Leicester Preview: Reality Check For Emery?

For most of us, this evening’s trip to Leicester is a tipping point in the season. Defeat leaves, most likely, nine points away, with little sign that we are going to find the form to overcome that kind of deficit.

Even a draw, probably the best outcome we’ll get this evening, leaves a six-point gap. Still a tall order on current form and certainly not impossible as anyone who has watched football for more than five minutes knows.

Of course, it could all be academic when we pull off an unexpected win.

Unai Emery gave a defensive performance in a Sky interview. His ‘public’ view of the team is that we’re “still in construction, trying to be competitive”. One minute we’re an attacking tour de force, cultivating football from the back. The next we’re a pressing machine, turning over possession and countering opponents with pace.

At least we know what he’s after. Indeed, Emery gave an example of each: the first half at Watford and then in Frankfurt. Noticeably, neither were home games. But the counterpoint to the first half in Hertfordshire was the second-half collapse, a performance which has been repeated ad nauseum since.

The King Power used to be a happy hunting ground but in the past two seasons, the ten-man Arsenal sides capitulated. Those are the sorts of performances more akin with those seen in recent weeks. According to Emery, it’s because we haven’t found our “emotional stability”. I sympathise with that view. I’m quite stable most of the week but when Arsenal play, I tend to lose my sh*t quite easily.

His comments about the various incidents this season were red herrings. Koscielny rumbled on and was resolved before the season began; Kolasinac returned to training after only a week passed from that incident.

Unai Emery: Architect of his Own Downfall

The Xhaka incident ought not to affect the performances of the squad. If they are put out of their stride that easily, they are too weak mentally to be footballers; they can’t handle the pressure of playing for a big club.

Which really only leaves Mesut Ozil, to which most of his absence is directly laid at the door of the club who were – maybe still are – trying to force him out of the Emirates. The same Ozil who was all but accused of being lazy and demotivated has suddenly found his mojo in the eyes of the coach.

In no way should anyone believe that Emery’s desperation led him to backtrack very quickly to a previously discarded option.

A point Emery was keen to emphasise was that on Thursday we closed off counter-attacks quickly. Well, that was the second string. Against the Premier League, we’ve been vulnerable and a cast which suffers repeated outbreaks of first night nerves.

That is down to the lack of clarity in the coaching. If players don’t understand their roles they will not deliver. Either his instructions are too complex or they are delivered badly? It might be that the players are crap but that’s a different matter entirely.

Thursday night might give us a hint to what to expect today. That Bellerin didn’t feature puts him in the frame for a start which is harsh on Callum Chambers unless of course, he is featuring in a back-three.

Certainly, with Bellerin and Tierney as wing-backs, there is every opportunity to provide strong defensive cover in midfield and accommodate Ozil in a rare trip north of the capital.

Which Means The XI Is:

The youngsters are plateauing, it’s fair to say. The initial burst of enthusiasm from breaking into the team is mired in the lack of confidence of the collective. That impacts on new players settling in as well.

But for this afternoon, a more cautious approach will, I think, be evident:

Leno; Chambers, Luis, Sokratis; Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Tierney; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

Leicester are in a good run of form and a point is a good return. As difficult as it is too see it happening, a win would be even better…

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

177 thoughts on “Leicester Preview: Reality Check For Emery?

  1. consolsbob says:

    Anyone understand that substitution?

  2. Bufallo says:

    All this we have great youngsters nonsense as an excuse. Cast your eyes at Stamford Bridge. Whatever we do there is someone doing it better or trying harder. We are total also rans. Come on Josh step up and show you mean football business.

  3. C says:

    It’a either Gooners or the Leicester supporters but they are singing, and quite loudly, “You’re getting sacked in the morning”

  4. Noon Gunner says:

    Clocking ticking and we’re still passing backwards and sideways…

  5. Woolwich Freddie says:

    When we get the ball, we have no idea what to do with it. The whole plan is to stand there and maybe nick one on the break.

  6. consolsbob says:

    Arsenal fans singing that.

    Edu and the CE stony faced.

  7. C says:

    How does Chillwell not get booked for that?!?!?! I mean he stands over the ball even after the ref tells him 2x to step back.

  8. Ras says:

    The reality Is that if We truly want to be dining at the top table Sead and Chambers ( who has played well ) are just not what good enough in this modern game. Period.

    Apart from Guendouzi , Willock and Torreira the rest are not the type of Players Arsenal need at the moment. Send Ceballos back to Madrid.

    That is nothing against any of the others it’s just being realistic.

    We are seeing, witnessing Leicester give us a demonstration on how to Manage team.

  9. Las says:

    It is clear Emery doesn’t have a clue about his team nor about football as a whole.

  10. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Bellerin booked for his first foul…

  11. andy1886 says:

    Spike,

    Better late than never, yes that was the one Spike.

    Another feeble performance today btw.

  12. C says:

    Ras,

    I also think, we have attacking players who want to attack and presa and Emery simply doesn’t do it. You look at Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Torriera, Guendouzi, Willock, Bellerin, Tierney, hell even Ceballos and Ozil…..they want to attack, play higher up the pitch but when your being asked to sit back, it doesn’t suit the players.

  13. Noon Gunner says:

    Lost our way to goal entirely …

  14. C says:

    We had chances but couldn’t get the final touch or shot. We aren’t a counter-attacking side, we need to press and play higher up the pitch.

  15. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Beaten well by a good side. That’s one thing. The cluelessness is quite another. I’d understand if Emery wasn’t quite there yet but the truth is we aren’t going anywhere under him. Should have cut him lose already.

  16. SV says:

    Subs too late.

    Outthought by Rogers in the second half.

  17. C says:

    The worst thing that could have happened to Emery has just happened….we lost in a match that looked there in the 1st half and early 2nd half but we lost and the international break comes.

  18. Stu says:

    Well, that was fairly sh!t. We became soft and predictable under Wenger, but even his last 50 games have a better record than Emery’s first 50. I can’t see Emery turning this around. He has to go.

  19. Paulie Walnuts says:

    That was a going through the motions performance if ever I’ve seen one. Some of our players just didn’t fancy it. They certainly didn’t play for their manager tonight, so this malaise includes everyone.

    Probably the most disappointing thing for me was the raising of the white flag once went behind. There’s no heart in this team & Emery can’t find the solution.

  20. G4E says:

    Arsenal Football Club new Motto

    **Maybe next year?**

  21. C says:

    I think at this point, it just makes sense for Emery to leave because players aren’t happy, the supporters aren’t happy and we aren’t producing on the pitch.

    I do think Emery is a good manager, but the PL doesn’t suit him or his tactics.

  22. Welsh corgi says:

    consolsbob,

    Yepp, most certainly hope for change now. Thought that we’d do good tonight as we looked up for it. Though if this poor when we’re up for it we certainly need better.

  23. C says:

    And off the pitch, Xhaka’s decision not to playbisnjust adding to the madness right now.

  24. wandega joseph says:

    I have not seen a team of star players play this bad. Playing from the back and almost getting punished. Am sorry for Emry. The players simply dont want to play for him. He should be honourable enough and leave. Arsenal has got plays worth Top 4 but its impossible with Unai.

  25. SV says:

    “How to ruin the career of a winger for dummies”, by Unai Emery (first published in 2019, further editions planned).

    Summary:

    Keep the winger on the bench when your side is sitting back and trying to counter.

    Bring the winger on with 18 min to go, when your side is 2 goals down, and your opposition is eating up the clock.

  26. Bill says:

    I really missed the target with my prediction that we were going to win. Its really time for Emery to go. He has been managing relatively successfully for almost 20 years so the idea that he has no idea what he is doing is utter rubbish. I am 100% certain that sitting deep and only creating 1 shot on goal and waiting patiently for the inevitable when we concede are not his instructions to the players. Unfortunately that is what is happening.
    Whatever his tactical plan is this group of players just does not have the ability to execute. We never keep a clean sheet. Auba or Laca are the only players on this squad who are a legitimate threat to score and if they get shut out then we are going to lose.

  27. Jonnygunner says:

    Ras:
    The reality Is that ifWe truly want to be dining at the top table Sead and Chambers ( who has played well ) are just not what good enough in this modern game. Period.

    Apart from Guendouzi , Willock and Torreira the rest are not the type of Players Arsenal need at the moment. Send Ceballos back to Madrid.

    That is nothing against any of the others it’s just being realistic.

    We are seeing, witnessing Leicester give us a demonstration on how to Manage team.

    Chambers played really well…Guendouzi was shocking…like the last game…and the one before.
    I can’t agree with you.

  28. C says:

    It sucks that its clear Emery is trying to be more defensive to protect us but we are just not good defensively at the moment. I would rather us attack and make teams fear Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang similiar to what Lampard has done with Chelsea and push teams back then us try to counter. We are built to attack, have players who can not only score goals but create, FB’s who can defend but in Bellerin and Tierney, they are superb in attack….lets just go and try to score because, honestly, apart from Citeh and Liverpool, if we attack, we are likely to outscore damn near everybody.

  29. Bill says:

    C

    You have been over rating our talent for 10 years and nothing has changed. No team can simply out score bad defense no matter how much attacking talent you think we have. Football does not work that way.

  30. Ras says:

    C,

    We just done have enough Players whom are defensively minded. The Team is to top heavy. It’s not a Team if you know what I mean.

    For 50/60 minutes it was not bad. Though Vardy missed a good chance 1st half.

    When Leicester scored you could see the energy, will in the Arsenal players dissipate.

  31. Ras says:

    The Players have got to responsibility also.

  32. Spike says:

    Ras,

    I’ve never been sk sure about us losing a game.

  33. Bill says:

    If Emery had told the team to throw all caution to the wind and attack attack attack attack we probably would have lost 7-1 instead of 2-0. No manager is going to tell his tram not to worry about defense and just try to outscore them. However does anyone really think his instructions to the players are throw on the handbrake and not attack? Do you think he told Ozil that did didn’t want him to attempt and final passes or create any dangerous situations? Does anyone think he told the wingbacks Bellerin and Kolasinac that he didn’t want them getting forward? That’s utter rubbish. Its clear our defense in terrible and we can’t keep a clean sheet and players are just not executing the attacking side of the game.

  34. Ras says:

    Jonnygunner,
    You don’t have to agree with Me.

    I said Chambers had a good game.
    Im saying that I think that Chambers at right back is not good enough. Period. Going forward he and Sead are not good enough. If you watch Sead he never truly wants the ball. He will quite often when we are in possession of the ball not want to take possession. He hides.

    Since he’s been at Arsenal how many telling crosses etc has he produced in the attacking third. I’d love to see. Chambers is hit and miss going forward . It’s possible he’d be better in front of the décence.

  35. Ras says:

    Jonnygunner,

    I’d love to see the Stats for Sead in terms of his contribution in the attacking third.

  36. C says:

    Bill,

    I actually haven’t, I ALWAYS said Giroud was bang average and outside of Theo, we never had the consistent goal scorer. With Lacazette, Aubameyang and Pepe, we have the ability, when they gel, to be as good as most strike forces.

  37. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Concerned by Emery’s post match interview. It comes across like the plan is to hope teams around us drop points and hope we eventually get better. If we’re shit away, maybe we can be good at home. Also, apparently that WAS the team carrying out his instructions.

  38. C says:

    Ras,

    I agree, we don’t but we have players that want to get on the front foot and attack which would help defensively. We are top heavy but also have just enough ‘other’ players to gel but its the selection.

    Vardy did miss a good chance, but look at some of the balls that we played in the box, we had chances to get shots on target, just couldn’t get there or it was blocked.

    I think bringing on Pepe should have been done after 1-0 and we could have seen different

  39. Presto de Soto says:

    Bill,

    Hi Bill, kindly listen to Emery comments after the game. In his opinion, the player mostly executed his gameplan….

  40. Ras says:

    C,

    À number of the chances that came to Arsenal fell to Torreira . If you recall there were 2-3 just on the edge of the box. He’s sadly not your Lampard in that situation.

    I just don’t think he’s a very good Footballing coach. I think he’s still at this stage unable to work out the PL.

  41. Bill says:

    Presto de Soto:
    Bill,

    Hi Bill, kindly listen to Emery comments after the game. In his opinion, the player mostly executed his gameplan….

    The pressure is clearly on and he does not know what to say anymore.

  42. Bill says:

    C:
    Ras,

    I agree, we don’t but we have players that want to get on the front foot and attack which would help defensively.We are top heavy but also have just enough ‘other’ players to gel but its the selection.

    Vardy did miss a good chance, but look at some of the balls that we played in the box, we had chances to get shots on target, just couldn’t get there or it was blocked.

    I think bringing on Pepe should have been done after 1-0 and we could have seen different

    C

    If the passes you are talking about were in a position where no one could get to them there is no possibility for us to score on that play so that is not a real chance. If the shot was blocked then its certainly not a high percentage chance. You seem to be the only who is thinks we were looking dangerous and playing good football and your assessment seems a bit hard to accept when we have one of Europes top 10 strikers and second striker who is a solid finisher and yet we could only manage to put one shot on target.

  43. Bill says:

    C:
    Bill,

    I actually haven’t, I ALWAYS said Giroud was bang average and outside of Theo, we never had the consistent goal scorer.With Lacazette, Aubameyang and Pepe, we have the ability, when they gel, to be as good as most strike forces.

    Fair enough. You were never a huge fan of Giroud.

    Auba in really good and Laca is a solid finisher. Pepe was excellent in France just like Gervinho and Eden Hazard. Its way to early to give up on Pepe but its also way to early to suggest that he is going to be a top quality forward in the PL. So far his Arsenal career certainly reminds us a lot more of Gervinho then Hazard.

  44. C says:

    Ras,

    I know but a few fell to Lacazette that was either blocked or shot wide plus Aubameyang’s offsides. I think attacking wise, we can take positives, its the defending that was good enough (Leno again was superb) but that goal seemed to deflate the defense.

  45. C says:

    Bill,

    Your making things up again mate, I said we were dangerous at times and there is no denying that. The crosses, go back and actually take a look, we put in balls across thr 6 yard box, the runs weren’t always made and that means the balls were there and that happens but is ALSO NOT blaming our strikers, just making a statement. Blocked shots could be excellent chances but the defender did his job….I mean look at the chance that Lacazette had in the first half, he is in front of goal and the defender gets a block and kills the ball…that’s a GREAT CHANCE but the defender did what he is paid to do.

  46. C says:

    Bill,

    Well its hard to judge Pepe given he has just arrived and definitely showed plenty of signs but also over the past couple of matches he has played sparingly.

  47. Jonnygunner says:

    Ras:
    Jonnygunner,

    I’d love to see the Stats for Sead in terms of his contribution in the attacking third.

    I didn’t say anything about Sead…..but he’s not good enough.
    Neither is Guendouzi (for the last 3 games at least).
    Chambers is the best of a bad bunch

  48. Bill says:

    Having Torriera, Guendouzi and Ozil together certainly did not help us do a better job of controlling the game in the midfield or help us to look like a more dangerous attacking team. Having Holding and Bellerin did not make us look like a more solid defensive team. Today was more of the same old same old. We have been blaming Xhaka all year but I doubt we would have done any better or any worse with him on the pitch.

  49. Bill says:

    Based on what we have seen so far this season, which of the players who have been playing regular minutes in our league games would be playing regular minutes on any of the teams that are currently in the top 2 in their group in the CL? I would argue Auba and may be Laca but none of the others.

  50. Bill says:

    C:
    Bill,

    Well its hard to judge Pepe given he has just arrived and definitely showed plenty of signs but also over the past couple of matches he has played sparingly.

    I agree its hard to judge him but other then a couple of free kicks in a Europa league game I would argue the majority of signs he has shown have not been all that encouraging. Based on what we have seen so far your statement indicating that he is part of a excellent attacking trio of forwards does not make a lot of sense when you still can’t judge him.

  51. Bill says:

    C

    You have said we played good attacking football in the last couple of league games and yet during those games our goal scoring has dried up and we have 1 goal and 5 shots on target in about 190 minutes of football. Something is not adding up.

  52. Wavey says:

    A quote from the manager:

    ‘We are not playing really with a good performance to impose our idea, impose our capacity on each match.’

    Anybody know what it means? No wonder he isn’t getting his message over to the players, if this is the type of comment he is throwing at them in training.

    The numbers for his first 50 games vs Wenger’s last 50 are pretty damning. He has proved to be worse as a manager than someone in steep decline at the end of his career at the club.

    Rumours are that Luis Enrique is a target, but will he be much better? Arguably, he had the benefit of a team at Barcelona who would go out on the pitch and get the job done no matter who was in charge. He also had one of the 2 best players in football for a number of years to call on. Messi could change a game singlehandedly and often did.

    We now need a manager who can shake the team up, who knows how to motivate a group of players who are lost on the pitch. I’m not sure we can prise such a manager away from a club to take over at Arsenal and looking at the ranks of the unemployed for an option just won’t work.

  53. Wavey says:

    The other gems from our manager:

    “We can be disappointed with the result but the players did the gameplan that we prepared,” he added.

    “They scored the first goal and in that moment we lost the possibility to do something in this match.

    “But the attitude was good, the gameplan we prepared – the players did that.”

    So the game plan is wrong. That’s down to the manager.

    So we couldn’t even get a draw out of the game once we went a goal down? He has that little faith in the team that he gave up as soon as we conceded. And the attitude was good. Those two comments really don’t tie up. The attitude should have been to fight to get something out of the game, but our own manager doesn’t think we could do that. Somehow he thinks we can close the gap to the top 4 though.

    Seem to be comments of a manager hoping to save his job, but not sure how to do it.

  54. Spike says:

    Wavey,

    If Enrique us a target, then that smacks of a board with no fucking clue! And possibly suggests Raul has the say on these calls, rather than a group consensus.

    Enrique would be a bigger risk than Emery in my view.

  55. Spike says:

    Spike,

    And why hasnt Emery been sacked already?

    Maybe he has, but he didn’t understand what they were saying, so he hasnt left yet???

  56. Wavey says:

    Spike,

    Surely the Board should be sacking him today. Why would they need to wait? Our next game is on 23rd Nov, so could get someone else installed now and able to work with those players not away on international duties. Even handing over to Ljungberg temporarily right now would make more sense than hanging on. Why does the Board think anything will change in the next couple of weeks?

  57. Wavey says:

    Spike,

    Enrique had pretty average records at both Roma and Celta Vigo. Doesn’t strike me as a manager who knows how to turn around the fortunes of an underperforming team.

    If Enrique is genuinely an option, it is the thinking of someone who has no clue at all about football.

  58. Wavey says:

    By the time we play again the Spuds could be ahead of us on goal difference. And I thought they were having a shit season.

  59. Bufallo says:

    Ancelotti, Gallardo, Blanc, Allegri, Pelissier, Spaletti

    Just anyone but Emery now, he’s toast. Players aren’t having him.
    Few ideas above, probably best if the next manager speaks English well though. Given current situation at Napoli, maybe Ancelotti would be an
    interesting option, knows the PL well.
    Surely they’re not going to go for Mourinho ?
    Stranger things have happened.
    Not convinced by the idea of Luis Enrique at all.

  60. nicky says:

    I question just how much power is invested in the Board by the Kroenkes.
    Yet again this season, receipts are satisfactory.
    The business of Arsenal FC is good in the eyes of the Owners. Their investment continues to increase in value.
    There is simply no incentive on their part to make radical changes.
    Unless or until the ownership changes to those who have an abiding interest in the “beautiful game” any real improvement is in my opinion just a pipedream.

  61. Las says:

    Wavey,

    I actually believe in Enrique. At least he has a footballing philosophy. He will impose himself and he is a strong character. He does not need beet the sh*t out of our star player to get some authority.
    I think we need someone with clear ideas and strong personality and Enrique undoubtedly has the attributes.

  62. Andy1886 says:

    Wavey,

    As C and I were saying the other day Eddie Howe might be worth a look. Sensible guy who knows the PL and has done remarkably well to keep a club like Bournemouth safe in the league. Also creates a team that is more than the sum of it’s parts. No language issues as all the players will have at least a basic grasp of English, and he should be keen to show he can do it with a bigger club. To be honest I would be concerned with any manager who has no experience of the PL. Like players sometimes management skills don’t always transfer well to a new environment.

  63. Ras says:

    nicky,

    I agree with you Nicky. I don’t think the Kroenkes are ready to act.

    We are stuck with this bag of shite at least until December.

  64. andy1886 says:

    Ras,

    Sorry to piss on anyone’s chips but Ornstein has tweeted that they are confident he can turn it around, will not listen to any ‘noise’ and will give him until the end of the season. Deluded….

  65. Steve says:

    I share in the pain of our loss. It was difficult to take. But we all need to share the blame. Last season started out well until supporters through AFtv, A cultured left foot and others started an imaginary problem between Ramsey and Unai and later Ozil and our downward spiral began. We played well at the start of this season until pundits and supporters insisted they want to see the top three of Auba, Lacassette and Pepe wondering why we bought Pepe if he can’t be thrown in immediately. The coach said he is not ready but we did not listen. We turned the screw until he succumbed. It was a project for Wright and others. They raised the decibel leveraging on supporters who listen to them. Now Wright has achieved his aim and has gone quiet. Since then, it’s been down, down, down.
    Before now, people can make comments and no one would know. But a whisper in any corner of the globe is heard or read immediately. Both players and coaches hear or read what is said about them.
    For us as Arsenal supporters, we have gone overboard. Completely. It’s such that we hurl abuses at our captain and boo him when substituted. Pathetic. Disrespect.
    We have created tension between Ozil and Emery. Two individuals with low self esteem and we are paying for it. We did not create chances we said. It was because Ozil was sidelined. Now he is back. The chances are not coming.
    I just hope some persons are not paid to create unnecessary distractions for Arsenal. Last season it was Ozil and Ramsey. This season Lacassette, Ozil, Pepe and Xhaka. Just see the frenzy around appointing a Captain for our team. It literally tore us apart. Part of Xhaka reactions emanated from that.
    We are too indulged. We have created so much problems for our club. We have completely gone overboard as supporters and pundits. Now everyone is feeling down. We need to show more respect for our players and our coaches. Let’s hope we get better.

  66. Buckagh says:

    Steve,

    Steve the captain wasn’t appointed he was elected,
    What a display of weakness by a manager
    I could go on and on, but that point shows to me at least that Emrey is not the manager arsenal need,

  67. andy1886 says:

    Steve,

    Sorry mate but that’s nonsense. Not that fans have the power you describe, and the idea that Ian Wright wants to sabotage the club is so outrageous you could be committed for it. Social media trolls hit on everyone, Xhaka used it as a shield for his own poor attitude. He wasn’t booed until he started slow-walking off when we needed to get on with the game. Down to him I’m afraid. And no-one was bitching about Pepe early on, players are usually introduced carefully, it wasn’t a problem. The club, Emery and Ozil all created the problems with that situation, fans have their own opinion about every player but weren’t the protagonists in that case.

    Interesting use of the word ‘indulged’ by the way. In this highly commercial football world we have the ‘customers’ (used to be fans but this is big business make no mistake) and being sold a premium product (one of the most expensive in the market) and are supplied with a third-rate ‘product’. What do you do in that situation? You complain to the manufacturer or service provider. The club relies on your allegiance because in any other business if you acted that way your customer would dump you. If they dared to describe them as ‘indulged’ they’d sink the company quicker than Gerald Ratner (look it up).

  68. Spike says:

    andy1886,

    You are a better, more patient man than me, replying to that lunacy. 🙂

    I also think Eddie Howe is definitely worth a punt.

  69. JonJon says:

    poppycock..

    if i was that poster i’d re read what i’d just wrote, re – write the whole thing and change every word of it .

    something plain and simple like hello i’m an idiot, i’ve lost my village, can you help me find it will do.

    utter codswallop.

  70. JonJon says:

    back in the real word, we’re proper shite.

    wenger in.

  71. C says:

    Steve,

    By thr way, Xhaka is captain for the Swiss, he understands and should know how a captain should act and react.

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