125 Comments

Arsenal Players > Arsenal Performance

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A lot like last week, many of our players had good games and yet the team played some turgid stuff. We dominated possession and yet made few chances. I’ve long said that scores mask performances and this is yet another example. I can’t think of a single Arsenal player that wasn’t decent, but our team play was laboured and uninspiring.

We eventually won the game when Ceballos stuck our a foot and the ball fell in Aubameyang’s path, he then did his Aubameyang thing and scored a brilliant goal. Just like last week we relied on a moment of individual genius rather than cohesive team play.

Again, I feel mean spirited, given we won and have 6 points from our opening 2 games, but eventually, results will reflect performances.

I thought Ceballos was excellent and Luiz added much. Pepe looked like he could add a lot but ultimately fluffed his best line when he played a really poor ball behind Aubameyang , when a decent ball into his path would have been a tap in.

I have to give Mike Dean a mention as he was at his incompetent worst. He allowed Burnley players free hits after the ball had gone and punished us for the mildest infringement at every opportunity.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have been the better team in both games and deserved the points, but only bod just.

125 comments on “Arsenal Players > Arsenal Performance

  1. Ed, no doubt about it there’s some handbrakiness when in lead. Both games so far.

    Feel it’s the biggest change to football since I started watching ,as it goes, that the difference between how an underdog team defends when level or ahead and how they do when behind has become far wider, to extent that if said team executes their plan right the only time you are likely to get chances of space in attack is if you have taken lead against them.

    Situation like that late Pepe break for instance. Almost no chance that can arise against defensive team unless in lead. Hard to calculate how much better a scoring chance is in that sort of situation as opposed to trying to break through 9-10 outfield players deep in half and in their proper shape? 50 times better?

    And so, given how much of our game has to be played when we are trying to break teams down, with all the attendant frustrations, how ought we play it if we do get that precious goal, and that blessed possibility of attacking into space opens up?

    The argument for favouring caution in that scenario, from a purely pragmatic point of view, surely depends on how good you are at defending. If you’re prime Atletico Madrid you patiently wait; if you’re prime Barca you push ahead and force issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If correct anyway, the five year thing is a heck of an indication of how highly we rate the kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fins and rich. On the No.10 thing. I think Firmino back in his Hoffenheim days was always more of a scorer. If we’d bought him I think Wenger would’ve used him as a wide forward. Something like Podolski.

    But I also remember Wenger specifically saying he wanted more goals from Ozil. And for a while, it really was happening. Ozil was scoring more, and importantly, looking to score more. If I remember correctly, this coincided with Cazorla easing the creative burden on him. With his continued absence, this was halted.

    Late career Ozil as a false 9 with the right players around him could be great. Or maybe could have been. Might be too late now for him to become more of a scorer now.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Shard

    Vaguely recall early sightings of Ozil in Germany where he scored a few lovely wingerish type goals on break- onto through ball, bit of dribbling, through to keeper, finish.

    Think it’s something prem reffing has denied us. As gloriously proved with that special champ league goal few years back, he’s capable of beating players on run with pure, sumptuous skill.

    I believe at some point quite early in Arsenal career he figured out our players get no protection from prem refs and are particularly vulnerable to dangerous tackles when concentrating on dribbling, or just manipulating ball, from players you can’t see- Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey, Wilshere. Very understandably for me, he thought ‘fuck that. then’.

    He’s quite careful, I think, to avoid players getting prime chances to smash him unseen.

    Provided us with plenty of brilliance but i think there’d have been fair bit more, including goals, with proper protection.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You never know, things definitely seem in balance to say least, but seems a chance Ozil and Ceballos could form a great understanding. Game recognise game or ballers like ballers or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. if you want to know why we set up like we are a small time team, then look no further

    Unai Emery: “For us we don’t want to play against Liverpool ever. We’d prefer not to play against them.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. that emery comment comes only a couple of days after he said he didn’t know if the new signings we’ve made this summer has made the squad stronger

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have now seen the second half of yesterday’s game. I reiterate George is overly grumpy…I thought we played well….I also think we have strength in depth…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Georgaki, the players played well individually, but team play was poor.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Shard & Rich,

    Don’t think Ozil was ever much of a goal scorer which is why Low had him in his front three alongside a targetman and a goal scoring wide forward (before injuries or exploding egos or both saw a drop in Muller’s form), we had a bump in his form there peaking in that 2017 cup final before AW left and then Ozil’s annus misrablis with injuries in 2018, hard to see him scoring much under Emery.

    Cebellos found an arc of space in the opposition D as hoped for and so we saw some improvement in play in front of the box, including his shot,
    but he’s also never going to score more then a handful a season, a dozen at his best.

    so if Emery has him as his replacement for Ozil as he tries to drive the last senior player with powerful agents not in Raul’s stable from the squad, it will be another negative for the squad and club to cope with and looking at what a fuck up they made of a similar muddle of their own making at the end of last season: yikes!

    I hope Auba’s big smile proves to have as much authority in the dressing room this season as Rambo and Kozza and Ozil did last year. Because someone’s gotta show this team how to play Football! Without Rambo on the pitch in CM in particular Emery’s team couldn’t compete against the big teams let alone the little ones last season so the next two fixtures will be instructive: lest the Billy Big Blagger forgets in their praise for the loanee, thy already have incredible clowns that they are: Rambo literally owned the pitch in the last Away NLD.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. On the theme of VAR do you think Lacazette would have been given a penalty if his shot hadn’t found the net? Was slightly surprised not to see the defender who was all over him escape with no card as it looked a clear foul to me.
    I thought Ceballos and Pepe both showed a real desire to find the ball. I hope in time they do something with it. I very much doubt if Ozil will play much more for us, which I think is a pity. Willock looks as if he might be very good in time and I think Guendouzi could grow to be exceptional.
    Watching the game it seemed very obvious to me that we lacked a really dominant and solid midfielder. The last Arsenal player I saw who gave me that sense was Diaby. At times Xhaka has hinted he might be that man, so I hope he will have a better season than last.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. foreverheady

    No chance we’d have got a pen. Good handful of times Laca been manhandled in box like that and not got pen for it, and with the way they are using ‘clear and obvious’ at high threshold instead of VAR’S job being, say, ‘do you think it was a pen?’ means they can still easily not give them.

    Think the way Laca fought for it could well be evidence of his adaption to the situation, ie knowing he wouldn’t get it despite being fouled.

    Saw a funny little moment in game from player at other end of adaption scale, Pepe. Something happened I couldn’t see on his run down middle that made him abruptly throw arms up, turn his back and walk away from play for a few seconds. Recognisable gesture to me as it looked so much like what I do when I’m very pissed off and need to get away from source of it for a moment.

    Wasn’t about team mate not passing or anything so I’m guessing defender had been all over him and he couldn’t believe ref had done nothing.

    Like

  13. In our latest podcast, George and go into more detail as to why the Arsenal as a team is less than the the individual players. Arsenal Is Like A Chameleon. https://uncensoredarsenal.com/index.php/arsenal-team-is-like-a-chameleon-podcast/

    Either:
    Spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/user/10802980/the-arsenal-team-is-like-a-chameleon
    Or:
    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-233890563/the-arsenal-team-is-like-a-chameleon

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Nice little treat on Arsenal.com. Highlights of u18 and u23 games and a few tasty goals.

    Nice to see Smith-Rowe back in groove right away. Best attribute seems to be ability to beat a few players on run high up pitch and get good shot away. Hell of a handy skill if can bring it to first team football.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. First 3 goals for u18’s are all superb. Azeez! Not for first time highlights put me in mind of why teams charge about and foul. In all first half highlights-the 3 goals- no opponent got near us and super technique did it’s thing in style.

    2nd half they seem to be biting at heels etc at every moment, numerous fouls in the short clips, and by sounds of it was successful for them and a much closer affair.

    So, that’s why teams do it, but obviously doesn’t answer why our English refs seem to side- a bit generally, and a lot in our games- with the ankle biters and snappers even though their sympathies should be completely opposite.

    Cultural thing? Something in psyche which means the toilers are easier to relate to? Feck knows

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Little word for Norwich striker Teemu Pukki. Nice hattrick at weekend and good goal vs Pool week before. And another 2-3 real chances in the two games.
    I’d heard the name many years ago but never really got an idea of what was going on with his career. By sounds of it quite a few ups and downs.
    So something really nice about a player hitting such form in late-20’s, esp after a look at details of career such as early Spain move not working out and, surprisingly, things not working at Celtic not that long ago.

    His Motd interview was enjoyable as he said something about never believing a few years ago would be where he is now and seemed a thoroughly good egg.

    Anyway, thought it worth mentioning as there’s a lot to moan about in football, and I certainly moan a lot, and it seems a nice story of a good guy finding the right home at what seems to me a really decent club at moment.

    Not noticed any bastards in their team so hoping for a couple of good games against them

    Liked by 2 people

  17. rich I really like the 5.14 post. Im also a moaner (as we know), except I see my moaning as righteous (at last on a surface level), as everyone does with their own, so who is truly righteous? I read your post and despite having a turd of a day thought, mmmmm something good there, something decent in a tough world. Something refreshing.

    I then was off reading a nasty blog slagging the Crêpe out of a cartoonist I like, but it wasn’t about the old hoary chestnut aesthetics, but casting aspersions that he’s just a white sexistic male. Odd thing is he tries his utmost to not be those things. Hes trying to deal with empathy for all people in his work. Im not sure what else he could be,(your kind of fucked by who you are?) we are all looking through our own lenses, all is subjective, so all must only be an experiment or an attempt, which means usually some kind of failure? But its reaching and trying that is the touching humanistic element. Its what drives all creative minded people, artists to footballers, to bricklayers, to designers, the list is endless. In fact it incorporates every human, as all humans are creative to some degree or other. ( But Beuys misunderstood this though, as I dont think he knew acknowledged what the system of contemporary art is).
    The arguments that were thrown against this guy(the cartoonist), could of course be applied back to the critic, this is the problem though of a false objectification. The world seems to have no tolerations to ist flaws, readily points the finger and ignores any flaws in the self, as it crows ” I m right!”. Theres not much room for discussion, but endless debate.

    The interesting thing was AW considering that football could be an Art form( as Ive said before Art means ‘way’ in German so he might have meant that, but I dont think so), but essentially all art is a failure, it chases after perfection, and it cant achieve that, also it puts itself in a state of removal and stated separation.And herein lies its Achilles heel.

    Art as football is something else, it doesn’t deny its relativity, but mixes its objective with the highest technical ability (physics)possible plus other elements: understanding and intuition, adaption and reaction, and psychological balance ( Im sure theres much more but better to stop there) . When we see two art -based footballing sides we see something to behold. If theres goals we know and see the failure, but where’s there’s positivity, there’s negativity, ´( if we look at it that way). But and exciting game of technical brilliance no matter the outcome will have both sets of supporters compassionate for each other. True sportspersonship.

    Somewhere outside of our lack-fired need for winning, we crave art, we crave a spectacle, something that takes your breath away, we crave sportspersonship, we crave entertainment on a technical level that we know we (as a spectator) couldnt possibly achieve. We crave something higher.
    Personally I dont think football is art, certainly not as its being played out, but afterwards as footage, then yes (after that its just intent of someone) to show us x or y.

    How then now and not before? Because of the state of removal as I said before. Thats not to say a team can be artistic or artful etc but as its being played even as spectacle it doesnt remove itself.

    Perhaps this state of removal is what causes so much anger, and misunderstanding in the media world? Its because it lies in this; when we are relative and interactive, we can understand it on an instinctive level, we feel part of it, we know we are part of it. Of cause the sate of removal is an illusion, it is still relative, except its psychotic state states that its separate.
    But we also crave the positive and decent humanistic sides of football, Richs Norwich story for example. We laugh at the heart, until theres a crisis and we need the help and understanding of strangers to care for us.
    At this moment the world is full of fear ( certainly through my subjective eyes) and where I spy a normal, grounded heartful, compassionate story, it brings back an element of hope.
    I think the whole ” my dads /mums bigger than your dad/mum” shite could be removed from football (and society) and we could go back to just enjoying it, but we all (?) feel inadequate and transpose that onto the game and get pretty hectic about the consequences of the outcome of the games.
    Emotions are tough to control though, the old ego loves a scrap, but guys like AW played it in a canny manner. So do many other managers too.

    A guy goes to the Doctor and says Doc what should I do, my sibling thinks they’re a chicken. The Doc says get them sectioned in. The guy says, I would love to, but I need the eggs.

    The world is nuts and irrational despite posing as rational yet we need the eggs?

    The good egg stories as Rich points out.

    ( I know some have a Fetische for rotten eggs, but what to do?)

    Liked by 4 people

  18. so Arsenal are now said to be offering Aubameyang the same wages as Ozil is on, but but but but.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 430amKickoff
    @7amkickoff
    ·
    2h
    Unai Emery has managed 60 Arsenal matches and made half-time substitutions in 20 of those matches.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Cheers, Mills, and an interesting wife-ranging read there.

    Now I think of it, the vast amount of serious enmities I have towards various football things- clubs, practices, fans, agents, etc,etc- ensures it’ll be very rare I find anything pure to enjoy about the game, outside Arsenal stuff (although that’s always within context of league where I hate every other bastard!) and, to a degree, brilliant play elsewhere or a very engrossing game.

    It’s an enjoyable, refreshing feeling though, and might hark back to how I watched football in my early years.

    Norwich just seem a rarity in that their manager seems decent bloke, they play youngsters, good football, clever transfers. Interesting to see if my goodwill survives a difficult game with them, or if there’s any nastier edge to play I haven’t noticed. Buendia’s a temperamental little git for them but also seems a gem of a player.

    Still get some of that pure enjoyment elsewhere but it’s almost all from foreign leagues, internationals or some European games.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. (back to hating) Love to know how many pens Utd have had under Solskjaer. Got a feeling there were loads in his early games and off to perfect – 2 from 2- start this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Just catching last few mins of Monday night football.

    Neville talking simple sense on VAR and the other two- Carragher and presenter Jones- fighting hard to back up pgmol’s nonsense decision to reject pitch side monitor and set overturn bar extremely high.

    Intriguingly, whereas presenters normally bow to players, especially ones of Carragher and neville rank/ stature, this guy on brink of losing his cool with Neville and working very hard to try put down his view through various means.

    Think he’s being a proper company man and pgmol have worked closely with Sky to try get them to back up their stance.

    Carragher, who has mentioned a few times recently he has just spent time with pgmol going through it all, says, revealingly also, his undemanding is that things should only be overturned in the event of an ‘absolute howler’. Not a probably wrong or even a surely wrong, but a terribly wrong/’absolute howler’ .Again, where does this decision to do it differently to everywhere else come from.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. FH, sadly I think you might be right about Özil, but I’ll never understand how any half decent manager with access to a player of his calibre, cannot find a place for him in his team.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Pass the inability to use the best CM in the league or even to simply put on a goal scorer against Brighton was less then half decent. Unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Things should only be overturned if they make an absolute howler or fail to help Spurs!

    On another note, an interesting interview on the BBC site with Josh Kroenke , on plans in general, the effect of Baku, or more orecisely , the second half in Baku, quite a comment on spending/self sufficiency, but not good news for anyone who doesn’t rate Emery
    Of course some of it may be spin, expediency, smoke and mirrors etc

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Rich I can’t get past the feeling that the PGMOL from the outset have been doing all they can to sabotage VAR, Mike Riley has never wanted it, and is doing all they can to fuck it up. They know if there is enough uproar in the media and then the blogs and the fans, that they will be able to ditch it, or at the very least water it down even more.
    Instead of seeing how its used very well in other major leagues, and doing what they are doing, the PGMOL and the BPL have taken a route that is against the set out rules FIFA have on VAR, the main one being the on field ref is meant to have a pitch side monitor to view so they can make the final call on all VAR decision if they want. i can see no reason for this except to cause controversy and damage VAR.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Josh Kroenke: “As for January, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ‘We made very decisive and aggressive decisions’
    Arsenal Media 20 Aug 2019
    Josh Kroenke

    In an in-depth interview, Josh Kroenke, the vice chairman of our owners, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, and an Arsenal board director, discusses the aftermath of Baku, the summer transfer window, Unai Emery, his hopes for this season and the future.

    He sat down with the BBC’s David Ornstein to discuss it all and you can read the full transcript below – and watch the video interview here.

    The new season is here and you seem excited?
    I tell our group – across all of our organisations, all of our teams – you’re only as good as your last game. Unfortunately those last 45 minutes in Baku were not our best. In the moment, there was a lot of frustration – but there was a collective resolve to not have this feeling again anytime soon. We had some great meetings and set out to try to better ourselves this summer and I think we’ve come back to a new season as a stronger club.

    How wounded were you and your father by that night?
    It’s very tough to describe. You never want to put all of your eggs in one basket or have all of your feelings reside on one match – but when you reach a European final like we did, that’s exactly the feeling you have. So when you finish the way that we did and come up short, it’s frustration; absolute frustration, disappointment. But I was positive that night as well. I remember coming off the pitch, I remember grabbing Unai, telling him that ‘We’ll be back’… and to a few of our players to ‘Remember the feeling’, to use that as motivation as they headed into their summer training. I’m always a guy that’s going to try to find positives out of certain situations and, once I got over the initial wave of disappointment, I knew that my job as a leader was to try to pull everybody back up. I think we’ve rebounded well out of that and we’re really excited about the new season.

    You seem to welcome that leadership role…
    It’s something that I’m comfortable with. I think you can’t be a leader without having great people around you. We’ve had a lot of transition at the club, over the last 12 to 14 months especially. There have been more than 50 new appointments just in football operations alone. I said ‘be excited’ earlier this summer and I genuinely meant that. Not anything with short-term signings, but be excited about the future of the club because I think we’ve got some great people in strong places of leadership and are allowing them to do their jobs and do their jobs well.

    Did Baku sharpen the need for change?
    I think that we were always going to be – and we will always be – aggressive in trying to improve however we can, whether that’s on or off the pitch. But as the second half unfolded of the match, understanding the position that we were in and some of the targets as we headed into the summer from a transfer standpoint, we had to rethink some of our strategy based on that last 45 minutes. We knew we wouldn’t have Champions League football and certain clubs who attract those type of talents… that’s what they’re after. We had to rethink just a few of our things, but my main message to Vinai and Raul coming back from Baku on the plane, which was a very long flight after that match, and then throughout meetings all day the following day with Vinai, Raul and Unai, was ‘Let’s head into the summer, let’s be aggressive and let’s find out what’s possible’. These guys went out into the marketplace and, through their contacts and through our fantastic new team behind the scenes at Arsenal, were able to find some talented players who are really excited about playing for Arsenal Football Club.

    Play video
    18:19

    Behind the scenes on transfer deadline day | 🅰️🅰️🅰️ Access All Areas

    The perception was the club had ‘no money’ but some now say ‘Arsenal won the window’…
    I joked with a few of our colleagues back in the States about this topic and as much as I want to win the conversations in July, I really want to win the matches come May and June. So I think it’s important to have that type of conversation – but whether we’re going to be lauded for our efforts or perceived in a negative light, we want to be doing what we think is right for the club and I think we had a very strong summer. We addressed certain areas on the pitch for this season and in the years ahead. We had certain age profiles that we were after. Without Champions League football we weren’t exactly sure, but I encouraged our football operations department to be aggressive and when Arsenal Football Club knocks on a player’s door it’s a different knock. This summer, even though we weren’t in a position of strength coming out of Baku, I think there were a few people caught off guard that Arsenal Football Club still has the aura that it does. We’re excited to keep pushing that now and into the future.

    How did you do it on such a restricted budget?
    I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I think the main message was simply to be aggressive. I know I’ve repeated that a couple of different times, but ‘be aggressive’ meant a lot of different things. It meant going out and finding out what was possible, because after the match in Baku we had to rethink a few things. I’m not going to share any details but going into the summer we knew we were going to have instruments in place that were going to allow us to be aggressive and they weren’t going to be dependent on sales. These guys went out, they worked their magic and I’m happy to have them on our side.

    Was there any investment from KSE or all within the self-sustaining model?
    I’m not going to go into too much detail – people can read between the lines of being aggressive and what that might mean. That’s kind of how I would answer that question – it’s going to be a private matter for us here at the club, but I hope our fans understand that by being aggressive that’s exactly what we were.

    Did fan unrest cause you to act in the market?
    I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club. We weren’t reactive this summer, we were actually proactive. It was unfortunate that the summer unfolded publicly the way it did with some of the supporters groups. I tried to answer some of their concerns to the best of our ability, but we had instruments in place behind the scenes heading into the window where we knew we were going to be aggressive and we weren’t going to be reactive to anything, we were going to be proactive. The transfer market is an evolving, living, breathing thing. There are certain moments in time; sometimes those moments are sooner, sometimes those moments are later in the window. We identified a few key targets, worked on those deals and over time we were able to execute them. I hope that our fans are just as excited as I am about the upcoming season, because I think we’ve got some talented new players in, at an age profile where they’re going to grow and improve on the pitch over the next eight to 10 months or so and well into the future. It’s an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.

    Play video
    00:30

    #PepeIsHere | Nicolas Pepe becomes record signing

    It was one thing saying ‘be excited’, another to deliver…
    We were fortunate to be able to close on a few deals. It’s never fun to be left at the altar, per se. When I made that statement about being excited, there were a few things that were starting to come about. While we didn’t know if we were going to be able to fully execute – you never know until the deal is completely one – I thought we had a good chance if we acted aggressively in those moments. Fortunately, we were able to execute it and that’s hopefully just a sign of encouragement for Arsenal fans that when we’re out in the marketplace you might never know what we’re thinking and you could be surprised by some of the names that come up, but we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to be thinking both short-term and long-term in everything that we’re doing.

    Criticised in past for not filling needed positions – now seeing a more decisive Arsenal?
    I wouldn’t say we were more decisive, I think it’s just a different structure. I’ve been a part of meetings that were with Arsene Wenger and I’ve been a part of meetings now that include our head of football, our managing director, our head coach, our new technical director. It’s a different approach. It’s not doing anything different to what we’ve done in the past, but I think when you have different opinions and you share those opinions in a very direct manner… you might disagree over things in the room, but as soon as the door opens and you walk out and you’re back as a unified front, I think that allows you to make very decisive and aggressive decisions like you saw this summer.

    More departures before foreign windows close?
    I would defer to our football operations staff but I know there are a few names that have come up who might not see as much playing time this season, so whether that’s via loan or permanent transfer I know there are discussions going on. I’ll leave that to our football operations staff.

    Is your father happy with the summer business and direction of the club?
    He is thrilled. As we’ve had a chance to get to know some of the new faces more and more behind the scenes and he’s had a chance to be around them individually, he’s only excited. I know that term has probably been worn out this summer, especially from myself, but we’re all very excited. The hard part is staying patient and understanding that we’re putting plans in place that are going to unfold over the next several years. We’ve done it with our north American teams and we’re trying to implement those type of people and decision-makers here at Arsenal. I think this summer is a great example of the quality of people that we have.

    There are some key players going into the final two years of contracts – decision time?
    That’s 100 per cent on our football operations department, but I would say whatever we’re doing we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to be decisive, and we’re going to communicate well and honestly through it all. So from a player’s perspective, whether it’s good or bad news I think the best thing you can do is be honest with the player because they’ve only got a limited window where they can be at their physical peak. I would defer to all the [football operations staff] on all the contract decisions because I think they’re pretty good at it.”

    One contract that needs addressing is Unai Emery’s – how happy are you with him?
    I think he’s doing a great job, has done a great job and is doing a great job. Turning the page from such a legendary manager and figure as Arsene – not only at Arsenal but in European football – was always going to be a difficult page to turn and as a club I think we’ve turned it as elegantly as we could. I think Unai’s daily approach is fantastic. He’s out there on the pitch, he’s working, he’s watching video, he’s communicating and his daily energy and devotion to his work is fantastic, it’s exactly what we need.

    Play video
    13:17

    One year of Unai | Emery reflects on first season

    What would constitute success this season?
    Challenging for the Premier League title is always our goal, that’s what we talk about constantly. Based on the strength of our league, which is the greatest in the world, if you’re competing for the Premier League title, you’re competing elsewhere for other silverware as well – whether that’s the Premier League title, whether that’s the FA Cup, whether that’s European silverware… we want to go for it all. But we know it’s not a process that’s going to be easy and we know it’s going to require a lot of work – our work has already started and I’m thrilled to be with the group that we are, pursuing the goals that we are.

    Is this squad capable of challenging this season?
    We’re going to have our work cut out. There are some very strong teams ahead of us, starting with the defending champions and the Champions League winners. We know what we need to do; we know there are squads ahead of us that are very strong. We’ve come back with a stronger squad than we finished with in May in Baku and I’m excited to see what this group can do because I think they’ve got a mentality as well that is… they’re ready to get to work and they know what they need to do on behalf of all of us.

    Especially with the uplift in spending, do Arsenal need to return to the Champions League?
    That’s obviously something we talk about. There are six great clubs in the Premier League and unfortunately only four spots that are guaranteed [for Champions League qualification]. That’s a goal of ours. The economics involved – to be able to reinvest back into the club, attract different players who only want Champions League football… but our goal is to get back and win the Premier League.

    The relationship between Arsenal fans and ownership/club has at times been strained, how beneficial could it be if they united behind the team?
    It would be one of the most powerful things that I probably would have… probably the most powerful thing that I ever would have witnessed. Passion can go a couple of different ways and from a fan’s perspective you’re only as good as your last match. But knowing the passion of the Arsenal supporter community, it would be an incredible sight to behold. Being here on matchdays, it gives me the chills even just thinking about it. But to know that the supporters were united behind our group would be a very powerful thing and I think this is a group they can really get behind.

    At times it feels like your father has been public enemy number one. Is it an aim of yours to build that relationship between the ownership and fanbase?
    That’s important. They need to understand who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s important for them to try to understand our personalities as people, because at the end of the day we’re fans – we want to win and it makes our job a lot easier when we win. It’s important for them to know how passionate we are. When I met with some of the fan groups last season, I didn’t ask them for their trust but I told them that trust is earned over time and I would love for you to trust me now but unfortunately that trust has to play out over the next several years. We’re just getting started and hopefully we’ll start to earn more and more trust with the more and more work we put in.

    Is KSE here to stay, are you looking to drive Arsenal forward in the long term?
    Absolutely, absolutely. I’m thrilled to be involved with the club, thrilled to be involved with all these great people. On the weekends here… just the environment is something that you can’t really duplicate anywhere else, I don’t think. When I tell my friends that are from the States, if they’re traveling through Europe, I automatically try to get them to the Emirates because they need to experience it. It’s really a wonderful place and I think that for footballers around the world, as we move forward as a club, I think the Emirates is a place that is always going to be special to me, it’s going to be special to my family and I’m excited about being here, hopefully for what’s a long time.

    Do you intend to continue investing in January and beyond, and what is your vision?
    We have the highest of ambitions. In north America, we are trying to win. The Rams were in the Super Bowl last year. I can only imagine what a Champions League final is like after being over in Baku. Our ambitions are the same as the fans. We want to win and we want to win as much and as often as possible. And doing it in a fun way, where they’re seeing some really entertaining football as well. I think we’ve got the group to do it. As for January, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address areas going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again.

    Play video
    06:24

    ‘Our ambitions are silverware and trophies’

    Any regrets as owners, anything you would have done differently?
    I don’t have any regrets. If you have any regrets, I think it’s just simply over match results – you always wish you could go back and change certain things. Probably the lowest point since I’ve been involved with the club was over in Baku. Because you work so hard for that moment and then to come short at the very last minute, it leaves a feeling and for me that feeling is motivation. That’s what we’ve had as a club all summer and I think it’s going to serve us well as we continue to work in the future.

    How passionate are you about Arsenal – what does your fandom look like when you’re not at the match?
    It depends on the time of game – if it’s an early afternoon kick-off here in London and I’m in Los Angeles, I’ll usually at least go downstairs because my girlfriend will kill me if I turn that game on at 4.30 in the morning. But whether it’s 4.30am, 6am, 10am or early afternoon for an evening kick-off here [in the UK], I’m usually pretty vocal – my dogs get a little scared! If something goes wrong, I yell a little bit. When I’m here at the Emirates, I’m a little more reserved – that’s a good thing to show! But the passion comes out in all different ways. I think our group here on the football operations side, they’ll tell you that I get a little animated. But when I sit with them during matches, I’m also curious about what we’re doing tactically. I ask questions, I want to understand and it makes for me just a lot of fun because I love the game, I played it as a young man growing up until basically I became too tall and then I started playing basketball unfortunately. But soccer, football, was my first love. I was a right winger and our best player was our left winger, so he would sprint down the left side and I would score all the goals with my head. It was a lot of fun to be a part of that group as a kid, learning to love the game and now to be over here at the highest level and to be involved with it is… I have to pinch myself sometimes.

    What’s your final message to the supporters?
    I would say be excited, but I’ve already worn that one out over the summer. But I would just say to our supporters: it’s going to be a fun year, we’ve got some talented new players for them to cheer on the pitch and we’re only going to keep working hard on their behalf.

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Like

  29. I think you can’t be a leader without having great people around you.

    eh?

    Did Baku sharpen the need for change?

    Yes we need the CL money. Money makes money. And we love money. Big money.

    (Erm, all this talk about aggression, aggression is a sign of fear btw…)

    but when you reach a European final like we did, that’s exactly the feeling you have.

    wasnt that his first?

    I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club

    Poor olde B.blaggers aftv and we care!

    I’ve been a part of meetings that were with Arsene Wenger and I’ve been a part of meetings now that include our head of football, our managing director, our head coach, our new technical director. It’s a different approach. It’s not doing anything different to what we’ve done in the past, but I think when you have different opinions and you share those opinions in a very direct manner… you might disagree over things in the room, but as soon as the door opens and you walk out and you’re back as a unified front, I think that allows you to make very decisive and aggressive decisions like you saw this summer.

    Weird.Doesnt make sense, slithering around a bit. Although it needs a saucer of milk to go with it…

    I think this summer is a great example of the quality of people that we have.

    Time well tell…

    it’s going to be a fun year,

    Eh? Ballons and crab paste sandwiches and ginger ale plus the pin the tail on the donkey? Fun? Footballs many things but it aint fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Ed

    Very plausible. Was shocked to see they were still fucking around with all sorts before settling on line for offside for Wolves goal. It sure looked amateurish and gave nasty impression the technology doesn’t come close to doing the job automatically and requires plenty of human input which could easily go wrong.

    It was like that at various stages in the trials but, as i’ve seen nothing similar in all the other competitions which use it, I really didn’t expect to see it again last night.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. well fuck me the pgmol rolled out Atkinson and Dean for our first two games and now have gone for Anthony Taylor to game manage Liverpool vs Arsenal this weekend. Stuart Attwell will be in charge of VAR, a real double whammy

    Liked by 3 people

  32. no doubt we will have Michael oliver for the spurs game

    Liked by 2 people

  33. It seems ages since we won at Liverpool, it also seems that we continually get a thrashing up there.
    Just interested on how you guys would play it at Anfield. Park the bus? Five in defence and just hope that Auba does the business? Or try to play football?
    Emery sounded a bit nervous to play against them which didnt set too good a feeling in my mind, and of course hes not dumb, they are on fire.
    I think we might get our first glimpse of how we are in this game? Will we get walloped or can we dig in get tough frustrate them and get a draw?
    Will Ö play?
    Will Xhaka be playing ( was he sneakily rested last week for this big game?)?
    Do you guys feel confident? IS it a false sense of security thats grown in the August sunshine whilst enjoying the new toys that came from the victory in th trasnfer market cup?

    Grinding out a draw would be something?

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I’d go for the throats of the bin dipping fuckers.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Given the good start by the new No.8 I guess that Klopp will do what he knew when the old No.8 was starting. Try to kick him off the pitch in the first half?

    If my speculation above is correct: How will Taylor play it?

    Good odds on the new No.8 starting and hopefully just tiring and being subbed for Ozil midway through the second half. Worth a punt?

    Liked by 1 person

  36. ha ha ha I’ve seen some idiotic pundits in my time, but Ian Holloway beats them all hands down, discussing the new hand ball rule he said, and I kid you not, “I hope we get out with Brexit, cos that is what we all voted for, and sort that out, cos you can not have someone telling us how to do our own game”

    this not only reinforces my view that the media that cover the game in England, hire some of the most stupid pundits anywhere, but also my view that many Brexit voters are as thick as pigs shit and really haven’t a clue what the voted for, Holloway clearly thinks the EU make the rule in football. Empire, two world wars, jumpers for goalposts, ha ha ha

    Liked by 5 people

  37. fins I’m not sure Emery wants to play Ozil at all.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Rob Harris
    @RobHarris
    ·
    for Ian Holloway: EU not responsible for football laws.
    Of the world football bodies, the one that implemented the handball change is the most British. IFAB ft 8 members (England, N Ireland, Scotland, Wales & 4 FIFA). David Elleray is technical director

    Liked by 4 people

  39. Keenos
    @KeenosAFC
    ·
    1h
    Jesse Lingard is 27 in December

    On Sky, Kevin Phillips just called him an “up and coming kid”

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ed, re Holloway and his comments, seems like there is now 2 Dumbfuckistans,

    Worse thing is that there must be a lot of people nodding along to this….

    Another gem from media, Espn headline stated, Arsenal will surpass the spurs, only VAR can stop City…premise being that a “weak” handball (only touched his thumb and the other team didn’t protest!!) could deny them the title. So the recurring theme is that VAR is bad because borderline wrong calls are supposed to be ok?

    #age of morons
    # cellphone zombies

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Perhaps someone should also tell Ian Hollow that Britain has always bee represented “over there, in that foreign Brussels” and Britain also agreed (voted)to let in the countries that came in the EU in recent years. Britain has not been subjected to some foreign dictatorship ( thats what we did with the Empire!). Its just people like telly more than they are interested in world affairs.
    If the EU dictates everything in Britain why does it still have a parliament? Bills and legislation are passed domestically everyday– how is that possible?

    Wait till Ian H is told by the new bedding partners what to do…who do you think Britains major new partners will be?

    Weird thing is once youve crossed the water, the EU doesnt really exist as a imposing force, this seems to be some paranoia from people who are stuck in the 1950s?

    Tbh most western euro countries are pretty much now the same as Britain: Americanised, cell phones, sport tv fast food, narcissistic etc. Most Euro culture of old has been wiped away ( as pretentious as some of it could be, it also brought something to the table). The eastern sectors are still relatively untouched but its only a matter of time and they change everyday. Each country does have its won EDL types. Plus they dont see themselves as “europe” or even “continental europe”. Europe as a country is all in the minds of insular people like Boris.

    Ian Hollows comments seem to sum up the ignorance of the 52%. A fear a feeling of not being “allowed”, yet they dont look to the systems that imposed this ( its own) to make them feel so. The irony is the posh people only let there own in anyway and just give the rest of us a bone when we growl, or send us to over the top ( one way or another).

    As Ed points out: Empire, two world wars, jumpers for goalposts, ha ha ha.

    And Shark : #age of morons # cellphone zombies

    I was up in the middle of the night talking to my partner about all of this ( the bigger loony picture of the world), sure glad you guys are around. Identity politics is a big pit of insanity and it rules our world at the moment. Celebrity love island.

    Oh brother what a way to start the day.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Holloway also managed to get a clanger in there about ‘clear and obvious’ (like offsides, didn’t apply in this case).

    Weird old industry- football yakking- where there is no obligation whatsoever to do research or get facts correct. Least it’s only football, though, and such minds have no say in the future of the count…oh.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Liverpool. Tough one. Liverpool are absolutely made for feasting on counters and no doubt prefer it if teams go at them.

    Are we well equipped, though, to sit and defend, defend, defend, forget playing from back for a week, and attack only through counter ourselves? Not particularly. (One thing missing from squad for sure is an aerial out ball if going direct)

    As demonstrated against Barca, they can also whip up an attacking storm if onus is on them to really take game to opposition.

    We’ve been smashed up there so badly in recent years, whether with more positive approach or whatever it was last year, still feel best shot is to try defensive/counter approach with huge emphasis on not conceding early, then get more expansive later if possible.

    Hard to get much optimism going for this one, though. Nature of defeats has got into my head for this fixture.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. rich I’m glad you mentioned “clear and obvious” as I hear pundits, bloggers, twitteratti etc use this term, now I haven’t read the full rule book lately, but last time I did the term “clear and obvious” was not in it that I can recall. Is this “clear and obvious” another one of those actual rules that does not exist, or is something that the game managers at the PGMOL have written in their unique rule books.

    Can anyone enlighten me, is “clear and obvious” part of the IFAB rules of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. sorry my bad, clear and obvious is now in the section of the rules relating to VAR

    “The referee may be assisted by a video assistant referee (VAR) only in the event of a ‘clear and obvious error’ or ‘serious missed incident’ in relation to:

    goal/no goal
    penalty/no penalty
    direct red card (not second caution)
    mistaken identity when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team”

    and I think reading that I see the problem, the term clear and obvious is subjective, what is clear and obvious to the naked eye at the time and in the stadium, is not the same as clear and obvious to someone with slow motion replays and many camera angles to view. Take offside, a few inches of space is hard to see from 50 yards away but 1cm is clear and obvious if you have technology that shows it. No bloody different to goal line technology that shows 1/2cm of the ball did not cross the line and so no goal, but pundits and fans are being disingenuous when they decide to spout the clear and obvious soundbite when the replays show VAR got it right, even if it was by half a centimeter or totally accidental handball means goal must be ruled out.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Is #DaniCeballos the savior? My newest blog: The Hyping of Dani Ceballos https://uncensoredarsenal.com/index.php/the-hyping-of-dani-ceballos/

    Like

  47. Ed, glad you’re onto this as, for all my talking and thinking about VAR, there’s an issue of two that remains elusive to me in trying to find right description.

    You’ve got as close as I ever have there. I kept coming back to idea of there being a difference between ‘seeing’ and ‘seeing’, ie a ref could be looking right at something, that Rodri and Lamela one for instance, be quite confident in his decision, but then, after looking at it again on slow motion replays see it differently.

    The label you’d put on that would probably be ‘clear and obvious error’ but my contention is you could as easily call it a ‘serious missed incident’, because no doubt, you can miss things you are looking right at, think you’ve seen one thing when in fact it’s another.

    Have I explained myself there? Feck knows. Like say glad you’re onto it as well though.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Punditry is weird in respect that whereas with most jobs/proffessions if you kept getting important fundamentals wrong you wouldn’t get far and would likely be booted out sooner rather than later, there’s virtually no evidence to suggest the same applies.

    It seems to be all about what they perceive as watchable, with a good dash of jobs for the boys and who you know thrown in, or alternatively just being a very big name.

    These tendencies highlighted more than ever with VAR, as it has a pretty solid and relatively small set of guidelines and instructions for them to learn and work off.

    Find it hard not to conclude many of them are not just too lazy to read the rules but quite deliberately refuse to take them on board as doing so would wipe out a lot of their arguments and make new, correct ones more complex and, unless they’re on top of their game, less forceful and powerful (seeming)

    The constant misunderstanding and misuse of where and how ‘clear and obvious’ applies is revealing enough; the near total absence of any mention of the other category, ‘serious missed incident’, tells you they are either ill-informed and maybe thick, or deliberately misleading people.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Bolarinwa Olajide
    @iambolar
    ·
    3h
    Jose Mourinho on the controversy surrounding VAR: “Only thieves can complain about the introduction of security cameras.”

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Balogun and Coyle amongst nine youngsters to train with Arsenal first-team

    Rate This

    Folarin Balogun was rewarded for his impressive recent form by being selected to train with the Arsenal first-team squad today.

    The prolific striker scored a hat-trick for the U23s against Blackburn Rovers recently, following on from stellar performances during pre-season, and was one of a host of youngsters assessed by Unai Emery.

    As usual, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka trained with the squad, while winger Trae Coyle was also called upon along with midfielders Jordan McEneff and James Olayinka.

    Another winger, Nathan Tormey, also trained with the squad, as did right-back Zak Swanson and goalkeeper Karl Hein.

    Some of the aforementioned youngsters could come into consideration for cup games this season.

    Emile Smith Rowe, meanwhile, continued his recovery from injury by participating in full training as he joined Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, who were also recently promoted, for the session.

    Regarding first-team players, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil were back in training after injury and illness respectively.

    Liked by 1 person

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