Leicester Review: Teflon Emery Still Survives

Leicester City 2 – 0 Arsenal

At the final whistle, defeat confirmed this as Arsenal’s worst start to a season since 1982/83. In a warning of what’s to come, Terry Neill lasted a further twelve months before getting sacked.

Those fears were almost confirmed when Ornstein noted the Arsenal board and senior management backed Unai Emery to turn it around. The logic, it seems, is twenty-six games remain which is plenty of time for the good form to return.

According to his Athletic column, Arsenal’s “top brass” – presumable Edu and Raul – believe there were “signs of improved performance” yesterday. At least before Leicester scored, that is.

They clearly understand the current Arsenal zeitgeist which saw the travelling support join in with the home fans serenade of “You’re getting sacked in the morning”.

They expect the “noise” around Emery to increase in the absence of matches. Few opportunities will present themselves for positive moments so the disgruntlement sees no relief. No doubt when he faces the media next, he’ll bemoan his players absence. The international break stopped him from rebuilding their confidence and so on.

To be honest, I’m not even going to bother with critiquing the performance. For an hour, it was better than expected. Not good, just not as poor as I thought we would be and certainly, we weren’t overrun. Relief around that was widespread at the time but this is Emery’s Arsenal: the Snowflakes.

The second half brought the inevitable collapse, one the manager expected. Speaking after the game, Emery said that everything was level pegging until “they scored the first goal, that’s when we lost the opportunity to do something in that match.”

Just in case that isn’t clear enough for you, I’ll translate: “When Leicester scored, I threw in the towel”.

Say Nothing

His post-match utterance – and pre-match ones for that matter – show a loose grasp of reality but are bullish, imbued by the reassurances of his bosses that his job is safe.

Leicester and Chelsea, for example, are better than us because “they’ve had time to be consistent.” We, on the other hand, only had time to be timid so far. We’re looking for our time to be consistent but there’s only so many hours in a day.

It’s no surprise the Arsenal hierarchy aren’t going to act. Despite throwing away a return to Champions League football and seeing us humiliated in Baku, the clowns still wanted to offer Emery a new deal. I don’t know who put the kibosh on that but you get a free pass from that madness.

The only positive from Ornstein’s missive is that Arsenal aren’t chasing around after Luis Enrique. There’s no indication he can rebuild this club in the way it is needed. Indeed, with his record at Roma, quite the opposite.

However, it is largely irrelevant. Emery has yet to use up all his nine lives at the Emirates. Southampton’s visit later this month begins a run of fixtures which can best be described as kind. That is if you’re in-form. Out of sorts, there are plenty of banana skins in the guise of Norwich and West Ham (away) as well as Brighton at home.

That, I think, underlines the damage Emery has wrought at the club.

Honestly, I see no benefit in holding on in his dismissal. At this moment in time, the Champions League is out of reach once again. To pull back the gap to the top four, we must beat Chelsea twice and Leicester at home, while hoping they drop plenty of points elsewhere.

All Pigs Cleared For Take-Off

The reality is that we are fighting for the Europa League places once again. Emery is a Europa League manager desperately seeking a return to the Intertoto days.

In my heart, I can only assume the Arsenal hierarchy has written off this season. They talk of top-four finishes but know it won’t happen. They assume a Europa League place will be claimed but right now that is far from certain.

We’re all but qualified for the next round in Europe and don’t even have to win to achieve that aim next time around. But we won’t win it; we’re not good enough.

If they haven’t written the season off, I wish they would tell us where their optimism Emery will turn it around comes from because I cannot fathom it at all.

At the root of this, however, is the hands-off approach of the owners. They do not want to be involved unless it is good PR – which, ironically, sacking Emery would be – but yesterday’s opponents showed a stark contrast to Enos and Junior.

Leicester’s owners remain heavily involved and invested in the club, despite a tragedy which might cause others to walk away. However, they understand the role of the club in the community and want it as well as the city to thrive. Yes, it is an investment but the more they put in, the more they are getting out.

And they aren’t scared to act either. Eight months after winning the title, Ranieri was gone. Claude Puel paid the price for eighteen months of relative failure.

But we don’t sack our coach/manager because we aren’t one of ‘those’ clubs. Yet ‘those’ clubs are above us in the table. Tell me, which clubs are getting it right?

’til Tomorrow.

56 thoughts on “Leicester Review: Teflon Emery Still Survives

  1. Spike says:

    I just hope Ornstein has got it wrong (about staging Emerys execution, NOT about Enrique) or we can write off the season.

    As you say YW. Theres no evidence to suggest Emery is capable of turning things around.

  2. Steve says:

    I have supported Arsenal since when I was eight. I have seen a lot. If the owners of a clubside were to think the way we did in the last few weeks, we would have three managers in a year. If a man own a business and decide to stick with the management, I think there is something he can see if the management is not performing so well at the moment. We watch matches, but there is a lot going on behind in the multi-billion dollars business that is the EPL. Check the VAR controversies.
    Arsenal has faced a media war in the last few years. I doubt if it is ordinary. I guess the Kronkes have an idea, and I guess they know more. That’s why they are not caving in.
    Two times in two weeks, Arsenal hierarchy has been said to have had meetings with two prominent coaches for a successor to Emery. Neither is true but it received wide coverage in the media. To what intent? To destabilize the coaching crew so they can’t concentrate. I’m happy the Kronkes are not giving in to their tactics.
    I want Arsenal to win. To overcome the draws. That is the problem. We have to stop dropping points from winning position. That I think is what Emery is doing. It may take a few weeks but I think he will succeed

  3. anonymous says:

    After watching the players’ body language over the past month or so , it is obvious that Emery has major communication problems with the players – they seem baffled as to what to do and hence this leads to no cohesion and fluency in a game . We have some decent players who are under performing due to Emery .
    I don’t like the way he humiliated Xhaka publicly – a destructive move.
    He has Tierney and Pepe but they are only part players – Emery is chaotic and is losing both the players and supporters respect !

  4. Michael says:

    Steve
    How do you think he is going to turn it around?

  5. andy1886 says:

    Steve,

    Please explain why you think that Emery will turn this around (blind faith doesn’t count btw).

  6. consolsbob says:

    We look to be in very deep shit. Emery is worse than hopeless, his presence is a positive for the teams we play. He is scared, timid and a coward blaming everything and everyone but himself for our miserable performances.

    We were told that once Wenger left there would be a queue of ‘World Class’ managers after the job at Arsenal. Very ‘desirable’ position. So how did we end up with this clown? Why are the list of names being touted as possible replacements for when the inevitable happens so uninspired?

    The failure of our CE and Edu to have the courage, wit and intelligence to act on what they see weekly is far worse for the future of the club than the damage that Emery is wreaking. We are showing relegation form. Our stats are truly shocking and they are meant to be football people. This could end very badly indeed.

    Watching Wolves today reminded me of the sheer joy that football can create when club, players and fans are in harmony. When was that truly the situation at Arsenal? It has been a miserable time over the past few years and it looks like getting worse.

  7. Noon Gunner says:

    consolsbob,

    And watching Liverpool and City playing with pace, vision and discipline is truly painful. Like being a kid forced to watch through the window as other kids your age have an amazing party.

  8. andy1886 says:

    At times like this when you ask a simple question in reply to a statement that needs evidencing I rue the fact that no-one has had the good sense to create a tumbleweed emoji….

  9. consolsbob says:

    andy1886,

    ‘Tumbleweed…’ indeed, how did this happen us?

    We were lied to about Kroenke, the new Stadium and now the ‘modern’ management structure.

    As a club we are not ‘fit for purpose’ at any level.

    How the fuck did we get landed with this?

  10. andy1886 says:

    consolsbob,

    Simply put we have no real ‘Arsenal’ men that have any influence in running the club anymore (I’ll reserve judgement on Edu for now).

    The Kroenkes know nothing of the club (although they pay lip service when it suits them).

    Sir Chips – Career banker for 50 years, became a director in 2005. Banker by name…

    Ken Friar – Yes, an Arsenal man albeit one with little or no influence.

    Lord Harris of Peckham – good at flogging carpet but what that has to do with football I’ll never know.

    Raul Sanllehi – Background in marketing, no real experience in the actual football side of the game.

    Vinai Venkatesham – Sports administration background (not specifically football) been with the club since circa 2010.

    So basically no-one with any experience of the actual playing side at all in a senior position. No Adams, no Graham, no O’Leary, no Dixon, nothing at all. And these people think that they would know a good football manager from a bad one.

  11. Blue Yonder says:

    One positive from yesterday is that we did not surrender a lead again. Of course, not scoring a goal had something to do with that.
    Two goals given up wasn’t terrible but not scoring at all was. Much has been said about the defensive woes, but the lack of scoring, to me, is a larger concern.

  12. Blue Yonder says:

    I continue to be baffled by Emery’s pronouncements. You understand all the words but you can’t make sense of them. Is this part of the learning of a new language or is it simply bafflegab?
    Not even the players are immune, with Kierney saying recently that the dressing room is united and are fully behind Emery. Well, if they are, they have a strange way of showing it.

  13. Welsh corgi says:

    Steve,

    Steve, is that you again? Come here to tell us all is well in goonerverse. Why thank you. If I didn’t know better I’d think it’s pretty poor but I guess some people can always see the light. Like a modern version of Voltaire and Candide?

  14. Alex Ice Cream says:

    We have allowed this to happen by not firing Wenger years before we eventually did and then botching the succession.

    There is nothing to suggest that the board will recognise their mistake in appointing Emery and act swiftly. They are faced with the problem of who the new man should be but there appears to be no contingency plan in place.

    Not only did the end of season collapse not result in the sack for Emery, it did not result in thinking that alternatives needed to be considered in case results did not improve by Christmas. If it is indeed true that they considered extending Emery’s contract we really are fucked.

    Dark days ahead for us.

  15. andy1886 says:

    Nine points above the drop zone and seventeen points off the leaders (as things stand) tells you all you need to know. The scousers will have double our points tally after twelve games unless something extraordinary happens in the next thirty minutes or so.

  16. Welsh corgi says:

    We’re actually showing relegation form. I have a hard time seeing the board and CEO accepting relegation.

    I guess if we’re down there come Christmas they’re bound act aren’t they?

  17. Buckagh says:

    andy1886,

    I wouldn’t worry
    Steve is here
    He claims to knows things we don’t
    So no worries eh? Steve

  18. andy1886 says:

    Buckagh,

    Well as he’s convinced it’s all the fault of us negative ninnies I guess we are all well and truly fecked!

  19. Dukey says:

    I wouldn’t call Emery a clown. I’m actually surprised it’s gone so tits up. He did come with a very good cv and was welcomed and we all thought it was a decent appointment. I’m sure the board are just as baffled as to why it has all gone so wrong. One thing is clear and that is whatever he is trying or tried to do he has lost it in translation. The players look clueless but it’s of his own making, I don’t think he has played the same side more than once this season. Again yesterday it was another completely new line up with no real chance of beating a top side who knew exactly what they were all going to do.

  20. Woolwich Freddie says:

    I shudder to think how hard to watch this is going to get if he’s given the whole season. I’ve always looked forward to games, even when we’ve not been too hot or weren’t favourites but this just feels pointless. I can take other teams being better than us but we’re just so supine and aimless that it’s never really a contest. We will struggle in every one of these “kind” fixtures and I fear the points total from them will not exceed a couple of points.

  21. Buckagh says:

    The official line is that Emrey has the confidence of the board
    but the reality is that there will be thousands of empty seats at the next game and succeeding games if something doesn’t change, and this will inevitably have an effect on the thinking
    I know the seats are paid for including mine, but they do not like seeing empty seats

  22. Paulie Walnuts says:

    I’m with Dukey. I was reasonably optimistic when Emery was appointed & despite the end of season drop off thought he’d done OK considering what Arsene left behind in terms of competing at the very top.

    However, any goodwill has evaporated quickly & for me stems from poor summer recruitment & the scattergun team selections from the manager.

    He’s not helping himself with his baffling press conferences either & if things don’t improve after the break the fans might have something to say about the hierarchy backing him.

  23. Dukey says:

    Woolwich Freddie,

    For the football we have served up this season its surprising we are so high as 6th. Maybe we need to just hope we can actually get our act together and start to play well in a game and oh I don’t know one day out play someone!

  24. Dukey says:

    I think Emery should be given the Christmas schedule. If it’s no better and we are still playing like a bunch of primary school kids by January then he would have to go.

  25. consolsbob says:

    Honestly, I didn’t mind his appointment because I believed that they wouldn’t appoint an idiot. I believed them.

    I won’t make that mistake again.

    It doesn’t actually matter if he has been good in the past. Now he is crap. We are not a charity to maintain underperforming managers, or players, in a job.

  26. Dukey says:

    Bob, if any club is charitable to managers its us surely!!

  27. Wavey says:

    Emery’s appointment was a surprise, as it came completely out of left field and I don’t think he was even in the running initially. That said, he had a good record with Sevilla. Maybe alarm bells should have been ringing over what went on at PSG, but it didn’t seem like a bad appointment.
    Clearly it would take time to change things, but he should have at least been able to stamp his own style of play on the team by the end of last season and the disastrous run of results which led to us failing to take a top 4 spot were seemingly brushed under the carpet because of the Europa League run. Let’s not even talk about the way the team rolled over in the final, but maybe it was no surprise given the run of form we were having against English teams (in the league) at that point.
    That very average form has continued into this season and, yet again, it appears that our performances in the Europa League are providing a life line for Emery. Unfortunately, the league form now appears to be impacting on the Europa League as we put together two poor efforts against Vittoria, a team who hadn’t even scored a goal in the Europa League before playing us.
    I would like to think that Emery can turn it around, but this feels very much like the end of Wenger’s career at the club when the players stopped playing for him. There are a number of very good players in the squad from which we could put together a strong first eleven, but Emery seems to have totally lost the plot now. His team selection appears flawed and even when he appears to get it about right, his substitutions are nonsensical.
    I don’t think it would be a knee jerk reaction to sack him on form, but the Board still seem to be happy to give him the time. I’m happy to be proved wrong and if Emery does turn it around I will applaud him. I’m not holding my breath though, as it does not appear that he knows how to motivate, or even communicate with his squad. And his rattling off of a list of outside influences which have had an impact on the team is pathetic and weak. As was his decision to allow the players to choose the captain.

  28. Damon says:

    Well, well, this is fun, isn’t it?

    The only reason that he hasn’t been sacked is money. It’ll cost them and there’s no “guarantee” that the new man will do any better, so the powder is being kept dry until it won’t cost to fire it.

    Absolute joke. Anyone can see the players have given up. They’re not playing for him, they don’t believe it anymore. That situation won’t change without it being forced to now, there’s no way back

    When you look back at his time at the club, the unbeaten run at the beginning made everyone buy into what he was sold as. I believed it then.

    That now looks like it was simply a boost borne of the change itself, not the actual individual. Much like United?

    It’s a shame, because there’s some decent players here at present.

    I haven’t been that engaged with the season, again, this year. Not because it hasn’t been very positive. The spineless nature of the board, manager and players is seeping into the fans. They’re all MEH and so am I now

  29. Bill says:

    I have to admit I thought Emery was a very good choice when he was hired. His Sevilla teams were relatively poorly financed teams whose results seemed to outperform their expenditures on players. Perhaps most important his reputation for meticulous preparation and attention to detail seemed totally opposite of Arsene’s approach and I thought we really needed someone as different from Arsene as possible. I really believed his detail oriented approach was exactly what we needed to improve the defense after conceding 51 in Wenger’s final season. Boy was I completely wrong about that one.

  30. Bill says:

    I am on record as saying we don’t have the talent we need to compete at the level we want. I don’t see how anyone can watch this team and believe it’s talent is more then a good Europa league level squad. The idea that the players struggles are completely caused by the manager are reminiscent of the final year under Arsene when we heard people say the squad was very strong but the players were being held back because of the manager. It’s pretty clear in retrospect the squad Arsene had assembled was not very and we were over rating the players. Same thing is happening now IMO.

    All that said I still think we are better then 75% of the teams in the league and our form starting with the disastrous run at the end of last years league campaign and this season represent massive underperformance especially on the defensive end of the pitch. Goal differential of -1 after 12 game from a team which should be no worse then 5th best in the league is terrible and the manager has to take responsibility. It’s clearly time for the team to move in a new direction

  31. Spike says:

    Well, we are definitely as good as Man City.

  32. Tony Ikpo says:

    Watching the Liverpool vs ManCity replay has convinced me that perhaps Emery knows what he is doing. Take a good look at the first 5 minutes of play and see similarities to what Emery is trying to instill into the team. The major difference IMO is the confidence with which Liverpool defenders play out the back. It takes to cultivate that confidence. Remember Klopps first two years in charge? It took time and little tinkering every season to get it just right. And WITHOUT the HARASSMENT Emery has had to put up with from his OWN fans!
    Maybe, just maybe we should tone down the critique and just support the team. Warts and all, that’s what makes football such a beautiful sport!!

  33. Gooner99 says:

    I’ve wondered if the whole Emery saga has any parallels to the summer transfer situation. We were fed one line about a budget, then towards the end told that the budget wasn’t really all that tight. Misdirection? From a business side there would be some benefits to sorting this out before cutting him loose. That seems as likely as those in charge actually having confidence in the manager despite our results. At least I’m hoping this is a possibility.

  34. andy1886 says:

    Tony Ikpo,

    Sorry, can’t see the similarity myself.

    On Klopp’s Liverpool record he took over from Rodgers mid season and they finished eighth. In his first full season they finished fourth, after twelve games (where we are now) they had 27 points and had beaten us at home (4-3), Chelsea away (2-1), drawn with Tottenham away, and put four past (champions) Leicester, five past Hull, and six past Watford (all in the first twelve games).

    Emery is in his second full season and performances are not even close to those that Klopp achieved in his first full season.

  35. Dukey says:

    Bill,

    Bill, you are on record for saying a lot of things!! . In fact one can say you can be like a broken record!. Oh and you hold the record for the most posts in a row, the most arguments (joint award with c) and the Alan shearer state the obvious award!

  36. C says:

    Dukey,

    No way, Bill easily takes that and its not even close. He generally has 3 or 4 different but relateable arguments running at the same time with different people.

  37. C says:

    Dukey,

    Naturally being with how shit everybody in the side are not named Lacazette and Aubameyang because they score goals.

  38. Blue Yonder says:

    Never thought I would welcome an international break.

  39. Buckagh says:

    andy1886,

    Looked up Klopps record with the intention of a answering Tony, but lost interest in replying to total drivel

    Your right, there is no comparison
    Klopp stamped his mark on the club from the first day and made the hard decisions our guy doesn’t have the balls to pick a captain

  40. C says:

    Buckagh,

    For me, the biggest thing between early days Klopp and early days Emery is that Klopp seemed to make the decision that his front 3-5 are more than capable of outscoring ANYBODY. They played that way and attacked almost suicidal at times and then soent loads to bring in van Dijk and Allison…..while Emery started like that, then seemed to read people killing our shit defenders and went completely defensive.

    Not sure how many would agree, but I wouldn’t mind at all Emery start Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang with an Ozil and Bellerin and Tierney and attacking. We know our best CB pairing could be Saliba and either Chambers or Holding next season; so lets go and just outscore people this season and soldify the defense in the summer. We ALL know Lacazette and Aubameyang will score goals and Pepe has loads of potential (just think, only he and Messi had 20 goals and 10 assists last season).

  41. Spike says:

    Buckagh,

    Emery is in his Arsenal tenure at least, showing himself to be a weak, indecisive coach, who has no discernable footballing philosophy, other than invite the opposition to have as many shots as they like.

    He has been given 6 more games!!!

    So, see you in six games time people, because I dont think I can stomach any more!! 🙂

  42. Woolwich Freddie says:

    I’m glad there is an ultimatum and it doesn’t go past Christmas but, given the standard of the opposition over the next 6, it could have been fewer games. A new or interim manager would start out looking down the barrel of a nasty holiday schedule starting with City. Smacks of the club trying to buy the new guy a free pass already or desperately hoping for a new bounce factor.

  43. Woolwich Freddie says:

    P.S. given the personnel available, I’m willing to try C’s all-out attack, at least up to the transfer window. What do we have to lose? Might as well make it exciting.

  44. Spike says:

    Woolwich Freddie,

    It makes zero sense to me.
    Just look at the last game. Another formation with different personnel, with same result.

    The fact we were expecting to get beat says it all.

    Horrendous small minded and defeatist attitude.

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