Arsene vs Unai – The Great Distraction




Every day on twitter, blogs, the media, podcasts and just about every forum, we see some comparison or other between Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery. Every time another game is played we see some table comparing the first X number of games that Emery has been in charge, compared to the same number of the last games Arsene managed. The number of points, chances created, chances conceded, passing accuracy, areas of play, and on and on it goes. It really is the most pointless of arguments. Not simply because the teams were competing against have changed and the teams they were competing with has changed almost beyond recognition or even that one has a squad eager to impress while latterly the other had a squad waiting for the final curtain, but because it’s actually is an argument that is so subjective that it can never be resolved. Particularly when those arguing are so invested in being right, that they have no interest in hearing the other point of view.

Can Unai give a press conference as witty and entertaining as Arsene? No of course not.

Could Unai address a baying mob at the annual general meeting and have them eating out of his hand, when minutes earlier they were baying for his blood? No he couldn’t

Ten or twenty years from now will former players still laud him, will he be asked to speak all over the world, be given award after award , be offered job to develop FIFA itself ? I very much doubt that.

Will Unai transform the club and elevate it to once unthought of heights? No, not a chance.

Is it fair to expect any of these things from Mr. Emery? No it is not. Why? Because it’s unfair to expect anyone to fill those shoes ,,as only a handful of managers in the history of the game could have.

So let us not ask if Unai is as good as Arsene was. Rather let’s ask is he as good as we expected he would be?

Let’s ask why after 18 months we are playing unattractive football in a system that no one seems to understand, and that changes from week to week and even from half to half.

Let’s ask why our best and most creative player is not being picked, humiliated and excluded ,from a team screaming out for creativity?

Let’s ask why watching us play is a chore now , we can play 8 games of the season and not play well in one, let alone dominate any?

Perhaps ask why we go from insisting on playing out from the back, to lumping it up to a center forward that’s skill set is far from hold up play.

Ask why sometimes all eleven players can have decent games, and yet the team plays poorly.

Ask why our midfield is so dysfunctional despite every player being a good one.

Let’s judge him on what we see, not against a man that is now a fond memory, and a genius that he overall could never live up to.

Wenger has left the building, gone , and the comparisons are a distraction, we must judge Emery on what he is showing us, and has shown us.


Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

66 comments on “Arsene vs Unai – The Great Distraction

  1. If pushed, for me it would be neither. But what if it was someone even worse than those two?
    Best would be somebody more dynamic and inspiring than either JM or UE; but JM over UE (at least for a while) but UE over many others.
    Tbh (do you remember the time I write about “luck”?) I thought other elements in your post brought up complex and interesting points ie inside/outside and serenity. But decided not to bore everyone! (luckily) Maybe its more surreal at first till we see counter support structures and how they push things this way and that…


  2. Some reports suggest Jose is set on a return to London, if true, that will surely be North London or Middlesex. But wouldn’t rule out Real or PSG if they need a manager, couldn’t see Barca going for him.
    I would personally prefer Arteta, Freddie, or to a lesser extent, Brenton Rogers.
    But, the reality, with this squad, and the failings of others, Emery really should be able to put himself in a position where he gets himself a couple years extension, of he has any ability whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Big big no for me Mourinho. Conduct terrible over the years, especially towards Wenger. Would certainly provide absolute clarity for me though if we went for him.

    I can’t see it. Crashed and burned last two jobs with bigger resources than we have, rubbish with youth. We’d be nuts to do it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. steww I don’t know what WOB’s you are speaking about, as I see little support from them towards players such as Ozil, Mustafi or Xhaka

    Liked by 1 person

  5. VAR official Anthony Taylor believed Nicolas Pepe should have had a penalty but didn’t give it
    Dan Critchlow –
    Oct 13, 2019
    VAR official Anthony Taylor reportedly believed Nicolas Pepe should have had a penalty against Bournemouth, but he didn’t overturn the referee’s decision.
    Referee Anthony Taylor

    Analysing the decision on beIN SPORTS after the game, the studio appeared to be in agreement that Pepe should have been given a spot-kick after being felled in the box. The incident was reviewed by the VAR team, but they stuck with the on-field call.

    Richard Keys then claimed the match’s VAR official Anthony Taylor believed it should have been a penalty, but didn’t want to overturn the decision.

    “Anthony Taylor in VAR today did think this was (a penalty) yesterday, did not overturn the referee’s decision. We’ve just seen close on an assault in the box that once again he didn’t feel he should overturn the decision of the on-field ref,” Keys said.

    It’s worth bearing in mind this is coming from a second-hand source, and Keys is very outspoken about the way VAR is being used, so whether we can completely rely on his word here is up for debate.

    Assuming he’s right though, it’s not actually outside the current rules for Taylor to believe it’s a penalty and yet stick with the on-field decision. The call is a subjective one, and if Taylor would have given the penalty himself but doesn’t believe it was clear enough to overturn, they won’t overturn it.

    Perhaps it’s in these kinds of cases that we need the referee to consult a video screen though.

    If the VAR official is comfortable that the incident is clear enough to make the call themselves, they can make it. If they believe it’s a penalty but not an obvious one, maybe they should let the referee watch it again and decide.

    Right now, all we’re getting is an acknowledgement that they maybe should have changed the decision, and that’s it. That doesn’t really help much in the final standings at the end of the season.


  6. Not like Anthony Taylor to stitch us up
    But that was a strikingly clear penalty in the first place, if that had been on Harry Kane or a Liverpool player, it would have been given immediately

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hello Steww!

    I’d take Big Sam over the Spanish Pulis.

    Steve Bruce?
    Whose hand do I have to bite off?

    Rodgers would seem like a charitable benovlance that frankly the club don’t deserve for it’s recent conduct.

    I’d draw the line when it comes to the FA favourites and friends of the aforementioned Taylor and Krew: Pearce and Boothroyd.
    Or with a coach who started a 19 year old Gunedouzi over a peak Ramsey.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. < but still had to resort to starting Rambo (& Ozil) when his job was on the line.

    we've been watching cowardice on and off the pitch courtesy of Emery.

    And it tickles me that the Billy Big Blaggers spent a year defending this tripe and destroyed their own credibility in the process!!! Every cloud…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wengers book will soon be out, should be interesting. In an ideal world, he would let Riley, and others have it with both barrels, probably wont happen at this stage, but who knows

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Would you believe it Petr saved his first penalty in his new career after only managing to save one in all his time with us.
    Alot of the managers above shouldn’t be ever mentioned in the same breath as ARSENAL. Apart from a few of our former players Brendon would be the only one I would let near the place. However there are lots of young good managers around that could grow with us.
    On Arsene’s book, I think Arsene is far to polite to dish much dirt on anyone so I can’t see it being very explosive although I’m sure the media will find a way to suggest he has blasphemed in some way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What’s up folks!

    Great question

    I would not like Mourinho to coach Arsenal but if you isolate your question…I would say yes. Maybe we could ask if we think he would get more out of the team than Emery? I would say yes again.

    It is true Mourihno was very disrespectful to Arsene, I think he admitted that? However he bigged up Arsene recently. They seem to have moved on and forgiveness has taken place. As for Emery he is currently crapping all over Ozil in both playing time and public comments and has the team playing the worse football in the league.

    Again, not a fan of Mourihno but I don’t think
    Emery is better as far as character, it’s just towards a player.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great question, Steww.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mike Dean Monday. Think that means we’ve had one doing three games (Atkinson), and another two doing two (Dean and Taylor ) of our 9 games. All of them the Riley favourites.

    3 refs doing 7 of our 9 games. You would never ever have something like that if following reasonable practices, ie of the type designed to take things like unconscious bias into account, let alone which permitted the faintest possibility of anything worse (and best practice would be designed to admit remote possibility of both)

    Think when pgmol set out there were meant to be 24 refs, though of course they never got close to that.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I bloody hate it when the Gunners arent playing. Even Emery- Arsenal is better than no Arsenal? Do you guys feel the same?

    Ha!Remembered a game today from the past: Herford v Arsenal in the FAC. Anyone recall it/went to the game? Seem to remember Woodcock ( another forgotten hero)smashing in a great goal. Team had guys like Steve Williams and dear Tommy Caton. I also loved Viv Anderson and wasnt into it when the NB gave him poop for being an “Arsenal reject”. But thats just my opinion.
    How would the mighty LG and aftv have handled that game? ( it was 1-1)…seems like now and then?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not only do we have to put up with Mike Dean away to a northern team who will no doubt resort to tried and tested tactics when mike Dean referees Arsenal away, but yet, again, for the second time this month,Arsenal playing a mon thur sun. A shame they couldn’t play this weekend after the international break
    We all know how powerful the TV companies are, but shouldn’t the club have be having a word?
    Could almost be forgiven someone somewhere doesn’t want Arsenal doing too well


  16. Mills, I haven’t missed it during this break, the NHL started and am enjoying those games, my Canadiens are playing an exciting game!

    Re; refereeing, I don’t know if Untold has done the exercise for last year but my eye test tells me we are not being cheated out points as we were before. I don’t know that teams are\ need to be so physical towards us, we’re not the threat we used to be….


Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: