Emery dream-team. Who can best suit his style, and help us compete for the league again?
Things are shaping up under Emery. A number of the defensive issues remain. But then it’s often said that a team takes the shape of a manager’s footballing philosophy, and even true persona, over time.
Wenger is a man who enjoys style, and this showed. Mourinho is a pragmatist. Pep likes sexy football, and Sarri has his “Sarriball”. Graham back in the day was a proto-Mourinho, at least in this sense he enjoyed structure and on the pitch discipline.
It will take time for Emery to imprint his own style onto the players, and infuse it throughout the club.
It’s clear he wants pressing, high energy, and tactical discipline, though it’s not something arising instantaneously.
However, this is my ideal Emery XI, accounting for the needs of the current league, Emery’s style, and the talents each position needs:
Emery likes to play a 4231/433 hybrid, and this reflected above. The width will come from a mix of the full-backs, and the wide forwards.
Moreover, the midfield balance comprises pressing, passing, high energy, and goals.
Some of these selections may seem left field, but they represent the kind of team Emery wants to build,
And there is the talk at this point of fracturing between Sane and Pep, and Mourinho and Pogba. So who knows, these players may be available. And there are some United fans who want Pogba out – since it’s a sin to apparently celebrate being a World Champion.
Maguire has recently signed at Leicester, but we’re a bigger club and have more potential at the top end.
Pickford impressed at the world cup, and could possibly play to feet at Emery demands. Leno is still untried, but Pickford could be an option in the future.
As for the attack, Sane/Martial as wide forwards could complement PEA/Laca and allow PEA to get in the middle effectively and not start out wide.
Bellerin is a player with much potential, and the malaise under the latter part of Wenger possibly hindered him. The early promise he showed cannot have faded, and perhaps under Emery, he can recapture it.
Mustafi too lacked direction under Wenger, but then he has said publicly that he is getting more guidance under Emery. He has looked solid thus far, and time will tell if he can improve.
Maguire is a rising star, and whilst his Leicester team-mate Vardy turned us down, maybe he will show more ambition and leave Leicester. Even though we’re not the best team around, we’re still playing at a higher level, and still possess better players. Maguire would add some steel and no-nonsense defending, which is another Emery hallmark.
Luke Shaw has come under much criticism at United….well from Mourinho. And some of it, whilst deemed bullying in some quarters, was justified considering that he was overweight. He has since got back in shape now and is eager to get in both the England team and starting for United.
It’s weird, granted. I get it…
There’s no way United sell to us. Their current manager and our immediate former manager are now friends, but whilst Jose hasn’t maligned Emery yet I don’t the Glazers sanctioning this.
However, Pogba is in a way a French Ozil. His base/raw talent is unquestioned. But his application and desire is, and he can be inconsistent. Pogba’s energy, strength and dribbling could help our style though, and he would have a team-mate who likes “fancy hairstyles” and “betraying ‘old school’ footballing mannerisms..” I doubt he and Hector would give a damn (they don’t know to be fair).
Guendouzi/Torreira are both young and provide the midfield balance that is required in modern football. As we know their strengths, I won’t touch on them much. Ramsey too is incorporated here, as he can press well and get forward when needed.
We know all about Aubameyang and Lacazette.
But Martial and Sane could fit in as thus:
- As wide forwards, they can get in crosses as well as allow PEA to be more central.
- Both play similarly to how Sanchez did in his time here, in that whilst getting in the box, they can drift in from wide areas.
- Wingers don’t exist in the classic sense anymore, but it would provide better balance, by having an inside forward track, which Liverpool, Spurs, City, and Chelsea exploit well.
Note I’ve left out Ozil. And no, this isn’t to slate him. I like him a lot, and in terms of raw technique is one of the best players I’ve ever seen at our club. However, he could interchange with Sane/Martial, and provide his natural creativity and press when needed.
This is called a dream-team for a reason since not all of these players are realistic. Though who knows, if Ramsey does go, maybe an Alexis/Mkhi-esque swap could happen with Pogba/Ramsey? I wouldn’t oppose it, if it ever did occur.
But then I believe Emery needs time, and possibly new players, to implement his style fully. Our team has been imbalanced for a while, and these are some suggestions of how we progress.