The chances of anything coming from Mars is a million-to-one they said…
Well, when they park their flying saucers on Highbury Hill and disembark wearing their Mars/Arsenal half ‘n’ half scarves to mingle in, the invasion plans will stall. “If Unai Emery is still Arsenal boss, how the hell can we invade this planet? Nothing will shift these earthlings! They are hardier than the Martian cockroach…”
You get the feeling that only a seismic event is going to shift Unai from the Arsenal hot seat and losing to Norwich City no longer qualifies as that.
Disturbingly, there are notions surfacing that some in the club believe the malaise is directly attributable to the absence of Granit Xhaka. The Swiss was integral to Emery’s ‘success’, they believe.
Yes, I missed the successful part of this season as well. The capacity for delusion among The Muppet Show is most concerning. If they cannot see the evidence of failure before their eyes, we are way over our heads in something brown and sticky.
The fallout from our coaching situation is more than just his job. The summer of ‘Don Raul’ featured the reiteration of the club’s ‘new’ contract mantra: ‘sign a new deal or be sold’. No exceptions unless you were a footballing geriatric.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are testing that. At the end of this season, they have two years and one year remaining on their deals respectively.
Sign, or be sold, he said. Sign, or be sold.
The club is keen to keep both and reportedly opened talks with both over extending their stay in North London. This morning, it seems, they got their answer from one of them at least. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has politely told them to do one, for the time being at least.
Backed Into A Corner
The Times this morning carries the story that the striker is fed up and wants to know what is going on as we’re on course to miss out on the Champions League once again. Reading between the lines, he fed up with playing in the Europa League. Don’t worry, Pierre-Emerick, you won’t be playing in that either next season.
Of course, some won’t miss PEA whose contribution to the team beyond scoring is questionable. Then again, what do you want a striker to do? Score or defend. Arguably both but given we’re struggling in front of goal, let’s be grateful for what we currently have.
It was inevitable that at least one of the set of talks would go nowhere. Arsenal are drifting toward mediocrity – OK, hurtling headfirst toward it – and the football operations suddenly looks vulnerable. It isn’t just on the pitch where circumstances change quickly.
There’s quite a list of players who finish the season with a year left: Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi, Auba and Özil. The only player I am concerned about at present from that list is Aubameyang. However, he is far from irreplaceable but it will require more creativity from the club as far as signings are concerned.
Then again, I can honestly say I can count the number of players who I would currently be upset at losing on the fingers of my amputated hand.
Some – Bellerin, Saku, Holding, Tierney, Chambers, Willock – I think have great potential. The rest? Replacements are ten-a-penny.
Maybe a new coach can reinvigorate the squad, get them to play above themselves and change that thinking. It’s all a lot of ifs, buts and maybes though.
It’s a sad state of affairs and when I see the Wenger memes about ‘I told you so’, I wonder at the detachment from reality. Arsene isn’t to blame for Emery’s failures but he didn’t help with the squad we were left with!
There’s no relation to the thoughts that surfaced even as late as 2014 that the squad would be in better shape than when Ferguson left United. We are in every sense United-lite.
Still, our capacity for humour remains undimmed. Unai has apparently pulled out of “Guillem Balagué’s masterclass series at University Campus of Football Business in London on Friday but the event has been cancelled.”
A managerial masterclass from a condemned man. It’s bit like finding there is a Michelin-starred chef on death row and getting him to cook all the last meals.
Mind you, the standard of journalism around Emery’s future is poor. The Times piece includes this gem:
Julian Draxler, one of Emery’s former players at Paris Saint-Germain, highlighted one of the difficulties of working with the Spaniard compared with Thomas Tuchel, the French club’s present head coach.
Draxler said: “I consider him a very good coach, but with him the communication was sometimes not that easy. When you talk to Thomas [Tuchel] and he clearly tells you in two sentences in German what is good and what is not good, that is certainly an advantage.”Yoolian gets to the heart of the matter
So, if I’ve got this right, Draxler, a German finds it easier to converse with a German coach in German, their native tongue. Whodda thunk it?