‘I looked around, but I can’t find HOPE’
When Unai Emery took over I was so excited.
To be fair, much of this excitement was due to years of hoping for change.
I was impressed that he was making Ozil and Ramsey accountable for poor performances, that we seemed to have more defensive energy and that we were winning when we didn’t deserve to. These were all things that we hadn’t done for years.
It wasn’t until this September that I started to be concerned and October before I decided that Unai Emery had lost me.
You can take away many things from a football fan but if you take hope then it’s over.
Those who read this blog regularly will (I hope) agree that I’m not an extremist. I don’t get mad one week then flip flop the next.
Living abroad and not being at the stadium probably helps me to be more rational, perhaps.
So, when I’m done, as my wife says, it must be bad.
If Arsenal were winning but playing poorly, I’d hang on longer.
If Arsenal were playing well but losing, I’d hang on longer.
If we had a clear and improving attacking and/or defensive plan that looked like it was going to change our fortunes, I’d hang on longer.
If our players were playing individually well but the team hadn’t gelled, I’d hang on longer.
If the young players (who play a lot) were consistently improving, I might hang on longer.
If the coach played one main formation and strategy and it hadn’t clicked yet, I might hang on longer.
If one part of the team was firing and the coach clearly hadn’t gotten to organizing the other part, I might hang on longer.
The truth is none of the above is good. None of it. Not only is it not good, it’s all poor. All of it.
If we were in the Champions League and Vitoria were in our group, we’d be thrilled and expect to thrash them, twice.
What’s happened is that they’ve deserved to beat us, twice.
The fact that most are giving us no hope against (not Liverpool or City) Leicester City tells the whole picture.
Even if they were on fire and we were out of form, we’d still have hope because we are Arsenal, right?
I have no understanding as to why some fans are willing to give Emery until the end of the season simply because ‘We don’t want to be that kind of club that is always sacking coaches.’
I say this…
Firstly, we’ve sacked one coach in 23 years.
Secondly, those clubs that pull the plug early normally have a situation that still has some level of hope, but they do it anyway.
Finally, if you don’t change coach then you may have ‘saved your false image’ but lost out on CL and lost a host of your best players and potential signings who see Arsenal as a club in decline.
That poll on Arseblog should be paid attention to. The exact number of folks who make up the Emirates capacity took part.
87% have lost hope. After tonight I’d say that’s over 90%.
* Martinez got his game back. When he’s good he’s decisive and effective.
* Ceballos is a better CM than AM. Just needs to be as willing to create as he is to dictate and rotate possession.
If you read my ‘Final Thought’ it may answer what’s going on there.
* I’m sure the 3-4-3 was to prepare for Leicester. As Emery based his team around Xhaka I’m sure he feels half naked with him gone.
* The main positive was that Vinai and Edu went to the game.
The game was turgid. Again. The more they see this in person the more likely they are to remember that they are the ones that can end it.
* We had 1 shot on target
* We have conceded more shots on goal than 94% of all EL teams.
* When they scored, we had 7 players within 10 yards of the ball. They had one. He wasn’t marked.
* If we want to play out to in (ignite the central midfielders initially) then the CM’s still need to check to the ball to at least be a decoy. Alternatively, they could position themselves for the next phase of play. They did neither.
* Arsenal are not the only team that don’t seem to take any personal responsibility at marking from free kicks in our defensive third.
* Tierney is totally one footed. The crazy thing is that this makes him normal.
Never understood how any professional footballer can be allowed to be one footed.
* Pepe on the right has no quick pass, no connection.
He may be better off trying the left and going around the outside where he can go alone.
* Willock got back to driving runs between the lines.
The forwards offered him nothing as they all ran away. Cowboys and Indians.
It’s almost like Emery spends every practice preparing the team for yet another new formation, strategy and plan that the attacking side of our game gets no attention! 🤔 Huh!
* Huge gaps between our three lines. What’s new?
* The moment that Martinelli kept returning to the bench to get more instructions because he can’t understand Emery may well become Emery’s ‘epitaph meme.’
* Someone is going to spank Arsenal.
You can’t be this bad every single game and not have someone hit fire and crush you.
Could well be Leicester.
* That the board have a plan. Lose to Leicester and yet another poor performance and the banners, protests and general toxic atmosphere will return.
You can’t have 87% dissatisfaction and expect them simply to boo and walk out.
* As we may be arriving to it in January (since Xhaka may be gone), I’d love to see us go for Thomas Partey or Wilf Ndidi
* If you had to endure endless hours of video and, being pointed out, would you play safely to avoid this happening to you?