He’s the Gaffer: Unai Emery

So, there you go, Unai Emery is the new gaffer. And in true Fred Moffatt style, announced it in a short-lived webpage on his official site.

Presumably, someone at Arsenal told him that the club like to do the announcing on dot com as they would with a new player. As with the arrival of a new player, everyone knows the signing is made weeks before it appears on dot com. In fairness to the club, all manner of PR photos and interviews must be conducted for our consumption.

And as I write this, the club announces his appointment. Memo to self; get up earlier.

It was a day of bizarre claims. Emery, we were told, doesn’t speak English; how on earth can he communicate with the players? The better question is if he doesn’t speak English, what language was the interview conducted in? Was it English and he sat with an interpreter? He must be impressive if he did that and still got the job.

Maybe it was a 1980s throwback? Back when the British government’s idea of dealing with terrorists was to use voiceover artists so we couldn’t hear the real terrorists speak on television. It was a bizarre policy and one which left us begging for the voiceover artists to return when we heard Gerry Adams real voice in later life.

Who would Emery be voiced by? Benedict Cumberbatch? Tom Hiddleston? That pair are everywhere at the moment, to the extent that spell-checker just corrected me over the latter’s surname.

Joe Pasquale fits the bill although no-one would take his explanation of Mustafi’s comedy defending seriously. Maybe that’s the answer in that instance.

Liam Neeson? Understand this, if you disrespect me on Twitter, I will come and I will find you and I will kill you.

Samuel L Jackson in full-on Pulp Fiction mode would be ideal, I think, in this social media age. Oh, so now you want a selfie with me, motherf*cker? 

I’m warming to this task…

Welcome to Arsenal, Mr Emery. Good luck with your reign and may the football gods be with you.

Craving Recognition for Everything They Do

While I have time for the trivialities around the appointment, the great and good do not. They want to know why the recruitment process was a “shambles”. That “shambles” defined as “why didn’t the club tell me what was going on?”

The hacks led the charge, willingly followed by those who find equilibrium too dull. Unless rant mode is fully engaged, they aren’t interested; “if you can’t rant, life ain’t worth living” is the motto tattooed on their necks. And misspelt; it isn’t authentic if the grammar is correct.

A genuine disconnect occurred between the club and media, much to the latter’s disgust because they need the inside information for sales, ego and kudos; not necessarily in that order, either. There’s no egg on their faces; it’s a battery-farm. For people used to throwing barbs around, they do possess remarkably thin skin and fragile egos.

Puma’s designers need to be made of stronger stuff. Nursing is a difficult job. Researching a cure for cancer is a difficult job. Teaching 16-year-old children about Milton’s Paradise Lost is a difficult job. Or am I confusing the latter with a dull job? I’m not sure.

Designing an Arsenal shirt is not a difficult job. The core parameters are clear: red body with white sleeves, alternate collar and cuffs. Understandably, I consider that a simple task. How wrong can you be?

Arsenal made a crucial error of omission and because of that, we are landed with a horror show of a kit. Sponsors and manufacturer logos turn it into a cycling shirt with the introduction of abysmal shirt sleeve advertising. We get ‘Visit Rwanda’, presumably because ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Stella Wifebeater’ weren’t available.

Take Heed, Ivan

Suffice to say, it’s another home kit I won’t be buying for me nor will I purchase it for the kids either. This is the last kit under the current Puma deal. It’s a design which precludes them from ever being kit provider again. No, Ivan, it genuinely does.

It deserves to bomb in retail sales but being football supporters, there will be ‘brand loyalty’ and shift bucketloads. Can’t wait to see the away kit…

’til Tomorrow.

124 thoughts on “He’s the Gaffer: Unai Emery

  1. Hi Limestone,
    Nice to hear from you.
    It seems as though a new manager, or coach is bringing everyone back!

  2. Emery has already shown his English is better than Arsene’s : he knows what the word “pressing” means. Wonder if that is good news for Welbeck, and maybe even Iwobi, but not so good for a midfield quarterback like Xhaka. Elneny may be a big feature of the team. Too bad we sold Coquelin and Arsene couldn’t hold onto Sanchez. They would have suited Emery down to the ground.

  3. Have to say i’m happy to see so much positive chat here. There is a LOT of negativity about his appointment, but i’ve got to say i am excited.

    Lots of interesting stories about him, my fav is at Sevilla in his first season he gave his defenders memory sticks with tactical analysis of the teams they were going to be facing the next week and suspected that one of his fullbacks wasn’t looking at them so he for weeks gave him a blank memory stick and asked him in training if he agreed with the analysis and then called him out on it. I feel he’s what we needed over Arteta, i was semi exicted about Aretea because i liked that he knew the club and i liked his passion, but Emry is someone we need, tactically analyses all the teams he plays against and changes formations and tactics accordingly. Wants to build team around Ramsey and Aubamayang, hope he’s seen Ramseys injury profile.

    Also, i’d like to point out a profound misunderstanding in the £50million budget, i am forever pointing this out, but it’s £50, but it’s also not…Yes, it’s only £50 million, but you don’t shell out a full amount for a player when you sign them….Example, Ozil was £42.5million, £9million upfront rest paid off yearly for remainder of contract, that’s how it all works, another example is Auba, £14m up front and i believe £14.4million a year for remainder of contract. The £50 million is the initial payment and wages of said player, so lets say we sign Seri for £30million on a 5 year deal, £10 up front plus his wages of say £100k a week which is £5.2million, remaining budget is therefore 50million minus 15.2million plus agent and sign on fees. Still enough for 2/3 players, probably more since Svan likes to find up and coming players like with Dortmund!

    Also, Jenks is 50k (2.6mill) extra now he’s left, Santi 90k, 4.7mill and if i hear correctly, Ospina is going as well which is 70k extra.

    I don’t care about big names coming in, Svan has a fantastic history of unearthing diamonds, but i like the talk of Leno, Sokritis and Seri. For once, we’re ok up top, and i think with some tactically tweaking Xhaka and wilshere can fit into the team, one thing i will say about Ramsey is he’s more passionate than Ozil and will run more. Jack as well. Welbeck out of contract next year, no talk of contracts for him, i can’t see him getting a new one tbh and i’m sure Emry will want at least one of his own strikers brought in

    Is there any announcements on his back from staff?

  4. A lot of the younger players like Iwobi might blossom with this guy in charge. One-to-one coaching in which he spells out very directly what he expects the player to do. Sounds like just the sort of thing a young player needs.

  5. Emery said he flew to Atlanta and met with the Kroenkes, the final step before accepting the role.
    Poor bastard.

  6. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I’m not so keen on Sokratis links. It is a substantial fee for an older CB who had a bad season at Dortmund. You can do better than that Sven.

  7. Phil,

    How goes it Down Under? Hope you are keeping well.
    Now where is Jonny? Then the party really starts!

  8. Phil,

    The only thing I didn’t like was that Emery kept thanking the Kroenkes and saying how great his meeting with them was. Brief acknowledgment of meeting them was enough; no need to go overboard.

  9. Limestonegunner,

    Sokratis to me feels like a replacement for Mert or Kos but the lad I’m really excited about is Soyuncu, if we get him and Emery can fix Mustafi, we have the makings of a fantastic back 4.

  10. Limestone,
    Still splitting my time between London/Paris and Oz.
    Have kept my seat for next year now there is a change. Can’t wait to see how the new guy goes.
    I agree, a respectful nod to the owner is all that’s needed.

  11. C,

    I think the price tag will put us off him, by appointing Sven i think we’re more aiming at a Dortmund style transfer where we bring through youngsters and buy in now and again. I think Sokratis will be brought in to strengthen the defence with Mustafi and i think Mavrapanos will see more game time, i don’t think Mustafi is bad, i think lack of tactics left him exposed. a good CDM willtake pressure off him AND the likes of Ozil and Ramsey, but i think Ozil will actually be phased out eventually, he doesn’t work enough off the ball for Emry style player, look at all his teams (exception of Naymar) midfields are always very hard working.

    Apparently in his interview he had detailed analysis of every player in team and youth players, so i imagine he knows who he wants and i imagine Sven will work well with him. Sokratis is a good defender, he had an off season but Dortmund have their own problems defensively! But as i said, i anticipate Mavrapanos getting more games this season! Technically good, fast and strong so good foundations to build on.

    It’s going to be a learning experience for players anyway as he’s much more hands on and demands a lot from players with high pressure tactics, i’m actually happy majority of our squad like Laca, Jack, Auba, Ramsey aren’t going to WC as they’ll be fighting fit come start of season. Especially Jack and Ramsey! I think we’ve got an good team, with the correct additions we could be a very good team, so here’s hoping!

  12. C,

    Soyuncu can also play CDM, which would allow for rotation, but we’re being heavily linked with Rabiot i see, i’d take him in a heartbeat, fantastic young player with huge energy levels.

  13. Phil,

    I think he is better than what he showed, he just needs coaching, people forget he just turned 25 or 26 and was good for us and before Arsene sucked his teeth in.

  14. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I would gladly take Raboit especiallu with reports saying he is pissed he didn’t go to the World Cup and is out of contract next summer.

    Soyuncu can play both DM and CB. He actually fits the build of the type of midfield pivot Emery likes. Will be interesting to see who we get, I’d gladly have Leno, Seri and Soyuncu

  15. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I think there is this misconception of Ozil purely based on the Arsene years honestly that he doesn’t work hard and won’t do well in a hard working midfield but people forget he flourished under Mourinho and Lowe who are two managers who demand their midfielders press and do the defenaive work in their portion of the field. Emery also like to attack and press with his front 4 and Ozil will press high up the pitch, its the tracking back that people criticize him for but how many #10’s actually track back and don’t say De Bruyne because he played the Ramsey role for Citeh.

    The other thing that I have found quite interesting is Ramsey and the talk of him but for all those that talk about Ozil’s lack of defensive effort(whoch again is media driven) they forget to mention that Ramsey as a box to box is suppose to get back and help out Xhaka but all to often he didn’t. I think moving forward we could see one staying and one going.

    The biggest thing will be getting that balance right and we bringing in a player like Soyuncu would be brilliant as a CB partnership with Mustafi(we agree about him) plis see an improvement in both Sead and Bellerin.

  16. C

    The most any player has to play for his national team is a couple games during international breaks and may be 7 games at the World Cup every 4 years. Playing a whole PL season is a much much different challenge.

    If Ozil played defense so well for Mourinho at Madrid then why did he get pulled from most game at 70 minutes. That would strongly suggest that he was a defensive weak link. Even if what you say about Ozil playing defense for Mourinho he was 5 years younger and a lot has changed. In the last 5 years he has become accustomed to not playing defense, having long summer breaks and taking sick leave. Its hard to go back once you have gone down that road. In reality, he has run a lot of miles, been tackled 100,000 times, won some big trophies and tons of awards and world wide recognition, made an unimaginable amount of money, just got his last gigantic contract and he no longer has anything to prove. I don’t like it but I can certainly understand why he might lose the fire in his belly.

  17. We could probably afford to have 1 flair player who does not play much defense if we can hide him on right or left side of the forward line where defending is not as important, but we can’t have the less committed player in central midfield on a regular basis in the PL. The player that gets the defensive free pass has to make up for it by consistently doing adding something really special on the attacking end but that has not been happening for Mesut over the last 2 1/2 years.

  18. Bill,

    Or maybe he was subbed off the same way managers sub off more attacking players when they are in front for all clubs since the beginning of time….you know, to protect a lead. Is there a difference between Zidane subbing off Isco, Bale or Benzema to bring on somebody to help them defensively when they are ahead? How about Pep when he is ahead bringing on a defensive player and taking off an attacker? Its honestly one of the laziest arguments EVER, if Ozil did his job and helped put Madrid under Mourinho ahead them it makes PERFECT tactical sense to sub him off for a more defensive player to see it out. I liken it to a pitcher in baseball, they did their job and then you bring in a closer to slam the door shut.

    Look at Chelsea when they won the league under Conte and Mourinho or Citeh this season when they walked the PL, they subbed on a defenaive player and took off an attacker, actually mate, its something you bang on about when we are up.

  19. C,

    I would like a definitive list of the hateful 8 interviewed please (Your next picture YW!)

    Brendan ?

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