Saints Review: Rotten to the Core

Arsenal 2 – 2 Southampton

The Stylistics told us that ‘na-na’ was the saddest word they ever heard. They were partly right; Unai is the one they were looking for.

Southampton came, saw and are still trying to work out how they didn’t conquer after another torpid Arsenal performance.

Alexandre Lacazette delivered two equalisers with the reaction to the second particularly striking. As he stroked home from Martinelli’s cross, celebrations were so quiet that ‘muted’ seems too loud. People cared but the afternoon wore everyone down.

As the team left the dressing room before kick-off, the door slammed shut with their confidence still inside. The first game back after an international break rarely produces a scintillating performance but even by that low bar, this was dire.

Defensively, we are all at sea. Bertrand undid us with quick thinking, exploiting space behind Bellerin. Southampton gave us a footballing lesson in the interim before Lacazette equalised.

Every time Southampton got the ball, we were lost, pulled out of position, devoid of commonsense. The visitors had a plethora of chances before Lacazette scored, some of them thanks to breathtakingly amateurish defending.

Hasenhutl said he was disappointed not to take all three points and his players’ reactions at the final whistle confirmed that. Disappointment was etched on their faces with some prostrate on the turf, others kneeling. The equaliser was a shattering blow as much as it was a relief for us.

Take Aim…Fire!

That’s not how it should be. All the players have question marks over them and certainly, the claim that we won the summer transfer window looks more ludicrous with each passing weekend.

It’s easy to pin the blame on Emery for this but the club is engulfed by a malaise from which it cannot escape. The Spaniard bears responsibility for results; that’s part and parcel of the head coach’s job; it’s his primary responsibility.

However, those above him must answer questions. They haven’t pulled the trigger in sacking him so I suppose Emery’s post-match observation that “the club are supporting me every day” contains some reassurance. The hierarchy is, at least, showing some consistency in backing him. More consistency than we show on the pitch.

There is talk that Sir Chips is quitting as chairman. So long and thanks for your interest in our affairs. This is the man who in 2014 declared “If [Arsene] doesn’t have a plan, we keep quiet”. He’s kept quiet now, as well. The board at Arsenal is simply a nod and a wink to the law. They have no power.

That rests with Raul, Edu, Vinai, Huss and Junior. The latter thought this season would be “fun” in the euphoria of the last transfer window, something which has proven to be a hollow claim.

So why won’t Raul, Edu, Vinai, Huss and Junior pull the trigger? There is no evidence that Emery is turning things around. Indeed, there is more to point to it going even more wrong. At least against Palace, he had the scant consolation that VAR was to blame for the draw. This result sits squarely on Emery’s shoulders.

Time For Action

The longer there is inactivity on their part, the more questions arise about their suitability for the senior roles at the club. Raul is the chief culprit; the football side of things is his domain. The Head Coach lives or dies by his command. At the moment, instead of being decisive, Sanllehi gives the impression of being a reluctant axeman.

It isn’t a situation he should enjoy but nor is it one he should shy away from. Fifteen years at Barcelona doesn’t come crisis-free so he knows the signs and that the only way this ends is with Emery’s departure. He missed a golden opportunity during the international break. That was a fortnight for a new coach to embed himself in the club, to get to know the place if he didn’t already.

That moment passed so now Junior must take charge and apply some fast-acting pain relief.

Unless they have someone already lined up, it’s going to mean an interim boss which will sate the widespread desire for Freddie Ljungberg to take over.

Which gives the hierarchy time to find an experienced coach for the long-term. The situation since Arsene left hasn’t changed.

This is a huge task and no longer can supporters be dismissed as ‘noise’. The reception at the final whistle pointed to the need for action. It isn’t going to improve and the empty seats aren’t going to be filled with the continued poor football on display.

It’s time.

’til Tomorrow.

45 thoughts on “Saints Review: Rotten to the Core

  1. Bufallo says:

    Boom
    And sadly a lack of boom from the club
    How bad is it allowed to get exactly?

  2. Bufallo says:

    Junior take charge… There’s an oxymoron

  3. Wailesy says:

    We made Southampton look like Liverpool and City. Hopeless

  4. Spike says:

    Thanks chief.
    I’m sure these reviews are a really difficult task to complete!

    Emery impressed Gazidis, says it all.

    One shallow bluffing fraud being impressed doesn’t mean we have to stick with a coach who clearly talks a better game than he can implement. Well at Arsenal at least.

    I think the Wolves manager needs serious consideration. We have the players to play his preferred system. And we would fit nicely into the underdog tag at present.

    Bottom line.

    Emery has to go, today, or before the next game at the very latest.

    I can feel myself getting angry as I’m typing this! But soon, this will be replaced by apathy and inertia. AKA the Arsenal disease.

  5. Ras says:

    Bwoy was that rank. The question is how low can We go.?

    Are Junior and Dad truly wanting to invest or just flatline AFC Into mediocrity like City and Liverpool have experienced not so long ago.

    Emery is being rope to hang himself.

  6. Ras says:

    consolsbob,

    Know how you feel. I have an 8 yr old. It’s his birthday next week Saturday. I will be away working so We decided to bring the celebrations forward a week earlier.

    It’s uncharacteristically as grey as fuck outside. In 12 years of living on the Mediterranean I can’t recall a day as grey as this .

  7. consolsbob says:

    It’s not about Emery any more, is it?

    He is toast sooner or later, gone. He has ceased to matter.

    It is the rest of the ‘hierarchy’ that beats all the responsibility now for this shambles. Every day of delay, every point lost, every minute of disillusionment in the club suffered by the fans, every bit of prestige and identity dribbled away is down to them.

    They are the problem and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. They are exposed as not upto the job that needs doing. They are either incompetent or just don’t care for anything apart from their wage packet. They certainly won’t have a career at any other club after this performance.

    A disgrace.

  8. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Emery certainly doesn’t make me feel brand new.

    He looks totally lost , gloves in front of his face & on the ropes.

    There’s no chance of him fluking a knock out punch.

    The players simply don’t believe.

  9. JonJon says:

    yes
    any procrastination from those mentioned in the post is nothing other than mismanagement at the highest level.

    i have zero idea what they are waiting for but they need to act quickly as to minimize the damage.

    i thought the idea behind getting all these chappies behind the scenes was to avoid another wenger type scenario where the time was up but nobody had any power or was too shit scared to to anything about it.

    if this geezer isnt sacked by the end of this weekend it will undo all the credibility they gained in the summer in an attempt to rebuild the playing squad.

    we understand rome wasnt built in a single day and it was going to take a tad of time to correct the mess wenger and gaidis left but sticking with emery isnt the answer..

    theres no progress whatsover – its worse than the last few years of wenger and that needed changing so why are we bothering with this guy.

    hes had 18months, hes got no idea of his best team, his best formation and the team are totally bereft of any kind of confidence. theres no playing style other than letting the other team shoot at our goal for 90mins which is totally against the point of the fucking game.

  10. Wavey says:

    Silva is under threat at Everton, but Emery isn’t at Arsenal. Seriously WTF? Silva has lost more games, but we’ve both only won 2 in 10in the league and he has won his 2 in the last 5 games. The position in the table is misleading when a small number of points covers so many positions. The Board should be hugely concerned that the gap above us us getting bigger and the gap below has narrowed up. Emery was brought in to close the gap to the teams in the top four and genuinely challenge. He clearly isn’t doing that, so why has he still got his job? Why wait until the gap becomes too big, it’s already 8 points? Rumours are that the league games up to West Ham are being viewed as a block by the Board. I’m not convinced that we will more than 3 points out of those 3 games and 2 are away, so I’m being pretty optimistic. Apparently the Board haven’t even thought about a short list yet. Well that’s another season down the drain and players will be jumping ship next summer unless things change. At this rate we’ll only be left with Ozil

  11. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Wavey,

    I’d guess that those in charge have decided to give UE the chance to turn things round as we have such an ‘easy’ run of fixtures. You’d expect a team of our pedigree to win at least 4 or 5 out of the 6 including yesterday before we face Man City.

    It’s looking like a poor decision – particularly as a new coach could have started with these fixtures.

  12. Bill says:

    Great review yogi

    I believe that our results have been partly due to the squad having less talent then we want to accept. However with that said I still think the squad should be the 5th or 6th best in the league and our current run of results is almost relegation level and clearly we are underperforming. If this continues we will not even make one of the Europa league spots. We should be able to win most games at home against teams like Southampton. We are in one of the worst runs of form of the decade and I think it’s become a mental problem rather then a tactical issue. The players and the manager both bear responsibility. The players have to be held accountable for their own form and when the players are performing this poorly there is nothing tactical a manager because nothing he tries will work. That said, I am 100% agreement with everyone else and I think it’s long past the time when Emery needs to be sacked.

    I think it’s clear that Emery is not the long term answer as our manager. Our front office needs to accept that removing the manager might be the only way to break this cycle and the longer they wait the further we fall out of contention for 4th place and we might even risk missing next years Europa league. Hopefully the shock of a mid season managerial change will be enough to break the doldrums in the same way ManU did last season when they sacked Mourinho.

  13. Randy Thomsett says:

    After that performance you can see why Xhaka has been an automatic choice.

  14. Presto de Soto says:

    “…However with that said I still think the squad should be the 5th or 6th best in the league…”
    Bill, Please which teams do you think should be 1st to 6th? I want to know your opinion.

  15. G4E says:

    With me not even paying big money to go watch games in the stadium, I’m losing interest in the club big time.

    It’s not the Manager or the players, it’s the leadership above, that has no clue, and has been a long time, even when Wenger was still there.

    You can chalk it to bad luck or whatever for getting the WRONG owner.

    All around the same time, the top 6 or 5 teams got new owners…We got the worst of those owners.

    It’s not time for anything until this Ownership is gone, and getting rid of Kroenke is not going to happen anytime soon, unless we get relegated or someone is willing to pay way over the odds for this club.

    Take it from me, American billionaires care about one thing and one thing only, The mighty dollar “In Dollar we Trust”. So long as this venture is making money for Kroenke, he couldn’t care less about this Club’s Legacy or History, or the Fans, or anything else of sentimental value.

    Come to think of it, it all started with previous owners cashing out and selling the club down the drain without researching who would be best owner of this great club. It was all about how much we can sell our shares for and how fast.

    Now we Fans have to live with those decisions and suffer, we will.

    Until, something drastic happens….watch this club going towards the wrong end of the premier league table…..And if you need any consolation, watch some You Tube clips from 1998 to 2004.

    Good Luck!

  16. C says:

    Maybe its just me, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they are already speaking with managers about taking over and have been. I get sacking him because its just not good enough, but hiring a manager doesn’t ‘just happen’. I mean you even look at Spuds hiring Jose, there are several reports stating they had been talking to not only Jose but others since the Bayern Munich match. The next 2 weeks will be quite interesting.

    I didn’t watch the match, but it sounds like some things stayed the same: Defending was shocking, Sokaritis needs to be replaced, Emery refused to start Aubameyang/Lacazette/Pepe together until it was to late, Leno again saved us (as he has done time and time again).

  17. andy1886 says:

    We have lack real football people at the club. It’s as simple as that. Raul isn’t a football man per se, he’s a marketing man and administrator who works in football, not the same thing at all. Vinai is an accountant. Huss Fahmy is a lawyer. Our owners know absolutely nothing about the game.

    Edu is the only one who understands football rather than the business of football. An he’s been here five minutes and is the most junior of the executive team.

    I’m afraid these people will never make Arsenal successful. Not in a million years. Even when they sack Unai (when, not if) I have zero confidence that they will find the right replacement. They may get lucky but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  18. YW says:

    Raul’s opposition to O’Leary’s appointment suggests a man who doesn’t want ‘football people’ on board. May be worried about the scrutiny, that they will show him up.

  19. andy1886 says:

    YW,

    Exactly. He’s a suit, he adds nothing on the actual football side. Wouldn’t know a good football manager if he bit him on the arse.

    But like the others on the gravy train he’s making a nice living thank you very much.

  20. Spike says:

    andy1886,

    Well, depending on what reports one reads and who one chooses to believe…

    The board are giving Dick until we lose away at West Ham on December 5th…

    Or, they’re going to appoint Freddie on an interim basis, or give the job to…

    Vieira, Arteta, Pochetino or Allegri…

    Well, that’s all cleared up!

  21. Buckagh says:

    YW,

    Its a good point YW, but I question the authority of any board these days, are board members investors or shareholders, it appears CEOs call the shots

  22. Spike says:

    YW,

    I’m not sure I’d want O’Leary involved, although having some ex Gunner on board would be a good thing and also give the hierarchy some positive PR brownie points!

    So, you can bet your Arse this ain’t happening!

  23. YW says:

    Buckagh

    The Board don’t hold any shares and TBH, serve little purpose. I think as they resign/retire/die-off, they won’t be replaced. The board will end up as Junior, Enos and maybe Raul.

    It’s only a statutory obligation and that’s it.

  24. andy1886 says:

    Just another symptom as football destroys itself as a sport IMO (call me a miserable old b*stard if you like).

    Football is #1 a business, #2 sold as ‘entertainment’ to be consumed or discarded on a whim, and somewhat distantly #3 a sport (nominally).

    So no shock that all the top people at our club are business people and not sports professionals.

  25. YW says:

    Spike

    DOL as manager or anything to do with coaching, I agree. Thanks but no thanks.

    However, playing a role in scrutinising the hierarchy and informing the board? I see no reason why not.

    The trouble with former players is that you’ll always find a for/against argument for each of them!

  26. andy1886 says:

    And Arsenal fans can’t say that they haven’t helped bring this about either. Why do you think Stan decided AFC was such a great addition to his sports portfolio?

    Name me any other club that used to celebrate winning the ‘Most financially prudent club in the world’ trophy while paying the highest ticket prices in football?

    Remember the smug idiots that used to argue that yeah United and Chelsea were winning all the football trophies but we had the best financial model?

    How about slimy Ivan wittering on about FFP?

    Stan must have creamed his pants when he saw all that, what a perfectly gullible bunch of consumers just waiting to be taken for a ride.

  27. Blue Yonder says:

    It seems to have come down to “when”. I have to think the players are also waiting for the axe to fall as well. Certainly, it looked like it ytdy. The debacle surrounding the opening goal was ridiculous: any child knows that you are supposed to play to the whistle instead of standing around waiting for one. It’s just one of many issues in the malaise surrounding Emirates.
    Any organization can make a bad hire but the real crime is living with it. If nothing happens until year end then the hierarchy will have effectively written off the season.

  28. Spike says:

    YW,

    I like OLeary, we were Twitter mates (when I was on that platform). I’m just not sure he was right for the job. Then again, what the heck do I know?

  29. The ArseCores says:

    So much for my early season optimism. Shoot me dead in the ditch to lie with fat Boris.

    I thought that sacking 20 years of Wengerball meant that we are on the top dog merry go ’round. Emery isn’t ‘failing’, that boat has passed and, at this rate, the Spuds will have been let down by Maureen and got a new gaffa before Emery is canned.

    Thankyou, next!

  30. Paulie Walnuts says:

    andy1886,

    Yep – It`s all about the Wonga.

    Leaving Highbury , the failure to invest in the team properly , retaining under performing managers / coaches / players & eye watering ticket prices etc etc.

    Only the fans really care…..& unless they stay away nobody gives a fuck about them.

  31. Wavey says:

    Paulie Walnuts,

    Agreed. Why let Emery balls it up on the easy fixtures and throw a new manager in at the deep end against a big team? And if Emery does scrape a couple of wins in the next 3 games, doesn’t that just paper over the cracks again? Being 9 points worse off than the same point in the league last season sends a clear message that Emery isn’t the man. Let’s give a new man those 3 games to get the team functioning again. Oh, I forgot. Emery is the man for Europa League. Without him we won’t get to the final and completely screw it up again.

  32. G4E says:

    I also would like to debunk the notion, that because his English is weak, he can’t communicate his ideas.

    I’m sure somebody there can translate his ideas to the players, I don’t think this is the problem. The fact of the matter is, His ideas suck. It’s not how the players want to play. The whole idea of Arsenal, was how attacking and attractive football we play.

    The players did show Unai how they wanted to play during the long forgotten 22 games unbeaten run of last season.

    Then he started fucking around with Ozil, and things started downhill. He insists on playing stupidly cautious, unproductive, and restrictive football that the players most likely hate.

    We can’t outscore the opponents (regardless of who they’re) and we concede goals ending barely with a point.

    He has lost the players, he’s now running scared and gets more defensive and more scared.

    This team needs a tried and tested Manager who has a game plan from day one. Not someone who randomly selects a team and hope for the best.

    I’m tired of this blew par performances, it’s humiliating.

    Please give the man his 6 mil or whatever, and imagine that we paid 12 Mil for Martinelli? I would be very happy with that piece of business.

    We need to, and we have to….

  33. JonJon says:

    352 at home to fecking southampton

  34. JonJon says:

    norwich away next?

    fully expect 11 men behind the ball and try hit them with set pieces such is the dangers we face trying to attack a team so superior…

  35. Spike says:

    JonJon,

    We will lose vs Norwich if Emery is still the coach. Will he get sacked then? Even with our lazy, inept, board they’d have to.

    Only thing is, that we couldve had a new guy in already, be 5 points better off and have a feel good factor at the club again.

    With Emery still at the helm, Norwich will fancy their chances. Let’s face it, what team wouldn’t right now?

  36. Bill says:

    Presto de Soto:
    “…However with that said I still think the squad should be the 5th or 6th best in the league…”
    Bill, Please which teams do you think should be 1st to 6th? I want to know your opinion.

    I think Liverpool Man city Chelsea and Spurs all have stronger squads then we do. That puts us 5th at best depending on how you rate ManU. Leicester and Wolves do not necessarily have better squads but they are certainly better teams then we are right now. Teams tend to find the proper level after a 38 game schedule and I suspect we will finish around 5th place. However sometimes teams such as Leicester in 15/16 can finish a lot higher then you would expect and right now they look really good and it’s possible they could finish in the top 4 and we end up fighting with Man U for 6th.

  37. Bill says:

    Auba and laca are really good but after that I don’t think we have a single player who would play regular minutes on the rest of the worlds better teams.

    A midfield of ozil, Guendouzi Torriera Xhaka Willock Maitland-Niles, Smith-Rowe isn’t very good defensively and there is very little creativity and almost no end product. It’s a mid table level group. There is probably not any mid table PL team that would really be happy with our group of CB’s. In form Bellerin is an asset on the attacking end but he isn’t in good form and even at his best he is not a good defender. We don’t know how Tierney will adapt. Pepe might come good but so far he looks a lot like the next Gervinho. Nelson, Gabriel, Willock Maitland-Niles have been good cup team players but we can’t count on them to be effective in the PL.

  38. Bhavesh Sadiwala says:

    I think it’s the Arsenal board that is causing the manager and players to be insulted more than anything. When they know he is not working and are still keeping him, they are essentially letting him and the players be the punching bag in a situation that the board is responsible of changing.

    Surely they are aware of the abuse Emery and the players are getting. They need to show mercy towards Emery by letting him go and allowing him a chance to move on instead of piling up negative emotions from which it may be difficult for him and the players to get out of.

    Every person deserves a chance to move on and Emery should get that too. I feel for him because his tactics aren’t working at this great club but he will find the courage to bounce back from this unfortunate and negative situation, albeit not at Arsenal and that should be fine. Surely the board knows they are damaging everything and everybody associated with Arsenal by not being decisive.

    And yes, Mourinho wins his debut at Spurs…there goes me weekend 🙂

  39. Papa Bear says:

    Mikel Arteta and Freddie Ljungberg (No.2) will come soon…….

  40. Las says:

    Papa Bear:
    Mikel Arteta and Freddie Ljungberg (No.2) will come soon…….

    I wish it would come true. Otherwise I can’t see anyone who wants to come and save us. Not without emotional attachment anyway.

  41. Pete the Thirst says:

    Rafa Benitez as interim for the season. He sure knows defence, which we need to sort out fast.

    That should buy time for a sensible long term appointment.

    The sacking of Mislintat looking more foolish by the day.

  42. trugun says:

    Bufallo,

    Don’t know about Oxy but he’s certainly a moron him and father both. Not going to happen but imho owners, manager and board all need to go asap.

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