The following is a guest blog from a GT reader Chris Ferguson (@ChrisFergy) who is not buying the Emery transition so far……
Six games in and 12 weeks on the training ground. Where are we and we have we seen and learned to date?
Before I get to that, I’d like to mention that I have, of course, read articles and heard the phrases that include, “It’s early days”, “It takes time”, that these are “Arsene’s players, who know nothing else after 22 years” – ignoring the obvious fact that he didn’t coach any of them for that long! “He is giving players the rope to hang themselves if they don’t perform”.
All the above, in my opinion, is hot air.
So… what have we seen in those games and nearly 3 months? 3 months in which the vast majority of the playing staff were available?
Enough time for a little change, some positives? Absolutely. At least. I would say that is a fair wish and assumption.
- A quite ludicrous attempt to try to get footballers and more worryingly a goalkeeper to play, Man City like, out from the back. This can ONLY be achieved if you have the players who can do it. As even the great Pep soon discovered.
- We did, however purchase a new goalie (at the time the 5th most expensive in the world), who CAN play football. Yet we are seemingly reluctant play him. Odd!
- The defence, as a whole, is WORSE! How can that be? Pretty much the same team in those 6 games. Emery is a tactical genius, so we were told, who works to finite, George Graham like, detail. So how can we be worse?
- The ridiculous non-selection of Torreira. The World Cup’s best “DM” (whatever that daft phrase actually means). Whatever, he is bloody good at what he does and how he does it, as we all saw in the summer – Mind-boggling.
- The infamous press? Witnessed versus City. Now where is it?
- The ONLY positive I have seen this late summer was the interaction between Bellerin and Mkhitaryan, especially good in 25 minutes at Stamford Bridge, where we played our only decent spell of football this season. Yes, we did also take tactical advantage of a Chelsea weakness that was admittedly nice to see. Sadly, the combination has been dropped and so has Henrik for the return of our Wizard of Öz.
Lastly, though not the first XI, letting in two goals against the European nomads was also, what we know as the norm, nothing new and as frustrating as ever.
Therefore, although I am very grateful for the four league wins I have no faith in what has been going on, and it is a concern. All four wins were against poor opposition and we were incredibly lucky in each match. Every opponent had umpteen chances to score.
So in conclusion –
The King is dead long live the King. However, at present this correspondent only sees him wearing the Emperor’s new clothes.