West Ham Preview: Hammer The Hammers Time

West Ham arrive at the Emirates for the opening match of the season. It was almost the second and twenty minutes or so at Stamford Bridge, it seemed it might be. But no, it was not to be. The ‘free passes’ – a phrase which will become as detestable as ‘deadwood’ – expired and the hard work on the training ground must pay dividends.

That’s the narrative out of the way so onto the preview. An article in this morning’s Guardian snapped me out of a moment’s reverie; Willie Young’s trip at Wembley springs easily to mind but not the Brady-inspired West Ham win in the FA Cup third round replay in 1989.

I shoved the match in the drawer crammed with games never mentioned. I don’t recall Brady playing, but can see Leroy Rosenoir grabbing the only goal in mind’s eye, from our vantage point in the East Lower.

Brady’s return to England caused some division among our small section of the fanbase at the time. Think of re-signing Cesc from Barcelona; that kind of division. More petty disagreements than anything else.

Some of us thought George should have signed him; others disagreed. All of us agreed that the Brady was imperious at Upton Park during the 3 – 1 win against Arsenal in his first game against us. On that night, it felt like George made a mistake. Not that we cared; three days earlier, it was “one-nil down, two-one up, we f*cked Rush’s record up”…

Jack Wilshere returns today, West Ham’s stereotypical skilful midfielder whose best days are behind him. The victorious return he, Fabianski and Perez dreamed can’t happen. We need three points.

It’s Time To Get Ill!

There’s talk this morning that Mesut Özil is unwell and likely to miss the fixture. A convenient illness to manage the brand after being dropped, or a genuine malady? You decide. Your answer is coloured by the cynicism with which you view the German’s performances. Get well soon, Mes.

Which gives Emery another headache. Mkhitaryan is far more effective centrally than on the flank but so too is Aaron Ramsey, the likeliest replacement for Özil.  The Welshman is more effective in a more advanced role than on the right if the team plays to his strengths.

However, his work-rate is desperately needed in front of Bellerin. We’ve left full-backs hopelessly exposed to now and that has to stop. With the Spaniard’s desire to bomb forward at every opportunity, Ramsey’s desire to drift in-field creates a lot of space on the right. That attacking side worked well at Chelsea for a while and was productive. We need to retain that effectiveness.

Today is the first match where we expect the lion’s share of possession. The troublesome opponent who cedes the ball and sits with banks of four and five as we pass sideways ad infinitum. Which will show us where the differences between Emery’s Arsenal and Wengerball really lie. These fixtures, once routine, proved troublesome in the recent past. We must get back to the days of swatting these teams aside.

A key platform for success is our defensive midfield performance. We lost our way in the second half at Chelsea but I guess the coach told the players to cool it, to protect what we’d recovered and to play sensibly. Gung-ho served its’ purpose but a point needed protecting.

Guen Will I See Again?

It’s also an ideal game for Lucas Torreira to get his full debut. A bit of grit in midfield in a London derby, something for he and Guendouzi to get stuck into but also a game in which we shouldn’t be shell-shocked or over-run. The Uruguayan’s reputation in club colours is built on statistics that this game demands. Passing, tackling, recycling possession; the continual building of pressure on the visitors until they crack.

Which West Ham have a reputation of doing.

I’d hazard a guess that the XI will be:

Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Guendouzi; Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi; Aubameyang

There’s scope to drop Mustafi, bring in Mavorpanos, but I suspect the German is being given enough rope. A poor, mistake-ridden performance today will see him hooked for a while. Xhaka blotted his copybook last week and with Guendouzi going from strength to strength, the Swiss is looking at a sustained spell on the sidelines. Maybe just becoming a Europa League and cup player?

Just as he threw a curveball last week, Emery probably has another this. Maybe he won’t tinker with the team? Perhaps Leno starts? Not long until we find out.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

94 thoughts on “West Ham Preview: Hammer The Hammers Time

  1. 3 much needed points today please.

    I would be surprised to see xhaka start Yogi along side GuendouzI. Personally not sure we need two DMs against West Ham at home so perhaps Ramsey along side Goendouzi or Torreira? This would then allow Miki to play centally and Welbeck on the right offering more support to Bellerin.

  2. I like your lineup and think that midfield 3 has real potential. If Guen can link the play and help collect from the back, this could be our most balanced midfield 3.

    I think Ozil needed a mental health day—nice Turkish food, massage/spa at a hammam, and an evening on his yacht in the Bosphorus. Perhaps we’ll see him back after away trips to Cardiff and Newcastle when we are home to Everton. Can’t be getting ready for a sale since no one will pay a fee for him on those wages. Must just be a clause in his 350k/wk contract for generous sick days.

  3. does anyone know how many matches/training days that oil has missed due to unspecified ‘illness’
    it all seems pretty lightweight. i hope emery indulges these guys only for so long until he’s firmly got the club going in the right direction then it’s time for a rather more demanding approach.

    if ramsey won’t sign a new contract, drop him and sell him for any price come january.

    i’d really like to see tech dropped, just guessing that emery is keeping leno on ice as he thought it was going to be difficult at the beginning and didn’t want to erode his confidence. let some of these old school wenger types fall on their own swords

  4. huge plus to see names like Torreira, Guendouzi who’s been great (love his pitch thumping when tuba blew an easy chance)….out with the old, in with the new

  5. Great preview Yogi

    Not a huge surprise if Mesut is sick. Myself I think we will be a better team without him in the line up. I think one of the main reasons Madrid was willing to sell him was the difficulty with finding a place for him in the line up. He weakens the central midfield defensively when he plays in the #10 position and his lack of pace and width and lack of goal scoring means he is not an ideal wide forward.


    IMO not playing PEA and Lacazette together for some nebulous tactical reason is an example of over thinking tactics.

  6. hopefukky Emery can learn something from wolves. The way to compete with a team like Man City that has a talent advantage is to let them have the hall while you sit deep and frustrate them and then hit them on the break. Trying to play football with them is suicidal.

  7. If it is then I’d rather have a player who can pass and tackle then a player who can speak the queens english!

  8. Bill:

    IMO not playing PEA and Lacazette together for some nebulous tactical reason is an example of over thinking tactics.

    I have wondered this as well. Seems like we want to find a way to get these two goalscorers on the pitch. I can see you dont want to wear them out right away but im not sure… .might be too crazy but hoe about laca at #10 and pEA striker. Or put Auba on wing and laca at center, let them float around.

    Come on u goon boys!

  9. Oezil on the bench will help today. I liked Gouendouzi. I did not like Man City having the easiest game of their season at Arsenal. I’m fine with writing this season off though.

  10. Not sure why we are playing with one striker against West Ham?

    If there is any game to play Auba and Lacazette it’s games like this. If I’m Lacazette I’d be so pissed off right now.

  11. A bit late….

    On this day, Saturday, April 22nd, Arsenal played West Ham Utd. at Highbury.

    As per the programme, ‘Topics of the Week’ was dominated by the previous match which was a dramatic FA Cup Semi Final Replay against Stoke City. Our opponents at that stage for the second season running, the previous year’s game had also gone to a replay.

    This particular tie had seen Arsenal leading 2-1 after Radford had scored a contentious gaol from a seeming offside position. The story went that the linesman thought a programme seller was a Stoke player, thus putting Big John onside.

    Then calamity struck with a serious injury to Bob Wilson who had to go off. No goalkeeping subs in those days. John Radford picks up the story. “ Geordie and me were chatting to supporters on half way line like when one asked, “ who’ll go in goal?”. I realised that it would be me!”. And a good job he made of it, making several saves to ensure the victory. There’s a cracking photo of him lying full length clutching the ball to his chest in the programme.

    On another topic, the writer wonders how many goals in the League are scored with the head. Apparently, the club’s records do not make any distinction as to how a goal is scored and they therefore cannot check. Is that still the case? Is there someone somewhere who knows how many goals Radford scored with his head? I wonder.

    In a piece on that year’s road to the Centenary FA Cup Final, some nice stories emerge. Ted MacDougall scored 10 goals for Bournemouth in their tie against Margate. This eclipsed a record that had stood since since an amateur, Billy Miner, scored 7 for St Albans against Dulwich Hamlet In the FA Cup in 1922. Bizarrely, he finished on the losing side. Oxford City and Alvechurch completed a record marathon tie after 660 minutes of football and 5 replays. Hereford, then a non league outfit, became the first such team to knock out a First Division side since 1949 by beating Newcastle Utd with goals from a Radford and a George.. West Ham stopped their run but a nice touch by the Hammers was them applauding Hereford off the pitch at Upton Park at full time.

    The Centenary Final itself? I was there. We bloody lost 1-0 to Leeds Utd.

    The Arsenal side that day was: Barnett, Rice, McNab, Storey, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Ball, Radford, George, Graham.

    West Ham Utd : Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Hurst, Brooking, Robson.

    The Programme of Music was, of course brought to us by the Metropolitan Police Band ‘ Saturday Sports’ and ‘Bonanza for Blowers’ while Constable Alex Morgan gave us ‘My Heart and I’ in the ‘Pop Parade Selection’.

    Here is yesterday’s football result Arsenal 2, West Ham Utd. 1

  12. Hector made a nice play to help set up the goal and he has looked better in the attacking 1/2 this season but he is getting torched on the defensive end. Almost every dangerous attack from from west ham comes down our right side.

  13. Our defense is so bad, it’s hard to watch… we have to have something better than these bumbling idiots at CB…

  14. Good to see Nacho yelling at Sokratis et al at the back when we make yet another pigs dinner of clearing out the edge-of-the-area scramble. But there’s plenty to yell about!

  15. Very even first half. That would be a good thing if we were playing one of the top 6 teams but we should be able to handle West Ham at home. If we are trying to use a high energy pressing style then we have not been very effective. I don’t think we have the right players for that style. If Emery is really going to go that way then its going to take a few transfer windows to rebuild the team.

  16. Terrible defending and the passing has been off. Amazingly we need Torreira against WH at home because no shield. Guendouzi can’t be everywhere. But since we aren’t creating that much, we might need Xhaka’s passing. If Torreira has been good v Chelsea, this would be an easy decision.

    But bring on Laca for Ramsey right away! No hold up of the ball crntrally and no service for Auba. Laca will help, I think,

  17. Every third pass we make goes astray or gets intercepted. What are we dreaming of?

    Ah – Torriera for the dizzy Guendouzi…

  18. On this season’s form so far I’m looking at a top 10 finish. Our foundations aren’t close to being set yet.

  19. Both Ramsey and then Mustafi doing terrific work at the by-line to get balls in the box. But we have so many mistakes in us in the middle of the park. Two steps forward, one and a half back.

  20. ever since RVP got a second yellow at Camp Nou for shooting after the whistle i’ve silently been keeping track of every time it happens against us. Twice today, just saying.

  21. Ozil’s way under par this season C so give it a rest

    No Ozil, who will they blame now cause we haven’t been very good.

  22. Some inherited problems in the squad: Ramsey does not want to be there, Oezil does not want to be anywhere apart from his bank account title. It’s two passengers. Will be tough to klick with that. The midfield should be more wise in covering for the wing backs. I also want to see some fitness progress, especially pace. This season: top ten finish.

  23. The injury time goal makes the score line look better then it was but no matter how it happened we got our first win under Emery so job done.


    I am just speaking for myself but I don’t blame Ozil for making us bad. I blame the generalized lack of talent in the squad for that. I blame Ozil for not making us better. A purely flair player who does not score or help the defense has to make us a lot better or he does not deserve his first 11 spot.

  24. Only three matches played and already there are signs of patience being lost and the nerves of the faithful are being passed on to the players on the field.
    When you have newbies in nearly half the side, plus a new manager, you cannot expect immediate success.
    We have now achieved our first win of the season and bonding will improve by the day.
    Patience and 100% support is our watchword. 😉

  25. nicky,

    This defensive issue is going to take a long time to sort out. Bellerin looks better going forward but defensively he looks horrid. No tackles won, few too interceptions and far to often caught out of position leaving cbs 3/4 vs 2.

    Dont get why we’re not at least trying Leno. Cech cannot play out from the back at all. To shakey and nervous and Mustafi and Sok are not good ball players either.

    Inviting pressure on ourselves

  26. Much needed 3 points. Relief. But I didn’t really enjoy watching us. I liked Gurndouzi’s energy and positivity but he needs to learn to position himself better and the partnership with Xhaka is unbalanced. Torreira/Guendouzi or Torreira/Xhaka makes more sense, I think.

    But we looked disjointed and poorly integrated. We’ve now started playing a couple of passes at the back and then booting it long. You would think we had more confidence against WH.

    I really think we have to play Laca and Auba together. But with two away games and a poor home performance, I expect more caution from Emery.

  27. Bill,

    I know mate, honestly I was just poking the bear today because people have been telling how much better and what not the team would be without him.

    We got the 3 points today and thats all that matters (well Bellerin attacking wise has been a joy to watch this season). Have to build on the 3 points and the goals not necessarily the overall performance.

  28. nicky,

    I was disappointed by the atmosphere at the ground, at least how it came across on the tv. Low energy and there could be so much more vocal support. But that’s always been the case at this ground. But I see no issue analyzing what the team is going on the blog comments. It doesn’t translate to losing patience.

  29. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I think Bellerin really doesn’t know where to position himself in this new system and no one is covering for him when he wanders high up the pitch or infield to “press”. I’ve always thought his defending was a little weak. He seems to have relied on pace but he’s lost a step there too.

  30. LSG,

    The hoofing thing is because there are so few players in our squad that can actually: see the space and pass and be able to execute it, have confidence that who they are passing to won’t lose it and those receiving being able to do so on the half turn. I do think we need to start figuring things out because these are the matches when we should be.

    Patience will be key for Emery figuring it all out but I continue to have faith in him but somethings you simply can’t teach.

  31. C,

    Why try to play this way without those skills and qualities? We tried to do it more consistently against City than we did against West Ham. If you don’t play Lacazette, who can hold onto the ball in those situations? Not Auba’s game.

  32. Xhaka had more fouls than tackles. He’s not always going to escape cards so luckily. The pressing responsibilities really expose him. The sooner Torreira and Guendouzi can establish a good rapport and learn how to play Emery’s way the better.

  33. LSG,

    I thought Xhaka was much better after guendouzi went off. He and Torriera found each other well.

    Cech should have done better for that first goal though imo…. I wonder if the rumours of Leno struggling in training are true. I can’t see any big changes next week…. He’s looking for consistency

  34. I’d also like to say it’s not Emry’s fault If players aren’t playing well…. There was various times were an inform Ramsey or ozil would have punished teams over last three games but our bigger players are struggling for form. Winning today will do wonders I imagine.

    I think once Laca and Auba get there firsts of the season we’ll score a lot more. Times today we looked really good, same as vs cheslea.

    I think europa starting will do us good, more games under manager and we can see what is and isn’t working.

  35. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Seems to be evident that Emery doesn’t trust him that much yet. Especially after two matches with a lot of boots forward, if he starts Cech again away to Cardiff and Newcastle, something will seem to be up there with Leno.

  36. LSG,

    If that’s the case, Xhaka will get the nod ahead of Guendouzi purely for age and experience. I’ve real issues with this sticking Mkhi out on the right. He and bellerin seem to find each other well but hugely exposing defensively as he doesn’t track back.

    Tbh Mkhi, Ramsey, Auba and Ozil have all been bang average. I hope we find forms and out the next 7 games away and rack up some points.

    Already I think Emry will be making notes on who he wants for the next window and we’ve got Sven there who can pull diamonds from the rough so he’ll be aware of what positions need strengthened.

    We’ve another situation of Mustafi or Sok not both in our hands. When it comes to blocking shots their both excellent. But tracking runners and positioning their both weak. Still think Mavrapanos is worth a shot for a game or two with his speed.

  37. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I think he has to take some responsibility. It isn’t his fault that Auba is missing good chances, sure. But he picks these lineups and is dictating the style of play. I also din’t Think his subs have always made that much sense. His insistence that we aren’t ready to play Auba and Laca together is belied by the fact that Auba gets more chances and the team creates more shots when both are on the pitch. I’m not losing patience but I am not going to exonerate him and only fault the players, whom I have critiqued thoroughly as well. I see a mismatch between his project, style and the players and situation AFC are in. Desperately needing top 4 finish by any means necessary with a limited, unbalanced squad that is probably the 5th or 6th best in PL.

  38. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Agree with you completely about our right side. I hope we are aggressive in January. It was silly not to target another CB who could pair with either Mustafi or Sokratis. I hope they are not counting on Kos to fix everything because that isn’t going to help all that much, I don’t think.

  39. LSG,

    It’s just so evident…. The only solution is play Lichsteiner over bellerin but then we lose his pace which has arguably created our best chances over 3 games…. It’s a head scratcher es

  40. LSG,

    Personally, I want Emery to impose his style and it feels like the feeling was always get through the first couple of matches and then during this run see who can really play his style and who can’t. I think we do have the players required such as Torriera, Guendouzi at the pivots and in the attack Ozil, Mhkitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Iwobi but when you try to play from the back you need confidence between your CB’s and GK and that is part of the problem.

    Mustafi is a ball playing CB but when he is unsure he looks like he isn’t. Sokaritis, he has always played next to a ball playing CB whether it was Hummels or last year with a few that Dortmund had but also had the pivots infront of him and a GK behind him who werw all comfortable to cover his him. Here, Cech simply can’t play that way, Xhaka is either good or bad, no inbetween and while I do think Ramsey has the potential to be a good player, it has to be in a system where he doesn’t actually touch the ball much in the build up and is more getting the ball fed to him on his late runs.

    Emery is going to be here I think for minimum 2 years and if thats the case then he needs to see who will work and who won’t. The shame is that we had Citeh and Chelsea the first two matches and honestly, we looked better against them then we did today. Leno amd Torriera must be first choice if we are to really see the changes that need to happen.

  41. LSG,

    Might be wild but lets put bellerin at right wing with a real RB behind him. PEA and hector as wingers is lightning pace. Hector a shambles defensively. Who cares about his attack if west ham get in behind him easy.. however if he is RW then he can lose ball and not kill us.

  42. thrillbo,

    Not completely opposed to that but I don’t think he will be as effective without someone to overlap. Also, we lose a better scorer if Mkh sits. Away from home, maybe worth a try.

  43. C,

    I want him to get top 4 this season and am not committed to his style over that especially before he has players better suited to it and better defenders. And v Chelsea and WH we basically have started booting it long without preparing for that better. If he doesn’t impose it by bringing out Leno etc… he’s compromised already and should focus on maximizing defensive solidity and getting the ball to our two central strikers, in my view, if we are to have a chance at top 4. Auba and Laca will finish if we get them th ball in the box.

  44. Consolbob
    Your memory is playing tricks.
    Wilson was injured at Villa Park in the original semi- final. We were 1-0 up and he tried to carry on but in trying to protect him Simpson scored an own goal. Radford went in goal and preserved our draw with some good saves .
    In the replay we won2-1 at Goidison and Redford got the winner. Geoff Barnett was in goal.
    As for today I thought it was a mess. We were loose in defence, picked the wrong attack and midfield and this side will never learn to shake off the high press at goal kicks. Cech is far past his sell-by date. We need to be much better

  45. Mhki needs to stay on the bench. I would prefer Nelson to Mhki in this situation on the right helping Bellerin.

    I think Bellerin can be a fair defender, but we need to add a more devastating attacker on the right and Nelson seems to be the only option.

    Nelson is definitely a good gamble when compared to Mhkitaryan.

  46. Emry doesn’t know his best 11 yet. Natural having just come into the club. I’m happy we won and particularly the going down and coming back in same half

  47. I don’t think we have the squad to play a high energy high pressing style. A manager can make the team as a whole more effectively but he cant really make players better or change who they are. Like it or not we just don’t have a lot of big team level talent and Emery and our front office brain trust cant change that without a few more transfer windows.

  48. LSG,

    But changing now shows a manager that doesn’t stick to his principles and what he believes in. He has a style, tactics, etc that he believes in and has most importantly WON A SHIT TON for him so I want him to stick to that. Do I think he will have to adapt a bit to our current cast, sure but I want him and think he should do that within the framework of his principles. The othet thing that I think plays a MAJOR part in this is him wanting to see what he has and then having the international break will give him more time to work with the squad based on what he has seen in the 4 matches. I think the one thing that must be remembered is that he has won and improved every squad he has had including PSG.

  49. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Exactly, if there is one thing that you have seen is in every match we have shown a strong mentality than we have in recent years. I mean last season Citeh rolled us after they scored first and yet we fought and had chances. Against Chelsea, lets all be honest, we should have won 4 or 5 – 2 and again, a different, stronger mentality has already been implemented and once we real off a string of performances and results that will only grow.

  50. Again, we won and the thing that we must ALL remember us that Emery is trying to undo essentially a decade of hurt and in the first two matches there were signs but there will be growing pains.

    I’m not comparing us to Citeh but lets not forget that will essentially the same squad, in his first season Pep got 3rd and they struggled.

  51. Lari03

    If we are thinking that Reiss Nelson and Guendouzi are going to be part of our core of critical players then 4th place is probably out of reach.


    If you don’t have the players to make a system work then you have to adapt until you can rebuild the squad. The stubborn streak is one of the things we all disliked about Arsene. The record at PSG was good but he had a gigantic talent advantage. The 3 straight Europa league titles are certainly impressive but the winner of the Europa league should have been in the CL and that means his teams dropped back into the Europa league and his 5th 5th 7th finishes in La Liga are not very impressive. I am not sure his record is as impressive as you think. That does not mean he is not a good manager but he has not been a miracle worker.

  52. Bill,

    Thata the thing and clearly the thing you missed in my post, he has players such as Torriera and Leno who can most certainly fit his system and in fact, played in very similiar styles. The current problem is that players such as Cech, Xhaka, Ramsey, don’t necessarily fit for various reasons whether its shit distribution or inability to play and think quickly which is MASSIVELY different than great work rate. At PSG he had the best record as a PSG manager of any of the previous who had the same overwhelming talent. At Sevilla, because you don’t follow La Liga you don’t know that they REGULARLY SOLD their best players year in and year out and not just sold them but sold them to rivals for big money and yet he still won. Finishing 5th in a league where Barca, Madrid and Atletico(they spend more than people actually realize) regularly outspend and your club is basically spending pennies and selling for tens of millions he was brilliant. The fact that PSG wanted him and I know you ONLY follow the PL but he is one of the most highly rated managers in Europe and that isn’t me saying that but its WIDELY recognized and known.

    No disrespect but when it actually comes to futbol outside the PL you shouldn’t actually comment because you don’t know because you don’t pay attention or understand. For instance, you talk about Madrid selling Ozil all the time but fail to realize that Bale was their star man yet Zidane REGULARLY preferred Isco because Isco was his guy or the fact that they paid something like £38m for a Brazilian named Vincius Junior and yet they told him even thia year that he will be in Madrid B team at best yet you would NEVER be able to understand that dynamic.

    Just think, you think Szczesny was shit but here is hand selected by Buffon, Allegri and Juve as Buffon’s heir and is now their UNDISPUTED #1 but you never thought he was good enough for Arsenal and still want Cech.

    Enjoy the rest of your day, I’m out.

  53. C,

    Why are you stating ‘ALL’ like no one else can see it C……more than a little patronising.
    Some of us here have been watching Arsenal for a very long time…..decades infact.
    We are well aware of what must happen

  54. C,
    my only concern is getting back into the top 4 this season. We have expensive core attacking players who are 29-30yrs old whom we cannot sell to recoup value and whom we can only count on to have 2-3 years at the highest level of performance. In order for Arsenal to begin to compete or at least re-establish itself as a top team during this narrow window, we need to be in the CL as quickly as possible.

    So I don’t think we have the luxury of s long term project until we are more credible and have the prestige and resources CL football gives us. I want Emery to adhere to the framework of his principles but I recall him being described as a tactically flexible and pragmatic coach who played good football but adapted to his opposition and could organize a good defense. This season, with new players he didn’t really have a huge input on and old players still under the AW legacy and an unbalanced squad, I would much rather see the tactically flexible side of Emery to use what he has in the most effective and efficient way. Because we have the 5th or 6th best squad, have finished 5th and 6th the last two seasons and spent insufficiently or unwisely (?—we’ll see) to change this reality, the task is hard enough as it is.

    So far, everyone who is counseling patience with the new style and system hasn’t addressed these issues sufficiently in discussion to persuade me that this new approach will work quickly enough to achieve that goal this season, that some flexible approach adapted to the strengths and weaknesses of our team and in response to our opposition like a midfield diamond 442 or a 352 or a counterattacking approach in certain games etc… wouldn’t work better and more quickly to achieve top 4, or that getting into the top 4 isn’t the top priority for this season.

  55. YW,

    Morning YW and thank you for the post. I’m unable to comment on today’s post . I think there might be dn issue on your site

  56. I agree with Limestone. We need to get back into the top 4 ASAP. I don’t think we can afford to sacrifice points for the sake of maintaining our tactical purity.

  57. LSG,

    I get it and I want top 4 as well but as a manager that is taking over a club that has been in steady decline, he not only has to make top 4 but also has to change the the culture, style and tactics of the club and that won’t always be at the off or to the supporters liking but he has to have both a short term and long term view. Getting top 4 and changing a stale club are 1.a and 1.b to my mind and that starts with changing the style and tactics as well as winning matches.

  58. 3 points is what we needed and even more so to see the ball go in the back of the net.

    Defensively, well we have issues but attacking wise we struggled until the 2nd half when Lacazette was introduced. Bellerin offer so much attacking wise and I know defensively he is still a work in progress but futbol is a team game and we have to wonder why nobody is covering for him.

    I think moving forward it must but Leno and Torriera.

  59. Hi gooners…

    A win for the season at last.

    Been reading comments from several sites since the beginning of the season and I must say that it’s pretty unfortunate that the level of impatience is quite unfair…. and very funny.

    With all the suggestions, I think some could have done a better job by applying for the post when it was clear Wenger was leaving….. Advising Emery by these impatient comments and complaints is no good…. It didn’t help Wenger who had the shock absorber of glory years…I imagine what Unai will bank on as a guard.

    Let the season progress and let the team develop. Expecting a miracle from Emery is as good as Wenger continuing in his post.

  60. Oludotun,

    We aren’t advising Emery, we are sharing our views on an Arsenal blog comments section because we love to talk and think about the team without anyone seriously imagining they could do the job of coach. It has absolutely nothing to do with impatience, as far as I am concerned. We observe transfers, watch games, and discuss the team and its fortunes on that basis before, during and after each match. I am hoping Emery and the team does well, as is everyone. What is more funny is how anyone can get worked up about other fans enjoying discussing and debating their beloved team together. No one is taking anything said here by themselves or others so seriously as some kind of index of “fan patience/impatience” with the manager.

  61. Bill,

    Especially a team that has been mired in a culture of top 4 horizons and preferring consistency to sporting glory at the highest levels. That is the complacent culture that most needs changing around Arsenal, perhaps. But of course, if that isn’t the ambition of the club’s leadership/ownership, there will be some limitations to how thoroughly the culture can and will change.

    Emery has to change much, but he hasn’t been that involved with the player transfer side ahead of most of our summer business nor is he likely to receive quite the same sort of budget that Pep had to remake his squad.

    So how to approach the problem? That’s what I have been discussing but receiving very little engagement on the substantive issues. Fair enough if many don’t want to think or talk about that and just want to wait and see what happens. Part of me is doing just that because it is just an unknown situation to enjoy the unfolding of the Emery era. And of course nothing we say here matters to the course of reality. In that case, there isn’t that much to say. But if you like to think and talk analytically about what we are witnessing with others similarly engaged,m—because it is fun and interesting— what is more substantive than these issues when it comes to Arsenal? I am sure these are questions Emery and the new leadership are thinking about in their quest to achieve success on the pitch.

  62. C,

    I agree that perhaps in this run of games we will hope to see Leno and Torreira. That will give a better sense of what he wants to do and whether these players can help us improve on last year’s league finish.

  63. C:
    3 points is what we needed and even more so to see the ball go in the back of the net.

    Defensively, well we have issues but attacking wise we struggled until the 2nd half when Lacazette was introduced. Bellerin offer so much attacking wise and I know defensively he is still a work in progress but futbol is a team game and we have to wonder why nobody is covering for him.

    I think moving forward it must but Leno and Torriera.

    Bellerin isn’t work in progress C-he’s a fucking liability….big difference.
    Going forward he’s very good,defending he’s nothing short of shocking.
    He should be a winger,full stop.

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