… Or really lucky.

        1. Midkemma, Once again you tell lies about what I have previously said. You really should stop doing so. IF you have actually read my MANY posts then you MUST have seen how many times I also blamed Gazidis. Constantly and as well as Wenger. I did this again and again and again! To say I haven’t, is a black lie! IT is YOU, NOT I who choose to count Song as a good DM. NOT IN MY OPINION. He was far too indisciplined and would not remain where he should, which in part ,is why he was no longer wanted. I HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID, THOUGH YOU HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO NOTICE OR ACKNOWLEDGE, that what I said, constantly, was that Gilberto was the last quality DM we had prior to Torreira. THAT WAS A DECADE AGO. How do you claim to know exactly what Emery wants with wide players? Has he told only you! Could it be , perhaps, that he has had many holes to fill, mostly in defence and very little money to spend so far and that when he can, he will probably buy a top winger but you cannot buy those at POUNDLAND! Lately, til ,this disgraceful post of yours we have been getting on well and I hope we can continue. But I give you fair warning that if you continue to lie about SOME things I have said in the past we will again fall out and BIGTIME! WHY do you do it?

          1. “The true and disastrous answer is WENGER. ”
            That was what you said in the post I was quoting, no reference to Gazidis, just Wenger all in caps like a shouting person.

            “IF you have actually read my MANY posts then you MUST have seen how many times I also blamed Gazidis.”
            You didn’t this time. Soley on Wenger by appearance. Didn’t talk about Gazidis at all in that post but you was happy to blame Wenger for the issue.

            ” Also the man who deliberately failed to fill the decade long hole at DM.”
            That was what you said.
            I pointed out we have had DMs.
            You then change the argument to good DMs, knowing full well that people can go round in circles trying to define good which they can both agree on, otherwise we can’t agree that the DM wasn’t good. I’m not playing that silly game, neither should you, you’re better than that right? If you meant a good DM then should have said it… Then we can have a fun debate about what is good lol

            You ramble on a bit about the DM, I don’t mind though Jon, I ramble as well ^.^

            “How do you claim to know exactly what Emery wants with wide players?”
            Not exactly, I have looked into Emery at previous clubs and their tactics while he was their, I have not missed a single Arsenal game this season. It feels kinda obvious, this between us is from a post from Lupe asking why we do not have the wide players, I’m not special because I can learn things.

            Jon, I didn’t lie in my post. I did not bring in all your other posts but I wasn’t referencing the history of Jon, I was responding to a post.

            No falling out from my end either, I dislike how you willfully bash Wenger without offering a fair perspective, I do think it is unfair on the man who has done a lot of good for us.

            1. WHAT YOU ACTUALLY SAID THOUGH WAS THAT I “ignored Gazidis” and you must know I have criticised him so many times. That I did not this time is because he is gone and he was NOT the manager, who is MOSTLY responsible for all the rubbish defenders we collected. Gazidis was the money man, NOT the manager. I thought him a snake and wrote exactly that dozens of times, which you KNOW very well. You therefore told lies about what I said and have not apologised, which an honourable man would do. Lastly I wrote – as you and everyone else also does – exactly what I want. I do not mention things that I deem not the most important to the points I wish to make. Otherwise a mere post would become a book. Nor do you and not does anyone. If you lie about me again I will jump on your silly comments. I DO NOT WISH TO DO THIS THOUGH, SO THE ANSWER IS IN YOUR OWN HANDS. It would be sensible to not mention my past posts unless you can be truthful about them. You clearly and STILL have a problem with me, which arises from the fact you still love WENGER AND I, IN COMMON WITH THE VAST MAJORITY DO NOT , as our manager for the last several years. I have no PROBLEM at all with you, EXCEPT when you tell lies about what I have said or not said. Which you did in your first post!

              1. I didn’t come out and call you a liar, you assumed that and took offense to something that never happened. I stated you ignored Gazidis in your post which you did and now I am the liar… Have a look at your first post and tell me where I missed you recognising Gazidis and you didn’t ignore it in your first post.

                I see how you managed to get off football and about me calling you a liar. Nice diversion.

    2. Inside forwards cut in to become a forward on the inside… hence the name.

      A winger is someone who sticks to the line, plays on the wing, whipping in crosses more than cutting in.

      They may occupy a very similar area but they are different. I feel it is like calling all players who play centrally a CM, ignoring the DM or ACM role…

      1. Whether its wingers, inside forwards or wide players, why didn’t the club realise that we needed to buy these types of players over the years? All we bought were CAMs and then played them out of position when our rivals were buying the most exciting ones they could get. Sanchez was probably the exception.

        1. Wenger liked to develop players and part of that development was to get the players used to being on the ball and going past a player, while he wanted all his players capable of going past a man, he didn’t wish to do that side of the development in the middle. A prime pair of examples are Ramsey and The Ox, neither one of them are wide players yet Wenger deployed them in those positions during their development and then later as players who could fill that gap.

          I honestly do believe that if Gazidis hadn’t been so restrictive then we could have bought more exciting youngsters, we was linked to many and then we later read how we missed out on this talent or that talent by a couple million…

          I genuinely do not think Wenger was the one saying no to that little extra, Wenger had his wrinkly grin each time we spent and it was clear to all he liked getting his man, even if it was a record signing like Ozil. Of course he had the same wrinkly grin when talking about bargains he got.

          Now with that long post (sorry), think about the talents we missed out on, the famous “Wenger nearly signed XXXX but we didn’t offer enough”.

          For me, that answers why we have the squad we do, including the lack of wide forwards with quality.

          1. Midkemma, I am still waiting for your response to my post above . I hope you will write something in response as you told lies about what I had not written. If you have any honour you will explain yourself.

                1. Hey you two feuding gooners, go to”LONDON NEWS” on Google and read what their take is on your current debate.
                  It REALLY IS INTERESTING and gives facts rather than opinions.

  7. Good article Eddie.I fully appreciate the points you make concerning the difficulty of fitting in players like Ozil and Mik into Emery,’s preferred hard working, high pressing system together with the lack of genuine wingers.However,the main reason why Arsenal fall short as you know is our defensive frailties which have been exacerbated by the injuries to Holding and Mav who i feel can make it at the highest level.I can fully appreciate Emery’s decision to play with 3central defenders given the poor quality of Mustafi, Socratis and Kocielney and the fact that Kolasinac who is a decent wing back is poor as a conventional left back.To be fair to Emery injuries have impacted on his plans to field a settled back four and it is clear that our first priority must be to recruit a top quality centre back before we even consider other acquisitions.If we can improve at the back the likes of Ozil and Mik may have more opportunity to play in their natural positions instead of having to fill in as auxiliary wingers as you rightly highlight.If I was in Emery’s shoes, given their formal interest in Ramsay i would approach Juventus with a view to taking Rugani on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

    1. Grand ad the only problem we might face now is will the board give the man the funds he needs to get to his own players? Is the club ready to spend to get the players Emery need? it’s a big doubt, we can only hope for the best…If only we had more players like Ramsey that we could switch with other players it would be easier, but how many teams would be willing to take the likes of Mhiki, Ozil and the rest defenders who should move on at their age?

  8. Your right Eddie, players on huge salaries with no resale value.What a mess when we need to think of loans rather than permanent acquisitions.As JF says it will take some time to get us back on an even keep let alone move forward.

    1. Grandad, I support your original post regarding the impact of injuries on Arsenal’s defensive issues. Just as teamwork is important for fluid attack, it is essential for a defense to play together to build up confidence, trust in each other and teamwork to identify threats, cover for each other when one or more players is forward in attack and organizing off side traps etc. It has been said by many ex players and long term supporters, how George Graham constantly drilled his defense. The disadvantage Emery has had so far this season, hss been trying to new players into his defense as well as constant injuries to defenders. This has limited opportunities to coach the defenders as a group and play a reasonably settled defense to build coordination and teamwork.
      With regard to Eddie’s point concerning formation, I too am disappointed with Emery’s apparent inflexibility. Athough people say that 4:4:2 is out of fashion, this formation appears to best suit Arsenal’s available squad.
      Given that Ozil has committed to stay at Arsenal, I would like Emery to test this commitment by playing him in midfield to provide service to Lacazette and Aubameyang. If he doesn’t play he isnt being given the opportunity to showcase his talent and prove he is worth his wages.
      If he fails to perform, he will further damage his reputation, justify his current treatment by Emery and deserve to be exiled to the bench.

        1. i think you are setting him up to fail this way ozzie, he would look out of place in the middle with tackles flying and him being pressed…so it’s basically a partnership with granit or torreira don’t see him doing well at all maybe on the right as the damage would be reduced but in the middle Ouch!! . a 4 4 2 needs to keep shape and hit on the counter, with ozil there we have a huge gap for any opposing player to run into, yes we can hit them on the counter with his vision but ozil won’t outpower anyone so why set him up to fail….4 2 3 1 if you want ozil in the team 🙂

  9. Such arrogance. I was going to address each point that was raised individually and provide an explanation of why this article is a load of nonsense, but then I realised that it’d be too long.

    Instead I’ll simply say that the bewildering lack of self awareness of the author is frightening. To imagine that Emery isn’t aware of the deficiencies of our squad is absurd. To think that he has spotted something that Emery, a man renowned for his attention to detail didn’t spot in pre-season.

    What can we do? We lack the players to play the way PSG or Seville did under Emery. Emery is doing the very best he can under the circumstances. He is constantly adapting our play to try and get the best out of the available players.

    Emery also has more tactical nous in his little finger than Eddie Hoyte (or the rest of us for that matter) have in our entire bodies!

  10. I must admit there are things I would do differently but then this guy knows a lot more than I do.
    Personally I think we have 5 players that are good enough, lac, aub, Torreira, kosialnac and Bellerin. The later two I only refer to in an offensive sense.
    I’m not a fan of 3 at the back but for the reason that Bellerin and kosialnac are the only natural wide offensive players we have its the way I’d go. As mentioned I’d have our best two attributes up top together with either ozil, Ramsey or mica behind them with Torreira and xaka as dm! This is putting our best players on the park! The problem we have is this needs three centre backs and quite frankly I don’t think we have one that’s fit and good! I would like to see us brake the bank and get the best center half we can (this is not easy because I don’t know one available) but one that is top quality and not just to fill in. I love monreal and Koscielny but let’s face it they have both gone as has litchiensteiner! This is a young mans game!

  11. Interesting article Eddie! I guess we can all sympathise with your frustration and esp with the defence which is now ruining the one time reputation Arsenal had through many decades and way before even George Graham, as an historically sound defensive side. If our country’s defence (not the national football team, the ACTUAL COUNTRY ITSELF) was as hopeless as our Arsenal’s for the last decade and more now, then there would rightly be huge demos in the streets. Some might say it actually is but if you don’t mind I won’t go further down that road! Perhaps we Gooners should organise this. It is intolerable that a club of OUR standing regularly puts out this load of clowns to masquerade as “defenders.” I differ to a fairly large degree on your blaming Emery. I AGREE he has made selection, and shape and even sub mistakes. But I allow that he has been here so short a time and also allow for the incredible injury list, much of it concurrent, he has had to face and allow more leeway then some on here do. I also face the reality that he has Kroenke above him withholding proper funds. He is charged , in reality, with having to make a silk purse from (almost) nothing but sows ears. I SAY IT IS NOT FAIR TO EXPECT HIM TO ACHIEVE THAT WITHOUT KROENKES HELP. But, believe me , Eddie, I certainly share your frustration. I blame WENGER FOR MOST OF THE PROBLEMS IN DEFENCE WE STILL HAVE. If I wrote what I REALLY think of him as a former manager of a top clubs “defence”, the police would rightly be knocking at my door.

    1. Jon, An interesting if not predictable take on the situation, Emery is suffering as Wenger did in relation to the purse strings from the American, Koscielny and Monreal bought by Wenger have been exceptional servants and although getting towards their sell by they can still be squad players. The injury issues have plagued us for several years and I guess none of us understand why we seem to suffer more than others. We also can’t ignore the fact that Emery has brought in Lichtsteiner and Sokratis, I think again Sokratis is a reasonable addition but not the calibre we need and as for Lichtsteiner…. I agree with you that the main issue is the American but there are many issues running and we can’t blame all ills on Wenger and before you say you haven’t, I agree but we need to balance the argument.

      1. Don’t say Emery brought in Sokratis and Lichsteiner …He does not have the same power as Wenger did in regards to transfers ..

        1. Francis, ok thanks so he has no say in who we bring in wow, really ? are you really that naive?

          1. he has much less say. And this is a fact. Arsenal brought in more people to make transfer decisions. Wenger essentially oversaw with transfers. Sokratis deal was already set up before a new manager was even picked. Lichtsteiner I believe was as well. It’s very obvious the message given to Emery was that he will mostly have to work with what he has.

            1. But the point is he does have a say, regardless of the degree. Ref Lichtsteiner you’re wrong.

            2. RSH, can you give the information that says sokratis and Lichsteiner were set up before Emery was manager?
              Secondly, as I have no reason to doubt you, can you tell me who authorised the signings?
              Emery told the board that he was more than happy to work with what he had, as you put it (and, of course, signed or received five new players).
              That came from Gazidis by the way and AW’s involvement in transfers/contracts we were told, ended with the three musketeers arrival.
              Do you believe that is the case with UE then?

      2. Remember Wenger in his prime years never gave a long deal to 30 years + players but a rolling contract or would boot them out.Now we halve almost half a team nearing 30+, weak, injury prone and less agile.this is the difference between the present team and the past teams.We even had better results with Arshavin, Denilson, Lord Bentner, etc than what we have today.Then we lacked a good GK and DM.The sooner Stan, Sven, Raul and Emery take not and stop the cheap fix and sign some good youngsters, nothing will change.Sad but true.

    2. Jon Fox I agree with you… like I’ve said before I’ve never expected Emery to make miracles in his first season, my only problem his he could get more from the players he inherited if he used them more properly… My fear is, just like Wenger, the funds he’ll get will be limited and it’ll take time and years before he build his own team..I’m aware he needs his own set of players

      1. Hardly a mere fear Eddie. More a clear and tragic reality that we are starved of funds by Scrooge! OT, some good news tonight as our INVINCIBLE RECORD SURVIVES FOR ANOTHER SEASON.

  12. To all on here who doesn’t think Emery should be criticize I ask you this
    1) Does Emery have a boss
    2) Does Emery have a supervisor
    3) Do we as fans help to pay Emery’s salaries
    And last but not least what’s his role here manager or coach
    Unai Emery is making bad decisions over and over again and when fans are annoyed we have to let our voices heard so you’ll better get used to that Wenger got away with too much because of respect.

    1. where were your voices when he was on a 22 match unbeaten run? Oh wait, nowhere. but the FIRST sign of trouble and people want Emery out, or Emery is suddenly not good enough. Obviously Emery can be critiqued, but many fans are simply unreasonable about their expectations and think Arsenal were going to magically challenge for the title even though we have the worst defense out of the top 6. The simple, obvious truth is that Emery needs more time, and he still needs to figure out the players he can trust. I agree he has made some strange decisions lineup wise, but how many times has he also made good decisions that got us points? To put it simply. You need to be more patient!

  13. I’ve noticed something about Klopp and Emery. Klopp is going with CDM’s all of a sudden and it’s working a treat. Emery has been doing this for years, since before PSG, and at PSG he went with them though they could play a bit too. Klopp used to go with different type of CM players, Klopp was similar to Wenger, too attack minded, so I wonder how it is he came about changing things slightly. I have a feeling it came about from watching R Madrid begin to target different types of player and absolutely whipping Barcelona back into the second team of Spain. Real were using new tactics against top sides, they weren’t obsessed about possession as much anymore, they pressed and they had an awesome shape. They had a team of workers and players on the bench who also worked, their players were some of the most rounded I’ve seen. Even Isco was cast aside and he would play at Barca. Zidane, or/and whoever began targeting Madrid players, now that is a blueprint to follow. That Madrid reminded me of the Invincibles, so solid, all working up-field and downfield together, everyone fully trusting their teammate. Arsenal, Madrid, Bayern, these three created the best balanced teams ever in my opinion, throughout my lifetime. They could attack with the best of them, allot of the time better than. And they could defend with the best of them, and again, some of the time, even better than. I just wonder what it was that Klopp was watching, (or what he’s been told – and then by whom) that has him diverge slightly. Klopp is not a trend setter, he has never come up with original ideas, (people credit himself for the gengapress yoke) and he has many people believing himself to be a trend setter. He adopts others approaches, and learns from mistakes against better opponents on the day or season. His right hand man is called the brains, Klopp is masterful in human interaction.

  14. Injuries notwithstanding, our defense is still poor. I have seen little improvement there after half a season. Even during the 22-game run we gave away a lot of quality chances to the opposition; we were lucky at times to have won games that we should have lost. Even against Fulham yesterday, we could easily have been behind at the half…. While we are still in contention for a top four finish, I doubt we will finish above Chelsea, and a resurgent Manure. Spurs, City, and Pool will take the top three spots for sure. At the beginning of the season my expectation was to pick up more points than last year, and above all see a marked improvement in defense. However, despite Torreira being one hell of a DM, we are still shit. This is why the jury is still out on Emery.

  15. In answer to some of the questions raised in the article: The only reason Iwobi is getting so much game time, is because we’re so short on attacking midfielders/wingers. In fact, we have NO natural wingers, but out of Ozil, Miki, and Iwobi, it’s Iwobi who is the far more suited to play out wide. Also, Ozil has been injured a lot, and now Miki is out for two months, meaning more of Iwobi. I am sure once Emery has a couple more transfer windows under his belt, we’ll see some wingers signed.

    Any comparisons with his time at PSG are fruitless, as it was a completely different situation there. Emery had an insane front three, who he couldn’t really drop, whereas at Arsenal, he has a lot more freedom in regards to tactics, and formations.

    I agree that Emery shouldn’t be looking at being so attacking for certain games, like Liverpool away. We’re too poor defensively for that, but he’s massively improved our attacking game though . We’re scoring loads, but very importantly, we’re creating so many opportunities, which is in stark contrast to Wenger’s last 5/6 years.

    At the end of the day, Emery has to work with what he’s been given, which is poor defenders, and hardly any money to rectify it! Hopefully over time, he’ll be given some more funds to sort this out. Liverpool, and City, are very strong defensively, but then consider the money spent. Liverpool spent around £140 million on just a CB, and GK. City’s back four, and keeper, have cost them just shy of £250 million! That’s what Emery is up against!

    1. Klopp’s spent huge on improving his defence after sorting out the midfield and attack through shrewd additions in today’s transfer market

      1. And, of course, an owner who actually supports the manager/coach he hired.
        Nothing shrewd about spending over£75,000,000 on a goalkeeper while our manager has to make do with a reported 50,000,000 on five players…one on hire purchase!!!

  16. Let’s get some basic facts straight.
    After 21 games we have 3 points more than last season, and we are 5’th, whereas we were 6’th this time last year.
    So the constant slide we had the 2 previous seasons seems at least to be halted, if not turned into progress instead. And this is by a new manager, who had to take over a squad and a “culture” totally shaped over more than 20 years by his predecessor.
    In that perspective, I think Emery is doing well, and I wonder who would do better, and exactly how would we with the current squad have done better?

    1. I am with you completely. Lots of unfair Gooners on here expect miracles with the dross left behind and the pittance Kreoeke allowed in the summer. THEY SHOULD GET REAL

      1. It is not Unai Emery’s fault that Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are having such strong seasons. As stated by AndersS, Arsenal under Unai Emery despite all the injury problems are 3 points better off; however the other top sides, except for Man U under Mourinho have had excellent thus far.
        Man U have had a resurgence post Mourinho; however Arsenal should improve defensively as players return from injury and the defense can be stabilized with less disruption.
        No one can predict what players may be injured in the other top sides during the remainder of the season. All sides have key players, whose injury would be detrimental to performance. Hopefully Arsenal is now over the worst of it.

      2. I think the 22 unbeaten run hightened expectations and now that has stumbled doubts are creaping in. Some of Emery’s tactics/decisions have been questionable but overall he is doing a good job with what he has inherited.

      3. Well Jon, UE didn’t see the dross that you did.
        He actually mentioned the players in his now famous portfolio of the players as being a very strong group.
        Having added a further five players, the expectations seem a fair assumption.

        Depends on the teams we played to be 3points ahead and am I to believe that sixth and fifth are now acceptable?

        Glad to see you finally agree completely with the 2 previous season slide remark, good to have you onboard.
        Did you read the article from the London News about Gazidis? Hope Midkemma has as well and, of course, all gooners.

  17. Wow. The Manc v Liverpool game was entertaining! I had almost forgotten what proper defending looked like but today I was reminded! Am shocked goals were actually scored tonight both teams were really tight at the back. Wish we could defend just half as good as those 2 teams.

    1. QD, did you really think it was THAT entertaining , esp considering the amazing quality both sides fielded? I thought it tight and mildly disappointing as a spectacle for the first hour . Until City scored their second anyway. I AGREE IT WAS TECHNICALLY OF GOOD QUALITY BUT IT WAS TOO CAREFUL FOR TOO LONG ,AS BOTH SIDES SEEMED AFRAID TO OPEN IT UP FOR MOST OF THE GAME. But we remain the only Invincibles of the modern era anyway.

      1. @Jon Fox
        I tuned in at the start of the second half so I might have missed the cautious first half. The 2nd was very exciting and I saw the Firmino and Sane goals. I also noticed guys say Arsenal fans are always panicking but Mancity fans panic way more than us..or they were just really scared of Liverpool having the ball.

        1. TBH, don’t all fans of all clubs panic? Most of them (and certainly many of ours, who seem to have fooled themselves that Emery was going to come in and in half a sesason work miracles, with WENGERS DREADFUL DEFENCE AND WITH A MERE PITTANCE TO SPEND LAST SUMMER) far too soon. As you say, when even City fans worry, then all sense of any perspective has long blown out of THEIR window.Whatever May brings and ultimately is our fate this season, I , at least, am content that after all the long miserable years of being physically bullied and of no motivation of players, a PROPER manager has at last come in and transformed our ” timid and easily bullied boys ” into proper men at long last. Excepting Ozil though, clearly! In life you need to fight for what you desire. I DO feel that we NOW do exactly that. But I also do not kid myself that mere fight equals top qulaity, as it does not. Fight is just the start. THEN you also need TOP quality, WITH FIGHT. To expect all that in half a season is ridiculous impatience personified. I am impatient BUT I am also realistic about what can be done in so short a time and with virtually no spending money.

  18. A. Transfer window on=Bring players to fit to the coach’s system
    B. Transfer window off=Bring a system to fit to the available players.
    I personally feel that this is the way of communication between a sensible club owner and a responsible coach.Therefore, because we are now at January, I will pick option A.

    1. I think we would all pick option A, But we know it will probably have to be option B, but I’m not sure he will try and fit to what he has, which worries me.

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