Emery on Benchmarks, FA Charges and More

The Football Association welcomed Unai Emery to English football last night with a charge of improper conduct for kicking a water bottle. A one-match ban is likely given the FA’s history. It’s no surprise and so long as Arsenal play the game to its’ fullest extent, will see him absent from the touchline at Blackpool.

Is there a “threshold for deception” equivalent in this case? Should the Spaniard be worried the bottle hit a member of the crowd? I suspect this has more to do with it. Bufton-Tufton of the FA doesn’t appreciate these foreign Johnnies coming over here with their fancy passes with the outside of the boot. No! A firm English size 10 through the ball to the head of the centre-forward. That’s what we demand and that’s what we will get!

A threshold for deception? What the hell is that? Salah hit the turf in a deliberate attempt to deceive the referee and succeeded. Anywhere else on the pitch, Salah isn’t even getting a free-kick. Arsenal’s back three / four are forewarned; it’s going to be Das Boot on Saturday evening.

The visit to Anfield is a timely reminder that progress doesn’t come quickly. Klopp took charge in October 2015; three years later and net transfer dealings of approximately £112m, he sees his team six points clear at the top. With Tottenham in second place, welcome to the tenth circle of footballing hell.

Liverpool’s rate of progress is the same we’re looking at with Arsenal under Emery. Gradually rising up the league and frankly, if the Spaniard gets us to a Champions League final in a couple of years, I for one will be mightily impressed. I’d rather he went one better and guided the team to victory, however.

Yardsticks, Benchmarks and Rules of Thumb

Social media is a barometer for lunacy and nothing else. Calls for Unai Emery’s head at this stage of the season is attention-seeking. Or demanding failure to protect a legacy. Bear in mind, however, that names were ‘made’ as the cacophony for Wenger’s head reached its’ crescendo. It worked once, etc.

Inevitably, talk at yesterday’s press conference brought up Liverpool’s 19-match unbeaten run. They are halfway invincible. It’s one-up of Guardiola’s pseudo-Invincibles of last season and the second longest in Premier League history. And still a long way to go. The minute talk of remaining unbeaten hits the back pages runs of this magnitude tend to end. They did with City and Chelsea beforehand, why should this be any different?

Yet it could be and we have to face the fact that going unbeaten is something another club will achieve. We were the second club in English professional football to achieve the feat, it’s unlikely there won’t be a third. Nor, I suspect, will we wait over a century for it to happen. All we can do is hope the players end Liverpool’s run this weekend.

Unai Emery wants more than that with the trip to Anfield a yardstick. After blitzing Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League final, Emery is seeking to emulate their progress:

This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment. But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way. But we need also time, and sometimes the patience is very important for us.

Rome wasn’t built in a day but football expects that to happen. I don’t know that it is necessarily a new concept. It’s more intense now with the immediacy of news and opinion but football supporters aren’t the most patient bunch.

Points to Prove This Winter

The reality is that we need a new back four and to overhaul the midfield. Ever Banega’s name is mentioned once again as a transfer target this winter but the defence is a more immediate concern. Yes, defending from the front is the mantra and we shouldn’t overlook one area of the team just to sate our desire in another.

With the purse strings tightened, this is a genuine test of Raul and Sven’s abilities. The latter’s diamond eye needs focusing while the former’s negotiating skills are firmly in the spotlight. It would be nice if we got a deal or two completed before the cup tie at Blackpool so that player(s) are bedded in for the trip to West Ham.

But this is Arsenal and expecting quick action is too much…

’til Tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Emery on Benchmarks, FA Charges and More

  1. andy1886 says:

    I see that Peter Hill-Wood (“Thank you for your interest in our affairs”) has died aged 82. Last of the Hill-Wood dynasty at Arsenal although he was merely a figure head towards the end (even before Stan).

  2. andy1886 says:

    I’m not expecting much either in the TW or at Anfield tomorrow, so I’m unlikely to be disappointed! As long as we give it a decent shot, we’re several seasons behind Klopp’s team so any points will be a bonus. January will probably bring us a stop gap central defender and nothing else.

    What will also be interesting is if Wenger lands a new job – we’ve certainly been fed stories that all of these big clubs are interested so let’s see if it’s more b*llshit from the fanboys or if any of them really are daft enough to give him a shot.

  3. Eche from Nigeria says:

    We need a central defender but to me 2 wide players are more important than a central midfielder which I still feel we need urgently . In the summary a central defender , 2 wingers and a backup right full back is urgently needed for us to have serious challenge for top 4 and invariably title challenge .

  4. consolsbob says:


    I know that Hill Wood does not fit comfortably in the current social ‘meta’, being a pompous and titled old man. However, his family had the guardianship of our club for a very long time and until Kronke came along certainly gave us service. They were not in it for the money. It was duty, another uncomfortable word for many now.

    I would take him and others like him who once littered the Boardrooms of our clubs over the fat and uncaring, the crooked, the self seeking and those with even more megalomaniac ambitions who have replaced them today.

  5. andy1886 says:


    Absolutely correct CB, the Hill-Woods were part of the fabric of the club that made us a class a part when other clubs were being run by the local scrap metal merchant and the like. The word ‘custodian’ seems appropriate. The likes of the Hill-Woods and the Bracewell-Smiths understood that the club was much more than a business, it was part of the local community and a family tradition for hundreds of thousands. Hope to God that Stan’s clan aren’t at the club anywhere near the length of time that they were.

  6. consolsbob says:


    No worries there, Andy. They will always follow the money.

  7. kenyangunner says:

    Great post Yogi. Nice to remind us just how long it’s taken Klopp to get to where he is. Doubt the board will give Emery the amount of money he’d desire. We tend to be a lot more frugal than most big clubs!

  8. LSG says:

    I think footballing he’ll would be Tottenham in Liverpool’s place. That would be torture. As far as emulating Klopp’s progress with Liverpool, Emery will have less money to work with. Whoever bought Coutinho helped Klopp immensely. That sale alone funded Keita and van Dijk. Our problem is that we haven’t sold well to fund our rebuild. Apart from Ox and Giroud, most of our sales recently were salary dumps. Future sales on Ramsey, Ozil, if even possible would be similar. We need 4-5 more buys of the level of Torreira to be real contenders.

  9. Lari03 says:

    I think against Liverpool tomorrow, getting a point from the game would be a real achievement. I was really enthused about Emery’s early progress, but I just can’t see how he can manage this game with the squad at hand.

  10. C says:


    As somebody who not only loves and adore Arsenal but all of my hometown Pittsburgh franchises, I am lucky to have the Rooney family watch over and manage my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. They are a family who does it for not only the love of the Steelers but the love of all supporters and the very city of Pittsburgh itself. They understand what the club means to Steeler Nation and the city itself. So, even as a youngster, I understand exactly what you are describing, even in the age where sports and even to a greater extent money is as much about the clubs and games we love.

  11. C says:

    I know this maybe youth ignorance but I for one think they can be gotten at. Basics, what brought us the 22 match unbeaten run and the progress is what we have to get back to.

    Yogi, I disagree we need a back 4 rebuild, more, we need fitness. Bellerin is arguably the beat RB in the PL when fit and Sead has the ability to be a monster at LB. CB, sure we need a boss back there but on their day, Sokaritis and Mustafi are capable, as they have shown. I for one hope Emery remembers the XI that brought us so much joy and that XI responds. I would love to see:


  12. C says:

    Mavrapanos back in full training…..wonder the impact that could possibly have.

  13. consolsbob says:


    You are lucky, my friend. Long may it last.

  14. C says:


    I know my friend. Art Rooney bought them in 1933 and his family controls the Steelers now through his grandson but the whole family is well respected and adored by presidents of all countries as well as all of those who love the Steelers.

    To this day the NFL has a rule called the Rooney rule which basically states that no NFL coach can be hired without a minority getting interviewed and that has paved the way for diversity within the NFL coaching ranks.

  15. VaMugariwa says:

    We can’t afford to carry Maitland-Niles or Lichtsteiner against Liverpool!!! It is even better to play Iwobi at right back like we used to do with the Ox. At BHA, Maitland-Niles and Lichtsteiner were useless. We must also never play three at the back!!! All the wins we got in the second half of games were achieved after starting with 3 at the back and later changed after the break. Lacazette and Ozil/Ramsey/Auba must form our attack and no silly substitutions Mr Emery!!!

  16. philmar says:

    Hill-Woods’ kids weren’t interested in the family firm!?!? Best argument for retroactive abortion ever. Ingrates…..and if they turned out to be Spurs fans then (snip snip CENSORED. )

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